Category Archives: Ministry

CHRISTIAN: An Alternate Response to Abortion

I believe there are 3 aspects that we as the Church (the visible Body of Christ on the earth) must carefully consider when we approach the abortion topic.  As a prerequisite for us, I believe it is critical that we keep our heart’s attitude in check with this topic of “sin”, just like any other topic of “sin”, when we are dealing with issues “in the world”/“outside the church”.  Given Paul’s writings in 1 Cor 5, we need to approach any sin “outside the church” in such a way as to NOT be judgmental.  This is NOT to belittle the “sin” or make an excuse for it, rather, simply to remember that sinner’s sin, that is what they do.  They are NOT condemned because of “abortion” (or homosexuality, etc., etc) but rather because they are not “In Christ” subject to His “rule and reign” – as we once were, before we came to the knowledge of Christ.

There is a fine line, I believe, that we have to walk when addressing issues of sin outside the church.  Asking fundamental questions such as “why is this our concern?”, and “Is this our business?” With abortion, I think we need to answer both these questions.  When we determine that it IS our business, then determining “why” it is our business, should be kept at the heart of our addressing the issue.  If we get “off track” in the reason it is our business, we will likely fail at having any positive effective.

With that said, I have found that typically, only one of the 3 aspects that we need to consider, is commonly considered when addressing abortion, that is “the preaching of Truth” or “the calling out of sin, for what it is.”  And it is in this aspect, that I believe it is most important, that we keep our heart in check, and exercise humility, particularly in light of the truths found in Matthew 7:1-5, especially verse 3: “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”. But before we diver deeper into this aspect, let’s look at one of the two other aspects.

Aspect #1 – Our Repentance

I am strongly convicted that any addressing of sin in “the world” needs to first be addressed “in the Church.” This aspect I would call “Our Repentance”.  I believe there are 4 areas that we, the Church, need to repent of, before we can “call out the sins of the world.”

First, our abortions.  Yes, nearly 1 in every 5 abortions (18%) are by women who identify themselves as “born again/evangelicals”.[1]  Our wives, our daughters, and yes, our mistresses, are active participants in the slaughter of innocents! That means that 8.3 million abortions worldwide, annually, are had by women who profess to be “our sisters” in Christ!  Taken to the next level (from these same statistics), 68.7% of all abortions are had by women professing “Protestant” or “Catholic” as their religious affiliations (and we thought only “heathen” were killing their babies!). Church going men & women alike, need to repent for our sins of abortion, before we point to the world. The finger pointing needs to being from our Sunday morning pulpits, as godly men preach Holy Spirit power-filled messages that will convict us of “the sin in the camp.”  Then, and only then, when we are cut to the core by our own sin, can we expect to have an effect on the sins out side the Church!

Secondly, we need to repent for our spiritual abortions.  By and large, Christiandom has abandoned the sacrifice and labor necessary to fulfill Jesus’ command of “making disciples”, for the convenience of emotionally-induced raised hands – discarding Spirit enabled repentance, for man- made conversions.  In this way, we commit spiritual abortions, as we birth multitudes to “Christ in their lives & His death on the cross” without raising them through discipleship to “their Life in Christ & their death to self.” We have created fatally malnutrition spiritual infants, born out of “the fear of hell, and the reward of heaven”, rather than nourishing them with the true milk of salvation which is found in “the Glory of God, and the redemption of His Great Name”. The abortion holocaust in the physical realm is only a shadow of the abortion massacre in the spiritual realm.  We must repent of our easy believism and our laziness in obedience to the final command of Christ to “go and make disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey all that He has commanded us.” (Matt 28:19-20a)

Thirdly, we need to repent of our failure to be salt & light.  Much, if not most, of the “sinfulness” in our society is a direct result of the Churches’ failure to maintain the holiness, conviction and purity.  Instead of prayerfully exercising the Grace of a “counter-culture to be desired”, we have given over to legalism and compromise as an “offensive subculture to be despised”. We must repent of our failure to gracefully & loving set the pace in our communities regarding holiness, convection & purity.

Lastly, we need to repent for our arrogance in finger pointing.  Not much unlike the opening statements herein, we must acknowledge our judgmental arrogance, as we point our fingers at the “sinfulness” of the world, forgetting that we all started out as “sinners” – talking at “them”, and about “them”, as if we were never among “them”!  Though there is a time, and a place, and a calling, to “call sin, sin”, it is an absolute must that we approach the topic of sin, among sinners, with a humility & meekness, that neither lacks love, nor conviction. We must repent of looking down on sinners, as if we have never been one ourselves!

Aspect #2 – The Preaching of Truth (or Calling Out Sin)

There are those among us who are called to “stand on the street corner” (if you will), and preach to the world, the Truth, that abortion is murder, and murder is a sin against our fellow man, and first and foremost, against God.  Most, however will preach this message using Aspect #1, or Aspect #3.  But all MUST do this with the humility and love discussed in the opening paragraphs.  God will be just when He judges the souls of men.  And it is largely by the Light of the Church – in life, obedience, word and deed – that will insure His justice in judgement. Little needs to be said about Aspect #2, except see Aspect #1 and #3, then, and only then, can we effectively preach truth to a dying world, and expect to be agents of change in our community, nation & world.

Aspect #3 – Faith In Action

The 3rd aspect we need to consider regarding our addressing the abortion issue is the obedient manner in which each of us is to put our “faith in action” regard our response.

There are 3 areas among this 3rd aspect. And they are ALL inseparable from obedience.  And each of them may vary from person to person, as the Spirit directs, but none of us is free to turn a blind eye to the innocent slaughter on millions, as if it is no concern of ours.

First, Activism.  Yes, whether you call it civil disobedience, or a prayer gathering – some among us are called to the front lines of warfare in the natural and supernatural realms, to participate in various forms of activism at the abortion clinic level, including “Silent Sieges”, protests, rallies, sit-ins or interventions.  Not all are called to this arena, but some are – and we must surrender to obedience to the Spirit if we are called to such, and those who are not, MUST avoid the temptation to criticize those who are, while standing in unity with them in prayer. Likewise those who are called to this front-line act of obedience must avoid the temptation to judge those who are not, as if they too should be on this front-line. We are not all called to same area of service – but we are all called to service! Both must remember, just because we don’t understand someone else’s calling, doesn’t mean it is wrong.  We all stand or fall to The Lord.

Second, Volunteering. PRC’s (Pregnancy Resource Centers), Pro-life Clinics, and other anti-abortion ministries, do an amazing work in our communities to raise awareness, save lives, restore lives, and preach Jesus.  In many ways, these organizations are as front line as civil disobedience – laboring love in the trenches of the lives of panicked, hurting and frightened women. This is a huge aspect of the “war on abortion” – an aspect that we all must acknowledge is a priceless treasure in the Kingdom of God.  I would even say that this is a work that, should abortion be made illegal, must continue!

Lastly, Personal discipleship. Practical, real-life, day-to-day, relationships with women, couples, and teens.  Possibly the greatest sacrifice of all, is to act on Jesus command to “make disciples” and become part of the life of women, young and old, who may be considering an abortion, have had an abortion, or might one day come face-to-face with this as a solution to a wrong choice.  This “mentoring” – “befriending” – “pastoring” or “discipling” of women that the Lord has brought into your realm, may be preventative,  proactive, or reactionary to the abortion plite, but when love is shown, unconditionally, to the hurting, frightened, lost or impressionable women, young or old, in our lives, a difference can be made.  When reaching out to the endangered women we know, we can make a huge difference for Christ.  When loving on those who are guilt ridden for the choices they have made, we can inspire change, redirection & hope to them.  Remember – they are us; we were them.

So, in conclusion, I challenge you to “rethink” your response to the statistics that speak the truth that 46 million innocents are aborted annually – and consider that it is not “their problem, for us to point out in judgement” but “our problem, to address humbly while looking in the mirror.”

To God be the Glory.

Let him who has ears to hear, hear.

~ Gary Kienel

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“What Does 2014 Hold For You?”

2014-calendar-2

I believe it is critically important that we have a vision for the coming year.  Yes, some might call this vision, “resolutions”, but I think it is far more than that.  I believe that the Lord is busy speaking to His Own, and giving us direction, focus & “vision” for the days ahead.  Despite the fact that there is no “New Year” in the realm of our Lord, I do think that He does minister to us, in times, moons, festivals & seasons, as we understand and measure time.

Annually, Shelley & I seek the Lord as the New Year approaches, asking Him for insights & direction, into the day ahead.  2013 was no exception as the Lord laid an unmistakable foundation in Shelley & my life with “A Call to Holiness”, a call to “Personal Discipleship” and “A Return to Absolute Scriptural Authority”. This manifested in our ministry opportunities, general relationships, our personal lives, and all over my Facebook page! We also experienced an exciting & significant re-focus on our family (adult children & grandchildren); all the while sadly, witnessing far too many of our friends and disciples, fall into the deceptions of “permissive grace”, “un-scriptural liberties” & “justified sin.”  As a result, the year was a roller-coaster of joyous times & disappointing realities; all of which left Shelley & I praying more diligently than ever: “Hold us close Lord; and keep us from deception.”

As for 2014, I would encourage each of you to specifically ask the Lord for “vision” for the upcoming year.  I don’t mean to get a “feeling that will merely result in “I wish ________________” or “I resolve to ______________”, but rather, “In the Lord Jesus, I envision ______________________”.  For the Lord has given “vision” to each of His children for the days ahead. However, to have “faith” in a “vision” for the coming days, you have first heard from the Lord.  And, you are likely hearing, but may not recognize His voice, or you may be distracted, or you might just be fearful and doubt that it can be so.  I encourage you to listen to Him.  Get still before Him, with pen and paper and your copy of the Scriptures.  Listen and be prepared to write. Then, get excited.

By way of example, I share with you what Shelley and I, in the Lord, are envisioning, with great anticipation, will come to pass in 2014:

1)      That we will search out, together, the scriptures to know Him more & to love Him more

2)      That we (specifically me, Gary) will increase our faith – taking significant, deliberate steps, in response to what He has clearly spoken to us

3)      That we see victory in the lives of those who are near us, that have hungry hearts to know & love God

4)      That we will increase our prayer life, together and individually

5)      That we will continue to disciple those the Lord has brought our way, both in Christ, and those searching for Christ – primarily, it seems, with other couples.

6)      (And again for me) That I will faithfully use this blog, as prompted by the Holy Spirit, as a means of advancing His Kingdom in the earth.

We will envision what the Lord has shown us, and look forward to it with great anticipation in the coming days, weeks & months.

I encourage you to do the same.

For The Kingdom!

~ Gary

GIFT WRAPPING THE GOSPEL – James 4:4

Please hear my heart on this “concern” – I am not naive to the fact that the mere suggestion of this could be controversial and fly in the face of modern ministry methodology.  Nevertheless, this was not something I solicited from the Lord in my time with him as I was driving to work recently; other than the fact that I have been, for many months now, trying to listen in prayer, more than talk.


This is also NOT a pointing of fingers…. but a reflection upon a question…


The questions I heard as we talked were:


“What are we “appealing to” in our efforts to preach the Gospel? Carnality & flesh, or Spirit & Truth?”


“In our attempts to engage the hearer, what method of engagement are we using, and what aspect of their being are we engaging? Spirit or flesh?”


Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I love a great production, as much or more than the next guy; however, I can’t deny the question God asked “me” and I can’t deny my personal conviction that if we use carnality to engage, entreat, invite, draw, etc – then we will have to use these same methods to “retain”.  If these methods are carnal or fleshly, then is this God’s way?  Certainly He has given us gifts of creativity!!  However, I guess my concern, based on the questions the Lord asked me is, are we using our creative gifts to appeal to spirit or flesh.  What appetite are we satisfying? Certainly the feeding of the 5,000 (4,000) was creative and fed the physical appetite (however it was unquestionably a spiritually miraculous revealing of Himself)… however, likewise, “eat my flesh and drink my blood” was creative too, and, wrapped in mystery, it rocked His followers to the core, and “many left and followed Him no more.”


In our creative & sincere efforts to draw them in and engage them, what methodology have we embraced & promoted?  I have been convicted, for a few years now, that much of my attempts to “engage” and many of my “methods” sound and look a lot like James 4:4: 


“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”


Are we making ourselves enemies of God in our attempts to engage, appeal to & otherwise attract people for ministry?  Does God need, use or condone such actions?  Does the end justify the means?


God is asking me, and those who would be willing to dialog and explore, with an open mind: “What direction are we going to take in ministry?  What methodology will we embrace as Godly?  What aspect of those whom we have been given audience with, will we make effort to engage (or appeal to)?  Are we following Jesus’ model in ministry, or “improvising”?  And if improvising – is our improvisation of Him, or of the flesh?


I know these are hard and even dangerous questions – but I find “hard” and “dangerous” exciting, when it is inspired of the Lord!!  I have found tremendous growth in my relationship with the Lord, by challenging and questioning everything to insure it lines up with Christ. (As C.S.Lewis wrote, “He is not safe, but He is good.”)


I welcome your dialogue on these questions and thoughts.  Let’s be Christlike in this.  If you aren’t willing to engage a Christian Dialogue (two-way conversation, with multiple points of view, and a willingness to glean insight from Christ in others), without being harsh or critical of others, then please refrain from participation.


For The Kingdom,


~ Gary