Pastor Bob Enyart of American Right to Life has responded to my post yesterday in part lamenting ARTL’s corporate – seemingly sole – strategy of denegrating fellow pro-lifers.
I welcome the opportunity this forum presents to dialogue. Here is Pastor Enyart’s response in its entirety. I have only broken up paragraphs for easier reading.
American RTL Reply to Jill Stanek, re: Judging Motives
Jill, in yesterday’s blog your comments are critical of American RTL but thank you for writing them. We all need to ask God to search our hearts, and we appreciate you giving us a reminder to do so, and we will.
Let me start by…
…defending you, when you judged Rick Warren in that article you linked to, writing, “Warren said he invited Obama to speak at his conference because they both want to stop AIDS,” which you characterized as “Ludicrous. Warren certainly knows ends don’t justify means,” and then you brilliantly exposed Obama’s policies that would further spread HIV.
At American RTL, when an article or press release is going through the editorial and review process, I’ve seen the officers take special care over any statement referring to motives, and stop the presses, and carefully weigh the matter.
For example, World Magazine republished a fabrication of Steve Ertelt of LifeNews.com that George Bush “nominated 20 pro-life judges.” John Lofton of the American View led the effort to get Ertelt and World Magazine publisher Joel Belz and reporter Lynn Vincent to correct the record for their readers, all three refused, and that story line that Ertelt invented, “Bush nominates 20 pro-life judges,” turned up over 100 times throughout our trusting pro-life community.
Christians accepted this even though George W. Bush’s first campaign promise (Washington Post 6-15-99; 10-3-00 debate; etc.) was that he would ignore the issue of abortion when nominating judges. His code words to Republican pro-choice voters: “I have no litmus test,” which turned out to be one campaign promise that he has kept.
Examples abound where Christian and pro-life leaders can accurately judge partisan and Warren motives, and Jill, I’ve seen you and ARTL officers do so accurately. If there is a case where a false judgment is made, it should be identified and corrected.
There is no scriptural prohibition against judging motives. It is not wrong to judge the motives of bin Laden, nor Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, or the National Council of Churches.
Judging motives is simply more difficult than judging actions. Jesus repeatedly taught men to judge rightly, insisting they “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24) and He praised a man (Luke 7:43) who could “rightly judge” a matter of the heart. Paul shamed the Corinthian Christians because no one among them was willing to “judge the smallest matters” (1 Cor. 6:2). As the Apostle wrote, “He who is spiritual judges all things” for “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:15‑16).
Jill, we appreciate you defending the concept of judgment against the false teaching of an absolute “judge not.”
But “judge not” doesn’t refer specifically to motives, for in that passage the Lord went on. “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to [judge, i.e., to] remove the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Mat. 7:5). Even if this were only about motives, then the Lord would have then been teaching, first judge your own motives correctly, and then you can judge the motives of others. But Jesus directly explains Himself. He wasn’t saying, Don’t judge motives, He was saying, regarding whatever we judge, don’t judge as a hypocrite. Judge rightly is not some guy’s name.
But is it ever justified to judge fellow Christians, and even leaders? Paul harshly rebuked the Apostle Peter in Galatians 2, even calling Peter a “hypocrite” and saying that he was not being, “straightforward about the truth of the Gospel.” Yikes.
Thankfully, Peter heeded Paul’s warning. Today, Billy Graham and Pat Robertson say the most wicked things justifying the murder of innocent children, and they are not held accountable by any of the top Christian and pro-life leaders.
Why? Answers to such questions often get to motives, and it is the heart that God is concerned most about, and we cannot restore the pro-life movement to a Christian foundation without getting to the heart of the matter.
Christ is “the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20) and if that Stone falls on someone it “will grind him to powder” (Mat. 21:44). Better to be judged by a Christian than crushed by Christ, for as the New Testament says, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:30), and in a parable about Himself Jesus warned, “But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me” (Luke 19:27).
Jill, this battle we are all in goes far deeper than the slaughter of innocent children. The eternal souls of billions of people stand in the balance. In the Body of Christ, there is room for mercy, and grace, and compassion; there is no room for Rick Warren’s or James Bopp’s moral relativism, legal positivism and secular humanism.
Thank you for considering our press release about ARTL’s role in Romney being forced out of the primary, and in the passing of the ‘old guard’ of pro-life leaders.
Jill, while it is not wrong to judge motives, there was nothing in that release that judged motives. The closest thing to the judging of motives was ARTL pointing out that National Right To Life is directed by lawyers who promote legal positivism (which is moral relativism and secular humanism), by which the inalienable (non-transferable) God-given right to life is viewed as a second-tier negotiable matter and not an absolute standard.
Our Christian leaders defend lower court judges when they rule to keep legal even late-term abortion as Gary Bauer, Jay Sekulow and Dr. James Dobson have defended Samuel Alito for ruling to keep PBA legal in New Jersey, because he was following “precedent,” when in reality, he was violating a much older and absolutely binding precedent, God’s enduring command, Do not murder.
By the way, this position of our pro-life leaders made them advocates for BOTH SIDES of that case, supporting the NJ legislature’s ban, AND Planned Parenthood’s suit claiming it violated precedent. Moral relativism leads men in circles.
You wrote that, “The problem with ARTL is it doesn’t inspire. Its press release is indicative of its personality. Its focus is on slashing and burning our side. It only states who it opposes, not supports.”
From its inception, American RTL has had a list of pro-life heroes on its homepage at AmericanRTL.org including Alan Keyes, HLI’s Rev. Tom Euteneur, ALL’s Judie Brown, Dr. Charles Rice of Notre Dame Law School, U.S. Rep. Bob Dornan, Cal Zastrow of Michigan Citizen’s for Life, Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Rescue/Save America, and dozens of others.
There are plenty of leaders ARTL admires and we will go for counsel to the leaders who oppose child killing regulations and any law that ends with, “and then you can kill the baby.”
Jill, judgment begins “at the house of God” (1 Pet. 4:17), but we believers will judge not only World Magazine, but the entire world! “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?” (1 Cor. 6:2‑5).
Notice that Christians should judge their brethren now, and one day “will judge the world!” (1 Cor. 6:2). For Paul said, “if the world will be judged by you…” God the Judge delegates judgment to His people. Even spirit beings will submit to believers: “Do you not know that we shall judge angels?” Then and now, believers should “judge… according to My judgments” (Ezek. 44:24) as God said.
The Almighty commits judgment into the hands of His obedient servants (Rev. 20:4). If God were the only judge, the sins of all men would be “clearly evident, preceding them to judgment” (1Tim. 5:24a). But because human beings will judge their fellow men on Judgment Day, therefore the sins “of some men follow later” (1Tim. 5:24b). The human judges will already have been aware of the public sins of notorious men.
But they will not learn of private sins and those of obscure men until they are revealed at Judgment Day. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, may have known of this. For he said “the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgment on all” (Jude 14‑15).
The Lord with His saints will judge the world! Jesus too said, “The men of Nineveh will rise in the judgment with this generation and condemn it…” (Mat. 12:41). And as Solomon wrote, “jealously is a husband’s fury; therefore, he will not spare [the adulterer who violated his wife] in the day of vengeance. He will accept no recompense nor will he be appeased” (Prov. 6:34‑35).
God gives the responsibility for vengeance, condemnation, and judgment to His servants for “every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord” (Isa. 54:17).
When Columbine dad Brian Rohrbough (also Stanek poll 2007 Pro-lifer of the Year) was recommended to be the president of American RTL, the 30 men and women assembled at that pro-life leaders summit concurred.
Brian’s slain son, Danny, murdered at Columbine high school is now in heaven. We have it on scriptural authority that Danny does not now have a forgiving attitude but is judgmental toward his unrepentant murderers.
How do we know that? A People magazine photo in Nov. 1999 shows his family and friends with a sign quoting Revelation 6:10 in which martyred Christians in heaven, no longer carrying the burden of the flesh nor any false spirituality, ask God to “avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth.”
Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). On the night of the Amish school murders Mr. Rohrbough told Katie Couric of CBS News, “We [our godless public schools] teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong. And I assure you the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion.”
Brian takes it personally when people defend those who authorize the murder of innocent children. Of course we should not stay silent, as do so many leaders, when Pat Robertson defends China’s forced abortion on CNN.
But Jill, how do you confront him on such a severe infraction and not come across as stern? In Galatians 2:11-14 Paul describes his own severe criticism of Peter. Of course such rebuke occurs throughout the Old and New Testaments, and the critical one easily comes across as the bad guy.
National RTL’s general counsel and long-time political architect James Bopp joined Mitt Romney’s campaign to deceive pro-lifers into supporting Romney, who has been recently and aggressively pro-abortion, and two years after his political “pro-life conversion,” Romney allocated funds to kill Massachusetts children in elective abortions.
That program continues Romney’s wicked purpose to this very moment and NRTL tried to cover it up. In light of that reality, a debate among believers on judging the motives of the pro-life industry is long overdue. To wit: NRTL does not inform sincere pro-lifers of such vile acts but they work to disguise actions that betray the wickedness of many politicians they support.
Jill, again, thanks for your concern. If ARTL has wrongly judged a motive, please bring that to our attention, and we will carefully consider the merits of the claim.
Spokesman, American Right To Life