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6 Reasons Why Contraception is Sinful and Contrary to God's Will
Canterbury Tales Blog ^ | February 15, 2012 | Dr. Taylor Marshall

Posted on 02/15/2012 6:49:17 PM PST by Brian Kopp DPM

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

6 Reasons Why Contraception is Sinful and Contrary to God's Will


Prior to 1930, all Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox held that contraception was sinful and contrary to God's will. Not only Catholics, but even dissenting voices such as Martin Luther and John Calvin agreed that contraception was against the natural law and the revealed will of God.

The unified consensus against contraception fell apart in 1930, when the Seventh Lambeth Conference of the Church of England, representing the Anglican Communion, issued a statement allowing birth control "when there is a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence." This highly controversial decision was gradually accepted by Protestants in general so that currently 90% or more (according to a Harris Interactive poll) practicing Evangelicals support the use of contraceptives and contraceptive behavior. Although the Duggars of "19 and Counting" fame are Protestant, they are certainly the exception.

It's been about 80 years since Protestants changed their position, so that hardly anyone living today remembers a time when all those claiming the title "Christian" opposed contraception. Even the Eastern Orthodox have caved in. The Eastern Orthodox, who claim to be stalwart defenders of their tradition, have reversed the tradition and allowed for contraception - contradicting the plain teaching of Saint John Chrysostom on this matter. The Eastern Orthodox Metropolitan Jonah here in the United States is leading the charge in this regard.

The only people defending the traditional view universally against contraception are Catholics. We're riding solo and it's a tough battle.

In the discussions regarding American health care and the HHS debate, many folks (even some Catholics) are confused as to why Catholics are so concerned about contraception. "Everybody is doing it," so it can't be wrong...right?

Well, just remember that "contraceiving Christians" is a new phenomenon. It was formerly believed to be gravely evil. Let us examine six reasons why contraception is sinful and contrary to God's will.

1. Contraception is contrary to natural law. The male and female procreative organs naturally come together to procreate a child. The word procreate includes the term "create" since a new life is made. In the case of humans, a new immortal soul is created by God when the father and mother come together and conceive a new person. As Peter Kreeft said, the most holy place on earth is the altar where the Eucharist is consecrated - the second most holy place is the woman's body since it form there that new immortal souls spring forth. The procreative organs naturally function for procreation. That is why God made them as they are. To frustrate the act (interruptus or barrier) is gravely sinful. To poison the body with hormones so as to inhibit the woman's natural cycle of fertility (birth control pill) is gravely sinful. To cut out or purposefully scar procreative organs (sterilization) is gravel sinful. These acts seek to destroy what is natural.

2. In the Bible, babies are always a blessing, never a curse.
Lo, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate (Ps 126:3-5).
The Catholic Church has always agreed with the words of this Psalm: “children are a heritage from the Lord. Happy is the man who has a quiver full of them!” To this effect, Saint Paul teaches:
Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty (1 Tim 2:15).
Granted, this is an obscure passage, but it highlights the esteemed role that women have in bringing new souls into the world. The Christian wife is exhorted to possess “faith and love and holiness, with modesty” but her personal sacrifice of bearing children is esteemed as the greatest response to the grace of God in her life. Just as God the Father is always open to more and more children whom he loves, so also the Catholic parent remains open to this precious gift of life.

The emphasis on the gift of life and the rules and norms for protecting it are essential to Catholic moral teaching. The sexual abuses condemned by the Apostle Paul can be summed up as an abuse of one of the greatest gifts given to humanity—the ability to cooperate with God’s creative power. God could have continued to create human beings just like he created Adam; instead He chose to bring about new persons through the institution of marriage and the family.

3. The case of Onan. Catholics (and pre-1930 Protestants) condemn both masturbation and contraception by appealing to the case of Onan who "spilled his seed on the ground":

He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother’s wife, he spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother’s name. And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing. (Genesis 38:9–10, D-R)
Here, God directly kills Onan for performing coitus interruptus. Onan's crime included gaining the pleasure of sexual relations with Tamar but the refusal to see the act through as a natural act intended for procreation. Hence, intentional spilling of seed, either in the form of masturbation or contraception is gravely sinful - so much so that God killed a man for it.

Some may object: "Yes, but God killed him for not fulfilling Levirate duties - not for contraception." This objection is poor since Judah also failed in executing the Levirate obligations - but he was not killed by God. So then, it was the contraceptive act in particular that proved both sinful and mortal for Onan.

4. The New Testament condemns contraception, which it calls pharmakeia. As I detail in my book The Catholic Perspective on Paul, Saint Paul condemns contraception by the name of "pharmakeia," the word from which we derive our term "pharmacy."
Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery {pharmakeia}, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-21).
Surely, Paul does not mean to condemn those who prescribe herbs for those suffering from gout. Looking back to Saint Paul’s list, we see that the sin of pharamakeia follows sexual sins and the sin of idolatry. These ancient witchdoctors or pharmacists were especially popular in idolatrous cultures, since pagan fertility rites often involved sexual orgies. Obviously, the women involved in these depraved rituals would not wish to bear children to strangers, and so they sought to become sterile or sought to relieve themselves of the responsibility of a child through abortion. The ancient Greek pharmacists could provide drugs to meet these goals.

The book of Revelation also condemns those who practice pharmakeia along with those who practice idolatry, murder, and sexual immorality (Rev 9:20-21). The grouping of pharmakeia with the three sins of idolatry, murder, and sexual immorality further confirms that pharmakeia is sin relating to killing and sexual impurity. The second-century physician Soranos of Ephesus, in his book Gynecology, uses the Greek term pharmakeia to refer to potions used for both contraception and abortion. In a similar manner, the third-century theologian Hippolytus condemned certain Christian women who employed “drugs {pharmakois} for producing sterility.”

5. The Church Fathers condemned contraception. This could be a post on its own. I'll just provide three quotes from the Church Fathers on this subject. The first is from the eminent Saint John Chrysostom (in AD 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 father’s 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).
The second is from Saint Jerome (in AD 393) and draws on the sin of Onan:
"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).
And then third from Saint Augustine (in AD 419):
"I am supposing, then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility…Assuredly if both husband and wife are like this, they are not married, and if they were like this from the beginning they come together not joined in matrimony but in seduction. If both are not like this, I dare to say that either the wife is in a fashion the harlot of her husband or he is an adulterer with his own wife." Augustine, Marriage and Concupiscence 1:15:17 (A.D. 419).
In this last quote, we see that Saint Augustine's concern that contraceptive acts turn a wife into a harlot since she is merely satisfying the lusts of her husband and not for the sake of matrimony - a word which means in Latin duty or gift of motherhood from matris (of a mother) and munus (gift, duty, office). This objectification of women brings us to our last reason...

6. Contemporary Observations and the so-called Sexual Revolution. The advent of contraception also accompanied the rise abortion, feminism, pornography, out of wedlock birth, and homosexuality. They all come and go together. If sexual pleasure is formally divorced from conceiving children, then why would pornography by sinful? Why would masturbation be sinful? And if a couple just wanted the pleasure and never intended to conceive a child with their act, then don't they have the "right" to terminate a pregnancy if a conception should happen "by accident"? And if sexual pleasure is for the sake of pleasure, then why would homosexuality be sinful? If God wanted people to experience these pleasures, then pleasure should be the measurement. But this is all ridiculous. The natural, God-appointed purpose of this act is to procreate children and this is why pornography, masturbation, homosexuality, and abortion are wrong. It is also the reason why contraception is gravely sinful.

Contraception is often an uncomfortable topic to discuss with family and friends - especially when they are amused or alarmed by large families that welcome new children. Let this post do some of the work for you. Please share this with your friends via Facebook and other means. People, especially women, don't really want to subject themselves to contraceptive practices. Let's prayerfully and humbly help others to be whole, healthy, and holy in this regard.

“Behold the inheritance of the Lord are children: the reward, the fruit of the womb.” (Psalm 126:3, D-R)
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TOPICS: Apologetics; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
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1 posted on 02/15/2012 6:49:22 PM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

I don’t God would have made it a pleasurable act, unless he £eant for it to be pleasurable in and of itself.

In regards to Onan, according to Rabbis, he wasn’t killed for making it only an act of pleasure, but because he was purposefully not completing his obligation to give his brother an heir.

It was an act to bind a married couple with the intent of creating children, but also an act of pleasure.


2 posted on 02/15/2012 6:57:35 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Dimocrats are counting on us having this type of discussion, and they will use it to club us over the head and reelect the big 0.

We need to stay far, far away from the religious arguments, and stay with the unConstitutionality of the the whole thing.


3 posted on 02/15/2012 7:00:21 PM PST by SuzyQue
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To: TeĆ³filo; Cronos; wagglebee; dsc; Deo volente; MarkBsnr; Mad Dawg; ArrogantBustard; ...
I don't think Obama realized what he was getting into when he launched this attack.

The media sensation created by the HHS mandate is causing many Christians of good will to honestly reexamine this issue, and it will bring about a conversion of many hearts, not only to renewed openness to God's Providence and new Life, but also to the Church.

Among those genuinely seeking the Truth and eager to do the Lord's Will, this subject has never been a "losing" battle.

It has brought many home to Christ's Church, and will bring many more, not thanks to the USCCB but, paradoxically, to Obama.

Please, continue to pray for the conversion or the confounding of the enemies of God and His Church.

QUAERITUR: Why pray to “confuse” enemies rather than “convert”?

From a reader:

Sometimes you write that we should pray for strength for the Pope but confusion for his enemies. Shouldn’t you pray for the conversion the his enemies?

Okay. Pray for conversion. By all means.

Perhaps I have read 19th century English novels, Patrick O’Brien, and both the King James and Douay versions of the Bible enough that some of turns of phrase stick in my head.

“Confusion to one’s enemies” is a constant prayer in the Scriptures and it is what God inflicts on those who are doing something in defiance of His will. It also came to be a standard expression in English, probably because of the KJV.

“Confusion” and the related “confound” are both from Latin, of course. Confundo means basically “to pour, mingle, or mix together”. By extension it means that, when things are poured together they become jumbled and confused, disordered. Thus there is a moral notion of dissaray, intellectual confusion, ineffectiveness. Someone who has been “confounded” has been thwarted in his scheme, has been demonstrated to be wrong.

This is what God did to the people who built the Tower of Babel: he confused them and their wicked goal by scrambling their speech. In English, “confound” concerns making someone confused or defeating them, or even refuting a bad argument.

In the Psalms we have myriad references to confusion and confounding.

Thus, in Psalms 70:13 in the older numbering we find: “Let them be confounded and come to nothing that detract my soul; let them be covered with confusion and blame that seek my hurt.”

In Jeremiah 8:12 we have this confounded confusion: “They are confounded, because they have committed abomination: yea rather they are not confounded with confusion, and they have not known how to blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall; in the time of their visitation they shall fall, saith the Lord.”

In Acts 9:22 St. Paul gets to confuse people: “But Saul increased much more in strength and confounded the Jews who dwelt at Damascus, affirming that this is the Christ.”

And to the Corinthians Paul wrote (1 Cor 1:27): “But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the wise: and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the strong.”

In the Douay Bible you can find all sorts of uses of confound.

So, in sum, sometimes I use archaic language.

But by all means, pray that the Pope’s enemies, after being confounded, be converted as well.


4 posted on 02/15/2012 7:01:47 PM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: SuzyQue

I was trying to think of a way to make this comment, but you said it perfectly SuzyQue.

The Obama team is desperately hoping that we make recent events a debate about birth control. Don’t get suckered into playing their game.


5 posted on 02/15/2012 7:04:19 PM PST by elvis-lives
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To: SuzyQue

Ain’t gonna happen.


6 posted on 02/15/2012 7:05:15 PM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Dr. Brian Kopp

An interesting article with many valid points. I was already much less accepting of contraception than the average Evangelical, but if the word translated “sorcery” actually refers to contraception, I may need to rethink my position.

I’ve always based my view on Paul’s instructions for couples to “come together for a time” - I’m paraphrasing here - and not let sexuality get in the way of spirituality, which ought to play a more significant part of the marriage. That, to me, suggested a limit, so I concluded that using contraceptives only on certain occasions wasn’t that bad.


8 posted on 02/15/2012 7:09:29 PM PST by Cato in PA (1/26/12: Bloody Thursday)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

What “ain’t gonna happen”? That we keep our heads, keep the goal in sight and act deliberately and effectively?


9 posted on 02/15/2012 7:10:06 PM PST by SuzyQue
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Dr. Brian Kopp
The argument is really about UNIVERSAL health care. There no way under a UNIVERSAL health care system to exclude birth control. Liberals know this, and Ted Kennedy's life work was to get UNIVERSAL health care instilled into the fabric/fiber of this nation. I heard a priest last week being interview and right out of his mouth while being against the Obama proclamation was his demand for UNIVERSAL health care.
11 posted on 02/15/2012 7:12:12 PM PST by Just mythoughts (Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.)
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To: Jonty30
In regards to Onan, according to Rabbis, he wasn’t killed for making it only an act of pleasure, but because he was purposefully not completing his obligation to give his brother an heir.

Silly Rabbis. The penalty for that is in Deuteronomy:

Deuteronomy 25
[5] If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
[6] And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
[7] And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
[8] Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
[9] Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
[10] And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

Obviously, Onan was not put to death because of refusing the obligation to give his brother an heir. He was put to death for the plain meaning of the scripture in question, and all of Christianity has understood it as such for 1930 years (at which time the separated brethren caved on this moral theology issue).

12 posted on 02/15/2012 7:13:24 PM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Tzar

That is why I was having a hard time figuring out how to phrase my comment. Any and all matters of faith are a worthy topic for discussion, but in the context of recent events, this discussion, at this time, can be used as a wedge at a time when we need unity.


13 posted on 02/15/2012 7:14:33 PM PST by elvis-lives
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To: SuzyQue

The contraception issue is the issue of our age.

I posted why in this thread:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2836350/posts


14 posted on 02/15/2012 7:17:46 PM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
2. In the Bible, babies are always a blessing, never a curse.
Luke 21:23 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.

15 posted on 02/15/2012 7:17:51 PM PST by fso301
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Silly Rabbis indeed.

If you read the actual passage where the act takes place, you will see why God killed Onan.

http://www.christianpatriot.com/onan.htm


16 posted on 02/15/2012 7:20:30 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

The First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits Congress from making any law infringing on your right to the free exercise of your religion. That is the only rightful legal question.

As long as your practice does not infringe on the right to life, liberty or property of another - and in that order - then the rest of us must protect your rights.


17 posted on 02/15/2012 7:20:42 PM PST by hocndoc (WingRight.org: Have mustard seed & I'm not afraid to use it. 2 men inherited a Bush economy.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Nonsense. It may be one of the issues, but hardly THE issue. You can use it as a means to thwart a possible win in the upcoming election, but to do so is dead wrong, prideful and short-sighted, IMHO.


18 posted on 02/15/2012 7:20:57 PM PST by SuzyQue
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Your family practice levirate marriage?


19 posted on 02/15/2012 7:25:53 PM PST by hocndoc (WingRight.org: Have mustard seed & I'm not afraid to use it. 2 men inherited a Bush economy.)
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To: fso301
Luke 21:23 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.

True, but since "of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone" we're supposed to Trust in Him and rely on His Providence and obey the continual teachings of 2000 years of Christianity until He comes again, lest we be lead astray in those days by men whispering the falsehoods of the Great Apostasy.

The idea that the State provides for us, and therefore must limit us (which is what this HHS mandate is all about, not "freedom" but population control/the control of populations), and that God no longer Provides for His children, and we must provide for ourselves and limit our children - for lack of trusting in and believing in His Providence - is, IMHO, the harbinger of the Great Apostasy.

20 posted on 02/15/2012 7:26:25 PM PST by Brian Kopp DPM
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