Hey Harris County area Christians: If you’ve ever considered trying prison ministry . . .

. . . now is a great time.  I’ll be leading a Kairos Prison Ministry weekend this October 11-13.  If you have any interest please contact me for more information.  It is a highly effective and rewarding ministry.  There are roles for men inside and outside the prison and roles for women outside (and everyone gets to go inside the prison chapel for the closing ceremony to hear how the weekend went).

And as a bonus, the first 10 people to sign up get a free prison tattoo!  Just kidding!  Probably!

“Tornadoes are caused by global cooling. Or warming. Either way, it is your fault and you need the government to fix it.”

The entire climate change industry is a shameless tautology* designed to dupe people into thinking that the only solution is to give the government more power, regardless of the costs.  These ghouls will exploit any tragedy, such as the Oklahoma tornadoes, to further their agenda.  Don’t be fooled.

Via Moonbattery » Remembering When Tornados Were Caused by Global Cooling.

newsweek-global-cooling

newsweek-global-cooling

* No matter what happens to the weather or the climate, it is because you use too much energy.

Roundup

I’ve been getting lots of traffic on this older post: Wendy Wright schools Richard Dawkins.  For some reason it was mentioned on a Facebook page (but I can’t tell from where) and  fallacious comments poured in from Darwin fans.  Feel free to read the post and the recent comments and feel sad (about the education/mainstream media/entertainment brainwashing that led to this) or glad (about how well the Christian worldview stacks up against those false views and how Dawkins is a self-parody).  It is leading to quite a few views of the minimal facts approach to apologetics, so that is good!

Good things to remember if you are going on mission trips.  If you don’t have an effective plan you are wasting time and money, and may be doing things that are counterproductive to the Kingdom.   I actually had to persuade people at my former church that we should prepare people to share the Gospel as part of the training for missions (of course, they should do that anyway, even if they don’t go on mission trips).  It was predictable that they judged the speaker for judging.

This should be good: “Darwin’s Doubt” – Game-Changing New Book by Stephen Meyer To Be Released in June – That oughta get the Darwin fans excited – in a bad way.

The book’s official website is now live. Go there to pre-order your copy now — do so by April 30th, and receive 43% off and receive four bonus digital books. As someone who has read the book, I can assure you: This is a book not to be missed. If you thought Signature in the Cell was ground-breaking, wait till you get a hold of this.

There is a special term for Republicans who endorse government recognition of “same-sex marriage” — Democrats  (RINO just isn’t strong enough)

The 12 worst party schools in the country – consider going to one of these!

From the Moral Schizophrenia category: Puppies aborted, pro-choicer laments

I’m Sure Glad Our Government Is Not Making Withdrawals From OUR Bank Accounts (Evil Laugh) – Excellent point about how our government is robbing us just as the government of Cyprus tried to rob investors there.  The only difference is that our government is more subtle, using inflationary money printing to do the job — and the media and politicians let them get away with it.

Teacher booted from Portland School District after protracted battle with Planned Parenthood – a great teacher was hounded then fired for daring to disagree with the moral freaks at  Planned Parenthood who kill babies for a living, hide statutory rape and poison and so much more.

Speaking of PP, here’s an update to my summary post on them. They aggressively promote filth to youth.  Watch the videos if you have the stomach for them, and remember that they are marketed to children with your tax dollars.  They assume that every relationship will involve sex and that you will go from one sex relationship to another.  They pretend that people will actually follow their advice (Yeah, sure, people will always use condoms for oral sex.  Because kids and gays would never rebel and break any safe sex rules!).

Great article about the false argument that kids must be in public schools to be properly socialized.

“Preparing” your child for such a world is a euphemism for condemning him to life as a citizen of progressive hell. If mankind is to have a rational, moral future, that future will ultimately belong not to the damaged survivors of public school, but to the “unprepared” and “maladjusted,” namely the bug-studiers, stargazers, and bookworms: those whose intellects and character were permitted to develop naturally, with curiosity, not fear, as their impetus, and self-sufficient adulthood, not “socialization,” as their goal.

Something has gone terribly wrong with the modern world, and public education is at the heart of the problem. The solution will not and cannot come from a publicly educated population. Begin the process of liberating children’s souls now, so that in the future there will once again be Thomas Jeffersons and Benjamin Franklins to do what will need to be done.

How to change the world – Pro-aborts hate when pictures or videos of abortions are shown, and for good reason: They change hearts and minds.

Great summary of the problems with the History Channel Bible movie. Hat tip: Glenn

Capitalism has its rough edges, but it is far, far better than any other -ism ever considered.  Free markets, the rule of law and private property ownership (all supported by both the Old and New Testaments) do more to reduce poverty than any counterproductive program ever dreamed up by the Left.

Contemplative prayer: Not contemplative and not biblical prayer

Contemplative prayer is a mystical practice that is making inroads in all sorts of churches. Don’t be taken in by it.  If you really contemplate on scripture and then pray to God, that’s great.  But that isn’t what is meant by contemplative prayer.  It involves repetition of phrases, in opposition to what Jesus taught (Matthew 6:7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”).  It implies that there is formula you can use to “experience” God.

Prayer is the primary way you talk to God, not the primary way He talks to you.  If you want to hear from God, read the Bible.  If you want to audibly hear from God, then read the Bible out loud.  If God communicates to you other ways then that is his prerogative, not his obligation.

Confused atheists

I saw this well designed but self-refuting graphic on Facebook.  

Those are fairly common sentiments of atheists.  If I had more time I’d re-write it all sorts of different ways, but I’ll just share what another person noted:

If you are hungry, that’s too bad. If you are thirsty, find a water fountain. If you are cold, get to the shelter. If you are in need, good luck. If you are in trouble, don’t bother me about it. I have this attitude because I have no concern for ultimate reward or consequence. I can act like this because it’s right for me. I am an atheist.

That highlights the flaws in the picture.  If you get to make up your own standards then you can proudly follow them all you like.  But you can’t explain why it is a universal good to be proud of them.  And you can even be proud of not adhering to your standards, provided that one of your standards is hypocrisy.  Note that I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to the atheist in question that he actually does all those things.

And you can’t “know them to be right” if everyone gets to set their own standards. Such is the endless problem of atheists, having no grounding for moral claims yet not being able to go three sentences without making them.

One atheist wrote this, ignoring that he has no evidence for his position, that we’re not worried and that we do enjoy our lives.  They think it is meaningful to prove that life is meaningless.

Sorry but I have to admit: There is no god. So stop worrying and enjoy your life!

Their worldview can’t explain ours — other than positing that Darwinian evolution randomly led to me convert from atheism to trusting in the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus — but our worldview can explain theirs.

Romans 1:18-20 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Theological liberals vs. militant atheists — which do you prefer?

I was watching a theological liberal do his usual false teachings on this thread and noted with amusement how the atheists cheerily agreed with his religious views.  I pointed out that both should be concerned over that.  If they agreed on their favorite sports teams that would be fine.  But if an atheist or someone from another religion agreed with my foundational points about God I’d be very concerned.

Yes, militant atheists can be annoying, but I’ll take twenty of them over a fake Christian any day.  At least the atheists are fulfilling their job descriptions and there is no confusion over roles.  But the fake Christians really confuse the discussions and fuel the atheists’ false assertions that disagreements within Christianity mean that the religion can’t be true.  Their argument fails on many levels, but the actions of the false teachers give them ammunition.  That was a key theme on the link above: “Christianity must be false because Christians disagree.”

Of course, Christianity clearly predicts divisions:

  1. Many warnings of false teachers and many references to the importance of sound doctrine.
  2. The fact that Christians learn more over time — “milk/meat,” growing in knowledge (Philippians 1:9), etc.
  3. God’s guidance about disputable matters in Romans 14 and elsewhere reveals that He knew we’d have disputable matters and gave us guidance in how to handle them.
  4. Some people think they are saved but aren’t (“I never knew you” from Matthew 7, testing your salvation in 1 John, etc.)
  5. We are told not to violate our consciences, so people are right to worship in denominations that align best with their views on non-essential issues.

Based on that, if all Christians agreed on everything then that would be evidence that the Bible’s predictions failed.  The essentials are what divides Christianity from other religions: Jesus deity, his exclusivity, etc.  You can’t take the Bible seriously and miss those, which is another way of highlighting false teachers.  Example: The fake at the thread thought I was wrong to say that Christians must hold the view that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  My point was simply that if the Bible mentions it 100 times then it seems like something Christians should agree with.

Christianity has fought a two-front war from the beginning: Persecutors on the outside and false teachers on the inside.  Things haven’t changed, so we need to be on guard for both.

I think the bigger enemy is inside.

Are unborn human beings parasites?

pro-choice-baby.jpgOf course not, but pro-legalized abortion advocates sometimes make that desperate claim in an attempt to de-humanize the unborn.  See Hookworms, Mosquitoes, and Embryos – Sifting Reality for a good analysis.

I actually like when pro-aborts use the “parasite” argument. It may get virtual high-five’s from other pro-aborts, but it is so transparently bad that it reveals to the middle-ground folks just how perverse the pro-abort thinking is. It is like a concession speech.

This doesn’t always work, but I typically point out that their view would mean that the baby could be fully delivered but still be attached via the umbilical cord and she would still be a “parasite.” Therefore, you could kill her any way you liked. They have usually painted themselves in a corner by that point and may actually agree that they’d be OK with that. Again, I’m glad to let the middle ground see that kind of immoral thinking.  People who advance that argument are extremely unlikely to be moved from their position, but they aren’t the target audience of most pro-life reasoning.

Most pro-legalized abortion arguments — and especially ones like the “parasite” argument — are based on emotions and ignore the humanity of the unborn (human zygote, human fetus, etc.). They trade on sentiments how the woman (or child) will be impacted in the areas of poverty, education, love life, etc.

When doing pro-life reasoning training I always start by distinguishing between the psychological complexity of the abortion issue (financial, educational, family pressures, etc. issues are real and powerful and need to be addressed) and the moral simplicity of it (you shouldn’t kill innocent human beings for any of those reasons, regardless of how intense they are).

Weekly roundup

The Doctrine of the Trinity: No Christianity Without It – a superb overview of the Trinity — read and enjoy!

This is great news: Congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood: What to expect

Abortion proponent “thrilled” by an abortion on “Grey’s Anatomy” – great analysis of the moral schizophrenia of the pro-abortion movement.

One of many problems abortion proponents have is sending mixed messages about getting one.  Whether to act glib and risk offending normal sensibilities, or to act serious and risk humanizing the baby, that is the question.

. . .

And then the abortion. It ends up only looking sick and pathetic for a father to go so far as to willingly watch the baby he loves and wants being killed, all to support that child’s mother. And why all the drama if it isn’t human children being killed by abortion?

Scott Klusendorf is one of the world’s best pro-life apologists.  He had a good analysis of Ray Comfort’s 180 movie (go watch it if you haven’t yet).  You can only put so much in a 30 minute movie, so here are some things to be aware of if people have questions about the movie.  (Scott had lots of good things to say as well.  I just included the critiques here.)

My concern: The film overlooked some important distinctions:

1) The distinction between people in the film (Venice Beach?) and the public at large—The sample used in the film is not only small; it’s not where most people are in terms of historical knowledge. . . .

2) The distinction between shouting a conclusion and establishing one–A sharp abortion-choicer could easily say, “Ya, I value human life. What Hitler did to Jews was wrong, but the unborn are not valuable human beings, so the comparison fails.” To succeed, pro-lifers must first establish that the unborn are indeed human (which the film does through images rather than scientific evidence), but then show that none of the differences between the embryos we once were and the adults we are today justify killing us at that earlier stage of development. Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency, are not value giving in the way that abortion-advocates need them to be in order to make their case. In short, jumping from killing Jews for bad reasons to killing the unborn for those same reasons leaves out important premises in the pro-life argument.

3) The distinction between killing a “baby” and unjustly killing human beings—Perhaps I am nitpicking here, but I think Comfort asks the wrong question when he points to a 6-week fetus and says, “Doesn’t that look like a baby?” What if the critic says “no?” End of discussion. . . .

4) The distinction between voting for pro-life candidates and voting pro-life–Put simply, what does it really mean to vote pro-life? . . .

5) The distinction between intentional killing and killing that is merely foreseen–Is it always wrong to kill an innocent human being? What about ectopic pregnancy? . . .

Despite these concerns, the film is worth seeing and Comfort gets huge accolades for his courage in confronting abortion head-on. Say what you want, at least he’s doing something about it and for that I am immensely grateful. Before ripping him, his evangelical critics need to ask themselves what they are doing to stop the bloodshed. Are they taking this holocaust as seriously as Comfort does? I can only pray that one day they will.

The dealth penalty and deterrence: what the research shows – contrary to myths, the death penalty is a deterrent.  The question is whether it is appropriate as a deterrent (I think it is).  After all, capital punishment for speeding would be a deterrent, but perhaps over the top.

Random thought about evolution by Glenn — good stuff!  My favorite, which the Darwinists typically gloss over or ignore:

DNA can only be produced with the help of at least 20 different types of protiens.  But these proteins can only be produced at the direction of DNA.  Since each requires the other, a satisfactory explanation for the origin of one must also explain the origin of the other.  Apparently, this entire manufacturing system came into existence simultaneously.  This implies Creation. (Walter T. Brown, Jr., In the Beginning, p.6)

False teacher Chuck Currie named Associate Director of False Teacher (Westar) Institute

San Francisco Values: White ‘Master,’ Black ‘Slave’ Adorn Cover of Folsom Street Fair 2011 Program Guide – This goes on in Nancy Pelosi’s district.  The police do nothing to stop it.  The Left doesn’t protest it.

False ‘it gets better’ promise claims a victim

Homosexual activists Dan Savage and Lady Gaga should be brought up on charges of murder for issuing wholesale false promises and lies to young people confused about their sexuality.

The Wintery Knight link of the week

For those of you who aren’t already regular readers of the Wintery Knight, don’t miss Should Christian doctors be forced to act like atheists at work?

He starts by addressing a chilling account of how religious freedoms (mainly those of Christians) continue to get suppressed.  It isn’t just about keeping people from imposing their views on others, it is about silencing religious speech completely.  A patient complained that his doctor offered to pray for him. Eek!  Apparently that made him feel bad because the doctor thought his religious views were superior.  Free advice: If you have such a shallow faith that the mere hint that someone else thinks their views are right makes you squirm, then you should examine your views more carefully.

Then he points out how flawed the foundation of Liberalism is, both morally and economically.  You’ll want to read it all, but here’s a sample.

The General Medical Council is asking medics if it should “regulate doctors’ lives outside medicine” in a review of its guidelines on ethics.

Currently it would only be a disciplinary matter if behaviour after hours affected a doctor’s work or brought the profession into disrepute, or if they imposed their views on others.

. . .

It comes as the watchdog prepares to investigate the case of a GP in Margate, Dr Richard Scott, who is accused of upsetting a patient by offering to pray for them.

The GP says their conversation turned to religion after they had finished discussing medical options, and that he asked permission to raise his Christian beliefs with the patient, who is of another faith.

But the GMC sent him a warning letter, claiming his comments had “distressed” the patient and “did not meet with the standards required of a doctor”.

. . .

“It is further alleged that Dr Scott subsequently confirmed, via national media, that he had sought to suggest his own faith had more to offer than that of the patient.

And this gets extended to cases where pro-life medical doctors and nurses are forced to before abortions against their conscience. It’s not just evangelism that is threatened, it’s the freedom to not murder at the state’s bidding. This pressure to comply with the state doesn’t come out of nowhere – it occurs when the state is in control of an industry and there is nowhere else for Christians to go to find work. And it is stronger for those who work in government monopolies.

If you are a doctor in a government-run single payer health care system, then you have a choice of one employer – the government. In the West, that government will likely be secular, and the main job of that government will be to get themselves re-elected. Conservative political parties will be able to get re-elected by delivering national security and economic growth. Even moderate conservatives like George W. Bush can deliver unemployment rates of 4.4% and 160 billion dollar deficits – so the voters re-elect conservatives because they have jobs and because they are safe. But liberal parties can’t produce jobs or balance a budget – like with Obama’s 9.5% unemployment rate and his 1.7 trillion dollar deficits. Liberals screw up the economy, and then they have to resort to bribing the electorate with government spending in order to be re-elected.

So what goodies do the liberal parties provide? Well, take health care. There is a block of voters who want to be able to engage in risky activities that make them feel good, and then get out of them by having the government take their neighbors’ money to pay for their medical bills. (Or, their neighbor’s children’s money, to be more precise, since it is much more politically acceptable to run up 1.7 trillion dollar debts than to embrace pro-growth economic policies that would lower the unemployment rate, as with Bush’s tax cuts). For example, may liberal voters want the government to provide things like taxpayer-funded abortions, so that they can engage in reckless premarital sex without being burdened by the consequences of their own choices. And the liberal party buys their votes by transferring wealth from other taxpayers to pay for these abortions.

Now, when these liberal parties go before the voters, they don’t talk about wanting to provide taxpayer-funded abortions to liberal voters. They tell sob stories about people who need medical treatment but who can’t afford it, or about hungry children who have less to eat than other children. Boo, hoo, hoo, they explain. They play on people’s fears and emotions, and, for some ignorant voters, that works. Even many Christians who decide who to vote for based on their emotions and peer pressure will fall for this – they are too busy watching “Dancing With the Stars” to read about reducing health care costs through consumer-driven health care or improving educational outcomes through school choice.

. . .

Helping people isn’t the government’s job, it’s your job. Stop trying to resolve your fears and uncertainties about life by making the government into God. Government shouldn’t have that power. It’s not their job to help others – it’s your job. It’s not their job to provide you with happiness in this life by taking your neighbor’s money, either.

Pro-lifers should be thrilled that Bachmann is running for President

In theory, real feminists should be thrilled that Michele Bachmann is running for President.   She has been successful in business and in politics and by all accounts is a terrific mother and extremely generous person. But the pro-choicers and the faux-lifers will hate her for this.  How dare she mention the Declaration of Independence?!   How dare she mention negative rights (i.e., the right to be protected from being destroyed just because you are unwanted)?!

Via Pro-Life Rep. Michele Bachmann Joins GOP Presidential Field | LifeNews.com:

During the debate, Bachmann defended her pro-life views and talked about the foster children she’s adopted.

“I am 100 percent pro-life. I’ve given birth to five babies, and I’ve taken 23 foster children into my home. I believe in the dignity of life from conception until natural death. I believe in the sanctity of human life,” Bachmann said.

“And I think the most eloquent words ever written were those in our Declaration of Independence that said it’s a creator who endowed us with inalienable rights given to us from God, not from government. And the beauty of that is that government cannot take those rights away. Only God can give, and only God can take,” she continued. “And the first of those rights is life. And I stand for that right. I stand for the right to life. The very few cases that deal with those exceptions are the very tiniest of fraction of cases, and yet they get all the attention. Where all of the firepower is and where the real battle is, is on the general — genuine issue of taking an innocent human life. I stand for life from conception until natural death.”

I love it when candidates speak clearly, especially on such an important topic.  She didn’t try to water things down.

And while the “pro-lifers don’t care about kids after they are born” canard is easy to refute, her track record of caring for so many foster children serves as a “prebuttal” to the pro-legalized abortionists.

I’m glad she is running, and I would love to see her win or at least get the VP nod.

Hat tip: Jill Stanek

“I’m from Australia and I’d really like some insight into why there is this visceral hatred of Palin from left liberals – it’s complete bizarre”

The title of this post was a comment left on someone else’s Facebook post on Sarah Palin.  Here’s one response I liked:

As one female caller to a talk radio show said the other day, “She is smart, she is athletic, she loves the outdoors, she hunts, she fishes, she raises kids, she is on TV, she has been a governor of a state, she writes books, she blogs, AND she is pretty. What’s not to hate?”

Here was my answer:
‎90% of people abort Down Syndrome children, but she gave birth to hers. Her pro-life position makes Liberals absolutely hate her. You could agree with radical feminists on literally every issue possible except unrestricted abortion and they will hate you with a passion. Seriously.
On a different Palin post on my FB page, someone noted this:
 SP [Sarah Palin] is a stupid moron.
How eloquent, and how right off the the mainstream media script.
Update: Turns out she writes like most CEOS, and better than the expert who was hoping she’d come off as illiterate.

Does Planned Parenthood have 911 on speed dial?

See Ambulance at Planned Parenthood—911 Call Audio « Pro-Life Hotline for the audio of a call from PP to 911.  Seems pretty casual to me.  I thought those abortions were safe?

This happens a lot, BTW.

Hat tip: Jill Stanek

Which is more racist?

A. Aborting blacks at a rate three times that of whites

B. Pointing out that the abortion rate for blacks is three times that of whites

See Mom sues pro-life group for using daughter’s photo in “racist, defamatory” NYC billboard – Jill Stanek

A pro-life group that erected a billboard to spotlight the documented genocide being committed against preborn black children is being sued as “racist.”

I’d say “A.” The racism lies with those Margaret Sanger-inspired Planned Parenthood types who target black communities.

Roe v Wade Roundup

“Ask Them What They Mean By ‘Choice’” Blog Day

The idea is simple. Any time any of us reads pro-aborts spouting their obscure “choice” rhetoric on a blog, website, Facebook, or Twitter, we call them out on it. We ask them to explain what the “choice” is.

Is it to eat carrots rather than broccoli? To wear red instead of blue? No, of course “choice” is code for killing babies. What’s their problem with the A-word?

Yes, this is a shameless scheme to suck oxygen out of the pro-aborts’ social media universe, to deny them any time whatsoever to support abortion without defending it.

Pro-lifers don’t help people after birth? Nonsense. As I’ve noted many times, pro-lifers do way more for the women before and after birth (and even post-abortion) than pro-legalized abortionists do.  They do it with their own time and money.

But note that they aren’t obliged to do so.  When the pro-aborts reflexively spout the “pro-lifers don’t help” canard, ask if they could speak out against infanticide even if they weren’t willing to adopt the children.

Also, if they are truly pro-choice and not pro-abortion, they would have the same obligation to help after birth.

Read the first chapter of Unplanned for free

Unplanned is a heart-stopping personal drama of life-and-death encounters, a courtroom battle, and spiritual transformation that speaks hope and compassion into the political controversy that surrounds this complex issue. Telling Abby’s story from both sides of the abortion clinic property line, this book is a must-read…

Regulators Ignored Killer Abortion Doc: Grand Jury – the pro-legalized abortionists hope this story goes away soon.  They try to feign outrage but they bitterly fight for the right to destroy the children just before birth.  How can they be so shocked that someone will finish the job when the abortion fails to deliver a dead baby?

What should be highlighted, but isn’t, is the faux outrage from the pro-choicers about this “doctor.”  Of course we know what he did was beyond reprehensible.  But their view is that his real crime was not doing the abortions right the first time.  Had he killed the babies literally minutes earlier everything would have been fine with them.

It is just another name for infanticide:

When Ruth Bader Ginsburg writes that partial-birth abortion (performed by delivering the baby in the breech position, stabbing it in the head with scissors with the neck lodged in the cervix, suctioning its brains out, and then delivering the corpse that had been alive moments earlier) is a constitutional right, she sanctions the murder of babies who have already been born – because those babies are no more human, no more special, than the ones who are fair targets.  As Abby Johnson wrote in her new book, “Unplanned”, while assisting in an abortion,

“But this time, the image was complete  I could see the entire, perfect profile of a baby. It looks just like Grace at 12 weeks, I thought, surprised, remembering my very first peek at my daughter, three years before, snuggled securely inside my womb.  The image before me now looked the same, only clearer, sharper.”

Respecting human life is not an optional part of a civilised society, which is why the “pro-choice” language is so fallacious.

Ironic title of the year from the Huffington Post (yeah, it is early in the year, but this one may still be tops come 12/31): Remember Roe v. Wade — and Stop the Violence (it was a pro-abortion piece, of course).  Uh, yes . . . the violence . . .

The comments there were a litany of bad pro-abortion bumper sticker reasoning.

These are simple, essential ways to protect women’s health. Thank you! It’s baffling to me that a simple medical procedure produces so much violence and controvers­­y.

This procedure kills an innocent human being. That is a scientific fact.

It’s hard to believe that we still have to fight for our right to reproducti­­ve freedom.

That is an argument against someone saying you shouldn’t have the right to use birth control. In the case of abortion, one has already reproduced a human being. So this has nothing to do with reproducti­ve freedom.

Link arms shout out loud, stay away from my medical decisions! This is mine, my family and my doctors business.

As with nearly all pro-abortion arguments, this ignores the unborn human being who gets destroyed.

Amanda Marcotte: Hey, let’s blame another mass murder on conservatives – You have to be super-duper-pro-abortion to try and pin the Philly doctor murders on pro-lifers.

How much evidence do we need to know that a “No strings attached” sex culture will lead to pain, misery and death?

Pro-life responses: Easier than you think.

This pro-abortion site reflexively
used three transparently false arguments. You’ll hear them
from many pro-choicers, even those who (sadly) claim the name of
Christ. Either they know they are false and use them anyway, or
they have used them without thinking critically. Here are
some simple but accurate responses to use when you hear them. 1.
“Pro-lifers oppose the bodily autonomy of women” –
That ignores the bodily autonomy of the human being that is going
to be crushed and dismembered.
The argument plays on
the emotional “conservatives want to control women!” theme.
It would only work if it wasn’t a scientific
fact
that the unborn are human beings from conception.
The “personhood” argument used to
de-humanize the unborn is a heaping does of philosophical FAIL, but
even if it wasn’t it commits another fallacy by equivocating
between body and personhood. 2. “Pro-lifers oppose
reproductive rights” — Uh, but abortions occur when they have
already reproduced a human
being
(there’s that pesky scientific fact
again). We don’t oppose women exercising their right to
reproduce. We oppose the destruction of the human beings they
have already reproduced. 3. “Pro-lifers have a fetus
fetish,” which is a variant of the
pro-lifers don’t care about kids
after they are
born

fallacy.
Simply ask the person making that claim,
“Do you have to be willing to take complete responsibility for
human beings you are trying to protect? Can you protest the
abuse of the homeless, spouses, children or pets without having to
provide unlimited care for them all?” As noted in the link,
pro-lifers do a great deal with their own time and money to help
women and families in need. Also, unless the pro-choicers
are advocating forced abortions, the same burden to care for the
babies allowed to live falls on them. But the pro-choice
argument fails even if we didn’t help out.

Kairos prison ministry weekend reflections

kairosjesusbehindbars.jpg

The Kairos prison ministry weekend went really well.  As always, it was exhausting and amazing.  This is probably my favorite ministry.  I’ve never seen anything that has such broad and dramatic impacts on so many lives.  I’ll share a little background, then a few observations.  If you want more background on the ministry there is additional information at the bottom.

Overview of the ministry: It is an opportunity to share the Gospel with those who aren’t believers (No one is pressured, though).  Many of the participants are already Christians, so it is a great opportunity to fellowship with and encourage them.  And it is just an all-around way to share God’s love with people who are often depressed and forgotten.  It is educational in laying out Christian principles for living and creating a Christian community wherever they are.  It helps teach them how to love and forgive others (and themselves). It has a dramatic impact on recidivism, which means less victims and lower costs for society.

Kairos doesn’t advocate for either the prisoners or for the criminal justice system. A transaction took place between the state and the prisoner. The prisoners did the crime and are now doing the time, so we don’t get in the middle of that. We just reach out with Christian love to all and with Christian fellowship to believers.  We try to show that they aren’t forgotten.

There is also a Kairos Outside program for the moms / wives / daughters of the prisoners.  It is completely free, including transportation to the event and childcare if necessary.

Observations from the weekend (other volunteers are welcome to leave their own in the comments section)

  • The speaker at the closing ceremony was a former Kairos participant who was paroled against great odds.  He noted how he continually and aggressively resisted the Gospel for decades.  Bibles brought in by new cell mates were thrown out of the cell or ripped to shreds and then thrown out of the cell.  But eventually he converted.  One lesson: Keep sowing seeds in people’s lives, but don’t cast pearls before swine.  Leave the results and timing to God.
  • I loved a quote passed along by one of the guys at my table (he was quoting Oswald Chambers, but I can’t find the original).  It was something like, “If you aren’t about your Father’s business where you are, what makes you think you’ll be about it where you will be?”  In other words, don’t tell yourself that when such-and-such happens you’ll be more generous, helpful, etc. if you aren’t doing those things now.  That fit in well with the talk I gave and with the general theme of the weekend to point them to have their own Christian community right where they are.
  • A prisoner at the closing ceremony told everyone to go home and tell and show your kids that you love them.  A few of the inmates came from solid homes, but most did not.
  • Another interesting moment at the closing ceremony: One guy asked how many people were raised going to church.  Lots of hands went up.  Then he asked how many were taught the Bible at home.  Most hands went down.  See Ephesians 6:4, Christians!  We need to teach this to our kids ourselves.  What they learn at church is just a bonus.
  • One guy noted how he thought love was just something in books and movies, and that he never experienced it until this weekend.
  • The birthday cakes and cards brought a lot of tears, especially by some who never had them growing up.
  • Our leader, Mark, did a great job of keeping us focused.  He noted that if all the offenders left the weekend just thinking about how nice we were to come then we would have failed.  The purpose is to get them plugged into their own Christian community and accountability relationships.
  • We took in literally thousands of cookies and other good food, which they really enjoy, but surprisingly they talked the most about the pleasures of having fresh fruit.
  • The forgiveness exercises were powerful, as usual.  There were many public apologies for wrongs done.  One offender noted how harboring unforgiveness makes it hard to pray.
  • There were lots of opportunities to coach and encourage them on what to do when they get out: Finding a good church, ensuring they have people to hold them accountable, etc.
  • Several ex-offenders were on the volunteer team as well.  It was great to have them and a tremendous example to those on the inside that success is possible.
  • I eat more cookies on one of these weekends than I do the rest of the year.  Seriously.
  • I never get tired of seeing lives transformed by the Holy Spirit.

I saw this song on my younger daughter’s Facebook page one day and thought it fit in well with the ministry theme of Kairos: Listen-listen-love-love.  Love people for who they are, not for what they have done or what they’ll become.

Here’s a previous post with more background information

Matthew 25:36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

This is a follow up to the Off to prison (ministry) post.  The Kairos prison ministry weekend went really well as did the follow up session the next Saturday.  We were at the Carol Vance unit in Sugarland, Texas, a medium security unit (though it seemed more like medium-light to me).

I am looking forward to the monthly follow-ups.  We’ll go see the prisoners for a couple hours one Saturday morning per month.  If we just met them once on the Kairos weekend that would have been good, but it is more meaningful if we can visit them repeatedly.  I’ll probably do one of the weekend events each year from now on.

There are so many things to like about this ministry. It is an opportunity to share the Gospel with those who aren’t believers (No one is pressured, though.  One guy at my table was a Muslim but he really soaked it all in and was very appreciative).  [2009 update: The Muslim gentleman ended up converting to Christianity!] Many of the participants are already Christians, so it is a great opportunity to fellowship with and encourage them.  And it is just an all-around way to share God’s love with people who are often depressed and forgotten.  It is educational in laying out Christian principles for living.  It helps teach them how to love and forgive others (and themselves).

But even without all that, the proven reduction in recidivism would make the preparation, the weekend and the follow up worthwhile.  Based on statistics from larger sample sizes, 33 of the 42 participants would have returned to jail within 5 years if they hadn’t gone through this program.  Going through the weekend program cuts that down to 15, and it goes down to 5 if they all participate in the follow up program.

So roughly speaking, that will be 18-28 less people returning to prison once they are released.  That’s a tremendous cost savings, but more importantly it means a lot less victims and a lot less pain and heartache for the prisoners and their loved ones.

Kairos doesn’t advocate for either the prisoners or for the criminal justice system. A transaction took place between the state and the prisoner. The prisoners did the crime and are now doing the time, so we don’t get in the middle of that. We just reach out with Christian love to all and with Christian fellowship to believers.  We try to show that they aren’t forgotten.

There is also a Kairos Outside program for the moms / wives / girlfriends of the prisoners.  It is completely free, including transportation to the event and childcare if necessary.

Random highlights and observations

I never get tired of watching lives transformed by Christ.

All of the presenters prayed with an inmate who had already gone through the Kairos program.  Before my talk I got to pray with a man who was 14 yrs. into a 17 yr. sentence.  We had lots of talks at the tables, but I appreciated the one-on-one discussions the most.

Lots of time was spent educating them on how to conduct their own “Prayer and Share” accountability groups.  These are vital to keep them supporting one another and growing in their faith.

Several of the outside volunteers were was inmates themselves.  Their presence and message lets the inmates know that change is possible.

Watching otherwise reticent prisoners really light up during the songs.  I was playing guitar so I got to see their reactions.

You could really see the pain and regret in eyes of many of them.  They are haunted by not being there for their families.

There are a lot of good programs available for them to improve their chances of success when released – mentoring, Bible studies, Toastmasters, and more.

We make it a point not to ask why they are there or how long until they will get out (if ever), but they sometimes offer it up during discussions.  Most of the infractions were from violence and/or drugs.

Each prisoner got a bag of hand-written letters from everyone on the team plus others.  Some prisoners got more mail in one sitting than they had received their whole lives. We left the room when they got the letters. The leader said the reactions were strong – ranging from stunned to weeping to being like kids at Christmas. It made writing the 42 personalized letters worthwhile.  One older gentleman was still talking about the letters the next Saturday.  He was going to keep them forever and re-read them.

There was a rather large former gang member who, in his words, laid down his flag and accepted Christ over the weekend. He got choked up at the closing ceremony and was joined by one brother, then two, then three, then about fifteen surrounding him and supporting him. Then he came over to his ~80 yr. old table leader who was standing in front of me. The former gang member gave him a big hug and affectionately said, “Hey Old School.”

Some guys commented on how they not only felt the love but learned how to love and how to forgive. During testimonials and discussions we learned that many didn’t have dads or had dads who were unloving and lousy role models. The other prisoners were their family.

One of the key exercises involved “forgiveness cookies.”  Volunteers make many thousands of homemade cookies for the weekend.  There is a continuous pile at each table, and the prisoners get a bag every night to take back with them.  On Saturday night they are given an extra bag and told to give them to the person they need to forgive the most.  The next morning we heard many touching stories of what people did with the cookies.

Many participants were already Christians and knew the Bible better than we did.

Other than our presentations, we didn’t have to say much.  We mainly got them talking.  The theme for the team is listen-listen-love-love.

Most of the serving (food and otherwise) was done by prisoners who had already participated in a Kairos weekend.  I was impressed with their servants’ hearts and how much they cared for their fellow prisoners.

Most things in prisons are viewed from the perspective of “inside” or “outside” the prison walls. But as I pointed out to several prisoners, God looks at the world as those who are inside his kingdom vs. those who are outside.   From an eternal perspective there are just people with forgiveness of sins and eternal life and people without them.

Doing something new typically takes you outside your comfort zone. Being in the prison wasn’t that stressful for me, though. What was more challenging was just meeting and interacting with dozens of new people from morning until evening (I’m somewhat of an introvert, so I find that exhausting).

It was a joy to serve with friends from church and to make some new friends from other churches.  My good friend Steve did a fantastic job leading the weekend.  We were thoroughly prepared and everything went smoothly.

As Steve would say, “It’s official: I have now hugged more men in my life than women.”

Carol Vance Prison visitation tip: Don’t wear all white unless you want to stay permanently.

If you have any interest in this or other prison ministry programs, I encourage you to check them out.  They may not be for everyone, but you won’t know for sure until you try.  There are roles inside and outside the prison.  God is doing great things through this powerful ministry.

More links

Kairos of Texas

Prison Fellowship

To find ministries in your area, check out the links below (or just call your local prison – they may have other ministries going as well)

Kairos locations in Texas

Kairos national ministry map

Prison Fellowship Field Offices