Pro-life Christians have a narrow view on abortion. I’m sorry but we do. Before I dig into why I think that, I want to make a few things here clear on the onset:
(1). I am pro-life and I think abortion is an unfortunate reality in our society.
At the same time…
(2) I don’t want to take the typical approach to abortion that evangelicals and other christians take. My article will explain why
To begin, Let’s first talk about the new Alabama law on abortion that was passed…
If you don’t know, the Alabama sent recently passed HB 314 that–to borrow a CNN phrase– is “the most restrictive abortion law.” This is a bit of an exaggeration, but then again it is CNN.
The controversy is that the law will give a doctor up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion. The only exception to this being an ectopic pregnancy.
Here is where things get interesting…
Democrats re-introduced an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims but that motion was denied.
I’ll say that again… An amendment to exempt Rape and incest victims from the penalty of this law was DENIED! I’m pro-life but man…that is compassionless.
Now to be fair, there is a ethic behind the senate’s decision to pass the bill and there are pre-exisiting politics that condition people into making authoritarian decisions like this. What I want to address, is how this decision highlights a problem with the ethic of pro-life Christians like myself.
Here is the problem:
I don’t buy the narrative that the only resistance to Abortion is to write it out with law.
You can’t legislate our christian witness into the government. That’s not how evangelism works. Legislature can’t do our job as Christians for us. To witness well, you need to be near to the one you are witnessing. So I don’t buy the narrative that the only resistance to Abortion is to write it out with law.
We shouldn’t advocate for this position without grasping the moral dilemmas that these women are in. It seems to me that pro-life advocates are weak on this front. We prescribe laws before we can properly describe the lives under those laws. And that is backwards–it is not Christ-Like! I believe abortions are the wrong decision but I cannot deny the difficulty of making that decision. I weep over the circumstances that lead someone into an abortion because I know Jesus would too. These are the circumstances of a world that is broken. It is the result of someone who felt they had no other option. The woman in outside a clinic should receive the same compassionate witness to Christ as the one leaving.
The point of this post is simple. It is a great frustration of mine when christians move biblical truth into social cliques. This does a great harm to the witness of the church and comes across as stand off-ish. If this post could leave you with one thing it would be this. Christians are like manure… when grouped together they stink, when spread out, they fertilize something. So spread out and share the truth! 🙂
1. Christianese Arguing
It irks me that christians lack a proper imagination. We sometimes lack the ability to imagine with the heart of someone else. We repeat the same nonsensical viewpoints over and over again without any regard to the understanding it generates in the person we are speaking to. You would think we are a horde of garrulous parrots. Not only do our arguments lack imagination, they communicate that we have no real thoughts of our own and this is insincere during honest conversation. In an honest conversation, people want to hear your own original thoughts. There is nothing wrong with citing a good argument, a good thought, or a good book that is not your own. Especially when you are faced with something beyond your expertise. However, many Christians persist in speaking in that scripted language we call christianese.
2. Christians Are Sensitive
While sensitive about themselves, Christians remain insensitive toward others. It’s as the old cliche says, “Those who live in glass houses should not cast stones.” Persecution is very real but why go out and seek it? Christianity has many heart agitating observations about the human condition. Concepts like hell, God’s Retributive suffering, election, etc, describe the deep and penetrating spiritual realities of our existence. I however, don’t think this is what irks most people about our faith. What irks people, is our lack of self awareness to the fact that what we have said as christians is offensive. The smug indifference in believers that state these things to their friends, their family, and their enemies is grossly un-christlike. A testimony to God’s truth is more powerful when the one testifying is willing to stand on the other side of their spear thrust. After all, God sought us while we were still sinners. We should go and do the same.
Writer’s block is a creative writer’s kryptonite. They say It’s a natural part of writing and you can’t force your thoughts out because all things have a season. Blah blah blah.
Anyways, I think we all get writer’s block at one point or another. Heck, some people have it so bad they remain poor writers for life. What you will find below is the most accurate description of writer’s block you’ll see.
These are the five stages of writer’s block:
Stage 1. “I’ll just Write Away Anyway.”
It all starts with denial. What is writer’s block to you? You are (Insert name here). Your dad was a lawyer. You Got this! You’ll start writing to get a lil sum sum on the page but ultimately, what you’re saying doesn’t make any sense…
Stage 2.Give Yourself An Aggressive PepTalk
Look… You know you don’t have time to waste. You have time to make peace with god and ask for mercy. This stuff is due TOMORROW. All these horrendous thoughts oozing out of my orifice? That is what I need’s to get written down. Something is better than nothing. No time to proof read. Just time to cry. Oh wait no… the tears have smeared the ink on the page.
Stage 3. Perfectionism.
This is when you start overanalyze every thought. You begin a search for that perfect word, that perfect sentence, the perfect paragraph. You don’t really know… It’s the equivalent to searching for a unicorn. You look but ultimately you won’t find so you write something fake and it doesn’t look right.
Stage 4. You Entertain The Idea of Quitting
This one is self explanatory.
5. Then You Remember …
Writer’s block is more about an insecurity to share your thoughts than it is an inability to write.
*Writer’s block Cured
Check out my last post! https://macbosch.blog/2019/04/09/god-my-anger-and-me/
Anger is a raw emotion but there are ways to make it productive!
In today’s post, I am going to give you 4 helpful tips to control your anger…
1. Embrace your anger.
Let yourself feel upset. You’re human! Some people are taught to flee from anything that is negative. A healthy embrace of our anger is necessary to make it productive. Anger serves a moral purpose. Some things in this live are outrageously unfair and it’s frustrating. That is why it’s imperative that you get in touch with why you’re angry. Heck, in some instances, Expressing anger is a step toward healing. Artists embrace their anger through drawing and make brilliant art. Just don’t be like Lord Shiva and shake the world with your anger. We don’t do away with the things we dislike. The anger we feel gives us anxiety because reminds us of our inherent difference to the negativity around us. That is okay. It helps us see that things are beyond our control and that there is work to be done in ourselves and in those around us.
2. Anger can motivate you
Anger can motivate you toward a better action. It’s the power, push, and drive for change in communities. fEmbrace your anger to the extent that it enables you to start thinking about the things you want to more productively. Import your anger into the problems you need to solve and it might help you solve them better. There is a way to surrender your anger to a more productive solution. Or in the words of Scilia Elworthy, “Anger is like gasoline. If you spray it around and somebody lights a match, you’ve got an inferno. But if we can put our anger inside an engine, it can drive us forward.” Very true indeed!
3. Anger can initiate change in your community
Anger sparks change. Anger over injustice or anger over our moral failings has a productive purpose. If you express anger to the members of your community, and you have described your injustice well, then you might just fuel some change. Don’t forget that the civil rights movement began because of a purposed anger over injustice.
4. Applying your anger properly
Anger can be a tool for good. Anger is an ignitor but it is not the fuel for change. Anger steeped in pride won’t accomplish the purposes you have. Anger often will do harm. Anger can shatter communications. Anger can obliterate your bridges to others. So I warn against anger. At the same time, Anger can be righteous. Anger can bring change. Anger can attack the problem, not the person.
How will you apply your anger?
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I write because it is a cathartic process for me. For whatever reason, this process took on the form of poetry today. I’ve decided to share this poem as I’m still experimenting with the type content I should put out on this blog. I couldn’t think of a title that was clever and the original title of, “I like words” felt like a cliche. Either way, let me know what you guys think!
I like words.
candid, creative, insightful Words.
Words wait for the hour,
laugh at fleeting moments,
hold steadfast to that final second,
to deliver a kiss to my soul.
Words are perfect, peaceful, purposed instants
that ambush hearers,
bringing bliss for the ears,
ecstasy for the eyes,
Purpose for my mind.
Some words are cheap,
Yet others, with enough wealth to make us weep.
I learned the power of words and my fate was never the same.
I was like a snowflake caught in the hurricane.
A word from thee was like a caged bird’s flight to be free
My dear grace, I love the way that word sounds to me!
Life is full of difficult decisions. In the time leading up to my trip, I owed my landlord months of rent in addition to the approaching payments of my student loans. Had I stayed in California and continued my tenacity, I have no doubt that I would become stable as I have before… but at what personal cost? California is awesome and expensive. While I was making progress toward my financial independence, the mental struggle I went through each month to pay my dues was eroding my sense of self. I grew unable to enjoy the things in LA I had initially moved out for and was struggling to maintain depth in the relationships I had. I increasingly felt isolated and I left California feeling defeated.
When the time to move came, I was already leaning toward a ministry in Michigan. To pursue this prospect, I thinned out my belongings to what I could fit in my car. I headed through the mountains, drove under the sunny skies and had a euphemistic optimism about what was ahead. That was day 1. On day 2 of my drive, reality set in. When I reached the open fields of Nebraska, I realized that I had a mind numbing amount of time to reflect on my decision. Should I have stayed? Have I forfeited God’s plan for me? What does God want me to choose? These are the questions I began to wrestle with on my drive.
Choices are easy to make when the nature of their outcome is predictable. Decision making is difficult when we consider that there is a grey area. If I decide not to brush my teeth, then I should not be surprised when I get a cavity. This is an easy decision to make. I should always brush my teeth! However, deciding between two things that are of the same good nature, especially when you are in a pinch, makes the process of deciding difficult. My thinking is that when you have two things (like two good job offers) and must choose to keep one, there is wisdom in deciding which one is the better thing to be had. In the end, the right decision will bear more fruit.
In my situation, staying in California was not a wise option, though it was difficult to leave the people I had met. For a solid year, I wavered between a job in Oregon and a job in Michigan. On the one hand, I could have moved to Oregon to work as an admissions recruiter for a seminary. While this isn’t a snug fit with my theology degree, it offered a few things that were good. First and foremost, it provided an opportunity to introduce people to theological education. This is an important thing considering the current changes in seminary. It also would have been a means to more financial comfort and its not like money isn’t something that I need. Even more so, Oregon would have brought about the opportunity to travel and I love building new experiences with people.
On the other hand, Michigan has benefits of its own. In general, I have special feelings for Michigan because it is my home state. In Michigan, I would have the opportunity to work as a server in a restaurant. A server job may seem to others as less extravagant than a recruiter job. I think service related work instills many qualities that prepare people for a life of success. Service, promotes the growth of character qualities that lead to a successful ministry. The tending to others, wearing the face of your product, and maintaining patience all scream ministry to me. In addition, I gathered that most of what I would like about Oregon and the northwest as whole are things that I already appreciate about my home state Michigan. Oregon seemed like a liberal version of Michigan and I have about had it with liberal thinking. Oregon, seemed like a prolonging of the inevitable return to Michigan. The only difference between the two was that a line of work is already available for me in Oregon. Moving to Michigan seemed like the better choice because it would force me to figure out how my degree is relevant to the society around me. If I don’t figure out how to make what I’ve learned relevant then I don’t want my degree.
I sometimes regret the principled way I act because of the stress it brings me. However, I cannot willingly defile my conscience so I tend to make decisions based off of the growth that I think it will bring my character and not the financial gain it will make me. I know that this is stressful for my self and for the people around me. I also know that there is a better balance to be had with making money and pursuing character. My dream however has always been to start a community building ministry that focuses on reconciliation. This calls for a faith that does not outpace its character. Michigan seems like a snug fit for this kind of thing. Reconciliation ministry requires an exceeding fortitude of character because reconciliation work is a slow and heart grappling endeavor. In this decision making process, it became clear that such a ministry is going to be difficult to start regardless of where it begins. Whether I continued working in Los Angeles, moved to Oregon, or drove off to Michigan, I would have to initiate the difficult process of getting this work started.
The need for reconciliation permeates our society. There is technically no place you could go where reconciliation wouldn’t be relevant. However, California is huge and has a lot going on already. It made more sense to me that I should start off in a smaller–yet growing place like Michigan because the matters of reconciliation are more approachable. The characteristics of population, scale of disparity, etc, occur on a more observable scale in Michigan than in California and I saw this as an opportunity to get to the core issues of reconciliation work. Further, Michigan cities like Grand Rapids remain in a period of constant growth, and I understood the nature of that growth to be something that opens its people to new ideas. People here are on the lookout for something and a reconciliation ministry might just be that something. Thus, Michigan became my priority.
Overall, God wants to be the priority in our decision making. Yet, there is an enduring struggle in our hearts to place God first. We would enter the furnace like Daniel if God said it was His will, but it is a difficult thing to hear God. The closer to the midwest I got the more uncertain I felt about my decision to move. Part of me thinks that this might be the point of faith. Despite my weakness of understanding and regardless of my heart’s fluttering hesitations, God’s strength is still being perfected in me. I want to go where I would rely on God’s strength and not my own.