Family, Health, Justice & Government, Morality, Sexuality, Transforming Society

Abortion and the Bible: Can Pro-life and Pro-choice Both Be Right?

In view of today’s landmark decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, here are two extracts from my book, Abortion and the Bible: Can Pro-life and Pro-choice Both Be Right?

Preface

While perusing the Scriptures and considering their logical application to abortion, it became apparent that the word of God is not as plain about the onset of personhood as some think. I grappled with pinning a point of view I could finally embrace. Nevertheless, though my understanding of all the aspects surrounding abortions continues to grow, I have become more acquainted with the biblical texts pertinent to the subject and better anchored by them.

I have become convinced that the Bible is pro-life in protecting fertility, life, and especially personhood in the womb while recognizing a biblically complementary pro-choice standpoint. At the same time, a measured pro-choice stance may not necessarily undermine God’s mysterious involvement in creating a “living soul.”

In addition, the 1 in 2 loss of zygotes, spontaneous abortions, and the human response to them, may corroborate that a gap exists between conception and personhood. Also, the condoning of abortions in the case of rape, incest, or medical threat may indicate a lack of unequivocal biblical assurance for the commencement of personhood by many Evangelicals or hypocrisy on their part. I hope the thoughts expressed in this book will challenge any unbiblical assumptions held by both the pro-life and pro-choice factions and help toward a view that represents the entire witness of the Bible, which is the basis for unity in the Church and society at large.

Key Biblical Texts

Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NAB)

Just as you do not know how the life breath enters the human frame in the mother’s womb, so you do not know the work of God, who is working in everything.

Notes:

  • This translation states that “the life breath” in the womb follows the existence of a “human frame.” The NRSV reads similarly.

Assumptions:

  • The verse may confirm that the pattern used to create Adam, where physical development preceded the onset of the soul, is standard in the offspring of Adam.

Ezekiel 37:4-10

4And He said to me, ‘Prophesy concerning these bones and tell them, “Dry bones . . .  6‘I will attach tendons to you and make flesh grow upon you and cover you with skin. I will put breath within you so that you will come to life. . . .”’ 8As I looked on, tendons appeared on them, flesh grew, and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath . . . so that they may live!’ 10So I prophesied as He had commanded me, and the breath entered them, and they came to life and stood on their feet—a vast army.

Notes:

  • There were two stages in the resurrection of the dead bones, viz., from physical life to a living soul.

Assumptions:

  • The verse may confirm that the pattern used to create Adam, where physical development preceded the onset of the soul, is standard.

Genesis 2:7

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Notes:

  • There were two stages in the creation of Adam, viz., from physical life to a living soul.

Assumptions:

  • God may have implemented similar stages in the offspring of Adam.

Genesis 2:21-22

21God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man . . . .

Notes:

  • Eve did not appear to require God breathe into her.
  • Unlike her future offspring, Eve was made immediately into an adult.

Assumptions:

  • God used living material from Adam to create Eve.
  • God breathed life into all of humanity when He breathed into Adam.

Genesis 25:22-23

22The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23The Lord said to her, Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.’

Notes:

  • Activity in the womb appears to depict the characteristics of individual personhood.

Assumptions:

  • Personhood begins in the womb before birth.

Exodus 21:22-25

22If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

Compare with:

22When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine. 23If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (NRSV)

Notes:

  • The different versions have different outcomes, viz., premature birth and miscarriage.
  • There are different levels of punishments in different versions, namely, a fine for causing a miscarriage versus “a life for a life” in the event one occurred.

Assumptions:

  • Life in the womb is not considered equal to a human being in versions that interpret “miscarriage.”

Hosea 9:11-12

11Ephraim’s glory will fly away like a bird— no birth, no pregnancy, no conception. 12Even if they rear children, I will bereave them of every one . . . .

Notes:

  • Offspring appear to be “Ephraim’s glory.”
  • Four stages of life are mentioned, viz., conception, pregnancy, birth, and children.
  • Conception is the first stage of life.

Assumptions:

  • If life begins at conception, personhood may begin at conception.

Judges 13:4-5

4Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean. 5You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb . . . .

Notes:

  • The mother of Samson was told to avoid “wine or other fermented drink” from before she became pregnant.
  • This corresponds to the lifestyle her child, a future Nazarite, would have to make.

Assumptions:

  • The child was to be kept from alcohol from conception and throughout its development in the womb.
  • The onset of personhood begins in the womb and may begin at conception.

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

Notes:

  • This verse speaks of God having intimate knowledge of Jeremiah before he existed.
  • It also speaks of appointing Jeremiah as a prophet before he was born.
  • The term “formed” is the same root word used to describe the forming of Adam before God breathed into his nostrils and he became “a living soul” (Gen. 2:7).
  • The verse indicates a time in the womb, but does not indicate the onset of personhood.

Assumptions:

  • This verse initially speaks to the idea of the person before personhood.
  • “Before I formed you” could refer to an initial physical phase before the soul becomes manifest.
  • “[B]efore you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations,” may concern a subsequent phase in the womb when the soul has become manifest and able to interact.

Luke 1:15

[F]or he . . . will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.

Notes:

  • John the Baptist is filled with the Holy Spirit while still in the womb of his mother.

Assumptions:

  • Personhood is required for infilling to take place.

Luke 1:41

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb.

Notes:

  • John the Baptist responds to the presence of Mary who was to carry and birth to the Messiah.

Assumptions:

  • The personhood of John the Baptist is evident.

Matthew 1:20

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Compare with:

But when he had thought this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. (NASB)

Notes:

  • The term “what is” is also translated as “that which” in accordance with the Greek “to” which is translated “that.”
  • Some versions super-interpret this with terms like “the Child,” “the child,” “the baby,” etc.

Assumptions:

  • The conception by the Holy Spirit brought about evidence of a pregnancy.
  • Personhood is assumed by some translators.
  • Personhood may not yet be in effect.

Numbers 5:19-28

19Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, ‘If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband’— 21here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—‘may the LORD cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.’ Then the woman is to say, ‘Amen. So be it.’

. . .

27If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. 28If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.

Notes:

  • An accused woman under suspicion of adultery had to drink “bitter water that brings a curse,” which would expose her guilt and, if pregnant, induce a miscarriage.

Assumptions:

  • This scenario may have been limited to an induced miscarriage before human personhood begins. Otherwise, the outcome would be an overreach of an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.
  • Nonetheless, God could exercise punishment according to His discretion which went beyond the limitations He imposed on Israel. For the wages of sin is death. Consequently, the possibility exists that this passage can include the miscarriage of personhood in the womb.

Proverbs 6:16-17

16[S]ix things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him [are] 17. . . hands that shed innocent blood.

Notes:

  • God hates the shedding of innocent blood.

Assumptions:

  • God will punish those who shed innocent blood.

Psalms 139:13-16

13“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Notes:

  • “[M]y inmost being” is a distinct part of a person.
  • The terms “my frame” and “unformed body” refer to the physical self in the womb.

Assumptions:

  • “[M]y inmost being” appears to be a reference to the soul. It is used that way in Proverbs 23:13, which reads, “my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.”

Psalms 22:10

From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

Notes:

  • God is personally involved from the womb.

Assumptions:

  • A relationship with God may begin in the womb.
  • Personhood may begin in the womb.

Psalms 51:5

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Compare with:

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. (ESV)

Notes:

  • Sinful from conception is different from being conceived in sin.

Assumptions:

  • The former may imply the existence of personhood at conception.
  • The latter refers to sin passed on by the parents, which could manifest whenever ensoulment occurs.
In Christ, Justice & Government, Real Church, The Body of Christ, Transforming Society

Think Church, Be Church, Change the World

Picture by Lusi

World Changers

To see His Church the way Jesus did is to view a company of people imbued with His light and changing the world. He saw them as world changers when he said, “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14) and taught them to pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:10).

Can Darkness Help the Light?

If He said, “I will build my [Company of Light-Giving World-Changers] and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18), why do we look to politicians as the source of help for the Church and its causes? After all, can darkness help the light? “Many seek audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice” (Prov. 29:6). Often politicians come as angels of light, offering the kingdoms as Satan did to Jesus, but though they may give something, they often end up taking and destroying far more.

Change Is Grassroots Work, Not Drive-Through Politics

Change doesn’t come by placing quick-fix plasters of promises and executive orders on the cancer of sin. True societal change comes through grassroots efforts of love. It begins with me and you taking the plank out of our own eye so that we can really help others. Change is often incremental before it is exponential. It is grassroots work, not drive-through politics.

Rob Morley

Justice & Government, Leadership, Morality, Transforming Society

A Resolution Worth Keeping

Forgotten/Unknown Resolution from 1998

“In 1998, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, passed, what they called, a Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials.”1 It contains biblical principles that inform and warn the electorate against choosing persons of ill-repute. Here it is:

WHEREAS, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34 NAS); and

WHEREAS, Serious allegations continue to be made about moral and legal misconduct by certain public officials; and

WHEREAS, The Bible calls upon all citizens to submit themselves to their governing authorities as ministers of the Lord (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13); and

WHEREAS, Scripture further teaches, “Whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Romans 13:2); and

WHEREAS, Governing authorities are not themselves exempt from the rule of law and must submit to the nation’s statutes, rather than mocking them (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:14; Proverbs 19:28-29; 2 Samuel 12:7; Mark 6:17-18); and

WHEREAS, Some journalists report that many Americans are willing to excuse or overlook immoral or illegal conduct by unrepentant public officials so long as economic prosperity prevails; and

WHEREAS, Tolerance of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in the society, and surely results in God’s judgment (1 Kings 16:30; Isaiah 5:18-25); and

WHEREAS, Many public officials and candidates deserve our gratitude and support for their consistent moral character and their uncompromising commitment to biblical principles of right and wrong, resulting in blessing upon their people.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 9-11, 1998, in Salt Lake City, Utah, affirm that moral character matters to God and should matter to all citizens, especially God’s people, when choosing public leaders; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we implore our government leaders to live by the highest standards of morality both in their private actions and in their public duties, and thereby serve as models of moral excellence and character; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge all citizens, including those who serve in public office, to submit themselves respectfully to governing authorities and to the rule of law; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists and other Christians to fulfill their spiritual duty to pray regularly for the leaders of our nation (1 Timothy 2:1-4); and Be it finally RESOLVED, That we urge all Americans to embrace and act on the conviction that character does count in public office, and to elect those officials and candidates who, although imperfect, demonstrate consistent honesty, moral purity and the highest character.2

Rob Morley

1Morley, R. S. (2021). The Bride and The Beast: Evangelicals in Bed With Trump. Self-published.

2Southern Baptist Convention. (1998, June 1). Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials. SBC.

Justice & Government, Leadership, Morality, Transforming Society

The Moral Character of Public Officials: Remembering January 6

Photo by MIMICA Rgbstock

“In 1998, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, passed, what they called, a Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials. If it had been followed, Trump would have been kept out of office in 2016 and evangelicals would have distanced themselves from him in 2020.”1 Instead, more the 80% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials reads as follows:

WHEREAS, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34 NAS); and

WHEREAS, Serious allegations continue to be made about moral and legal misconduct by certain public officials; and

WHEREAS, The Bible calls upon all citizens to submit themselves to their governing authorities as ministers of the Lord (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13); and

WHEREAS, Scripture further teaches, “Whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Romans 13:2); and

WHEREAS, Governing authorities are not themselves exempt from the rule of law and must submit to the nation’s statutes, rather than mocking them (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:14; Proverbs 19:28-29; 2 Samuel 12:7; Mark 6:17-18); and

WHEREAS, Some journalists report that many Americans are willing to excuse or overlook immoral or illegal conduct by unrepentant public officials so long as economic prosperity prevails; and

WHEREAS, Tolerance of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in the society, and surely results in God’s judgment (1 Kings 16:30; Isaiah 5:18-25); and

WHEREAS, Many public officials and candidates deserve our gratitude and support for their consistent moral character and their uncompromising commitment to biblical principles of right and wrong, resulting in blessing upon their people.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 9-11, 1998, in Salt Lake City, Utah, affirm that moral character matters to God and should matter to all citizens, especially God’s people, when choosing public leaders; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we implore our government leaders to live by the highest standards of morality both in their private actions and in their public duties, and thereby serve as models of moral excellence and character; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge all citizens, including those who serve in public office, to submit themselves respectfully to governing authorities and to the rule of law; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists and other Christians to fulfill their spiritual duty to pray regularly for the leaders of our nation (1 Timothy 2:1-4); and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That we urge all Americans to embrace and act on the conviction that character does count in public office, and to elect those officials and candidates who, although imperfect, demonstrate consistent honesty, moral purity and the highest character.2

Rob Morley

1Morley, R. S. (2021). The Bride and The Beast: Evangelicals in Bed With Trump. Self-published.

2Southern Baptist Convention. (1998, June 1). Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials. SBC.

Judgment, Justice & Government, Leadership, Morality, The Antichrist, Transforming Society

Ironically, Yet Refreshingly, Christians Gave the Democratic Party the Victory!

The Christian…

Image by Woodsy @ RGBstock

King Cyrus or the Man of Lawlessness?

Since 2016, to justify supporting Trump, many Christians peddled the idea that he was like King Cyrus, a foreign king that God used to help Israel. For argument’s sake, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and concede that is perhaps, in some ways, what happened. However, by them also condoning Trump’s behavior throughout his Presidency rather than rebuking his evil ways, they ended up helping refashion a “man of lawlessness” too.

Did God Reverse the 2016 Results in 2020?

As I see it, God’s disapproval of Trump and Trumpism is reflected in the 2020 election results. Consequently, Christians will now have to suffer under the sins of the Democrats rather than have the nation suffer under the evil that they disregarded in Trump. Furthermore, if Trump was put in by God as a “King Cyrus,” then is it possible that the reversal of his 306-232 winning margin in 2016 to exactly 232-306 in 2020 is a sign that God has reversed His decision and is disciplining Christians for serving the creature rather than the Creator? Do you need to repent of that?

Warning of a Trump Resurrection

Finally, a word of warning! If Trump’s behavior in his first term of office has been bad, His behavior is likely to be far worse if he is elected in 2024! For, the consequences then could be far worse than tolerating his endless lies, his Ukraine call cover-up and impeachment, his bungling of the coronavirus pandemic, and his administration’s low regard for Black lives and migrants. Also, if he is re-elected in 2024, he will have no more need of Christians and may turn on them just as the beasts Nero and Domitian did on the early Christians.

More Posts on President Trump, the Coronavirus, and God’s Judgment

Character Counts!

The Church in America Must Repent of Trumpism to Help Heal the Land and Avoid Losing Her Purpose

President Donald J. Trump and the COVID-19 American Tragedy

Judgment Calls For Repentance!

Don’t Say the J Word

Is the Coronavirus One of God’s Judgements?

Rob Morley

Judgment, Justice & Government, Leadership, Morality, Spiritual Abuse, Transforming Society

Character Counts!

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”
(Mark 13:31 NIV).
Picture by ba1969 (Billy Frank Alexander)

Poor Excuse for Choosing Bad Character

In 2016, highly influential evangelical leader, Jerry Falwell Jr., endorsed Donald Trump’s candidacy despite the candidate’s gross shortcomings in character. He said, “We’re not choosing the pastor-in-chief, we’re choosing the President of the United States.” In doing this he broke rank with God, for this is not how the Almighty taught us when He chose David to be king. For, in choosing David, God found a man after His own heart.

Trump, “the best doctor”

The irony is that Falwell said that he saw in Trump a man who loved people and went on to say, “if you had a young child who was ill you would want to choose the best doctor.” With 250 000 Americans dead, largely because of Trump’s politicking and despite his confessed early knowledge of the danger of the coronavirus, it seems that he has loved himself, power, and the dollar more than the American people.

Church Leaders Follow Evil and the People Follow Suit

If America is in a mess today, it’s because evangelicals sidestepped serious character flaws in Trump and then went on to excuse his behavior throughout his term of office. In their blind zeal for God, they endorsed a “fox” rather than a man after God’s own heart or even just a good man like God found in king Cyrus of Persia.

Consequently, America’s evangelical leaders are not unlike the prophets and priests in the days of Judah. For Jeremiah writes, “The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. ‘Both prophet and priest…I find their wickedness,’ declares the Lord” (Jer. 23:10-11 NIV).

Repent!

Church leaders like Falwell, Franklin Graham, Kenneth Copeland, Paula White, and countless others must repent of endorsing evil and for helping to lead the church and the nation into the idolatry of Trumpism. Furthermore, the church must repent of making super-gurus out of church leaders, for this idolatry causes Christians to be led by people rather than God.

Jesus does not take kindly to false teaching and idolatry. For, to the church of Pergamum, He says, “I have a few things against you: There are some among you…who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth” (Rev. 2:14-16 NIV).

Your brother in Christ,

Rob Morley

Judgment, Justice & Government, Leadership, Morality, Prophecy, Transforming Society

The Church in America Must Repent of Trumpism to Help Heal the Land and Avoid Losing Her Purpose

The church in America must repent of their Trumpism or they risk losing so much more than their country’s God-given democracy that so many have laid down their lives for.

The American Church on President Trump (Picture by Adrian van Leen)

You Have Ignored Bad Character at Your Peril

Repent for ignoring Trump’s character and making a deal with an ungodly man.

Repent for supporting the President regardless of his behavior.

Repent for never showing your displeasure at his evil ways.

Repent for helping to fuel national division so that debate has fallen apart and people are led by lies.

Your failure to be God’s prophetic voice is helping to destroy the country.

Repent for dishonouring the President-elect and fuelling division.

The Man of Lawlessness Is in the Temple

Repent, Church leaders, for leading people to think that God was somehow especially behind Trump. Because you have called evil good, you have been and will continue to be played as the beast’s false prophet. Repent, therefore!

Repent every pastor and church leader that initially helped the church to elect a man of lawlessness into office, and, worse, into the hearts of God’s people (the temple of God), so that he reigns from there.

Repent for not holding the President accountable for his evil ways after you helped him become elected.

Trump is America’s very own beast that you have aided by playing the part of the false prophet.

Repent for every false prophecy spoken about the President.

Repent or You Will Lose Your Light

Repent, for you have profaned God’s name by endorsing evil so that reasonable people won’t want to hear the gospel from you. For, already, to the extent that this has happened, you have lost your light!

Finally, the next time the devil wants to make a deal with you, do what Jesus did when He was offered the kingdoms, or it will cost you dearly as it already has.

“Think how far you have fallen! Turn from your sins and do what you did at first. If you don’t turn from your sins, I will come to you and take your lampstand from its place” (Rev. 2:5 GNB).

Therefore, repent! For God’s word says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).

[This word has been an application of the following texts: Matt. 4:8-10; Rev. 13; 2 Thess. 2:1-12; Isaiah 5:20; Rev. 2:5; 2 Chron. 7:14].

More Posts on President Trump and the Coronavirus Judgment:

Character Counts!

President Donald J. Trump and the COVID-19 American Tragedy

Judgment Calls For Repentance!

Don’t Say the J Word

Is the Coronavirus One of God’s Judgements?

Rob Morley

View Post

Justice & Government, Transforming Society

Flirting with A Prostitute

Money Can't Buy Love Picture: Michal Zacharzewski / RGBstock
Money Can’t Buy Love
Picture: Michal Zacharzewski / RGBstock

A brief response to President Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly 2015.

Unrestrained Capitalism

While President Obama pointed to several issues that hamper humanity’s common goal of a peaceful and prosperous life, perhaps because it is not as overtly tyrannical as the dictatorships that he decried, he failed to address the negative effect that unconstrained capitalism has on societies locally and around the world.

Conscience dictates that capitalism needs to be regulated so that it acts as a brother to social welfare and not its enemy. Otherwise, like a prostitute that promises bliss, capitalism can quickly run contrary to conscience and the notion of an international community “that recognizes the dignity and equal worth of all people.”

When it is not sufficiently regulated, capitalism can also quickly become the primary driving force of local and world politics rather than politics being the noble pursuit of true democracy.

US – World Relations

The US’s infidelity toward democracy very easily occurs when parties and candidates receive huge capital stimulation for campaigning, where those who gain power are ‘indebted’ to their donors.

Then, where power is bought and maintained through capital, one can never really know what the real motives of such a government is. In fact, problematic to President Obama’s speech, as genuine as he might be, is that he spoke against the backdrop of the US’s long history of meddling in the affairs of other countries, with motives other than simply assisting democratization.

In truth, instead of people being governed through democratic representation, capitalists are often the puppeteers of government through funding campaigns to power, by owning corporate media companies that can easily influence the mindset of the electorate, by determining their country’s foreign interest, etc.

If unrestrained “with appropriate checks and balances”, capitalism becomes a PROSTITUTE that lures world leaders and its people with promises of bliss that she can never truly satisfy. Instead, she leaves all who come to her emptier, broken and more in need than before.

Rob Morley

Justice & Government

Do you Love President Obama?

One Winner

With my teenage son being somewhat pleased with President Obama’s reelection as President, I wanted to remind him that Mr. Obama also has flaws. I thought to point out how the President had flagrantly misquoted scripture. It was something that had really irked me when once when listening to him.

I went to Google to see what it was that he had said that had bothered me. In the process, I came across a post by a Christian leader who also spoke of the President misquoting scripture. Regrettably, I was troubled and saddened to see that this respected man of God handled Mr. Obama in such an unloving and dishonoring way.  And, many of the comments that followed by supposed Christians, were far worse.

What was disturbing then soon became cathartic as I reflected on my own attitude and response toward Mr. Obama’s indiscretion. I’ve realized that it has been, in many ways, unhelpful to me, to anyone else that heard me venting, to Mr. Obama and to the kingdom of God that I was supposed to be representing.

Airing frustrations and disagreements in an unloving or dishonoring manner is never helpful. And, as Christians we are called to love everyone and honor our leaders. We would do well to point out our differences that we have with people in a loving way and not pull them apart with our attitudes and words. It’s no different with the man, Barack Obama. Also, let’s remember to honor him despite any differences.

Rob Morley

Photo by BlueHorizon

Justice & Government

Government has a Mandate, and God has the Means

Here are some questions that we occasionally (maybe every 4 years) grapple with: Who to vote for? What are the candidates’ views on key issues? What are my views on these issues? And, most importantly, what is God’s mind on these things?

What!? God’s mind!? Who can know that? Fortunately for us, God’s views, His own laws, aren’t hidden mysteries, but have been left for us in His word, the Bible.

When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they were to become a self-governing nation and, in the light of that, God gave them His laws in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. These laws covered all aspects of society and when Israel adhered to them they prospered. However, when these were dismissed (or misinterpreted) they struggled. Also, these same laws have had an influence in many nations in the creation of their own laws.

Various interpretations can be a problem at times, but this shouldn’t make us shy away from engaging with God’s word to discover the truth. While these disputes have their own challenges, at least we are looking in the right place. In Phil. 3:15 we have an example of how Paul accommodated believers holding different views where he says, “…if in anything you think otherwise, God will (in time) reveal that also to you.”

Imagine arriving at a stadium with a friend to see a game. You may have a dispute over which entrance your tickets are instructing you to use, but that won’t make you dismiss the tickets as your reference. In this case, a wrong interpretation just means a longer walk and possibly missing some of the game. Sadly, Christians can have a negative influence on society with awful consequences through their bad interpretation of God’s word or ignorance of it.

So, studying God’s word remains an excellent means for Christians to get to know God’s mindset and, in turn, influence society. As the salt and light of this world, Christians need to appropriately share God’s ideas in the arenas where they have direct and indirect influence. Sometimes, like the boy with the loaves and the fish, a small influence can be multiplied to affect a multitude.

We can be encouraged that many of the laws that exist throughout the world already reflect God’s laws. Man, despite his sinful nature and disregard for God, still has something of a moral compass in him. Also, while we might not be able to enjoy a government that fully embraces God’s laws as it ought to, nevertheless we can be an influence for positive change.

All we can do is bring the truth to the table. How society responds in making a government that reflects God’s laws or not is up to them. Having said that, it remains our responsibility as Christian’s to direct people toward the ideal of a government that reflects all of God’s laws.

Today, many are thankful for those who previously stood for change to make their lives a better experience. Slaves, various races, females, children and others have all been helped by those who have stood for God’s laws. It still remains for many to be protected, including the most vulnerable, the unborn babies, from the murder of abortion.

For a link to help you to study God’s word you can go our Bible Coaching site.

Rob