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By Paul V. Harrison
Consequences refer to sequential things, one coming after another, perhaps caused by another. As a boy, I formed an “S” shape of dominoes standing on end in close ranks, and then carefully pushed over the first one. I smiled to watch the consequences, the chain reaction of a single act. A little nudge of one made them all lie down. My chain reaction had built-in limitations, but many of life’s seemingly isolated acts set in motion events stretching farther than the mind can fathom. In life, the domino effect is powerful and far-reaching.
For example, a boy spends his evening with video games instead of books, which leads to his cheating on his test, which leads to his lying to cover his tracks, which leads to…
A girl hangs with the wrong crowd, which leads to her dating a boy with loose morals, which contributes to their sin, which leads to…
Of course, this is not to say the chain reaction involving humans, once started, is inevitable. People are not dominoes. Thankfully, we can interrupt the logical succession of events, and yet the natural sequencing of one act springing from another is not hard to find in every life. For as churning cream produces butter, and twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife (Proverbs 30:33). One thing leads to another.
So, let’s apply this principle to abortion. What consequences logically follow from intentionally taking the life of an innocent child? I’m afraid they are incalculable.
As when a stone is thrown into a pond, the ripples spread far and wide. Consider the consequences when a mother makes the decision to abort. What happens? A giver of life becomes a taker of life. The wonderful joys of motherhood are exchanged for the bitter sorrows of killing one’s own offspring.
Philosopher J. Budziszewski reminds us everybody knows mother and baby are supposed to be allies. Just what a mother’s changing from ally to enemy of her own baby does to her soul no one can precisely say, but surely it carries far-reaching consequences, especially in the spiritual and emotional realms. Every year after the abortion, as long as life lasts, marks a birthday or birth-month where there never was a birth.
In our day, abortions rarely involve only the mother. Doctors and nurses are complicit. They provide necessary assistance in the life-taking procedure. How does one measure the impact on medical personnel intentionally violating the Hippocratic oath to do no harm? Many insist relieving a mother of an unwanted child doesn’t break their oath, but they know better.
Beneath the multiplied layers of mental shellac they’ve applied to soothe their conscience lies the piercing truth: they have taken innocent life. They have killed a helpless baby. Soldiers often suffer terribly from PTSD after justifiably taking life in war. Often, decades later, they tremble from those experiences. What happens in the souls of men and women who, without provocation, make themselves the instruments of the deaths of little babies? What consequences flow from such acts?
What happens to a man who impregnates his illicit lover and then pressures her to kill the baby because he can’t cope with being a father? His sexual sin, though sad, falls far short of the magnitude of pushing a mother to end the life of her God-given child. I expect women suffer the greater trauma, but guilty fathers cannot escape the law of reaping what they sow, even if they successfully terminate the pregnancy. What other dominoes in life fall when a man destroys his own child?
Sometimes, parents, and even grandparents bloody their hands and souls by insisting a daughter or granddaughter “take care of” an “unfortunate” situation. They dodge shame but at what cost! Whether complicit or not, when an abortion is performed, the family forever misses the joy of another person around the table, another life with whom to share their own.
Or think broadly of society and the world. How can one calculate the impact of aborting over 60 million babies, and that’s just in America since 1973? How many brilliant minds have we destroyed? How many powerful men and women of integrity have we snuffed out?
Beyond the loss to moms and dads, extended families, and society at large, think of the loss of life for each aborted baby. Life is an amazing gift. The joys of everyday life, the childhood moments of playing with a puppy, the teenage excitement of the first date, the thrill of reading a great story, the bliss of married life, the pleasures of knowing and serving God through Christ—these and a million other experiences are stolen from the innocent child. What selfishness it is to rob the unborn of these opportunities simply to avoid the inconveniences of raising a child.
The Greatest Pandemic
I write these words in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. We as a society have turned our lives upside down and wrecked our economy to avoid a disease that has the potential to threaten our lives. Oh, that we might recognize the pandemic stealing the lives of future generations. May we grasp the value of unborn little boys and girls and do all it takes as a society to care for them.
In a sense, our abortion problem has sprung from previous decisions. As a culture, we have wickedly focused on self and pushed to make all else conform to our wishes. We have sought sexual gratification without consequences. We have desired certain standards of living that don’t allow for many children, so we have resorted to contraceptives. When they don’t work, we have simply taken the next step down the same path. We will do about anything to get what we want.
So, what can we do to help in the battle against abortion?
We can pray. God does what we can’t when we ask. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
We can vote. Elections matter. Laws are written and passed by officials we put in office. The outcome of every election cycle could be swayed by Christians going to the ballot box.
We can work to influence those in our sphere of influence. Hearts and minds are swayed one at a time.
We can teach that human laws don’t override God’s. Our Supreme Court can make something legal. It cannot make it right.
We can show grace and mercy to those who have sinned. Sometimes “holier than thou” attitudes contribute to the shame of non-marital births, pushing people to cover their sin at all costs. We must remember Jesus’ blood washes away sexual sin, abortion sin, and all other sin, otherwise we would all be damned.
When the slavery battle was fought in nineteenth-century England, one man, William Wilberforce, with Christ in his heart, turned the tide. He labored incessantly and suffered many setbacks in his life’s work to end slavery. When all seemed lost, he battled on until victory was won. Only Heaven will reveal the consequences of his tireless efforts. Let us learn from his example and fight on!
About the Writer: Dr. Paul Harrison has pastored Madison FWB Church (AL) since 2015. He is creator of the Classic Sermon Index: www.classicsermonindex.com.