Thursday, February 26, 2009

Relational strongholds

In Sunday's scripture, we looked at how to wage war spiritually against the strongholds keeping abortion practice thriving, while women suffer and their children die.

Let's look again at 2 Corinthians 10:3, 4, 5:

King James Bible
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

In particular, I want to look again at the word translated "strongholds" (Ochuroma a castle, stronghold, fortress, fastness; anything on which one relies, of the arguments and reasonings by which a disputant endeavours to fortify his opinion and defend it against his opponent) and the word translated "imaginations" (Logismos: a reckoning, computation; a reasoning: such as is hostile to the Christian faith; a judgment, decision: such as conscience passes).

Today's strongholds, relational, relate to the sexual strongholds I discussed earlier in the week. But it's not always a sexual hold that people have on us.

I first became aware of what really goes on in abortion mills when my babysitter, Sherri, shared with me how her mother had forced her into two unwanted abortions. Family members might threaten to withhold love and support. Doctors might use their professional clout to push for abortion. Social workers, bosses, boyfriends, and counselors may be pushing the woman. Who can withstand an assault like that? Before judging the woman resorting to abortion, think of how well you could withstand losing the love and support of people dear to you.

Sometimes these people mean well. Sometimes they're just pushing their own agenda for their own benefit. But one constant I've seen between legal and illegal abortions is the fear of a loss of a relationship.

Another awakening I had into how relational strongholds maintain the abortion status quo came after the election. I was crying out in pain to my social network, only to have some people I thought were friends attack me for raining on their Obamadoration. I thought how much it hurt to have these people turn on me. And I wasn't even that close to them. They were just women I'd confided in sometimes during Bible study.

I thought of all the women who are suffering horribly after their abortions, but who continue to mouth "choice" words. I can understand why. If they stand true to what they've learned through their own horrible, agonizing experience -- that abortion is not a salve to the soul but a deep, festering wound -- they must face that agony alone, alienated from the "prochoice" friends who supported them up to the moment they awakened from the daze that allowed them to go through with the abortion. The only way to maintain any closeness to the people who matter to them, they have to maintain the bubble that those friends and family members have put up around abortion. They must see themselves as aberrations, as exceptions to the rule that abortion is a boon to womankind. If nobody near them is willing to acknowledge their suffering, they must stuff it aside and convince themselves that all is well. The baby is already dead, and there's no bringing her back. So these women must cling even more tightly to the very circle of friends that led them to the wound in the first place.

Is it any wonder I could see the hand of Satan long before I could see the hand of God? The machinations of the Father of Lies are many, and staggering to behold. And how can one fight something so labyrinthine in it's diabolical complexity, as to manage to get the wounded women to feed those they care about into the maw of the beast under the belief that this is the only way to not be utterly, totally alone.

When all it does is make them even more alone because they can never reveal their true selves now. They have to pretend that all is well, or risk losing what little they have.

And then there the abortion workers. How can they leave? For to leave the business -- to admit that you'd been in the wrong, hurting women and killing children -- means making the most horrific discoveries about yourself, while facing total, abject social isolation.

We need to have our own relationships right -- starting with our relationship with God, since if we're not right with Him we'll never really be right with anybody. And then we need to pray for and support women as they deal with the relational strongholds in their own lives that are pushing them toward abortion. And we must pray for those who promote abortion because staying in the good graces of their social group demands that they "stand for choice". And we must pray for those trapped in the abortion machine as cogs in the wheels.

And, most of all, we must love them -- right where they are. Even when they're being as unlovable as these girls, who are cutting off all hope for troubled women.

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