Gleanings – April 19, 2019

Gleanings are some items I’ve found lying around the web that I’ve found helpful this week.

Secularism’s Misplaced Confidence

“So perhaps its time to gird our loins and stop such public pouting, especially as Christians who know that the kingdoms of this age already belong to Jesus through the work of the cross, and that the vision of human flourishing espoused by our secular agenda is at odds with that of the one King Jesus is calling us to and, more importantly, bringing us to in fulfilment at the end of the age.”

A couple of articles for pastors and those who (try to) love them:

Thick Skins. Big Hearts.

My wife and I often pray that God would give us thick skins and big hearts as we do our best to serve our local church. This article hit the nail on the head of what our prayers are getting at.

Pastors Are Special

From Jared Wilson: “Now that I’m not a pastor, I have taken seriously one of my ministerial goals in serving pastors and advocating for pastors. To that end, if you’re one of those who thinks pastors whine too much and work too little, I want to share with you some reasons you may not have considered that pastoral work really is different.”

Sanctity of Life Focus

This week, the movie Unplanned comes to our little local theater, and I’m a bit nervous to watch it. Not because of any repercussions, but because I know it’s going to be heart-wrenching. Sometimes looking into the face of evil is the only way to resist it. My wife and I have always been pro-life advocates, and I hope the film bolsters our desire to do even more to support life in all forms: Pregnancy Resource Centers, adoption, foster care, etc. Here are a couple of articles that help pull the curtain back–like this film is purported to do–and give us a new perspective on this worldwide moral crisis.

Why Pro-Choice Movies Are Rare

In light of the recent release of Unplanned, author and film critic Brett McCracken analyzes why pro-choice movies just don’t work well: “…making light of abortion just doesn’t work. There’s no getting around the heaviness and cruelty of it, both for the child who will never get a chance at life and also the mother (and father) who cannot undo and must live with the decision. It simply doesn’t work to make a ‘feel good’ film or TV show about abortion. When attempts are made, it’s just disturbing.”

We Murder Babies

A sensible view of the abortion debate from outside our first-world insanity: “As we chatted about his life and mine, he asked me what’s meant by that little euphemism he has seen in Western media: ‘a woman’s right to choose.’ As I explained it, his face registered first shock, then disgust, then judgment. He made it clear that in his assessment Canada must be a nation that is hopelessly backward and shockingly barbaric.”

When Reason Does Not Suffice

This is a fantastic article that gets to the core of the abortion debate, from one of my favorite authors, Anthony Esolen: “If the child lives, the mother’s life will not be the same, because if we accept the principles that allow the child to live, none of our lives can be the same. There is no way to guarantee, as some pro-life people seem to want us to do, a world safe for the unborn child that is also a world of total sexual and economic autonomy. In any world in which autonomy is the highest ideal, the child—that incarnate sign of our dependence and existential poverty—must go. The serpent says we shall be as gods. That is the argument we must defeat.

Supporting Adoptive Families Through Prayer

We can practice pro-life values by supporting adoptive families in practical ways, and especially in prayer. I found most of the items for prayer in this article applicable to every family, but the prayer item on attachment is particularly important for adoptive and foster families. Perhaps as you read this, you’ll be moved to pray more regularly and fervently for adoptive/foster families.

 

Photo by Paz Arando on Unsplash

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