Words-Myth: Debunking the Blab

Angela Chininin Buele

When you dare to put something in writing, you are subject to a variety of consequences if your words come back to bite you.  You might face severe ridicule if you get your facts jumbled; or you could face legal action if you have committed libel against another person.

But sometimes, to my bewilderment, no one interjects to cry foul on some pretty clear cut matters.  This is what happens when we – yes, me, too – speak (or listen) to serve our own purposes instead of our Maker’s.

One of these reckless rhetoric lines is that someone is “unqualified to be President” because of his or her character flaws.  As agreeable as this standard would be, all it takes to be a qualified candidate is: being a natural born U.S. citizen, who is at least 35 years of age and who has resided a minimum of 14 years in the United States.  That’s it.  If you can get enough people to vote for you, intelligence, ethics, and manners are admirable qualities that are not constitutionally mandated.

Another, painfully common claim is that someone’s perspective or position on an issue (usually a hot topic) has “evolved.”  The term evolve has become a common replacement for both “develop” (slow transition in the same general direction) and “switch” (complete turn-around, often abrupt).  When used in the context of switching from the former standard of acceptable practice to the new wave of culture, this term can communicate compliance and spare the “evolved” party from social rejection.  However, hypocrisy is glaring when one says he/she has “evolved” on a certain issue but then accuses an adversary of having “flip-flopped” on something else.

Oddly enough, I recall having been quite sad upon hearing of the murder of Matthew Shepherd when many of my high school classmates were casually slinging around words like “f*g” and “q*eer” as the highest of insults.  Some of those old classmates, however, have testified today to their personal evolution and have been pardoned, records expunged and all.  This might flow seamlessly in many social circles, but is it really the best way forward to loosely hold to positions that bend in time with the whims of public opinion?

And then there is the statement that “the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”  Reviewing the U.S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and The Declaration of Independence shows that the Ninth Amendment leaves room for understood and unspoken human rights.  The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny the equal protection of the law.  The judicial maneuvers led by Justice Blackmun to redefine the meaning of a person do not make the Roe decision any less wrong.  Period.

Key Question: Are we willing to hold high the standard of truth in our words and our deeds?

Unshakable Truth: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.  As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry”  (2 Timothy 4:3-5).

The Real Choice: Do you want the truth?

 

Love Across the Fence

Angela Chininin Buele

You Can’t Cry Out For The Unborn Without Crying Out For Abortionists

I attended two peaceful prayer vigils last year at a nearby Planned Parenthood facility where abortions are performed.  I wanted to hand our flowers to those gathered to pray because, well, I like purposeful visual demonstrations.  I didn’t want to spend a lot of money so I looked out in my yard and decided that my Black Eyed Susan bush was just the plant to serve as bright spot on a stormy August day.  And they were.  I handed them out to upwards of 100 people throughout the crowd in attendance that day.

Then in October, my mums were in full bloom so they were cut to be handed out at another prayer vigil.  This event, though held on a perfectly sunny fall day, drew a much smaller crowd.  Because the number of flowers I had brought far outnumbered those gathered, I decided to recruit a few friends to insert the flowers between the black metal fence that had always been there and the new vinyl mesh fence that had been attached sometime after the August vigil.  I remembered that when people hold vigils outside of places where somebody has died, they like to leave flowers and other gifts.  So, the right thing to do seemed to use the leftover flowers for that purpose there, at the clinic.  I didn’t actually touch the fence because I pushed the flowers through by holding the stem, and it rested between the two.  You can see my restless heart trying to find a way to not technically trespass their property and still put the flowers there to remember the dead.  I honestly did not expect that flowers in the fence would get any reaction, let alone an angry response.  Well, I learned my lesson.  The volunteer escorts sent over to the fence first silently removed the flowers.  My friends and I replaced the flowers that had been removed.  I wish it had all ended there as a quiet “agree to disagree” sort of matter, but it didn’t.

When the Planned Parenthood volunteers saw we were continuing to place the flowers between the two fences, their demeanor changed.  Threats were issued and profanity was slung quite heatedly by the volunteers.  If I could reach back and put a calming hand on the shoulder of the me of that moment, I would have wanted to fall to my knees and beg the Lord to give them eyes to see the seething rage sparked within themselves by the sight of fuchsia mums.  Unfortunately, as it is always true that where words abound so also does sin, I argued, I defied, and I even tried to record a video of the incident to post it on social media.  This was wrong because this showed that I was using people to reveal the ugliness of the abortion industry instead of loving people and begging the Lord to change their hearts.  Let me say again that this was a completely unloving response, and the memory of this event has been used constantly to redirect my heart to see the people on the other side of the fence as neighbors instead of enemies.  This has not always been easy.  Yet it continues to prove to be critical in the way the Lord is emptying my heart of anger and frustration against them and filling me with sadness and compassion for those who fight for the right to end the lives of the unborn.

Key Question:  Pro-Lifer, are you treating those behind the fence with less compassion than you have for the unborn?

Unshakable Truth: “He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed  thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’  But the tax collector,  standing far off,  would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:9-14).

I have read this passage multiple times in my life, but it wasn’t until I juxtaposed it to my view of passionate pro-choicers that I realized the devastating truth: I have been the self-righteous Pharisee more often than I have been the broken tax collector.  As a follower of Christ, this is a very big problem.  So I am compelled to stand here now and call foul on myself.  I have exalted myself in my ambition to see all unborn children protected from abortion.  And, in exchange, I have stoked fires of anger and disdain against other human beings – human beings who were once unborn children and who have souls that, before God, are equal in value to my own.

All I can possibly say is, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

The Real Choice:  If the tears aren’t being shed for those we know will perish embracing death, we dare not say we are ambassadors of the love of the One True God – the God of Life.

Divorcing the Truth from the Lies: Speaking Plainly about Pain and Loss

Victor & Angela Chininin Buele

There is no winner in a divorce.  It does not matter if you walk away feeling victorious or relieved.  It does not matter if you profited from the legal division of assets.  It does not matter if you say it was an amicable arrangement. Something went wrong. The promise of the marriage was broken.  Faithfulness was betrayed.  It does not matter what kind of self-justifying arguments may prop up one’s own banner. There will be regret, disappointment, and/or sadness when what was hoped for on the wedding day is given up as a lost cause. There is much to grieve.  There will be loneliness.  And divorce is ultimately impossibly hard to walk through alone because the union is not really over.  It is shattered.  But it is not over.  Birthday parties, weekend plans, graduation parties, monthly bills will bring back memories and also will necessitate interaction with the former spouse for as long as they both shall live.

You actually don’t even have to divorce someone to know the pain of a broken marriage.  When parents divorce, the children mourn the loss of the bond they once witnessed.  They miss the love between the people who love them most tenderly.  Because the nature of divorce is division, this tends to put great pressure (real or perceived) on children to split their previously fused paternal affections into two separate portions.  This is both exhausting and discouraging for kids.  We personally know this battle as our families have been affected by divorce.  This profound impact still has consequences for us today.

Similar to the power of the bond of marriage, the life of an unborn baby naturally brings about a new course of action for both the child and the parents.  There are very real physical, emotional, and social changes brought about by the tiny individual that is bonded so intimately with his or her mother from the very beginning.  Once a new life has begun, any action taken to end this marvelous bond, would result a separation much like the one caused by divorce.  Rejection and loneliness.  Tears.  You may never talk about it again, and you may use busyness and a thousand things to quiet your conscience, but you will always know.

Key Question: Is it possible to undo a mistake?

Unshakable Truth/The Real Choice: “I will not leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5b).

There is a real choice set before you.  Will you choose to remain lonely?  Whether divorce or abortion have torn you apart, there is one way to be able to say with confidence that you are not alone.  And that choice has its root in this beautiful promise made by the LORD God to Joshua as he was taking over the leadership of the people of God.  “Just as I was with Moses,” said the LORD to Joshua, “so I will be with you.  I will not leave you or forsake you.”  And He commands this man to be strong and courageous because choosing to be with God requires great trust in His power and love, in His faithfulness to keep His promises.  In God there is real forgiveness and restoration.  In Him, you will not be alone.  Will you choose the way that will lead to further loneliness, or will you turn to God?  We mourn for you.  We mourn with you.  We care for you.  We want you to experience restoration, forgiveness, and true peace (Romans 5:1-5).  Come and welcome to Jesus Christ! as one of the puritans once said.