A Thanksgiving rebuke

Jenna and Dan Haley and newborn Baby Shane

Thanksgiving has always been intricately connected not only to the fruit of the field but also to the fruit of the womb. Throughout the Old Testament, God challenged His people to understand that He is ultimately responsible for fertility or infertility, whether in the context of crops or children.1

Christians are called to give thanks in all circumstances2, not to second-guess His blessings. Some of the most beloved scriptures were written in the context of disaster, as the grateful attitude of God's servants pointed the way toward their ultimate restoration and blessing (such as Jeremiah's proclamation "Great is Thy Faithfulness"3). On the other hand, ungrateful attitudes brought disaster upon God's people in the midst of some of their greatest victories4. Thanksgiving at its core is an act of humility, and one of the overriding themes of scripture (in both testaments) is that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble5. Is our nation characterized by pride or humility? (Do we place our trust in a political party, or in God?)

"If ever a nation has enjoyed prosperity and the blessing of God, it is America," said Billy Graham, "but instead of giving thanks to God, we have offered our reverence and worship to created things."6 Our national attitude of ungratefulness to God and reliance upon our own human feelings ("___ pride") produces the downward spiral which we have witnessed this year more than ever: "although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened."7 (Those familiar with Romans 1 understand the gravity of what follows.)

This national attitude of trusting in ourselves rather than God is most evident in our attitude toward our children. Are we thankful for the conception of every child, or do we ungratefully seek to reject the fruit God produces in our wombs? If we are truly thankful for God's blessings, truly reliant upon His providence, why do those who name the name of Christ abort so many of the babies they conceive (whether through surgical abortions or abortifacient birth controls)?

"Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" - Job 2:10

A truly thankful Christian will rejoice in the children God provides, even in the midst of tragic circumstances. In 2014, hundreds of thousands of Christians celebrated the birth of Baby Shane, knowing that his condition of anencephaly would soon result in death8. Baby Shane's parents, Jenna and Dan Haley, modeled an attitude of Christian thankfulness, fulfilling a "bucket list" for their baby throughout the pregnancy even though they knew that he would die soon after birth.

Baby Shane

When the angel Gabriel announced Mary's unplanned pregnancy, she also responded with a grateful spirit (even though she knew that she would face great difficulties because of her circumstances), submitting herself to God as a servant.

Thanksgiving is a celebration of our dependence upon God, in good times and in bad.

Thanksgiving was not a one-time observance for the Pilgrims: their lives were characterized by grateful dependence upon God, even when hunger and disease ravaged their families. The Pilgrims' second Thanksgiving meal began with a simple course: five kernels of corn, a reminder of the limited rations upon which they had once survived9. The Pilgrims thanked God for every kernel of corn, and for every human life.

After the Revolutionary War, our nation's early Thanksgiving proclamations included a call to "the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness."10 (This was an obvious reference to James 1:27, which in our modern context requires caring for the women and children whose abandonment frequently results in abortions.)

At the height of the Civil War, President Lincoln's 1863 proclamation establishing our national Thanksgiving Day as the last Thursday in November noted that "Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field," further acknowledging that "No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy."11

Throughout history, Godly leaders have understood that an increasing population is evidence of God's blessing. Do today's Christian leaders seek God's blessings, or do we bring judgment upon ourselves by cooperating with our adversary's plan to reduce the population of Christians while increasing the population of our enemies?

One week before that monumental 1863 Thanksgiving Day, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was seared into our nation's conscience, an everlasting reminder that our nation was "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." As the nation at war prepared to celebrate Thanksgiving, Lincoln challenged citizens to adhere to the foundational principles of the Declaration of Independence, even though those principles were at odds with the institution of slavery which threatened to destroy the union.11 Being thankful for our nation requires us to honor the righteous principles upon which our nation was established. (Do not those same principles call us to end the Abortion Holocaust?)

Unthankfulness is one of the marks of the last days apostasy12. Is the spirit of child aversion part of this apostasy? Are modern Christians ungrateful for His gift of fertility, doubting God's ability to plan our families?

In our times of greatest doubt, when we feel that it is no longer realistic for us to trust in the promises of our Lord, He is always eager to shower His grace upon us, giving us opportunities to believe in Him again. When our resurrected Lord met two discouraged disciples on the road to Emmaus, their eyes were not opened to recognize His identity -- until Jesus lifted up His voice in "thanksgiving" as they prepared to eat13. May God open our eyes this Thanksgiving to the precious blessings He has planned for our wombs -- before it is too late.

 


 

1. Deuteronomy 28:4, Psalm 127:3-5, Psalm 128:1-3, Proverbs 14:28

2. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

3. Lamentations 3:23

4. Numbers 11

5. James 4:6, Proverbs 3:34, http://palmquists.glorifyjesus.com/blog/2016/01/grace/

6. Billy Graham: http://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/november-2012/america-under-judgment/

7. Romans 1:21

8. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/viral-bucket-list-passes-away-hours-after-birth-parents-grateful-for-brief

9. http://biblestudyplanet.com/thanksgiving-bible-study-planet/5-kernels-of-thanksgiving/

10. http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=17944

11. http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm

12. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

13. Luke 24:31

 

 

comments