Another few thoughts I'm thinking about the abortion of Tiller the abortician. From this article, worshipers at Reformation Lutheran were horrified at the abortion taking place in their own church's foyer. One wonders if they'd be similarly horrified if someone were to eat a chicken dinner in the foyer - the problem is that it took place in the wrong venue, right? I mean, you're *supposed* to eat chicken dinners in the fellowship hall, near the kitchen. Not the foyer! Similarly, you're *supposed* to perform abortions at the abortuary, where it's out of sight from normal everyday well-groomed, well-dressed churchgoing folk. Not in the foyer! So, bring an abortion out of its assigned geographic locality, the people of Reformation Lutheran get all upset. Duly noted. They should probably make that really clear on their website, though I didn't see anything about strict policies of segregation of activity to specific and denoted rooms in the building. Presumably they'll get on that first thing after the funeral.
The article states:
Church members said anti-abortion protesters have shown up outside the church on Sundays regularly.
"They've been out here for quite a few years. We've just become accustomed to it. Just like an everyday thing, you just looked over and see them and say, 'Yup they're back again."'
And this church never did anything about it, did they? How their consciences must be seared by now! To have a career baby-murderer in your congregation, a member in apparently good standing, an usher who is typically accompanied by a frakking bodyguard...You smile at him, "Hey George" while mixing Sweet 'n' Low into your coffee cup Sunday morning, thinking (or not) that a mere 24 hours later he'll be using chemical weapons against the smallest, weakest, and most invisible, marginalised, and voiceless members of our society. You ask what it means when the Bible mentions "their consciences seared with a hot iron"? Exhibit A: Reformation Lutheran of Wichita.
The article continues:
He added: "We had no idea that someone would come into our church and do such a bad thing like that — inside of a church."
Apparently Reformation Lutheran includes as an unwritten part of its paltry belief statement the superstitious view, like on the TV show "Highlander", that a church is 'holy ground' or something by virtue of the building's carrying the word "church" in its title, on the placard somewhere.
Revelation 3:1 To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: "I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3 So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you."
This church is a dead church, having a name like it's alive, and lookie here - Jesus has indeed come to them like a thief, in judgment on one of its members. Mercifully, I'd say - this time around He only enacted judgment on the main evildoer, an individual in the midst of the enabling group, rather than on the evildoer AND the enabling group as He's done many times before. No doubt He is giving them time to repent, and I pray that they will. But where did this guy get the idea that violence is any better or worse inside a building that calls itself a church? I might agree with that in MY church, yeah, b/c of the environs and people that, there, give glory to Jesus and take what He says very seriously. Clearly this church does not do that, however, so we have to ask whence comes this sentiment? How does this guy know that violence is wrong? Why should anyone honor his building and gathering with the title "church"?
In a Facebook thread discussing this incident, an acquaintance of mine said this more or less:
It is sickening to imagine that God would allow a man to be shot by a crazed vigilante who could just as easily have decided to direct his hate toward an ethnic minority or gays.
A couple of things:
1) Note the implicit seared conscience, again.
One is BORN as a member of a certain ethnicity.
One CHOOSES to engage in homosexual behavior.
One CHOOSES to murder babies.
It is certainly understandable that some people might find the existence of a serial baby-murderer in their city intolerable to the point that they might pick up arms to take care, themselves, of what the gov't wouldn't. I invite you to get off your high horse and consider the similarity of this action to, say, the firebombing of a legitimately legal KKK headquarters building, a group of brothers ganging up to beat the daylights out of the drug dealer who raped their younger sister, concerned citizens slashing tires in the dead of night outside a known crack house, etc. None of these actions are, strictly speaking, legal, nor are they necessarily ethical. But one can certainly see how the sentiments leading to the actions arose and accord to the perpetrators a measure of sympathy: "I wouldn't've done it like that, but I definitely see where he was coming from."
2) I encourage you to read the book of Habakkuk, among other places such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Judges, the list goes on and on. Habakkuk has long been a favorite of mine, even when I was an atheist, as it contains complaints from a human perspective against God on the subject of theodicy. (When I was an atheist, I only liked the complaints from Habakkuk, not God's answers, but anyway.) It follows this pattern:
Habakkuk: God, evil all around. Won't You act?
God: Be patient, it's coming. In fact, when it comes it's going to be horrifying, way worse than you could have imagined. What's more, I'm going to use the evil, hated, idolatrous Babylonians to enact My judgment on Judah.
Habakkuk: Another brief complaint.
Habakkuk: Ah. Let me take this moment to compose a psalm of heartfelt praise.
The pattern follows in this most recent example. It was not right for this gunman to abort this late-term fœtus named George Tiller, any more than it was right for Tiller to abort so many thousands of fœtuses before. Thus, this gunman is an evildoer whom God used to enact judgment on another evildoer. Sound familiar?
Let us pray that God will have mercy on our nation for allowing this travesty and evil of baby-murder to enjoy legal protection as it does today. Perhaps we will escape the fate of Judah, perhaps not. Lord, have mercy.