An abortifacient is any man-made device which leads to an intentional miscarriage. Typically, this word is used to describe drugs or devices which terminate a pregnancy. But I want to suggest that it is not only chemicals and syringes that abort babies. Ideas do too!
For instance, when a Christian learns their method of birth control kills embryos, they change. Why? Because knowledge of the world makes their biblical convictions sharper. Psalm 139 says that God forms the child in the mother’s womb, and anything that might result in destroying God’s handiwork is impermissible for biblical Christians.
This is the way that ideas save life or destroy it. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, believed among other things in the Satanic lie that the white race was superior to all others. Accordingly, her ideas led her to found an organization which targeted the elimination of babies—but especially black babies.
Ideas have consequences, and conversely, consequences spring forth from ideas. And so in the battle to protect life, and especially unborn life, we must not only confront the legal system and the abortion providers; we must confront the ideas that strengthen and make plausible abortion. We must confront the lies that lead young women to turn against their child. And we must confront ourselves for believing some of the same lies that fuel abortion.
In truth, abortion only exists in a world with a number of pre-requisite factors. Just as a fire requires a certain source of fuel to keep it burning, so abortion requires a certain number of ideas to keep it burning. And like with the fire, we must bravely confront flames. But just as important, cut off the fuel supply. Hence, with the fires of abortion, we must expose the beliefs that make abortion plausible, even desirable. Only then will we will be able to see abortion stamped out in our day.
What are the ideological allies which fuel abortion?
One of our missions as Christians must be to identify, expose, and take captive patterns of thought which prop up abortion in our country. Taking our cue from the Apostle Paul, we go to war not against flesh and blood, but against the Satanic lies that feed abortion-minded women and men. We must battle ideas—not with weapons of this world, but with arguments and arts intended to expose the wickedness of abortion and the beauty of childbirth.
As he says in 2 Corinthians 10:3–5:
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
This is our aim, to destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God. And make no mistake abortion is a proud assault on God and his creation. To this end we pray God will expose the falsehoods in our hearts, so that we might be prepared to expose the falsehoods of others, helping them to see a way of light and life in the Lord Jesus Christ
And one of the places where I believe we can find the most help is in Genesis 3–4. This Sunday we look at Genesis 3–4 because in the early events after Adam and Eve ate the fruit – what is known as “The Fall” – we find a paradigm for sin and sinners in a broken world.
- In Adam and Eve’s first sin, we find mankind’s leap to be like God resulted in a deadly personal autonomy that afflicts every one of us still (see Romans 5:12–21).
- Next, in Cain’s unacceptable sacrifice, we find a man committed to his own self-expression of worship instead of offering a sacrifice in faith, according to God’s design.
- Then, in the killing of his brother, we see in Cain a heart dislocated from the family God has given him. Individualism moves from self-expression (in his false sacrifice) to domineering competition with others, even his brother.
- Likewise, in the pattern of childbirth in 4:1, 17, 25 (Adam/Cain/Adam “knew” his wife) we find an element of God’s design for childbirth. Children are meant to be born in the context of a loving marriage. But this good design is quickly overturned by Lamech’s choice to marry two women (v. 23). Thus, in Genesis 3–4 we find a reiteration of God’s design for marriage/sexuality and a deadly deviation.
- Last, in the formation of tools and instruments we find human ingenuity at its finest (vv. 20–22), but also an ingenuity that causes image-bearers to further trust in themselves and seek refuge with the technology they can create.
Confronting Five Allies to Abortion
In sum, Genesis 3–4 give us a sense of the world God has made—a world created very good (1:31), but now plagued by sin, violence, and the schemes of men. Written as a paradigm to explain the sin we find in our homes and our hearts, we find five ideas that prop up all kinds of sin—including abortion. These five ideas, which correspond to the five textual observation above, are
- Personal autonomy
- Expressive individualism
- Radical independence
- Sexual immorality
- Technological Utopia
Surely, these five schemes of men do not cover every vice, but they give us a handle on the kind of worldly ideas centering on self that feeds all sin. Each of these ideas requires a sermon in itself, and perhaps in time, I will be able to consider them. But for now, this Sanctity of Life Sunday, I will tackle Expressive Individualism and the way in which our culture’s commitment to self-expression is a driving force in all manners of sin, but especially abortion.
As you prepare for Sunday, please make time to read Genesis 3–4, pray for the end of abortion, and consider other ways you can stand for life and against abortion.
Soli Deo Gloria, ds