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Monthly Archives / January 2011

  • Jan 23 / 2011
  • 8
Sidewalk Counseling Ministry

What Sidewalk Counselors Do

They hold bloody signs, chase down women as they are walking into the abortion clinic, and yell in their faces that they are murderers… Well, that’s at least what everybody thinks we do. And to be honest, it’s what I thought too before I got involved with this very difficult and very misunderstood ministry.

A few weeks ago, this stereotype had a short surge of support with the news that a federal lawsuit had been filed against “Louisville Abortion Protestor” David Hamilton. According to the Courier Journal, the suit claimed David “used force against an escort as she was taking a woman inside the center. Hamilton also attempted to injure, intimidate and interfere with others trying to get inside the clinic.” Reports like this seem to confirm that sidewalk counselors are nothing more than pro-life bullies out to harm anyone with an opposing view and an unwanted pregnancy.

Let me assure you, there is nothing farther from the truth.

I was actually inspired to join the sidewalk counseling ministry in Louisville, Kentucky, through none other than the accused radical, David Hamilton who I knew through my church. I heard that David was going out to the nearby abortion clinic every week and since he didn’t strike me as the angry yelling sort, I asked him what he was trying to accomplish out there.

David told me he was partnering with another local church, Immanuel Baptist Church, and their “Speak for the Unborn” (S4U) ministry. According to the S4U website, this ministry was created with the goal to “make abortion impossible in Louisville, KY, through the means of sidewalk counseling and prayer.” David explained that every week “sidewalk counselors” walk with those entering the abortion clinic and share evidence from both Scripture and the fetal development process that the unborn are actually human beings created by God and deserving of life.

They also encourage women to visit the nearby pregnancy center, A Woman’s Choice Resource Center (AWC), as an alternative to aborting their babies. At AWC, women can walk-in and receive counseling regarding their specific situations. AWC is a non-profit special health clinic equipped to provide pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, maternity/infant supplies and referrals for medical assistance, financial aid, adoption resources, etc. – all donated in order to help mothers going through crisis pregnancies. David assured me that sidewalk counselors were not out there as protestors, but as Christians concerned for the well-being of all involved – mothers and babies.

This concern for those affected by abortion is what drew me to the S4U ministry, and the very first week I joined I saw how true David’s explanation had been. The S4U volunteers are people who attend with one goal: to offer hope and help to women intending to have abortions. The wild card in this ministry is of course, that most of the people we encounter disagree with our stance that every life is precious and are offended by our efforts to change their minds about abortion. Add to that the fact that there are volunteers for the abortion clinic who come specifically to shield mothers from our conversations, and you can imagine how tense the environment can get.

Clinic escorts and sidewalk counselors conversely vie for the attention of clients while walking a short distance down a narrow sidewalk leading to the clinic. Understandably, it is not the ideal environment to hold a sensitive conversation, especially in front of an audience of opposition. Nonetheless, we seek to conscientiously engage in this atmosphere because we truly believe we have the opportunity to help save the life of a baby. And beyond that, we know that this ministry is effective, because we have seen it work. Already this year, we have confirmed 3 instances of women coming out of the abortion clinic having decided to keep their babies. We know the sidewalks are a last resort, but surely we should show up if it’s worth the chance to help save a life and spare a mother a lifetime of regret.

The accusations that David tried to “injure or intimidate” anyone is completely unfounded and goes against all he was seeking to accomplish on the sidewalks. His original case was dismissed and the new federal suit is grossly lacking in evidence and substance. We are confident that if he is investigated, his outstanding character and compassionate reputation will be a credit to his innocence. Further, it is stated on S4U’s website that sidewalk counselors, “in no way support illegal activities, unkind words or tone, threats, unwanted physical contact, or anything of the sort.” David and all sidewalk counselors are careful to abide by these principles. It would be completely counter-productive to our ministry to be intimidating those we most long to help, and would discredit the grace and compassion we show up to represent.

I can’t vouch for every sidewalk counselor in our nation, but I can say that in Louisville, the Speak for the Unborn ministry is committed to engaging with women in a non-violent manner that is loving, kind, and respectful. I have consistently observed a motive of love in the sidewalk counselors I serve with and have wholeheartedly joined in with this lot. We may be misunderstood and misrepresented, but our confident convictions will keep us coming back day after day. We are motivated by the hope that women will hear our message and cherish the miracle of life over the devastation of abortion. We share these thoughts through our freedoms of speech and through godly and legal means. That is what sidewalk counselors do.

If you’d like to learn more about what sidewalk counselors do, please feel free to look through our website for more information.

  • Jan 20 / 2011
  • 1

Another Ugly Side to Abortion Hits the News This Week

Saturday is the 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision which has made legal the slaughter of millions of children. Here in Louisville, several pro-choice groups have come together in order to “celebrate” this day with events during the week leading up to Saturday. And as horrific it was for me see events set up to celebrate this decision, something even more horrible caught my attention yesterday.

In light of the events mentioned above, there are two articles that are worth noting. The first, written by Dr. Albert Mohler, is in reaction to the Pennsylvania doctor mentioned above and the internationally publicized abortion of twin boys conceived via IVF because the couple wanted a girl.

An excerpt:

The Christian revulsion over abortion and the destruction of human life is based in the knowledge that God is the Author of all life and of every life, without exception. Abortion is the business of death, and it is the great wound that runs through the nation’s conscience. These shocking accounts may sear their way into the nation’s collective conscience, but unless the basic logic of abortion rights is overturned, such accounts will erupt again and again.

You can read the rest of the article here.

The other post is a chapter Justin Taylor wrote for For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper called “Abortion is about God: Piper’s Passionate, Prophetic Pro-Life Preaching.”

The opening paragraph:

Evangelicalism—in the Reformed camp or elsewhere—is not exactly overflowing with models of how to preach exegetically faithful, powerfully prophetic, culture-engaging, hope-giving, gospel-centered sermons on the politically charged and personally painful topic of abortion. But for the past twenty years John Piper has been doing just that. In this chapter I want to survey Piper’s sermons and writings on abortion as an encouragement and a model for preachers—and all believers—to honor God and defend the defenseless by proclaiming God’s Word and engaging the world on the issue of abortion.

It is very important for the local church to preach the Gospel and the whole counsel of the Bible. We are to be shaped by God’s word; we do not bend what it says to fit our own, sinful agenda. And one of the issues addressed by the Word is the precious gift of life which God created which means taking a life inside the womb is murder, regardless of the legal status.

  • Jan 17 / 2011
  • 1

Kentucky Gets an “F” for Abortion Access

I’ve never been so proud to earn a failing grade! NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) has released their annual ratings of each state’s access to abortion services; and thankfully, Kentucky is at the bottom of the class. See below for KY Right to Life’s summary:

Kentucky Right to Life is pleased to announce that again, for 2010, NARAL (now known as “Pro-choice America”) has ranked Kentucky 46th out of 50 states with a grade of “F” in terms of “access to reproductive services” (abortion).

Thanks go out to all the dedicated pro-life activists who continue to uphold the sanctity of human life in Kentucky.

By passing Fetal Pain and Ultrasound Informed Consent legislation, perhaps in 2011 KY can move to 50 out of 50 and earn an “F-“


Michael Janocik

Assistant Director

Kentucky Right to Life Assn


Remember to contact your representative and ask them to pass SB 9!

  • Jan 14 / 2011
  • 1
Email Response

Response to Recent Inquiry/Complaint about the Ministry of Speak for the Unborn

(Email Inquiry/complaint)

Why the heck are you bothering?
It’s obvious that it’s nothing to do with babies to your church. It’s the threat of there being less Christians, women gaining complete autonomous bodily freedom and keeping them subservient to the church, just like way back in olden times, when they stoned people to death for adultery. The dogma matters more than the babies, you wouldn’t care about that baby unless they can adopt one or two and use it to guilt-trip more women into keeping their baby, regardless of the baby’s state (such as the baby being dead and septic/being born of rape). Your church is NOT “Pro-life”, they are pro gender-inequality and Theocracy, so stop pretending you are looking out for baby’s welfare! You’re making the real pro-lifers look bad, and making the pro-abortionists look good!
And you’re all being far too extreme. What happened to peaceful protest? I’ve seen and heard of women being horribly harrassed and tricked by fake doctors thanks to the members of this campaign. Why are you causing them more pain than they’re already going through just by giving up the child? An abortion is actually scarring emotionally, but sometimes it really is necessary – many women cannot love a child because they fear they might grow up to be just like their rapist, and rape is even worse than an abortion – it’s been called “worse than death”. And what if the child is already dead? Or if the child will be born with a disorder that will make them never see the age of 5? Wouldn’t it be kinder to get an abortion rather than just watch a baby die, thus scarring the mother more?
And finally, do you really think God will approve of this? God knows all and sees all. Do they think he would be happy knowing that your campaign is not only being violent to other people, but there is no genuine benevolence behind your church’s actions? That the Church is notdoing this for his glory, or to actually aid the woman or the child, but for it’s own benefit?!
I am truly disgusted and glad that I am not a Christian. Well, not your kind of “Christian” – I respect only true Christians, who believe in being good to people and respecting others decisions and beliefs. Your church has none of these characteristics.

My initial gut response to this email is to weep. My second response is anger. My third response is compassion. My fourth response is hope! Let me briefly tell you why I respond these ways.

Why do I weep at this email? I weep very sad tears at the hardness of heart that would write such things. I weep that anyone would have such obvious vehemence against actions and beliefs that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. I weep at the hardness of heart and spiritual blindness that clearly blocks you from seeing yourself rightly. You say that you respect “only true Christians, who believe in being good to people and respecting others decisions and beliefs.” Clearly, you don’t respect our decisions and aren’t “being good” to us as you write with such anger and venom. Clearly, you aren’t interested in “being good” to the unborn child who is living, real, and growing in a mother’s womb. What you love is your beliefs and those who believe like you. Anyone (especially those who love Jesus and see God’s Word as authoritative and beautiful and are willing to speak those words in love to others) are treated equally as poorly as the helpless child growing in a mother’s womb who doesn’t want her child. By what you wrote, you display your own spiritual blindness to your own sins. You say that you like the kind of people who “do good to others and respect others decisions and beliefs,” yet, how are you “doing good to others” and “respecting others beliefs?” You’re hating others who don’t cling to your creeds. There is no question that you are hating the unborn baby! You do worse than stand aside and let it happen-you give yourself proactively to encourage it and praise those who murder. You also attack those who seek to protect, love, and speak on behalf of those who are weak and cannot speak for themselves (yet). I weep when I encounter such high levels of spiritual blindness.

My second response is anger. Why? Well, Biblically, anger can be a sin, and I fear edging close to that line. Yet, in some cases, to NOT get angry would be sin. When gross injustice, murder, outright rejection of God, and hostility against Jesus doesn’t “work a person up” emotionally, something is wrong. I am angry that you (and others who believe like you) rejoice to see babies murdered and radically malign and slander us and assign false motives to our actions. That angers me! I’m angry because I believe God is angry at these things! He hates to see children, created in His image, discarded like old clothes. God is holy and He does not “tolerate” those who hate Him, hate others and practice sin and lawlessness. God is a God of vengeance. He will one day judge every person, according to their deeds and the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment (hell). Whether you believe these things or not doesn’t change the reality of these truths. Hell is real, and it is reserved for those whose deeds/lives are marked by wickedness. Those who “not only do wicked things, but give approval to others who do them” (see Romans 1:21—33) will one day stand before Him and be forced to give an account for everything that they have done (2 Corinthians 5:10). On that day, unless you repent and believe in the good news of Jesus, then you will face an eternity of wrath. You will pay for your rebellion against a holy God who made you, gave you life, sustains you even today, and sent His perfect Son for you.

This leads to my third response, which is compassion. While I do believe (because of the tone of your letter mixed with the actual treatment I receive from abortion clinic escorts on the sidewalks in front of the abortion clinic), that you hate me and “my kind,” by God’s grace I do not return the favor. I do not “hate” you. I do not despise those who believe like you do. Quite the contrary, I am filled up with love for you! I don’t want you to spend an eternity paying for your sins in hell. I want you to be saved. I want you to receive grace. I want your life to go well! I want you to have joy, peace, and abundant life! I want you to receive mercy! My primary motive for engaging with you through this letter and engaging with you and others on the sidewalks in not hatred, but love! By God’s grace, I am controlled by the love of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:13). I labor because I want you to receive God’s love for you.

This leads to my last response: hope. Your letter fills me with hope! I am confident that even your heart is not so hard that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not able to soften it. God is much stronger than all of your rebellion. I have hope because God loves to give unfair mercy! By right, you (and I) completely “deserve” to go to hell because of your hatred of others (especially unborn babies and conservative Christians), which is ultimately hatred of God. The gospel (good news) that we preach is for all kinds of people just like you. In fact, we believe that everyone (certainly me included) deserves “by right” hell (eternal punishment). In fact, the Bible says that “none are righteous, no not even one.” (see Romans 3). Jesus himself said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners unto myself. It is not the well who are in need of a doctor, but the sick.” This is very good news for you, for me, and for the whole world! Jesus loves sinners. Jesus laid down His perfect life to purchase you. While you deserve wrath from God, Jesus—when He died on the cross—took all of God’s wrath that you deserve and died in your place. By simply repenting of your sins and believing in Him alone, He takes your sins and you take His righteousness. Jesus’ perfect righteousness is freely imputed (counted/credited to your account) to you. That is scandalous and marvelous! Jesus’ divine love is generous, sacrificial, and lavishly kind. I have great hope for you because Jesus died for sinners just like you and me and everyone else. To receive His love, you must repent and believe.

The reason that I (and many others beside me) engage in speaking for the unborn is because we actually believe that life is precious and that the gospel is real. We believe that babies are created in the image of God. We believe that they should be defended and loved not hated and killed. We believe that God is busy saving sinners like you and me. It is our pleasure to speak His truths into the world!

If you want to explore this wonderful gospel more and genuinely want to know my/our motives for speaking for unborn children, and for engaging those who reject these truths with words and sacrificially loving actions, then please contact me at jking@ibclouisville.org It would be a delight to walk you through the Scriptures and tell you more details about our tremendous God who deserves all praise and glory!

Because of Jesus’ Grace,

Jeff King, Discipleship/Counseling Pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church

  • Jan 08 / 2011
  • 6

KY Ultrasound Legislation

A new bill is making its rounds in Kentucky proposing a law which would require women be offered the option to see their baby’s ultrasound and have its development explained prior to undergoing abortive procedures. See below for more details from Kentucky Right to Life:

SB9 – Ultrasound Informed Consent – will be heard in the Senate Standing Committee on Military Affairs, Veterans, and Public Safety on January 6th and is expected to pass with bipartisan support.

Hopefully it will receive its final reading and pass on the Senate floor on Friday, then head to the House, where it has died in previous years.

During the next three weeks please work to generate phone calls into your House Representative and ask him or her to urge House Leadership to support the Ultrasound Informed Consent bill. When you call the Legislative Message line at 800-372-7181 the operator will identify your House Rep within a few seconds.

We must be the clear and strong voice for the unborn. Their lives depend on it!

Thank You!

Kentucky Right to Life Association

The bill did pass in the Kentucky Senate (http://bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com/2011/01/06/gop-agenda-moving-through-state-senate-in-whirlwind-fashion/) so let’s pray the Lord causes it to pass in the upcoming House vote.

Three states currently have similar laws (http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_RFU.pdf) –  pray that Kentucky joins them soon!

Here is the link to the bill http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/11RS/sb9.htm as well as the site where you can look up your Kentucky Representative http://www.lrc.ky.gov/house/hsemembers.htm. Join us in calling our law makers and praying the Lord causes this bill to pass!

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