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August 4, 2020 2:00 am
Exploring the question "What makes us equal?" pro-life advocate Scott Klusendorf makes the case that all human beings are of immeasurable worth, including the preborn. He equips listeners to be effective, respectful, and compassionate in speaking up for those who do not have a voice. (Part 1 of 2)
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Abortion has ended the lives of tens of millions of pre-born babies all made in the image of God join Focus on the Family in the movement to end abortion and love every heartbeat takes heartbeat to 72,000. This is Focus on the Family in your hostess focus, Pres. Jim Daly, John Fuller entity in our broadcast struggles and challenges the thinking of some individuals with a conflicted worldview about when life begins, they haven't answered the question, what is the unborn. That's where the whole debate starts. They assume the unborn are not human and they don't argue for just assume it. Scott is a very popular guest here on Focus on the Family and we recorded an interview with him in Chicago, Illinois late last year and Jim, we are really enthusiastic crowd. They were a lively group and that they were with us and I think obviously they support a pro-life perspective, it was both fun and a serious time together's people came to take a stand for every heartbeat, including mothers and their pre-born babies. We set down Scott to help educate, equip and inspire people in the pro-life movement, and this is all leading up to our big online event September 26 that were calling C life 2020 and will have incredible speakers, great music and alive 40 ultrasound and will give you more details here at the club. And if you can't wait.
Stop by your website answering tales about sea life 2020 and you'll find a link in the episode notes largest Scott closing Dorf is the founder and president of life training Institute. He is the author of the book the case for life and be spoken to and trained thousands of people to engage in positive compelling conversations about the value of life and you will often find them talking to college students or participating in a debate, he defends the pre-born child with biblical, convincing, really effective arguments in here now is the conversation we had with Scott. It is good to have you back in Focus on the Family welcome good to be in Chicago.
Jim and John as a sure home area where were you from actually I was born in Detroit, so you'll have to that everybody and then lived in Los Angeles from age 2 to age 44, which means I'm a diehard lake and Dodgers and UCLA. Faneuil have to forgive me for that, but it's great to be back in Chicago where my dad grew up as I can in my dad grew up here really, you know I was born here are all connected via Chicago is I want to get into this thoughtful way to engage a pro-abortion person. I'm so looking forward to this so we can help equip people to have this great discussion and one of the things and here's what I want to start Scott so often were afraid to talk about what it is we believe in because now in this culture can be shamed pretty well me. We felt that in New York we were no there was hostility coming at us because we are simply literally standing in Times Square, saying, you know, we think a baby's life is important and precious thing to preserve and we believe in women who were in a very tough spot. But can we do better as a culture than kill the baby seriously were living in the 21st century yeah and there's a reason why this debate is so divisive right now, and all of us need to be aware that the abortion debate is not about a surgical procedure.
It's not about choice and who decides it's not about trusting women. It's not about forcing one's morality.
It's about one question that is dividing our nation right now and this question is why you see states like Illinois, New York, Connecticut, Vermont running away from any protection for unborn children, and states like Georgia, Ohio, Missouri and other states passing laws to protect them. Here's the question we are divided over who counts as one of us and every one of us.
Jim have to know how to step up and make the case that the unborn count is one of us and were following the command of Scripture first Peter 315 to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within us were to do that graciously, but persuasively Scott, let me ask that question about how you engage people because it's hard.
What is how do you gear up for that and not psych yourself out okay.
I'm just not writing the relative at the holiday time, Thanksgiving and Christmas when they want to talk about the keep goading you right.
I mean sometimes we just retreat to the football game. Yeah, yeah, it's really easy to take on too much responsibility here. We think that we have to close the deal on the spot as if were a car salesman and in reality is Christian apologists. Our job is not to close the deal that stocks job. Our job is to do what my colleague Greg Coble says, put a pebble in their shoe you ever been out hiking and had a pebble nationally. Yeah, it wears on you and wears on you until you deal with it. So our job is Christian pro-life apologists what were to do is to give people something to think about. Put that pebble in their shoe that will wear on them and where on them and I'm reminded of the great debater William Rusher who wrote a book called how to win arguments more often than not in rush or set arguments are almost never one on the spot. There 12 or three weeks later when the person is alone with his or her thoughts and they admit you had the better of it and I think those of us were married know this when we have arguments with our spouse we slap ourselves on the knee and say, honey, I'm so glad Jesus put you in my life to straighten out my twisted thinking is that what we don't yeah well okay will earn over time. Right. Right. I think what typically happens is there's a day and 1/2 of passive aggressive silence in the house, how they work this through you know and then we kinda come to a consensus, but the people we talk to are no different and we can take on this burden that says if I don't somehow convert them on the spot I failed. Know your job as a Christian is to put that pebble in their shoe and that's how I avoid getting worked up angry, uptight, and I just relax and say if I can find a few things to say.
That will give them something to think about.
I can get the ball rolling. Let me punch that because it's important I think to put an emphasis on this when you get angry and upset and aggressive you've lost. You lost. So how do you pull back to me.
What if you're that Person that those things trigger you. What can you do to say wait a minute.
Yeah, take a breather. What you say well what I do what I do is I prepare a lot. There's the old saying, the more you sweat and training the less you bleed in battle, and the more you're confident of what you believe in your assured that it's right because you've done some reading and you don't have to read every book on the planet.
But there are a few things you can use to study up and be prepared to script as a Christian apologists and you. You tend relax and in those situations because you've heard this before. Right you're prepared for it and you're not caught off guard your calmer yeah is a lot trying to win you down, sending the facts right, you are not born with this idea about life. So how did you come to the conclusion what were you doing, what did you hear or see that made you so committed to the pro-life movement. I had been pro-life all as long as I can remember Jim but I wasn't doing anything about it. I was attitudinal. He pro-life but not behaviorally pro-life.
I was not lifting a finger to stop the killing and a local crisis pregnancy center director befriended me when I was a pastor and associate minister at a church in Southern California and she wouldn't go away. She just kept bugging me and plugging make sounds. I pebble you like a boulder in my head but anyway she kept after me and Lois. Bless her heart said to me hey were going to have a speaker who's going to give a case for the pro-life view and he's a former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He was in the Reagan administration and he knows all and you will like this guy and I thought okay, a bunch of our pastors will be there will have a bunch of pastors there. It was me for other pastors and their wives. That was it. When the topic of abortion, but that's speaker Greg Cunningham. Thankfully, who was not detoured by the small crowd gave a compelling case for the pro-life view and then he did something Jim that fundamentally changed me forever. He showed a brief video depicting abortion.
I had never seen abortion and I sat there and I wept and I thought I am no different than the priest and the Levite who passed by on the other side of the road. I say I care about this, but I'm not doing anything so I went home that day showed that VHS tape to my wife VHS tapes were these rectangular things that were about like this and am I saying that he had said kids yeah I said honey I think my whole life is been changed and she said whatever the Lord has for you. I'm with you, so that was 30 years ago. And here I am. That is so good yeah give my hand that's where it starts.
Give us the can of the national picture of the today were hearing lots of different numbers abortions are down the course you have the morning after pill that uses up so wet where is the nature of abortion in America today. We are a house divided, to borrow a term from Lincoln because you have states like I mentioned earlier that are rushing to pass pro-life legislation and you have states running the exact opposite way and the reason that's happening now is the federal courts are signaling. We don't know for sure, but their signaling that they may give states more leeway to legislate on the issue. What happened in Roe V Wade is that the federal courts said to the other two branches of government, the executive branch and the legislative branch. You have no say in this issue we alone will determine abortion policy. That's what happened in Roe V Wade and Toby both will now there's a an indicator that maybe they're going to return some of this back to the states. I don't know what that will look like if that happens, men and women, all of us have to step up and become apologists because now we have an opportunity to persuade our fellow citizens in ways that we didn't before. What I see, culturally, is a group of people, young people in particular that have pro-life sentiment, but they don't have a pro-life worldview and here's what I mean by that. They don't like abortion because they think it's mean, but they also think it's mean to tell someone they can't marry their canary if they want to. They also think it's mean to tell a woman that there there shouldn't be legalized abortion.
They think it's mean to tell her what she can and can't do with her body and therefore though there's this pro-life sentiment. There isn't necessarily a pro-life worldview. We have our work cut out for us.
I think there's a Barna poll not long ago that showed that 53% of millennial's field abortion in almost every case is moral yeah and when you ask him about it. You get very conflicting answers. If you say well do you think abortion is a good thing well know, do you think it's a good thing to have laws protecting the unborn will know because we like choice and you get this conflicted worldview and the reason for that is, they haven't answered the question, what is the unborn.
That's where the debate starts. They assume the unborn are not human and they don't argue for just assume it will. That is an excellent point. As always, by Scott Cruz and Dorf who believes it's only fair that those who advocate for abortion should be required to scientifically defend and explain their position. Scott was our future guest in Chicago last year at a Focus on the Family event held to inspire and motivate people to support pre-born babies and their mom's and it was a way to also promote our online event coming up September 26: C life 2020 they can learn about sea life 2020 and get a copy of Scott's book, the case for life. When you check the links in the episode's let's go ahead and rejoin the conversation now in front of really engaged audience hears Jim Daly zeroing in on Illinois inherent cargo is something we had Focus on the Family of work in the pregnancy resource centers in this Chicagoland area to try to reduce abortion by 60,000 baby say that's the goal we were able to raise the $1.9 million to embark on that program in a short period of time. The hearts of the people in this area responded so beautifully and were in the midst of that now. Over the next five years to save 60,000 children here in the Chicagoland area.
One of the reasons that it laws have become more liberal, while states surrounding Illinois become more restrictive, and so women there's been like a 4050% increase in out-of-state women coming into Chicago right to get an abortion, and in that context, speak to that kind split in the state you've touched on it.
There's eight states that a past heartbeat bills now I'm actually immediate response to this because this I come out of the business world I work for Fortune 500 company and there are hundred and 87 companies that pledge to boycott Georgia yeah because they were moving to a heartbeat bills right now. Take my Christian hat off just for a minute if I'm at a been a board room of the Fortune 500 company and I'm thinking or proposing. Let's eliminate 60 million customers from our base any chairman of the board to go you're insane you're no longer board member but we had Disney is one of those 87 companies boycotting Georgia because they wanted to implement the heartbeat bill right that their customers are like to three years away right it is that insane to anybody else but me. Yeah, I mean, that's crazy. It is, but what it reflects Jim is this worldview divide we have that is deeply fundamental over who counts as one of us and that's why the opposition is so stiff all by the way, I must say as a resident of Georgia was nice to hear our governor say in the choice between pleasing the movie industry and saving kids were going to go with the kids and he signed the felt so bad yeah yeah oh I think it's amazing that we rationalize with some of these leaders. Yeah it seems so bizarre how much money would Disney have made off 60 million babies is right, were aborted. I'm sorry but just think about it.
I mean it's crazy I Scott, let's get in the sled because I want to make sure that tonight folks here in the millions. Listening really get a handle on how to use this acronym sled that you created and applied in these discussions. So take us through what is sled will. Here's the defense of the pro-life position very briefly.
We argue from science that the unborn are distinct living in whole human beings but then we argue philosophically that there's no essential difference between Jim the embryo and Jim the adult that would justify killing you with that earlier stage of development. Differences of size, level of development environment meaning where you're located and degree of dependency are not good reasons for saying we could kill Jim, is an embryo not kill them as an adult, so if you look at the those four categories size their interests. You were smaller as an embryo. So, by the way, just to preach for a moment Jewish Christians need to stop taking the burden of proof every time a critic raises an objection. Typically summonses will that embryo small in our pro-life responses will, but he's going to grow big real soon or they say he's not very developed, but he has brain waves by week six. You've just bought the premise of your critic don't do that challenge the premise. So what they say.
For example, looking at that first letter size the embryo small like Sen. Dick Durbin did. He pointed to a dot on a piece of paper on the Senate floor and said see this.no, you can't see this.there are people in this chamber that want to deny people cures because they're concerned about an embryo that smaller than a dot on the page you notice Sen. should have done Sen. Durbin. Why does body size determine value. Tell me why I have to be big enough not to be killed, and how big do I have to be not to be killed. In other words, body size doesn't determine value. Yeah, we don't think that Shaquille O'Neal, the former basketball star who was 7 foot to a foot taller than everybody in the room tonight is more human and valuable than us simply because he's larger level of development sure you were less developed as an embryo.
So two-year-olds or less developed than 21-year-olds. In fact, yesterday I spoke to group high school students 300 of them at a high school and I said to the students. You are less developed than your parents are less developed than your parents physically and your less developed than your parents intellectually, which came as a complete shock to. I did they agree with that point I got up so much, does it follow that because your parents are more developed. They have a greater right to life.
What about environment where you're located, you're in the womb. Now you're out.
I would imagine in our audience tonight. There's people here who drove at least 27 miles to be here through a lot of traffic. If a journey of 27 miles doesn't change you from one kind of thing to another. How does a journey of 7 inches down the birth canal, suddenly transforming from nonhuman non-valuable thing we can kill to valuable human being. We can't, and finally degree of dependency house dependency on another human being mean that I can intentionally kill you.
There are children born and I don't know the exact numbers but there there who can only tolerate their mother's milk after birth. When we say it's okay for a mother to unplug her own child and say my body, my choice.
Too bad he depends totally on me for survival and letter child die from neglect size, level of development environment and degree of dependency are not good reasons for saying we could kill you then but not now. Those are so many good points there. Let me ask you about that this this sense of false empowerment. If I could call it that. I've been profoundly moved by the power of Planned Parenthood in the abortion industry to move mother away from what I would say is that God-given natural instinct to be the nurture that somehow they have convinced some women that you need to celebrate the taking of this life and the only thing that stops a woman from really being okay emotionally is the shame and sometimes saying the Christian shame that is put on them. Explain that I mean that idea that they have been so successful at this kind of false empowerment that you special woman.
You get to direct this this is your decision and then maybe they realize afterward what have I done yeah you know it's interesting because the whole argument for abortion is actually anti-woman because here's what it says women can only be equal to men if they have a special surgery that will make them equal to men, namely, abortion, that's not celebrating women for who they are, that saying we require them to do something to be able to perform like we men do, but beyond that, I think there's a problem we face in the pro-life movement and that is this, Planned Parenthood can fix that young woman's problem in 15 minutes were offering her 18 years of challenge hardship and suffering. Who wins that debate on the face of it will Planned Parenthood does. So what is it that has to happen to flip that equation will a couple of things number one women need to bond with their children, which is why your ultrasound initiatives are so important for pregnancy centers nationwide and I do a lot of their banquets and Focus on the Family has done a lot of work I tour those centers in there is a focus machine right there. Thank you to the donors who have made that have absolutely waves have so for some women seeing their child will do it, but there are other women if they're not more horrified of abortion than they are terrified of their own crisis pregnancy, the child will die. And that's a tough tough thing for us to communicate graciously and persuasively. But we need to communicate the truth of abortion. Clients need to see both the humanity of the unborn and understand the inhumanity of abortion because for some clients. That's the only thing that will help them overcome the terror of a crisis pregnancy Scott I think it's important to soften those in the abortion industry will throw accusations at the pro-life community saying you're only worried about the baby.
What about the Roman what about the woman I have met so many outstanding pregnancy resource centers around the country where they are doing holistic outreach righties limit their doing job training, job placement, helping them learn how to do a budget. They've got an outreach to women who are post-abortive if they made that decision, and we will still mentor you write for next time.
And it is such a slam because they don't know just trying to disparage the pro-life movement by throwing out these accusations that we don't care about women. Think of these further from the truth and it's a gigantic smokescreen because let's say we did everything pro-abortionist demand of us.
We take care of every societal bill we feed every hungry kid we care for every orphan, every refugee every immigrant we do everything they demand of us would they become pro-life and oppose abortion. It's one big smokescreen and the question I always put two people I say to them, how does it follow that because I oppose the intentional killing of an innocent human being in the womb I have to fix everything wrong with society. We would never say to the American Cancer Society, you're not a true healthcare organization because you're not treating AIDS, lupus, Crohn's disease, and diabetes.
You only stick the cancer. Nobody would say that to them, but they attack us now. The second part of that argument is exactly what you just said we are caring for women and children after they're born. I did up a banquet of the pregnancy center last night in Madison, Wisconsin.
The top floor of the pregnancy center is a live in apartment where they house up to 24 mothers with children. This the middle floor of that the center is a medical clinic where they treat STDs.
They provide prenatal care, all of it. The bottom level is this gargantuan boutique where they supply the pregnant woman with everything she might need to get through that pregnancy don't tell me we don't care when pregnancy centers outnumber abortion clinics something like three to one in this country.
Yes, we do care and we are demonstrating powerful evening we had in Chicago last year with Scott Cruz and Jim Scott's passion for pre-born babies is so apparent and evident throughout. He genuinely cares deeply for not only the pre-born child, but for the women and men who are wrestling with the right and wrong is the culture feeds. This is so many mixed messages about the value of human life and will hear more from Scott Clewiston Dorf on the broadcast next time so don't miss it. I think it does help equip you for the debate the discussion.
The argument to defend life and I hope this discussion has given you pause to think about what you can do to help save pre-born babies and I want to urge you to consider making a pledge to support Focus on the Family in a monthly basis every $60 saves a baby's life. We been doing this now for 15 years. We know the metrics we know the outcomes and the just think about it. Can we do that, can we has set up a monthly wire transfer to help focus save a baby every month. I hope everyone listening would say yes. I'm able to do that if you can't support us monthly than make a one-time gift, save the baby's life or $60 and that's all done through our option ultrasound program and we want to encourage you in that give any questions, give us a call or hit the website. When you make that monthly or one-time donation of any amount written essay.
Thank you for your support and send a copy of Scott clues endorse excellent book the case for life. It all begins when you call us are numbers 880 family 800 the letter a and the word family and John were excited and gearing up for that great event coming September 26 that it'll be online. We had to change our strategy this year because of the COBIT crisis but we have a very compelling program involving LV to King as a speaker, Candace Owens, Benjamin Watson, Mike Singletary, the great, the linebacker from the Chicago Bears and many others will also have some great great music and the highlight of the event, like always will be the live 40 ultrasound of a pre-born baby in the third trimester, a clear picture of human life in the womb. We do hope you'll join the movement and stand for pre-born babies. Sandy can get all the details about sea life 2020 and donate $60 to say the baby's life. Look for the links in the episode notes next time on this broadcast will hear more from Scott clues endorse about having persuasive conversations with those who are in favor of abortion, then I say can I repeat back what you just said to me you personally oppose abortion because you say it kills a baby but you think it should be legal to kill babies and there's usually dead silence for several seconds.
While that sinks in on behalf of Jim Daly and everyone here at Focus on the Family.
Thanks for joining us today. I'm John Fuller inviting you back next time is once more help you and your family thrive in Christ this season of your life are always moving forward single hood married parenting and through it all. Focus on the Family is alongside you. With encouragement from a biblical perspective and now we have a new tool that gathers our trust and guidance support together in one place. The enhanced Focus on the Family with it you can listen to the Focus on the Family front endanger social media make a donation downloaded today from the app store for Google play