Monday, January 16, 2006

Sanctity of Life Sunday 2006

If you missed yesterday's message, will you please take the time to listen? (Click Here to listen!)

Yesterday, we tried to layout the Biblical argument for the Sanctity of Life. We also tried to demonstrate that a Biblical understanding of the Sanctity of Life informs a growing list of contemporary issues and real life scenarios.

I believe strongly that a common understanding of these important Biblical truths is vital as we move forward in our "life together" at Grace. Personally, I believe that was one of the "Top 5" messages I have preached in the past year in terms of importance/significance.

(I think the Family Worship message and 75th Anniversary Vision message are also on that "Top 5" list. I think these three messages are "must listen" messages for those who call Grace their home!)

So let's see how this Bioethics Forum takes shape over the next 3 years. I had a paramedic approach me and say he was eager to help with the idea and eager to share what he's seeing on the front lines of emergency care.

Susie and I were talking afterward and she said, "I think we should start a "Grace Church Adoption Fund" that could be available to help foot some of the costs of adoption for those who might need the help." That lady's got good ideas! If we are really committed to "life together" and if we're really committed to "putting our money where our mouths are," should we not consider such and idea? What do you think?

Most of the emails I received this morning have been overwhelming positive and supportive, but there was one humdinger. I appreciate your prayers as I consider how to respond with care, gentleness and grace.

Here's a precious email from a 13 year old who heard the message yesterday. I'm so glad she was there. . . . this is what its all about!

Dear Pastor Tim,
Your sermon on the Sanctity of Life was enjoyed by my Mom and I. It was not only enjoyed, but we learned the real meaning of the Sanctity of Life. I never really understood what the Sanctity of Life meant, until now. I'm only thirteen, but I know a few girls at school who claim they're pregnant, and whether it's true or not, I don't know. But I know that circumstances like that really happen to regular girls like me. I think that is really sad. I want young mothers to know that their baby is made in the Perfect Image of God and that their baby is a living human child from the very moment God chooses to create it. It's life is sacred, and it deserves to have a chance at life. That's what God wants and I know you want people to know that. Thank you for the inspirational sermon. God really spoke through you today.


This next Sunday we're back in Matthew and this time for a stretch before the 75th Anniversary.

16 comments:

Jeannett Gibson said...

Thanks for the great layout of the biblical reasons to support the sanctity of life! You know, if you don't believe what the Bible has to say, and you don't believe in an all powerful God, and you think that abortion is "okay"...well, I suppose that's much more difficult to argue with. Sad, but nonetheless difficult to argue because our baseline assumptions are completely different (when does life begin?). BUT, it never ceases to amaze me when I come across christians and catholics that support abortion. At least now I can suppport my statements with more than a "cuz the Bible says so!" :0)

Also, my immediate thought when the Scott Peterson verdict came out (besides cheering with a crowd of people at a TGI Fridays in Oceanside!) was: wow, how does that work with abortion activists? I waited for what I thought would be the inevitable protesting of the courts and demands to overturn the baby's murder count...but, only silence. Weird.

Brianna Heldt said...

Pastor Tim,

First off I just wanted to say that Kevin and I were both so blessed by the sermon yesterday. It was wonderful to hear those things affirmed in church, things that really need to be said and talked about. It was also AWESOME that you tied adoption into the whole sanctity of life issue (obviously something close to our hearts!) And may I say what a profound blessing it is to be receiving such encouragement and support with our own adoption from Grace Church. I cannot even express what it has meant to us, knowing so many are praying for us and receiving so much encouragement.

The reason I was emailing was that I read your blog today and about the idea of having a Grace adoption fund. Several months ago we felt convicted that a) God cares deeply for the orphans of our world and that He wants us to care, too! and b) that He wanted us to adopt. Ever since then I have been thinking that I would LOVE to start some sort of orphans/adoption type ministry at Grace. I don't know what final form that would take, but I do have some ideas (and I think the Lord would do with it what He wants.) One of those ideas was having a fund to help church members with the cost of adoption.

It would seem that there is a lack of information on adoption and related orphan-type issues at churches, a place where ideally there would be a wealth of info. Oftentimes we have people say when they hear we're adopting "Oh I would love to adopt BUT..." There are a lot of preconceived ideas out there (regarding the cost, process, etc.) and it'd be so neat to be able to provide a resource for people to learn more and find a way for them to help these precious children, even if it's not through adoption (sponsoring a child, contributing to a Grace adoption fund, donating clothing for an orphanage, etc.)

It will be exciting, as always, to see what the Lord has in store!

Andy Gibson said...

We live in a world of convenience. It is convenient for the public (or a member of) to abort a life because it doesn't fit into their own life. It is convenient and popular to condemn Scott Peterson for a double homicide. If the ACLU or some other crack-pipe liberal organization tried to argue with that it would be bad publicity for them because the public wants Peterson to burn. We can't have that now, can we?

Amazing is the society we live in today. Gotta love the lack of integrity and responsibility.

Tim, the sermon was awesome. If there is somebody who didn't like it, well, like you said, "so be it". One of the reasons I stuck with Grace was in the hope of a pastor like you that will preach what he believes the Gospel is trying to tell us and teach us rather than skirt the issues, as so many current pastors do (ala, the one that I have many rude names for that approved of the abortion in your personal experience.)

I commend your INTEGRITY for tackling this issue head on, and I plan to be involved in bringing a bio-ethics forum to the CC for an audience of one.

Jeannett Gibson said...

He really did use the word "crack pipe" didn't he? Sigh...

Andy Gibson said...

Yes, my dear.

"crack pipe" = crazy, at least in my opinion.

Suzette Lyons said...

That letter from the 13 year old was so sweet it made me cry. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you are too young to make a difference for our LORD.

Last year there was a Pro-Life Conference at Grace Bible in AG. There was a booth for those interested in adopting. There is a local group that helps with foreign adoptions. They said that finances should not be a consideration. They have a fund to help with the expenses. I wish I knew the name, but you could call Grace Bible in AG. Someone there will know.

I want to make sure that those who are interested in helping a young pregnant woman know that they can still help even if they can't have her in their home. Choices and Lifeline also need people who are willing to be part of a group to mentor the young woman in the shepparding home. You could help change a life forever.

Also there is an information session for those interested in volunteering at Choices or Lifeline. It will be sometime in February. Call them to get the time and location - 544-2000 or 481-4987.

Also the pregnancy centers need to know that there are people who care. Go by and meet the volunteers. See what they do. It will really encourage them.

slocals said...

Tim,
Your sermon was delicately and eloquently spoken. It definitely captured all my attention. As you know with the various ways God has brought our children to us,(traditional adoption, invitro and embryo adoption) this is an important matter in our lives. We have lived this topic for many years of our marriage. When I look into our precious Jude's sunny little face (being an adopted embryo) I can't help but think how ironic it would be if "he" came up with an alternate solution to cure disease some day other than the destruction of precious embryos. I almost lost my life to cancer and Math's dad is losing his life to a progressive disease and yet there is nothing that we could go through that would make us want to sacrifice our little boy or another "potential" Jude.
I would love to see experts in the field of reproductive tech. represented, in addition to spiritual leaders, in a bioethics discussion. Math and I have a lot of info on some rep. tech. if you are ever interested. Misinformation can lead to unfair judgements on some of these topics. I just came in contact with someone who grew up at Grace and was rebuffed by some family and fellow members for pursuing embryo adoption due to misinformation.
Susie's idea of an adoption fund is divinely inspired. We are very excited about that prospect. What a help that would have been when we were adopting our first. Math and I are blessed by your gift of teaching. THANKS!!
Kathy

Josh said...

Tim you mentioned that other people could seek even deeper - a good place to start was Focus on the Family. In God's Providence I orderded the 'best of 2005' CD pack from them. In there is a recording that originally aired Sept. 2005 call "Our Moral Freefall"

It was eye opening and definitely addresses sanctity of life. It dovetails with exactly what you were preching. Awesome!

Missy Grant said...

I so agree with Kathy's words, Tim. Your words were true, delicately put and eloquent. Kathy, as a couple David and I have watched you continue to grow in your faith through unbelievable trials. Most would have crumbled but you and Matt continue to live Tim's message from Sunday. You are so blessed with your blended, beautiful and god given family. I feel God has really put you in a position to help many who face all facets of the bioethics debate. Tim's reminder of all of us having the stamp of God has been ringing in my ears all week. All we have to do is look and live your God given example to remember that!

Thanks Tim. God used you mightily Sunday.

Anonymous said...

check out the 'Can I live?' video at http://www.nickcannonmusic.com/index_main.html

Anonymous said...

Why isn't the Sanctity of Life sermon available via iTunes yet?

Anonymous said...

"if you are looking down on people with different political views than your own, you're not getting the gospel" - Tim Theule 2005 (Andy Gibson take note)

Andy Gibson said...

I'm not looking down at those with a different political views at all...I just disagree. In this specific case, the double homicide murder that Scott Peterson was convicted of is a convenience that is "very nice" and makes us feel good "deep down inside" that the justice system worked. But at the same time abortion is OK?

You can take to the bank that I am looking down upon that.

It is a blatant societal contradiction that I belive IS politically driven. We can try to be politically correct and not address how this is affected by politics, but if we do, we are just lying to ourselves. As a Christian, I am doing the best I can with the tools I have developed thus far and use the Gospel to decipher what trash is being thrown at me from all sides in life and stand firm. I have always felt secure in what the Book was teaching us regarding this issue, and am even more secure after Sunday. Those that are looking for God to draw us a picture in every single trial in life, in my opinion, may (just may, I'm not sure) be looking for a way to justify their own selfish intentions. That is actually a topic we grappled with at our growth group last night. Anyways, I did hint as to how I think this situation is handled and influenced, politically, in my first post. If that is frowned upon, ignore it. We have that freedom. However, if there is an argument to put me in my place and convince me otherwise that I need to take note of, please bring it to the table.

If you are looking down on differenent interpretations of the Gospel because of your political views....well, that sucks.

Please note that I am confident enough in my beliefs that I can put my name to them.

Bill Lindahl said...

I think what anonymous is saying that calling somebody with different political views than you shouldn't be accused of smoking a crack pipe. That's simply inflammatory. I have to admit I was steamed when I read that comment as well. Simply disagreeing is fine...

As a non-conservative Christian, I can share similar views as you on abortion. It's not an all or nothing thing. However, I've chosen to not engage in the name calling that most seem comfortable with. I'm not suggesting capitulation. How else should we bridge the gap? I choose respect for other's opinions (even if different than my own) compassion and grace.

Andy Gibson said...

I never said that somebody with different political views is smoking a crack pipe. I said the ACLU is a crack pipe, big difference. Maybe if I left the word liberal out, but that would be PC (and I'm not necessarily like that, the scapegoat of PC has undermined part of this countries foundation), because the ACLU is generally known as a liberal organization. How about, the ACLU is crazy in my opinion. Same thing. You call it inflammatory....I call it real. To each his own and that is fine. Just because I'm not PC doesn't mean I can't be compassionate and graceful and it doesn't mean I love the church body less. It is the diversity that has made it so great the past two+ years.

Bottom line is, if anybody would have argued with the outcome of that verdict on the basis that the baby cannot be murdered, it would have been from a pro-abortion organization and it would have been bad press for them because society wanted the double murder! So maybe the blame is misplaced....it is the downward spiral of societies fault. Still, it remains a blatant contradiction.

I don't think you can't be a non-conservative Christian. You can, and both my Mother and Grandmother are (makes for some interesting Thanksgiving dinners! :) ). It depends on what reasons you are of a respective party (I'm conservative because of defense and religious purposes, not that it is important). I belive there are things that the Gospel is relatively cut and dry and even if not, an interpretation can be taken from it. Abortion is one of them, and it sounds like we agree as a body in Christ, although it may or may not be all or nothing. I'm not even going there.

Also, it is hard to interpret emotion and true feelings from text...we need to keep that in mind. Sarcasm can be read the wrong way, as can jokes and true feelings.

It's Thursday...time to go to church and play some basketball.

Tim Weaver said...

I enjoyed the basketball, Andy. thanks for the game(s).