Pastor’s Column

              July 14, 2015, was a watershed day in the history of the United States. When December 31st rolls around, however, that date may not be recalled in the end-of-the-year summaries of significant events in the year 2015. Most likely, the date will not be recorded in future history books. I imagine most of us have little clue as to what happened of such significance on July 14th of this year.
              It was the 14th of July when the Center for Medical Progress[CMP] released the first of its undercover videos about Planned Parenthood[PP]. I was in Indiana at the time and heard nothing about it. The next afternoon, however, I started back for Pennsylvania and got as far as Elkview, West Virginia. Sitting in the Elkview La Quinta Inn, I was checking emails on my Nexus and came across a piece from with a link to that first video.
              I watched it.
              I watched it again.
              I couldn’t believe it.
              Scenes and dialogue from the video ran through my mind as I drove the rest of the way home the next day. Was this really true? Could seemingly normal folk casually talk about “ . . . we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because . . . I’m not going to crush that part, I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above . . .” Inside my soul a voice was shouting, “It is a baby – inside the womb – that these folk are talking about!”
              When I got home I sought out the responses from PP and others who espouse pro-choice views. They indicated the video was very heavily edited, indeed, edited with such a heavy hand that it distorted the conversation and misrepresented what was really said.
              Was that true? How accurate was the video? The CMP website provided a video and transcript of the entire luncheon conversation with nothing omitted. I printed out the transcript and read the complete 60 page document of the two hour plus luncheon conversation.
              No question about it, the video was edited, just as every video we see on the news is edited. Yet after reading the transcript of every word spoken at the luncheon, I came to some clear conclusions: the video did not distort the facts; it was not unfaithful to what was said; there was no misrepresentation.
              The more I considered this it became apparent to me that everyone in America should see that video. We showed it in each of our services of worship on the 19th of July.
              Since July 14th CMP has released seven more videos. Each video makes it clear that a huge market exists in our country for body tissues and organs that are “harvested” from babies. That is an aspect of our country’s character most of us were unaware of or denied. July 14, 2015, changed that. Now we know.
              I was aware that almost one million babies are aborted every year in our land. I presumed the “product of abortion” was labelled “medical waste” and disposed of via incineration or some other means. I was not aware the remains of abortions were sifted through and mined for resalable parts. Maybe I knew such was the case, but, if so, I suppressed the thought of it.
              I can never claim such ignorance or suppression again. Nor can America or Americans. That’s what changed on July 14th. I may choose to disregard it, or I may come to an uneasy acquiescence with it, or any of a number of other options. But I cannot say I’m ignorant of what’s going on.
              Since we as a nation are corporately aware of this evil, we must respond to it. Our nation must say “Yes” to it, or say “No” to it. What is happening with the remains of aborted babies can no longer be ignored. Our response – as a nation – will determine future events.
              It’s for that reason that July 14, 2015, will forever remain a watershed day for the United States. It is the day when our corporate soul as a nation received a summons to stand in the docket of the court and declare what we will do in light of this undeniable evil in our midst.
              Yet a significant contingent in our country is seeking to deny or ignore this irrefutable evidence. Other than letters to the editor, the local papers in the Philly area have not published stories about the videos. The main national media outlets are strangely silent about this story. Why?
              Because even in our decadent age there is still enough residual moral capital commonly available to cause almost all folk to recoil in horror and recognize the videos reveal a great evil. That reaction is what PP and all its supporters want to avoid at all costs.
              In Lamentations 4:10 Jeremiah says, The hands of compassionate women boiled their own children; they became food for them. Sounds a lot like the harvesting and mining of infant tissues and organs for a good cause, don’t you think? Earlier, Jeremiah had questioned, Should women eat their offspring, the little ones who were born healthy? [2:20] Both scenarios describe situations which cause us to recoil with horror. The CMP videos should do the same.
              What Jeremiah described happened during a time of judgment, when God removed His protecting hand from Jerusalem and instead stretched out His hand of wrath. God’s hand of wrath was demonstrated by the removal of moral boundaries so that the most reprehensible actions became accepted.
              Right here, right now, in the midst of God’s wrath that we as a nation are experiencing as our moral capital is being consumed and eliminated, God has stretched forth His hand of mercy – again – and is calling us back to His truth and His standards. The instrument He’s using is the CMP videos. America and Americans must watch them. And then decide what we will do.
              There are some encouraging signs despite the media blackout and despite the distorted assertions of the PP talking points. Each of these has its origin in what began on July 14th:
  • Defunding PP was voted on in the US Senate.
  • A majority of Senators [53] voted to defund PP, but 60 votes were needed.
  • 4 states have defunded PP in their state budgets.
  • A Congressmen formally changed his party affiliation after viewing the videos.
  • On Aug. 22nd at 320 PP locations hundreds gathered to pray and protest PP’s trafficking in baby body parts.
   Will this trending continue? I don’t know. Here is what you and I must do:
  • Help others be aware of and watch the videos. The videos speak for themselves.
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to work a work of repentance in all our hearts.
  • Pray for our national moral capital to stop decreasing and begin to increase.
                                                                                                     In the Joy of the Lord,
                                                                                                     John HC Niederhaus