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Lord, for whom all things are possible,
We are confronted once again today
With the evil of the abortion industry
And the corruption found
In the world’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood.
Lord, we pray for all who plan to be parents,
And we ask your mercy on those
Who teach others to reject parenthood.
In the light of your Word, Lord,
We affirm today that children are a blessing from you,
And that the origin of all parenthood
Is likewise in You, the God of life and love.
Therefore, Oh God,
We stand against the evil that has been exposed
In Planned Parenthood
And in the entire abortion industry.
We stand today for the triumph
Of truth over falsehood,
Of light over darkness,
And of life over death.
Bring an end to the killing of children in the womb,
And bring an end to the sale of their body parts.
Bring conversion to all who do this,
And enlightenment to all who advocate it.
Close the doors of the death camps in our midst,
And open the doors of your mercy and healing!
Close the grisly trade in baby body parts,
And open the abundant gifts of your salvation and life!
Hasten the day when our land
Will no longer be stained with innocent blood,
And when the bodies of all your children
Will be raised from the dead
And set free forever.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen!
–Rev. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
May 10, 2020 at 8:36 am
Hi, Dr. Dixon. i just wanted to know if you are aware that Frank Pavone is a Catholic.
Dr. Larry Dixon
May 10, 2020 at 11:49 am
Annsley: Thank you so much for reading my blog. I’m a bit puzzled — my post described Mr. Pavone as a priest, right? I side with my Catholic friends when it comes to right-to-life issues. Blessings. Dr. D.
May 10, 2020 at 8:49 pm
I noticed the designation, but I don’t understand how partnering with people who are in willing and direct conflict with God’s Word is going to help win the fight to end abortion. I am very much against the legalized slaughter of the unborn, but I don’t believe that saving lives is the end of the mission. Saving souls is the primary goal, a goal which must, in this case, be preceded with saving the life. With that said, I don’t see how we are doing the unborn any good by joining ranks with those who would endanger their souls.
Dr. Larry Dixon
May 11, 2020 at 6:07 am
Thank you for your comment, Annsley. Should we join only born-again believers in fighting evil in our culture? I couldn’t agree more with you that Roman Catholicism is misleading many with a works-salvation message. But aren’t there circles of relationships which the caring Christian ought to be involved in? For example, I can stand with Catholics (and Mormons, for that matter) on the pro-life issue without condoning their false gospel. Just my thoughts. Blessings. Dr. D.
May 11, 2020 at 7:15 pm
Thank you for replying to my comments, Dr. Dixon, and for being willing to engage in conversation about this issue. This will be a long reply, but only because I respect you and wish to be unambiguous in explaining my stance on this matter.
As for what you said in your last reply, I think Scripture makes it abundantly clear that we cannot stand with unbelievers, especially those who teach a false gospel, without condoning that false gospel.
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you
“And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
So, yes. I believe we should join only born-again believers in fighting evil in our culture, because born-again believers are the only ones who have the means of fighting evil in our culture: the truth. I’ve heard many people say that they partner with Catholics and other false religions on the life issue because “together, we’re bigger than we are apart.” My response to that is “Why do we need to be bigger?” We have the Word of God which pierces the flesh and cuts to the bone and marrow and soul, and we don’t need a large crowd to use it.
If you have a large group of people with scissors trying to cut down a tree, they might scuff the bark, but they’re not going to get the job done, not because they’re not trying to, but because with all their trying they don’t have the tool for the job. They can’t get it done because they don’t have the means of accomplishing it. However, you get one man with a sharp axe who knows what he’s doing, and that tree will eventually go down. By himself, he will do what the whole crowd couldn’t, because he has the right tool for the job and they don’t.
My point is that we don’t need to partner with the ungodly to stop the ungodly. We don’t need to turn to one evil (compromise) in order to stop another evil (abortion). Not only that, but we can’t, not if we’re genuinely concerned for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we truly desire to obey His Word, we won’t partner with those whose entire goal is to destroy that Word and hide that precious gospel from the world. If we stop abortion completely, yet fail to preach the gospel, all is for nothing. What good is saving the life if we leave the soul to hell fire?
In closing, I noticed that you teach at CIU in Columbia, so I’m sure you’ve heard of Steve Lefemine, founder of Columbia Christians for Life. There’s no reason for Christians to partner with Catholics (who call us “accursed” because of our belief in the Scriptural doctrines) when we have so many blood-bought brothers and sisters who are in this fight with us.
Thank you again for discussing this with me. In the love of the truth, Annsley <
“Because Your lovingkindness is better than life…” Psalm 63:3
Dr. Larry Dixon
May 12, 2020 at 12:53 pm
Good morning, Annsley!
Thank you for your recent comment. And I appreciate the arguments that you make.
We may have to decide to disagree on this issue. I do not equate fighting the evils of society with other people (made in the image of God) as condoning their false gospels. Do unsaved people have any truth? If not, then why do we trust judges and government leaders (this second one is tough!) to lead us into more of a moral society?
Should Christians be in politics? Can a born-again believer be in government without compromising the gospel? Can he or she work with others for a just society (not as a substitute for the gospel, but in terms of common grace)?
If we partner only with other born-again believers, what about paying our taxes, voting, serving on juries? Should we live only with other believers in communes? I’m not seeking to be contentious, but I believe I can side with anyone on moral issues without condoning their false gospel.
I guess the end result of my position would be the possibility of compromising that which ought never to be compromised. The end result of your position (if I’ve understood you correctly) is isolationism from the lost — and I think 2 Cor. 6 is really talking about spiritual fellowship.
Happy to keep the conversation going, Annsley.
Dr. Larry Dixon
May 17, 2020 at 5:42 pm
Here are my comments to your comment of 5/15:
1. Glad to have this discussion as well.
2. I appreciate your position that our disagreement should not inhibit our fellowship with one another.
3. Isolation or compromise? I’m glad to see your point that we dare not isolate ourselves from the world (you might enjoy my discussion of 1 Cor. 5 found in my book When Temptation Strikes. The Corinthians made two errors: isolating themselves from the lost and tolerating sin among believers. They thereby ruined both evangelism and discipleship). I appreciate your sentence that evangelism “requires speaking with, witnessing to, and being friends with unbelievers.” You write, “When we count unbelievers among our personal friends, it involves our own personal opinions and judgments; when we count them among our ministry partners, it begins to involve the entire church (which is made up of our brothers and sisters) as well as those unbelievers to whom we are trying to minister.“
As you know, “minister” means serve. And there are levels of service, right? I can stand shoulder to shoulder with those who are against child abuse without compromising the gospel, right? I won’t engage in an evangelistic crusade with those who reject the gospel, but I can “minister” (serve) with like-minded ethical people, don’t you think?
4. I’m pretty sure my unsaved friends wouldn’t be confused by my marching in a pro-life rally and the gospel I’ve shared with them.
Just a couple of thoughts.
Thanks again for reading my blog.
May 15, 2020 at 2:06 pm
Before I say anything else, let me just tell you that I’m extremely appreciative of your courteousness in this conversation, Dr. Dixon! Thank you for making this an enjoyable discussion.
I believe in Christian liberty (adiaphora) when it comes to the non-essentials of the faith, so I’m willing to “agree to disagree” on this point. I understand that no saint will have a perfect theology (whether in thought or practice), and that we should treat other believers with love and graciousness, as basically the whole chapter of Romans 14 tells us to. I do not believe that this question of partnering with Catholics is an issue that should break fellowship between genuine followers of Jesus Christ.
However, I do believe that Scripture backs up a form of biblical separation from the world that does not include isolation. I believe that Jesus said it best in His prayer to the Father in John 17:14-17:
“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
The point is that while we are not to completely isolate ourselves from the world (if we did, how on earth would we fulfill Romans 10:13-17?), but that we are to be sanctified and made holy to the glory of God. If we’re saved, then we are not of this world, so we aren’t to act like we are. As for Christians living in communal societies in an attempt at greater holiness, the Pilgrims tried it when they first came to America, and it didn’t work out very well. It never does, because that’s not the way we as human beings are supposed to live. We’re commanded to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, and that requires being around unsaved people. It requires speaking with, witnessing to, and being friends with unbelievers.
I believe that Romans 14 is the best in-depth explanation of this concept of separation. In this chapter, Paul is laying out the principles of conscience that should affect the way a believer behaves around others. This chapter is speaking of the Christian’s relationships with other Christians, but I think the principle applies to our other relationships as well. When we count unbelievers among our personal friends, it involves our own personal opinions and judgments; when we count them among our ministry partners, it begins to involve the entire church (which is made up of our brothers and sisters) as well as those unbelievers to whom we are trying to minister.
When a believer abstains from certain things (whether it’s meat or partnerships with Catholics), he doesn’t necessarily do it for himself. He does it so that no one else will stumble as a result of his actions. When we don’t partner with our Catholic (or Mormon, Muslim, etc.) friends, it’s not necessarily for ourselves—it’s for the unsaved people who are watching us. Why should we confuse them by giving any hint of what could be considered a link between the orthodox and the heretical? Between the gospel that saves and the lies that condemn?
When Francis Chan appeared at an event with Todd White and Benny Hinn, it lost him the support and respect of many believers. Why? Because even though he might not have meant it to look like a ministry partnership, it did. An unfortunate fact that we have to live with is that nothing is ever out of the reach of scrutiny. (Which isn’t always a bad thing. While we shouldn’t be judgmental, we are supposed to judge rightly—John 7:24.) Chan said that he went to the event to share the gospel—but how were the people in the crowd supposed to know which gospel he was talking about? The true gospel of Christ or the prosperity gospel that was preached five minutes earlier?
To say all of that in a short way…
We shouldn’t isolate ourselves from those who are outside of the fold of Christ: we should share the gospel with them as we are commanded to in Scripture. Often this is accompanied by befriending them. However, we must distance ourselves from their false teachings and make absolutely certain that there is no confusion as to where the lines are drawn.
However, in the spirit of the same Romans 14, I am willing to defer to you in this matter rather than drag it out, since it is a nonessential of the faith. I only wanted to present another viewpoint, along with the Scriptures that I believe support it.
As for the other questions you asked…
1) I believe that even the unsaved have a certain measure of common grace (Matt. 5:45) which not only allows them to enjoy the gifts God gives through creation (music, good food, relationships, etc.) but also to have a hunger for the things God created us to do and know. They may not like what they’re looking for, but even unbelievers have a desire for the truth. If you don’t believe me, try lying to one.
2) I believe we should do as Romans 13:1-14 tell us—obey governmental authorities as long as they are not out of line with the Scriptures (or in America’s case, our nation’s Constitution).
3) Jesus paid taxes (Matthew 17:27) so as to not cause offense, and He also said to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” I think it’s safe to say we should pay our taxes (on time, by the way).
4) I see no conflict between being a Christian and running for office (or keeping up with the news). I believe it’s similar to being a Christian and a scientist, or an artist, or a mechanic: as long as being a servant of Christ comes first and the other vocation follows that, everything should be fine.
5) I strongly believe that as Christians, we should vote. No, we will never find a perfect leader for our nation, but we can elect the godlier of the two sinners who get past the primaries.
6) And I also don’t see any problem with serving on a jury. That seems to fall under the umbrella of Micah 6:8 (“do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God”).
Thank you again. Annsley <
May 15, 2020 at 2:07 pm
Hi, Dr. Dixon. It’s me again. I just wanted to ask you for permission to post this conversation on my blog (semperscripto.com). I think it would be helpful for others to see the two different views presented in a respectful, Christian way.
Dr. Larry Dixon
May 15, 2020 at 7:41 pm
Annsley: Thank you so much for your reasoned reply. I’ll respond in a couple of days with more substance, but before then I would be honored for you to present these interchanges on your blog. (By the way, I think you’d like my new book “Unlike Jesus: Let’s Stop Unfriending the World.” Just a thought. Blessings. Dr. D.
May 16, 2020 at 10:20 pm
As far as Annsley, I do no think I would take it all so seriously. I read another post of hers where she quotes St. Augustine! I mean really? Just one of the greatest Catholic Saints that ever lived.
Dr. Dixon, abortion is something the Catholic Church holds as pure evil. Abortion is an abomination in the eyes of God. It is something many of us have fought Catholics and Protestants alike.
We here in Texas had an abortion clinic not many miles away from us, which there has now been a movie made about where Catholics stood in front of for days, months, and years and prayed. Those from my Church also. They also tried to help those who were going into the clinic. As shown in the movie, the clinic is now closed thank you God.
Abortion is not about our theology, it is evil and is killing millions of babies. The more of us who stand together against it, and stand together in prayer against it, together, the better chance by the grace of God, we have of doing away with it.
The things Annsley has said about us are hurtful and very untrue. Which I could battle all day long but will not, as I do not think the intention of this post was about that! Catholics love God in a way very few understand, and are under persecution such as Annsley’s, daily.
I thank you, even though I am a Catholic and will always be one, I thank you for the desire to try and stop this. The more of us who stand together against abortion, the more babies we are hopefully going to save.
This is not about “us” and our Churches. This is about an innocent baby getting sucked out of a womb, by the hands of hell. How one can see it as anything else is beyond me?
Again I thank you, for God does not love any of us above the other. Not even Annsley. God Bless, SR
Dr. Larry Dixon
May 17, 2020 at 4:15 pm
Dear SR (I wasn’t able to find your first name on your blog. Sorry):
Thank you so much for your comment.
I could not agree more with your position against abortion. I would make the point that abortion is about theology in the sense that every human being has been made in the image and likeness of God.
I’m sorry that you feel your Catholicism has been attacked. I would be very interested in your take on the Reformation and why Luther took the stand he did (if you wish to share your perspective with me). I’ve had both Catholic and Protestant friends who have thought that salvation was a works (instead of a grace) issue.
I deeply appreciate your following my blog and invite you to comment anytime!
May 17, 2020 at 5:47 pm
Thank you for your response. I do agree regarding the theology the way as you pointed it out. I as well as you, have many Protestant and Catholics friends. We discuss our (belief) differences as well, but not to the point of such an attack as Annsley has done. I as well have Protestants follow my blog and discussions are held there, but never (again) to the point of such attack. I would never allow it on my blog on either side.
I have no problem discussing anything, as long as it is an intellectual discussion.
As far as the reformation I agree with the reason Luther started that. I do not agree with the selling of indulgences and those who did it 100’s of years ago I do not agree with, nor does any Catholic that “I” know. Did the Catholic Church need to be reformed from this, absolutely. So that is the reason Luther did it.
However….being that said, “Was he any better?’ Absolutely not! His writings were the very thing which influenced Hitler. Hitler praised him as “wanting a world without Jews.” Hitler also set up the concentration camps as Luther in his writings had suggested, all but the gas chambers. Luther wanted to kill all Jews, and kill handicapped children as well. He did take books out of the Bible and wanted to take more, as they went against his theology against the “faith alone,” verses (“faith and works.”) I mean almost half of the New Testament. He also wanted to add in there the word “alone” when it came to faith, stating that “word” should be in there.
Luther would spend up to six hours or more in confession continuously saying, “God will never forgive me for this.” (Over and over I might add.) To me, this was not a man whose teachings I would follow at all, as to me, he was a certified nut.
Now I know the same can be said for some in the Catholic Church. We have had a 3.5% rating of bad Popes. However, I do the same with them and would never follow them either. God did give me a brain, to use.
So this is my stance on Luther and those like him in the Catholic Church.
What do I think the reformation did? Divide God’s children forever. Not only Protestants and Catholics, but Protestants against Protestants as well.
I Dr. Dixon, am an ex-Protestant. One of the reasons for this, there were too many different beliefs. Over 40,000 the last I heard. Someone had to have the true belief system in place. So I started over as, as a Protestant I was missing 1500 years of Church history. I had from Martin Luther on, but not Martin Luther back. I had to go to the early Church Fathers. See what they taught, who taught them, and this led me to a 10 year study. Of course we know there was no other Church but the Catholic Church who was given that name in 107. Until then it was known only as the Church.
I had to go to Rome and come to find out, they held Mass in the Catacombs. When I looked at the dates, and the teachings on the Eucharist by them all, I knew what was being taught, they way they worshiped etc…I traced it all the way back to the Lord’s Supper. So my beliefs basically stay with the first 300 years of Christianity.
I also began to read the Bible as a Jew, as I began to understand if I did not understand God and Israel I would never understand the Bible. When I did that and began to study Israel in the OT the whole of Scripture opened up for me, most of all the New Testament. I learned the Bible was a total repeat. What was in the OT came forth in the NT. Especially the way Jesus did things and why. It would be the last time they were ever done.
So I will stop here and will be more than happy to discuss the faith alone and faith and works. Before we do, I want to bring up something Jesus said. When He separated the sheep from the goats it was according to their works. The sheep going to heaven, the goats to hell. It was going to be their “works” which was the determining factor, and he never said one word about “faith.”
Just a little start off. Thank for reading and as I said will be more than happy to “discuss” anything. God Bless, SR
May 17, 2020 at 7:32 pm
I forgot to address salvation being a works. So sorry. Salvation as shown in Scripture “includes” works. Which I will get into greater detail if you want. Never in the Bible does it say we are “saved by faith alone.” This has been placed in there by “man” wanting to believe what they want to believe.
In fact the only place faith and alone ever appear in the Bible together is in James when he is speaking that we are justified by faith and works. It is the word “alone” that is throwing everybody off. If one is Sola Scriptura then one has to believe every single word in the Bible and “faith alone” never appears there, regarding salvation.
The Bible says, Redemption is free. Paul says, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Though Redemption and salvation are intertwined the way to both of them are completely different. Redemption is over with. Our salvation we have a part to play in, with Christ, as St. Paul said. We have to work it out, and it is an ongoing process for the rest of our lives. Past present and future
I can give you the Scripture reference if you want, but for time sake will not here.
What is involved in our salvation? Let’s go to Scripture.
As past, included with our faith the Bible says,
By hope we “were” saved. By grace “we have been saved.” The power of God “saved us.”
He “saved” us by the washing and regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit.
But to us who are “being saved” it is by the power of God.
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those “who are being saved.”
Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, indicating it is not a done deal.
Peter says, “The outcome of your faith (not alone) you obtain the salvation of your souls.
Jesus said, “He who endures to the end will be saved.
Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.
Peter said, “But we believe that we “shall be” saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.
Paul said, “Since now we are justified by His blood much more shall we be “saved,” by him from the wrath of God.
Scripture also tells us that we participate in saving others.
There is a difference from the “plan of salvation” which is what Christ opened up for us on the Cross, and “salvation.”
As you can see again, “faith alone” is never used and many other factors play into it. Faith, hope, grace, the power of God endurance, baptism, bringing others to Christ, etc… all are parts of salvation. Also Scripture says, faith without works is dead. I know we are about to hit Paul LOL! Paul speaks over and over regarding “works under the law.” James is speaking about “works under grace.”
God says over and over in the OT, “He will judge those according to their deeds. Jesus says it in the NT regarding the sheep and the goats. If salvation were based on faith alone, God would not judge us according to our deeds. To me Dr. D., it is not so much what the Bible says, but what it does not say that gets put in there, that people believe. So that is my answer on that one. Would you rather do this by email. My email should be in your comments if you want to send me one. I am happy to do it on the blog also which ever way you wish. God Bless, SR
May 20, 2020 at 7:18 am
Hi, SR. I was just wondering…where exactly do you see that I quoted Augustine?
May 20, 2020 at 12:03 pm
It was somewhere in your comments. It might not of been you, as I was so hurt by what you wrote I really did not take the time to look. If I was wrong I am sorry and ask your forgiveness. God Bless, SR