I recently went to see the movie Unplanned—a movie about the real life story of Abby Johnson who once worked as a clinic director for Planned Parenthood and became an advocate for life. After viewing the film, I would like to share my thoughts about the film as a whole—providing some simple critiques and compliments.
What is Unplanned?
The movie Unplanned falls into the “faith based” category, which is a fairly new category that has developed through the release of several films in recent history that were funded and developed with the idea of providing a clean film that has a positive message and one that points people to Christ.
From the website of Unplanned, we find the following description:
All Abby Johnson ever wanted to do was help women. As one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, she was involved in upwards of 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women about their reproductive choices. Her passion surrounding a woman’s right to choose even led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in. Until the day she saw something that changed everything, leading Abby Johnson to join her former enemies at 40 Days For Life, and become one of the most ardent pro-life speakers in America.
The Quality of the Film
The movies that typically fall into the faith based category find it difficult to compete with other films with much larger budgets, sometimes three or four times the budget of the faith based film. As a result, the quality of the production, the actors, and the overall feel of the film seems to take away from the goal and message. As a result, many supporters go and watch the film because of the message, but most of the people can see the difference in the film.
With Unplanned, there was a certain aspect of that that came out with a few of the scenes, but overall, the acting and production of the film was high quality. Ashley Bratcher, who plays the role of Abby Johnson, did a great job taking the lead in the film. If she fails in her role, the film will not succeed. I felt that she did a great job in her acting out the parts and scenes of the storyline. It seemed much more natural than some of the other faith based films from the past.
Before getting to the compliments, allow me to provide some honest critiques of the film. As a Christian who opposes abortion and stands for the sanctity of human life, I enjoyed the film, but I also felt that the clear message of the gospel could have been shared. There were opportunities in the film from church scenes to conversations through the fence at the clinic that would have been a great opportunity to insert the message of the gospel in a natural way, but that never happened. The faith talk was centered upon God, but it never went deeper into describing who God is and how a person can be reconciled to God.
There were a couple of scenes that had pro-life advocates and open-air preachers at the clinic seeking to stop women from entering the clinic. There seemed to be a hard line distinction drawn in the movie between those who used signs, had their Bibles, and were calling out to the women as opposed to those who stood and prayed quietly and only occasionally spoke up and offered help.There was one scene where a bearded man who was with the open-air evangelists spoke roughly to a young woman through the fence and I would like to know if that was something that happened or if it was merely an inserted creative addition. I think it’s unfortunate to paint open-air evangelists as fanatical.
As a preacher who supports and engages in open-air evangelism, I think this is unfortunate. By creating a hard distinction by placing a person in a Grim Reaper costume in with the crowd of open-air evangelists (no matter if this happened or not)—anyone who stands with an open Bible and calls out with the gospel of Jesus is painted as a fanatic. Once again, my critique here is that we must pray, but we must do more than pray. We must speak up, call out, proclaim the truth, and plead with women to stop. Sometimes the people standing at the edge of the sidewalk at an abortion clinic are literally standing between life and death for a real baby—and at that moment it’s time to speak up.
The film did a great job of revealing the R-rating of abortion. While initially the film producers were not pleased with the R-rating because it would limit how many people would be able to see the film (specifically the younger generation who typically spend time at the local mall and movie theater), at the end of the day we must not forget that abortion is rated R. That is precisely the message that Ashley Bratcher delivered in an interview on FOX.
The graphic nature of the abortion process was visibly seen in two different types of abortion (D&C and medically induced RU-486). Both types of abortion techniques were depicted with bloody scenes and actors who delivered the intensity of pain and even the regret of such procedures. In the scene where Abby Johnson is asked to assist in the abortion, the baby is clearly seen on the sonogram monitor moving and then the baby is suddenly sucked from the womb as the doctor cuts the baby and finishes the procedure through the D&C suction technique.
The deep regret and pain of Abby Johnson is vividly displayed on the screen as she talks openly about her own abortions and her regret for working for Planned Parenthood. This is helpful for those who may have walked a similar path. It was also helpful to see the Planned Parenthood organization clearly identified with this abortion process since they often spin their services as healthcare and prevention services. It was likewise important to see the deception and lack of care for women by Planned Parenthood through this movie which is clearly detailed in Abby Johnson’s personal story.
One of the most powerful scenes in the movie is near the end when Abby Johnson is standing on the other side of the fence and is engaged in helping a young lady who showed up at the clinic confused and looking for help. As she talked to the young lady and pointed her to the reality that there are other options, but Planned Parenthood will not deliver those options because they are interested in helping through abortion. One of the best messages that Unplanned drives home is that there are other options.
I recommend the movie Unplanned. We live in a culture of death that celebrates the murder of approximately one million babies every year in the United States. In only 37 states in the US is parental consent required for abortion in the case of minors. Planned Parenthood is government funded and is responsible for the murder of many babies—often targeting the young, poor, and minorities in the process. Just this week, Stacey Abrams called the new “heartbeat bill” in Georgia “abominable” and “evil”—suggesting that it’s bad for humanity, morality, and business in Georgia. When you see babies being butchered to pieces and sucked from the womb of a woman in the name of reproductive freedom and women’s rights—it’s abominable and evil to suggest that saving lives through the “heartbeat bill” is bad for humanity and morality.
We live in a culture with good technology, great imaging machines, and we have all of the information and science to prove that the baby in the womb of a mother is a living human being. To allow for ancient practices of murder to continue in our modern age is unthinkable and quite honestly unacceptable. It’s time that we work diligently and engage in the fight to see abortion come to an end in the United States of America.
Psalm 139:13–16 — For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (ESV)
The most famous sermon ever recorded in the history of humanity is the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5-7. In this text, we find the greatest sermon from the greatest preacher, from the most astute theologian, from the most capable scholar, and we should take note. What we find in this one powerful sermon is an exposition of God’s law on various different topics.
The entire emphasis of the Sermon on the Mount is focused on “true righteousness.” The righteousness that comes only through Jesus Christ. True righteousness can not be worked up through the flesh of man, the heart of man, the mind of man, or the works of man. Genuine righteousness of Christ is only attainable through grace which comes only in Jesus Christ. He is the source. Through Christ—a person can have the blessed life now as they look forward to having a blissful life for eternity.
In Jesus’ sermon, he makes a very emphatic statement about peace. He states, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9). The word peacemakers is “εἰρηνοποιός” in the Greek, meaning, “to endeavor to reconcile persons who have disagreements, making peace.” The abortion industry is not a peaceful industry. In an urbane culture full of technological advancements and governed by laws that protect the dignity of human life—we at the same time protect the industry that legally butchers little unborn babies based on the “rights” of the mother and her choice. Is supporting the abortion industry the fruit of peacemaking or is it the fruit of depravity?
Many people throughout the world claim to support the right of women to choose, but they at the same time claim to be children of God. However, Jesus said, unless you’re a peacemaker, you cannot be called a son of God. In other words, you prove that you are not a true Christian. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, more than 60 million babies have been murdered under the banner of women’s rights and freedom. When blood is shed in the womb of a mother through abortion, it proves that the industry is waging war in the womb rather than laboring to protect the unborn and fight for peace. When read in Galatians 5:21 that those who practice orgies will not inherit the Kingdom of God, that makes sense on many levels. But, those who practice abortion and support abortion are to expect the gates of glory to open wide to receive them? Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” The opposite is, “cursed” are those who refuse to be a peacemaker, such a person will not be called a son of God.
Yet, there is a massive disconnect when it comes to the law. If a person is sending a text message while driving and causes an accident that results in the death of an unborn child – the one responsible can be subject to 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine.  In 39 states across the United States of America—you can get an abortion at or later than 24 weeks (6 months). How can one law acknowledge life while other laws refuse to acknowledge that a baby’s death in the womb is murder? Consider the fact that statistics show where 92% of all babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome in the mother’s womb in the United Kingdom are aborted. Compare that to 90% of all babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome in America. 
Jesus demands full allegiance. You can’t serve both the world and Jesus. You can’t live with one foot in Christianity and one foot in the ideology of the world. Stop supporting an industry that is waging war on the unborn while claiming to be a peacemaker, for you will not be called a child of God. When national leaders claim to be followers of Jesus, but they refuse to follow Jesus—it demonstrates their false conversion. A politician may choose to use Jesus to appeal to a specific number of Christian voters, but how that individual leads and the policies that are supported will validate or invalidate their claims regarding Christianity. Jesus made it abundantly clear, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Howe many people who claimed to be followers of Jesus will one day be cast into hell by Jesus who claims to have never known them (see Matt. 7:21-23)?
According to Planned Parenthood, they are present and active on more than 200 college campuses across the United States. They have a chat system that has been successful in reaching out to college students during moments of crisis. According to their reports, they have reached out to more than 125,000 students just in one year after instituting the texting program. In other words, Planned Parenthood wants to talk with your daughter or granddaughter. Will you stand with Jesus as a peacemaker or will you stand with Planned Parenthood and the culture of death? If being a peacemaker is “to endeavor to reconcile persons who have disagreements, making peace,” to refuse to make peace between a mother and her unborn child or a doctor and the unborn baby of an expectant mother is a clear violation of what Jesus has called us to do.
For those who wish to be a friend of the world will make themselves the enemy of God (James 4:4). Only those who have experienced the peace of God can become peacemakers (Rom. 5:1; 2 Cor. 5:17). Until then, no person will desire to strive for peace and labor in this world of depravity to be a peacemaker for the glory of God. When a person has tasted of God’s mercy, received a new heart at conversion, and been reconciled to God—then that individual will desire to be a peacemaker.
How can you be a peacemaker in regard to abortion?
Support women’s centers that provide counsel, ultrasounds, and adoption options.
Support the adoption causes within your local church or in parachurch ministries.
Talk openly with your daughters and granddaughters about the need to choose life.
Refuse to support politicians who protect the abortion industry and help fund it through Planned Parenthood.
Help mentor young ladies in your local church.
Volunteer at women’s centers / pregnancy resource centers in your community.
Volunteer at abortion centers with groups of Christians who preach, counsel, and plead with pregnant mothers to not enter the building.
Jesus was prophesied as the Prince of Peace long before his birth (Is. 7:14). At his birth, he was said to bring peace (Luke 2:14). Only in Christ can a person have true peace (Rom. 5:1). One day when Christ returns, the lion will lie down with the lamb and there will be no more death (abortion) as God ushers in eternal peace (Rev. 21). The Bible calls us to be committed to life and and it outlaws murder (Ex. 20:13). The Scriptures declare the doom of murderers stating that they do not have eternal life abiding in them and that they will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 John 3:15; Rev. 21:8). If this describes you—turn to God and be reconciled to him today by faith in Jesus Christ.
One of the biggest news stories today is the much anticipated birth of a giraffe. Yes, April the Giraffe is past due, and many people are watching live around the clock. April the Giraffe has her own website and is being filmed on a livestream feed from her own YouTube channel where millions of people are watching live from around the world to see her give birth. April the Giraffe not only has a website and a YouTube channel, but she also has a GoFundMe page. Not only can you follow April the Giraffe on social media, you can purchase apparel in her name to raise money for the Animal Adventure Park in New York.
As we consider the frenzy created by a 15-year old pregnant giraffe, what can we learn from this whole event in our culture? There are some good lessons to observe about our culture along with some blatant inconsistencies. What if April the Giraffe had an abortion? Would her abortion be newsworthy? If giraffe life matters, why does human life continue to be devalued in our modern society?
Giraffe Life Matters
When big news stories online, on the radio, and on the television all point to a pregnant giraffe in New York, it’s clear that giraffe life matters. Has anyone asked if April is pregnant with a blob of cells or a real living giraffe calf? Is that a relevant question worthy of our consideration? Soon enough, it will happen. April will give birth to a giraffe calf, and when that calf falls out onto the ground where hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people will be watching live—it will not come as a shock to anyone that a real living giraffe was in April’s womb.
As the whole world watches with joyful anticipation for April to give birth, not one argument is being made that the “thing” in April’s womb is something other than a living giraffe. In fact, everyone across the board seems to agree that April is actually carrying a real giraffe calf. On the Animal Adventure Park’s website, they are using the language of “calf” in reference to April’s pregnancy. In their “Things To Know” section on the website, it clearly states:
The calf will weigh around 150lb and will be about 6′ tall at birth.
If everyone agrees that a giraffe is pregnant with a real giraffe calf and not a blob of cells, why is there such a raging debate in our society about human life? In 2009, an undercover study was done to point to the inconsistent lies and counsel given by Planned Parenthood to women who were seeking medical advice and potential abortions in their clinics. In one such case, an abortion doctor said, “A fetus is what’s in the uterus right now. That is not a baby.” Dr. Polhaska, the abortion doctor, claimed, “It’s not a baby at this stage or anything like that.” Polhaska also claimed an abortion will be “much safer than having a baby…You know, women die having babies.” 
You can see much of the same in the firestorm controversy of Planned Parenthood that erupted in 2015 on the website of The Center for Medical Progress. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is the largest abortion provider in the U.S., performing nearly 330,000 abortions per year.  This accounts for 32% of the total 1,058,000 abortions per year in the U.S., or about 1 in 3, according to the latest data.  According to Dr. Deborah Nucatola, former Senior Director of Medical Services for PPFA (Hawaii Medical Director, Planned Parenthood), as of 2014 Planned Parenthood performed up to 40% of U.S. abortions.  We’ve proven that animal life matters to us, but we must face the question about human life. Does human life really matter to us?
A Question to Consider
What if a special announcement was made by the zoo keepers at Animal Adventure Park stating that a decision had to be made about the expected calf and the pregnancy of April the Giraffe. Suppose the zoo keepers announced that after a lengthy meeting with their staff, they decided that in order for April the Giraffe to be truly happy and fulfilled in the future, she would need to be released from the responsibilities of a calf to care for which would give her added freedom to live life. Therefore, in the best interest of April the Giraffe, the staff decided that her pregnancy would need to be aborted.
What if the abortion of April’s calf was captured live as millions of people watched on the Giraffe Cam? Do you think there would be outrage or support? What would be the response by PETA? How long do you think it would take before Animal Adventure Park was shut down? How would our culture respond to such a decision? It seems obvious that giraffe life matters to our culture and that such a decision would lead to a massive fury of outrage.
What if something far worse was happening as you read this article? What if a similar thing was happening to a human rather than an animal? What if little babies were being killed in professionally operated and medically licensed clinics just a few minutes from the Animal Adventure Park where everyone is anticipating the delivery of April’s calf? The reality is, just a few miles down the road from the location of Animal Adventure Park in New York, babies are being murdered. It’s not a big story. It’s not making a big stir. In fact, I called one of the abortion clinics not far from the zoo and found that they’re accepting appointments for this week.
While we’ve been taught to value the life of animals, we’ve likewise been taught to devalue the life of humans. We live in a culture of death in 2017. With all of the technology available to us—including 3D and 4D ultrasound imaging, we continue to support the legal termination of life in the womb. It has become normal to us. Why should we question the choice of the mother, right?
It may be the legal choice of the mother in America to remain pregnant or to terminate her pregnancy through abortion, but her choice doesn’t negate the fact that a pregnant mother has a living human in her womb. Technology and just plain good logical sense will tell you that a pregnant woman is carrying a living baby in her womb. The dark side of politics and medical practice in our modern age has attempted for many years to avoid the reality of life in a human pregnancy.
Sometimes we find ourselves, as it were, sitting in a room with an oversized and obvious elephant that needs to be addressed. Today, we have a pregnant giraffe in the room with us. The pregnant giraffe isn’t April—it’s abortion. This pregnant giraffe deserves attention from lawmakers, politicians, the medical community, and every human being in our culture. Not only does giraffe life matter, but so does human life. I’m not opposed to people watching a giraffe and celebrating the birth of this calf. However, it should concern us when our culture celebrates the birth of a giraffe but has lost the ability to weep over the murder of unborn babies.
Today a little less than 3,000 babies will be killed in America through legal abortion while we seem to be more interested in the birth of a giraffe.
Yesterday, I preached from Romans 13:8-14 on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. The overall goal of the sermon was to point to the abnormality of the culture of death that’s sadly become a normal reality for our children.
The village of Tomtor is a Russian village in one of the coldest places in the world – the Omyakon valley. The Tomtor village is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world. Temperatures plummet to -71C, so cold that airplanes cannot land there in winter. Interestingly enough, the children who are born into this village life learn to eat reindeer and survive the frigid temperatures. They grow up believing their life is normal, when in all reality, it’s abnormal to be that cold. Until they are taught otherwise, in their little circle of life, they think their lifestyle of surviving the cold is a normal thing.
As our children grow up in our educated, progressive, advanced, and sophisticated culture of America – they are taught that it’s a normal thing for a mother to murder her unborn child in an abortion clinic for under $500. They grow up hearing celebrities and actress like Jemima Kirke publicly sharing her abortion story. Kirke claimed that aborting her unborn baby helped her through unfortunate economic circumstances. The mainstream culture of America praises such decisions, and celebrates it under the banner of “reproductive freedom” and “equality of women.”
If not taught otherwise, our children will grow up believing that abortion is normal, when in all reality there is nothing normal about a mother killing her baby. If we don’t teach our children the truth, they will leave our homes and go off to the university where they will sit in classrooms taught by liberal professors who will continue to brain wash them with lies. Peter Singer, a professor at Princeton said “the life of an adult pig deserves protection more than that of a new born human baby, and . . . the parents should be free to kill their young children already born if they deem them unacceptably disabled.”
The culture of death is abnormal, and Jesus taught us to love our neighbor as ourself. Paul picked up that same truth and encouraged the church at Rome to do the same thing. His main emphasis was love – which fulfills the entire law. The flow of the argument is as follows:
If you love God supremely (with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength), you will by natural progression love your neighbor as yourself. Until you obey the first table of the law, you cannot move on to the second table. The first table of the Ten Commandments is focused on loving God. The second table is focused on loving your fellow human. Love is the key.
If you love your neighbor, you will not steal his wife, murder him, steal his possessions, or covet his possessions. Love is the opposite of taking advantage and abusing your neighbor.
The church must wake up as time is progressing. Christ is coming soon and the church must not be sleeping.
The church must put off the works of darkness and put on Christ.
As we consider these words, we can easily see how loving our unborn neighbor is important. We must not allow our unborn neighbor to be taken advantage of and murdered without speaking up. We must tell the truth to law makers, politicians, and the general public. We must likewise start by educating our children that the culture of death that surrounds us is abnormal.
Teaching our children to avoid sexual immorality and drunkenness is more than a check box. It’s one clear way to love your neighbor. Practicing such sinful lifestyle choices places unborn children at a significantly higher risk of being aborted from the day they are conceived. We must labor to teach our children holiness and this prevents unwanted pregnancies and will ultimately reduce the number of abortions.
Furthermore, as we stand in the gap for the unborn, we must be honest with ourselves and with those we love. There is a better way. There is a better alternative than abortion. Yes, abortion is murder, but the church should likewise talk openly about the beauty of adoption. The culture of death is abnormal, but for the culture of adoption to be absent from the local church is likewise abnormal. Do we truly care for the orphans? Do we truly care for the unborn? One way to fight this battle is by promoting and building a culture of adoption within your local church.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, performed 327,653 abortions in one year (2013-2014). The United States government gave Planned Parenthood $528.4 million dollars in that same time period. Although the largest abortion provider in America has been caught in scandals and proven to be careless with human life – they are still funded by tax dollars and they still operate legally in America.
No matter what President Obama or other politicians say – if you don’t love your unborn neighbor, you are no different than the priest and Levite who passed by the injured man on the side of the road without showing him mercy (Luke 10:25-37). If you claim to love God but you refuse to show mercy to your unborn neighbor, your religion is hypocrisy.
Yesterday, before Congress, Ms. Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood testified regarding the troubling allegations that have surfaced in recent weeks in form of a series of videos that have exposed their practices of selling human body parts for financial profit. Below you will see some of the testimony and some of the recent documented lies of Planned Parenthood.
Full testimony by Ms. Cecile Richards before Congress on Tuesday, September 29th 2015
Ms. Cecile Richards is questioned by Trey Gowdy
Ms. Cecile Richards claims the videos were highly edited
Yesterday, the 8th Planned Parenthood video has been released. Once again, the issues are clearly presented. The organization that receives 50 million dollars from the United States government annually is guilty of murdering little unborn babies and selling their body parts. It’s time that we respond in this nation. Our response should be to outlaw the barbarous act of baby murder.
Trichotomy: A Beachhead For Gnostic Influences – While working through some questions for our upcoming pastoral staff Q&A, I ran across this article by Kim Riddlebarger on the issue of Trichotomy vs. Dichotomy. I don’t agree with every point in this article, but it was quite helpful as I worked through the issues.
Zambian Reformed Conference – This week the 26th annual Zambian Reformed Conference is being held in Zambia, Africa at the Lusaka Baptist Church. Preaching in the conference is Joel Beeke, Steven Lawson, Voddie Baucham, Conrad Mbewe and others. If you would like to listen to the sermons, you can find them on the Lusaka Baptist Church website.
Should Women Wear Head Coverings? – Benjamin L. Merkle describes the cultural implications and theological implications related to women wearing head coverings. He writes, “But Paul’s argument from creation in 1 Corinthians 11:8–9 is not directly given to mandate women must wear head coverings. Rather, his argument from creation explains how man is the image and glory of God, and how the woman is the glory of man. Christian women are not required to wear head coverings today when praying, since the symbol of a woman’s head being covered is different today than it was during the time of Paul (at least in many cultures). Consequently, Paul’s argument from creation is only indirectly linked to the need for head coverings.”