Richard Exley Ministries

Unintended Consequences
Posted on May 19, 2009

Liberal politicians, jurists and even educators insist that there are no moral absolutes, creating a society where each person is a law unto himself.

Sometimes good people make poor choices that result in unintended consequences. Maybe you’ve done that, I know I have. Sometimes principled people make misguided decisions that produce unintended consequences. The more powerful the people making the decisions the more far reaching the consequences, even the unintended ones. 

I suspect this is what happened in the case of Roe verses Wade, the infamous 1973 Supreme Court decision. I cannot imagine that the seven Supreme Court justices who voted to legalize abortion intended to set in motion forces that would result in nearly fifty million babies being put to death before birth, but they did. I cannot believe cruelty was the motivating factor or that they harbored a hatred of children. Laying aside the finer points of law, which in this case seem misinterpreted to me, I truly believe they were motivated by a misguided compassion. They wanted to help women and thought they were, but they were wrong.

Laying aside the deaths of fifty million innocent children for a moment, let’s consider some of the other unintended consequences. The decision to have an abortion is gut wrenching. It is usually made when the pregnant woman is in a crisis and more often than not leaves her psychologically damaged for life. The law may tell her she has the right to choose to have her baby put to death before birth, but in her heart of hearts she knows that is wrong, and she has to live with that knowledge. That’s why pro-life organizations all over the country now provide post abortion healing groups.  

An equally tragic, but much less obvious consequence – unintended of course – is the unparalleled increase in domestic violence and child abuse in the last thirty-five years, not to mention the random killing sprees on school campuses, in shopping malls, and now in churches. 

Anyone who watches the national news knows that mass murder in the United States has increased exponentially in recent years. The graphic images are indelibly imprinted on our minds. Who could ever forget the sight of frightened students fleeing from Columbine High School where two classmates gunned down twelve students and one teacher, or emergency vehicles and grieving parents surrounding a one room Amish School house in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where five school children, all girls, were killed execution style by Charles Carl Roberts IV? Then there’s the image of thousands of Virginia Tech students at a candlelight vigil following the murder of thirty-two of their classmates by Seung-Hui Cho. 

More recently, on March 20 of this year, Robert Stewart entered a nursing home in Carthage, N.C., and opened fire on residents, killing seven of them along with one nursing home employee. And on April 3 Jiverly Wong, armed with two handguns, went on a killing rampage at an immigration center in Binghamton, N.Y. According to police reports, he fired 98 shots, killing 13 people before taking his own life.  

Of course murder is nothing new. From the time Cain killed Able until now the human race has a long history of cold blooded atrocities. Still, there seems to be something different, something more sinister about the random killings being perpetrated by these troubled young men. For the most part their killing sprees were not prompted by religious fanaticism or political ideology or even personal revenge. Their victims were strangers by and large – innocent victims – and seemed to be chosen at random.  

Mark Kopta, chairman and professor in the department of psychology at the University of Evansville in Indiana, has researched extensively the country's mass killings, which he defines as attacks leading to the deaths of at least five people, including the killer's suicide. He found three incidents in the United States fitting this profile between 1930 and 1970. Three more followed over the course of the 1970s. In the 1980s, however, there were ten such incidents of mass murder. The 1990s had seventeen; and, since the new millennium began, there have been twenty-five such mass murders. Six of them occurred last year. And 2009 has already topped that with eight such killings. 

So what’s going on? Why this sudden rise in mass killings? Are they just a statistical fluke or might they be an unintended consequence of Roe verse Wade?

There are no easy explanations, no pat answers. The conditions conspiring to produce these troubled young men are varied and complex. The entertainment industry continues to produce video games, music and movies that glorify violence. Liberal politicians, jurists and even educators insist that there are no moral absolutes, creating a society where each person is a law unto himself. Corruption in high places, within business, government and the church, has produced a jaded cynicism in young and old alike. Then there’s the economic meltdown of recent months and the resulting despair. Finally there is rampant divorce and the resulting dissolution of the traditional family creating a generation of lost souls.  

While all of these are contributing factors they are not the root cause. The root cause is spiritual rather than sociological or even psychological. America made a covenant with death and we are now reaping the unintended consequences. That covenant was sealed on Monday, January 22, 1973, when the United States Supreme Court ruled 7-2, in the now infamous Roe v. Wade decision. Since that fateful day nearly 50 million babies have been put to death before birth and, not co-incidentally, we have seen an unparalleled increase in domestic violence and child abuse. The random killing sprees on school campuses, in shopping malls, and now in churches, are just the inevitable consequence of devaluing life.  When the highest court in the land rules that killing the child in your womb is an acceptable way of dealing with your unplanned pregnancy, we shouldn’t be surprised when children reared in such a culture turn to murder and suicide when life becomes overwhelming. 

What, you may be wondering, can we do? How can we reverse this tragic trend?
If the root cause is spiritual then it demands a spiritual response. Our response must be three-pronged. 

1) Intercession –Since we do not contend with physical foes, but spiritual ones, our weapons must be spiritual rather than the weapons of the world (2 Cor. 10:3-5). In prayer we must bind the spiritual forces that are operating behind the scenes and only then can we see men and women set free. Remember, Jesus said that before we can spoil the strong man’s house we must first bind him (Mt. 12:29). We must bind the spirit of death and we can only accomplish this through intercessory prayer. 

2) Evangelism – those who do not know Christ, even those whose desperation have made them killers, are not our enemies but our mission. We are called to love them into the Kingdom. 

3) Reformation (Spirit directed social action) – as evangelism redeems the individual so Spirit directed social action redeems the institutions of society restoring them to their God given purpose.

Remember, we are not holy warriors doing battle with those whose values and lifestyles are different from ours, but holy lovers who turn the other cheek, who go the second mile, who do unto others as we would have them do unto us. No matter how strident those who hate the cause of Christ become let us always live lives that reflect the love of Him who laid down His life for us.

This is already longer than I intended but I cannot close without addressing one more issue. Some of you may be living with the unintended consequences of a poor choice you made years ago. Try as you might you cannot forgive yourself or move on with your life. I bring you good news! Christ has redeemed us from the curse of our sinful mistakes by suffering the curse for us (see Galatians 3:13-14). You can’t undo the past. Not even God can do that but His forgiveness does unlock the future. 

This is Richard Exley straight from the heart.

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Category: Morality

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The First One Hundred Days
Posted on May 07, 2009

“I can only conclude that our President has a huge blind spot or his “morality” is based on political expediency. Either way it is a distressing scenario.”

Today’s blog is more than a week overdue. Like you, I’ve been busy but that’s not the problem. I’ve put off writing this post, agonizing over its content. I want to write something inspirational and encouraging, and this is anything but that. Yet, try as I might I cannot escape the sense that I must address this issue. It is like a fire shut up in my bones and the longer I delay the hotter it burns. I know I will get no relief until I write what the Lord has laid upon my heart.

Much could be said about this administration’s first one hundred days, but I want to focus my remarks on a troubling characteristic that has repeatedly manifested itself – blind spots in the President’s logic and actions. While there have been numerous incidents – things like pledging to close what he calls “tax loopholes” while filling several cabinet positions with appointees who had failed to pay their taxes, not to mention the fiasco about ending “earmarks” while signing a massive spending bill with over eight thousand earmarks in it – it is most obvious when he talks about “our ideals and our values.” His appeal to the high moral ground seems disingenuous at best and perhaps downright duplicitous.

Category: Politics

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