Monday, November 12, 2007

Fixing the Heart - Abort73

This was/is an article from Abort73 that I enjoyed a lot. (Abort73, by the way, is a VERY good pro-life website. I have a link in my side bar, the black image that says, "would it bother us more if they used guns?")

The greatest commandment in all the world is given in these terms:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. -- Matthew 22:37-39 (ESV)

If people loved God and loved other people with all their heart, abortion would not exist. At its most basic level, abortion is a heart problem. Laws can fix behavior (to a point), but they cannot fix the heart. Laws can be effective at preventing murder, but they can do nothing to prevent hate. Laws can help eliminate rape, but there is no law that can eliminate lust. All moral problems are ultimately problems of the heart. This does not mean that laws have no value. Laws have huge value, society could not function without them. What it does mean is that we can't stop at just passing laws. We (as Christians) must pursue the truer, deeper solution. We must address the heart.

If we go all the way back to the outset of human history, we read this:

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. -- Genesis 6: 5, 6

The moral deficiency of the human heart is not a contemporary phenomenon. It took very little time for human beings, perfectly created in the image of God, to descend into an existence which God describes as "only evil [all the time]". How did we get there? 2 Chronicles 12:14 tells us that evil naturally pours forth from the heart that doesn't seek God, and what is human history but a long series of people and cultures who don't seek God? The tragic irony is that, in turning away from God, believing we can better secure happiness on our own terms, we have turned our back on the only source that can legitimately satisfy the human soul. The prophet Jeremiah, speaking on God's behalf, helps establish this point by defining evil this way:

My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. -- Jeremiah 2:13 (ESV)

What is evil? It is turning our back on God, the fountain of living waters, and turning towards broken wells that can't hold any water. It is like a thirsty man who forsakes a pure mountain spring so he can suck on the putrid runoff of a broken spigot. Why would anyone do this? Because the spigot is much easier to get to, and it's runoff still provides a measure of relief (despite the fact that it carries a lethal disease).

C.S. Lewis says that people don't reject God because their desire for pleasure is too strong. They reject God because their desire is too weak. They settle for cheap, easily accessible pleasures because they don't have the resolve to pursue the pleasures which are infinitely better. It is no wonder, then, that eighty-two percent of all abortions in the United States are performed on single women. These are pregnancies conceived to couples who reject God's explicit command that sex be reserved for marriage. The only reason people reject this command is because they erroneously believe their happiness will be better served by making their own rules (rather than by following the prescription of the One who made them). The result? More than one million innocent human beings are violently killed every year in America because men and women sell out for the lesser pleasure of fornication rather than waiting for the greater joys of sexual intimacy in marriage. Why do they do this? Here are some culprits to consider:

It's too hard to have a good marriage.

I can't wait that long.

I'm too undisciplined to curb my appetite for immediate gratification.

I'm incapable of thinking beyond my own self-absorbed desires, and I have no capacity to actually love another person as much as I love myself.

My boyfriend will dump me if I don't.

Consequences be damned, people want to be satisfied right now, on their own terms, or not at all. But here's the question. Are any of them really satisfied? Are you satisfied? Does a long string of shallow sexual encounters, bitter break-ups, emotional scarring, aborted children and sexually transmitted diseases really place someone on the pathway of happiness? Returning to C.S. Lewis we read, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."1 Look around you, look at yourself. Does a godless existence of worldly pleasure-seeking honestly yield genuine happiness, or does it merely yield frustration and cynicism?

If people waited until they got married to have sex, more than one million abortions would just go away, even if the law never changed. That's the good news. Abortion could all but be eliminated if people simply obeyed God and preserved sex for marriage. Here's the bad news. Even if we do wait for marriage to have sex, even if we never have an abortion, and even if we spend our whole life actively opposing abortion, the deeper problem of the heart may still be unresolved. There is a way to fix the heart, but it is not through "doing" right things. The solution is much deeper, much simpler and much more staggering.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. -- 1 Corinthians 15:3-5® (ESV)

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. -- Romans 10:9 (ESV)

Yes, there is an educational component to the problem of abortion, yes, there is a legislative component to the problem of abortion, but most fundamentally, there is a spiritual component to the problem of abortion. If we only address the first two, without addressing the third, the results for ourselves, and for the people all around us, will be eternally tragic.

Abort73 has many, many more good articles, but that was my favorite... and I felt like sharing. :)



Anna said...

I love that quote from C.S. Lewis... the one about being made for another world.
But abortion jsut makes me so mad and sad and sick. I cannot even explain how mad it makes me... just... GRRR... ugh... *cries*... *prays*... *pleads with God while crying*

bananabint said...

Anna, you should read "The Prophet" by Frank Peretti. (If I spelled his last name right.)

It's a really good book, and doesn't exactly have to do with JUST the issue of abortion, but it's just an amazing book and I loved it.