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Here’s a song I wrote about the very difficult issue of abortion. It will hopefully go on the new album I’m recording next year (to support click here).

And here’s the blurb I’ve put on youtube.

As a songwriter you always want to tell a story, give a message. But sometimes its tempting to run away from the messages closest to your heart because of the controversy it might cause. 

I’ve tried not to run away in this song. 

This is about a very difficult, complicated and painful issue – abortion. No one song can tell the whole story, and I do not attempt to. I’m only telling one side, one story – but I think it’s an important one to tell, because the story is of those who have literally no voice.

This song is not meant to condemn anyone – condemnation is inappropriate and unhelpful in this whole area.

But I do hope this song provokes discussion – discussion that is so desperately needed in this country, but is so often avoided.

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You may have heard about the new advert that was aired on Monday 24th May on Channel 4. It’s advertising the services of the private Marie Stopes clinics.

What makes this advert so controversial?

Marie Stopes clinics offer abortions.

Naturally some have responded very negatively to this advert being aired -so a spokeswomen for Life – an anti-abortion group said: “To allow abortion providers to advertise on TV, as though they were no different from car companies or detergent manufacturers, is grotesque.”

What does the advert show?

The 30-second film does not mention the word abortion but asks “Are you late?” and points those facing an unplanned pregnancy to Marie Stopes International’s 24-hour helpline.

Even so, given that they do offer abortions, there is a certain irony that this advert has been deemed to comply with the guidelines that “Ads must adhere to rules that are designed to protect children and vulnerable groups..”

However, in its favour Marie Stopes chief executive Dana Hovig makes a helpful statement: “Last year alone we received 350,000 calls to our 24-hour helpline. Clearly there are hundreds of thousands of women who want and need sexual health information and advice and access to services.”

These issues are real. Read the rest of this entry »

Over the past couple of evenings we’ve been kicking off ‘Grace Abounds’ – seeking to engage the issue of abortion with our Gospel Communities. We’ve been talking through what abortion is, the Gospel issue surrounding it and so how we can be sharing the gospel in engaging with it, and other practical things we can be doing to support mums and families and care for those in need.

Last night when we were talking about the termination of later pregnancies (20-24 weeks) someone asked a question that really struck me. To terminate these late pregnancies doctors have to inject potassium via a long needle into the babies heart to kill it before the mother gives birth.

Someone asked wouldn’t it be easy to give birth first and then to do this to the child?

The reason they don’t?

Because once born the child has rights of protection.

It made me think of stories like ‘Cry Freedom’ where someone is trapped and in extreme danger in their own country, in danger from the very government that should be protecting them. However all they have to do is get across the boarder into another country and they’ll be safe. If they can only get across literally a line, then the government from the other country will protect them.

It seems like its an impossible task – the government determined to stop them – but then the joy and relief when they cross the boarder! Freedom! Safety!

All those babies need is to be born to be safe and protected.

I’m happy here

Why do you stop my heart?

Curled, protected from the world

But in danger from your hands


(from ‘First Do No Harm’ – you can hear the full song here.)

I was just reading Allister Sparks’ book ‘the Mind of South Africa’ (a must read if you want to get into what’s happened in South Africa over the past few centuries) and came across the following… and it got me thinking about something in our age…

The context is July 13 1987. 60 Arikaner reformists have flown up to Dakar, Senegal for a week of talks with ANC leaders about a way forward.

One of the days they take a trip out to Goree Island ‘a dot in the ocean just offshore from the port city. The island has been turned into a museum of sorts, a monument to the slave trade, for it was the staging post for the shipment of millions of African slaves to the Americas…’

Sparks continues:

“I find myself in the slave house, on an upper-level balcony where the slave traders lived in spacious quarters. Below are the dungeons where the slaves were kept, the dark punishment cell for runaways, and in the crashing surf in front, the portcullis through which they were taken to the slave ships for their tortuous voyages to deaths or bondage. The view from the balcony out over the shimmering Atlantic is glorious. A young Afrikaner theology student is standing with me, seemingly transfixed. Then I notice that he seems to be struggling with his breathing. ‘Are you all right?’ I ask, fearing he may be ill. For a moment he does not answer, then he chokes out the words ‘Robben Island’. The analogy with South Africa’s prison island is obvious, and others in the group have remarked on it already, but the young Afrikaner has not finished: ‘They’ll build a museum like this on Robben Island one day’ he says, ‘and people will come and look at it and wonder how we could have lived with such evil’.

‘These slave-owners’ he went on, gesturing to the spacious quarters around us, ‘were Christians too. Yet they lived in all this comfort with all that evil just below them, and they did not see it. How, how can we be so blind?'” Read the rest of this entry »

Over the past weeks we’ve been working through Revelation. We’re now looking at how Revelation helps us understand and critique particular situations in our age. As a ‘working example’ in this introductory talk, I looked at the issue of abortion.

You can hear the talk here.

Working example: Abortion.

Read Revelation 18:11-13

Babylon/Rome were hailed by the world for what came out of them.
If you were to ask the Monty Python question ‘what has Rome ever done for us?’ you may well come out with a list like Revelation 18:12-13.

They’ve done lots for everyone in the Empire!

But perhaps you might not have given quite the list John does.
Look at the end of v13.
John tells us that they also trade in human souls.

This could refer to slaves, but it seems to be something deeper than that – the fantastic trade of this empire cost lives.
It was built upon the bodies of those who died as it hurtled on.
The materialism and the comfort of the Empire was paramount, and it did not matter if people died to achieve it.

That seems to be what people thought.
When we see this image of Babylon falling in Revelation, do the people rejoice that this consumerism built on death has ended?

No – they weep!

The gods and idols of their material wealth were so dominant that they would literally trample over human lives to achieve it.

I read Revelation 18:11-13 and it makes me uncomfortable.

Why?
Because it looks a lot like our country.

Our society is built on 4 things – consumerism, materialism, hedonism and individualism.
What makes our nation ‘great’ in the eyes of so many around the world is our freedom to shop!
We have access to material wealth on a scale never known before in history.

What we see in Revelation 18 was probably only accessed by the privileged few, even if it was desired by many.

Whereas today we have so much stuff – widescreen plasma TV’s, sports cars, holidays in the sun around the world, leisure facilities, cinema’s, theatres that are accessed by anyone and everyone.

The gods that perhaps everyone wanted to follow in John’s day can be followed with great diligence today.

We have come to expect pleasure, on demand comfort, a life plotted out the way I want it – and we’ve come to expect those as human rights.

But at what cost?

Do we see the dead and the bruised that suffer at the hands of these despicable gods?

I want to show you some of those who have died because of this. Read the rest of this entry »

People naturally talk about forgiveness. Forgiveness is offered by all sorts and to all sorts. But the question in my mind is ‘is forgiveness possible without the cross?’

The Bible is clear that sin has a cost. There must be some sort of payment for sin. In the Bible there is not unconditional forgiveness, in the sense that someone or something must pay for the sin – there is a condition attached to the forgiveness of sin. In the Old Testament it was at the cost of the life of a lamb. In the New Testament it is at the cost of the life of the Lamb.

This means that I am able to forgive someone else for one of two reasons:

1. Their sin has been paid for by Jesus on the cross if they trust him.

2. Their sin will be paid for by judgement falling on them when Jesus returns.

As a result I am able to forgive because I know judgement will fall on that sin in one of these two ways and I do not need to enact any judgement.

But what then of people who don’t know Jesus? Can they forgive? Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Tinker is a professional musician and part of the Crowded House which is a church planting initiative in Sheffield and around the world. He's a follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, member of a Gospel Community, Musician and avid follower of fashion...

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