Abortion: The Death of Innocence

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We all become aware of death at different ages, through different experiences. For many of us, our first encounter comes with the death of a great-grandparent at a ripe old age. The less fortunate may experience having a parent or a child torn away far too soon. But regardless of the nature of the introduction, death leaves an unmistakable mark. A couple of years ago in Dallas, I watched a nurse escort a young woman from a building to her car. From across the street, I could see that the patient’s cheeks were stained with tears. She looked barely out of her teens, but her face was tight with pain and shock. I had seen that look before: the mark that an encounter with death leaves on an innocent face.

The building I was watching wasn’t a hospital; it was an abortion facility. I was standing across the street praying for the women entering and leaving. As I drove home that day, I fought back tears and found myself only able to pray the words of Christ: “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”

Death is a natural part of life, but at times in history it has swelled to epidemic proportions, swallowing up all in its path.  The Black Death of the mid-1300s claimed between a half and a third of Europe’s population, leaving almost no city untouched. An estimated 39 million souls have perished from AIDS since 1981.

But other epidemics have been completely manmade. An analysis of 20,000 mass graves in Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields indicates that Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge executed and buried roughly 1.4 million innocents. More recently, around 800,000 Tutsis were slaughtered in Rwanda over a three-month period in 1994.

A German Christian during World War II recalled hearing the sound of the trains that were taking Jewish people to the Nazi death camps, where 6 million of them would die:

“Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew that we would hear the cries of the Jews en route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us.”

Read the rest of article in Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine

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The Incredible Forgiveness Story Left Out In the Movie Unbroken

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Article written by Clay Sterrett & Dave Sterrett

Louis Zamperini is a true World War II hero, whose story has been vividly portrayed in the N.Y. Times bestseller, Unbroken, by  Laura Hillenbrand . Angelina Jolie’s new film does a good job showing the first half of Louis’ story. What Zamperini endured in those war years was a most remarkable story of endurance. Yet Jolie leaves out that Zamperini was a very broken man when he returned to the United States. He became an alcoholic and a poor husband. He was filled with hatred and unforgiveness towards the guard who tortured him. Louis constantly had nightmares of the guard torturing him. Jolie’s film shows portions of Hillenbrand’s story in which Zamperini was an Olympic runner, who was on target to become the first American to break the four minute mile, but when war broke out, he joined the U.S. Air Force.

On one rescue mission, due to engine troubles, their B-24 airplane crashed into the Pacific Ocean, but Zamperini and two other crew members amazingly survived the impact. Then, they lived the next 47 days on a couple life rafts, just barely surviving starvation, constant shark attacks, and being shot at directly by a Japanese bomber. One man died, but the other two men finally reached the Marshall Islands – only to be captured by Japanese soldiers.

Zamperini would spend the next two and a half years spent in various prisons, where American prisoners were treated very cruelly. One big, sadistic Japanese guard, named Matsuhiro (“The Bird”) seemed to have a demonic hatred especially bent toward Zamperini. Just about anytime they would cross paths, this guard would pound Zamperini in the face, sometimes with a belt buckle on his hand. About half of the story in Unbroken describes the horrible, humiliating suffering Zamperini and others endured in these Japanese prisons. It is truly the hand of God that he survived, especially at the end of the war, when Japanese soldiers normally killed all POW’s before fleeing, but in this case, they fled, and the prisoners were left to be rescued.

Louis shocked friends and family by returning back home alive and he was an instant celebrity. However, the celebrity status produced little income and he soon found himself in a quick marriage, which turned bad, and then he became more addicted to alcohol. Every night he was tormented by nightmares of the guard, Matsuhiro, attacking him. All this changed, however, in 1949 when he attended a big tent crusade in Los Angeles, where a young, popular speaker, Billy Graham, was preaching. Filled with brokenness, Louis went forward in the second night to trust in Jesus Christ, whose body was broken on a cross. Louis returned home, poured out all his liquor, and slept peacefully for the first time in years. He never again had a nightmare of Matsuhiro. He was truly a new man in Christ.

A few years later, Zamperini had an opportunity to go back and visit some of the former Japanese guards, now prisoners themselves. He and other Christians shared the love and forgiveness of Christ to these former tormentors, who were greatly surprised. Zamperini never saw Matsuhiro in his visits, but he sent him this letter. Matsuhiro never responded before his death, but Zamperini had obeyed the Lord in forgiving this former enemy.

To Matsuhiro [sic] Watanabe,
As a result of my prisoner of war experience under your unwarranted and unreasonable punishment, my post-war life became a nightmare. It was not so much due to the pain and suffering as it was the tension of stress and humiliation that caused me to hate with a vengeance…
The post-war nightmares caused my life to crumble, but thanks to a confrontation with God through the evangelist Billy Graham, I committed my life to Christ. Love replaced the hate I had for you. Christ said, “Forgive your enemies and pray for them.”
As you probably know, I returned to Japan in 1952 [sic] and was graciously allowed to address all the Japanese war criminals at Sugamo Prison … At that moment, like the others, I also forgave you and now would hope that you would also become a Christian.
Louis Zamperini

What amazing forgiveness! You, too, can forgive – even your greatest enemies – because Jesus Christ suffered the terrible abuse and torments of men, and yet he chose to forgive us. While hanging on the cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Therefore, you must also “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Col.3:13) To hear the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association special on the rest of the Louis Zamperini story download here: Billy Graham Video.

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Merry Christmas! Limited Time Offer: 3 E-Books for $1

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According to Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith, the number one reason students reject the faith in college is intellectual skepticism. Naturally, many parents are concerned that their children will reject the Christian view of ethics, sexuality and human sacredness during their years in college. Unfortunately, many Christian students are ill-equipped to respond to the arguments they will hear in the classroom disparaging Christian history and doctrine.

Josh McDowell and I partnered to create three novellas in which students discuss the basic tenants of the Christian faith. They are:

  1. Is the Bible True…Really?
  2. Who is Jesus…Really?
  3. Did the Resurrection Happen…Really?

These books will help both Christians and seekers understand the historical reliability of Christianity by “listening in” on conversations you might hear on a college campus.

In December, you can download the Kindle versions for $1. If you do not have a Kindle device, you can read them on the free Kindle App on your computer or phone.

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How the “Fierce Convictions” of Hannah More led to the Abolition of the Slave Trade

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Dr. Karen Swallow Prior’s new book Fierce Convictions tells story of Hannah Moore who, in addition to being a noted author and philanthropist, was a key figuring in abolishing the slave trade in Great Britain.

Beyond becoming a famous poet and playwright, More used her considerable literary talents to describe in great detail the suffering slaves experienced in their voyages at the bottom of slave ships. Although not as well-known as abolitionists such as William Wilberforce and John Newton, Prior reveals how More influenced such men personally and through her writings.

Prior also gives us a window into what is perhaps More’s most compelling quality: her ability to connect personally with great leaders and influencers, as well as with the poor and downtrodden.

As Prior writes, “More was a woman of strong convictions, but she kept a plentiful table. She mixed comfortably and enthusiastically with rich and poor, church and unchurched, and all in between.”

Brilliant and well-educated, More was nonetheless unapologetically committed to the Bible, “Bible Christianity is what I love…a Christianity practical and pure, which teaches holiness, humility, repentance and faith in Christ, and which after summing up all the Evangelical graces declares that the greatest of these is charity” (p. 155). She added, “I know of no way of teaching morals but by infusing principles of Christianity nor of teaching Christianity without a thorough knowledge of Scripture” (p. 160).

Read the rest of the article here at Multiply Life

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She’s Someone, Not Something

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We are first human beings before we are human doings.

Human persons by nature are both physical and non-physical.

Human persons are different from inanimate physical objects.

We are animate objects composed of body and soul. The immaterial aspect of humanity provides the best explanation of why human persons are free to choose and are not merely determined by their matter. Thomas Aquinas stated, “The human soul, which is called the intellect of the mind, is something incorporeal and subsistent.” A philosophical defense of hylomorphism, which was originated with Aristotle and was later developed by Aquinas, conceived “being” as a compound of matter and form. The word, “hylomorphism,” is a 19th-century term formed from the Greek words ὕληhyle, “wood, matter,” and μορφή, “form.” This concept is best understood in the context of Aristotle’s understanding of causality: efficient, final, formal, and material causality. Modern naturalistic philosophers have dismissed final and formal causality, which denote purpose and nature.

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What About Rape? My answer.

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The issue of rape is a primary justification for abortion cited by pro-choice advocates, although forced intercourse accounts for less than one percent of pregnancies. Sadly, rather than focusing on the victim’s healing and the prosecution of the rapist, many in our society are obsessed with making sure that babies conceived in rape are not allowed to be born.

Read article on Multiply Life

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On Mars, A Single Cell is Considered Life

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Last year, several news outlets announced with excitement: “Mars Curiosity Rover Finds Life-supporting Chemicals.” What NASA’s rover had discovered were clay formations, which were revealed to contain chemicals that might have possibly supported life in the distant past. To date, NASA has invested 2.5 billion dollars seeking evidence of life on the planet Mars. The money reveals the value that scientists—regardless of creed or worldview—place on life and its special role in the universe.

Many scientists have tried to calculate the probability of life appearing spontaneously on Mars or anywhere else. British astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle famously put the chances at 1 in 1040,000. But what are the chances that the precise combination of events would occur so that your parents could conceive you? Imagine your family tree: how many chance meetings, dinner dates and romantic walks had to happen among your grandparents, great-grandparents and so on to produce the series of relationships that led up to the beginning of your life?

Read the rest
Multiply Life Giving Thanks For Your Life

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