Monday, November 2, 2009

Does the birth control pill cause abortions? "PART 7"


Convictions or convenience: A spiritual stronghold? -- Where do we go from here?

It is a tragic irony that we who are Christians try to persuade people not to have a single surgical abortion, while as a result of our choice to take the Pill we may be having two, three or a half dozen chemical abortions ourselves.

My intention is not to finger-point. I take no glee whatsoever in writing this. I do not wish to put my brothers and sisters on the defensive. Nor do I assume the worst of them, that they will all ignore this evidence and be callous to the lives of their unborn children.

If we'd had the information then that we do now, I am convinced Nanci and I would have stopped using the Pill. In the face of the overwhelming evidence, I think many others will make the same decision. Of course, I am not naive. I realize that many otherwise pro-life people will continue to take the Pill and many Christian physicians will continue to recommend it. I do hope that over time this will change, as our consciences become sensitized.

I have spoken with many Christian physicians, brothers I deeply respect, asking them their opinions on this research. One said, "I've never heard of any of this before." Another said, "I've heard rumors, but no one has ever pointed me to any hard evidence."

I believe what I've presented here is hard evidence. There is a clear answer to our question "Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?" The answer is definitely "yes."

In the face of this overwhelming evidence, our position on the Pill offers a great test of our true convictions. Do we really believe human life begins at conception? And will we exercise this conviction even at the cost of our personal inconvenience?

Or perhaps what we thought was a conviction will be proven to be no more than a preference. Perhaps the truth is, if we can avoid abortion without inconvenience to ourselves we will do so, but if it requires extra effort on our part, we will go ahead and risk the lives of our children. (In fact, they are really not "our" children to risk -- they are created by God and owned by God, and entrusted to us by Him to protect and nurture.)

Can God, who creates each human life at the point of conception, fully bless the pro-life efforts of CPC volunteers and Right to Life workers and sidewalk counselors and pastors and doctors -- and any of us -- when we turn right around and use, prescribe or recommend a product that sometimes takes the life of an unborn child?

Are we consistently pro-life or only selectively pro-life? Do we oppose later abortions while not really caring about the earliest ones? Is the only difference between us and those we call "proabortion" that they are willing to embrace the killing of bigger and older children while we are willing to embrace the killing only of smaller and younger children? Are we moral relativists and gradualists different only in degree but not in kind with those we call abortionists?

Because we have grown so accustomed to the Pill, will we turn our heads away from the risks it poses to our children? Do we dare to play God by infringing upon his sole and sacred prerogatives over human life?

We often encounter proabortion people who deny the basic medical and moral realities of the issue, and sometimes we shake our heads in wonder at the extent of their denial of the obvious, that abortion kills children and that it is ethically unacceptable. Many pro-lifers, for instance, have lived in denial when we've said, "I oppose abortion, except in cases of rape, incest and deformity." (Of course, an unborn child is a child; regardless of how he was conceived and what his handicaps are, it is wrong to kill a child.)

Because of social pressures and half-hearted convictions, when it comes to something so deeply entrenched in our society and in the Christian community as the Pill, each of us is fully capable of denial. Looking back, I believe I was in denial on this issue from the time I first heard about it six years ago. Why didn't I dig deeper? Why didn't I research it more carefully?

I have many other reasons to explain it away, but perhaps the bottom line is because I just didn't want it to be true. But there are many things I don't want to be true that still are. I don't want to believe there is an eternal hell; or that as a Christian I will be held accountable for my life's works at the judgment seat of Christ; or that millions of children go to bed hungry each night; or that abortion kills children; or that the Pill causes abortions. I don't want to believe any of these things, but I believe each of them nonetheless because the evidence clearly demonstrates them to be true.

Is there a supernatural reason for our ignorance and denial on this issue? As much as I believe in the spiritual realm and the spiritual battle, I am not as quick as many people to attribute every misunderstanding or problem in the church to demonic influence. However, consider what Jesus said: "the devil . . . was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44). When Satan carries out murder in an outwardly "civil" society, inevitably he must bury the murder in a huge grave of lies so that no one sees the corpses. When he convinces the church of these lies he has achieved his greatest victory -- it's hard to imagine a more horrid irony or a more crippling blow to the church than that we, followers of Christ, would make choices that result in the deaths of our own children.

The biggest threat to Satan's success in killing the innocent is that people become aware of the truth and then act on it. When I consider my own ignorance and lack of motivation to pursue and act on the truth that the Pill kills children, I am forced to conclude this may well be a spiritual stronghold that the evil one has on the church. Until we come to grips with, repent of and abstain from the chemical abortions we ourselves are having, I wonder how effective we will be as Christ representatives in general, and in particular in our efforts to prevent abortions.

Many surgical abortions happen in Christian churches, far more than most people realize. According to the latest Guttmacher Institute study, it is now just under one out of five women getting surgical abortions who claims to be a born again Christian. But it is the chemical abortions that are going almost completely unchallenged, even in the most pro-life churches and organizations, and it is these that represent the direction of abortion in America and around the world. Trends indicate that in years to come there will be fewer surgical abortions, because of the popularity and "ease" of chemical abortions. If the church herself is committing chemical abortions as a way of life, then we are woefully unprepared to fight the abortion battle at any level, let alone this one.

Ironically, the move to chemical abortifacients brings us full circle, since it is actually a return to the ancient way of doing abortions. In times where surgical abortions were very rare, certain herbs, chemicals and poisons were given to women by abortionists, who were often apothecaries or unethical doctors with a knowledge of what chemicals induced miscarriages.

That's why the ancient Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians stated, "I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest such counsel, and in like manner, I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce an abortion." A pessary was an oval stone inserted in the vagina sometimes used to prevent conception and sometimes used to cause an abortion.

As the IUD is parallel to the "pessary" (a physical device) of the Oath, so the Pill and other chemical abortifacients are parallel to the "deadly medicine" ethical physicians would not prescribe.

It was in the face of such chemical and device-caused abortions that Christian leaders in the first few centuries consistently denounced all abortions. For instance, in about AD 200, Minucius Felix wrote in Octavius, "There are women who swallow drugs to stifle in their own womb the beginnings of a man to be -- committing infanticide before they even give birth to the infant." In the fourth century Basil the Great wrote, "Those who give abortifacients for the destruction of a child conceived in the womb are murderers themselves, along with those receiving the poisons." (See Appendix C: Abortion: Perspectives of the Early Church Leaders.)

In fact, a strong case can be made for understanding the Greek word translated "sorcery" in Galatians 5:20 as a reference to administering drugs to commit abortions. This word is "pharma-keia," from which we get our word "pharmaceuticals," or drugs. The administering of drugs and potions was common in sorcery, and hence the word sometimes took on that secondary connotation. But it is also used in the Greek literature of the day with its original primary meaning of drugs, chemicals or medications. The most prevalent social example of the evil use of chemicals was using them to induce abortions. Pharmakeia was used early in the second century by the physician Soranos of Ephesus in his book Gynecology, referring specifically to drugs which cause abortions.

Galatians 5:20 lists pharmakeia as one of the "acts of the sinful nature," and precedes it with sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery and idolatry. All of these relate to the immoral practices that led to many unwanted children and therefore many abortions, giving further logic to the idea that pharmakeia may in fact refer to using chemicals to kill unborn children.

The same word is used three times in Revelation. In Revelation 9:21 it says: "Nor did they repent of their murders, their pharmakeus, their sexual immorality or their thefts." In 21:8 it states: "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, the pharmakeus, the idolaters and all liars -- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur." In Revelation 22:15 it says, "Outside are the dogs, the pharmakeus, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood."

As the devil loved the sacrifice of children in the ancient heathen cultures, so he loves the sacrifice of our children in our modern culture. Whether children are sacrificed to a heathen god called Moloch or to the god of our own convenience, he does not care. (See Appendix F: The Shedding of Innocent Blood.) Whether these children are born or unborn does not matter to the Murderer from the beginning, for each of them is equally created in the image of God, and by killing them he comes as close as he can to striking out at God himself. In killing those created in his image, Satan kills God in effigy.

The evil one's vested interests in our blindness on this issue cannot be overstated. The forces of darkness desperately do not want us to see these newly conceived children as their Creator sees them. If we are to come over to God's way of thinking about them, it will only be through searching the Scriptures, praying, examining the evidence and openly and boldly addressing this issue in our churches and Christian organizations.

Time to search our hearts and change our ways?

Christian couples who are using the Pill, it is time to sit down and have a heart to heart talk. As a matter of conscience and conviction, do you believe you can or should continue with the Pill? Or is it time to consider other alternatives? Surely we should search the Scriptures together, pray together, look at the facts presented here, and ask God's guidance for our families.

Pastors, counselors, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others: what will you do with this information? Our churches, our patients, our counselees, our families look to us for leadership. Let's take our God-given role seriously and provide that leadership. At the very least we must present people with both the scientific facts and the biblical principles, so they can be informed enough to make wise and godly decisions. We dare not be silent in the face of the lives of children created in the image of God. "Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves; defend the rights of the poor and needy." (Proverbs 31:8-9) (See Appendix H: Defending the Weak and Helpless)

If for some reason you are not satisfied with the evidence presented here, will you commit yourself to find out the truth? Go to the Scriptures first, then go to the medical journals and textbooks. Call the Pill manufacturers. (Of course, you must be prepared for the fact that they have been trained to deal with questions from pro-lifers and to minimize concerns about abortion. Even then, if you persist in your questions, most of them will acknowledge that their literature is in fact correct -- the Pill does sometimes prevent implantation of a newly conceived human being.)

If after investigating the issue, you still are not convinced, ask yourself "If this evidence doesn't convince me, is there any evidence that would?" Is it possible -- and I ask this with caution and, I think, without a critical spirit -- that your own vested interests in this issue are blinding you to the truth?

It is always better to live in the light than the darkness, even if for the moment the darkness may be comforting to the eye. Ultimately, facing the truth will set us free, while denying it will put us in bondage. The truth about the Pill may disturb us -- it certainly disturbs me -- but if we respond prayerfully to what we know, we can make informed choices to follow the Lord and affirm his Lordship over us, our families and our churches. God will surely bless us for that.

Let God's Word be the final one: "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19)

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