Category Archives: Society’s Issues

Praying to be Poor

I’ve been learning a lot this year about what it means to be “crazy generous”, a term coined by a new church I started attending.  Caleb’s spiritual gift is generosity.  This means that he loves to give money away to those in need.  I have never seen him tempted to hold on to his money for his own selfish gain.

Me, on the other hand, I’m a hoarder.  I am an ex-eBay addict, a woman blessed with the inherit genes to shop for the sake of shopping. I could waste hours shopping for stuff I don’t need simply because I desire it.  Combine this weakness with the forced discipline of having a newly married income, and let’s just say that this has been a year of excellent spiritual growth.

It’s been a struggle for me, but I am so grateful that God’s teaching me lessons about generosity and leading me away from gluttony of personal items.  Jesus says in Matthew 19:24 “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”  He says this at least two times, which means that people back then probably didn’t grasp the full concept of this either.

I know I don’t always fully understand it, and I feel that I will always be learning something about it.  Here’s what I’ve learned so far about wanting or owning too much stuff:

1) There is never a cap on how much you want.  Marketing has been and always will be a ploy to get you to envy and spend money needlessly.  (I should know, I’m in marketing!)  On the other hand, monitoring your frugality can be just as much as issue as spending it all needlessly.  Either way, money and your possessions are always on your mind.

2)  “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Matt 6:24  I’ve learned what this means by monitoring my intentions.  Do I pick a career based on how much money I can make, or do I let God guide me in my career so that I can best glorify Him (regardless of whether it makes a lot of money)?  If money is my master, am I likely to give it away to people in need or hoard it for myself?   Just be sure your desire to give money away generously is not self-serving.  (Matt 6:1-4)

3) Once you start viewing money as a safety net, you no longer see the need for God.  Even if you don’t have wealth right now, just the idea that one day you might have wealth is enough to make you feel safe.  People are always telling me that I don’t have to worry about my finances because my husband’s planning on being a doctor.   At one point I started feeling secure because of the future hope that my husband would be rich.  First of all, there is never a sure thing in this life.  Second of all, even if my husband does become a rich doctor, I am now praying that I will hate wealth.

I feel crazy when I say that, so maybe I sound crazy.  But I want to hate money.  When money fills my bank account, I want to look at it with disdain rather than with glee.

I’m going to be praying to be poor.

Why?

Because it’s harder for a rich man to get into heaven than for a GIGANTIC camel to go through an itty bitty teeny weeny eye of a needle.  (Be honest — how many of you just imagined a camel in a polka dot bikini?  That’s the power of marketing!)

In my mind, if I hate my own money, I will have no problem giving it away.  I’ll have no problem being generous.  If you think about it, half of Jesus’ sermons in the Beatitudes are about providing for people’s physical needs.  If God blesses me with financial stability, I want to give people my proverbial (and physical!) second coat.

This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to live off of locusts and honey for the rest of my life.  I’d love to acquire certain things in life, like a house big enough for my future family, a cheery Golden Retriever named Bowser, a car that’s maybe not 10 years old and falling apart, and possibly a boat.  The problem is when I start to expect these things out of my future because I plan on making a ton of money in my big-time career.  The problem is when I let my stuff own me and define me.  The problem is when I start to live for things rather than for the will of Jesus Christ.  Stuff isn’t inherently evil, but it’s a temptation big enough to make Jesus say, “AGAIN I say to you…”

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be wary of my stuff from now on.

Money is tricky!  We can’t avoid it, so we have to learn to navigate it.  Anyone straight out of college with pressing bills to pay will tell you that money becomes a necessary primary occupation.  It can be difficult to trust God to take care of our needs.  But here’s the truth: if you’re working hard and living honestly and trying to serve God, He’s not going to just let you starve.  Jesus reassures us with this thought: “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Matt 10:29-31)

Store up your treasures in heaven, my friends.  Consider the mindset of praying to be poor.

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6:20

All scripture taken from the NASB version on Biblegateway.com

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Genocide in America

“Rather than being ‘actual persons’, newborns were ‘potential persons’. Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.” ¹

This quote is from a controversial article in The Journal of Medical Ethics, authored by medical ethicists at Oxford University named Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva. It made popular rounds on social media sites through an article in The Telegraph. ²

The main point of Drs. Giubilini and Minerva seems to be that imperfect infants should be allowed to be terminated on the basis that they are broken and an “unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.” ¹ In other words, if the human life costs valuable resources to maintain and won’t contribute back to the society in valued, measured ways, the life is not worth enough to maintain and should be allowed to be thrown away without repercussions.

This would target any child with any genetic disease or disorder, like Down syndrome.In the mind of some, these babies cause a drain on society: they live, they don’t work, they don’t contribute, and they suck money away from healthy humans.

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Drs. Giubilini and Minerva’s opinion is nothing new. Claire Rayner wrote an article inThe Independent’s Opinion section back in 1995. She states that she wants to give parents the right to choose whether or not they want to burden themselves and others with their baby’s syndrome.

“The hard facts are that it is costly in terms of human effort, compassion, energy, and finite resources such as money, to care for individuals with handicaps… People who are not yet parents should ask themselves if they have the right to inflict such burdens on others, however willing they are themselves to take their share of the burden in the beginning. “³

Rayner’s argument does not favor the position of those who wish to keep their child.She ends this paragraph with, “The right to choose implies the duty to choose as unselfishly as possible, surely?” ³

This implication will undoubtedly become an expectation if after-birth abortion comes into effect, especially if language like “if [parents] have the right to inflict” is used.That phrase casts blame on the parents who are willing to keep a disabled child, as they are allowing their child to inflict others with the child’s less-than-perfect existence. It won’t be long before their decision to keep their baby is frowned upon by the general masses rather than pitied.

The medical world has a knack for catching the attention of the media, for good or ill.In this regard, politicians and pro-abortionists will play this angle and prey on ill-informed fears and misconceptions by claiming that disabled children take valuable resources from healthy children; your healthy children. We are all directly or indirectly affected by the “unbearable burdens” of disabled children.

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The most alarming aspect of the article by Drs. Giubilini and Minerva is that it doesn’t just stop at babies with health issues. “What we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.” ¹ 

This is where the pro-abortionists seem to depart from their original claims. Most in favor of abortion claim that killing fetuses is not like killing a person because the baby is dependent on the mother and therefore not a separate being. Once the child is born, it ceases to become a “choice” and becomes a human. The pro-abortionists believe that life can be forfeit even after the child is brought to term on the basis that a child is human, but not a person with automatic values and rights.

“Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal.”¹

“Rather than being ‘actual persons’, newborns were ‘potential persons’. Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.”¹

‘Merely being human’ extends to an alarming number of people when brought to its full logical context.

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What’s next? Our country would save millions of dollars of funding by stopping research on Alzheimer’s patients and “compassion killing” those patients instead. After all, the sick and elderly eat away at our medical costs and they hardly provide useful substance to our society. According to the logic of Drs. Giubilini and Minerva, sick elderly patients and the mentally disturbed might not even be considered persons.They define a ‘person’ as “an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.” ¹ Will the sick and elderly be denied a say in the matter and treated as infants on the basis that they do not offer “basic value”?

In the 1800’s, slave owners enslaved and murdered the Africans on the basis that they were less than human. In the 1900’s, the Nazis blamed the economic distress of Germany on the “genetically impure” Jews, who were then systematically murdered.In the 2000’s, the world murders innocent children in the womb and considers murdering newborns on the basis that a baby is only a “potential person” and not an “actual person”. How far will we go? Who will determine what makes a human a “person” with a “moral right to life”?

There are whole foundations dedicated to remembering the horror behind the genocide committed by our forefathers, and yet the idea of after-birth abortion is proposed and seriously considered. Humans are repeating history by making the same basic mistake of devaluing a human’s life and finding that to be a good enough reason to kill him.

As Dr. Cox states so eloquently in the Scrubs Pilot episode, “Pumpkin, that’s modern medicine. Bureaucratic nightmares, paperwork out the a–, and advances that keep people alive who should have died years ago, back when they lost what made them people.” ⁴

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What will our country do about the after-birth abortion proposition? How will the medical community respond in the next few years? The editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, Prof. Julian Savulescu, said, “The journal would consider publishing an article positing that, if there was no moral difference between abortion and killing newborns, then abortion too should be illegal.”² This is a good point, and it’s not clear if he intended to make this point or not. If our country responds and says that after-birth abortion is horrible, then shouldn’t that negate the logic behind abortion?

Abortion has always been political and it has ultimately been about convenience and money. There are two things that I’ve noticed about the articles by Drs. Giubilini and Minerva and Claire Rayner: they both come down to defining these children as unacceptable burdens, and they are not the original proponents of after-birth abortion.

These people did not come up with their ideas all by themselves. In fact, their ideas can be chillingly logical if viewed from the mindset that life without acceptable purpose is not to be valued. You will find some extremely consistent people who believe genetically imperfect babies should be terminated, the sick should be put down, and the elderly disposed of. This is nothing new.

So where do we draw the line? Can our country continue to believe that it can both value life and destroy it? We will find that we must accept all or nothing. What after-birth abortion comes down to is this: A child is not worth protecting if it somehow doesn’t have the potential to aid those who decide its fate.

The world has never deteriorated into this mindset. It has always been hypocritical: it will protect three-legged puppies and turn around to murder the Down syndrome baby. The people who propose murder will always consider that their good fortune — their sound, reasoning mind — is somehow their own doing, as if they created themselves in their mother’s womb and now have the right to decide the fate of children in the wombs of others.

Let this article serve as a warning to us. The world has always found ways to commit the same evil under a different name by blaming the victims. This name is now known as “after-birth abortion”. Don’t be fooled — it is nothing less than genocide.The question is: will you fight it?

Resources:

¹Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” Journal of Medical Ethics (2012).http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/03/01/medethics-2011-100411.full

² Stephen Adams, “Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say.” The Telegraph (2012). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9113394/Killing-babies-no-different-from-abortion-experts-say.html

³ Claire Rayner, “ANOTHER VIEW: A duty to choose unselfishly. ” The Opinion section of The Independent (1995). http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/another-view-a-duty-to-choose-unselfishly-1588540.html

⁴ “Simply Scripts: Scrubs Pilot.” http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/scrubs-pilot.pdf

(This blog post was originally posted on March 12, 2012 on the original The God Files blog.)