The recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain along with our nation’s high suicide rate which counts a few of my relatives too, are reminders of how precious hope is as a soul resource. For this reason, there should be no doubt why Satan works hard as a lion to capture and drag so many to his lair of darkness to deceitfully convince them there is no light; no hope such that death is appealingly the only false escape. Hopelessness, loneliness, emptiness and despair can be dark and dangerous places that not even money and fame can overcome--though popular culture continues to feverishly sell the lie that these accomplishments will solve everything.
While she did not commit sudden suicide, the 2011 tragic death of Amy Winehouse I briefly wrote about in this edited repost follows after and precedes too many others of the rich and famous who died from slow death lifestyle choices that included the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Among these were the stellar entertainers Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Prince all demonstrating again that not only money and fame, but superior talents and abilities are not sufficient to resist the destructive forces of this world system waging war against human souls (Ephesians 6:12). For the record, nominal Christianity or other religions which many have cannot deliver in the war for the soul ether!
Praise God for the light of “a living hope” those of us truly in and sold out to Jesus Christ by faith have and need to be more deliberate about witnessing to others that do not know Him regardless of their status in the world (1 Peter 1:3, NKJV). Not only does the Gospel--that Christ died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day--save our souls through faith, but we begin what is intended to be an eternal relationship with Him! This relationship with the risen Christ supplies all that a human soul needs to overcome everything that the world system uses against us in the unavoidable war of this mortal age (Genesis 3:1-15; John 16:33; 1 John 5:4-5).
Sudden or slow lifestyle suicides then, are very tragic since they are preventable by the simple, child-like decision to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all one’s heart! While God has allowed for each soul to make a personal decision in this matter, the Lord Jesus is clear that those that reject Him will die in their sins to face the fate worse than any problem or issue one thought so bad in this life: His judgment seat (John 3:16-21, 36, 8:21-24; Revelation 20:11-15). For this reason, the Lord’s love in me motivates me (and I pray you too, O, Christian) to zealously preach the Gospel to the lost whatever their life station so that they can at least hear of the life giving hope available in Him alone! For truly, this life gets no easier going forward (Luke 21:25-26).
Originally Posted July 31, 2011
I with so many others all over the world was deeply affected by the death of Amy Winehouse this past week. Though I had never bought one of her CD’s or even heard a full song of hers on the radio, her death was tragic to me on so many levels. Most moving for me is the pathos that the talents of this musical giant as sizable as they were, were not enough to stave off the inner torments of her soul including despair. We have encountered this so many times throughout history among the great and those whose names will never be known except by grieving and bewildered family and friends.
Many commentators brought up the age 27 as notable for such talents of recent memory to abruptly exit from the world stage. Among them are Jimmie Hendrix and Janis Joplin of my youth. While I had only begun in those days to really pursue an interest in music and barely knew their names, I remember the sadness in pondering why they had died since they were such excellent musicians. This all came rushing back to me with the death of Ms. Winehouse. I still do not have any answers as to why now, so young with so much life potentially yet to live--nor does any other mortal.
However, as a Christian, I do now understand that our abilities, no matter how great, are not enough to give light or minister healing to our souls. The soul belongs to God and only He has the spiritual remedies we need to cope and effectively navigate through a sin darkened world. That is the first lesson for the aspiring strong man of God I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.1 Unlike those outside of Christ, we draw our strength and every other spiritual resource from Him! As such, while it is true we will all depart this world through one cause or another, despair--an affliction of the soul--is not to be one of them for the aspiring strong man or great woman of God in the image of Christ.2
1 The book is available at all major internet books sellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
2 If you or someone you know are wrestling with thoughts of suicide or other self-destructive behaviors or want help with any number of the spiritual, mental or emotional
issues of our day, visit this resource for an important listing of hotlines some of which are Christian operated.
It is staggering to me now, looking back, how it is many so close after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not among the many moral issues related to Civil Rights galvanize against abortion as it made its way to the 1973 Supreme Court decision. Who could be more disenfranchised than an unborn child targeted for murder? Important figures in the Civil Rights Movement actually endorsed and advocated for abortion to make it as it is to this day for them a matter of women’s rights. Like ancient Israel forced to turn back from entering the Promised Land and wander in the wilderness because of unbelief, so, the Civil Rights Movement turned left away from biblical morality on abortion and other issues into the spiritual wilderness of sin seeking allies of mortal flesh rather than God (Numbers 14:11-25; Proverbs 14:34).
Even the most casual reading of the Bible will yield the straightforward understanding that human life is precious to God, humanity’s Creator (Genesis 4:8-15; Exodus 20:13; Mark 10:17-19). So, in this edited 2010 Commentary I have combined with a similar 2012 blog, I declare that men in the lead and women are to protect their children whose existence actually begins in the mind of God long before conception which He is also intimately involved with (Isaiah 45:1-7)! Therefore, in a biblical worldview, not only is abortion murder for the guilty parents, but also all who advocate for and perform it as accomplices. They will be held accountable by God in this life and on Judgment Day unless they embrace their only recourse I write about in this post.
Originally Published January 2010
Here in Portland, Oregon, Planned Parenthood the birth control and abortion provider is soon to finish construction on a new facility in an area that has been traditionally populated by black Americans. This is strategic on their part since black females have more abortions than any other racial group.1 Yet, the silence of most black clergy and open advocacy of others has been shocking. In the peaceful protests I have attended it has been primarily our white brethren that have represented the very clear scriptural mandate to revere human life (Genesis 9:5-7); life that begins at conception in the handiwork of God our Creator (Psalm 139:13-16; Zechariah 12:1).
Abortion as a concept at its root is not a black or white racial issue nor is it about women's rights. Men and women from all hues should be vitally concerned about what is very thoroughly a spiritual and moral matter. Men--especially those that aspire to be strong men of God in Christ's image--ought to be deeply affected by the slaughter of defenseless human lives. God has wired us with a heart like His and holds us responsible to defend the defenseless (Psalms 68:5-6, 82:1-4). But with steely precision abortionists around this nation routinely kill the unborn men have fathered for the sake of parental convenience. I know all about the convenience thing.
As a teenage father before I came to Christ, I either pushed for or passively offered no objection to the killing of my children on a number of occasions with different females.2 Years later I still wonder at times how I could have been so selfish and deceived. Then I remember the deceitful craftiness of the god of this world and my own fallen nature as a sinner and come to my senses. Spiritually speaking, we kill our unborn because we are dead in our sins to God and purposely deceived. It is not rocket science to understand the matter-of-fact reason we do so either: if there is no baby, then there is no responsibility or possible change in life plans.
Satan’s deceptive spin last century that morphed abortion from an issue of biblical morality into one that has to do with a woman’s rights over her body is of the success he enjoyed with Eve in Eden (Genesis 3:1-6a; 1 Timothy 2:14). And if they are not the instigators, just as Adam did not intervene while Satan deceived his wife and passively followed her lead in disobedience (Genesis 3:6b), so, many men today are doing the same thing in the decision to kill their unborn children. But now, made alive by God to God through faith in Christ, I have received forgiveness and instruction from His Word to fulfill all of my responsibilities as a father to my children (Ephesians 2:1-10).
In a truth I fully explain in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, none other than God the Father Himself has shown us men what a father is and does.3 Besides initiating Adam's existence, the Father also led, taught, provided for and protected him. In protecting Adam, God put him in the Garden of Eden as a shelter among other reasons and watched over him (Genesis 2:7-18). Even when Satan came to the garden please note he was not allowed to touch Adam or his wife, but only to deceive them if he could (Genesis 3:1-6). If it had been left up to the devil he would have killed the two humans where they stood (John 8:44). But God protected them!
God has given all men the responsibility to protect the lives we initiate through our seed released in the sexual intimacy of marriage or otherwise as well as those that are adopted. Our responsibility begins the moment of conception and continues until the new or adopted life attains the age of majority and departs from under our protective care (Matthew 1:18-25 2:13-15, 19-23; Luke 2:41-52). When men demand or passively allow the death of their children through abortion, it is a purposeful rejection of the responsibility that God has assigned to and holds us accountable for. We may only drop them off at the clinic, but we are just as guilty as the women for the murder that takes place.
So now, in these latter days Satan has gotten us to do legally what he was forbidden to do thousands of years ago in the garden: murder human life! For the record, only the bodies of the unborn are destroyed. God takes their spirits and souls back to Himself in Heaven to await the resurrection (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7). However, the parent's lives are eternally destroyed without repentance. Therefore, let every man and woman reading this who is guilty turn to God in all confession and repentance from your sins. By faith receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ believing that He died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day. All who sincerely do this will receive God’s forgiveness, healing, instruction, a restored mind and heart with eternal life!
Unlike in our former godless and selfish mindset, God expects His sons and aspiring strong men in the image of Christ to welcome the pregnancy of our wives with joy and thanksgiving to Him! His sons are never to father children out of wedlock. However, if this should happen, in repentance He wills that you embrace your child and the mother in marriage if possible. In all instances, we are to fulfill our responsibilities to our children to include protecting them with the wisdom, help and strength God supplies. Also, brothers, stand up like men indwelt by the living God and speak out against the slaughter of the defenseless unborn in the protecting responsibility He has given us. The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 "Abortion Number For African-Americans Rising," Life In Oregon, April-June 2008 Issue, p. 7. Also, see black Abortion Facts on theurbanprophet.org Web Site. The
facility referenced was completed and remains a hub of activity.
2 That God may always be glorified in His amazing work to save and transform sinners through my life; I share my shame at having been an unsaved, unmarried and ire-
sponsible teenage father of two children that lived, but others that were murdered in their mother’s wombs. I am not just some moralizing preacher who knows nothing
at all about the real fear and selfishness that goes into the decision to abort or after birth, abandon a child God has charged men in the lead with the responsibility to pro-
3 The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics is available through all major internet booksellers, by order from your favorite brick and mortar bookstore and in the
Strong Man Store.
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