The death of George Tiller is a tragedy

Abortionist George Tiller was shot and killed Sunday while at church. From the story by the Associated Press:


Prominent late-term abortion provider George Tiller was shot and killed Sunday in a Wichita church where he was serving as an usher, his attorney said. The gunman fled but a city official said a suspect is in custody.
The city official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. The official did not provide additional details.
Long a focus of national anti-abortion groups, including a summer-long protest in 1991, Tiller was shot during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church while his wife was in the choir, his attorney Dan Monnat said. Police said the gunman had fled in a car registered in Merriam, a Kansas City suburb nearly 200 miles away.
Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic is one of just three in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy.

Prominent late-term abortion provider George Tiller was shot and killed Sunday in a Wichita church where he was serving as an usher, his attorney said. The gunman fled but a city official said a suspect is in custody.

The city official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. The official did not provide additional details.

Long a focus of national anti-abortion groups, including a summer-long protest in 1991, Tiller was shot during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church while his wife was in the choir, his attorney Dan Monnat said. Police said the gunman had fled in a car registered in Merriam, a Kansas City suburb nearly 200 miles away.

Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic is one of just three in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy.

This is a tragedy, plain and simple. George Tiller did not live a life that glorified God. Like the countless babies he saw in his work, his life was ended abruptly but, unlike them, he will be held accountable before God. Hopefully, there was some realization of that in whatever time he had before he died and he repented before God. For the person who did this, they did not honor God with their actions. Robert P. George, who holds strong pro-life views and teaches law at Princeton University, speaks well when he talks about Sunday’s events:

Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing.  The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands.  No private individual had the right to execute judgment against him.  We are a nation of laws.  Lawless violence breeds only more lawless violence.  Rightly or wrongly, George Tilller was acquitted by a jury of his peers.  “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.” For the sake of justice and right, the perpetrator of this evil deed must be prosecuted, convicted, and punished.  By word and deed, let us teach that violence against abortionists is not the answer to the violence of abortion.  Every human life is precious.  George Tiller’s life was precious.  We do not teach the wrongness of taking human life by wrongfully taking a human life.  Let our “weapons” in the fight to defend the lives of abortion’s tiny victims, be chaste weapons of the spirit.

Inflicting pleasure: Perhaps Huxley was right?

From the foreward of Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, where he suggests that Aldous Huxley may have had a better idea of what the future held than George Orwell did in his classic 1984:

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another – slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’sBrave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions”. In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.

Drawings by Stuart McMillen, Recombinant Records


“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust [1] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. — Matthew 6:19-20


HT: Justin Taylor

Hold your twittering, please

TwitterphoneJosh Harris posted some good thoughts about how his church recommends that worshippers not to use Twitter during services. John Piper agrees. Harris brings six points, which I think are helpful. This one is particularly good:

The most important thing I can do while I’m sitting under the preaching of God’s word is to listen to what God is saying to me. I need to actively engage my heart and mind to receive. Twitter, takes the focus off of hearing and receiving and and makes it broadcasting and sharing. So instead of my mind being engaged with thoughts of “What is the Word of God saying to me?” when I start “tweeting” my focus becomes, “What do I want to say? What do Iwant to express? What am I thinking?”

Along those lines, Piper adds these thoughts:

There is an assumption that Josh and I share, which is not understood or embraced by all. Preaching and hearing preaching are worship. Preaching is expository exultation. The preacher is explaining the Bible and applying the Bible and EXULTING over the truth in the Bible. The listener is understanding, and applying, and joining in the exultation. Hearing preaching is heart-felt engagement in the exposition and exultation of the Word of God.

This is a fragile bond. The fact that an electric cord is easily cut, does not mean that the power flowing through it is small. It produces bright and wonderful effects. So it is with preaching. Great power flows through fragile wires of spiritual focus.

The point is, we already need to battle the temptation for distraction when we are worshipping. It isn’t just twittering. Before Twitter ever came along there were myriads of things that come before us to break the focus on what God is revealing to us through worship. Don’t add another one.

And, finally, when it is over both men make clear that then yes, by all means twitter. Tell people what you have heard. Share it. Exult in it. But get the message first, that’s all.

Young woman making a difference exposing Planned Parenthood

Reuters recently profiled 20-year-old Lila Rose, who has gone undercover to expose how Planned Parenthood is working in several states to cover up abuse suffered by young women and push abortions. From the story:

Rose stages her own sting operations at Planned Parenthood clinics, posing as a pregnant teenage girl to shine a light on what she says is the taxpayer-subsidized organization’s cover-up of sexual abuse.

She claims Planned Parenthood counselors routinely ignore their duty to report statutory rape when dealing with young girls impregnated by older men and often tell them to lie about their age or the identity of their sex partners rather than alert authorities.

Planned Parenthood declined to discuss specifics for the story, but maintained that they have strict guidelines for dealing with mandatory reporting. The organization also says that corrective measure have been taken in instances where employees violated policy. Still, the fact that the same thing has occurred time after time leaves one with the impression that Planned Parenthood is talking out of both sides of its mouth, so to speak. Because Planned Parenthood is a taxpayer-funded organization, there are ramifications for this kind of blatant disregard. From the Reuters article:

Because minors cannot legally consent to sex with an adult, health providers are required to alert authorities when an underage girl has been impregnated by an older man.

A grand jury in Marion County, Indiana, is investigating Planned Parenthood based on Rose’s videotapes and authorities in Tennessee and Arizona say they are reviewing the matter.

Officials in Tennessee and Orange County, California, have considered suspending public funds to the organization.

For people who care about abuse and torture, please note that Planned Parenthood gets $320 million each year from U.S. taxpayers so they can send children back to abusive situations for the sake of keeping abortions under cover. If protecting women’s rights is the big deal in this country that it’s supposed to be, more people should be made aware of this.

Take your medicine but put your trust in God

Albert Mohler gives sound counsel regarding the recent case in the news about the parents who refused allowing their son to get chemotherapy to treat his cancer due to religious reasons:

As a Christian theologian, my concern is also directed to those who oppose medical treatment on what are claimed as biblical grounds.  The Bible never commands any refusal of legitimate medical treatment.  I am unspeakably thankful for modern medicine, for antibiotics and anesthesia and chemotherapy and dialysis and diagnostics.  The list goes on and on.  There is no Christian prohibition against legitimate medical treatment.  I believe that God heals, that we should pray for healing in Christ’s name, and that our lives are in God’s hands.  I believe that all healing comes ultimately from God, but that He has given us the blessings of medicine for the alleviation of much suffering and the treatment of disease.  There is no conflict here.

There are serious issues of medical ethics in the case of some treatments, even as there are excruciating dilemmas that confront physicians, patients, and parents.  Those must be acknowledged, but they are not the issues at stake in these cases.

In these cases I advise what the great Reformer Martin Luther advised — take your medicine and put your trust in God. For parents, this means to give your child the best care that modern medicine can offer, and to entrust your precious child to God and to God alone.


HT: Tim Challies

He tried? Let Shai Linne explain Particular Redemption to you

Hip-hopper Shai Linne lays out a solid lesson for us in his song Mission Accomplished. Class is now in session. As he says, “Lord, thank you for the cross.”


Verse 1

Here’s a controversial subject that tends to divide
For years it’s had Christians lining up on both sides
By God’s grace, I’ll address this without pride
The question concerns those for whom Christ died
Was He trying to save everybody worldwide?
Was He trying to make the entire world His Bride?
Does man’s unbelief keep the Savior’s hands tied?
Biblically, each of these must be denied
It’s true, Jesus gave up His life for His Bride
But His Bride is the elect, to whom His death is applied
If on judgment day, you see that you can’t hide
And because of your sin, God’s wrath on you abides
And hell is the place you eternally reside
That means your wrath from God hasn’t been satisfied
But we believe His mission was accomplished when He died
But how the cross relates to those in hell?
Well, they be saying:

God knows He tried (8x)

Verse 2

Father, Son and Spirit: three and yet one
Working as a unit to get things done
Our salvation began in eternity past
God certainly has to bring all His purpose to pass
A triune, eternal bond no one could ever sever
When it comes to the church, peep how they work together
The Father foreknew first, the Son came to earth
To die- the Holy Spirit gives the new birth
The Father elects them, the Son pays their debt and protects them
The Spirit is the One who resurrects them
The Father chooses them, the Son gets bruised for them
The Spirit renews them and produces fruit in them
Everybody’s not elect, the Father decides
And it’s only the elect in whom the Spirit resides
The Father and the Spirit- completely unified
But when it comes to Christ and those in hell?
Well, they be saying:

God knows He tried (8x)

Verse 3

My third and final verse- here’s the situation
Just a couple more things for your consideration
If saving everybody was why Christ came in history
With so many in hell, we’d have to say He failed miserably
So many think He only came to make it possible
Let’s follow this solution to a conclusion that’s logical
What about those who were already in the grave?
The Old Testament wicked- condemned as depraved
Did He die for them? C’mon, behave
But worst of all, you’re saying the cross by itself doesn’t save
That we must do something to give the cross its power
That means, at the end of the day, the glory’s ours
That man-centered thinking is not recommended
The cross will save all for whom it was intended
Because for the elect, God’s wrath was satisfied
But still, when it comes to those in hell
Well, they be saying:

God knows He tried (8x)


HT: Reformed Theology

Providence vs. luck: Where God is involved

John Ensor, the vice president of Heartbeat International, has written an article for World Magazine talking about a near-tragic episode in his family’s life:

Baby Jack, our 3-month-old grandson, was rocking away peacefully when terror struck. Our daughter-in-law thought a tornado was hitting them. What she really heard was a multi-ton, mighty tall oak tree cracking and crashing onto their old, wooden house, directly and immediately above baby Jack. What she saw, when she got outside, brought convulsive waves of shock and awe. After I, too, calmed down, I was left with an insatiable desire to ask just what do we mean by “providence”?

Providence, of course, always has a natural explanation. For many, “it just so happened” is sufficient by itself. In the case of the tree, it just so happened that the tree struck first with a glancing blow, on the single strongest point of the house, the chimney. Absorbing the blunt force of tons of weight, bricks crashed down and rolled into the Ensor living room. Next, the tree hit the roof at precisely the angle where the roofline splits in two and the tree could hit evenly and at the same time the upper and lower roofline, further displacing the weight. Third, it appears that the limbs and branches of greater and less flexible strength further absorbed the blow, like a hundred shock absorbers at work. The roof held. Baby Jack merrily click-clacked away in his swing. His mommy cried like a baby. Lucky? Yes, you might say so. Providential is more to my liking.

But what if it had been a tragic outcome—if the tree had fallen a mere two or three inches to the right of that wonderful old brick chimney? Oh, how we would be weeping this week. The question “Why?” would stick like a shiv in our gut. But the question works both ways. Why was Jack spared? At least part of the answer to either question is found in Psalm 57:2: “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” Jack was saved because the Lord has not yet fulfilled his purpose for him. If he had been crushed, though our hearts would be crushed as well, we would take a measure of comfort in knowing that evidently all God’s purposes for Jack’s life here on earth were fulfilled in three months.

There are complexities, bi-directional, even multi-textured joys and sorrows set within God’s providences. But they all together trend in one direction: the goodness of God in the face of Jesus Christ glowing in the hearts of His people. Today I rejoice that God is a God of inches and angles as much as eons and consummating events. That makes me want to get up in the morning and see what the day will bring.

We are all at the brink of eternity. Like John Ensor, I am often left feeling shock and awe when seeing God’s hand in my life or life around me. It doesn’t always go “my way,” but I know that there is nothing that is insignificant to God.

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? Matthew 6:26-27

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28

ALSO SEE: Who was really behind the crash of USAir Flight 1549

Memorial Day movies: ‘Taking Chance’ is a way to understand those who serve

Since today is Memorial Day, here is a movie you should consider seeing if you can find it. My brother, serving honorably in Iraq, recommended it and I’ll take his word on it. It’s called “Taking Chance” and stars Kevin Bacon. This is what reviewer Robert Davis said about the movie, which was nominated for the Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival:

Taking Chance is a very simple film about Lt. Col. Michael Strobl (Kevin Bacon) who is escorting the body of a fallen PFC named Chance Phelps to his family. In under ninety minutes, the film bears witness to the respectful procedures that the USMC follows in such situations and to the reactions of ordinary Americans who Strobl meets on this particular journey. He doesn’t know the Private, and we learn only a few details about Strobl himself, but I found the film to be one of the most moving experiences I’ve had in a theater, almost indescribably so. Bacon’s solidity and restraint bind the minimal plot together, as do the tasteful decisions made by filmmaker Ross Katz, a producer-turned-director (he produced Lost in Translation and In the Bedroom) who tells the story with remarkable efficiency, never lingering past a scene’s essential moment, never overplaying the emotion. It’s the best feature film about America’s involvement in Iraq that I’ve seen. I’m not a military guy, and I’ve never had much interest in the Marines, but after the screening I needed some time to walk around.

Memorial Day: Real American heroes remembered

From: “Gettysburg Address”, Nov. 19, 1863
— President Abraham Lincoln

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate-we can not consecrate-we can not hallow-this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

See more stories at  Real American Stories: One Nation United