Testimony for The Personhood Act of South Carolina (S217)…

The South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee has the opportunity to protect life in the womb by passing S217, The Personhood Act of South Carolina. Read the text of the bill here and pray that our legislators are given the courage and compassion necessary to send this bill to the full Senate, through the House, and to the Governor’s desk. I prepared the following statement and hope to present it to an upcoming judiciary subcommittee meeting…

Testimony Prepared for Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Meeting 

in Support of S217, The Personhood Act of South Carolina

There is always a purpose in denying personhood to a particular subset of mankind: To do so allows oppressors to gain legal protection for their murders. In the early 20th century, Jews were not considered persons and so they were killed. In the early part of the 19th century, Native Americans were not considered persons and so were killed. In the 18th and 19th centuries, African slaves in America were not considered persons and so were killed. I have said it here before and I will say it again: Today there are members of the human race—just like Jews, Native Americans, and African Americans in times past—who are arbitrarily being denied personhood so that they may be killed.

The graves of those who were denied personhood in previous eras litter the ground in many places around the world. The graves of those denied personhood today in the United States of America are found in the place where they are meant to enjoy nourishment, warmth, and protection: the wombs of their mothers. The pre-born child in the womb—the 21st century’s non-person—is discarded like refuse. Other testimony today—scientific, theological, ethical, medical—will make it impossible for you to deny the reality of what I said earlier: personhood is denied to babies in the womb so oppressors can kill them without consequences. We’ve seen this before, haven’t we?

Think about these terrible statements denying personhood to a particular people and connected, in one way or another, with our past, Senators:

In 1857…

…the men who framed [the Declaration of Independence]…perfectly understood the meaning of the language they used [“all men are created equal”], and how it would be understood by others; and they knew that it would not in any part of the civilized world be supposed to embrace the negro race…. —Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)

About 25 years later…

An Indian is not a person within the meaning of the Constitution. —George Canfield in American Law Review 15 (January, 1881)

About 40 years later…

The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but not human. They cannot be human in the sense of being an image of God, the Eternal. The Jews are the image of the devil. —Adolf Hitler, speech at Krone Circus in Munich, Germany (May, 1923)

About 50 years later…

All this, together with our observation, supra, that, throughout the major portion of the 19th century, prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn. —Roe v. Wade (1973)

All but one of those statements and their terrible denials of personhood are soundly condemned today. Yet, all those statements are cut from the same cloth: they deny personhood to a certain kind of person; they protect the oppressor and condemn his victim. Will it take another 60 million deaths before we are willing to repent for that fourth statement from Roe? Have the courage, Senators, to begin a national repentance here today. State what you know to be true: all men are created equal. Jews are persons, created in the image of God; Native Americans are persons, created in the image of God; African Americans are persons, created in the image of God. Babies in the womb are persons, created in the image of God.

Psalm 139 teaches us that God weaves each of us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Shall we take what God wonderfully weaves together and violently tear it apart after redefining it as a non-person, as discardable property? That is precisely what we are doing at a relentless pace. That carnage began just as every other instance in history started: by those with political power denying what is revealed in God’s Word, by denying personhood to a whole class of people.

Have mercy, Senators. Show our people how to repent. Begin by voting Yes for S217.

A Servant of Christ,

Andrew Dionne,
Pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church
Board Member, Personhood SC
www.trinityspartanburg.com | www.personhood.sc

Worldliness…

Our men’s group is reading through Scott Manetsch’s great book on the care of Geneva’s pastors in the 16th century, Calvin’s Company of Pastors. In the fourth chapter on pastors’ households he begins with a poem by Antoine de Chandieu that brought me much conviction this morning. May God grant to us repentance for our envy, love of the world, and living in such a way that we think our portion is in this life…

Never having and always desiring,
Such are the consequences for him who loves the world.
The more he abounds in honor and riches,
The more he is seen aspiring for more.
He does not enjoy what belongs to him:
He wants, he values, he adores what other people have.
When he has everything, it is then that he has nothing.
Because having everything, he desires everything still.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1John 2:15).

Obama’s attack on the Gospel…

At the core of God’s Word is this truth: man is sinful. From Adam—the first man—sin spread to all mankind: “…through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). We are born sinners who sin. Therefore, when the Son of God took on flesh and lived among men there came an announcement appropriate to the context of the sinfulness of mankind: “He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). When Jesus began preaching he contextualized perfectly: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

That the One who came to save His people from their sins was a preacher of repentance should not be lost on us. “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4). That Jesus came preaching repentance was God’s tolerance toward you and me. He said what you are is not good, therefore, repent. To the sexual immoral, Jesus says repent. To the thief, Jesus says repent. To the covetous, Jesus says repent. To the drunkard, Jesus says repent. To the fornicator, Jesus says repent. To the idolater, Jesus says repent. To the blasphemer, Jesus says repent. To the self-righteous, Jesus says repent. To me, Jesus says repent. To you, Jesus says repent.

At every point where the unchanging Law of God reveals a knowledge of sin, you and I are called to repent.

Why? Because “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Heb 9:27). There is a judgment to come where the repentant will meet their Savior and the unrepentant will meet their uncovenanted Judge.

This is the Christian faith. God’s Word teaches these truths for the good of our own sinful souls, and we announce them for the good of every sinful soul in the world. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Praise God there is that one way…open only to those who repent and believe.

To not announce such glories would be the worst kind of cruelty. To allow someone to persist in his sin until he dies is unkind and merciless. To not call for all men everywhere to repent is to denounce the tolerance of God.

Someone once told me I was a blasphemer and a foul-mouthed jerk…using the words of James 3. I repented by the grace of God. And Scripture has continued the same annihilation of my sinful nature, inherited from Adam. Everywhere proud, everywhere lusting, everywhere envious, everywhere unkind. And I, by the grace of God, hope to continue in repentance until the day I die…and then inherit my reward.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

In hellish contrast, watch this video released by the Obama administration:

Contrast the worldview of this video with what I laid out above from the Scriptures. Repentance—the kindness of God, remember—is the enemy. The gospel of “such were some of you” is intolerable. In its place—all dressed up in the language of affirmation and love—is bondage to sin and the damnable weight of an ever-changing law.

So devastatingly sad. But Christians will continue to preach the gospel of such were some of you until our governing officials make us shut-up. This video makes clear such silence is the desire of our President. In the meantime, we will preach repentance because we love our Savior, the friend of sinners, and because we love sinners.

It is those who reject repentance that hate souls.

A sinner…

And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with perfume. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner” (Luke 7:37-39).

This Pharisee was much more civilized than his fellow Pharisees, many of whom wanted to kill Jesus. This Pharisee, at the very least, wanted to have Jesus over to his home for dinner. He was civilized, inquisitive, intellectually curious, hospitable—but, also, a run of the mill self-righteous man.

Jesus, the Pharisee, and honored guests reclined at table. A woman—a notorious woman—heard that Jesus was just up the road dining at the Pharisee’s house. Knowing Jesus is near, she made a plan and her love for Jesus kept her from second-guessing herself.

All we know about this woman is what this passage tells us—she was a sinner. The Holy Spirit inspires a one word bio for our dear sister: sinner… Continue reading

Another day of witness outside the place in Greenville where you can kill your unborn child…

It was another intense day of spiritual warfare at the gates of hell. Children were killed, the Word of God was preached, idolatry was on display, prayers were made to God, blasphemies were shouted…

Please pray for a women (I don’t know here name) who told me I was going to hell because I didn’t reverence Mary. She was concerned that I didn’t pray to her or believe she didn’t die. I told her repent of her idolatry and believe in Jesus Christ, the one mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5).

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Raising our children to be those of whom the world was not worthy…

The church must get serious about training the next generation—our five year-old sons and daughters—to suffer for the faith. Gone are going to be the days when Christian parents can cover their worldly ambitions for their children with a thin veneer of Christian conservatism and go happily on their way. The new pagan orthodoxy won’t allow such softness. For many parents this will be to die the worst kind of death. Their sons and (especially) daughters won’t be permitted to matriculate at an Ivy League college. They won’t be able to become Christian-ish investment bankers and Christian-ish lawyers and Christian-ish professors and Christian-ish Senators.

And the wheat will begin to be separated from the chaff… Continue reading

The queering of USC Upstate…

It should come as no surprise that an American university, even in the State of South Carolina, is pushing sexual perversion. University of South Carolina Upstate, in our own backyard in Spartanburg, is promoting a performance-art piece called “How to be a Lesbian in Ten Days or Less.” The schedule of events for the “Bodies of Knowledge Symposium 2014: New Normals, Old Normals, Future Normals in the LGBTQ Community” includes lectures such as “The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays,” “Lesbians can be very dangerous. It’s the testosterone,” “How to Be Queer,” and “What is Sex For?” Search the websites and the academic catalogues of just about any university and you will find such topics boringly normal today.

Let me remind you, residents of South Carolina, that USC Upstate is a public institution. You paid for that April 10-11 Symposium… Continue reading

Repenting tears are delicious…

Repenting tears are delicious.

They may be compared to myrrh, which though it is bitter in taste, has a sweet smell and refreshes the spirits. So repentance, though it is bitter in itself—yet it is sweet in the effects. It brings inward peace. The soul is never more enlarged and inwardly delighted—than when it can kindly melt. How oft do the saints fall aweeping for joy! The Hebrew word for “repent” signifies “to take comfort”. None so joyful as the penitent!

They say that tears have four qualities: they are hot, moist, salty, and bitter. It is true of repenting tears. They are hot, to warm a frozen conscience; moist, to soften a hard heart; salty, to season a soul putrefying in sin; bitter, to wean us from the love of the world. And I will add a fifth. They are sweet, in that they make the heart inwardly rejoice “Your sorrow shall be turned into joy!” (John 16:20). “Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.” (2 Corinthians 6:10)

“Let a man,” said Augustine, “grieve for his sin and rejoice for his grief.” Tears are the best sweetmeats. David, who was the great weeper in Israel, was the sweet singer of Israel. The sorrows of the penitent are like the sorrows of a woman giving birth: “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world” (John 16:21). So the sorrows of humbled sinners bring forth grace, and what joy there is when this child is born!

-Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance