The Deadly Sin of Coveting

Feb 04, 2016 | Jason Helopoulos

Guest Blogger: Jason Helopoulos

Many individuals are like the Rich Young Man when Jesus said to him, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:18-19), readily reply, “All these I have kept” (Matthew 19:20). A person may rationalize they have never murdered, committed adultery, or stolen, however untrue their claim may be, but no person in their right mind would say they have never coveted. The final commandment of the Ten Commandments, “You shall not covet,” stands out from the rest. In those few words, the very heart of the Law is laid open to us. God’s Law does not concern itself with our actions alone. “You shall not covet” unreservedly proclaims that our thoughts, feelings, inclinations–matters of the heart–matter a great deal to the Lord.

The sin it strikes at is an all-too familiar companion. It surfaces when we hear of a co-worker’s promotion, see a new car in the driveway next door, or reflect upon the seemingly perfect family at church. This enemy raises its evil head in a moment. We do not need to go looking for it or be schooled in it. Rather, it comes quite naturally. And though this sin is a familiar acquaintance, it is no friend. It is an opportunistic and deadly foe, which grips the heart, turns the affections, occupies the mind, and unravels a life. Where there was peace it brings hostility, where there was love it stirs up division, and where there was contentment it breeds complaint.

Why is coveting so deadly? Because it can never be satiated. Coveting relentlessly craves more of this world; and a person’s thoughts, affections, and heart occupied with the world will cease seeking heaven. It forsakes love for God and disposes one to hate their neighbor. Coveting pulls the heart down into the pit of self-seeking and the muck and mire of envy, slander, adultery, pride, dishonor, murder, thievery, and idolatry. It has rightly been said that when we break any of the first nine commandments, we also break the tenth commandment.

How do we combat such a sin of the heart? Let me offer three simple biblical encouragements: look to Christ, live in contentment, and rejoice in thankfulness. Look to Christ and the things above. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you,” said the Lord (Matthew 6:33). The more we value Christ, the less we ascribe inordinate worth to earthly things. The more we desire Christ, the less we long for the things of this world. Honor, wealth, material possessions, reputation, worldly success, and even health possess little glimmer when compared to the radiance of the glory of God in the person of Christ (Hebrews 1:3). As we seek Him, we find earthly treasures hold fleeting pleasures, but joy in Him is everlasting (Psalm 103:17). They possess hollow promises, but His promises are secure. They offer comfort, but He insures it (Matthew 11:28-30). Seeking after Christ is an enterprise unlike any other, it never disappoints. His beauty, loveliness, comfort, peace, and joy surpass all this world has to offer.

If we desire covetousness to have no hold on our lives, we also must seek to live in contentment. Contentment is not something we chase after, but rest in. The Apostle Paul said, “I have learned in whatever situation to be content” (Philippians 4:11b). He said to Timothy, “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment” (1 Timothy 6:6). The Apostle Paul believed in a sovereign God and trusted in this God, who reigns over heaven and earth. He knew God’s providence provided what he needed. Whatever he possessed, it was sufficient, so he could rest content. If God thought it was good for us to have more, he would have given us more. Every Christian rightly seeks to maintain this mindset. And when this is the case, what joy contentment brings to the Christian life. Contentment is one of those rare jewels, once found and treasured it fills the soul with delight.

Maybe the greatest force we can muster against coveting is rejoicing in thankfulness. Thankfulness steers the Christian life away from the dangerous shoals of discontentment. It is difficult to be content in all circumstances if thankfulness does not dwell in our hearts. The Apostle Paul exhorts us even when struggling with anxiousness or concern that we should “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). We want to thank God for what we have received and what He has given. Every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17). Therefore, we not only rejoice in what we personally receive, but also in the good gifts the Lord has granted others. We and others enjoy these gifts by no mere coincidence. In this we can rejoice in thankfulness. Dear Christian, look to Christ, live in contentment, and rejoice in thanksgiving and send coveting scurrying from your heart and life. It is a deadly foe not to be trifled with. Rather, let us live in love for God and one another–storing our treasures in heaven above.

This article first appeared in the June 2015 issue of Tabletalk magazine.



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When A Christian Sins

Feb 02, 2016 | Jason Helopoulos

Guest Blogger: Jason Helopoulos

Every Christian sins. Every child of light stumbles into momentary darkness. Every prince or princess acts like a rebel at times. As Christians in this world, we are sinners and saints. Redeemed, yet still needing to repent. Forgiven, yet still needing to forsake. Confessing Christ, yet still needing to confess sin. This reality of our lives is not easy. In fact, few moments in life pain or discourage the Christian more than the instant we become conscious of having committed yet another sin against our heavenly Father. Surely, it grieves us. And at times, it can lead to anxiety, guilt, melancholy, embarrassment, and even depression for many Christians.

In the midst of such struggle, the Christian does well to remind themselves of the gospel comforts of Scripture. There is peace to be had and love to enjoy. Our Heavenly Father ever extends His grace to us. The Christian also does well to take to heart gospel encouragements. We desire to pursue Christ and work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). As we tread through this Valley of Baca (Psalm 84:6) let us readily embrace both the comforts and encouragements of the gospel. Falling into sin, though never good, provides such an opportunity.

Remind Yourself of these Comforts:

  • Forgiveness is yours. Forgiveness is not a possibility; it is already a reality (1 John 2:12).
  • A clean record is yours. Your debt is gone. The Lord paid the penalty, the record of debt has been cancelled, and the legal demands have been met. (Colossians 2:13-14).
  • Peace is yours. Grant yourself peace; God has. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)
  • The guilt is not yours to carry. It has been born by another. “He said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30).
  • The Father is yours. God continues to be your Everlasting Father. He continues to direct His love towards you. (Galatians 4:6-7)
  • Freedom is yours. You are not forsaken. Your sin does not need to be the start of a life lived in habitual sin. This isn’t the end. You remain in the palm of His hand. “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).
  • Christ’s prayers are yours. The faithful High Priest intercedes for you. Nothing is hidden from Him and He cries out for you (Hebrews 7:25).
  • Life is yours. Your life is not over. You are united to Christ and will persevere to the end (John 6:39-40).
  • Grace is yours. Though your sin may be great, Christ’s grace is greater still. We have grace upon grace in Christ our Lord (John 1:16).
  • You are not disqualified. God continues to use sinners for great purposes. God is not done working in you and through you. (1 John 2:1).

Remind Yourself of these Encouragements going forward:

  • You are not yet what you shall be. What a glorious thought! “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
  • You are to be a holiness seeker. Holiness is a constant pursuit and endeavor. We have not arrived. The need for growth in knowledge, wisdom, love, and maturity echoes in the canyon of our fall. “Strivefor peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
  • You are to be a sin-hater. Sin is an enemy that leads to death. It is no friend, it is not neutral, and it is not worth it! The consequences of sin always prove to be greater than any enjoyment found in it. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
  • You are to be a soldier. We need to have a wartime mentality. Every moment of our lives is lived in the midst of spiritual warfare. Our adversary is constantly prowling around seeking to devour us (1 Peter 5:8).
  • You are to be a watchman. Vigilance is necessary. One moment of not being on-guard can be a moment that shapes the rest of our lives, hurts those around us, and grieves our Lord (Matthew 26:41).
  • You are to run the race. Falling into sin reminds us that we have one goal: to finish the race before us to the glory of God. That is enough. The challenge is sufficient for a thousand life-times (2 Timothy 4:7).
  • You are to grow in the Lord. No matter how mature we thought we were in the faith, sin reminds us that we have a long way to go (Colossians 3:1-17).
  • You continue to need grace. Like a fish needs water, you need grace. You continue to need grace as much today as you did at your first coming to know Christ. Seek it, embrace it, and live in it. (Galatians 3:3).

A repentant and confessing Christian has much to remind themselves of when they fall into sin. We need the comfort of the gospel and its strong encouragements. We need reminders to quite our souls with peace regarding the past and reminders to galvanize them for action going forward. We have a great God. Let us never forget that. A God whose grace is sufficient for the past and whose strength is sufficient for the future.


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A Prayer and a Plea

Jan 28, 2016 | Kevin DeYoung

whitehouse619pxhedimgThis will be short, I promise. There are only two parts to this post: a prayer and plea.

First, the prayer. It’s what I put on my blog the day after election day in 2012.

Our good, gracious, and sovereign God, we pray for the the President of the United States.

Grant him wisdom, courage, and integrity as a man and as a leader.

Keep him faithful, kind, and loving as a husband and father.

Give him a heart for the poor, concern for the powerless, and compassion for the weak.

Put before him the best information and the most intelligent counselors so he can make good decisions about economic policy and judicial appointments.

May he be guided by both courage and restraint as he commands our armed forces.

Make him a defender of the unborn, a protector of marriage, and a champion for religious liberty.

Make him a man of prayer and a daily student of the Scriptures.

Give him humility to admit his faults, forgive his enemies, and change his mind.

Lead him to a firm understanding of the truth of the gospel, a resolute commitment to obey the Word of God, and a passion to promote what accords with your truth.

By your grace, heavenly Father, may our President be a better man than so many expect and a better man than we deserve.

In the name of Jesus our Lord, let it be.

Nothing terribly controversial in that prayer, at least not for evangelical Christians. (Yes, this prayer assumes the president is a man, because that’s what the options were on election day in 2012. But let’s take the gender issue off the table for the moment.) If I’m not mistaken, everything in the prayer above is pretty standard. If you are a serious, Bible-believing, church-going, Jesus-is-coming-back, you-need-to-be-born-again, orthodox Christian, don’t you agree it’s a good idea to pray that our president be faithful, kind, humble, wise, and compassionate? I hope every evangelical Christian reading this blog can say, “Yes, I pray for those things too.”

So here’s my plea: then vote for those things. If at all possible, the candidates we endorse should not be light years away from the prayers we pray. Is there more to being an effective President of the United States than what I’ve captured in these ten petitions? Of course. But if the Lord answered our prayers and gave us a president who checked all these boxes, we’d have a president we can trust, a president we can respect, a president for whom we can give abundant thanks. If you agree with a prayer like this, look for a candidate who most readily and genuinely, as best as we can fallibly discern, embodies the things we are praying for. If evangelical Christians pray for one thing and vote for another, we’ve either lost our sense for what really matters or we’ve become too cynical to care.

Pray first. Then vote. And make sure the two are related.

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Book Briefs

Jan 26, 2016 | Kevin DeYoung

Mostly I’ve been working through some big history books in my spare time, but here are a few other books I’ve finished in the last month or so.

Rico Tice, Honest Evangelism: How to Talk about Jesus Even When It’s Tough (The Good Book Company, 2015). I try to regularly read books on prayer and evangelism, because both are so vital to Christian maturity and both are so difficult. The strength of this book is that Rico does lots of personal evangelism, and yet, he is very honest about how personal evangelism is still a struggle for him. A short book full of good encouragement.


Jonathan Edwards and the American Experience, edited by Nathan O. Hatch and Harry S. Stout (Oxford University Press, 1988). Of the writing of books on Jonathan Edwards there is no end. This book, however, even close to thirty years later, is still worth reading. More academic than inspirational, there are fine essays from an impressive array of Edwards scholars. I found the material on Edwards and the New Divinity to be especially helpful.


Thomas Sowell, Wealth, Poverty, and Politics: An International Perspective (Basic Books, 2015).  If I haven’t read every Thomas Sowell book, I must be close. Sowell is a conservative African-American economist who writes about culture, politics, economics, and international politics in a way that is accessible and sometimes iconoclastic. This volume explore the reasons for economic prosperity among different peoples and in different places around the world.


David C. Steinmetz, Taking the Long View: Christian Theology in Historical Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2011). One of the most important historians of the past forty years, Steinmetz writes thoughtfully across a variety of disciplines and time periods. His address on the superiority of pre-critical exegesis is still worth reading and considering. Some of the chapters are better than others (to be expected in a compilation volume), but historians will find almost all of them interesting.


Matthew B. Crawford, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2015). The beginning and end of the book is a striking picture of, and protest against, our screen-addicted, noise-obsessed, de-personalizing dis-ease for silence, boredom, and engaging with the real world. In between are a lot of interesting chapters filled with philosophical musings, historical summaries, and one long section on building pipe organs. Maybe I lacked the attention to see how it all fit together, but I felt like most of the book didn’t quite scratch the itch Crawford highlighted in the opening pages. Good stuff throughout, but less about overcoming distraction than I thought.

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Monday Morning Humor

Jan 25, 2016 | Kevin DeYoung

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What Shall We Call the Unborn?

Jan 22, 2016 | Kevin DeYoung

What shall we call the unborn in the womb?

If the entity is a living thing, is it not a life? If your person began as a single cell, how can that fertilized egg be something other than a human being? Isn’t it more accurate to say you were an embryo than that you simply came from one?

So when does a human being have a right to life?

Shall we say size matters? Is the unborn child too small to deserve our protection? Are big people more valuable than little people? Are men more human than women? Do offensive linemen have more rights than jockeys? Is the life in the womb of no account because you can’t hold him in our arms, or put him in your hands, or only see her on a screen?

Shall we make intellectual development and mental capacity the measure of our worth? Are 3-year-old children less valuable than 13-year-olds? Is the unborn child less than fully human because he cannot speak or count or be self-aware? Does the cooing infant in the crib have to smile or shake your hand or recite the alphabet before she deserves another day? If an expression of basic mental acuity is necessary to be a full-fledged member of the human community, what shall we do with the comatose, the very old, or the 50-year-old mom with Alzheimer’s? And what about all of us who sleep?

Shall we deny the unborn child’s right to life because of where he lives? Can environment give us value or take it away? Are we worth less inside than outside? Can we be justly killed when we swim under water? Does where we are determine who we are? Does the eight-inch journey down the birth canal make us human? Does this change of scenery turn “its” into persons? Is love a condition of location?

Shall we reserve human dignity only for those humans who are not dependent on others? Do we deserve to live only when we can live on our own? Is the 4-month-old fetus less than human because she needs her mom for life? Is the 4-month-old infant less than human when she still needs her mom for life? What if you depend on dialysis or insulin or a breathing apparatus? Is value a product of fully functioning vitality? Is independence a prerequisite for human identity? Are we worth only what we can think, accomplish, and do on our own?

If the unborn life is human life, what can justify snuffing it out? Would it be right to take the life of your child on his first birthday because he came to you through sad and tragic circumstances? Would you push an 18-month-old into traffic because she makes our life difficult? Does a 3-year-old deserve to die because we think we deserve a choice?

What do you deserve now? What are your rights as a human person? Did you have those same rights five years ago? What about before you could drive? Or when you used training wheels? Were you less than fully human when you played in the sandbox? When you wore a bib? When you nursed at your mother’s breast? When your dad cut your cord? When you tumbled in that watery mess and kicked against that funny wall? When your heart pounded on the monitor for the first time? When you grew your first fingernails? When you grew your first cells?

What shall we call the child in the womb? A fetus? A mystery? A mistake? A wedge issue? What if science and Scripture and common sense would have us call it a person? What if the unborn child, the messy infant, the wobbly toddler, the rambunctious teenager, the college freshman, the blushing bride, the first-time mother, the working woman, the proud grammy, and the demented old friend differ not in kind but only in degree? Where in the progression does our humanity begin and end? Where does life become valuable? When are we worth something? When do human rights become our rights? What if Dr. Seuss was right and a person’s a person no matter how small?

Why celebrate the right to kill what you once were? Why deny the rights of the little one who is what you are?

This piece was also published a few years ago, under a different title, at Desiring God.

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We Are Off On An Adventure

Jan 21, 2016 | Kevin DeYoung

This Sunday evening, the DeYoung family–all eight of us, two parents and six kids (ages 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12)–will board a plane for London. We are not due back home for seven weeks.

Two years ago I had the opportunity to spend some time with William Taylor, the Rector at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, a large evangelical Anglican church in London. For two weeks I made London my home base as I preached all over the country at several Gospel Partnerships. Shortly after that trip, William asked if I’d consider coming back for a longer visit. I told him that I didn’t want to be away from my family for more than a couple weeks. I figured this would be the end of the discussion. Nice offer, not going to work. To my surprise, William said, “Well bring your whole family then! We’ll find a place for you.” All eight of us. In the UK. For seven weeks. Without a car. Sounds like an adventure. I trust that if we meet Adele, she’ll write a song about us.

And what will we be doing, besides looking for sugar cereals and trying to explain that Donald Trump is not our fault? My wife will be homeschooling our kids. My kids will be touching things they shouldn’t at the British Museum. And I’ll be preaching (a lot) and working on my PhD (a little). Of course, we’ll also see really cool things, take a bunch of pictures, and learn the difference between chips and crisps.

I won’t give you the precise rundown of my schedule, but I’ll be speaking in Leyland, London, Nottingham, Oxford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh, along with stops in Sussex, Northern Ireland, and Germany. All told, it looks like I’ll be doing something in the neighborhood of 35 sermons. If you are so inclined, prayers for strength, safety, and good health are always appreciated. Most weeks have 3 days on, 4 days off. It’s during the off days that I hope to do some work on my dissertation and see some sights with my family.

While I’m gone, University Reformed Church will be just fine with Jason Helopoulos doing most of the preaching. You can expect less tweeting and a great lineup of guest bloggers (I’ll chime in every once in awhile). We are thankful to URC for allowing our family this (likely) once in a lifetime opportunity. We are thankful for our friends here helping us in a hundred ways to clean, to pack, to provide meals, and to stay at the house while we’re away. We are thankful for all the folks in the UK who have already been hard at work to provide our only-slightly-less-than-ginormous family with warm, Christian hospitality.  We are thankful (we hope) for the patience of whatever poor souls will be sitting near us on the plane.

It’s hard to believe, but when we get back the college basketball regular season will be over, the presidential nominating process could be essentially over, and maybe even winter will be over. It’s a long time to be on the other side of the pond–not like moving there, but definitely more than a quick vacation blitz. It’s all a bit daunting and overwhelming at the moment. But all eight of us are excited too. We are off on an adventure.

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Once Again on Wheaton and Worshiping the Same God

Jan 19, 2016 | Kevin DeYoung

We have quite a few Wheaton alumni in our church, and we seem to send one or two high school graduates off to Wheaton every year. Recently, I got an email from one of our students at Wheaton. The email had a number of good questions (he’s a very bright you man), all having to do with the current controversy over whether Muslims and Christians (and Jews) worship the same God. I thought it might be worthwhile, with is permission, to post my brief letter on my blog.


Dear Mike [not his real name],

I was going to write you an even longer reply, but then I saw this article on The Gospel Coalition website. It does a great job explaining why we should not say Muslims and Christians worship the same God. It also gets into the question you asked about whether Jews and Christians worship the same God. In a redemptive historical sense, there is a way in which this is true (certainly more than is true with Islam). But on this side of the incarnation, we still have the same Trinitarian and Christological problems.

One of the reasons this controversy is so difficult is because the phrase “worship the same God” can mean different things and can be heard in vastly different ways.

Consider a few examples:

Do Muslims and Christians understand God in the same way? No. The differences are massive. Either God exists in three persons and Jesus of Nazareth was God in the flesh or these notions are blasphemous errors.

Do both Muslims and Christians worship God in ways that are pleasing to the one true God? No. As evangelical Christians, we must say that worship that is pleasing to God is worship centered on Christ. The central affirmation of our faith—Jesus Christ is Lord—is categorically rejected by Muslims. Their worship is an affront to God’s revelation in Christ. I imagine most Muslims would say our worship is an affront to Allah.

Do Muslims and Christians both find salvation in their worship of God? No. We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ (John 14:6). While inclusivists argue that we can be saved through Jesus Christ apart from explicit faith in him, almost all evangelicals throughout history have insisted that conscious faith in Christ is necessary for salvation. Even if inclusivists are right (and they’re not), there is quite a difference between ignorance of Christ and a conscious rejection of Jesus as the the Son of God. Moreover, I think many Muslims would find it insulting to their faith for Christians to say, “You’ll be saved because you believe in Christ without knowing it.”

Does the worship of Muslims and Christians reach the same God even though their theology about God is vastly different? Perhaps the object of worship ends up being the same, despite the fact that the worshiping subjects are thinking of very different Beings. This is the sophisticated argument some are trying to make. But I don’t think this argument works either. Since there is only one God, it is true that the one God—the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ–sees Muslims worshiping and, perhaps, we can even say that the prayers and alms of some Muslims “have ascended as a memorial before God” (Acts 10:4) or that in one sense they are seeking after God and trying to feel their way toward him (Act 17:27). And yet, if this is what we mean to say, the language of “worshiping the same God” is bound to be confusing, for God does not “hear” the prayers of the Muslims (in the covenantal sense) and does not receive their “worship” as worship.

In other words, from a Christian understanding, the Muslim faith is not just a little off or incomplete, it is idolatrous, demonic, and false. It is hard to see how the language of “worshiping the same God”—despite whatever philosophical distinctions we may put in place—can stand alongside this theological evaluation.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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Monday Morning Humor

Jan 18, 2016 | Kevin DeYoung

One reason I don’t put a lot of stock in opinion polls.

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Answering the Abortion Question that Is Sure to Come

Jan 14, 2016 | Kevin DeYoung

You are a staunch opponent of abortion rights. Many have argued, even members of your own party, that your position is too extreme for most Americans and could hurt your chances in the General Election. Would you really tell a rape victim that she must carry to term a child that was forced upon her by an act of such cruelty?

That’s a hard question, but I am going to answer it, because anyone running for President of the United States must be willing to answer hard questions. And I trust that my opponents who support unfettered access to abortion will also be made to answer hard questions.

  • Someone should ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle if they oppose a ban on partial-birth abortion–the practice whereby a child half-way through the birth canal is stabbed at the base of the skull and then the brain is extracted with a suction device.
  • Someone should ask if they believe that abortion should be legal at any time in pregnancy, and for any reason–which is what Roe v. Wade mandated in all 50 states–or if they agree with 93% of Americans who do not hold this view.
  • Someone should ask if they believe their position constitutes a war on women, since 53% of women in this country believe abortion is too easy to get and 58% of women believe abortion is morally wrong in most cases.
  • Someone should ask if they’ve watched the Planned Parenthood videos and if they think selling baby parts for cash is in keeping with the values of this great nation.
  • Someone should ask when they consider a child becomes a full human person, endowed with certain unalienable rights, chief among them the right not to be killed.

So, yes, I’ll answer your hard question. But I hope all the hard questions will be asked.

Should abortion be legal in the case of rape? Let me make three points.

Number one, it’s tragic. The question is sometimes asked as a gotcha question for conservatives, but I know for those women in this situation, or who have been in this situation, the question is intensely painful and personal. Sexual assault is a terrible evil and a heinous crime. I can’t say that strongly enough. And I really mean it. I have a wife. I have sisters. I have daughters. For a man to abuse a woman or force himself upon a woman is always wrong. It is despicable and deplorable. There are few things more traumatic or more painful.

Number two, it’s rare. I don’t say this to minimize anyone experience, only to put into perspective what we are talking about. 99.5% of abortions are performed on pregnancies resulting from consensual sex. I have a suspicion that this hard question comes up every election cycle not so much because of the media’s great compassion for women, but because it seems like an easy way to shame pro-lifers. Let’s be clear: when we talk about abortion, we are virtually always talking about a pregnancy that came about because a man and a woman chose to have sex.

Number three, it’s a life. This the most important point and why, despite the very real physical and emotional pain that I don’t want to minimize, I cannot support abortion on demand. Not for any reason, not even this one. The leading textbooks are clear: life begins at conception. That’s not a religious belief. That’s a scientific fact. We all started out as a microscopic zygote loaded with all the genetic information it will ever need. That’s where you came from. That was you. Your life started at that moment. I don’t believe life is less valuable because of its size, or its level of intelligence, or because of its relative dependence or independence, or because of where it it lives. Every life is precious. Every life is a gift from God. A child’s life is not less deserving of protection just because it was conceived through the sins of another.

I know this is a real struggle for some people. Let me just say in closing that I haven’t come to this conclusion lightly. It’s based on the testimony of science and the testimony of my own conscience. The child in the womb is a human being, and, from very early in the pregnancy, he or she has finger nails, a beating heart, and the capacity to feel pain. We do not become human persons by traveling a few inches down the birth canal. Every innocent life deserves a chance to live.

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