Tell the Truth

Tell the Truth

By Rev. Robert Fleischmann, National Director of Christian Life Resources

Why Are We Here?

Christian Life Resources (CLR) was never a ministry about convincing pro-life people to be pro-life. Though we serve all people, we are doctrinally aligned with the Wisconsin and Evangelical Lutheran Synods. Both church bodies have official pro-life statements on the abortion issue. Speaking worldly, CLR wouldn’t provide a product people want in these church bodies if we were about convincing people to be pro-life. It would be like selling refrigerators to the Eskimos.

The Truth and Unborn Babies

CLR exists to: 1) serve as a voice for pro-life Christians on life and family issues; and, 2) offer insight and tools to help pro-life Christians be pro-life in a manner consistent with Scripture. A case in point is the undercover video released Tuesday, July 14, 2015, showing a Planned Parenthood (PP) medical director during a casual lunch of salad and wine as she discusses the sale of fetal body parts procured from abortions done by PP affiliates.

Properly, the pro-life movement responded with disgust and outrage. Predictably, the pro-abortion response was accusatory, claiming creative editing and deception. New York Magazine said it was nothing more than “wacky relatives” acting wacky.

Pro-life politicians pounced on the story while pro-abortion politicians avoided it.

And then there are those on the CLR mailing list. They know God’s testimony that life begins at conception (Psalm 51:5), and He condemns murder (Exodus 20:13). They know about a call to action (Proverbs 31:8), and they know most calls to action require sacrifice (Philippians 2:3-5). The question nags, however, “What should I do?” or more poignantly, “What can I do?”

Undoubtedly, Planned Parenthood can expect a backlash. Those engaged in protests outside of PP abortion clinics have more evidence (as if more were needed) to reveal the true nature of Planned Parenthood. There likely will be a termination, resignation or reassignment of those caught in the act or those who set up the meeting in which the secret video was taped.

In time, however, one can also expect the dust to settle. The righteous indignation of the pro-life community, bolstered by the event, will likely subside. The pro-abortion community will likely engage in revenge tactics (i.e., secret cameras in pro-life pregnancy resource centers or the introduction of new legislative initiatives), and in a few months or years this will be forgotten.

Why? It is because those who defend abortion and those who are pro-life speak from completely different perspectives.

Commenting on the stealth video encounter, one pro-abortion advocate stated, “Abortion is gross, no doubt about it. It becomes grosser later in the pregnancy it gets. But so is heart surgery. So is childbirth, for that matter.”[1] In the end, defenders of abortion recognize, as one advocate had said, that “…the death of a fetus is a real death.”[2]

From that shocking admission two decades ago, the abortion rights industry began practicing a new candor based on a revised moral ethic that some lives are just not that important.[3] This new ethic opened the door to legalized physician assisted suicide[4] and the practice of infanticide[5].

The answer is so simple that many refuse to believe it. “Tell the truth.”

The Apostle Paul said, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Is that not what is happening today?

God, through Jesus Christ, made everything (John 1:3). Yet the role of God has fallen far behind created things. Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done,” and yet the prevailing mantra is “My body, my choice and my way.”

It is time for us to tell the truth.

Granted, the world shows little interest in the truth.[6] It’s an old trick dating back to the beginning of time (Genesis 3:1ff) when, after Adam and Eve feasted on the fruit from the forbidden tree, the human race demanded its own variable standards of what is right and wrong, good and bad.

Today, however, we must heed God’s persistent call to tell the truth (Ephesians 4:25).

The Truth and Equality
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) delivered a landmark 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges stating a constitutional right exists in allowing same-sex marriage.

The core argument of the petitioners was that legally-recognized same-sex marriage was implicit in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which states in part:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.[7]

In truth, the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to clarify the Thirteenth Amendment which simply stated:]

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.[8]

The Fourteenth Amendment was supposed to make clear the abolition of slavery, entitling former slaves to equal protection under the law.

The Fourteenth Amendment later served as the bedrock of the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka SCOTUS ruling which declared the unconstitutionality of segregated schools. In a unanimous ruling the Court cited the Fourteenth Amendment in preventing different treatment for different races.

What happened afterwards created a new and shifting foundation for more rights in America.

The “Right to Privacy”

On June 7, 1965, SCOTUS ruled 7-2 in Griswold v. Connecticut that the Fourteenth Amendment protected an implied “right to privacy” – though it was not explicitly stated in the Amendment or in the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. Writing for the majority, Justice William Douglas indicated a “right to privacy” was implied through “penumbras, formed by emanations” in the Constitution.[9]

This perceived “right to privacy” became the lynchpin for the subsequent 1973 SCOTUS ruling in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion, as well as the June 26, 2015, 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges legalizing gay marriage.

In the majority ruling in Obergefell, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote,

The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a character protecting the rights of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.[10]

What Justice Kennedy and his fellow affirming justices contended is that truth and its offspring of freedom, rights and entitlements are evolving. To this point Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his dissenting opinion:

But this Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified the Constitution authorized courts to exercise “neither force nor will but merely judgment.”[11]

Justice Antonin Scalia, in his dissenting opinion, echoed this concern:

It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Consti­tution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected commit­tee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extrav­agant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most im­portant liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.[12]

Justice Samuel Alito also agreed with Scalia’s observation in his dissenting opinion.

Justice Clarence Thomas further raised concerns about the high Court’s erroneous contention that it has the power to legislate, rather than judge, law. In quoting from Amici Curiae 7 submitted by Seventh Day Adventists et al Thomas wrote, “In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well.”  He then went on to say:

Today’s decision might change the former, but it cannot change the latter. It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples.[13]

It was, however, Justice Thomas’ opening words in his dissent that resonate with Christians.  He wrote:

The Court’s decision today is at odds not only with the Constitution, but with the principles upon which our Nation was built. Since well before 1787, liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not enti­tlement to government benefits. The Framers created our Constitution to preserve that understanding of liberty. Yet the majority invokes our Constitution in the name of a “liberty” that the Framers would not have recognized, to the detriment of the liberty they sought to protect. Along the way, it rejects the idea—captured in our Declaration of Independence—that human dignity is innate and suggests instead that it comes from the Government. This distor­tion of our Constitution not only ignores the text, it inverts the relationship between the individual and the state in our Republic. I cannot agree with it.[14]

Human Dignity is “Innate”

Justice Thomas touched on a point that the laws and imaginations of mere mortals cannot fully fathom.  He used the term, “innate,” to describe human dignity.  It is goes by the terms, “intrinsic” and “inherent.” These words suggest there is a value beyond that which can be changed.  It is an objective or absolute value established in the nature of a person, item or institution.

Human dignity has such intrinsic value that it is not defined by the courts of the land or by a legislature – but by the truth of God’s Word.  Life has human dignity – an inherent value – because it is not our handiwork but God’s gift, a blessing to be managed as God’s creation. God permits us to participate but not replace Him in His mastery over life and death (Deuteronomy 32:39; Psalm 31:15).

Because human dignity is innate it defies any definition or qualification other than that placed on it by its Author. It was God who not only created life but also instituted marriage (Genesis 2:24 and Ephesians 5:31ff). Human dignity was not the invention of the created, but the design of the Creator so we cannot usurp it.

Abortion is an assault not only on the most vulnerable members of the human race but on the Creator Himself.  Killing a life because it lacks value or desire is an affront to Him who gives life and who sacrificed His own Son to redeem all life.

Think of it this way: If I borrowed your car, would you want me to drive it and care for it in any way I wish? Or, would you prefer I drove it and cared for it as you would?  The answer is obvious.  For that reason Christians are not in the business of destroying life and selling body parts for profit.

Likewise, marriage was not some invention of a culture looking to pair up lonely people.  God Himself determined that coupling human beings as a male and female team was a good thing; woman would be a “helper” to man and “opposite” to him – God alludes that the woman is the sexual complement of man.

The language is explicit and is denied only in religious circles that have rejected parts of Scripture as a guide and standard for truth.  But we live by the truth.  It is the truth which instructs us on the way we should live.  It is the truth that tells us how to be right with God and to live truly free lives (John 8:32).

What Now?

Pro-life and pro-family forces are rallying the troops to begin concerted efforts in challenging these violations of God’s will.  That is fine, and I favor God-pleasing efforts to protect life and to honor the institutions established by God.  Be advised, however, of Scripture’s warning: “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save” (Psalm 146:3).

Many pro-life advocates have high expectations that by accelerating passage of pro-life laws on the state level, it could force a challenge all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Justice Kennedy is held out as the most promising swing-vote “moderate” on the Court who along with Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alioto may restore the right to life for unborn children.  I could be wrong (and I hope I am), but after reading Kennedy’s justification for legalized gay marriage and the vocal dissent he certainly heard from the minority on the Court, which was ignored, I am not optimistic.  Kennedy clearly demonstrates he has bought into the notion that there is little in the world of intrinsic value – most is subject to either legislative or judicial interpretation.  I do not see either a legislative or judicial solution to these problems.

Rather, the solution is what it always has been – that Christians consistently, fervently and passionately speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).  More than that, we are to act in love (1 John 3:18) with demonstrations of patience and a willingness to instruct (2 Timothy 4:2).

What we have in our nation is a movement contrary to the will of God.  No surprise there – history is full of such activity and Scripture prophesies of this contrary behavior in the world.  Nevertheless, we cannot be complacent (Revelation 3:15ff), and we cannot be timid (2 Timothy 1:7).  We ought not to be mean-spirited, harsh or self-righteous.  We are instead to be imitators of Christ (Philippians 2:5, 1 Peter 2:21) approaching sin in a spirit of love (1 Peter 4:8). Our goal should be to share the message of truth about our fallen relationship with God because of sin and our restored relationship through Christ. It is through that restored relationship that people make right choices (1 John 2:3-4) about abortion, assisted suicide, marriage, and all other current and future life and family issues.

[2] Wolf, Naomi. “Our Bodies, Our Souls,” The New Republic, October 16, 1995.

[7] Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, adopted July 9, 1868

[8] This is the full text of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, adopted December 18, 1865

[9] Griswold v. Connecticut (1965).  U.S. Supreme Court, Page 381 U.S. 484.

[10] Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).  U.S. Supreme Court, Majority Page (10) U.S. 576.

[11] ibid, Roberts’ dissent Page (2) U.S. 576.

[12] ibid, Scalia’s dissent Page (2) U.S. 576

[13] Ibid, Thomas’ dissent, Page (1) U.S. 576.

[14] ibid, Thomas’ dissent, Page (1) U.S. 576.


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