“Unplanned” or “Knitted Together”?

This past week has seen plenty of controversy in the Canadian media over the decision by Cineplex to show the pro-life film “Unplanned”. It seems to be an inordinate amount of controversy since Cineplex is showing it in no more than 14 theatres and for no longer than 1 week, but I digress. Unplanned is the true story about Abby Johnson, a former clinic director with Planned Parenthood (which in Canada, works under the name Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights) who walked away from the abortion industry and became a passionate advocate for the rights of the unborn.

All of this media attention got me thinking about the whole idea of a pregnancy being “unplanned”. Is any pregnancy truly unplanned? If yes, from whose perspective? If no, then what do we do with that?

 

According to the Biblical worldview, all human beings are made in the image of God:

    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the

    fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every

    creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

 

So God created man in his own image,

    in the image of God he created him;

    male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 ESV)

 

This inherent value that God has placed on each and every one of us begins in the womb:

    For you formed my inward parts;

    You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

    I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13-14a)

 

Therefore, since God has created each person in His image and has personally “knit” us together in our respective mothers’ womb, we understand that all human beings from a one-second old embryo to someone as old as Kane Tanaka (currently the world’s oldest living person) is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and as such, has an intrinsically valuable life.

 

So… to answer the question I posed above: our Sovereign, wise, and loving God has actually planned each and every life that has ever begun. From His perspective, there are no “unplanned” pregnancies. Now please hear me out. That is not to minimize the circumstances around pregnancies that we view as unplanned. From the human perspective and experience many unplanned things happen, including pregnancies. These unplanned moments can be incredibly hard to handle, often feeling unbearable.

 

If that is a position that you or someone you know is in, or even may think you are in, may I encourage you to speak with someone about it? In the Fraser Valley area, Hope for Women offers free counseling, free pregnancy tests, and free ultrasounds for women who are wondering what to do next. They also offer post-abortion counseling to women who are struggling with emotions, thoughts, and feelings after an abortion. You do not need to suffer alone. 

 

Lastly, no matter what you or I have done in our lives, if we’ve been involved in abortion or not, we are all in the same boat. We are all broken, hurting, sinful image bearers who need saving from ourselves. None of us can claim innocence. We’ve all hurt others with our words or actions, we’ve all had thoughts we are ashamed of. And yet, even though we have sinned against God and against each other, forgiveness is available. This same God who knit us together graciously offers us forgiveness and promises us an eternity without the brokenness and sin that we all are currently enduring through the life, death, resurrection, and reign of His Son, Jesus Christ. For that…we simply must turn from our sin, and put our faith in Him.

If you would like to speak with a pastor, we would be happy to sit down with you, listen to you, and pray with you. Feel free to email us at care@northview.org

 

If you’re interested in seeing Unplanned in theatres, here is a list of where you can see it. Warning: this movie does show dramatic and graphic reenactments of different abortion procedures. It is not easy to watch.

 

Also, here is an excellent blog on the abortion industry in Canada, by Steve Kim from Apologetics Canada.

 

Grace and peace to you all.

 

Pastor Paul

How to Not Ruin Your Own Mother’s Day

Disappointment often comes hand-in-hand with unrealistic expectations. When we are expecting something to validate us and fill us with a sense of purpose or worth, we are crushed or angry if it doesn’t deliver. We can set our hopes on certain people, or on certain days – days like Mother’s Day. If you are hoping that, this weekend, you will finally feel valued and appreciated we’d encourage you to take a moment to reflect on this article and reset your expectations. Happy Mother’s Day!

~ Kristal Toews

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East Abbotsford Vision Night

 

We are excited that God has opened up an opportunity for Northview to open an East Abbotsford Campus this fall. This is an important part of our vision to make disciples by proactively multiplying healthy local churches.

You’re invited to a Vision Night on June 10! Whether you live in East Abbotsford and are intrigued by the idea of a campus opening closer to where you live, or you are interested in the idea of an East Abbotsford campus and want to hear more. This is an opportunity to hear from Northview leadership about our vision for making the thousands of people who live in East Abbotsford disciples of Jesus.

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A Tribute to Dr. Walter Unger

Dr. Walter Unger, longtime President and Professor at Columbia Bible College passed away on May 9th and is now absent from his body but present with his Savior. Written reflections on the life and legacy of Dr. Unger will be legion, and I hope the following paragraphs are a helpful addition to that broader library. I have three reflections of Dr. Unger: A classroom, a conference, and a conversation.

A Classroom
Dr. Unger (though most of the time he insisted both peers and pupils call him Wally) was easily the most influential theological voice from my time at Columbia Bible College. By the time I had the privilege of sitting in his Theological Confessions course,

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East Abbotsford Campus

We are planning for the launch of an East Abbotsford campus to start in September. We will be announcing our plans on the weekend of May 26/27. For people interested in hearing more about this new outreach, we invite you to join us for our vision night, June 10 in the Worship Centre.

 

Steve Wiens
Executive Pastor

Sad Stories of “Rebel” Pastors

We generally watch movies for the sake of entertainment. At the end of a busy day or stressful week we want to turn off our brains, relax, and simply enjoy a good story! The problem with this tendency is that film writers (like all communicators) have agendas. While every agenda is not necessarily bad or wrong, if we walk into movie theatres or turn on Netflix without engaging our minds, we are susceptible to being emotionally and intellectually persuaded to subconsciously absorb and adopt the filmmaker’s view point.

With this reality in mind, we encourage people to watch every movie with discernment and to think through whether you agree or disagree with its message. In order to equip you to engage with recent films which highlight the life stories of two contemporary church leaders, we’d encourage you to read this article before pressing “play”, and then talk through the themes with others afterwards.

~ Kristal Toews

The “megachurch pastor falls from grace” headline is tragically common these days, especially in the sort of celebrity-driven, post-institutional Christianity that Andy Crouch has written about recently.

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Enjoy Your Spouse

There’s a quote out there on the interweb that says “Marriage lets you annoy one special person for the rest of your life.” And in the wise words of Larry the Cucumber, “It’s funny because it’s true.”

Carla and I have been married for almost 21 years and I do many things that annoy her, sometimes on purpose. I have a mug that is shaped like the head of Baby Groot from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and I will hide it all over our place so that it will surprise her, and hopefully scare her. He may be peeking from behind the TV, or the coffee maker, or between the pillows on the bed, or on the shelf that’s right at her eye level. It’s good fun. I also snore, a lot. Loud, long, wheezing snores that sound like I’m dying. It’s so bad that I actually wake myself up startled, thinking “What was that noise?” In other words, I annoy myself!

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How much is a little girl worth?

“How much is a little girl worth?” is the question that Rachael Denhollander asks.

Denhollander is one of well over 250 victims of decades of repeated sexual abuse at the hands of Dr. Larry Nassar, the former national team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. The case against Dr. Nassar has been brought to international headlines over the past couple of weeks, as the judge in the case allowed over 150 victims to confront Nassar in court. You can watch her whole testimony here. It’s well worth the time.

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6 Things You Need to Know about Abortion in Canada

The recent outrage over the Canada Summer Jobs grant program sparked the conversation again on the issue of abortion. As one might expect, emotions run high and sharp words of condemnation are exchanged. In times like these, it’s important to keep informed, so here are 6 things that you need to know about abortion in Canada.

  1. Abortion claims the lives of about 100,000 pre-born children every year in Canada. If that number doesn’t strike you, perhaps a visual representation might help. 100,000 children per year translates to roughly 274 children per day. That means, while you were sleeping last night, more than 91 pre-born children lost their lives through abortion.
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