What Our Silence Says | BreakPoint

“Many assumed that the release of the Planned Parenthood exposé videos from the Center for Medical Progress would rouse a long-slumbering church at last to raise a sustained, united cry of virtuous outrage to help turn the tide of public opinion against the great evil of our age, abortion……Such assumptions, it seems, were overly optimistic.” ~  Rolley Haggard

READ MORE AT: What Our Silence Says


EXPOSING THE ABORTION AGENDA FROM THE PULPIT, ON THE SIDEWALK, THE MEDIA & IN THE STATEHOUSE. KeepLifeLegal advocates for unborn life on the sidewalks of abortion facilities, the steps of the Statehouse, and the Church with prayer, community outreach, and real LIFE supporting options. 

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Are Those Being Aborted Our Neighbors? | BreakPoint

Are Those Being Aborted Our Neighbors? If so, are we loving them as Ourselves?
By: Rolley Haggard | BreakPoint
The apocryphal story is told of a man who, hearing Christ’s reply to the Pharisees regarding the Greatest Commandment, and having purer motives than they, subsequently went to Jesus for further clarification.
“Master,” he said, “I really do want to please God. I want to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and might. How, practically speaking, do I do that?”
As the story goes, the Lord looked at him and, perceiving that he really was in earnest, said, “The First and Greatest Commandment is fulfilled by obeying the Second Commandment, which is like the First. You demonstrate that you indeed love God when you go and love your neighbor as yourself. The one who says he loves God whom he has not seen, but does not love his neighbor whom he has seen, deceives himself. In truth he loves neither. But the one who, for God’s sake, loves his neighbor as himself, loves both his neighbor and God. For God loves your neighbor—indeed, He loves even your enemy—and if you also love your neighbor, then you honor God by loving what He loves. But if you do not love your neighbor like God loves him, then neither do you love God. That is why I said the Second Commandment is like the First, and why I said on these two Commandments hang all the Law and prophets.
A purely apocryphal story, to be sure. But as related scriptural truths are incorporated into the account, it provides illuminating commentary on one of the most important ideas in allthe Bible: that God really wants us to take this “love your neighbor as yourself” thing seriously.
Which brings us back to the question: Are the preborn American babies who are being aborted at the rate of 3,500 per day our “neighbors”?
The Wrong Question
Frankly, it’s the wrong question to ask. Why? Because it’s just an evasive rehash of the age-old question “Who is my neighbor?” And I hesitate to answer that, not because the answer isn’t clear and unequivocal, but precisely because it is. We already know the answer. Every human being is our neighbor. We shouldn’t have to ask the question. To ask a question the answer to which we already know suggests a desire to sidestep the implications.

Such contrivances aren’t new. It is exactly what happened the first time the question came up. We all know the story: In the run-up to the parable of the Good Samaritan, an expert in Jewish law asked Christ how one inherits eternal life. But he wasn’t sincere. Luke says he was testing Jesus. The Lord put the question back to him to reveal his duplicity: “What does the Law say?” He asked. The lawyer correctly answered, “That we should love God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves.” One can almost hear Christ’s thoughts: So you already know the answers to these questions, don’t you? The lawyer, aware his hypocrisy had been detected, sought to cover it up. Wanting to justify himself, he asked, “And who is my neighbor?”

Isn’t that just what we are doing? By not acknowledging that those being aborted are, indeed, our neighbors for whom we have direct responsibility, aren’t we in effect asking, “Who is my neighbor?” just like the lawyer? According to Christ, “Who is my neighbor?” is the wrong question to ask because we already know the answer. It is merely a dodge to avoid responsibility. By it we subtly seek to justify apathy and inaction towards those who desperately need our help.

The Right Question

So what is the right question to ask regarding those being aborted? In a sermon on The Good Samaritan titled “Love Your Unborn Neighbor,” John Piper points to it:

“The question about what kind of man is dying is not even in the story any more. The whole focus is now on the kind of people who are walking by. The first two felt no compassion. The Samaritan was a different kind of person. So when you get to the end, what’s the question Jesus asks? Was it, ‘So was the wounded man a neighbor?’ No. That is not the question. Jesus asked the lawyer, ‘Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’ The lawyer said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise.’ No answer to his question: Who is my neighbor? Instead: Go become a new kind of person. Go get a compassionate heart.”

The right question, the one we ought to be asking, is not “Are those being aborted our neighbors,” but “Am I compassionate towards them in the same practical way the Good Samaritan was? Am I doing anything to save them from death?”

The point of Christ’s parable was to get us to face the truth about our own lack of compassion. We already know the unborn are our neighbors. The question is, how are we, the church of Jesus Christ, loving them? What are we doing on their behalf that would make Christ say, “Yes, that is loving your neighbor and that is proof you really do love God”?

The sad truth is, we aren’t doing a blessed thing. In saying this I don’t mean to minimize the incalculable importance of those who are seeking by myriad peaceable means to draw attention to the plight of the preborn. But they are, percentage-wise, a mere handful.

The apostle Paul said, “No one ever hated their own body.” If each of us loved these little neighbors as we ought—“as ourselves”—we would envision having our own bodies torn limb from limb and would be unable to remain silent and apathetic any longer.

Connecting the Dots

We know the right thing to do. We just haven’t been willing to do it. Scripture is unequivocal: “Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, oh hold them back.”

Abortion continues because we willfully ignore our tiny neighbors. Until we go beyond saying we believe in the sanctity of life and start demonstrating it by becoming relentless vocal advocates, the slaughter will go on and history will record the church believed it was sufficient to merely say, but not show, it cared for people.

Assuredly, we will pay a price if, in this culture of death, we open our mouths to make abortion unlawful and unthinkable. But we—and our neighbors—will pay a bigger price if we don’t.

What matters most often turns on a single act of the will. We have been called to lose our lives for Jesus’ sake. That means choosing to lose our lives for our neighbor’s sake. These forsaken babies are our neighbors. For Jesus’ sake, let’s connect the dots.

“To know how to die is to know how to live.” ~ Unknown

“Last Will”

Words—shocking as the cold Antarctic sea
Where ghostly green the lucent glaciers wend
With boat-upturning waves—swept over me:
“Who loves his life will lose it in the end.”
Like beasts we fought, two mortal men, for breath,
Obeying naught but instinct’s urgency;
Each one the other’s stepping stone from death
To thrust away unsought eternity.
“Dear God!” I cried, “O give me now the faith
To put the selfish, murderous thought away,
And grant to me the grace of one last breath
That I, to save my neighbor’s life, might pray
With groans more eloquent than angel tongues;
Then, let your living water fill my lungs!”

Rolley Haggard is a feature writer for BreakPoint.

The Essence of Christianity | BreakPoint

There are no orphans of God, we are all accounted for. Jesus said, “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered,” Luke 12:7.

The Essence of Christianity

By: Rolley Haggard Published: August 29, 2014 5:24 PM

The apostle James wrote that the essence of Christianity—that which epitomizes “pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father”—is to care for “orphans and widows in their distress.” (James 1:27, NASB)

EvenBabiesKnowBabies aborted are “orphans” in the truest sense of the word, for they have been abandoned, by those entrusted to care for them, to the uttermost, even to death. The sheer number who have been led to slaughter with virtually no opposition even by churches who call themselves pro-life ought to give us pause before we conclude what we have been practicing is, in the sight of God, “pure and undefiled religion.”

As to where James came up with his definition of Christianity—divine inspiration, to be sure. But it also appears he knew his Bible:

Deuteronomy 10:18: He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.

Exodus 22:22: You shall not afflict any widow or orphan.

Deuteronomy 10:18: He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.

Deuteronomy 14:29: The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

Deuteronomy 16:1: And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His name.

Deuteronomy 16:14: And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns.

Deuteronomy 24:17: You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor take a widow’s garment in pledge.

Deuteronomy 24:19: When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Deuteronomy 24:20: When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow.

Deuteronomy 24:21: When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow.

Deuteronomy 26:12: When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

Deuteronomy 26:13: You shall say before the Lord your God, “I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments.”

Deuteronomy 27:19: “Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.” And all the people shall say, “Amen.”

Psalm 10:14: You have seen it, for You have beheld mischief and vexation to take it into Your hand. The unfortunate commits himself to You; You have been the helper of the orphan.

Psalm 10:17-18: O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.

Psalm 94:4-6: All who do wickedness vaunt themselves. They crush Your people, O Lord, and afflict Your heritage. They slay the widow and the stranger and murder the orphans.

Isaiah 1:17: Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:23: Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves; everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, nor does the widow’s plea come before them.

Isaiah 10:1-2: Woe to those who enact evil statutes and to those who constantly record unjust decisions, so as to deprive the needy of justice and rob the poor of My people of their rights, so that widows may be their spoil and that they may plunder the orphans.

Jeremiah 5:28: “They are fat, they are sleek, they also excel in deeds of wickedness; they do not plead the cause, the cause of the orphan, that they may prosper; and they do not defend the rights of the poor.”

Jeremiah 7:6-7: If you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.

Jeremiah 22:3: Thus says the Lord, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.”

Jeremiah 49:11: “Leave your orphans behind, I will keep them alive; and let your widows trust in Me.”

Lamentations 5:3: We have become orphans without a father, our mothers are like widows.

Hosea 14:3: “Assyria will not save us, we will not ride on horses; nor will we say again, ‘Our god,’ to the work of our hands; for in You the orphan finds mercy.”

Zechariah 7:10: “And do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.”

Malachi 3:5: “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the Lord of hosts.

John 14:18: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

For further reading: “Agape Defiled: How the Church has Failed 55 Million Orphans

By: Rolley Haggard Published: August 29, 2014 5:24 PM

Agape Defiled: How the Church Has Failed 55 Million Orphans | BreakPoint

Agape Defiled: How the Church Has Failed 55 Million Orphans

By: Rolley Haggard Published: May 9, 2013 8:20 PM

There’s an elephant in the living room. Only it isn’t an elephant, and it isn’t in the living room. It’s a golden calf, and it’s in our baptismal font and our pulpit and our sanctuary and our Sunday School class and our Bible study group and everywhere else we worship and serve God, because, truth be told, it’s in our hearts.

To put it bluntly: We, the church of Jesus Christ, have an idol.

It’s called ministry.

Ministry?

Yes, ministry: busying ourselves with the things of God. Granted, ministry seems very un-idol-like. But then, subtlety is the hallmark of seductive sins. It has been the devil’s most effective stratagem since the beginning of time: Get the sin to seem no sin. Better, get it to seem like service to God. Better still, get it to be service to God. Sins don’t get more subtle than that, nor does idolatry seem like idolatry when we’re busy doing things God instructed us to do. It seems like true Christianity, like pure and undefiled religion.

But is it? Even ministry can be idolatry when it supplants what God most wants from us. What is the acid test of true Christianity, of pure and undefiled religion? What does it look like?

Pure and Undefiled Religion

We are not left guessing. In James 1:27, God tells us what “pure and undefiled religion” looks like: “Visit[ing] orphans and widows in their distress.” That’s divine shorthand for serving “the least of these” with sacrificial agape love. Acts of compassion, exemplified by coming to the aid of suffering women and children, are the distinguishing marks of true Christianity.

The American church, by stunning contrast, has been characterized the past 40 years—ever since Roe v. Wade—by the deliberate and thoroughgoing neglect of 55 million orphans in exquisite distress. One has to wonder if the cold indifference shown by the church to these orphans could have been any more absolute had salvation itself depended on completely ignoring them.

Orphans?

Yes, orphans, in the truest sense. These little victims, before having their lives snuffed out in abortion, were emphatically orphans, for there are two ways a child becomes an orphan: One is to lose his parents; the other is for his parents to abandon him. It doesn’t take a Solomon to see here the applicability of James 1:27.

Yet for four decades the church has fastidiously refused to muster aid on behalf of these little people and against one of the most barbaric and inhumane practices imaginable. Not only has the church opted not to visit these orphans in their distress, but by refusing to voice any significant public moral objection, the church has actually gone to the opposite extreme and given tacit sanction to their cruel mutilation and murder.

And this comports with James 1:27, how?

No one will answer that question because there is no answer. We are wholly without excuse. We have ignored not only the soundless cries of these abandoned orphans, but more ominously, the unequivocal declarations of our God and Father as well.

This raises the additional and perhaps more deeply soul-probing question: If pure and undefiled religion in God’s sight is to visit orphans in their distress, then just what kind of religion has the church been practicing since 1973? What kind of religion is it whose defining characteristic is the refusal to visit tens of millions of orphans in their inconceivably great distress?

Defining Characteristic?

Yes, defining characteristic. A defining characteristic is the feature most notable and distinctive about a thing. A hundred years from now history will remember us not for our missions or evangelism or our ministry, much less for our fidelity to the Bible. It will remember us for our breathtakingly thorough disregard of orphans in their distress.

Abortion continues to flourish largely because of us. We could end abortion overnight—if we really wanted to. The present generation of Christians will no more be lauded for its service to Christ than would a perverted pastor who preached spellbinding sermons and won thousands of souls by day, but committed pedophilia against a four-year-old child by night.

We will not be remembered for the religious busyness we called ministry—in the final analysis, this amounts to so much window-dressing in the sight of God—but for refusal to give Christ the one thing He wants in evidence of true love for Him: that we would love our neighbor as ourselves.

The logic is inescapable: If pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God is to give compassionate, sacrificial, agape love to abandoned children, then American Christianity is grotesquely impure and defiled—like a river of life befouled by the corpses of too many children for even the angels to count.

* * *

Solomon: The Mother’s Day Ruminations of an Abandoned Son

Call me her son, but not my mother deem
The one who gave me life enough to taste
The barest part of God’s ecstatic dream,
Then rid me from her womb with wicked haste.
“Considered innocent till guilty proved”
So said the law she praised, yet gave me death
With no defense, who not so much as moved
A tiny fist or raised his voice in threat.
She thought it wisdom plotting my demise
And naming “Orphan,” by default, her son;
But she by murder made that son more wise;
For cenotaphs shall dub him “Solomon,”
Who, like the Sage, is sure a mother true
Would not consent to cut her child in two.

Rolley Haggard is a feature writer for BreakPoint.

Ending Abortion: Is There a ‘Silver Bullet’? | BreakPoint

Let’s Fire the Gun and See

By: Rolley HaggardPublished: June 12, 2014

In a recent Life Report podcast, esteemed colleagues Steven Ertelt (founder and editor of LifeNews.com) and Josh Brahm (director of education, Right to Life of Central California) took issue with the notion there can be a “silver bullet” to ending abortion. The discussion centered around one “silver bullet” in particular: something I proposed in a 2012 BreakPoint piece titled “We Could End Abortion ‘Overnight’—If We Really Wanted To.” The plan I proposed is called The One-Minute Strategy to End Abortion.

Responding to the article, Ertelt stated, “We can’t, unfortunately, end abortion right now, even if we wanted to, and many of us do.”

Brahm concurred. “My concern,” he said, “was [the strategy] doesn’t deliver on the promise. . . . I agree with [Haggard] against apathy. . . I’m just concerned with the way the article is written because it basically says if every pastor spent one minute on Sunday morning talking about abortion, like, the church would unify, and we would raise up, and . . . end abortion . . . ‘overnight’. . . What if everybody rose up; then what?”

I think my friends miss the whole point of the One-Minute Strategy. It is not about the “then what?” It is aboutgetting to the “then what?” The first and greatest obstacle to ending abortion is the apathy we agree is rampant. Overcome the apathy—i.e., get the church to “unify” and “raise up” —and we’re nine-tenths of the way home. And that’s the point of the One-Minute Strategy: to overcome church apathy.

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, understands the need for this. He wrote in response to my article:

Is the Church too reluctant to address the issue of life from the pulpit?

Even more to the point, why doesn’t the scourge of abortion shock more Christians? . . .

If people saw the faces, as God does, if people saw snapshots of the lives that were to be, I think more would see and agree that every child deserves a chance and has a right to life.

And if that were to happen, yes, I think we could end abortion overnight.

The One-Minute Strategy is all about making people “[see] the faces, as God does.” Abortion is far too much “out of sight, out of mind.” As a result, the vast majority of those who call themselves pro-life do exactly zero to actually help bring about the end of abortion. There’s no better place to change that than the pulpits that reach tens of millions of people every week.

Two years have passed since the One-Minute Strategy was proposed, and it remains largely unimplemented. A possible explanation is that it has no merit. That would comport with the views of Ertelt and Brahm.

Another possible explanation is that the non-implementation simply proves the thesis advanced in the proposal: that the chief problem preventing a speedy end to abortion is pastoral apathy. Church leaders simply refuse to implement it.

Putting the Question in Perspective

To even ask if there is a “silver bullet” to end abortion is kind of like going back in time and asking General Eisenhower before the Normandy invasion if D-Day is going to be successful. The point is, if you have a plausible strategy, unless it is patently a fool’s errand, you can’t not try it. Too much is at stake.

We have a plausible “D-Day” strategy for ending abortion quickly, and it is no fool’s errand. It doesn’t require the scrapping or overhaul of any of the many strategies currently in place. It preserves and complements and even leverages all of them.

What sets it apart, besides stunning simplicity and ease of implementation, is that it directs the focus of efforts to the number one problem hindering a relatively quick end to abortion: the church.

Is it truly a “’silver bullet”? The only way to tell for sure is to pull the trigger. The better question to ask is, can we afford not to try it? Surely, 41 years and 57 million dead give us our answer.

The ‘Silver Bullet’

The One-Minute Strategy is an almost embarrassingly simple plan, calculated to make the evil of our age the burden of our age. Until abortion becomes the intolerable burden of the majority, the tide will not turn.

The Strategy will hasten the process in two stages. First, it will make abolishing abortion a top priority with every pew-sitter by making it a de facto priority with every pastor. Next, it will lead to congregation-led non-violent direct action to end abortion as people begin to ask, “What can we do?”

Non-violent direct action, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., noted, “create[s] such a crisis and foster[s] such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.”

The One-Minute Strategy is predicated on the belief that if an awakened church en masse makes enough noise, the community–the voting public, the political apparatus, and the courts–will be forced at last to confront the issue in a definitive way.

The ‘Gun’

If the “silver bullet” is the strategy, then the “gun”’—the mechanism of delivery—is the church. Earlier I stated that the church is the number one problem to ending abortion quickly. Now I’m suggesting it is the solution. I’m not contradicting myself. The church is the number one problem precisely because it could and should be the solution but thus far has failed to be.

Imagine if law enforcement officers refused to enforce the law. Overnight, crime would become rampant. Policemen would go from being the solution to being the problem.That is exactly where we are with the church.

‘Refuse’ is a strong word, but sadly, it fits. As Franklin Graham noted at the Family Research Council’s recent Watchmen on the Wall National Briefing, the church has steadfastly refused to step up to its God-given responsibility to preach on abortion. Addressing a room full of pastors, he made this stinging indictment:

Who are the cowards [of Revelation 21:8]? A coward will not confront an issue that needs to be confronted due to fear.

God hates cowards. And the cowards that the Lord is referring to are the men and women who know the truth but refuse to speak it.

We have a responsibility to speak on the moral issues. Abortion, homosexuality, these are moral issues.

As Graham observed, the problem in the church is lack of courage among the leadership. The leaders aren’t leading, so naturally, the followers aren’t following. With precious few exceptions, those entrusted with pulpits are practically silent on abortion.

The Dwight Eisenhowers of today’s fierce spiritual battles are looking the other way, fingers crossed, hoping the war on abortion and a plethora of other moral evils will somehow be won without firing a shot. As a result there is Babel-like confusion among the troops, with everyone speaking a different language regarding how, or even whether, to seek to end abortion. The One-Minute Strategy can provide a common tie binding all, so that, Pentecost-like, every Christian is enabled to hear the same thing at the same time: namely, that ending abortion is a priority with Christ.

‘Firing the Gun’

So how do we implement the One-Minute Strategy? How do we “fire the gun”? The same way peaceful people with freedom of speech have effectively overcome problems throughout history. By holding the leaders accountable. By calling on them to lead.

Start by sharing this article with your pastor, teacher, seminary professor, and other Christian leaders. A sample One-Minute Prayer—the kernel of the Strategy—is provided below in the comments. Urge them to make this an ongoing practice.

Because the Strategy is so simple and undemanding, the only possible obstacle to its implementation is unwillingness, what Reverend Graham rightly called cowardice. If it ends up not being deployed in a given church, it won’t be a matter of “can’t,” but “won’t.”

Is this a “silver bullet”? I believe so, though some of my respected friends disagree. But since the effort to implement is so little and the potential so great, why not just fire the gun and see?

Rolley Haggard is a feature writer for BreakPoint.