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Living Abortion Victims Speak Out

On this dark anniversary of Roe v. Wade we’ll hear from some of the voices that abortion could not silence.

Eric Metaxas

Melissa Payne—pregnant with her second child—was traveling with her family when her water broke. Her baby girl was just under nineteen weeks old—far too young to survive outside the womb.

But God was preparing to work a miracle in the Payne family.

Doctors told Melissa that she would have to deliver the baby within the next three days—which certainly meant the little girl would die. Even if they continued the pregnancy, a specialist gave the baby only a five percent chance of survival. And, Melissa was told, even if the baby did survive, she would be so handicapped that she would be a tremendous burden on the family.

But Melissa and her husband, Kevin, refused to give up on their daughter. They found an obstetrician who was willing to help them complete the pregnancy, if such a thing were possible. But even this doctor didn’t offer much hope.daily_commentary_01_22_15

As Melissa told LifeSiteNews, “Every day I was on bed rest I would feel her kicking and moving, and at the same time I would go to the doctor and they’d just frown and nod.”

Friends from church bathed Melissa and her baby in prayer for seven weeks. And then came an emergency Cesarean. Graceanne Payne arrived in the outside world at just 26 weeks gestation.  She weighed one pound, twelve ounces.

Graceanne was kept on oxygen ventilation for six weeks, and spent a total of ninety-seven days in the neonatal intensive care unit. And then, her parents joyfully took her home.

Now you may be wondering: What about all those dire predictions that Graceanne would be born with a big batch of handicaps and be a burden on her family?

Well, Graceanne, who is now over a year old, is perfectly normal. Her mother says she has met all of her age-adjusted developmental milestones.

I wanted to tell Graceanne’s story today—the 42nd anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision—for an important reason. Neonatal specialists keep pushing back the age of survival for babies born sooner than they should be. Many babies now survive premature births.

Other babies survive, not premature births, but efforts to abort them. I was shocked to find out recently that some 44,000 people have survived attempts to kill them through abortion—enough to populate a small city. You can read their stories on their website—The Abortion Survivors Network. One survivor, Ana Rosa Rodriguez had her arm torn off by an abortionist in 1991; she’s now a healthy young woman (except for that missing arm).

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Christians, Race, and Reconciliation

Martin Luther King Jr.’s observation about the church is still largely true, but it doesn’t seem to bother us. Maybe it should

John Stonestreet

Eleven A.M. Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. So said the man we commemorate today. Martin Luther King, Jr. was driven to confront Americans for our sins of racism, discrimination, and oppression. And yet what drove him, as we’ve talked about on BreakPoint in the past, was his Christian faith.

In fact, I dare say secularist gatekeepers today would quickly dismiss many a line from MLK as fundamentalist and theocratic if they didn’t know who said it.

This is especially true of Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which Chuck Colson called one of the great documents of the 20th century. In it, King appealed directly to a standard higher than the law of the land. He appealed to the law of God, by which we can and should judge whether or not to obey a human law.daily_commentary_01_19_15

Now while I’m happy to say evangelicals are more and more comfortable pointing to MLK as an example of Christian activism, and noting his integration of faith in engaging the evils of his day, King’s observation about the church being segregated remains true today, and yet is largely ignored.

According to a recent Lifeway Research report, 8 out of 10 congregations are basically racially segregated, and yet nearly 70 percent don’t think anything needs to be done about it. Now many would say this isn’t really a problem. But I’ve come to believe that it is. And here’s why.

First and foremost are theological considerations. Jesus, we know, prayed in the Garden that His people would be unified. This is more than a “let’s just get along” vision. Jesus said in John 13 that the way people would recognize us as His disciples would be our love for one another. We all know that love is not merely the absence of hate – it’s proactive. That seems to be missing.

The reason that unity reveals our identity as followers of Jesus is that it foreshadows what we’re told is true about the fully realized Kingdom of God. John was granted a vision of this, which he reported in Revelation 7. Before the throne of God stand people from every tongue, tribe, nation, and language – all dressed in white robes praising God. It’s a striking image is striking of the reversal of Babel. At Babel, one people were made into many nation. In Revelation 7, many nations once again become one people: God’s people. If that’s true of the Kingdom of God, it ought be true of the Church whose job is to point people to the Kingdom of God.

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A Stout Faith

By: John Stonestreet|Published: March 17, 2014

If you have ever been  to Ireland, you’ve probably seen the sign “Guinness is good for you.” There’s a surprising and a Christian story behind that. I’ll explain, next on BreakPoint.

John Stonestreet

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. You can hardly miss it: In Chicago they dye the Chicago River green, even when, as is the case this year, the river is frozen. Then there’s the heavily-advertised green milkshake sold by a fast-food company that I won’t name but I suspect you can.

But in the midst of this ersatz-Irishness, I’d like to tell you a story about something genuinely Irish that may surprise you.

I’m referring to Guinness stout. Very few of those hoisting their beer glasses today will know about the Christian vision that animated the brewery’s founder, Arthur Guinness.

The connection between “brewery” and “Christian vision” is the subject of “The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World” by Stephen Mansfield, and a new article on the Breakpoint website by my friend Glenn Sunshine. It’s part of his “Christians who Changed their World” series.

As Mansfield documents, for people in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, beer was daily_commentary_03_17_14“more than a pleasurable drink.” For instance, the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, whom no one would characterize as hedonistic, “had plenty of beer for the voyage onboard.”

That’s because, like most Europeans, they drank beer “for fear of drinking water.” And for good reason: The water in most European cities well into the nineteenth century was unsafe to drink.

That left people with two options: beer, which was regarded as a kind of liquid food, or distilled spirits, in particular gin, which destroyed both bodies and souls.

And that’s where Arthur Guinness enters the story. Guinness was influenced by John Wesley, who taught his followers to “Make all you can, save all you can, [and] give all you can.” Guinness “recognized that he could use his wealth and the way he went about his business for the glory of God as surely as any money given at church.”

Part of this whole was producing a product that could be substituted for the destructive distilled spirits. Plus his beer was more filling so folks would be less likely to get drunk. The other part consisted on what Guinness did with the money he made from selling his product.

He became the governor of Meath Hospital, whose mission was the relief of the poor in the surrounding area. He worked to abolish dueling among his peers; he “promoted Gaelic arts and culture as a mean of instilling an ennobling sense of heritage among his countrymen.”

Perhaps the cause that best reflected his faith and social concerns was the founding of the Sunday Schools in Ireland. He was convinced that offering a basic education for the poor, including the Bible, literacy and other subjects, offered them the best chance to avoid a life of crime.

Guinness’ descendants maintained his commitment to doing good, including one of my favorite Christian thinkers Os Guinness. Another example, in 1900, the brewery’s chief medical officer surveyed the homes of it workers and the people living in the nearby vicinity. Appalled by his findings, he sought and obtained permission from the board to clean up the problems.

Hiring nurses, health workers and providing decent housing cost a lot of money, but it was in keeping with the ideals espoused by Arthur Guinness.

As Mansfield reminds us, none of this would have been possible if Arthur Guinness “had not been skilled at brewing beer.”

While craft microbrews may not be the next great mission field, all of us are called to integrate our Christian and professional lives in the way Arthur Guinness did.

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June 2020