VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis made his toughest remarks to date on abortion when he called the practice "horrific" on Monday. "It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day," the pontiff said during his yearly address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, a speech known as his "State of the World" address. [Source: Reuters on January 13, 2014].
It depends on the subject but usually on most issues the United Methodist bishops are quick to respond and to expound on just about anything – just about, that is, with one major exception.
Ask a bishop about gambling and he or she will travel on almost endlessly about how evil gambling is and that we should do what we can to end this activity that impacts so many lives and families of victims in a negative way. My conference, Western Pennsylvania, one year concentrated on the issue of gambling with oodles of information provided and strategies as to how to curtail if not eliminate the menace of gambling.
For quite some time within the United Methodist Church there was been a massive campaign to fight the deadly disease of malaria in Africa. My own bishop, Thomas Bickerton, was in on the ground floor when this effort got under way. He gained a lot of very favorable publicity in this campaign and traveled to a lot of places promoting the cause. He and others cited statistics often to buttress the case and reminded us repeatedly of millions of victims dying because of malaria. So we send funds and mosquito nets in great amounts in order to reduce the number of deaths annually that take place in Africa. Do not interpret this to mean that I am against such an effort – it is a great cause and Jean and I have supported it.
There are other areas perhaps that could be mentioned as to the United Methodist bishops and the Council of Bishops speaking up on issues of the day – well, that is, except for one about which many U. S. citizens do agree that it is very major in scope with far reaching consequences.
The one major “exception” which they will not address, either as individuals or as a group identified as the United Methodist Council of Bishops? It is the massive and persistent destruction of unborn children. This January 22nd will be the 41st anniversary of one of the most insane and diabolical decisions ever to come forth from the United States Supreme Court.
Harry Blackmun, a United Methodist church member, wrote the majority opinion which informs us that it is a “constitutional right” for a female to intentionally choose to destroy her unborn child. Wherever Harry is now, the clear evidence in God’s special revelation indicates that Harry most certainly sees things much differently in regard to unborn children. That is one thing about death – everyone passing through its gates will see things God’s way and the wreckage of flawed human reasoning and decision making is thrown by the way side – and if we chose to ignore it before life on earth ends for us, we cannot any longer do so after passing through the gates of death into eternity. The only thing still standing is God’s eternal and unchanging Truth – further, how He views the unborn!
There have been over 56.4 million unborn victims as we approach the 41st anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision which took place in January 1973.
However, in spite of the facts, graphic descriptions and illustrated photos of what happens when a doctor (term used very loosely) takes his tools and tears apart that child whom God is forming in the womb (see Jeremiah 1:4,5 & Psalm 139) – the result sometimes looks like the child was put through a hamburger grinder! And of course, its life has been terminated. That is the moment that United Methodist bishops come down with a severe case of lock jaw on this subject!
There are likely a myriad of excuses they have for not speaking out. Perhaps a very common response is, “It’s a very complex issue!” What is so complex about invading the womb, mutilating and murdering a child, and casually discarding the shredded remains as you would a tissue into which you just blew some runny stuff from your nose?
At the beginning was a quote from the Pope on this issue – this man is head of a church that involves millions upon millions of members. The Roman Catholic Church will be very high profile at the annual March for Life which will be held in Washington DC. Many, many Roman Catholic church leaders will be there participating. How many United Methodist bishops do you believe will be there? Yeah, we already know the answer to that one, do we not?
We who profess Christian faith at times make reference to the fact that God’s grace is sufficient, but do we really believe it? United Methodist bishops likely would also say so.
I read the witness of a young lady a few months back. She was very attractive in appearance and wearing very nice clothing. She had a smile on her face in her photo that was the kind that would make you say to yourself, “I would like to meet her personally and talk with her.” She went into detail about her background. Her mother was raped and became pregnant as a result of the rape. Rather than listen to voices that said she needed to terminate that pregnancy, she chose to get proper care and to continue with the pregnancy. A daughter was born at the proper time. The daughter was loved and cared for – got her education by attending pre-school, elementary, secondary, high school, college, AND graduate school. She is now a successful lawyer!
It is most likely that United Methodist bishops being made aware of the foregoing account that certainly speaks clearly about the sufficiency of the grace of God and the fact that God can take a very bad situation and turn it into something very good, that the first word out of their mouths would be, “BUT….”
We too often fail to realize the way to Hell is paved with cobblestones and on top of each cobblestone is engraved the word, “BUT!”
God is going to make a response to the massive shedding of innocent blood that has been going on for decades throughout our republic. When He does, it will be interesting to hear what statements will dribble forth from the mouths of the bishops of the United Methodist Church!
The Lord spoke his word to me, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.” [Jeremiah 1:4,5 (God’s Word)]
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,………… [Proverbs 6:16-17 (KJV)]