"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

David Sanders: A Fresh, Conservative Thinker

My wife and I have the privilege of calling David and Becca Sanders from Little Rock, Arkansas our friends. David is a political columnist with a wide readership in dozens of major newspapers. Of all the newspaper columnists I intentionally read, David Sanders and Cal Thomas are two of my favorites. The Wall Street Journal will once again be carrying a 1,000 word article by David in this Friday's editorial section. Politicians seek his advice, people seek his opinion, political parties seek his favor. David is the featured host of a popular political television show in Arkansas, and on the few occasions when Rachelle and I have had the opportunity of sharing meals with David and Becca Sanders in restaurants within Arkansas, he is almost universally recognized by the patrons. David is young, conservative, articulate, highly connected, and quite influential.

He is also an evangelical Christian.

The Associated Baptist Press is now running regular opinion pieces by David Sanders. Two things that can be said about David's writing for ABP. First, the fact that he is writing for Associated Baptist Press means I will be reading ABP on a more regular basis. Second, the fact that ABP has asked a man the stature of David, conservative in his faith and cooperative in his nature, is an indication that ideological lines may be blurring just a tad for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ and cooperation among all Baptists.

My prayers is that David Sanders and his wife Becca are representing the new, fresh faces of Southern Baptist leadership (they are members of FBC Little Rock) and that Baptists in general will be seen by the world at large as the Sanders represent us -intelligent, Bible-believing, and cooperative with all Christians.

In His Grace,


Wade

89 comments:

Robert said...

Wade:
I do not think he represents the new face of Southern Baptist leadership.

That would be people like David Platt, Jeddidiah Coppenger,Timmy Brister,Ed Stetzer, Al Mohler, Danny Akin.

You live in your own world Wade!

Love you though Wade.

Rob

Bryan Riley said...

Excellent tribute. David is an amazing friend and individual. I pray he doesn't care in the least whether he represents Southern Baptist leadership - I pray he desires to represent godly, radical, Jesus loving leadership.

And, Wade, keep living in the Kingdom. Tis the only real world.

Joe Blackmon said...

The fact that ABP would run his stuff means he can't be too conservative. In fact, before I read any of his stuff I'm going to guess that he's mainstream. Of course, since mainstreamers call themselves conservative now and call true conservatives fundy's then he would be billed by some as a conservative.

Joe Blackmon said...

"Not everyone has a theology degree. But justifying particular governmental policies by using Christ’s words that were intended for his followers and the church is a hermeneutical error and ignores the Scriptures’ jurisdictional instructions for the family, church and government."

Translation: We have no business trying to "war against the culture" and legislate against moral issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

Oh yeah, he's real conservative.

Stephen said...

Joe wrote "Translation: We have no business trying to "war against the culture" and legislate against moral issues such as abortion and gay marriage."

I see just the opposite. Instead of the church (as an organization)getting mixed up in partisan politics and becoming identified with the Republican Party, perhaps a better way would be for Christians to carry out the commandments of Jesus and also be educated voters. It is possible to effect laws and policies without being part of a large political lobbying organization such as the Christian Coalition or the SBC.

I believe we (Christians) should be politically independent so we can rely on God's instruction in political matters instead of compromising the gospel by association with a political party. In case you have not noticed, the lost world sees the SBC as a large subcommittee of the Republican Party. I prefer to pray for guidance rather than have Richard Land speak for me.

Joe Blackmon said...

I don't think being a Christian means always voting Republican. I think being a Christian means always voting anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and pro-free speech (or anti-hate crimes legislation). However, some poor mainstream christians are so weary from the awful, mean-spirited culture wars that they've decided it's easier to live in peace with the world. In their mind, we should stop trying to legislate against things the Bible says is wrong since the world can't be expected to live that way--it's too repressive.

In contrast, Christians stand on their convictions. It has nothing to do with the supporting the Republican party. It has everything to do with voting for candidates, 'Pubs or Dems, who are anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe Blackmon,

I would propose that David Sanders is the kind of conservative Jesus was, which is the best kind of conservative to be - liberal in love, liberal in grace, liberal in relationships but an unashamed proclaimer of truth.

Wade Burleson said...

Robert,

The world I live in is the same world in which you live.

The question is whom would others rather be around?

Jesus was called a "friend" to sinners, and if a person today can be a friend to sinners while still sharing the truth, it would seem to me to be the best possible way to live in the only world there is.

Joe Blackmon said...

...an unashamed proclaimer of truth...

Which truth is that? That abortion is ok and should continue to be legal or that homosexuals should be permitted to marry?

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

I think there may be actually a blip in your brain that causes eeg waves to repeat their firings in certain neurons that produce only images of homosexual sins and abortive procedures.

To answer your redudant question:

David Sanders is absolutely pro-life and pro-marriage.

John Fariss said...

Joe,

You wrote, "I think being a Christian means always voting anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and pro-free speech (or anti-hate crimes legislation)."

Did you mean this to be an exhaustive summary of the things Christians should vote for/against? (And I am simply asking, I am not trying to read anything into your words.) But the reason I ask is because as I read my Bible, we are also to be good stewards of the Earth we inhabit (Genesis 1:28, the
Message, "God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth."); we are also to seek justice (Micah 6:8, NIV, "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."; I would even suggest that extending care, both spiritual and physical, and including medical treatment/medical insurance for the uninsured and poor should be part of our Christian mandate (Matthew 25:40 NIV, "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me'.")

If a Christian is willing to extend the criteria for his/her vote to such issues as these, it puts somewhat a different face on politics--because then we see that while the Democrats fail on some, the Republicans fail on others, and how then we should vote becomes a bit more complicated. I think it also addresses, at least somewhat, the "culture wars" you mention. It also ceases to be issues for what you disparaging call "poor mainstream christians" and becomes something for "all" Christians.

What is your take on this?

John

Joe Blackmon said...

I think there may be actually a blip in your brain that causes eeg waves to repeat their firings in certain neurons that produce only images of homosexual sins and abortive procedures.

Actually, I used to hear indistinct voices in my head tell me this all the time. But that stopped after I got on the medication. I can hear the voices much clearer now.

David Sanders is absolutely pro-life and pro-marriage.

He just doesn't think those issues should be matters of law because, in his own words,:

justifying particular governmental policies by using Christ’s words that were intended for his followers and the church is a hermeneutical error

Like I said, mainstreamer.

Former FBC Insider said...

Wade Burleson said...
Jesus was called a "friend" to sinners, and if a person today can be a friend to sinners while still sharing the truth, it would seem to me to be the best possible way to live in the only world there is.

Tue Jul 14, 10:09:00 AM 2009

Now THAT my friend is real Jesus, and the ONLY Jesus this world will ever see is US. You share my core exactly! Thank you for expressing it so eloquently Wade.

Tom Parker said...

Joe B:

Why the constant attacks on people and name calling? Do you realize if you continue doing this no one is going to listen to the messages you are trying to convey to others, we will simply skip the comments by Joe Blackmon.

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom P,

Actually, I will concur that you are right.

Stephen said...

John Fariss wrote:

"I would even suggest that extending care, both spiritual and physical, and including medical treatment/medical insurance for the uninsured and poor should be part of our Christian mandate (Matthew 25:40 NIV, "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me'.")"

Does this categorize as unChristian those of us who seek to do these kinds of things without the help of government? Why would Christians want to promote Christ-like actions via government policy? I contend that government is not for promoting or carrying out any Christian agenda. For example, I was (and am) opposed to laws that prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays. Why should the government support and force our Christian Sabbath on other citizens?

The other issues (homosexual marriage and abortion) are societal issues that transcend Christian beliefs. We as Christians should vote as we are led by the Spirit as to what is best for our society.

I know it may be a fine-line and a slippery-slope.

Stephen said...

Joe: You are right - being a Christian does not always mean voting Republican. One would not believe that given the actions and words of the SBC leadership.

becca said...

I should have known better than to read the comments :)
No one knows David better than I and I can assure you, they don't come any more conservative.
Nice to assume otherwise simply b/c he is printed in the ABP.

becca said...

argh, Joe, you do not know my husband in the slightest, so please do not assume:

David Sanders is absolutely pro-life and pro-marriage.
He just doesn't think those issues should be matters of law because, in his own words,:

You need to do a search on the plethora of columns he has written. And then you can return and delete your comments.

Thy Peace said...

Becca, I was not sure if David Sanders was your husband. But your name kept ringing in my head as I read Pastor Wade's post mention the name Becca ... and I was wondering could this be the same Becca as I read your previous comments on this blog. Also I read your blog occasionally. You have a nice family and interesting articles.

John Fariss said...

Stephen,

Interesting approach on my comment. At least in part though, you have taken it farther than I intended (which perhaps was an issue of my not being sufficiently precise in my words). But you asked, "Does this categorize as unChristian those of us who seek to do these kinds of things without the help of government?"

My simple answer is "Of course not!" In fact, at the previous church I served, we did exactly that, through a medical clinic organized by the church and served entirely by Christian volunteers, including doctors and nurses. Interestingly enough, a local government agency (zoning commission) tried to shut us down, claiming that not only was our area not zoned for any medical office, but that even our church--which predated the community--was in an area not zoned for anything other than light industry and single family dwellings. (When he triumphantly brought his recommendations to the Zoning Commission, they told him to forget it, mind his own business, and that the church was doing a lot more than he was to help the community.)

On the other hand, I would not automatically exclude government action from this realm. Who other than the government has the wherewithall to address such a problem? That it is a Christian mandate (IMHO) does not mean that it is Christians manipulating the government "to promote Christ-like actions via government policy. In fact, it is one of those instances in which the Church and the state have virtually the same mandate, though from diffferent sources; the church has it from Jesus, especially (though not restricted to) passages such as Matthew 25, and the state has it at least from the preamble to the Constitution ("promote the general Welfare") and possible from other documents as well. That the government's mandate comes from a different source does not mean we should fail to support any initative which matches one of our own.

At least that is my take on it. If even a quarter of the churches in the SBC--let alone other denominations--were to do what Penelope BC in Hickory NC, and apparently the church you served as well, took Matthew 25 seriously and took it beyond a mere notion into action, then we wouldn't be having this conversation on health care for the poor, uninsured, and under-employed. The Church would be doing it, would be acting as the arms and legs of Jesus. Interestingly, there is no welfare or public health-care in the Islamic world, as I understand it. The Mosque is responsible for that; and yet, the Church has allowed itself to be marginalized to "spiritual issues" only in most of the West. May God forgive us--and motivate us to change that!

John

Doug Hibbard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doug Hibbard said...

On the overall discussion of Christian work and government involvement--

Many of the things government now does should be being done by churches, and much of it historically was done. I think the situation we now see developed from the religious pluralism of America. Which is the better way to feed the poor? For the Baptists to feed some and the Methodists some or to have the government feed all? Same with education.

Now, I think the government has become an ever-expanding monster at this point, and I'm not sure that individual churches have the resources to re-acquire those social roles. But that doesn't mean we should not try. It means we should be involved with each other and teaming together to do what we can.

How that fleshes out is more of the subject of, at the very least, other posts. More likely it is something that should be on another blog, rather than hijacking Wade's website.

Doug

believer333 said...

"Instead of the church (as an organization)getting mixed up in partisan politics and becoming identified with the Republican Party, perhaps a better way would be for Christians to carry out the commandments of Jesus and also be educated voters. It is possible to effect laws and policies without being part of a large political lobbying organization such as the Christian Coalition or the SBC. "

Good word Stephen. We should not become embroiled in politics. But we should indeed influence them.

believer333 said...

"In fact, at the previous church I served, we did exactly that, through a medical clinic organized by the church and served entirely by Christian volunteers, including doctors and nurses."

The fact that your church did that is commendable.... and highly unusual. It is not something all churches would be willing to do (life is busy) nor be capable of doing. If the world had to depend upon the samaritan services of the church for health care of the elderly and destitute, we'd probably have an epidemic of some sorts. The churches in general just don't do that sort of stuff.

Sad but true. About the best most can do is have a free meal for the homeless once a week.

Robert said...

Wade:
you said....
The question is whom would others rather be around?

After your motion on Bart Barber at the convention I conclude that most would rather be around someone else!
I think the word is smackdown.

Actually the issue is not whom would other rather be around but what brings more Glory to God.

Becca:
Your husband might be a solid conservative, evangelical guy but the ABP has a CBF non-evangelical agenda.
Like I heard Jerry Sutton say.....: If you sleep with the dogs dont be surprised if you get fleas.

Rob

becca said...

Thy: Thank you :)
Doug: I'm an opinionated woman and don't shy away from that. David doesn't need me to defend him. My speaking out is no different than anyone else speaking out. I speak out on many things, not just things pertaining to my spouse.

becca said...

oh... and Robert...
maybe David hopes to reach an audience who would otherwise never read his articles. I'd hardly call that sleeping with dogs.
Statements like that just show how judgemental we can be.

Robert said...

Becca:
All one has to do is read Mr Allens article in the same issue of ABP and realize the worldview of the ABP.
Please ....who was being judgemental.

BTW---Christ does call us to make judgements!

Rob

Robert said...

Wade:
I do not mind this fact and am not encouraging you to remove it but this post is all political.
just saying......

Rob

Christiane said...

Hi STEPHEN,

It's me, L's

You wrote, "In case you have not noticed, the lost world sees the SBC as a large subcommittee of the Republican Party."

Oh, Stephen, you are so right. Unfortunately people my age (very ancient) don't even recognize the Republican Party anymore.

Your comment is true. Here is one kind of reason the 'lost world' is suspect of the 'Christianity' of Evangelicals. It shows up dramatically in this quote from David Gushee:

"Everyone seems to be talking about the poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

They found that 62 percent of white evangelical Protestants believe “the use of torture against suspected terrorists to gain important information” to be often or sometimes justified. Only 16 percent of this group — a community that by self-definition is very, very serious about following Jesus— believes torture is never justified. That number was lower than any other group polled."


The alignment of 'evangelical Christians' with politics has been detrimental to both. I think it is very much misguided.

It's kind of like wearing that T-shirt that says 'I'd rather be water-boarding': most Americans see this as an in-your-face slap at the best that is in Christianity and in our country.
It is hard to see this and know that 'the world' is watching and judging. Their 'verdict'?
It's unspeakable.

Love, L's

becca said...

Robert:
not arguing the worldview of the ABP, I don't pretend to know seeing as it is not anything I read.
Just stating that David being printed in the magazine does not make him liberal.
And no, I do not think Christ called us to make judgements of people based on where something they wrote was printed.
David is printed in many papers, each one with a different 'worldview' but I'm sure none are equal to his.

Wade Burleson said...

Robert,

Like most things on which we disagree we disagree on the nature of this post. This post is a recommendation to read a friend's articulate writings. That's all.

Blessings,

Wade

Jon L. Estes said...

"If you sleep with the dogs dont be surprised if you get fleas."

Let me take this idea and walk it though to a simple conclusion.

Wade wrote a book which is published by the CBF publishing house. Wade is guilty of sleeping with the dogs (CBF type). Conservative or not, he will get fleas.

Robert hangs out on wades blog and comments often. Robert is guilty with sleeping with the dogs (Wade's type), therefor Robert is going to get fleas.

What is your course of action to prevent such a thing Robert? What do recommend to others who sleep with dogs, not of your liking? Do you follow your own advice?

Robert said...

No Wade:
Even in your title you use the term Conservative in a political sense.
Even if that wasnt the case.....most posters have understood it that way.

See Christianes diatribe against evangelicals 3:39.

or consider this quote of you.
"My prayers is that David Sanders and his wife Becca are representing the new, fresh faces of Southern Baptist leadership (they are members of FBC Little Rock) and that Baptists in general will be seen by the world at large as the Sanders represent us -intelligent, Bible-believing, and cooperative with all Christians."
That is statement of political will....not a theological observance.

Rob

Wade Burleson said...

Sorry, Robert.

We disagree. I used conservative in the theological sense, not political.

Blessings,

Wade

Joe Blackmon said...

I used conservative in the theological sense, not political.

From the above blog post:
David is a political, columnist

Politicians seek his advice, people seek his opinion, political parties seek his favor. David is the featured host of a popular political television show in Arkansas


Yep, how could anyone have gotten the idea that Wade was using conservative in the political sense. The post is so obviously theological. Robert, you're just nitpicking here.

Robert said...

John Estes:
My real point is that David Sanders relationship with ABP is because he is a Baptist! Also that he is close enough to what they believe so he is given a platform.
An example .....most Evangelicals believe that Abortion should be outlawed(as do R Catholics kudos to you L's)yet Becca stated David does not believe the pro-life position should be codified in law.
Would Al Mohler be given a page on ABP.
Doubt it and also doubt he would want it.

Lastly I watch Wade from outside the kennel.....stick my electric prode into
"the dogs" especially in to the ones with "Shack" bone. After I am done I wash off with flea powder from Tim Challies, Al Mohler, Denny Burk, Justin Taylor, Timmy Brister, Ligon Duncan

Rob

Christiane said...

Hi ROBERT,

It's me, L's

You wrote this:

"See Christiane's diatribe against evangelicals 3:39."

Robert, I am not IN AGREEMENT with the lost world's unspeakable verdict, but I can understand how they got the 'ammunition' to support that verdict.

I have friends who are evangelicals. And I have contributed a lot of money to support the missions of a Presbyterian evangelical teacher friend as well as two of the sons of a Baptist teacher friend.
No. I do not agree with the 'verdict' but I do understand how it is that political alliances can be 'unholy', when politicos use people of faith and manipulate their votes. I think it is tragic. But that is my own opinion, Robert.

Christianity transcends politics.
If we are 'influenced' to engage in the political scene in pursuit of an America that supports human dignity, then let it be CONSISTENT and not just a 'one' or 'two' issue verbal statement. People are looking to see the commitment of Christians and are examining for integrity and 'does the walk match the talk'. Inconsistencies are quickly judged as 'hypocrisy', I'm afraid.
Unfair? Many times, yes. Understandable. Sometimes, yes. But there it is. There is a difference between positively and energetically bringing Christ into a hurting world;
and 'mouthing' against the darkness.
A very big difference.
I think we, as Christians, will be called on that difference everytime we lapse into negativity.

Love you dearly, L's

Robert said...

Becca:
I didnt realize your husband was a theological columnist.
May I read his editorials in the religion
section of the papers?

Things that make you go hummmmmmmmm!

Rob

John Fariss said...

I don't like fleas. When my wife and I were rebuilding/restoring my grandparent's house 25-30 years ago, an old dog got under it and apparently the dog's fleas laid eggs under there. If I put a foot down in the sandy ground, I could literally hear them coming as a low-key buzz, then I'd see them as a blur of motion coming up my boot--at which time, I'd pull out my can of Raid and spray away. We had to call an exterminator to get rid of them.

But as much as I hate fleas, couldn't you say that Jesus encouraged us to put our feet in flea-infested territory? Really, there are only two choices: we can stay safe in out flea-proof church-buildings; or we an get out there in the real world, among real people, some of whom are going to have fleas of one sort or another, and some of which are going to jump on us. I guess the Pharisee who Jesus spoke about avoided the fleas of the tax collector (Luke 18: 10-13, "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner'.") But even at that, he managed to collect a few anyway. Some might even say more.

John

becca said...

Robert-
Where did I say this:
An example .....most Evangelicals believe that Abortion should be outlawed(as do R Catholics kudos to you L's)yet Becca stated David does not believe the pro-life position should be codified in law.

I was quoting YOU in my comment. I was NOT stating HIS beliefs. Prior to the quote I said "please do not assume" followed by a quote from your comment.

Again, you need to read his columns for you have NO CLUE what he believes.

THAT is what I said.

becca said...

Robert, what does his writing in the theological section or editorial section have to do with ANYTHING that I've said?
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

John Fariss said...

Joe,

I'd still like to hear your reaction to my question of 10:33 AM. In case you missed it, I asked whether you think that voting anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and pro-free speech (or anti-hate crimes legislation) is
an exhaustive summary of the criteria Christians should use in making decisions in the polling booth.

John

Thy Peace said...

I honestly believe SBC is the one that is deeply infected with fleas. Whereas ABP News prominently reviewed and placed Christa Brown's book This Little Light, on their main page for more than 10 days. Meanwhile all the pastors and staff in SBC are itching from their own fleas of sexual abusers hiding withing their own clothing.

Maybe they need to disinfect themselves first. Before they attempt to rid the evils of the world.

Christiane said...

Hi JOHN FARISS,

It's me, L's

You wrote this: "But as much as I hate fleas, couldn't you say that Jesus encouraged us to put our feet in flea-infested territory? Really, there are only two choices: we can stay safe in out flea-proof church-buildings; or we an get out there in the real world, among real people, some of whom are going to have fleas of one sort or another, and some of which are going to jump on us."

I had to laugh. I was trained by the nuns to serve in difficult situations, and I volunteered to work in the inner city. My students didn't have fleas, but sometimes they had scabies, and lice. I never got the scabies, thank God, but I always hugged my children and yes, I went once a week to the school nurse to be checked for lice AFTER I contracted a case my fifth year of teaching! (Imagine: Waist-length blond/gray hair with LICE !!!!) Oy.

So much of Christianity is simply being WITH the ones who need Him most: fleas, lice and all.
So much of our faith is lived out when we pray God to have mercy on all of us 'together'. In this way, Christ begins to take away that pride in us that separated us from Him AND from them..
And then we can do some real good in this world for His Sake. Love, L's

Wade Burleson said...

Joe Blackmon and Robert,

When I use the word "political" I use it in the sense of Southern Baptist politics. I have never written about national Republican or Democratic politics. That is neither my forte or my interest. It happens to have been David Sanders occupation on Mike Huckabee's staff in Arkansas, etc . . .

So, yes, Joe, I speak of David's "political" background - with no apology.

My promise was not to write about SBC politics, not national politics, and I stand by my promise as well as my disagreement with the two of you.

The post remains.

Blessings,

Wade

Robert said...

Becca:
Iwas quoting what you said 12:26

"David Sanders is absolutely pro-life and pro-marriage.
He just doesn't think those issues should be matters of law "

The theological column was just my trying to point out Wades silly statement about this not being a political.
See also Joe Blackmon at 4:25


Rob

Robert said...

oh my lands!

Robert said...

Wade you would make a good politician!

Wade Burleson said...

Robert, this is what I wrote at the end of the SBC Convention on my blog one month ago:

For reasons that are not of my making (at least in my opinion), I have been involved in the politics of the SBC for the past three years.

It is now time for me to step aside.

For the next year I will be taking a sabbatical from any SBC political discussions on this blog. I will continue to write posts, but they will concentrate on theology, church work and those things that are positive about all Southern Baptists, including those who I consider to be my Baptist Identity friends.


Robert, contrary to what you may think, I wouldn't make a good politician -

I simply do a good job of pointing out the dangers and harms done by those who try to add to the written word.

Grin,

Wade

Wanda said...

Thy Peace said:
"Meanwhile all the pastors and staff in SBC are itching from their own fleas of sexual abusers hiding withing their own clothing.

Maybe they need to disinfect themselves first. Before they attempt to rid the evils of the world."

AMEN and AMEN!!!

If we're gonna use the flea metaphor, the SBC is infested!

Christa Brown is doing a fantastic job shining God's light into dark places where sexual predators like to hide.

becca said...

Rob, I'm trying really hard to refrain from asking if you are running on all four cylinders. I was quoting. I thought you were the one who said that, but it was Joe. Nonetheless, it was a quote. It was not MY thought.
Can I say AGAIN to search his articles and read them before deciding what he believes? If you don't want to read them, that's fine (there are a LOT) but don't go saying he is something he isn't if you aren't going to take the time to find out.

Christiane said...

Hi BECCA,

It's me, L's

You were writing about evangelicals and RC's wanting abortion to be outlawed. And yes, I am a Catholic of the Roman rite.

I hate everything about abortion.
But I don't believe that making it illegal will end it. I'm pretty sure it won't. Long ago, some college friends sought abortions illegally and one died in the Caribbean, the result of a butchery, her mother said.
I remember that. I wished I didn't remember.

What will change the number of abortions in our country? It will happen, but it is going to take a whole lot more than passing a law.
I think the more we start caring for our 'born' children, the more we will see abortions go down in number. I see this as an direct corelation: a better life for all of our children in a more welcoming country will encourage young women to want to have their babies. Right now, we have a lot of children who desperately need help. (You can see the RC social justice coming out in me: I wasn't trained by nuns for nothing. :)

I'm glad Wade wrote about your husband who seems to have rejected a 'superficiality' in his Christian walk for something better. Once that begins, there is no turning back, you know.

Love, L's

Joe Blackmon said...

I think the more we start caring for our 'born' children, the more we will see abortions go down in number.

Typically, I've heard this line of argumentation come from folks who would be identified as Mainstream Baptists (google for their website) or folks who advocate what's often called a social gospel. The reasoning goes something like this--if we put more into government welfare programs the number of abotions will go down.

Now, that may not be what you meant but I have heard other people say the same thing. The goal should not be to throw tax dollars at people, some of whom don't want to work. Obviously, if you know someone who is hurting financially, you should help them. However, that should not be the role of government.

I believe the goal should be to make abortion illegal because it is wrong--the Bible is pretty clear on that. It is not incumbent upon Christians to see to it that all poor people are elevated to upper middle class status so that abortion isn't necessary. Making abotion illegal would result in exponentially fewer abortions. Those who chose to have them would have to live with the consequences of that choice.

becca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

Arkansas Educational Television Network [AKTN] > Unconventional Wisdom Home.

WSJ > WSJ Opinion Archives > Mike Huckabee's New Deal - More God, more government.

becca said...

sorry a word I left in made something not make sense so I copied and pasted, removing that word...

L's-
While I agree that a change in law won't end abortion, I don't believe that means it shouldn't still happen. It is against the law to murder, yet murders happen daily.
I want to see an end to abortion, but will take a reduction if that's what I can get. I want to see any law passed that will reduce the number of abortions.
Ultimately, I'd like to see Roe v. Wade overturned, but I will support baby steps along the way.
That women will make bad choices nonetheless and seek out a way to kill a baby elsewhere does not make me feel that the life of the unborn shouldn't be protected. That mother had a choice in what happened to her. The baby did not.

Thy Peace said...

Arkansas News > Columnist | David J. Sanders.

David J. Sanders said...

Hey Wade, thanks for the post. I realize that some of your readers don't know me and that my column, which was intended to spark a conversation, might be suspect based on where it appeared -- I understand that.

But following graf seems to have puzzled a couple readers:

"Not everyone has a theology degree. But justifying particular governmental policies by using Christ’s words that were intended for his followers and the church is a hermeneutical error and ignores the Scriptures’ jurisdictional instructions for the family, church and government."

If they read the graf that preceded it, I think they'll realize that I'm warning against using scriptural justifications for left-leaning policies such as (sorry to quote myself) "environment, immigration and foreign trade."

The last time I wrote for the Wall Street Journal, I explored this topic within the context of the Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110011082

As my dear wife pointed out, I am pro-life and pro-marriage. In addition, I am pro-growth and pro-freedom.

Christiane said...

Hi JOE BLACKMON,

How are you? How is your eye?

Yes, I believe in an energetically, personally engaged, actively, joyfully, committed, and no-holds-barred social gospel.

I mean, don't just 'dust off the Bible' and read it: bring the Gospel to LIFE: take it to the ones who needs it. Is there any other way? I don't think so, Joe.

Is it all about politics? No.
Not anymore than abortion is all about politics. You can't 'legislate' people's hearts.
God does that. Think about it.

And money? How much did it cost Mother Theresa to go out a lift a sick person herself and carry the person in doors and bathe the opened sores infested with bugs, and bandage the wounds, and kiss the person on the forehead? Not much. Some time. Some energy. It's not about money, Joe. The trick for Mother Theresa was to do this while the person was cursing at her and spitting at her. No, you can't pay money for something like that. It's priceless.

What is needed is so very much more than money. Don't you agree?

Love you dearly, L's

P.S. New grand-dog! My SON rescued a puppy and he is flying home from Californina to visit in two weeks with his girl-friend and the puppy!!!!!
(I am thrilled!) Love, L's

Christiane said...

Hi BECCA,

Thanks for writing back.


I don't know if that college friend 'thought and made a decision' in the way we think people do this. I think she panicked. It was the consensus of those of us who knew her, that this is what had happened. Did she know she had alternatives?
Or did she feel trapped? Would she have sought forgiveness and reconcilation with God had she lived? I think she would have.

Becca, you are young, but we older women all knew someone who made the wrong 'decision'. I think that, if I could not remember so much, then I could share in your optimism about the wisdom of revoking Roe v. Wade.
God bless you, sweet child.
Love, L's

Robert said...

Becca:
Fair enough ......I now see Joe Blackmon's whole quote.
Normally if you are quoting someone you use quotes!
Kevin gave me a lecture on this point previously and I believe I have corrected this error.
So I think it is fair to argue that if I was not running on all cylinders it was probably because you put non quote sugar in my tank.

Rob

Lydia said...

From the ABP article:

"The downside wasn’t that I became any less conservative, but that I became less Christian. Perhaps it was a personal weakness or a lack of grounding in my faith, but my Christianity during that time became more of an outward expression of political involvement and less about the inner transformation of a life that comes only through a relationship with Christ and self-reflection, study of the Scriptures and prayer. "

I can relate to this. After all the years working on the issues with the religous right, we now have Obama as my president, a pro abortion congress and pro homosexual president.

I woke up. The culture war does not work. And we do not see the model of the culture war with the early Christians in scripture. We see the Gospel and living out the Word.

Have I changed my view on any of my former positions? No. I still believe the same exact things I believed when I was at war with the culture.

Paula said...

And of course, culture is not a cause but a symptom. The cause is the human heart, and we're supposed to be focused on changing those one at a time.

But more importantly, we're supposed to be training them (all, not just some with mystical callings that no other spiritual gift has) to strive for the goal which is Christ-likeness. Gratitude should be our primary motivation, not "give to get" (which is not giving but investing), not "changing the world", and not building a kingdom.

The failure of Christendom to (1) focus on the gospel and (2) live the teachings and (3) pass them on is why the world is in such a mess, why Christianity is marginalized, and why all our castles are built on sand.

When will we learn?

One Salient Oversight said...

Thought I might come in and throw a spanner.

If something is sinful (ie Abortion) then should Christians agitate the government to make it illegal?

If so, then surely every sin against God should be made illegal. Not only should we make abortion illegal, but also adultery. Worshipping another God is also sinful, so maybe we should make non-Christian religions illegal? Not accepting Jesus as saviour is sin, so maybe we should make unbelief illegal, and throw non-Christians into jail.

Strangely enough, Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world. There's no guidelines in the NT instructing Christians to agitate the civil authorities into legislating against sinful activities.

Thy Peace said...

The only problem being, abortion once done, can not be undone. That is once life is taken, one cannot give back life. For other sins, at least some restitution, repentance can change the sinner and people who are hurt by the sin can be helped.

Elisabeth said...

I like to read the ABP. Does that make me less of a Southern Baptist?

I am sure that I have read some of David Sanders' stuff; now I will make sure to note his name!

Elisabeth said...

I just read A Christian and a Conservative, and my response is "Wow!" David sees things sooo much more clearly than a lot of people do! If Christianity gets reduced to just politics, then we really aren't following Christ, just a political party. And that waters down our faith to nothing.

I'm glad you posted this, Wade. And I see a bit of a parallel between you and David here. Because just as David realized that Christianity is more than "the religious right", you realized Christianity is more than SBC politics. So rather than going against what you wrote in your previous post about no longer posting political, as some have accused you of doing, this actually is strengthening it.

becca said...

Robert, I can understand your confusion the FIRST time you misunderstood the quote, but once I explained that I was quoting, that should have been it.
Ls, age has nothing to do with right and wrong. Whether college friend was really weighing what she was doing, she was still weighing it.
Abortion is not like adultery or non-christian religions. It is taking the life of another person. If we can make laws against murder, we can make laws against abortion.

becca said...

Elisabeth, I'm glad you got the point of his article.
(side note- you spell your name the way we were going to spell it had we had another girl)

Paula said...

I'll never understand a society that considers killing people before they're born a "right" but killing them after they're born a federal crime. And many who are pro-abortion are against the death penalty.

Religion or no, this is just plain lunacy.

becca said...

one thing age DOES have to do with... sometimes the older folk aren't aware of the science. I have a relative who is 60+ and were totally pro-choice and never paid any attention to any of the evidence that showed just how individual that baby was. She held fast to the belief that it is just tissue. Then national geographic had a special about the development of the baby in utero. That changed her mind.

becca said...

WAS
ugh

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Think. Laugh. Weep. Worship. [Emily Hunter McGowin] > I Do Not Need a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ.
Note: What follows is a little bit like a rant and a little bit like a prayer. I don't know what category it should fall into, really, but I thank my readers in advance for accepting my honesty without reproach. You may quibble with my quibbles, but know that the desperate heart behind the words is real.

Life has been tough recently. And, frankly, I haven't done life very well, either. While I think I've adjusted to motherhood pretty well, and I've managed not to make any major blunders with William so far, in every other way, I have struggled. If life is an ocean, then I've been dog-paddling inefficiently for weeks, occasionally dipping below the surface, only to pop up a few seconds later gasping and sputtering, and flailing for help. Unfortunately, there's not a rescue boat in sight
.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Christian Monist > How I Found the Church (Christian Society) Again.

Thanks to Molleth, for the above link.

Chris Ryan said...

Joe,

I firmly believe that the answer to abortion is not legislation but in making alternatives viable to those who may be afraid of the other options. And I also agree with you that the answer is not throwing tax dollars at it. Why? Because that makes the government the solution just like it is if we pass laws. Personally, I believe that Christ is the answer. Therefore, it is the church that must help make these alternatives seem viable (they are always viable, but it is harder for some people to see that than others).

of course, many churches don't want to put out the money and the time to do that.

But maybe we could cooperate to do so.

Then again, that isn't very fun(dy).

Thy Peace said...

To all Pastor Wade's blog readers:

You might all remember Emily, for she used to frequently comment on this blog. Please click on the above link of her blog, and please kindly leave an encouraging comment to her in need. God bless you and thanks for trying.

Christiane said...

Hi BECCA,

You are right. My brother is a pediatrician and he confirms that what is known today about life in the womb is much more focused and clear than it was 'long ago', when I was in college.

I knew that girl who died. I was much affected emotionally by the horror of what happened. We all were, who knew her.

Today, we are able to know more, and life is more 'identifiable' as 'life' within the womb.
But what about after birth? Why among so many in the Christian community, does the life of a born child get 'discounted' in their efforts to protect it and sustain it with proper care?
I have a child with Down Syndrome and many, many medical problems. He is in private care at Eastern Christian Children's Retreat in Wyckoff, NJ.
The cost of a resident's care there runs on average between six and seven thousand dollars a month. To me, it just as vital that all 'born' children be cared for with the same compassion we show for the most vulnerable of all: the unborn.

What troubles me is this:
that some who are so stridently in support of unborn life 'appear' to abandon their love for life once a child is born and the REAL difficulties must be faced by real parents in the real world.
For me, this 'inconsistency' is puzzling. My son is one of the 'lucky ones', with the best care to be found on the East Coast.
But, Becca, there are so many others who aren't cared for, it is heart-breaking. (this is hard for me to write about)
If a person is pro-life, then let them want the BEST for ALL children who are born, and yes, even for the ones who are very, very ill, and need the most serious 'round the clock' kind of nursing care. And it comes at a great price. I know this.
I want ALL the children like my son to receive the best care our country CAN offer them. But some strident Christian tax-payers turn off their compassion when they find out that, for these 'born' children, compassion results in 'too great a cost to the tax-payer'.
I cannot accept this inconsistency with respect. Not at all. I really need to see an expanded Christian commitment to life for all children, in order to accept that the concern for the unborn is really genuine, and not hypocritical or political.
Thank God for the Dutch Reformed Church who founded my son's Retreat.
They understand the 'rights of the unborn' AND 'the rights of the born'.
I am so very grateful to God for giving them this Gift of Discernment.

Love, L's

becca said...

Ls
I don't think that thinking it isn't the government's job to provide for all children means you don't have compassion. I do think churches should do more in this area. I know many churches aren't prepared to deal with special needs children... and that is wrong.
I think it'd be great if the SBC had a cooperative program that helped children with special needs. I'd be all for that. I just don't think it is the government's job.

Elisabeth said...

An inconsistency about abortion I see is single mothers, especially young single mothers, are often sidelined in the church, whereas women who have abortions and repent are more often fully accepted in the church.

My first child was born when I was 19 and unmarried; I experienced this sidelining first hand, and also saw how much more a friend who had an abortion and later repented and regretted the abortion was accepted than I was.

Christiane said...

Hi BECCA,

I remember 'trying' to teach six graders a required curriculum course in economics and government.
I asked this question:
Who is 'the Government'?
This question was written on the board and stayed up for months.
At the end of the civics half of the year, 'we' decided, after much discussion and study, this:

"The Government Is Us: The People "

I had forgotten that when I started to teach the course.
Kids have a way with words sometimes. :)

You can measure a nation's greatness in many ways. One of those ways is how it values its children. Our country has some work to do, I think.

Love, L's

Thy Peace said...

Thanks, L's.

Christiane said...

Dear THY PEACE,

I hope it helps. Love, L's

Joe Blackmon said...

I firmly believe that the answer to abortion is not legislation

Translation--You can't legislate morality.

Why do we not have slaves in this country anymore? The slave owners just decided to free them. They thought "Hey, you know what, this isn't right. It's just not fair. These folks, I mean, they're different in some ways than us but they're still people. They're as human as we are. We can't OWN another person. It's not right."

Nope. LAWS were passed that made it illegal to own another person. People who didn't agree with the laws had to DEAL WITH IT.

Gee, I guess you can legislate morality after all.

Stephen said...

L’s: Good point…..great message, although I personally have no problem with the actions of the Bush administration. I guess it depends on how one defines torture. I would hate to think that this disqualifies me from being thought of as a faithful Christian. The main message I got from the Gushee editorial was that Christians should not have supported the Bush administration. I simply see that as a left-wing version of Christian orthodoxy much in the same way the Religious Right attempts to define true Christianity. The message, in the context of Wade’s continual call for cooperation among those that disagree, is that we all have different political and theological views that should not prevent fellowship and association.

Paula said...

Funny, isn't it, how many parallels there are between slavery and women's rights.

But anyway, the truth is that ALL law comes from morality. Why should murder be illegal? Or theft, or animal cruelty, or anything else that some people find perfectly acceptable?

Of course it's obvious that anarchy is self-destructive, but who cares? Why should people not destroy themselves and others? In fact, this very annihilation of the human race is what the extreme "greens" want; they consider us as a life form unworthy of the purity of nature-- which, quite arbitrarily, they decided is "morally" superior. Even though it all came about from pure, undirected chance.

So without some kind of morality at some level, no matter how basic, there is no law.

Then the question becomes a simple matter of the will of the majority. We have seen from history, per the examples of slavery and women's rights, that if enough people think something is immoral they will change the law, and then the enforcement of that law can, in time, change the thinking as well as the behavior of the citizenry.

However, people can only be externally motivated for so long. That is why freedom and law have to be continually fought over.

Stephen said...

John Fariss: Good points about the shared mandate of Christians and government. I respectfully diagree about the government side of that. I guess it depends what we think is meant by the phrase "general welfare."

I think the mandate of government, based on the 1st Amendment, is to simply be neutral on religion and allow faith-based organizations to flourish, with neither government hostility toward nor promotion of them.

I am just a small "l" libertarian.

Thanks, John, for your insightful message.

Kaye said...

Thanks Wade for this tribute. David is a great guy.

I pray that David will ignore these negative and mean-spirited comments.

Some of you should be ashamed of your comments about someone you know nothing about.

Alyce Faulkner said...

Talk about drinking cool-aid, if you read BP, you're in and ABP, you're out? I doubt that is the kind of discernment the scriptures speak of.
I do know David, (Sorry I haven't had the pleasure Becca). David is a great guy, I would go so far to say brilliant, more importantly a godly man.
I'm so sick of labels.