What Should We Do with Our Frozen Embryos?

Dear Dr. Moore,

I know you don’t believe in in vitro fertilization, but my wife and I found it was a good solution to our infertility problem. We created multiple embryos, and carried two to term. We cannot afford any other children, so another round of pregnancies is not an option. Our quiver’s full. My conscience is bothering me a little, though, since we banked a number of other fertilized embryos, just in case the first round didn’t take. Do we have any responsibility for these embryos?

Sincerely, A Stressed Dad

Dear Stressed Dad,

Your quiver’s fuller than you think.

You’re right that there are complex ethical questions regarding IVF, and I’d be happy to have that discussion later. Once IVF has been done, though, the issues are simple, even if the consequences are complex.

In a Christian vision of reality there is no such thing as an “almost person,” which is what we think with the abstraction of “fertilized embryos.” Someone is either a human person, and therefore my neighbor, or not. You do not have “frozen embryos.” You have children, frozen in this cruelly clinical world of suspended animation.

It is one thing to decide you can’t afford to have children, before you conceive children, just as it is one thing to decide you can’t afford to marry, before you marry. You’re married though, and you’ve conceived children. You have an obligation to them. The one who does not care for his own household is, the Apostle Paul says, “worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8).

This doesn’t mean your game-plan is easy. There’s a cross to take up here. The path from frozen storage to birth is difficult, whether through bearing those children or making an adoption plan for them into loving families. But these are not things; these are persons, worthy of love and respect and sacrifice.

I’d advise you to meet with some respected spiritual advisers, to look at your situation and come up with a map to take responsibility for your children. The first step is to start thinking of them that way, not as your “embryos” or a project to be managed, but as your children, your neighbors, and the “least of these,” who bear the image of our Lord Jesus.

Your conscience might seem to be a nuisance to you; it does to all of us sometimes. But a nagging conscience can be a sign of grace. It might be that what you are hearing is a happy foretaste of obedience to Christ, as you hear his voice saying, “I was frozen and you remembered me.”

Reprinted with permission from the author; originally posted on Moore to the Point.

What you need to know about Birth Control

Birth control is a contentious issue, and one which seems to be open to interpretation. However, there are several forms of birth control which directly violate other commands of the Bible, specifically the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”

We believe that human life is sacred, and that all humans are created in the image of God. This begins with life, that is, at conception. The Bible clearly confirms this by underlining the value of our lives before birth (e.g. Isaiah 46:3-5, Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 119:73, Psalm 139:13-14, etc.), even tracing them back to the moment of conception on multiple occasions (e.g. Genesis 4:1, Ruth 4:13, Psalm 51:5, Song of Solomon 3:4, etc.) Therefore, anything that destroys this human life is a direct violation of the sixth commandment.

There are many different types of contraception (“birth control”) available today. There are some we dismiss outright as being morally wrong—abortion (which destroys a baby that has implanted into his/her mother’s womb) and intra-uterine devices (which prevents an embryo from implanting into the womb). What many people are not aware of is that all hormonal contraception (e.g. “the pill”) may work by preventing implantation as well.

Most of us wouldn’t think of taking the morning-after pill, but this is the same combination of medications that is found in birth control pills and uses the exact same three ways of action to prevent pregnancy that the pill does. In fact, in many cases, the morning after pill is literally punched out of a birth control pill package and dispensed in a vial with different directions, but it remains the same medication women all over the world use to prevent pregnancy on a month-to-month basis, albeit at a higher dose.

Most hormonal contraceptives contain the two female hormones estrogen and progestin in various forms and combinations. Some contain only progestin (mini pills) and are often prescribed to women who are breastfeeding or experiencing difficulties with side-effects of the estrogen component of most other hormonal contraceptives. Regardless of which type and brand of hormonal contraception used, all prevent pregnancy by the same three ways, which can be viewed as a series of hurdles that one must pass in order to become pregnant. In more detail, hormonal contraception:

1. Prevents ovulation from occurring so no egg can be fertilized;
2. Prevents conception by thickening the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg in case ovulation does take place;
3. Thins the lining of the uterus so that a newly conceived human embryo (often referred to as a “fertilized egg”) will be unable to implant.

Thus, if ovulation occurs, chances are the sperm will not be available to fertilize the egg, but if fertilization occurs, the embryo will not survive because the uterine environment cannot sustain the pregnancy. While the first mechanism of action is the predominant means by which hormonal contraception works and the one that we are most familiar with, the other two are important mechanisms for preventing pregnancy. The prevention of ovulation and sperm passage is contraceptive—that is, it prevents the act of conceiving, the fertilization of an egg—so that a human life is not formed. But it is this third mechanism of action that acts in an intraceptive, life-interrupting way.

How is this possible? Ovulation can take place while using hormonal contraception. Any time ovulation takes place there is the possibility of conception, and pregnancy. We know birth control pills “fail” (a women gets pregnant while taking them) at a rate of 3 out of every 100 women per year. Some of these pregnancies are due to “human error”, that is, not taking the pill exactly as prescribed, for example, by missing a dose, taking the pill late, or taking other medications or herbal products that interfere with the pill. However, in women taking the pill perfectly, pregnancy can still happen. This means that all three mechanisms of action for the pill failed… the baby passed all the hurdles!

What is unknown is how often do the first two mechanisms fail and it is the last mechanism, the prevention of implantation that is responsible for the prevention of pregnancy? How then can pro-life women in good conscience be taking a medication to prevent pregnancy that can also terminate life?

While science clearly proves that human life begins at fertilization, some medical textbooks argue that human life begins at implantation, and many health care professionals do not view human life as innately sacred. This vast difference in world view and definition of life has profound effects and often leads to the provision of confusing and misleading information from most health care professionals when members of our community ask about birth control methods.

For example, if a woman asks whether the birth control pill can terminate life, and the doctor believes human life does not begin until implantation, his/her answer will be no, putting the woman’s mind at ease with misinformation. Yet others, knowing that fertilization is the starting point of each of our lives, do not consider this life to be valuable yet, and also inform patients that the pill can do no harm. It is therefore incredibly important that we are aware of this information.

Finally, if you have been using birth control pills or other forms of hormonal contraception, prayerfully consider other methods that are known not to disrupt life. Children are always a blessing from the Lord, but there may be times when pregnancy is to be avoided. There are other means of avoiding pregnancy that are as effective as hormonal contraception, perhaps without the convenience factor, but also without the fear of unknowingly losing a child.

Hormonal contraception can be used to treat or control a variety of medical conditions. As with any medication, please discuss this with your physician prior to making any changes if you are considering discontinuing your hormonal contraception. Consider that taking this, while being sexually intimate with your spouse, can put the lives of your pre-born children at risk. Above all, while making well-informed decisions that are consistent with Biblical, pro-life views, pray for guidance to do so in a way that glorifies God.

Michelle Van Maanen, BSP, Accredited Canadian Pharmacy Resident (ACPR)
Danielle Van Maanen, BScN, Registered Nurse (RN)

For further information, see also:

Birth Control Pill: Abortifacient and Contraceptive by the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? by Randy Alcorn


The Pill—How it Works and Fails by Pharmacists for Life International

Things your Doctor May not Have Told You about Your Birth Control by My Feminine Mind

WOOMB Canada

Facebook and the 7th Commandment

A woman walked into my study a few days ago. She was nearly naked, wearing only a bra and panties.

There is just one woman in the world who, while dressed like this, can be around me: my wife. But the woman who walked into my study a few days ago was not my wife. I was very embarrassed.

She, however, was not embarrassed at all. Let’s call her: “Shameless.”

The reason Shameless was not embarrassed was because she had swallowed the lie of our modern society. This lie says the following: if the bra and panties are the same color and made of a fabric that can be used in water, then walking around in them is completely different than walking around in underwear because they are, after all, swimwear.

Shameless is a professing Christian, yet, because she has bought into this lie, she has no problem exposing her body to the whole world. I imagine she might be embarrassed to walk in the mall, or visit her grandparents, dressed only in her bra and panties. But for some reason, she does not see any problem in choosing a photo of herself dressed this way as her Facebook profile photo.
That’s how she came into my office: by my computer screen.

I have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook that I hardly know. I accept friend requests from anyone who professes to be Christian, because I want to expand my network of contacts so I can promote the work of the various Reformed organizations and institutions I work with.

However, when a contact posts things on Facebook that promote indecent thoughts, or attitudes or actions that are not Christian, I delete them immediately.

Three reasons

Let me share with you the reasons why I deleted Shameless.

1. Her body belongs to her husband

If she is not married, she must keep her body for her future husband (1 Cor 7:4). Her body is not to be exposed for the world to see, much less is to be displayed on my computer screen.

2. My passion belongs to my wife

Seeing the body of another woman does not promote my sanctification or edify my marriage (Prov. 5:15-20; Job 31:1). God created man so that he experiences a very strong reaction when he sees the body of a woman. This reaction within marriage is beautiful and promotes true love. Outside of marriage it is shameful and brings destruction and sorrow.

In this world, mired as it is in immorality and sexual perversion, vigilance is necessary for a man to keep his sexual purity. When other women present themselves almost naked to him, that surely does not help in his fight against sin.

3. Public nakedness is a denial of Christ’s work

When man fell into sin, his nakedness was exposed. God then gave clothes to cover the shame of Adam and Eve. An animal had to die so that their nakedness was covered. This was a foreshadowing of Christ’s work, in which He was exposed and naked on the cross, taking upon Himself our shame, and shedding his blood for us so we could be covered with the white robes of His righteousness.
The way we dress reflects something about our understanding of the Gospel. When Christian men and women expose their bodies in public, they are obscuring the manifestation of the power of Christ’s work in their lives – instead of dressing in decent apparel, with modesty and good sense, they mimic the world, which glories in its shame.


Sadly many readers will find this article too radical. Christian women can’t wear bikinis? Men should vigilantly avoid looking at such exposed women?

There’s a reason this seems radical: we’re so mired in worldliness that we don’t even notice it. Today’s worldly, superficial Christianity produces worldly, superficial Christians. However Christianity as taught by Christ and his apostles is a total transformation of life in all respects, accompanied by a radical commitment to holiness. The change in us is not meant to be a slight one – we are to be transformed into something else entirely: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor 5:17a). Now that’s radical! And that is Christianity!

This article first appeared in Portuguese, and was first published in English in Reformed Perspective (www.ReformedPerspective.ca). It is reprinted here with permission.

Kermit Gosnell and the Gospel

Yesterday I was typing the name “Kermit Gosnell,” and my phone auto-corrected the name to “gospel.” I shuddered momentarily. After all, what could be more contradictory than the name of a notorious abortionist on trial for child murder, and the good news of the mercies of God in Christ. My smartphone, it turns out, was smarter than I was.

The Gosnell case is stomach-turning. Testimonies in court point to a sadistic man who would sever the spines of babies, in and out of the womb. They tell of a man so cold-blooded that he would keep the feet of unborn children as trophies of his evil. They speak of a man who would prey upon the poorest and most vulnerable women in his community in order to destroy their lives and those of their children. It’s hard to think of the gospel in the midst of all that evil.

But that’s just the point.

In the crucifixion narrative of Jesus, the gospel writers tell us that he was not hanged alone. On either side were thieves. That word thief” has, I fear, taken the edge off of this scene for many contemporary Westerners. When we think “thief” we tend to imagine a shoplifter at Wal-Mart or a burglar cracking a safe. In this context, though, “thief” communicated a murderous terrorist, feared and reviled by all. Jesus in his crucifixion identified himself with the worst and most violent of sinners, even in terms of the geography of his death.

The one criminal responded the way most of us, left to ourselves, would. He didn’t want repentance but deliverance. He taunted Jesus to rescue him, not from his sin itself but from the consequences of it. This is what Gosnell is seeking, to defend himself in court and escape prosecution. The one we have come to know as “the thief on the cross”, acknowledged the justice of his sentence, and pleaded for mercy. He identified himself with Jesus as King: “Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”

The gospel isn’t a mere matter of God exempting people from consequences. We could understand such pardons, handed out for cosmic misdemeanors or victimless crimes. The gospel comes to those who are the horrible, the damned.

How could this murderous doctor walk in every day to a chamber of horrors and do what he did? How could his nurses and assistants suppress the screams of these children, the spattering of blood? They do so by suppressing the conscience and walling over the embedded revelation of the justice of God. They pretend as though there will be no reckoning, no Judgment Seat, that somehow all of this can be kept secret, that they can take these secrets with them to the grave.

The gospel, though, reveals the justice of God. Sin cannot be hidden, and judgment cannot be escaped. The cries of the oppressed, the orphaned, the murdered, are heard, and their Redeemer is strong. Justification isn’t a matter of waving away consequences. It’s a matter of self-crucifixion, of embracing the judgement of God and agreeing with his verdict. And, in Christ, it’s a matter of being joined to another, one against whom no accusation can stand.

The Gosnell case is horrific. It ought to revolt us and to turn our stomachs and to shock our consciences. But Kermit Gosnell’s criminality is one of degree, not of kind. Left to ourselves, we would all be given over the kind of cruelty and rage he displayed. Our hope, and his, cannot be in simply evading consequences. After all, the worst consequence facing Kermit Gosnell is not that he be executed or imprisoned. The worst consequence facing Kermit Gosnell is that he be handed over to being Kermit Gosnell.

If we minimize God’s justice, and ignore the evil here, we eclipse the gospel. But there’s another danger too. Many Christians are rightly upset that the media have ignored the Gosnell trial. Our internal media do the same thing, with our own cosmic crimes against God. Our hope isn’t in indulgence but in the kind of mercy that crucifies and resurrects.

The Kermit Gosnell story is one of severed spines and seared consciences. A gospel of justification without justice cannot picture a holy God. A gospel of justice without justification ultimately leaves us all without hope before the tribunal of God. The gospel of Jesus Christ speaks of both justice and justification, and brings them together in a Man drowning in his own blood at the Place of the Skull.

And on either side of him, there were thieves.

Reprinted with permission from the author; originally posted on Moore to the Point.

The Tyranny of Nice

Let me paint you a picture.

You leave your house in the morning for work, or church, or school. As you step outside your house, you notice that’s something’s different. There are tiny splashes of crimson on the sidewalk in front of your house. As you walk closer, you realize with a sickening feeling that those tiny scarlet splashes merely outline the final resting places of tiny corpses, so tiny you have to lean over and squint at them—and when you do, you see tiny, perfectly formed arms, legs, and worst of all—faces. Faces that you do not want to see. Perfectly formed human beings, grotesquely mangled, savagely violated, and finally, callously abandoned.

And there are hundreds of them, stretching up the street. In order to go about your day’s activities, you must first step over 266 tiny bodies.

That might sound dramatic to some. In fact, I’m sure it does. And that is precisely why the gatekeepers of Christian schools and churches often do everything in their power to ensure you will never have to look a victim of abortion in the face. Many seem hell-bent on making sure that no student, no congregant, should ever have to grapple with the world-changing and gut-wrenching realization that we have failed millions of tiny human beings. Another day, another small sacrifice on the Altar of Nice. But don’t worry. You won’t have to step over the corpses as you go about your day. They’ve either been incinerated or packed into bio-hazardous bins, safely away from our fragile consciences. And there are plenty of pro-life people who want to make sure you don’t even see the only evidence of their fate that exists to tell their story: Abortion imagery.

Beyond the detailed and comprehensive explanations that has already been laid out regarding the need for showing abortion when we talk about well, abortion. A pro-life educator being told they can educate a class about abortion as long as they do not provide any documentary evidence of their claims (besides being just plain absurd) is the equivalent of telling a history teacher to educate his or her class about the Holocaust without showing any concentration camp pictures. Or a humanitarian worker to lecture about starvation in Africa without showing pictures of the starvation victims. Or an anti-smoker campaigner who can say that smoking makes your lungs black, but is forbidden to show any pictures of said claim.

There is no intellectually sustainable reason for this position. There is only the constant, infuriating, knee-jerk desire to keep everybody “happy,” whatever that means. Keep feeding them the morphine of cute stories and completely ignore the victims of abortion, so that when kids actually do go out and have abortions (and trust me, we have met many post-abortive teens in Christian schools) we can at least tell these shattered girls that we tried to protect them from any sort of emotional reaction to a picture. That’s right. You saved kids from a normal, human reaction to a picture of a human our society betrayed—but in the process, you may have removed the last barrier between them and a lifetime of pain and regret. It’s a good thing that no teens watch slasher flicks or gory movies. That would really traumatize them.

If you are pro-life, you know, as I do, that abortion has killed millions of pre-born children in Canada already. You are aware that the number of lives lost here already exceeds the number of lives lost in many of the other titanic injustices of our age. What would your response be to someone in the 1930’s and 1940’s who opposed the killing of Jews, but also opposed showing any pictures of the concentration camps to average citizens? Would you not say that they, too, were aiding in the cover-up?

If you know, as I do, that the pre-born are human beings whose right to life is being violated on a day-today basis, can you in honesty object to my comparison? Who does this suppression of evidence help, and who does it hurt?

It’s something to think about.

Abortion: A Practical Outlook

Part 3 of 3 of the Abortion Series, originally published in the NRC youth magazine Insight Into in 2008-2009. Reprinted with permission from the authors.

In the first article of this series, Sarah described abortion as the “silent holocaust” and explained what it does to pre-born babies. In the second article, Bruce gave biblical reasons for respecting all life and asked what we do to protect the pre-born. This time, we will take a practical look at how women and men are touched by abortion, and what we are to do about it.

“It hurt my heart so bad. My heart and my body and my spirit were broken in a matter of minutes. I regret what I did so much. I have not smiled truthfully since then.”

These are the words of a young woman who thought an abortion would be better than a baby. As most people in our society, she was made to believe that her pre-born child was not yet human, but soon after the abortion, she intuitively knew that it had been. Another woman explained, “They told us it would be better since we didn’t have money for yet another baby but instead, my husband and I are troubled daily by feelings of guilt and thoughts of the child we could’ve had.” Abortion clearly has negative physical consequences, but also leaves countless women and men with profound pain, guilt and regret.

Sadly, research shows that Christians also have abortions, including some from our churches. A young woman who became pregnant because of a sinful lifestyle wrote, “I had always believed that I was pro-life until the day I was faced with the decision myself. I grew up in a very strict religious family and was truly afraid that telling my parents that I was pregnant would get me disowned. I’m 27, it’s now almost nine years later, and I still cry about it.” In addition, a young man explained that he was so worried about disappointing his parents that he pressured his girlfriend into having an abortion.

These examples show us that abortions happen because we do not follow the Lord and His commandments. When a pregnancy results from premarital intercourse, abortion can be used to cover up sin. When we do not accept that children are a blessing, we may use abortion as an illegitimate way to plan, instead of trust God’s design for our lives. Or when we altogether ignore what God has to say to us, or that He even exists, we will do whatever we think is right. In other words, there is so much pain because we do not let the Lord’s wise decrees be our guide.

Do you wonder what can be done to stop this evil? It is not enough to refrain from having an abortion! James 1 verse 27 tells us that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” That is a combination of doing and being.

First of all, get up. Get out. Do something about the suffering in the lives of those around you. That also applies to all the pain and suffering resulting from abortion. People need to know what abortion does to pre-born babies and their parents and why it is wrong. The second part says be sanctified and keep yourself unstained from the world. In other words, it isn’t enough to just help those in need. Your life needs to be to God’s honour. We need to know Him personally for time and eternity. What a wonder it would be if the Lord would bind that upon our hearts and work true conversion within us.

But what about those who have had an abortion? Our nation is in desperate need of repentance, restoration, and healing. Maybe you know someone who has had an abortion, or maybe you have had one yourself. A young woman wrote, “I couldn’t forgive myself. If not for the forgiveness of Christ, I would still be suffering from alcoholism, depression and undefeatable guilt and mourning.”

Since God cannot leave sin unpunished, we are condemned to these feelings of guilt but especially are condemned to eternal death. There is only one path to true restoration. Not by forgiving yourself, but by the gracious forgiveness of God through Christ, who was the only One to pay the death we owe. And that is the only true foundation of doing and being, of meeting needs and walking in purity.

Reaching Out
Finally, we are to show compassion to those who have had abortions and are now struggling with feelings of guilt and depression. Of course, that is not an easy task. It needs much love and wisdom. It needs, above all, the Lord’s help. Without Him we can do nothing. But He is able to bless a simple word, a cup of cold water, or even an arm around the shoulder.

Abortion: A Christian Response

Part 2 of 3 of the Abortion Series, originally published in the NRC youth magazine Insight Into in 2008-2009. Reprinted with permission from the authors.

In the first article of this series, Sarah Maljaars introduced abortion as the “silent holocaust.” This article will address what the Christian response to abortion should be. For many involved in abortion apologetics, or the defence of the pre-born, arguments are made in terms of science and philosophy, but for Christians, these arguments and the underlying beliefs are based on the Bible.

Any response to abortion by a Christian is based on the Bible, which is very clear about life. One of the central arguments regarding abortion in our secular world is based on legal terms including the word human” and “person.” ”

In the past, groups have been recognized as “human,” but not as “persons” under the law, which allowed genocide to occur. This definition is not one we can find in the Bible. In fact, the Bible does not mention the word “human.” The bible refers to man, women, child, son, daughter, and babe.

God does not distinguish between born and pre-born life as can be seen in several places. Elizabeth is recorded in Luke 1 where in verse 36 she “conceived a son” and in verse 57 where “she brought forth a son.” God did not distinguish between the child before and after birth, but called Elizabeth’s child a son beginning at conception. Another example is from Job 3:3, where Job refers to “a man child conceived,” showing again that God provides no distinction after the moment of conception.

One of the common reasons provided for abortion is that the recipient is “not ready for children yet.” This flies in the face of the blessing provided by God, especially because our lives were ordained by God from before our conception. The Bible makes references to prophets (Jeremiah, John the Baptist) and preachers (Paul) who were appointed, called and set apart in the womb.

When we consider the number of abortions that take place daily around the world, especially in Western countries that were founded with Christian principles, it is clear how far society has moved. Even during the period known as the dark ages in Europe, when daily life was coarse and uncivilized (in our eyes), expectant mothers were treated with great respect. They were provided with the best possible food, rest, and the care they needed. Maltreatment of any expectant mother was met with stiff punishment because people recognized how fragile the developing child was.

Fast forward to our modern Western society, and we notice a remarkable change. Our “enlightened” society has come to despise the blessing of children with many couples opting to not have any children, or only have one. In some cases, expecting mothers are ridiculed, especially young women who have opted not to abort. Along with this transformation there is a different attitude towards life. Instead of respecting life in the womb, as God’s Word does, our society only protects pre-born life when individuals decide that the life is wanted. Parents who are happy to be expecting a baby celebrate as though life has already begun. If their child is born prematurely they would obviously want the state to recognize their child as a legal “person”, so that she or he could receive the necessary health care. However, parents who do not welcome a pregnancy argue that life does not begin until the baby is actually born, so that they can justify having an abortion.

Even though many parents believe that they are only aborting a lifeless, unwanted piece of tissue, we know that they are actually killing a helpless human being. The Bible makes clear references to the deliberate killing of innocent human beings. In Deuteronomy 27:25 we read, “Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person.” This very statement applies to every abortion clinic and hospital where doctors and nurses are paid to perform abortions. But can it also apply to others?

In Canada, our tax dollars pay for abortions performed under the guise of “healthcare,” in spite of abortion not being a medically necessary procedure. We might defend ourselves from any involvement in this system where we cannot choose how our tax money is spent, but are we concerned about it? Do we bring our concerns to those in government who do make the decisions? Are we involved in the fight to end abortion? As Christians we have the scriptural knowledge that all life, especially that of the pre-born, is precious. With that knowledge we have the responsibility to protect the innocent and helpless lives of the unborn through any means we can use.

Next: Abortion: A Practical Outlook by Maaike Rosendal

Abortion: The Silent Holocaust

Part 1 of 3 of the Abortion Series, originally published in the NRC youth magazine Insight Into in 2008-2009. Reprinted with permission from the authors.

Henry was surrounded by an angry gang of Polish boys. The biggest boy leered and snarled into Henry’s frightened face. “Ty podły Żydzie,” he spat, “You rotten Jews… you’d better run!”

Gangs and bullies were only the beginning of the nightmare Henry and the rest of his Jewish family were about to experience. After the Nazis invaded Poland, Henry’s father was taken away by the Gestapo, tortured, and killed. Henry’s sister was first forced into the Warsaw ghetto, and eventually died in Treblinka. The rest of the family were taken to Auschwitz. Henry and his brother survived the war making machinery and munitions for the Nazis in Auschwitz. His mother died in a gas chamber.

Dr. Henry Morgentaler is not so well known in Canada for his experiences as a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust. However, on October 10, 2008, Morgentaler was awarded the Order of Canada for his role in leading a holocaust of another kind: only this time, the victims are pre-born children, and the method of extermination is abortion.

Abortion is a holocaust that occurs every day in North America and around the world. But instead of suffocating in gas chambers, the victims of this holocaust are murdered within the sterile, white-washed walls of hospital rooms. Abortion is a procedure that ends a woman’s pregnancy. In 1988, Morgentaler challenged the law in Canada that restricted abortion. The Supreme Court ruled in his favour, and since then, there has been no law limiting access to abortions in Canada. During this time, Morgentaler alone has performed more than 100,000 abortions.

Most abortions are done on women who are still in their first three months of pregnancy. To perform an abortion, a doctor will open a woman’s cervix and insert a powerful suction tube with a sharp cutting edge. The suction pulls apart the body of the developing baby and sucks placenta, blood, amniotic fluid, and foetal body parts into a collection container.

Some abortions are done later on in pregnancy. To carry out a “partial-birth” abortion, a doctor reaches into the uterus, takes hold of the pre-born baby’s leg with forceps, and pulls the baby by its legs into the birth canal. At this point the baby is alive, but just the head is inside the womb. Then the doctor forces scissors into the back of the baby’s skull and spreads the tips of the scissors apart to make the wound bigger. Next, the doctor replaces the scissors with a suction tube that sucks the baby’s brains out. The head collapses and is removed from the uterus.

These procedures are both completely legal in Canada. In fact, most abortions are even paid for by Canadian taxpayers through the publicly funded health care system. Since 1969, when abortion first became legal, over three million pre-born babies have died from abortion in Canada. In the United States abortion has been legal since 1973. Since then, there have been over 48 million abortions in the US, and the numbers of abortions increase every day.

How do so many people justify killing defenceless babies? Basically, people who think abortion is okay do not believe that pre-born babies are people. When they talk about the pre-born, they use technical words like “fetus” or “embryo”. Using these words makes it easier to think of pre-born babies as mere “blobs of tissue”. If the doctor is just getting rid of a chunk of flesh growing in the mother’s uterus, then there is nothing wrong with having an abortion, right?

Wrong. The pre-born are much more than a clump of cells. Science shows that from the moment of conception, when the sperm and the egg unite, the pre-born child is a distinct, living, whole human being. At this moment, the pre-born child has all the genetic information that it needs to develop into a unique individual with his or her own hair color, body shape, and personality. All it must do now is grow and develop—just like a newborn, toddler or teenager!

Just as Jews were denied legal status as persons under the Third Reich, pre-born children are dismissed as less than human in our society today. Jews living in Nazi Germany were unprepared and outnumbered. Pre-born children are vulnerable and voiceless. Millions have been robbed of their dignity and being. That is what happens when we fail to protect the weakest people in our society: they wind up in mass graves near Auschwitz, or garbage bins outside hospital doors.

Unfortunately, Morgentaler did not learn from the last Holocaust.

Next: Abortion: A Christian Response by Bruce Aleman


A Father’s Duty

“Why would you give up so much for pro-life work?”

Over the past few months this question has been asked repeatedly by friends and family alike. Most ask out of curiosity, some in admiration and wonderment, and a few in tones of ridicule and spite when they learn of my new employment with the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform. For myself, I have always kept a motto of keeping all my options open. Throughout high school, for example, I took all academic courses since I wasn’t sure of my career path, and even during the first two years of university I tried introduction courses from every faculty available. Once my profession was chosen, the most enticing aspect of becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) was the endless possibilities it would bring. However, never had I imagined that of all the options available, that this would be God’s way for me.

This past summer, as I studied for my final test to complete and obtain my CA designation, it was impossible not to think about my future career and how to use my capacities to God’s honour and glory. In the parable of the talents, as told in Matthew 25, it clearly shows us that the Lord has given talents to everyone and asks of us that we use and multiply these talents to the good of the Kingdom of Heaven. Further in this parable it can be seen that unto those who the Lord has given much, much is also required of them. Since the servant in the parable that received five talents, an additional five talents were required of him.

But this return of talents is not simply turning five dollars into ten dollars and perhaps even reserving a portion for tithes and the poor—no, this return is much greater. Matthew 25:14 speaks of the man who “delivered unto [his servants] his goods.” Symbolizing God’s gifts to us, this speaks of capacities of His image that are endowed unto all people: capacities of knowledge, love, and ability. Too often, we think of using our time and talents as our duty, which it undoubtedly is, but the higher goal must be to expand God’s Kingdom and return what we received with thankfulness and interest. That can be very practical. If you help someone with car troubles on the side of the road the greatest reward is not that this person gives you a million dollars for your act of kindness, nor that it may cause he or she to return the favour to someone else down the road, but rather that you did it to serve the Master, and that the person may even ponder upon something so foreign to our fallen world.

Now, as a CA, I could look forward to and climb the corporate ladder in front of me, dreaming of a nice house, a fancy car, a boat perhaps and many sunny vacations, or I could consider an offer to help manage a non-profit organization that advocates for the most vulnerable of our neighbours. For over eight years already, the Lord has made the plight of the pre-born an important part of my life and now I have the opportunity to use my talents as an accountant to the good of those very children.

This is not to say it was an easy step for me to take, especially as the head of our little family and having the responsibility of looking after and providing for them. It took time, counsel, prayer and much encouragement from Above to show me that I place too much faith in a regular paycheque that is received from your employer. Since October my wife and I have been fundraising for our salary and in this time I have realized it must all come from the Lord, no matter that your occupation is. The fact that your employer doesn’t go bankrupt, that business continues to thrive, that you have the health and ability to work, that your labour is blessed—all these factors and many more come from the Lord alone.

In Matthew 6 we read, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer explains, “[Man] imagines that there is a relation of cause and effect between work and sustenance, but Jesus explodes that illusion. According to Him, bread is not to be valued as the reward for our work; He speaks instead of the carefree simplicity of the man who walks with Him and accepts everything as it comes from God.”

This, of course, could be applied in different ways. It doesn’t mean we may never earn money, but it has taught me that living in dependence on the Lord is of the greatest importance. And in my case, that has come in the way of giving up a secure income for a fundraised income. We now fundraise our salary, for the simple reason that there is no alternative funding for a non-profit organization that is not supported by government funds or the general public.

On the other side of the coin, I strongly believe that being a man not only means I provide for my family, but also gives me more responsibility to stand up for the pre-born as it is largely due to the demise of masculinity and the shirking of our responsibilities as men in society that abortion is so prevalent today. In general, we men have failed to be a role model to “our sons grown up in their youth” and we have failed to esteem “our daughters as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace” (Psalm 144). From pornography to advertising in business windows we are bombarded with hyper-sexualized versions of women, now degraded to sex objects. Though I was conceived after the beginning of the sexual revolution, isn’t the question how we, as a Christian church, could have let this happen? Isn’t the question what our response is today—are we determined to make a difference, unwavering in guarding our homes and hearts? I know it is nearly impossible to protect our kids, let alone ourselves, and therefore it is more important than ever before to lead by example, to show boys how to be men and treat women and children with respect.

It is much too convenient for us to point to feminism as the sole cause of the sexual liberation of our day and age, when in part male chauvinism may have instigated the movement, the lukewarm state of the church allowed it, our materialism promoted it. And thus, abortion would not be the leading cause of death in Canada today, if men would take responsibility. No, not just the men who cowardly leave a woman to deal with the results of their physical desires and lusts, but you and me too—Christian men who ought to reflect Christ in all we think, say, and do.

While we may have failed in the past, and without God’s grace will continue to do so, this should not be a reason to give up on the future. Francis A. Schaeffer once wrote, “Future generations will look back, and many will either scoff or believe in Christ on the basis of whether we Christians of today took a sacrificial stand in our various walks of life on these overwhelmingly important issues.”

Isn’t that how we often look back at the lack of action from European Christians during the Second World War? Just the other day, someone said to me, “How could they have just let it happen?” I couldn’t help but think of the historical account of a Lutheran church, situated only a short distance from railroad tracks. Every Sunday, cattle cars full of Jews would ride past the church on their way to concentration or death camps. The wailing and weeping from the train could be heard in the church. What was the response? Comfortably inside, the congregation just sang louder to drown out the anguish. As we consider this, we shake our heads. “How could they?” But today, many of us, who call ourselves Christians, go about with our lives, “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (Matthew 24:38), building our homes, and attending church, all the while fellow human beings are visiting hospitals and abortions clinics to have their tiny pre-born children torn to pieces. Should we not stop and rethink and change our lives accordingly, lest future generations will look at the blood on our hands and say, “How could they?”

Finally, regardless of talent or opportunities, the Scriptures command us in Matthew 22 to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind, and our neighbour as ourselves. What does that means in our day-to-day lives? In obedience to God, that means asking what He would have us do about the injustice of our day, one that we pay for with our tax dollars. Proverbs 31: 8 says to “Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.” If you have watched “The Silent Scream” or take a few minutes to watch this video, you will be able to make the connection quite easily. Pre-born children are appointed to destruction, almost 300 times a day in our country alone. Each time an abortion is scheduled, we are to open our mouth to defend those that cannot defend themselves. That is not a question or a suggestion: it is a command.

There are many ways to advocate for the pre-born, the most vulnerable in our society in Canada today and for the past 25 years. Efforts are made through pro-life organizations such as ours to give a voice to the voiceless, to show their plight so that the general public may not plead ignorance and abortion will become unthinkable. Support comes in many forms, through actively volunteering, financially funding, prayerfully encouraging, and lovingly educating those that are still ignorant. But the most important question is this: are we willing? Are we willing to do whatever it takes to save these children?

For our little family, it has meant a life-style change and it won’t always be easy, but our decision has definitely come with tremendous blessings too. While working from home, we spend more time together than before, and we are able to raise our boys engaged in the fight for the very heart and life of our culture. We’ve also had the privilege of meeting many pro-lifers, each of them serving the Lord in the place that was given to them. A businessman wrote a big cheque after going through his finances and concluding that this cause was getting much too little. Young families with already tight budgets have committed to monthly donations to answer the call in this way. And one God-fearing, elderly couple we met wasn’t able to contribute much financially, but their prayers are a mighty weapon against the forces of darkness.

So, why give up so much to do pro-life work? The way I see it, we’re gaining more than we’re giving up. As the Talmud saying goes, “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

Women Taking to the Streets!


If we were living in the 1970s, such a headline might well be heeded. But the throngs of youthful sign-wielding, slogan-chanting demonstrators on Parliament Hill every spring have a radically different purpose: rather than demanding reproductive rights for themselves, they are advocates for the sanctity of life and protection of the pre-born. And across the country, every week, more volunteers brave spiteful epithets, occasional projectiles, and inclement weather while holding signs depicting graphic images of aborted babies. Unfortunately, these “Choice” Chain volunteers sometimes face opposition from unexpected fronts. Young women in particular are targeted, not only by angry passers-by, but by members of their own Reformed churches. “Choice” Chain has drawn criticism because the majority of volunteers are female. At other times young mothers have been chastised for neglecting their children and housewifely duties while engaging in this pro-life work, and admonished to set a better example of biblical womanhood for their daughters. And so I approach this age-old question with some reluctance and trepidation: what is a woman to do? What is her biblical role and, more specifically, does it include pro-life activism such as “Choice” Chain?

Most often negative responses to this question accompany objections, whether tacit or spoken, of this nature:

1. A woman’s place is in the home, not on the streets.
2. Women who take public leadership roles upset the divine ordinance of creation.
3. Women who spend so much time pursuing these efforts are not being good mothers.
4. Public activism is simply not womanly and violates Biblical standards of femininity.

I will attempt to address these claims in the above order.

The first of these objections evokes the image of the woman in Proverbs 31. Matthew Henry, in his commentary on this chapter writes, “This is the description of a virtuous woman of those days, but the general outlines equally suit every age and nation.” So we read of the indefatigable industry of a woman who looks after the needs of her household. Her work, however, goes far beyond what is typically considered in the 21st century as “domestic labour”, as she “considereth a field, and buys it, […] maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant” (Prov.31:16,24; KJV). Spurgeon comments that “[s]he is not a religious recluse, shut out from the world; the virtuous woman is a sensible common-sense being, not at all ashamed to earn her living”.1 This chapter not only emphasizes her contributions to the prosperity of the household, but also her works of charity: “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy […] She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (verses 20,26). In fact, her diligence in “expending as well as gathering wealth” is precisely what gives her the “means to purchase property” and “enables her to be charitable.”2 It is not difficult to picture this woman of “strength and honour” (v. 25) doing works of love outside the home as well as in. To confine the fruits of her hands to the four walls of her house would be a loss indeed.

The second objection to the role of women in pro-life activism is a response to the positions of leadership that many of these women find themselves in. The argument is that this contradicts the headship principle outlined by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11: 2-16 (“the head of every man is Christ; and the head of every woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”) and 1 Timothy 2: 9-15 (“I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”). There is no doubt that Paul teaches in these and other passages a divine order of creation to be upheld in home and church to avoid confusion and disorder, and provide spiritual instruction. And my purpose in this article is not to explicate the relationship of love and respect between a husband and wife, nor reject all differences in gender roles. However, too often these passages are interpreted, even by respected commentators and leaders in the church, as appointments in rank as though they reflect inherent superiority and inferiority between men and women. This is wrong.3

First of all, Galatians 3:28 tells us that “[t]here is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Before God, all people are equal: it is only within our relationships to each other that God has ascribed roles and responsibilities of submission and authority. Children must obey their parents, and servants, their masters (Ephesians 6:1-5). Women, like men, are not to usurp authority. The above-mentioned chapter in Timothy begins with the exhortation to pray “for kings, and for all that are in authority” (v.2). In Ephesians 5:21-24 all Christians are called to a spirit of humble submission for the good of the family and greater benefit of the church. Likewise, in contexts where a man has been placed in authority over her, such as marriage (1 Peter 3:1), or church leadership, a woman should obey as far as is in accordance with God’s Word. But a woman who leads a group of men and women in a common goal such as a pro-life demonstration is not usurping authority because none of those men have been placed above her. Men by their very nature are not superior or carry authoritative status in all contexts over their female counterparts.

But, one might counter, women still should not be leading educational initiatives to the public. After all, in 1 Timothy 2:12 Paul instructs women “not […] to teach,” and in 1 Corinthians 14:34 cautions them to “keep silence in the churches.” The important distinction to keep in mind here is that these admonitions concern men’s official capacities within the public worship meetings of the church. Women were and are expected to teach one another (Titus 2:3) and “profess godliness as well as men; for they are baptized, and thereby stand engaged to exercise themselves to godliness; and, to their honour be it spoken, many of them were eminent professors of Christianity in the days of the apostles, as the book of Acts will inform us.”4 The “silence” women are exhorted to in 1 Corinthians “we must understand as referring to ordinary service, or where there is a Church in a regularly constituted state; for a necessity may occur of such a nature as to require that a woman should speak in public; but Paul has merely in view what is becoming in a duly regulated assembly.”5

Apart from these prescribed church roles, women may find themselves working alongside their male colleagues in church life as well as in society. In Philippians 4:3 Paul refers to the “women which laboured with me in the gospel,” and Priscilla was his “companion in labour”.6 We also read about Lydia, seller of purple, Anna, a prophetess who served God in the Temple (Luke 2:36-38) and Phoebe, “servant of the church […] at Cenchrea” (Romans 16: 1).7 Miriam the prophetess led all the Israelite women “with timbrels and with dances” (Exodus 15:20) and Philip the evangelist “had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy” (Acts 21:9). These women were busy in their churches and communities, and by no means assumed a perpetual code of silence.

There are many examples in the Bible of women whose roles brought them into the public eye and even positions of leadership. Consider Shiphrah and Puah, the midwives who obeyed God’s law rather than Pharaoh’s command to kill the newborn sons of Hebrew women. “And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses,” which in Hebrew idiom means they were blessed with many children (Exodus 1:21). These women understood that their calling to affirm life extended beyond their own homes and into their public practice. Public duty may also include leadership roles. In Judges 4 and 5 we read about Deborah dispensing judgement to the people of Israel and directing Barak and the Israelite army in battle. Women today may find themselves in similar circumstances if that is the calling to which God has led them. And what louder call comes, than from the innocent blood of countless children, sacrificed in the name of women’s liberation? Who better to answer that call than the “liberated” women of our time? The Lord used Esther in her position as queen to deliver the Jews from annihilation. When Esther hesitated to confront king Ahasuerus, Mordecai urged her with words that we could take to heart, for each of us has also been set in our particular time and place, and are obliged to “deliver them that are drawn unto death”8 as we have opportunity to do so. “[W]ho knoweth,” he asks, “whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

However, to concede that a woman’s calling may take her outside the home and into positions of leadership is more difficult, according to some, when that woman is a mother. The Bible is clear that she should prioritize caring for and nurturing her children: how can she do this if she is so preoccupied with her pro-life work?9 Of course, there are many “Choice-Chaining” women for whom this objection does not apply: those who are unmarried or single, childless, or women whose children are all in school or no longer at home. This also overlooks the women who bring their children with them to Choice Chain: often the most powerful witnesses are the youngest present, cuddled up to their mommies in a sling! But this notion that mothers are abandoning their young children while they gallivant on the sidewalks ignores God’s call to all women to “adorn themselves […] with good works” (1 Timothy 2:9,10). Would we consider it appropriate for a mother to drop off her children at Oma’s house, or leave them with Dad for an hour or two so she could donate blood or serve food to the hungry in a soup kitchen? Children have been watched by a babysitter for far more trivial things than that! Are mothers neglecting their children when they bring them to the church nursery or playschool during Women’s Group so they can learn about Biblical childrearing practises or run a senior’s tea? Of course not. It is likewise ridiculous to assert that she is neglecting duty in any way by advocating for the pre-born and working to bring about an end to abortion. And when her children are old enough to understand what mom is doing during that time she is away, they will learn from her example how we are all commanded to “[redeem] the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).

But isn’t it the husband’s and father’s role to protect the family and fight for justice? Certainly! Men are specially called to “fight […] for your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses” (Neh. 4:14). And this article does not seek to deter men from getting involved! The pro-life movement would be crippled without them. However, the pro-life movement and this strand in particular would be impossible without women. What may at first appear to be a defensive, protective, even combative role actually plays out in a delicate dialogue in which empathizing with the voices of hurt and outrage are as important as a gentle, articulate response. Who better to respond than women, whose general aptitude for conversation and less intimidating stature would be assets in such an exchange? Imagine that “Choice” Chain participants, or “40 Days for Life” volunteers standing outside of abortion clinics, were exclusively male. This would be insensitive and in poor judgement. Abortion is a human rights issue in which both men and women have an important role to play.

And yet, some would argue that it is enough for women to do our part in this cultural struggle by being good mothers to the children God has given us. I would welcome you to be wary of a subtle innuendo here, that abortion is less heinous as long as it is happening to other people’s babies. As citizens of this country (thank you, first-wave feminism10) we are as accountable as men are for collective and moral decisions, such as whether or not it is permitted or encouraged to kill the most vulnerable members of society.

Perhaps the underlying fear behind these objections is that any sign-wielding, mostly female gathering on public sidewalks evokes the impiety of a feminist-movement protest.11 Anyone who would associate these two groups of people is clearly missing the message. Quite contrary to modern mainstream feminism, these pro-life women are visibly rejecting the notion that the only way they can be equal with men is by denying the life-giving, nurturing function of their bodies by turning their womb from a sanctuary to a tomb. Pro-life activists seek to reclaim motherhood for the beautiful and blessed role that it is!

As far as the last objection goes, not much is left to be said. What is womanly and feminine is a purposeful life, roles performed in obedience to one’s calling, the joys and challenges of a wife or mother, activist or teacher, merchant or queen! God has placed women in these positions and equipped them with the proficiency to carry them out. In Jesus’ parable of the talents, the Master was sovereign and wise. He gave differently to each, and to each according to his capacity. Each was fitted for the service in which he was employed, and the gifts needed for its fulfilment were bestowed on him.” And each servant was expected to return their gift with a profit. But of what profit is a woman’s mental dexterity, her confidence in speaking, articulate persuasion, or inspirational leadership, if she return it to her Maker void? What is a woman to make of it when she observes that in every capacity she is as competent, intelligent, and motivated as the men around her? “Had [God] failed in wisdom when he bestowed these gifts?”12   Every one of us is duty bound to use our talents in the service of God to whom we must give an account, and for the benefit of our community. That community, our community, includes male and female, able and handicapped, the elderly and the unborn child. To isolate ourselves, to fail to speak the truth boldly without church walls as well as in, is to share in the reproach of our nation.13  God’s mandate comes to women, also: let us not be found lukewarm, wanting, unsavoury!14  Was Isaiah 1:17 written only for men? “Learn to do well; seek judgement, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Speak for the voiceless.

Dear women of the faith, now is not the time to be silent. Now is the time to be “valiant for the truth upon the earth”.15

Because God gave me a voice,

Sarah Maljaars

1Spurgeon, C.H. Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible. Page 778.
2Jamieson, Robert., A. R. Fausset and David Brown. Commentary on the Whole Bible. Proverbs 31.
3As these relatively few verses of the Bible seem to garner disproportionate emphasis, it would be prudent to consider whether they are reiterated so often out of a zeal for God’s Word or for the sake of power, position, and pride. It is easier for women to follow these commands when they are encouraged by the love and servant-leadership of men (as following Christ’s example). But often it seems these verses are repeated reproachfully in the spirit of keeping women “in their place.”
4Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). 1 Timothy 2.
5Calvin, John. Commentary on Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 14.
6Romans 16:3, the original Greek word “sunergos” more accurately translated as co-labourer or workfellow than “helper” as used in the KJV. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. http://biblehub.com/greek/4904.htm
7Actually, in the Greek, the word used to describe her is “diakonon, a servant by office, a stated servant, not to preach the word (that was forbidden to women), but in acts of charity and hospitality.” Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). Romans 16.
8Proverbs 24:11.
9It may be noted that this question is rarely asked of men: it is acceptable and even applauded at times for a husband/father to spend all his time and energy pursuing success in business and financial affluence, while neglecting his duties in the home, such as the spiritual and emotional upbringing of his children. Has materialism blinded us to this inconsistency?
10First-wave feminism refers to a period of feminist activity during the 19th and early 20th century. It focused on officially mandated inequalities such as granting married women control of their own income, allowing women to own property, attend university, and become guardians of their own children. First wave feminists are also known as suffragettes because of their work to gain women’s suffrage (the right to vote).
11“Impiety” describes much of the second wave of feminism. This refers to a period of feminist activity which began in the early 1960s and lasted through the late 1990s. It was a reaction to widespread gender discrimination but went so far as to advocate for reproductive rights such as abortion, and generally contributed to the immoral agenda of the concurrent sexual revolution.
12Darby, John. Synopsis of the New Testament. Matthew 25.
13Proverbs 14:34.
14Revelation 3:16, Daniel 5:27, Matthew 5:13. This is not to say women avoid becoming “lukewarm, wanting, and unsavoury” spiritually by following this cultural mandate. No Christian is able to earn their salvation by outwardly following God’s commands, although they certainly have a responsibility to do so.
15Jeremiah 1:3.