There is a notion afoot that goes something like this, “I have to speak what’s on my mind or I wouldn’t be honest.” Of course it’s good to be honest. But often, someone makes that statement as an excuse to say something hurtful to others. ...

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"Heap Of Stones" - 5 new articles

  1. When Being Honest May Not Be Loving
  2. Reaching Out to the Post-Abortive
  3. The Dam Holding Back Revival
  4. Believing the Lie
  5. Psalm 23: A Model for Living! (5)
  6. More Recent Articles

When Being Honest May Not Be Loving

There is a notion afoot that goes something like this, “I have to speak what’s on my mind or I wouldn’t be honest.” Of course it’s good to be honest. But often, someone makes that statement as an excuse to say something hurtful to others. We’ve probably all heard someone make a cruel remark under the guise of “being honest.”

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be honest or true to ourselves. We could well argue that such a value is commendable. But when we use “honesty” as a pretense for saying whatever is on our mind without regard for others, we have a major problem. Suddenly, our so-called honesty is clashing with a lack of love or concern for others.

Being honest with ourselves does not necessarily require voicing that honesty. Suppose our little child or grandchild participates in a recital and really messes up. Inside, we might be thinking, “Wow, she forgot her lines, didn’t stand where she was supposed to, and was fidgeting with her dress.”

For the sake of “being honest with ourselves,” do we blurt out what’s on our mind and clobber this little girl with harsh criticism? Or should we hold our tongue and look for ways to encourage her and help her improve without destroying her self-image?

Or let’s say your spouse wanted to surprise you by making dinner. But things didn’t turn out so well: the vegetables were overcooked, the gravy was burnt, and the meat was tough. We might hurl all those criticisms at our spouse with the excuse, “Well I’m just being honest!”

Meanwhile, we’ve hurt our spouse. We completely overlooked the fact that they made an honest attempt to demonstrate their love for us. And we’ve trampled on their efforts grinding them into the mud, under the guise of “being honest.”

Consider the following:

  • “The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.” (Proverbs 12:23 NIV)
  • “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3 NIV)
  • “A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them.” (Proverbs 14:3 NIV)
  • “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4 NIV)
  • “Just like a spark can destroy an entire forest, so your words can kindle an inferno in your life and the lives of others. Such caustic words are evil, corrupting your whole being.” (James 3:5-6 paraphrase)

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re not being honest when you withhold a cruel remark. Instead, “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)

©2017 Rob Fischer

    

Reaching Out to the Post-Abortive

In his book, Making Abortion Rare, Dr. David C. Reardon argues that it is not the rights of the unborn that will finally put an end to abortion, but the rights of women.

This line of thinking may fly in the face of current pro-life strategy, but it makes perfect sense when you consider how horribly abortion hurts women. This is not to minimize in any way taking the lives of the unborn. But it’s the women who are suffering the aftermath of an abortion who we still have with us and can testify to the damage abortion has inflicted on them.

The pro-abortion camp says they are defending the rights and interests of women. Meanwhile, countless women are suffering unrelenting grief, remorse, shame, and a myriad of physical problems resulting from their abortion. Abortion hurts women and defies their rights.

Dr. Reardon writes, “Soon the abortion industry will find that it can no longer hide the fact that the only way to kill an unborn child is by maiming and traumatizing the child’s mother.”[1]

The author argues that the best way to end abortion is by extending compassion and healing to post-abortive women. By exposing the horrible damage of abortion on women, abortion will become unthinkable.

My heart goes out to these women. They’ve been deceived and forced into making a choice that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, often resulting in self-destructive behaviors of all kinds. Click here to hear one woman’s story.

We recognize that the healing, forgiveness and redemption these women long for can only be found in Jesus Christ. In response to this great need to demonstrate and communicate Christ’s love and forgiveness, and with a view to ending abortion, I’m excited to announce the launch of a new organization: Abortion Anonymous or AbAnon.

The mission of AbAnon is to offer free assistance in a safe environment to those in need of healing and recovery from the pain or emotional impact caused by abortion. Please click here to visit our website. I invite you to watch the video on our home page and to poke around. Navigate to the “Join Us” page and please consider donating.

My good friend and spiritual partner, Perry Underwood, is the founder of AbAnon. I serve as a charter board member of AbAnon. Our long-term prayer and goal is not only to provide post-abortive women (and men) healing and recovery from their abortions, but also to see the end of abortion in our country. Won’t you join us?

In Christ,

Rob Fischer

www.AbAnon.org

See also www.ChangetheShame.com



[1] David C. Reardon, Making Abortion Rare, (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 1996), p. viii.

    

The Dam Holding Back Revival

There is a “dam,” an obstruction, a powerful fortification barring revival in our churches and in our country. Unless we bring down this “dam,” its restraining force will continue to hold back the flood waters of spiritual cleansing and renewal for which all true followers of Christ thirst and pray.

Revival, or sweeping spiritual renewal, always exhibits the following two characteristics. First, revival always begins with the church (i.e., with those who claim to know Christ). Second, revival always results from a sharper consciousness of our sin, which evokes godly sorrow and true repentance (turning away from sin).

What is this “dam” holding back the flood waters of revival in our churches? Abortion. One third of our church family has at some time or another participated in an abortion.[1] And Life Services estimates that only five percent of those men and women have ever seriously dealt with this weighty matter in their lives.

Before you cut me off, my purpose is not to ostracize or make an example of these individuals. I know that many took part in one or more abortions before they came to Christ, but many others since declaring Christ as Lord. Eighteen percent of women who abort their children identify themselves as Evangelicals or born-again Christians.[2] True, the grace and mercy extended to us through the blood of Christ is more than sufficient to cover these or any other sins. The problem is that we’ve never dealt with our sins of abortion and we as a church continue to abort our children.

Why am I singling out this sin? First, because it is so pervasive. When I initially heard that one in three men and women in our Evangelical congregations has had one or more abortions, I didn’t believe it. But when I tested the statistic in my own church I found it to be accurate. A second reason I am singling out this sin is because it is so detestable to God.

Abortion is detestable to God for two reasons. First, because “Do not commit murder” is one of only Ten Commandments He gave us to live by. Yet we have brazenly redefined murder in order to excuse and rationalize taking the life of an unborn child. In God’s vernacular, “We have despised His Word.”

Equally detestable is the second reason. Due to our own self-centered lusts, pleasures, or desires we destroy the life of an innocent, unborn child. We are guilty of shedding innocent blood. Jesus declared the devil a liar and a murderer. Abortion is the devil’s work and many of us have become his accomplices.

Randy Alcorn asserts, “There are demonic forces behind child-killing. Abortion is Satan’s attempt to kill God in effigy by destroying the little ones created in God’s image. We are not dealing here with ‘one more social issue,’ but a unique and focused evil in which Satan has deeply vested interests.”[3]

The Bible says, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13 NIV) Of all the sins plaguing the church abortion is not only most prevalent, but also the one most concealed. Understandably, those who have participated in abortion feel the weight of their shame and guilt and fear being exposed. Yet, it is precisely that—exposure and confession that will begin the healing process. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16 NIV)

What other life-altering sin affects a full third of us? Do you see why dealing with abortion in our churches is so vital for revival to occur? Imagine what would happen if one third of your church experienced the refreshment of Christ’s mercy, grace and abundant forgiveness and unconditional love and acceptance from their brothers and sisters in Christ. Such confession and repentance would break down the “dam” that has been holding back revival for the past 40 years and wash over the other two-thirds of our congregations.

Consider that forty years ago, when our country dove headlong into abortion at Roe v. Wade, our last great revival known as the “Jesus People Movement” began to die along with our unborn children.

We must not be deceived into thinking that we need only wait for spiritual revival to come and solve the abortion problem. It is our responsibility to draw near to God by dealing with our sin and guilt, so that he is free to come near and bless us. Revival is likely not to precede, but to follow our coming to terms with child-killing:

‘Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:8-10 NIV)[4]

 

©2014 Rob Fischer



[1] Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States, Guttmacher Institute: “At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, ad, at current rates, about one-third will have had an abortion.” May 2010, www.guttmacher.org. See also: http://etb-political.blogspot.com/2012/03/christians-have-as-many-abortions-as.html and http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/40519-why-do-so-many-churchgoers-have-abortions.

[2] Randy Alcorn, ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments, (Sisters, OR: Multomah Publishers, 2000), p. 293.

[3] Randy Alcorn, pp. 295-296.

[4] Randy Alcorn, p. 295.

    

Believing the Lie

I am convinced that not many years hence, our progeny will look back on our generation with deep sorrow, shame and regret. Our grandchildren will fail to grasp how we could have been so calloused and hypocritical. We, who have taken pride in our progress toward civil rights on our own soil. We, who have blown the whistle and imposed sanctions on those who oppress the weak committing human rights violations in places like Cambodia, Rwanda, Iraq, Syria and a host of other places. We, who claim to stand for life, liberty and justice for all. Yet, …we have failed so miserably at home.

No, I must correct myself, for to say that we have failed is too mild, too lenient. To fail implies that we tried, but fell short. But we do not try. On the contrary, we brazenly storm headlong to aggressively deny justice, liberty and life itself to those who have no voice. Like the school bully, we have picked on those weakest among us, simply because it suited us.

“Thou shalt not kill.” The law is straight forward and indisputable. Whether one submits to the Ten Commandments or not, there is no culture on earth where this law does not stand. But as with any law, we always look for loopholes and a way around the law.

Reflecting on the holocaust of Nazi Germany, Andy Andrews asks, “How do you kill 11 million people?” to which he replies, “Lie to them.”[1] Adolf Hitler explained, “Men do not think. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”[2]

Since 1973, we have killed over 50 million babies in the safety of their womb and rationalized that it was not really killing. How have we done this? We’ve lied to ourselves. As prescribed, it was a big lie and a simple lie. We kept repeating the lie and eventually everyone believed it. Today, killing a baby in the womb is so commonplace that we’ve become complacent and even comfortable with it. The lie has taken deep root. Hitler was right, we do not think, we simply go on believing the lie.

And day after day, month after month, year after year, the killings go on—sanctioned by the State, lauded by our President, funded by our taxes, performed by trained medical professionals, and initiated by us. What will it take to expose the lie and reveal the monstrous evil behind it? And what will it take to atone for all the innocent blood we have shed?

Bring an end to the lie. Put an end to the killings. Make a difference. Go to www.ChangeTheShame.com.

©2013 Rob Fischer



[1] Andy Andrews, How Do You Kill 11 Million People? (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011), p. 28.

[2] Andy Andrews, p. 32.

    

Psalm 23: A Model for Living! (5)

In the past few posts, we’ve been considering Psalm 23 as a Model for Living. There are at least four values in this Psalm by which David patterned his life. This post brings us to the fourth and final value.

At the close of Psalm 23, David stuns us with a novel thought. He writes, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Notice all the ways David sites in which the Lord graciously served him. This particular value recognizes, “It’s not about my service for God, but about His service for me!”

This is a difficult value for many of us to swallow. We may feel like we “owe” God big-time. Obviously, we do owe Him our lives and everything He gives us to enjoy. But we do not “owe” Him in the sense that we can pay Him back or even attempt to do so. Why? Because salvation (complete forgiveness and restored relationship with Him) is God’s gracious gift to us. To even suggest that we should try to pay Him back is foolish and would diminish the magnitude of His free gift. God is not the beneficiary of our beneficence; we are the beneficiaries of His.

Jesus underscored this principle when He said that He came, “not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) Elsewhere in the Scripture it says, “God is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” (Acts 17:25)

You see, it’s only when we recognize and accept what God has done for us that we can begin to honor and please Him. “It’s not about my service for God, but about His service for me!”

In Titus 3:3-7 we read, “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”

King David patterned his life after these four values: “I find my satisfaction in the Lord;” “He leads, I follow;” “I want to represent You well, Lord, by pursuing righteousness;” and, “It’s not about my service for God, but about His service for me.” How about you?

© 2012 Rob Fischer

    

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