Skip to comments.Contraception: Fatal to the Faith and to Eternal Life (Catholic Caucus)
Posted on 05/28/2009 2:59:13 PM PDT by stfassisi
This must seem like a strange title, "Contraception-Fatal to the Faith." What does the title mean? Does it mean that to believe in contraception is contrary to the faith? Or does it mean that Christian believers may not practice contraception? Or does it mean that those who practice contraception are in danger of losing their faith?
What do we mean by the title and what is the thesis of this presentation? We mean that professed Catholics who practice contraception either give up the practice of contraception or they give up their Catholic faith.
Needless to say, this is a startling statement that many would violently disagree with. They will point out the widespread practice of contraception among many some would say the majority of professed Catholics in a country like the United States. They will quote from numerous professedly Catholic moral theologians openly defending contraception. They will give you the pronouncements of whole conferences of bishops who claim that contraception is really a matter of conscience.
Those who sincerely believe that contraception is morally permissible may not be told they are doing wrong; they may not be barred from receiving Holy Communion; in fact, they need not even have to confess the practice of contraception when they go to confession.
We return to where we began, to make clear what we are saying. We affirm in this article that the deliberate practice of contraception between husband and wife is objectively a mortal sin. Those who persist in its practice are acting contrary to the explicit teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. They may protest that they are Catholic. They may profess to be Catholics. But their conduct belies their profession.
Someone may object that we are living in a contraceptive society. Moreover, the silence of so many bishops and the overt teaching of so many nominally Catholic moralists defending contraception forbids our saying that contraception and the Catholic faith are incompatible.
In the light of all the foregoing, let me address myself to the following topics which collectively prove the underlying thesis of this article.
* The Catholic Church teaches infallible doctrine, both in faith and morals.
* This infallible teaching is done by the Church's extraordinary and by her ordinary universal authority or magisterium.
* The grave sinfulness of contraception is taught infallibly by the Church's ordinary universal teaching authority.
* Therefore, those who defend contraception forfeit their claim to being professed Catholics.
* Consequently, those who persist in their defense of contraception, deprive themselves of the divine graces which are reserved to bona fide members of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Church Teaches Infallibly On Faith And Morals
There is some value in explaining that the Church's infallibility covers not only doctrines that are to be believed, like Christ's divinity or His Real Presence in the Eucharist. No, the Church also, and with emphasis, also teaches infallibly what the followers of Christ are to do.
In His final commission to the Apostles, Jesus told them to teach all nations, "to observe all that I have commanded you." To mention just one infallible teaching in the moral order: the permanence of the marriage bond. Emphatically, the Church's irreversible doctrines include truths that we are obliged to believe. But they also include precepts that we are universally bound to obey.
This deserves to be emphasized. Why? Because there are nominally Catholic writers who are claiming that the Church's gift of infallibility extends only to her teaching of the faith. It does not, so the claim goes, include grave moral obligations like the prohibition of adultery, sodomy or contraception. That is not true.
Two Forms of Infallible Teaching
What are the two ways in which the Church teaches infallibly? She does so whenever the Pope solemnly defines a dogma of the faith, as when in 1950 Pope Pius XII declared that Our Lady was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
But the Church also teaches infallibly whenever her bishops, united with the Pope, proclaim that something is to be accepted by all the faithful. Thus abortion was condemned as murder by the Catholic hierarchy, under the Pope, already in the first century of the Christian era and ever since.
It is therefore infallibly true that abortion is a crime of willful homicide. So, too, the grave sinfulness of homosexuality is infallible Catholic teaching.
Infallibly True That Contraception Is a Mortal Sin
We return to where we began. Is it infallible Catholic doctrine that contraception is a mortal sin? Yes!
How do we know? We know this from the twenty centuries of the Catholic Church's teaching. Already in the first century, those who professed the Catholic Faith did not practice either contraception or abortion, which were commonly linked together.
The people of the pagan Roman Empire into which they were born universally practiced:
* Cohabitation of one man with either several legal wives, or with a plurality of concubines.
In contrast with this moral promiscuity, Christians practiced monogamy, one man with one woman; they did not use drugs to prevent conception; they did not kill the newborn children whom they did not want to live; they did not practice sodomy or prostitution; and for the Christian, adultery and fornication were grave sins that might require several years of penitential expiation.
What do we call the Church's unbroken tradition in forbidding contraception? We call it her ordinary universal magisterium or teaching authority. This has always been considered a proof of infallibility, or from another perspective, irreversibility. What do these two terms mean? Infallibility means that God protects the Church from error in her 2000 years of teaching that contraception is a grave sin against God. Irreversibility means that this teaching will never be reversed. Contraception will remain a grave sin until the end of time.
To Defend Contraception Forfeits the Catholic Faith
As Christianity expanded, the inevitable happened. Once professed Christians lapsed into their former paganism. We read in the first three centuries about the thousands of Christians who chose to be thrown to the lions, or beheaded, or crucified rather than conform to the pagan immorality that was so prevalent in the culture in which they lived.
It is possible to misunderstand the Age of Martyrs of the first three centuries of the Christian era. We are liable to associate professing the Christian faith by refusing to drop a grain of incense before a statue of one of the pagan gods. No, the issue was much deeper and more serious. To be a Christian meant to refuse to conform to the pagan morality of those who did not believe in Christ. To be a Christian meant to reject the pagan immorality of the contemporary world at the heart of which was the practice of contraception.
The Situation in the Modern World
Contraception as a general practice is a recent innovation in the western nominally Christian society. Its rise is partly explained by the medical discovery of drugs which either prevent conception, or which destroy the unborn child in its mother's womb.
But the rise of contraception is mainly the result of a widespread propaganda by women like Margaret Sanger and the powerful forces of population control.
What have been the consequences of this return to prechristian paganism which is now "the law of the land" in once Christian nations like the United States? The consequences are inevitable.
The once solitary defender of the sanctity of marital relations is now on trial for the profession of its Catholic faith. In 1968, when Pope Paul VI published Humanae Vitae, the episcopal conferences of one country after another met in solemn session to pass judgment on the teachings of the Vicar of Christ.
Bishops in what we call the "Third World Countries" stood firmly behind the Pope's teaching. But the bishops of so-called developed countries, like the United States, or Canada, or France, or Germany, or Austria, or Scandinavia issued long documents that, to put it mildly, compromised the teachings of the Vicar of Christ.
What followed was as inevitable as night follows day. Once firmly believing Catholics became confused, or bewildered, or simply uncertain about the grave moral evil of contraception.
The spectacle of broken families, broken homes, divorce and annulments, abortion and the mania of homosexuality all of this has its roots in the acceptance of contraception on a wide scale in what only two generations ago was a professed Catholic population.
Contraception Fatal to the Faith
We come back to where we started by claiming that contraception is fatal to the Catholic Faith.
By divine ordinance, those who call themselves Catholic must subscribe to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church of which the Bishop of Rome is the visible head.
This Catholic Church now stands alone in the world as the one universal authority which condemns contraception as contrary to the will of God.
Within the Catholic ranks has arisen an army of dissidents who speak and write in defense of contraception. The sex-preoccupied Andrew Greeley of Chicago recently devoted a whole chapter of a book entitled, "That damned encyclical," referring to Humanae Vitae. This priest remains in good standing in ecclesiastical circles.
When the present Holy Father made his first pilgrimage as Pope to the United States, he pleaded in Chicago with the American bishops to do something over the scandal of so many Catholics on Sundays going to Holy Communion and so few going to confession.
All the evidence indicates that the core issue at stake is contraception. If contraception is not a grave sin, well then what is? And why go to confession if I am still in God's friendship although practicing contraception.
What is the new conclusion? That the single, principal cause for the breakdown of the Catholic faith in materially overdeveloped countries like ours has been contraception.
St. James tells us that faith without good works is dead. What good is it to give verbal profession of the Catholic faith, and then behave like a pagan in marital morality?
The single most crucial need to stem this hemorrhage from the Catholic Faith is for the Church's leaders to stand behind the Vicar of Christ in proclaiming the Church's two millennia of teaching that no marital act can be separated from its God-given purpose to conceive and procreate a child.
I make bold to say that the Catholic Church, the real Roman Catholic Church, will survive only where her bishops are courageous enough to proclaim what the followers of Christ have believed since apostolic times. But the bishops are frail human beings. They need, Lord how they need, the backing and support of the faithful under their care.
Contraception Fatal to Eternal Life
What can this possibly mean? It means exactly what it says. The practice of contraception is a grave sin. Those who indulge in the practice are in danger of losing their immortal souls.
Difficult or intolerable as the language may seem, it is the truth. My purpose here is to prove that historic Christianity has always held, holds now, and always will hold, that contraception is a serious offense against God. Unless repented, it is punishable by eternal deprivation of the vision of God, which we call eternal death.
Teaching of the Church in Apostolic Times
Historians agree that contraception is a social practice that goes back to centuries before Christ. Medical papyri describing contraceptive methods are as old as 2700 BC in China, and 1850 BC in Egypt.
In the Roman Empire of the first century of the Christian era, contraception was universally approved and practiced by the people.
As might be expected, the followers of Christ were faced from the beginning with a hard choice. If they wanted to remain faithful to Christ's teaching, they had to avoid contraception.
In the language of the day, contraceptive practice was referred to as "using magic" and "using drugs." It was in this sense that the first century Teaching of the Twelve Apostles warns Christians in four successive precepts:
* "You shall not use magic."
* "You shall not use drugs."
* "You shall not procure abortion."
* "You shall not destroy an unborn child."
The sequence of those prohibitions is significant. We know from the record of those times that women would first try some magical rites or use sorcery to avoid conception. If this failed, they would take one or another of then known seventeen medically approved contraceptives. If a woman still became pregnant, she would try to abort. And if even this failed, she and her male partner could always resort to infanticide, which was approved by Roman law.
Christians were warned not to follow the example of their pagan contemporaries, who walked in darkness and the shadow of death. Christians were absolutely forbidden to practice contraception, which leads to abortion, which leads to infanticide.
From Apostolic Times to Humanae Vitae
For the next 1900 years, the litany of the Church's teaching on artificial birth control was never interrupted. Popes and saints and scholars in different words and from different perspectives taught the same thing: Contraception is a grave sin that no one who claims to be a Christian may perform.
Out of a library of witnesses to this doctrine, St. Augustine wrote a whole treatise on Conjugal Adultery, in which he declared, "Intercourse with one's legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked whenever the conception of offspring is prevented." When recently, the present Holy Father repeated St. Augustine's statement about contraception as marital adultery, he was crucified by the world media.
That is why no one should have been surprised at the reception, or rather, rejection, that Pope Paul VI's Encyclical Humanae Vitae received in 1968.
Thirty years ago, Paul VI appealed to the conscience of the world when he warned about "the consequences of practicing artificial birth control." His warning was prophetic. What have been the consequences of contraception in one once-civilized nation after another?
They have been myriad. But I would give especially seven, which may be listed in sequence.
* Fornication; * Adultery; * Sterilization; * Homosexuality; * AIDS; * Breakdown of the family; and * Murder of the unborn.
At the risk of repeating the obvious, let me briefly show how contraception inevitably leads to these seven tragedies that haunt the modern world.
How can we expect unmarried people to practice chastity if married people are allowed to practice mutual masturbation, which is another name for contraception?
This touches at the heart of sane morality. Intercourse is the divinely instituted means for married person to cooperate with God in procreating children. It is also the divinely provided means of fostering mutual love between husband and wife. But contraception does just the opposite. It deliberately prevents the conception of a child and it fosters, not mutual love, but mutual selfishness.
Is it any wonder that our country is plagued with fornicators who indulge their sex passions, while avoiding the responsibilities of parenthood?
How can a husband respect a wife who insists on using contraceptives? And how can a wife respect a husband who refuses to accept the duties of fatherhood?
The soul of Christian marriage is selfless love between the spouses. Contraceptive relations between married people are a lie. They pretend to love one another. But in reality, they are using one another in what might just well be called prostitution. The history of mankind is clear. Contraception in marriage leads to infidelity in either or in both partners. Naturally! Why limit sex activity to one's spouse if no commitment to having or raising children is the consequence of intercourse?
We do not ordinarily associate contraception with sterilization. But we should. It is one thing to use contraception as an occasional malpractice. It is something else when people have themselves sterilized to avoid even fathering or mothering a child.
Yet massive sterilization, in a country like the United States, has become commonplace. Now the discovery of a five-year, synthetic hormone contraceptive gives carte blanche to any female teenager or adult, willing to have it surgically implanted under the skin. One of the largest school systems in America is doing just that at taxpayer's expense. The sterilizing hormone is implanted under the skin in young girl's arms. No parental permission is needed.
This opened the door to an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, whose ratio is already sky-high in the United States.
The relationship between contraception and homosexuality is seldom adverted to and, in homosexual circles, openly denied. Yet they are connected by the most basic laws of human society.
Contraception contradicts the most fundamental desire of the human heart: to give oneself in total generosity to another human being. Marital relations are meant by God to satisfy this desire between the married spouses. But if women selfishly withhold this generosity from men, men will-tragically look for such generosity in other men. And women will look for it in other women.
As you read some of the homosexual and lesbian literature, you are moved to tears at seeing how a contraceptive society has begotten a homosexual society. In their desperate search for love, men will turn to other men and women to other women. To say they are being deceived is only to emphasize the pity of a sodomistic culture that is starving for love. Contraception deprives married people of the love that they expect to find in a marriage between two people of opposite and complementary gender.
With all the published writings and statistics on Acquired Immune Deficiency, seldom a word is to associate this dreadful scourge with widespread practice of contraception.
In spite of all the protests to the contrary, the AIDS epidemic has its roots in homosexuality. By now, of course, there are victims of AIDS whose condition is the result of other factors than sodomy. But the radical cause remains. And therefore, we should in sheer justice, associate the physical disease with its moral foundations, which is homosexuality abetted by contraception.
The breakdown of stable family life in formerly Christian countries of the Western world is a matter of record. No one who is even dimly aware of what is going on in countries like our own, has any doubt that the family, as known since the dawn of Christianity, is being legislated out of existence.
I use the word "legislated" to bring out what Pope Paul stated so clearly in Humanae Vitae. In context, he is urging reasons for avoiding contraception. He says:
Consider also the dangerous weapon that would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who pay no attention to moral obligations. Who could blame a government for applying to the solution of the problems of a community those means acknowledged licit for married couples in the solution of a family problem? So it has been. Once contraception became widespread, it was only logical for civil governments to impose a contraceptive way of life on all their citizens. Thus, everything controlled by the government reflects a contraceptive mentality:
* The majority of employed people, working outside the home, are women.
* The salaries earned by husbands and fathers make it next to impossible for them to provide for the size and kind of family they would honestly desire.
* The feminist ideology deprives men of the dignity and respect they deserve and need in the modern world.
* The number of children of single parent, shall we call them families, has reached gigantic proportions.
* Countless children are no longer reared by their parents, but by paid personnel in so called day care centers.
* Working mothers and under-paid fathers have become commonplace.
* The very idea of a stable and loving family has become for millions a starry ideal.
All of this, and more, can be traced, as surely as smoke proves a fire, to the contraceptive mania that is destroying the foundations of the human family.
I have saved abortion as the last of the seven deadly consequences of contraception. This, too, is a law of human behavior. Abortion follows contraception like the law of gravity.
This is obvious. As people come to equate sexual pleasure with the self-gratification, there is no limit to their lustful pride. Contraception has taught them to have their own way. They will stop at nothing to have their way, not even murder of their unborn offspring.
Respect for human life requires selfless love of human beings. As a nation is nurtured on contraceptive self-indulgence, it becomes a nation that kills innocent children if they are an obstacle to the self-gratification of those who brought them into existence.
It has been correctly said that Humanae Vitae divides the Catholic Church into two periods of history. The Church will survive only among those who believe that contraception is deadly to both Christianity and the promise of a heavenly reward. Normally thirty years is a short time. But in this case it has been long enough to prove who are still truly Catholics. They are those who believe that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. "If you love me," Jesus said, "keep my commandments." The single most tested commandment of the Savior today is that contraception is fatal to the true faith and to eternal life.
Sorry. Someone must show me the Bible verses that say that G-d is against contraception. I promise to study them. I am against abortion, that is clearly murder, but I can’t see how contraception fits in with all of that.
Yeah, and they can't afford a yacht and a Ferrari, either. So?
Gen 1:28, 9:1,7; 35:11 - from the beginning, the Lord commands us to be fruitful (”fertile”) and multiply. A husband and wife fulfill God's plan for marriage in the bringing forth of new life, for God is life itself.
Gen. 28:3 - Isaac's prayer over Jacob shows that fertility and procreation are considered blessings from God.
Gen. 38:8-10 - Onan is killed by God for practicing contraception (in this case, withdrawal) and spilling his semen on the ground.
Gen. 38:11-26 - Judah, like Onan, also rejected God's command to keep up the family lineage, but he was not killed.
Deut. 25:7-10 - the penalty for refusing to keep up a family lineage is not death, like Onan received. Onan was killed for wasting seed.
Gen. 38:9 - also, the author's usage of the graphic word “seed,” which is very uncharacteristic for Hebrew writing, further highlights the reason for Onan’s death.
Exodus 23:25-26; Deut. 7:13-14 - God promises blessings which include no miscarriages or barrenness. Children are blessings from God, and married couples must always be open to God's plan for new life with every act of marital intimacy.
Lev.18:22-23;20:13 - wasting seed with non-generative sexual acts warrants death. Many Protestant churches, which have all strayed from the Catholic Church, reject this fundamental truth (few Protestants and Catholics realize that contraception was condemned by all of Christianity - and other religions - until the Anglican church permitted it in certain cases at the Lambeth conference in 1930. This opened the floodgates of error).
Lev. 21:17,20 - crushed testicles are called a defect and a blemish before God. God reveals that deliberate sterilization and any other methods which prevent conception are intrinsically evil.
Deut. 23:1 - whoever has crushed testicles or is castrated cannot enter the assembly. Contraception is objectively sinful and contrary, not only to God's Revelation, but the moral and natural law.
Deut. 25:11-12 - there is punishment for potential damage to the testicles, for such damage puts new life at risk. It, of course, follows that vasectomies, which are done with willful consent, are gravely contrary to the natural law.
1 Chron. 25:5 - God exalts His people by blessing them with many children. When married couples contracept, they are declaring “not your will God, but my will be done.”
Psalm 127:3-5 - children are a gift of favor from God and blessed is a full quiver. Married couples must always be open to God's precious gift of life. Contraception, which shows a disregard for human life, has lead to the great evils of abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide.
Hosea 9:11; Jer. 18:21 - God punishes Israel by preventing pregnancy. Contraception is a curse, and married couples who use contraception are putting themselves under the same curse.
Mal. 2:14 - marriage is not a contract (which is a mere exchange of property or services). It is a covenant, which means a supernatural exchange of persons. Just as God is three in one, so are a husband and wife, who become one flesh and bring forth new life, three in one. Marital love is a reflection of the Blessed Trinity.
Mal. 2:15 - What does God desire? Godly offspring. What is contraception? A deliberate act against God's will. With contraception, a couple declares, “God may want an eternal being created with our union, but we say no.” Contraception is a grave act of selfishness.
Matt. 19:5-6 - Jesus said a husband and wife shall become one. They are no longer two, but one, just as God is three persons, yet one. The expression of authentic marital love reintegrates our bodies and souls to God, and restores us to our original virginal state (perfect integration of body and soul) before God.
Matt. 19:6; Eph. 5:31 - contraception prevents God's ability to “join” together. Just as Christ's love for the Church is selfless and sacrificial, and a husband and wife reflect this union, so a husband and wife's love for each other must also be selfless and sacrificial. This means being open to new life.
Acts 5:1-11 - Ananias and Sapphira were slain because they withheld part of a gift. Fertility is a gift from God and cannot be withheld.
Rom.1:26-27 - sexual acts without the possibility of procreation is sinful. Self-giving love is life-giving love, or the love is a lie. The unitive and procreative elements of marital love can never be divided, or the marital love is also divided, and God is left out of the marriage.
1 Cor. 6:19-20 - the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; thus, we must glorify God in our bodies by being open to His will.
1 Cor. 7:5 - this verse supports the practice of natural family planning (”NFP”). Married couples should not refuse each other except perhaps by agreement for a season, naturally.
Gal. 6:7-8 - God is not mocked for what a man sows. If to the flesh, corruption. If to the Spirit, eternal life.
Eph. 5:25 - Paul instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, by giving his entire body to her and holding nothing back. With contraception, husbands tell their wives, I love you except your fertility, and you can have me except for my fertility. This love is a lie because it is self-centered, and not self-giving and life-giving.
Eph. 5:29-31; Phil. 3:2 - mutilating the flesh (e.g., surgery to prevent conception) is gravely sinful. Many Protestant churches reject this most basic moral truth.
1 Tim. 2:15 - childbearing is considered a “work” through which women may be saved by God's grace.
Deut. 22:13-21 these verses also show that God condemns pre-marital intercourse. The living expression of Gods creative love is reserved for a sacramental marriage between one man and one woman.
Rev. 9:21; 21:8; 22:15; Gal. 5:20 - these verses mention the word “sorcery.” The Greek word is “pharmakeia” which includes abortifacient potions such as birth control pills. These pharmakeia are mortally sinful. Moreover, chemical contraception does not necessarily prevent conception, but may actually kill the child in the womb after conception has occurred (by preventing the baby from attaching to the uterine wall). Contraception is a lie that has deceived millions, but the Church is holding her arms open wide to welcome back her children who have strayed from the truth.
Taken from ScriptureCatholic.com
I assume that you are not impressed by Fr. Hardon's emulation of Humpty Dumpty ("When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.") in his interpretation of "magic" and "drugs".
BTW, this is a Catholic Caucus thread.
Do you disagree with the article on its substance?
“Sorry. Someone must show me the Bible verses that say that G-d is against contraception.”
Show me the verses where God denounces abortion. Can you? No, you can’t. Not once does God mention abortion in the Bible.
But there is a case to be made against both abortion and birth control. Buy a copy of Charles Provan’s book, The Bible and Birth Control. Provan is a Protestant by the way.
“Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted” Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2 (A.D. 191).
“To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature.” Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children 2:10:95:3 (A.D. 191).
[Christian women with male concubines], on account of their prominent ancestry and great property, the so-called faithful want no children from slaves or lowborn commoners, [so] they use drugs of sterility or bind themselves tightly in order to expel a fetus which has already been engendered.” Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9:12 (A.D. 225).
“[Some] complain of the scantiness of their means, and allege that they have not enough for bringing up more children, as though, in truth, their means were in [their] power . . . or God did not daily make the rich poor and the poor rich. Wherefore, if any one on any account of poverty shall be unable to bring up children, it is better to abstain from relations with his wife.” Lactantius, Divine Institutes 6:20 (A.D. 307).
“God gave us eyes not to see and desire pleasure, but to see acts to be performed for the needs of life; so too, the genital [generating] part of the body, as the name itself teaches, has been received by us for no other purpose than the generation of offspring. Lactantius, Divine 6:23:18 (A.D. 307).
“[I]f anyone in sound health has castrated himself, it behooves that such a one, if enrolled among the clergy, should cease [from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this is said of those who willfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men this canon admits to the clergy.” Council of Nicaea I, Canon 1 (A.D. 325).
“They [certain Egyptian heretics] exercise genital acts, yet prevent the conceiving of children. Not in order to produce offspring, but to satisfy lust, are they eager for corruption.” Epiphanius of Salamis, Medicine Chest Against Heresies 26:5:2 (A.D. 375).
“This proves that you [Manicheans] approve of having a wife, not for the procreation of children, but for the gratification of passion. In marriage, as the marriage law declares, the man and woman come together for the procreation of children. Therefore, whoever makes the procreation of children a greater sin than copulation, forbids marriage and makes the woman not a wife but a mistress, who for some gifts presented to her is joined to the man to gratify his passion.” Augustine, The Morals of the Manichees 18:65 (A.D. 388).
“Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit, where there are medicines of sterility [oral contraceptives], where there is murder before birth? You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well Indeed, it is something worse than murder, and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gift of God and fight with his [natural] laws? Yet such turpitude the matter still seems indifferent to many meneven to many men having wives. In this indifference of the married men there is greater evil filth; for then poisons are prepared, not against the womb of a prostitute, but against your injured wife. Against her are these innumerable tricks.” John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 24 (A.D. 391).
“[I]n truth, all men know that they who are under the power of this disease [the sin of covetousness] are wearied even of their fathers old age [wishing him to die so they can inherit]; and that which is sweet, and universally desirable, the having of children, they esteem grievous and unwelcome. Many at least with this view have even paid money to be childless, and have mutilated nature, not only killing the newborn, but even acting to prevent their beginning to live.” John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew 28:5 (A.D. 391).
“[T]he man who has mutilated himself, in fact, is subject even to a curse, as Paul says, I would that they who trouble you would cut the whole thing off [Gal. 5:12]. And very reasonably, for such a person is venturing on the deeds of murderers, and giving occasion to them that slander Gods creation, and opens the mouths of the Manicheans, and is guilty of the same unlawful acts as they that mutilate themselves among the Greeks. For to cut off our members has been from the beginning a work of demonical agency, and satanic device, that they may bring up a bad report upon the works of God, that they may mar this living creature, that imputing all not to the choice, but to the nature of our members, the more part of them may sin in security as being irresponsible, and doubly harm this living creature, both by mutilating the members and by impeding the forwardness of the free choice in behalf of good deeds.” John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew 62:3 (A.D. 391).
“But I wonder why he [the heretic Jovinianus] set Judah and Tamar before us for an example, unless perchance even harlots give him pleasure; or Onan, who was slain because he grudged his brother seed. Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children?” Jerome, Against Jovinian 1:19 (A.D. 393).
“The concept of contraception being a sin, to me, is bizarre.”
It is to people today. Just a few decades ago it wasn’t bizarre to anyone. ALL Christian groups and most other religions as well opposed birth control. Today it is so accepted that abortion is philosophically necessary as a back up.
How many people were repulsed by homosexuality just a few decades ago? Now, we see gay marriage becoming legal in states right before our eyes. Same idea. It only takes the media, some governement backing and a weakening of moral standards and whammo...contraception is universally accepted and gays will be able marry by the same token.
It’s just that easy.
By these means some pro-life Christians are unknowingly performing abortions.
“”Okay, I have been reading some of the verses and disregarding the editorials. “”
The editorials have been the teaching of the early Church as well, this was before the Bible was even canonized by that same early church
Try to keep in mind that Traditions of the Apostles came first, the Scriptures came next. God gave His Gospel orally first. The Apostles gave it to others orally first. The Scriptures didn’t come until at least ten years later, if we believe that an Aramaic version of Matthew was written in the early 40’s. Thus, the first ten years at least saw Christianity spread without any Gospel writings, any Epistles, etc. Later, when these same men of God wrote letters and the narratives of the Gospels, they naturally taught the SAME thing that they taught orally earlier to others. Thus, the oral teachings preceded the written ones, and the written ones did not overturn the oral ones. Nor does it say anywhere that oral teachings are encapsulated completely within the Scriptures. This is a Protestant assumption that is proven incorrect based on the writings of the first Christians.
First, now you are interpreting the Bible, alongside with the Church, even as you say that you only trust the Bible. What makes you think your interpretation is correct and the interpretation of the Church, -- enlightened by 2000 years of reflection -- is incorrect?
Specifically on levirate marriage: if you read Deuteronomy 25:5-10, you will see that the disobedience to the law had a prescribed punishment, and the punishment was public humiliation and not death. But Onan was punished by death, so you are wrong that his sin was disobedience alone.
We agree on this,my friend. There is natural family planning that offers plenty of time for this to occur.
Thank you for your time and G-d Bless You.
Thank you. I wish you a Blessed evening
The "editorials" place the text within its proper context. Birth control has been around for millennia. Scrolls found in Egypt, dating to 1900 B.C., describe ancient methods of birth control that were later practiced in the Roman empire during the apostolic age. Wool that absorbed sperm, poisons that fumigated the uterus, potions, and other methods were used to prevent conception. In some centuries, even condoms were used (though made out of animal skin rather than latex).
The Bible mentions at least one form of contraception specifically and condemns it. Coitus interruptus, was used by Onan to avoid fulfilling his duty according to the ancient Jewish law of fathering children for ones dead brother. "Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brothers wife, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother. But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brothers wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord, and he slew him also" (Gen. 38:810).
The biblical penalty for not giving your brothers widow children was public humiliation, not death (Deut. 25:710). But Onan received death as punishment for his crime. This means his crime was more than simply not fulfilling the duty of a brother-in-law. He lost his life because he violated natural law, as Jewish and Christian commentators have always understood. For this reason, certain forms of contraception have historically been known as "Onanism," after the man who practiced it, just as homosexuality has historically been known as "Sodomy," after the men of Sodom, who practiced that vice (cf. Gen. 19).
Contraception was so far outside the biblical mindset and so obviously wrong that it did not need the frequent condemnations other sins did. Scripture condemns the practice when it mentions it. Once a moral principle has been established in the Bible, every possible application of it need not be mentioned. For example, the general principle that theft is wrong was clearly established in Scripture; but theres no need to provide an exhaustive list of every kind of theft. Similarly, since the principle that contraception is wrong has been established by being condemned when its mentioned in the Bible, every particular form of contraception does not need to be dealt with in Scripture in order for us to see that it is condemned.
We do not ordinarily associate contraception with sterilization. But we should. It is one thing to use contraception as an occasional malpractice. It is something else when people have themselves sterilized to avoid even fathering or mothering a child.”
The only sin I wish more people would commit. The single worst thing about this world is that innocent children are produced by monsters.
“I dont feel that it is lust to express my love with my husband by having sex without conceiving.”
Who said otherwise? If you’re going to choose the pro-contraceptive/pro-abortion side of things then at least frame reality as reality. Not every act of intercourse results in conception. But, morally, every act of intercourse should be open to life. Being open to life does not mean a life will form every single time. You already know that so why imply otherwise?
“After all G-d is the one that invented the clitoris for the woman, which serves no other function but pleasure.”
No, it also serves pro-creation. If women didn’t enjoy intercourse, then there would be a DRAMATICALLY lower birth rate.
“When you have relations with your spouse you confirm on earth, what IS in Heaven, that you are one spiritually and physically.”
You’re not one with someone when you hold back the most profound part of your physicality - your reproductive ability. What’s more impressive about over physicality than out ability to naturally combine two different DNA strands through a loving act between a married man and woman?
“The single worst thing about this world is that innocent children are produced by monsters.”
Not even close. The single worst thing about this world is that innocent children are MURDERED by monsters.
The verses are out there, but I’ll have to go looking for them. There are verses in the NT letters often translated “sorcery” and something else I can’t remember that the people of the time would have understood as contraception.
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THE EX CATHEDRA STATUS OF THE ENCYCLICAL "HUMANAE VITAE" [Catholic Caucus]
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"One form of birth control practiced by the pagans in the first century of the Christian era was the mixing of potions -- chemical birth control. At that point in history, no one could tell if these potions prevented ovulation or killed the sperm or killed a newly conceived baby or did some combination of all three. In other words, these potions were very much like the modern birth control Pill and raised the same questions: contraceptive or early abortion agent?
The Greek word for such mixing of potions for birth control and other secret purposes was pharmakeia, from which we have the modern word "pharmacy." THe mixing of medicines for healing purposes would not have been condemned, but that's not what ancient pharmakeia was about. Pharmakeia is condemned three times in the New Testament (Galations 5:19-26; Revelation 9:21; 21:8). The context of all three passages is concerned with sexual immorality, and two of the passages also condemn murder. If you check this out in your Bible, you will probably see pharmakeia translated as "sorcery," but that word doesn't tell us much. It just raises questions about what the potion mixers were doing.
Therefore, although it is not absolutely certain, it is probable that we have three New Testament passages that condemn unnatural forms of birth control. These would apply first of all to chemical birth control such as the Pill, implants, injections and some forms of the IUD; then by extension to all other unnatural forms."
There's more but I don't have time to type it all.
No additional Bible verses for you, but something for you to consider: ALL Christian Denominations prior to 1930 condemned contraception (curious that at the prior Lambeth Conference in 1920, it condemned the practice).
For some verification, you may wish to refer to this BBC article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/christianethics/contraception_1.shtml
Just some additional information for your edification.
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Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment
|English: Douay-Rheims||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|20.||Idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects,||ειδωλολατρεια φαρμακεια εχθραι ερεις ζηλοι θυμοι εριθειαι διχοστασιαι αιρεσεις|
I am always so impressed with the scholars on the Catholic threads. Thank you!
They have to be conceived first before they can be murdered.
“I am always so impressed with the scholars on the Catholic threads. Thank you!”
I second that...
To me, as well. Logically, it seems to me that preventing life is infinitely preferable to destroying it, so equating abortion and contraception makes no sense, either.
Taken to its extreme, abstaining from having sex is also a form of contraception. By this reasoning, we all should be having as many children as our bodies can physically withstand.
Abortion and contraception are different sins, and the former is a crime, objectively speaking as it is a sin that has a victim. They should not be equated.
Humans have a natural ability to abstain from intercourse, permanently or periodically. Depending on the purpose of abstinence and circumstance, abstinence is not a sin. Contraception is because it disrupts the natural process with innatural means. If we use the Ten Commandments as the classification system, abortion is expressly listed as the sin of murder, and contraception is a subspecies of not worshiping one God, the sin against the First Commandment.
“Now when we are together AS ONE its purely for enjoyment.”
And that is how many people look at the their sexuality. They believe it is for them to use and use as they see fit. If they happen to have some religious sentiment, they pretend they have done enough for God by having one or two children. Then they assume they’ve done enough to satisfy God and assume that their sexuality now belongs entirely to them to be used in any way they wish.
Am I right?
Now ask yourself, “Who thought that way 100 years ago?” What Christian - many of whom knew the Bible better than you and I put together - believed in that view more than a century ago?
The answer is NO ONE.
You’re doing what you’re doing because you want to. You’re not doing it because God has sanctioned it.
“They have to be conceived first before they can be murdered.”
True enough, but even monsters can produce children who grow up to be nothing like their parents. Thus, murdering children - which is intrinsically evil - is always wrong while it is not wrong for people - even monsters - to follow nature and have children.
“But why is it a sin?”
Because it violates God’s will.
“Why would God be offended by married couples that want to make love to each other, but not have children?”
Because you are dividing what God has joined. God joined reproductive ability to sexual pleasure. To want to enjoy ONLY the latter without openness to the former is to want things the way you want them and not the way God made them. God commands us to be fruitful. No where does He command us to just pleasure ourselves. The pleasure should accompany the openness to life.
Look at the two quotes on this book page: http://books.google.com/books?id=ZFbjyIn6j4oC&pg=PP1&dq=Kochutara+G.+S.,#PPA294,M1
“Do all Christians consider contraception a sin?”
Not now. But they all did less than 100 years ago. And all Christian groups did so just 70 or so years ago.
You make a good point but the state of affairs is nothing to get excited about.
“You make a good point but the state of affairs is nothing to get excited about.”
The slaughter of children, sin on a massive scale, and the death of the West are nothing to get excited about?
Pray tell what is? :)
I'm no scholar,dear friend,anything good in me comes from Christ,not me.
When you cure an ill person, you restore something God put in him, namely, his good health. You cooperate with God. When you put up a barrier to conception you disrupt what God created, namely, a pleasurable act that at His will produced new life. Contraception is direct opposite of healing; it is a form of self-mutilation.
Catholics recognize contraception for what it is, a grave sin. Orthodox basically agree but do not enforce the prohibition considering it impactical. Protestants are, as in most things, all over the map but for the most part allow it. Prior to 1930, however, every Christian community was in perfect agreement with the Church, then the Anglicans fell off, and then the rest, consistent with the general feeble nature of non-Catholics.
First, let's understand that celibacy is not contraception. Celibacy is sexual abstinence in an unmarried state. Contraception is sexual activity that is disrupted to avoid parenthood. The sunfullness of contraception is in the act of that disruption: pleasure of sex is separated from the reason we experience the pleasure. (People who practice natural family planning or otherwise eschew contraception sheepishly report greater enjoyment of sex and greater sense of family unity, proving that you cannot really separate the unitive from the procreative in sex).
Celibacy is only similar in that the end result is the same, no children. Now, that, on its face, violates the commandment to be fruitful and so falls under suspicion of sin. When celibacy is practiced most often is as a form of service to God and others, as monastic life and priesthood. But those are intended as pleasing God so at the very least the intent of the celibate is not sinful. Further, they do produce fruit of spirituality to others, either through liturgical work and instruction, or through uncommonly intense prayer for others, or through research. So celibacy in service of God is not intended as sin, and is not objectively withholding a fruit.
Another possibility is celibacy of widowhood. Then the fruit is often already given, the person is no longer disposed to new parenthood, turns to raising children or work, and no sin is occuring.
Lastly, let us consider a person of difficult character, mental illness, or other handicap. It would be wise for him or her to recognize that marriage is not a suitable vocation, and therefore he or she should be celibate and find a way to be fruitful by other means. Many artists and scientists were in that category. No sin can be seen in that form of celibacy either.
But on the other hand, if someone commits oneself to celibacy out of selfishness, in order not to take up the burdens of married life or of consecrated life, -- the burdens one would otherwise be strong enough to carry -- then such celibacy is definitely a sin.
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