Prolifers are guilty of taking the minimum effort to "practice what they preach" according to Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum. He thinks he has made a great discovery when he observes that there are prolifers - perhaps most prolifers - who do not take abortion quite as seriously as they would if they really believed it was as unthinkable as the murder of adults. In other words, prolifers are among those humans who don't "practice what they preach".
He focuses on a particular Republican office holder whose life has fallen scandalously short of his profession, or at least, so Drum alleges.
What a shocker. I've never heard of such a thing. Not.
True, the way prolifers react to abortion isn't with the same unthinkability they react to murder of adults. This same principle applies to Christians: Romans tells us that if we believe Jesus rose from the dead we will be saved; but how many self-identified Christians really live as if that is what they really believe? How many take only the minimum effort to practice what they preach?
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Interesting that the same test shows the failure of atheists and relativists to show, in their lives, what they say they believe.
Relativists certainly don't behave as if they really believe there is nothing objectively wrong with what anyone believes, if it is "the other guy", such as a Christian who believes Jesus is the only way to salvation, is doing the believing. And atheists living in America don't have the same aversion to freedom, a Biblical system, that they would if they really believed governments founded on Atheism were better. Fortunately, most Atheists, in America, take the minimum effort to live by what they allege they believe.
Moslems who live in peace with Christians, as economic partners, which is probably 80% of Moslems, do not live as if they really believed Surah 9:5-6, one of the last surahs allegedly written by Mohammed which therefore "abrogates" the verses of peace. Fortunately, most Muslims do not practice what they preach.
"9.5" So when the sacred months [Ramadan] have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, [oppressive "protection money" which unbelievers must pay] leave their way free to them; surely God is Forgiving, Merciful.
Human beings aren't perfectly anything. Romans 2 acknowledges this, and warns judgmental Christians that there are pagans professing religions of violence and debauchery whose lives are more consistent with sanctified Christianity than the lives of many professing Christians, and God honors righteous living more than righteous profession.
Romans 2:14 For example, whenever non-Jews who don't have laws from God do by nature the things that Moses' Teachings contain, they are a law to themselves even though they don't have any laws from God. 15 They show that some requirements found in Moses' Teachings are written in their hearts. Their consciences speak to them. Their thoughts accuse them on one occasion and defend them on another. 16 This happens as they face the day when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge people's secret thoughts. He will use the Good News that I am spreading to make that judgment.
For my part, to whatever extent I can get anyone to care about a million Americans a year being murdered by abortionists, I will take that and appreciate it, as I press for enough more caring to stop the murders altogether.
Likewise God takes us for what we are, not insisting that anyone be perfect before they can have any future hope, because if God insisted on perfection we would all give up trying.
I care, as God does, not about abortion only, but about many other ways human beings destroy themselves. I know that when conditions get desperate enough, average people finally get serious about threats to their existence, but my prayer is that Americans will turn from stupidity towards God without having to lose everything good before they will finally repent.
The middle of Matthew 25 is a story whose lesson is that what God looks for, as candidates for Heaven, is people willing to double their talents. To achieve twice as much as they thought they could, their whole lives long.
Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: :27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. :28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. :29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. :30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This is consistent with God's plea with mankind that we "choose life", Deuteronomy 30:19, since "life" may be defined profoundly as the degree of interaction with environment, and the more we achieve, the more we are interacting with, influencing, and changing our environment.
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
The more we are "alive". The version of the story in Luke 19 specifies that it is this character that determines how much authority we will have in Eternity.
Luke 19:12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
How contrary this is to the popular American sentiment that we need only do the minimum to maintain, spiritually, our "ticket to Heaven", or financially, our jobs, or politically, our Freedoms. All human experience has shown that to whatever extent we take any of these things for granted, they slip away. Losing them, a step at a time, is the natural consequence of devoting minimal effort to building them, as we party, watch TV, do drugs, play video games, gamble, memorize sports stats, or whatever we do as an alternative to "laying up treasures" (Matthew 6:19-20) in eternal 401K's.
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Yet this theology that we need do only the minimum is so entrenched that suggestions to the contrary are met with hostile objections about being "too busy", or "God has not called me to be that smart in that area", ("that isn't my 'gift'").
God's answer to "that isn't my gift", in Matthew 25 and Luke 19, is that we all had better develop at least twice as many "talents" as what we have, if we don't want to go to Hell, and if we want to really love God, and genuinely believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, ten times as much.
This is the spirit I pray for in America. Not the spirit that waits for enough destruction to motivate "minimum effort" (apathetic) Americans to rise up to save what has not yet been destroyed, but a spirit of rising up to defend America from all threats, spiritual and economic, before they can even begin to destroy.