Is it really 'All or Nothing'? ABSOLUTELY!

By Angela Wittman

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
(Matthew 16:24, 25, King James Version)

Dear Friends,
Have you made a radical commitment to Christ? Are you determined to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus? Have you lost your life for His sake and, as a consequence, found new life in Him? I pray you have as none of us can resist or escape the call of the LORD upon our lives.

Just as there is no compromise or exception when following Jesus, there can be no compromising or exceptions to abolish the murder of babies in the womb. We may win a few battles incrementally, but to win the war being waged against the preborn babies, we must outlaw all murder via abortion. Regulation of abortion is not the solution and it will not save the lives of these little ones.

A friend recently asked me to read about Elijah Lovejoy, the slavery abolitionist who is referred to as "a Martyr on the Altar of American Liberty" and I would like to share his story of radical commitment with you.

Pastor Lovejoy lived and ministered in St. Louis, Missouri during the years leading up to the Civil War. He was a man of God who did not compromise his Christian belief of freedom and respect for all human beings, and he expressed these views boldly.

In 1836, he was forced to leave St. Louis due to a mob's violent reaction to the editorials he wrote and published calling for the abolition of slavery.

Pastor Lovejoy then moved to Alton, Illinois (a free State at that time) and once again began publishing a newspaper while calling for the abolition of slavery. Then at the age of 35 years, Elijah Lovejoy was martyred for his beliefs.

Here is a recorded account of his last hours on this earth:

On the historic night of November 7, 1837, a group of 20 Lovejoy supporters joined him at the Godfrey & Gilman warehouse to guard a new press until it could be installed at the Observer. As the crowd grew outside, excitement and tension mounted. Soon the pro-slavery mob began hurling rocks at the warehouse windows. The defenders retaliated by bombarding the crowd with a supply of earthenware pots found in the warehouse. Then came an exchange of gunfire. Alton's mayor tried in vain to persuade the defenders inside to abandon the press. They stood fast. One of the mob climbed a ladder to try to set fire to the roof of the building. Lovejoy and one of his supporters darted into the darkness to over-turn the ladder, for they knew they would be doomed if a fire was set. But again a volunteer mounted the ladder to try to ignite the roof with a smoking pot of pitch. As Lovejoy assisted Royal Weller in putting out the fire on the roof of the building, Lovejoy received a blast from a double-barreled shotgun. Five of the bullets fatally struck Lovejoy. He died in the arms of his friend Thaddeus Hurlbut. The mob cheered and said all in the building should die. Amos Roff tried to calm the mob and was shot in the ankle. Defenders of the press then laid down their weapons and were allowed to leave. The mob rushed the building, found the press, and threw it out a window to the riverbank, broke it into pieces and dumped the broken parts into the river, The body of Lovejoy was left undisturbed, remaining there until morning, guarded by friends who finally carried him home. He was buried on his 35th birthday, November 9, 1837, in an unmarked grave in the Alton City Cemetery, the location known by a black man, William "Scotch" Johnston, who assisted in the burial.

(Account of the evening as reported by the Alton Observer )

(Excerpted from: Elijah Parish Lovejoy "A Martyr on the Altar of American Liberty"

Dear Friends, I pray we will each count the cost to follow Christ (as Pastor Lovejoy did) and when we have done this, we will still say with all confidence and boldness found only in Him: Is it really 'All or Nothing' ? ABSOLUTELY!

Published 2005.


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