Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Political Corruption in the Church

I was raised Catholic, yes, but I would consider myself a conservative, non-denominational follower of Christ and firm believer in the Bible. I feel the most comfortable in a local United Methodist Church.

So anyway, I was looking up the recent ruling of the United Methodist Church on allowing a contraversial ruling invovling homosexuality, when I found a shocking ruling. Not only does the United Methodist Church condone abortion for the "life and well-being" of the mother ("the burden an unwanted pregnancy may bear"), but they also support unrestricted partial-birth abortions (professionally known as Dilation and Intact Extraction). Absurd! The partial birth abortion is a pregnancy termination technique preformed in the last trimester of pregnancy, in which the doctor delivers the fetus feet first, punctures the base of the fetal skull, and removes the brain by vacuum which collaspes the head and delivers a dead neo-nate infant. The procedure was banned in the United States recently by the President, however some states have overturned the ruling. It's intention is to save the mother should a life-threatening physican condition develop in the mother, rape/incest, or the fetus diagnosed with abnormalities late in pregnancy. However, rulings Roe v. Wade and Doe V Bolton allow abortion at any time during pregnancy for health of mother.

'...a woman has a constitutional right to abortion from six months to birth, if her doctor "in his best clinical judgment," in light of the patient's age, "physical, emotional, psychological [and] familial" circumstances, finds it "necessary for her physical or mental health."

In other words, unnecessary abortions are being preformed on healthy fetuses for reasons of social and convience. And not to mention, this procedure carries many risks to the health of the mother. If the mother is indeed in grave danger, every attempt to save the child in addition to the mother should be made. Ok, now that you know what the partial-birth abortion is and abortion is legal until birth in the U.S., I'll return to the U.M. Church's stance on Abortion. Below are the summaries of the National U.M. Church judicial ruling on the church stance of abortion

Decision No. 821
In Re: Review of Decision of Law of Bishop S. Clifton Ives in the West Virginia Annual Conference on a Resolution on Partial-Birth Abortion.

Paragraph 65(J) in the 1996 Discipline addresses this issue. That paragraph, after stating The United Methodist Church’s position on the sanctity of unborn human life, goes on to say that

...we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother, for whom devastating damage may result from an unacceptable pregnancy.

...we recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures.

That paragraph says further that "...a decision concerning abortion should be made only after thoughtful and prayerful consideration by the parties involved, with medical, pastoral, and other appropriate counsel."

The West Virginia Conference resolution conforms to ¶ 65(J) in the 1996 Discipline in its position on the sanctity of unborn human life. The resolution completely fails, however, to take account of the language of ¶ 65(J) regarding the life and well-being of the mother.

Moreover, by "condemning" a particular medical procedure, the resolution effectively prevents counseling upon its use, even if in the sound judgment of the physician, the procedure would be advisable in a particular case.
Saturday, April 25, 1998.

Not only that, but divisions of the U.M. Church are members of pro-choice political activism organization, Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (now Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice).

"RCAR's membership includes the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church and the Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. "

Decision No. 683

In Re: Consistency of Support of Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights with Par. 71(g) of the 1988 Discipline.

"A review of RCAR documents reveals nothing which conflicts with the General Conference policy. RCAR acknowledges that each denomination and faith group represented by its members approaches the abortion issue from its own theology. RCAR affirms this diversity, thereby permitting The United Methodist Church to continue to espouse its position as given in the Social Principles while also continuing its support of RCAR.

Support of the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights is consistent with Par. 71(g) of the 1988 Discipline.
Friday, October 30, 1992.

Sadly, it seems this church has been corrupted by political influences, changing theology to support human desires and political correctness.

According to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice: "She is aware that God wills health and happiness for her, for those she may bring into the world, and for the human race. Thus, she is engaged in reflection on her own well-being, the genetic health of the fetus, and the survival of the human race."  

The issue is when we're faced with one of God's commands or teachings which conflict with our own wants and desires and we either choose to ignore it all together or attempt to interpret God's will to fit our own agenda. In doing this, we're not only disobeying God, but we've created a god of our own image, rather than honoring the will and commands of our Lord who created us. I'm afraid that too many churches anymore are all about compromising & following the culture anymore rather than about following God's way.

I ask my fellow Christians to show Christ-like compassion and caring to those facing an unplanned pregnancy as well as to those who have undergone abortions. One can offer compassionate options and support without condoning abortion.

A few well written articles on the RCRC's religious/political stance:

Holy Abortion? A Theological Critique of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Choice in Christ: A Statement in Response to the "Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice"

The Religious Coalition of Reproductive Choice or What to do When the Enemy infiltrates Religious People:

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