How often do we stop to consider where our choices will logically lead us? We may not experience the fruit of those choices at the outset, but after time has given things a chance to mature, what sort of developments should we expect? Or, after we have already reached that point, are we willing to accept that it was our own choices that led to those outcomes, or do we continue to deny the truth, out of pride?
For example, according to Jesus, the sins of murder and adultery have already begun their contamination of the person before surfacing for everybody else to see; once visible, they are merely the evidence of what has occurred invisibly within the heart.
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
The sin begins as a seed of wayward desire within the heart, which grows within the person until it eventually becomes perceptible to others. It is a gradual, incremental process.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
So, based on the above verses from Matthew and James, we could reasonably say that murder is anger in a more advanced form, and adultery is lust in a more advanced form; they have reached their logical conclusions. Anger without a cause is just as much a sin as murder, but it isn’t full-grown yet. But given the proper circumstances, and without inhibition, it would most likely develop into maturity, into murder. Same for adultery, or any other form of fornication: the act itself is the outworking of what’s already been allowed to germinate within the heart. That’s why we must be extremely careful of what’s in our hearts.
Now, here’s the surprising thing, for some of us: this same principle applies to what we do in other areas of our lives, as well. I suggest that just as murder is the logical conclusion of anger, and adultery is the logical conclusion of lust, abortion is the logical conclusion of contraception.
It all starts in the heart. First, married couples reject having a child, or another child. They use birth control, or perhaps NFP, to hinder that child’s conception. That’s the seed of sin right there: their selfishness and fear; their “hatred,” you could say, toward their own offspring; their lust after worldly things such as financial security and careers (I hope you see the connection with the scenarios from the Bible previously set forth). Then, if contraception fails to do its work, the natural next step is abortion. Now, some Christians may choose to stop before they get to that step; however, if they were to follow their intentions through to their logical conclusions, that would be where they would land.
When it comes to the history of birth control in America, very few are aware that contraception was actually illegal in the United States for over 60 years, reaching well into the 20th century (1873-1936), and that there were still some state laws against the prevention of conception on the books as late as 1965. Many know about Margaret Sanger and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. But, they have forgotten where the battle waged in the early 20th century — over the legalization of contraception. Planned Parenthood, which was founded by Sanger, was originally known as the American Birth Control League. Birth control was the foundational battleground, not abortion…
…[Anthony] Comstock had taken note of at least two things which are overlooked today. First, he saw obscenity [pornography], contraception and abortion as linked together as a continuum. Since contraception has since been accepted, and thus delinked from obscenity and abortion, the progression has been lost. Yet, it is easy enough to envision how illicit images and materials foster a desire for extra-marital relationships. And when that temptation is contemplated in the mind, often that desire turns to action. Contraceptives are needed to suppress the fruit of those relationships so that they may remain hidden from the public eye. When contraceptives sometimes fail and pregnancy ensues, the final recourse is abortion; so abortion is also needed. Obscenity, contraception, and abortion all begin and end with the same attitude, recreation without procreation. They are all parallel roads to the same destination. (my emphasis in bold) [Editor’s Preface, Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought and Won the Purity of a Nation, by Charles Gallaudet Trumbull, edited by Scott Matthew Dix]
How important it is to see how our choices will inevitably lead to their logical conclusions! Even if not for us personally (since we can choose to stop at some point before we get to the conclusion), but at least for the rest of society who have no sense of there being any logical “stopping point.” We shouldn’t live in a state of denial; we should impede the natural progression of sin right now not merely by snipping off the farthest, remotest twigs (abortion) but by attacking the insidious root of the problem (porn and birth control, i.e. our selfish, faith-less, and sinful rejection of our own offspring and our acceptance of recreation without procreation).
For further details about the work of Anthony Comstock, who worked tirelessly to outlaw porn and contraceptives in the U.S., please read this book (I have it in my personal library, and have already read through it once, but plan on reading it again soon). You can order it through The Birth Control Movie website.