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June 15, 2011

What's Really Bothering Us?

by Martha E. Leatherman, M.D.

I have followed the debate on Amendment 10-A with interest and received the news of its passing with great sorrow. . . I find myself perplexed by what seems to be an inconsistency between how Presbyterians are reacting to the passage of 10-A and the ongoing silence among churches, members, pastors, and presbyteries in the many years since the change in policy on abortion which moved the PC(USA) from frank censure to promotion and now to a lukewarm tolerance.

In 1869, the Presbyterian Church in the United States declared that abortion is a "crime against God and against nature," and as late as 1962, the church clearly stated:

"The fetus is a human life to be protected by the criminal law from the moment when the ovum is fertilized...as Christians, we believe that this should not be an individual decision on the part of the physician and couple. Their decision should be limited and restrained by the larger society."

The historic recognition of abortion as a sin began to dissolve in 1970 . . . Read more.

Related resource: "Presbyterians and Abortion: A Look at our Church's Past"

Father's regret abortion too!Grieving Father

Catherine coyle, Ph.D describes the effect of abortion on men in her article, "Post-Abortion Trauma in Men Still Overlooked."

"Abortion may contribute to a host of problems among men such as anger, helplessness, guilt, grief, relationship problems, sexual problems, risk-taking behaviors (e.g. substance abuse), sleep disturbances (e.g. nightmares), anniversary reactions, clinical depression, and confusion about masculinity. . . .It does not seem too far-reaching to suggest that abortion has sickened all of our culture."

Coyle says the far-reaching effect of abortion is best understood when you consider "that wives, and children of these men suffer with them and the very fabric of the family, our societal foundation, is torn apart." Read more.

Related Resource: Discovering Grace

Will you STAND with PPL? PPL rose logo
Here's the thing.

PPL's funding took a big hit in 2006 when the PUP Report sparked an exodus of churches and individuals which included many who had been strong financial supporters of our work. There are no longer any reserve funds. Now the passing of 10-A and nFOG makes it easy to be discouraged and anticipate the departure of more evangelical churches and members.

Let me be more honest.

I confess that I have tended toward despair that PPL will survive as an organization in this denominational environment. God's provision for PPL has been faithful through the years. But, when the dust settles, will there will be any paid staff, or an office space, or an internet connection, or phone? I have wondered out loud to God and friends, Is it time for this organization to close?

Get this.

It is not that PPL lacks vision! Our vision is bigger than ever for equipping churches for life-affirming ministry. It is not that PPL is leaving the PC(USA). Although we have talked of expanding to other reformed denominations we have never considered leaving-such is the certainty of our call to the PC(USA). It is not that our work is done! This became crystal clear to me today when I received an email from a companion in renewal ministry. Her words helped me to refocus and repent of my discouragement and doubt.

"There are still women in the PCUSA aborting babies! Your voice can't be silent until there isn't a single woman left in a PC(USA) church who is tempted to follow that path. We have another grandchild on the way... Every time I think of those little children, I almost throw up thinking of abortions. Our grandson . . . is adopted. That teenage girl could have aborted our little grandson. I can't believe that that is allowed! Thank God that she didn't. Your challenge is to remind folks of that. A witness!"

Will you help PPL to be that faithful witness? Will you fully fund us as missionaries to the PC(USA) for life-affirming ministry?


In This Issue
What's Really Bothering Us?
Father's regret abortion too!
Will you STAND with PPL?
Donate to PPL
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Sola Scriptura

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Tim. 3:14-17
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May God equip and encourage you as you contend for the faith in these troubled times in this denomination and in the world.

Yours in Christ for Life,

Marie Bowen

Executive Director

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