Pro-life terrorism

Surely that is a contradiction in terms! The partial-birth abortionist Dr. George R. Tiller was murdered in Wichita as he handed out bulletins at the Sunday service at Reformation Lutheran Church. (That is an ELCA congregation. He was excommunicated from his original LCMS congregation.) So we have not only murder but sacrilege, the violation of a church at worship. A suspect has been captured. All we need is to be identified with terrorists. No, we will have to explain, we don’t believe in homicide. (We are against homicide, which is why we are against abortion. After the pro-life movement has made some significant progress, get ready for a pro-abortion backlash. I hesitated to blog on this, knowing what some of you might say–that we are glad Tiller is dead, a mass-murderer himself–and I feared playing into our enemies’ hands. But I feel in all honesty we’ve got to bring this up.

The Lord and Giver of Life

Yesterday was Pentecost, celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit and, in effect, the birthday of the Church. Our pastor preached an outstanding sermon on what a Spirit-filled life actually is. We will be in the Pentecost season for quite a while, so it’s good to think about the Holy Spirit and His work in the Church. We often complain about church issues, but when it comes right down to it, the Holy Spirit is living and active whenever God’s Word is proclaimed, even when our congregations seem mundane and ordinary. We often look for the Holy Spirit in spectacular manifestations, missing Him where He says He will be, doing what He says He will: convicting the world of sin and righteousness, bringing us to faith in Christ, and giving us life:

So, in the words of the Nicene Creed:

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spake by the Prophets. And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The best judge pro-lifers can get from Obama?

Of course President Obama is going to nominate a liberal to the Supreme Court. On life issues, Judge Sotomayor’s previous rulings have suggested she is not, at least, a pro-abortion fanatic, as many of his other likely choices would be. (She went easy on some abortion protesters.) In fact, according to at least one pro-life leader, she would probably be an improvement over the Republican-appointed retiring Justice Souter. From Pro-life Catholic leader roots for Sotomayor:

A prominent pro-life Catholic says he will be quietly rooting for Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be confirmed to the Supreme Court and said she may even be an improvement over retiring Justice David H. Souter – as both sides of the abortion issue try to discern her position.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said Judge Sotomayor’s record has more bright spots than conservative Catholics can reasonably expect to get from an appointee of President Obama.

As a matter of fact, pro-abortion activists are worried about her. They apparently fear she might become THEIR Justice Souter.

Where to find your missing comics

Do you like the comic strips in newspapers? I do, though I don’t think they are as funny or entertaining as they used to be. Newspapers, due to their economic woes, are cutting a lot of people’s favorites. The Washington Post has cut back from a comic-lover’s feast of three pages to two pages. But when the Post drops a comic in the print section–as it has been doing for years, dropping a strip to pick up another one–it continues to make it available online. So if you are missing your Judge Parker or your Zippy the Pinhead, you can keep up with them by going here: Comics –

You are never alone

Paul McCain at Cyberbrethren posts a great Luther quote, in the context of a discussion of private prayers and devotions:

Never think that you are kneeling or standing alone, rather think that the whole of Christendom, all devout Christians, are standing there beside you and you are standing among them in a common, united petition, which God cannot disdain. Luther, AE 43:198

The first use of the Law, again

Thanks for the discussion of the First Use of the Law the other day. It really helped clarify things for me. Here is how I see it now: There is only one Law. Any time I am “curbed” from overtly committing a sin, it’s working on me. Some things I won’t do because, in my thinking, “it’s just wrong!” That’s the first use. “Thou shalt not kill” has that effect on me. When I read that commandment, though, it also forces me to recognize that, as Christ says, being angry with someone can involve killing him “in my heart,” so I stand guilty of violating that commandment even though I haven’t actually killed anyone and need Christ’s forgiveness (2nd use of the Law). I also need Christ to change my hatred of my enemy into love of my neighbor, and the Gospel motivates me to do this (3rd use).

The first use of the Law is concerned with external behavior, not internal attitudes. The state’s interest is also with external behavior, though the state’s “human laws” are not the same as the “divine laws” (Thank you Nemo and Thomas Aquinas). The state is interested only in “curbing” particular kinds of anti-social behavior. Some of the Commandments have legal correlatives: homicide is outlawed, as is robbery. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” manifests itself in perjury laws, but the state does not punish most other kinds of lying about a person, much less gossip. The state has no interest in Commandments that are solely about inner attitudes–“honoring” one’s father and mother; coveting.

As for “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” it would seem that the state SHOULD be concerned with this one, since the family is the basis of every culture and society. Used to, the state did enforce marriage laws very strictly. It was difficulty to get a divorce, and adultery was, in fact, a crime (which is still on the books in some jurisdictions, though never enforced anymore). Now the state considers marriage and sexual matters mainly private concerns.

Attacks on the first use of the law are just attacks on the law itself, in all of its uses. Today in contemporary culture, the sense when it comes to sexual transgressions of every kind is that “there is nothing wrong with it.” When that message dominates, there is no first use to curb such behavior; there is no second use to make one feel guilty about it; and there is no third use for many nominal Christians who feel no compulsion to obey God in these matters.

Nevertheless, the Law of God–along with His judgments and the consequences He decrees– stands.

Does this get it right?