Friday, July 13, 2012

Thank you for visiting Agape Notes. I have refined my focus and setup a more personal blog at myfathershand.org. Please come and join in on the conversation.

shālôm
David Peteson

Friday, June 17, 2011

Abortion in America

I am currently taking a class in Old Testament prophets.  In a recent forum discussion on how Christians should tackle the social ills of today I wrote this reply to one of the posts that addressed abortion and wanted to share my response with you.  As a side note this response is just the tip of the ice burg.

Another verse to consider regarding abortion is Exodus 21:22-23. The passage clearly indicates that if during an altercation between two people a woman is struck, gives birth prematurely, and the child dies as a result of the actions of the men then they are guilty of murder and their life is required of them. God sees the murder (abortion) of children in the womb the same as he sees the murder of any man or women (Gen 9:6) and the punishment is the same.

If God sees abortion as such a serious crime then we should as well.  Our response should be swift and sure and yet many Christians are to focused on their own needs to do more than pay lip service to this serious black spot in our culture. So where do we begin: We vote. I am surprised at the number of Christians who will vote for the candidate that will support workers rights (disclosure: I am in a union), or want to see single mothers given special help, or is concerned about the elderly and their medical care, yet their record on the abortion issue is abysmal.  If a candidate is really serious about life, and not serious about life in the womb, then they are living in darkness and should not be in office.  This is not strong political speech, this is strong biblical and moral speech and until Christians, churches and pastors stand up with a loud voice and proclaim that abortion is wrong then we in America will continue to head in the wrong direction.

Mother Teresa said it well in her speech at the 1994 National Day of Prayer Breakfast"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?"

What else should we do: support mothers who chose not to abort.  Many of these women will be single moms who have given birth because of sex out of marriage and they should be shown grace and mercy, just as we have been shown grace and mercy.  A few of these mothers will give birth because of rape or incest and they will need help in the healing process of the great crime committed against them.  All of these mothers have been duped by a twisted world view and only by God's grace have they come to some knowledge of the great crime of abortion and they need our love and support.

shālôm

David Peterson © 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

God Desires our Loyalty

God desires our loyalty and mercy not just ritual sacrifice (Hosea 6:6).   Hosea preaches a word against the nation of Israel for her murderous and immoral behavior.  The priests were no longer leading the people towards God.  Instead they were leading them away and practicing lawlessness themselves (Hosea 4, 5). When trouble came along instead of seeking God they sought refuge from other nations (Hosea 5:13)   In response to this indictment the people appear to want to go back (Hosea 6:1-3) and serve God.  But God reminds them that they have gone astray once to often (Hosea 6:4-5).  God is not looking for fair weather Christians either.  As we seek to follow God we are called to love God with all our heart, mind and soul (Matt 22:37; Deut 6:5).  Christians can go to church every Sunday and Wednesday, they can walk the Isle, be baptized, take communion but they should be careful lest this become just ritual or “a sacrifice of time.”  As Christians we should truly enter into a relationship with God and seek to be just and merciful to the widows, orphans, and those in prison  (James 1:27; Matt 25:34-40)

shālôm

David Peterson © 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

God's Grace for All

God's grace is available to all who will repent and follow Him.  God called Jonah to preach a message of woe to the Ninevites (1:2).  Jonah's running away from God and the Ninevites (Jon 1:2) is not what I would have expected from a prophet of God.  Later we see the same attitude in Jonah's response (Jon 4:1) to the contrite and repentant hearts of the Ninevites after hearing God's message (Jon 3:10).  After having been shown great mercy by the pagan sailors when they found out that he was the cause of the great storm (Jon 1:12-13) I would have thought that Jonah would be more merciful to others.  I have worked in the city of Detroit for many years and every day I see those who are in need God's mercy.  They range from drug dealers to  mothers who allow their children to live in filthy houses, or fathers who cuss at their children.  I often look at them and think not them Lord, and then the Holy Spirit gently reminds me “Yes, even them David.”  And then He reminds me of my sin and that I am no better than they are.  As I look at my heart and the deep sin within I shall be open to share God's salvation message with others.

shālôm

David Peterson © 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

There's No Where to Hide

Running away from God is futile, God is everywhere. After receiving a word from God to prophecy a message of woe to the Ninevites (Jon 1:2) Jonah decided that he would attempt to hide from God so that he would not have to share God's message with the Ninevites, a people he greatly despised (Jon 1:3).  But God did not let Jonah get away that easy, He threw a great storm at Jonah which violently tossed the ship about (Jon 1:4).  Jonah discovered that even deep in the hull of a ship bound for the end of the world that God was there (Jon 1:6) God is calling us to share his message of woe and salvation with the grocery clerk, a co-worker or our neighbor next door.  Maybe God has already or will soon call us to go on the mission field to take His message to people we do not even know or like (Acts 9:5, 16).  We may try to hide in our work, our family, or other obligations, but sooner or later God will cast a storm in our life if we disobey.  Instead we should run to God and trust him for the mission he has called us to.  We should step out of our comfort zone and share with our neighbors, and all we meet the love of Christ.

shālôm

David Peterson © 2011

God is Sovereign

The Lord is sovereign over all the earth, all events and all time and those who trust in him have nothing to fear.   God in Amos 3:6b asks a simple question: if a disaster occurs in a city is it not the Lord who has caused it. The expected answer from the reader is “yes, of course.” In Psalm 147 we are told that God is the one who sends the snow, frost and ice. And the storm which struck the boat Jonah was on (Jonah 1:4) was caused by God, and He is the one who can calm the storm (Psalm 107:29). In the beginning God causes all thing to be created by the word which he had spoken. And Satan could not harm on hair on Job's head with out God's permission. In recent years preachers all over the United States could be heard proclaiming that God had nothing to do with Hurricane Katrina, or F5 Tornado's that wipe out whole towns. Are these preachers afraid that if the people find out that God is in control of the universe they will run from him. I believe the opposite is true. We should be willing to tell the truth. Our God is a big God who is in control of all that happens and we can trust him with our life for eternity.

shālôm

David Peterson © 2011