Tag Archives: Jesus

Bill Lockwood: King Cuomo of NY: Shades of Herod!

by Bill Lockwood

Shockingly, the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, recently signed into law measures to expand abortion rights across the state. Mislabeled the Reproductive Health Act, the state of New York wanted to put protective barriers around Roe v Wade which Democrats feared could be overturned by a more conservative Supreme Court under Donald Trump. Cuomo stated: “With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body.”

The bill allows women to abort their babies up to the very moment of birth, even as they prepare for delivery. This grotesque ignoring of the value of children’s lives by abortion—properly called infanticideis alarming and should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans as to the wicked direction of leftist politics.

Herod the Great, the unusually cruel king of Judea who served under the auspices of Emperor Augustus at the time of our Lord’s birth, was in the last years of his reign when he learned that “the King of the Jews” was to be born in Bethlehem. In an effort to exterminate Jesus Christ, the newborn king, Herod ruthlessly slaughtered all of the babies of Bethlehem from two years old and younger (Matt. 2:16). Cuomo is cut out of the same cloth.

What’s next? Allowing the murder of children up to two years old? New York’s reasoning is that their bill involves the Reproductive Health of a woman. What about her Psychological Health? Here is how two Italian utilitarian professors argued for infanticide-even after birth-due to a woman’s psychological health.

However, having a child can itself be an unbearable burden for the psychological health

of the woman or for her already existing children, regardless of the condition of the fetus. This could happen in the case of a woman who loses her partner after she finds out that she is pregnant and therefore feels she will not be able to take care of the possible child by herself.

Giubilini & Minerva

The above statement was published in a prestigious online Journal of Medical Ethics several years ago. If that is not an argument for infanticide, it would be difficult to determine what would constitute one. It was co-authored by Alberto Giubilini of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and Francesca Minerva of the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. Their position is that killing of a newborn baby is “ethically permissible” in all circumstances where abortion would be.

To soften our minds to this horrific suggestion, they tell us that the unborn child as well as the newborn is “only a potential person.” Further, feeling that “infanticide” is too strong a term, they therefore “propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion.’” This emphasizes “that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus … rather than a child.” In other words, quit thinking in human terms like “child” or “baby.”

The “circumstances” which would “ethically” allow “abortion” include such considerations as when the “well-being of the family” is at risk. And then, almost unbelievably, the professors tell us that “The best interest of the one who dies is not necessarily the primary criterion for the choice…”

Biubilini & Minerva’s reasoning is simply an extension of the justification for Cuomo’s abortion bill. Let New Yorkers or any pro-choice person give a coherent answer as to the conceptual difference between a woman’s reproductive health and her psychological health. This cannot be done precisely because abortion itself is infanticide: the killing of innocent God-given life.

Once a society begins wickedly exterminating its unborn children (America has murdered more than 1 million babies a year since 1973—financed in large part by taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood) a hardening of the conscience begins that inevitably leads to open Herodian-style infanticide. New York proudly leads the way downward.

One might ask the professors, or the Governor, who sets himself forth as some great one on this issue, just how long after birth might a baby be murdered? The professors are not certain on this point. That will have to be settled by “neurologists and psychologists” who advise the “king.” And that advice will be skewed depending upon the interest of the crown.

The New Birth

The New Birth “Not even this great ruler of the Jews could enter the kingdom of God but by a New Birth!

by Bill Lockwood

One of most powerful interviews in the NT is that of Jesus by Nicodemus recorded in John 3. In it the terms of entrance into the kingdom of God are explained. “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus was going against scholarly public opinion of that day by coming to Jesus. Their disposition was flat rejection. Not interested in considering the Lord’s teaching, the Sanhedrin council, of which Nicodemus was a member, instead plotted to murder Christ. For that reason, Nicodemus was a “secret disciple” (7:51,52).

Prominent in Jesus’ teaching to Nicodemus was that noted above: The New Birth—without which no one would see the Kingdom of God (3:3). Not even this great ruler of the Jews could enter the kingdom of God but by a New Birth! Do not miss the point that one is not saved simply by being a faithful Jew. The kingdom cannot be a Jewish entity. Imagine the shock Nicodemus experienced. Jews supposed they would be members of the Messiah’s kingdom by virtue of natural birth. This is wrong. “How could this be?” asked Nicodemus.

Baptism

Jesus explains: The New Birth consists of “water and spirit” (3:5). One birth, two elements. The fact is given in v. 3. The details in v. 5. Spirit refers to the Holy Spirit. A person is led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:12) into a New Birth. The Spirit speaks to us through His word. Water refers to the water of baptism. Richard Hooker (1533-1600), one of the “divines” if the Church of England, wrote a three-volume study. In it he stated: “Of all the ancient writers there is not one to be named who ever expounded the text otherwise than implying water baptism.”

Another Church of England leader of 1638, John Boys, expanded: “ …Origen, Chrysostom, Augustine, Cyril, Beda, Theophylact … Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Ambrose, Basil, Gregory …” all understood the text as referring to water baptism as essential to entrance into the Kingdom of God.

How then do many moderns seek to explain the passage as having nothing to do with the essentiality of water baptism? Henry Alford, Greek scholar and Bible translator of yesteryear, puts it succinctly: “All attempts to get rid of baptism in this passage have sprung from doctrinal prejudices by which views of expositors have been warped.” Examples of these abound.

Not

It is NOT: “Water—which is Spirit” (John Calvin). It is NOT: “Water alone” which equals infant baptism or “baptismal regeneration” as taught by the Catholic Church. Baptism, “merely as a rite, apart from the operation of the spirit, does not impart new life” (Vincent, Word Studies, II, 92).

Neither is it that “water” represents physical birth and “spirit” represents “spiritual birth.” Many modern day Baptists have sought refuge in this to avoid the implication of water baptism. They suggest that Jesus in essence answers Nicodemus this way when asked about the New Birth: “One must be born of his mother in natural birth THEN he may be born again by the Spirit.”

Several things need be said here: (1) The form of the expression “water and spirit” makes water and spirit inseparable. One birth—two elements. So states Greek scholar B.F. Westcott, one of translators of the ASV. (2) This overlooks that the whole expression ‘water and Spirit’ defines the manner in which one is born again. G.R. Beasley-Murray, a modern-day Baptist, notes that “suggestions like these do not do justice to the text and have not commended themselves to scholarly opinion.” (3) A parallel is found in John 4:24 where we are commanded to “worship in spirit and truth.” One preposition governs both nouns—spirit and truth. One worship; Two aspects. So also here in John 3:5.

One cannot enter into the kingdom of God but by a spiritual birth (led by the Spirit) through water baptism. Strange ideas to Nicodemus who supposed that traditional Judaism was the door into the Messianic kingdom. Strange ideas to denominations today who seek to avoid water baptism as essential to salvation.