By Editorial Staff
Published October 1, 1989
By David MacLean
In an age such as ours, when God’s people are called upon to confront officially sanctioned evil, we may find ourselves faced with painful and life changing decisions.
As I sat in a West Hartford, Connecticut courthouse on Monday, June 19th, 1989, I weighed my options: either I would post bail and return to my job working with retarded adults, or I would strengthen my stand, remaining in police custody indefinitely and risk losing my job. Ultimately, I remained in jail for 24 days and every single day brought a new testimony of God’s faithfulness and provision.
This was the seventh time that I had participated in Operation Rescue – a non-violent sit-in on the site of an abortion clinic – and the second time I had been arrested. I had arrived in Hartford on Saturday morning and had spent several hours blocking the stairwell leading to an abortion clinic along with 300 other people. Christians from many different backgrounds had come together in an attitude of repentance, praying and physically interceding for the children who were to be slaughtered that day. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on those who had gathered there was breathtaking, and there was a unity and fellowship which transcended denominational barriers. This is Christianity the way it is intended to be!
As the day wore on, our success became apparent: no abortions were likely to take place that day, and at least one woman had changed her mind, deciding to receive the help of our counseling services rather than kill her baby. But there was one more detail that needed to be taken care of. In order to make sure that the clinic would remain closed, some rescuers were needed to block the buses being used to transport those who had been arrested. By causing further delays, we would insure that the clinic would remain closed. I agreed to go along and will never forget what happened next.
The whole scene was unbelievable: out in the parking lot, policemen were cursing, blaspheming, and in some cases, brutally torturing the rescuers. Men were groaning in pain as their hands were being stepped on. Older women (some past 60 years) were being dragged painfully by their handcuffed arms. I placed my body under a police bus and was there for a minute or two before being dragged out and painfully and tightly handcuffed.
When I responded to this abuse by audibly praying and forgiving the arresting officer, he grew visibly angry and when the time came for me to be dragged on the bus, the arresting officer threatened to break my wrists if I didn’t walk. When I responded by singing and praising God, the officer almost proved his threat, but fortunately I am quite limber, and his best efforts (lifting me by my cuffed wrists, bending them back as far as possible while dragging me on the bus and jamming my wrists against the seats) did not succeed. I will never forget the unfettered anger I saw that day. All that I had heard about violence against blacks during the civil rights marches of the 1960s did not prepare me for that day in Connecticut.
Even as we were brought into a West Hartford courtroom, the abuse continued. One man, who was overweight and suffering from hypoglycemia, screamed in pain as police dragged him across the courtroom floor. We stayed there for two nights, and when our bail was set for that Monday morning, Judge Raymond Norko (who said that he ordered the police “to use no more pain compliance”) sat and watched as a non-compliant rescuer was kicked by policemen.
Finally, we were brought to the Hartford County Corrections Center, where those of us who refused bail spent the next 20 days. I spent most of my time apart from the other rescuers in a barracks style bunk house along with 104 other men, most of whom were awaiting trial for felony charges.
What can I say about this painful yet precious time? God proved Himself faithful every day, as I learned first hand what it was like to be at the mercy of our arbitrary and overcrowded prison system. I had often dreamed of ministering to prisoners, but God gave me the practical every day experience of getting to know these men whose lives were in pieces as our court system repeatedly denied them their right to a speedy trial. The privilege of sharing my faith in Jesus Christ with dozens of men (including two struggling Christians) was absolutely priceless. And in my darkest hour, God compounded the blessing by using one of them to minister to me!
Ultimately, I emerged entirely unhurt: God protected both my physical body and my job, and made more fervent than ever my desire to see reform brought to every aspect of our society by the power of His Spirit!
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » forerunner
Your comments are welcome!
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)