With the recent passage of near total bans on abortion in several states, the pro-choice/pro-life debate has reached a fever pitch. While I’d prefer to stay far, far away from the highly contentious back-and-forth these discussions tend to yield, it’s been extremely challenging for me not to chime in. Indeed, if this were a matter where all stakeholders could plead their own case, perhaps I might be less vocal about this topic. But at the center of this issue lies the fate of innocent, unborn human beings who aren’t able to speak up for themselves, and the truth from which my passion for this topic stems is simply that God created humanity in His image (Proverbs 31:8; Genesis 1:26-27).
The unborn, though spiritual inheritors of a sin nature just as we all were, are innocent in word and deed. They’ve done nothing wrong for which to be sentenced to death. Though the pro-abortion position suggests the unborn are indeed guilty of being an inconvenient consequence of their parents’ choices. EVERY consenting adult knows full well that sex produces babies and that contraceptives aren’t 100% effective. To claim anything to the contrary is, put plainly, A WHOLE LIE. Even Alyssa Milano, who’s encouraging women to avoid the risk of pregnancy in the wake of Georgia’s abortion ban, has called for a “sex strike” rather than an increase in contraceptive usage. She knows the only sure way to prevent unwanted pregnancies is abstinence. So do most with at least a 7th grade education.
But what about rape? What about unwanted sex that produces an unwanted child?
While they do occur, fortunately rape is rare, pregnancies resulting from rape are rare, and abortions due to rape are extremely rare. Even when one includes aborting pregnancies resulting from incest, that’s still less than 2% of all abortion cases. As such, there are at least 98% of women who’ve elected to abort for reasons resulting from their own choices.
As I shared in the opening of this piece, I recently discussed abortion with a couple of colleagues that left me stunned. One believed abortion should be legal because the death penalty is legal. The other sees abortion as an answer to child abuse.
“If you’ve worked with unwanted and abused children, you’d understand why abortion is needed,” he said.
“So, to protect children from abuse we should kill them,” I asked.
In this guest feature, contributor Lily J shares how her faith in Christ led her to renounce her membership in the historically Black Greek letter organization Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. As she says, this piece is a long one, so get comfy!
“I used to be a member of AKA but renounced my letters back in 2016. I posted about it on Facebook & IG last year, and I think it’s important to continue to share my testimony with more people, especially since so many of my friends and associates are greek, some of whom are fellow Christians as well, but seem convinced that this was just a personal choice I made simply for me to honor God, based on my personal preferences but has no impact on them or in their lives.
“Today I want to tell you that it’s not this simple. This wasn’t something God called me to and only me. If you are a Christian, we are all called to assess where our salvation stands and whether it is being jeopardized or at stake with any of our affiliations and associations, so if me speaking on this topic again keeps just one from perishing, if it sets one more free, then it is worth me continuously repeating.”
~ Lily J, www.mylifeaslily.com
With Cardi B's rapid rise to success, it's easy for many to presume she's being showered with God's favor and blessings. At least, that's how she and many of her fans tend to see it. Yet, as I watch fame, money, and influence inundate this young woman at warp speed, I've grown increasingly and genuinely concerned for her. Not that my concern should at all matter to her, but I share it knowing that Cardi professes Christ, yet lives a life completely counter to His Word. And because she's super vocal about every and all things - and her fans tend to hang on to her every word - I would be remiss if I didn't respectfully interject where Cardi believes her faith and her career intersect.
Black Panther did well to bring black representation to the big screen, and I was delighted to see men and women who look like me playing roles that weren't of the “thug” or “slave” variety. Black despondence nor dejection were on the menu for this film, and I am 100% here for it. I’m also here for the diversity this film brings to media and entertainment. As far as film productions go, Black Panther was quality all around, and I sincerely believe it is Oscar-worthy. It really was THAT good!
But as other moviegoers across social media have shared their feedback on the film these past few days, the hype has reached a level that has caused me concern for my people - my Family in Christ.
Many Americans are having a hard time grasping why Christian baker Jack Phillips declined to make a custom cake for a gay wedding. One would think the conflict is obvious, but there are many who seem to be appalled, if not downright enraged, by Mr. Phillips and his position. There's been very little attempt to view his position with care and understanding. Instead, there have been tweets, Facebook posts, thought pieces and political pundits seemingly committed to dragging the man through the mud. They say Mr. Phillips wasn't motivated by sincerely-held convictions to decline to make the cake. They say he was motivated by "bigotry"! They say he was motivated by "hate"!
I say that is malarkey.
I say, those who desire to malign Mr. Phillip’s convictions aren’t only being grossly disingenuous, they're being wholly hypocritical.
Lecrae is not a Christian rapper. He’s said this time and time again since about 2012. For many in the Church, however, this has been a tough proclamation to grasp. But it’s high time we finally accept it. It’s time for those of us who have been clinging to him to let him go and instead embrace the fact that Lecrae is free to do and be called whatever he wishes. If removing the “Christian” label from his identity is what he really wants to do, I say we fall all the way back and let him do it. After all, as he once said, “If I was a plumber, I wouldn’t say ‘I’m a Christian plumber’”. Touché! I can totally respect that perspective.
But here’s the thing: Lecrae previously indicated his music wasn’t merely his vocation. He treated it like his ministry. On numerous occasions he claimed his ultimate goal was to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His favorite Bible verse, Romans 1:16, and many of his songs presented him to be one who was unashamed of the Gospel. He said he would tell the world about Jesus EVERYWHERE he’d go. So what does he really mean by, “I’m not a Gospel rapper” and “My music isn’t Christian” when he, himself, once told the Church AND the world:
““That’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes
That’s why it’s Christ all the time
See my whole world is built around Him
He’s the life in my lines”
— Lecrae, "Don't Wast Your Life" (2008)
That’s how he introduced himself to us. So, as I prepare to fall back on the kid and officially bid the new Lecrae adieu, I wanted to at least express where many of his original fans are coming from that he might understand why it’s taken us so long to accept his new direction - a direction he might call "growth" yet so many of us discern is regression or "falling away".
According to Lecrae, the “Christian” label is a hindrance to his “ministry” (sorry, his “career”). It blocks him from taking his ministry (I mean his music) to the world - a world that wouldn’t typically buy a Christian record. To ensure he reaches the most souls possible, he doesn’t wish to be confined to any category - especially not “Christian”. But he readily confesses he’s “authentic to hip-hop”. He says this is why he’s more comfortable around “Sway over Hillsong” and why he’s able to “befriend the Kendrick Lamars and the Chance the Rappers” of the world.