Skip to comments.Evangelical Magazine "Christianity Today" Turns Critical Eye to Contraception
Posted on 08/30/2012 8:01:27 PM PDT by marshmallow
August 1, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of Evangelical Protestantism in the United States, has published a spate of articles questioning the practice of contraception in recent months, accentuating a trend against birth control among Evangelicals that has been accelerating during the last half-decade.
The publications latest installment on the topic is a review of Adam and Eve and the Pill, by Catholic writer Mary Eberstadt, which defends her thesis that contraception, and particularly the contraceptive pill, is the Pandoras box of the sexual revolution. As Eberstadt sees it, the contraceptive pill has launched us into a new age in which responsibility has been divorced from sex. And while it is easy to point fingers at the secular world for embracing this reproductive technology, Christians are complicit in its hold on our culture. Most Christians do not want to be told what to do with their bodies any more than non-Christians, and the Pill has made that freedom possible, writes doctoral student Sharon Hodde Miller.
Miller opines that pastors cannot address the widespread sexual brokenness in our culture simply by encouraging married sex. They must also address the ideology and theology behind the brokenness, and contraception is Ground Zero for those discussions. Calling Eberstadts data on contraception and its consequences undeniable, Miller concludes that if we want to think seriously and Christianity about sex, then we need to think seriously about contraception.
The magazine took another swipe at contraception in an April opinion piece on Why Churches Shouldnt Push Contraceptives to their Singles, which takes issue with the Evangelical Q conference held recently in Washington D.C., at which a majority expressed their support for promoting contraception among fornicating singles as a away to avoid abortion.
In Romans 3:8, Paul establishes a standard that we ought not do......
(Excerpt) Read more at krestaintheafternoon.blogspot.com ...
I think the Catholics, who are wrong on just about everything, are actually quite correct on the evils of contraception. We should support this and promote it amongst Protestants. This easy access to contraception, or at least this view that contraception is “a-ok,” has contributed to a break down of the family and of society as a whole. It isn’t the ONLY cause, but it’s one of many.
I’m Baptist. I’ve NEVER heard a baptist church encouraging contraceptives for singles. Not saying they don’t exist, but I’ve never heard of it in 40 years...
I probably would have agreed with you 10 or more years ago when I was ignorant of Catholic Theology (and narcissistic and filled with hubris)-—but with intense study and now with much humility—I realize the absolute brilliance of Catholic Theology. Not only with the Pope’s encyclicals of today-—the most solidly intellectual thinking in today’s world, but in the content of the early Church Fathers and those in the Scholastic period and beyond.
There is very little—if anything-—more profound, or brilliant than Catholic Theology. Every thing they predicted-—happened. They knew the Protestant religions were committing suicide with their irrational thinking and ignorance and outright rejection of Natural Law Theory.
You see, Catholic Theology—much like the brilliant Founding Documents of the USA—was based on Natural Law Theory—which is the origins of Common Sense. Now Catholics also have Revelation-—but in their Wisdom—they know that God’s Creation was designed to work in teleological ways which create harmony and happiness, so St. Thomas Aquinas aligned Catholic Theology with Natural Laws. It is why Christianity is the most rational of all religions.
They are talking about married protestants not using contraceptives.
I would not have bought that when I was younger. Now, I don’t have to worry about it!!
Being part of the CBA, this is a discussion we need to have, it is a dirty little secret among church members and not something anyone likes to talk about, married people should have children and not try to hinder it. Birth control is asserting your role to procreate as you choose rather than submitting to Gods plan for us.
“Birth control is asserting your role to procreate as you choose rather than submitting to Gods plan for us.”
How does birth control differ from any other decision we make? Should I refuse aspirin, because God has given me a headache? Should I refuse to lock my door, because God has sent the thief?
My wife’s only pregnancy came after treatment for infertility. Were we defying God by allowing a doctor to treat her medical condition, making pregnancy possible?
I don’t know where they have been, but many born again Churches are brimming with children and pregnant mothers. Also, many born againers home school. God has been blessing His children with progeny! It is The Holy Spirit that has been doing the work.
The decision to not have a child is perfectly ok. But if you don't want a child, how does it make sense to engage in the very activity that produces a child, and then deliberately frustrate it?
A better analogy to contraception is a bulimic. She wants all the pleasure of eating without the natural effects of eating, so she stuffs her face and goes in the bathroom and throws it all up.
“But if you don’t want a child, how does it make sense to engage in the very activity that produces a child, and then deliberately frustrate it?”
There is a reason some couples refer to it as ‘making love’ rather than ‘baby creation’...
“A better analogy to contraception is a bulimic. She wants all the pleasure of eating without the natural effects of eating...”
What is next - a ban on artificial sweeteners? Why drink a Diet Coke instead of one with sugar? Oh wait, one with fructose. And can I use a seat belt to defy God’s will in sending me a crash?
It is not defying God’s will to use our brains in choosing what we do and how we do it.
An interesting analogy.
Before my retirement, (20 years ago) I was a counselor for Fertility Awareness, certified for my diocese. We called it Fertility Awareness rather than Natural Family Planning.
My Baptist dentist, and long-time dear friend, asked me to give him and his wife counsel in FA. They had 5 sons and hoped someday to have a daughter. :-)
I told him that I may be able to provide some insights, but that, since we know and ask that God’s will and his will alone be done, that all I could do was provide some helpful insights. Nine months later, a large bouquet of roses was delivered to my door with a card that said: “It’s a girl!”
Because of my dentist’s interest in FA ever after that, he mentioned the teaching to friends of his at a nearby large Protestant (founded by Baptists) Bible College.
Subsequently I received a call from the psychology professor at that college who taught Family Life courses. He asked if he could meet with me and, of course, I agreed.
He and his wife ended up taking instructions in FA from me and a few weeks later asked me to come and give an overview of FA to his class. But he cautioned me that the dean told him that I could come and give a talk on the method but that I was not to mention anything about Catholic belief or doctrine.
So I prepared a presentation using numerous Scriptural references based on the spiritual Bridegroom and his Bride the church. My presentation was entitled “The Covenant of Marriage”.
Thanks be to God, it was very well received by the students.
Afterwards, I received quite a few calls, from students who were in that class, wanting to know more about FA. One couple in the class, already married, came to me for personal help in FA. From there, they went on, on their own initiative, to teach it to other couples. (as for me, I was required to go through a full course and be tested and accepted for certification in my diocese!)
I also received, and have kept as a happy memoir, a letter from the department of Family Life at the college, thanking me for my presentation
There are , indeed, beautiful, Scriptural understandings to give validity to FA.
I, for one, would be so happy to see evangelicals take a second look at contraception and a new look into FA.
Yes, I know 90% of Catholics don't go with this. That's actually one of the reasons we're in such a mess.
While he may be expounding Catholic doctrine, I don't see how this makes sense. There is nothing in natural law that says a man & woman making love when she is infertile are acting in a way bound to making babies.
Dogs and horses mate for procreation. The bitch or mare comes into heat, and then the male responds. Sex between dogs is sex.
God gave more and expects more of humans, as the Pope agrees in the link you provided. Since God has made it possible for humans to 'make love' as opposed to 'have sex', it seems pretty "natural" for them to do so even when they do not plan or desire to create a baby. Using a condom merely extends that time frame.
Catholics should, of course, follow the Pope's teachings, since that is a foundation point of Catholicism. But there is nothing in natural law or scripture that says a man and woman cannot use their minds to reduce the chance of pregnancy. When men depended on children for security on old age, war and for farm labor, lots of kids were highly desirable. That is no longer true, and I see no reason to pretend it is.
On a personal note, for my wife and I the problem was the opposite. My wife's endometriosis needed surgical treatment to allow fertility, and it seems to have been a temporary solution. Our youngest daughter (we adopted twice) was born shortly after the surgery, and that was it. I thank God we live in a time where surgical intervention made fertility possible, even if it was only a short window:
I’ve never heard of it being a point of conversation at all, though certainly I’ve never heard anyone encourage it.
I’ll stick with the sure word of the Bible, thank you very much. The words and traditions of men often fail us.
Is it God’s will, in your humble opinion, that we have as many kids as is physically possible?
You DO realize we are not living in a tribal society, with our future relying on having lots of kids to take care of us?
God’s will for us includes sex without procreation, which is why he made us CAPABLE of sex without procreation - unlike dogs or horses.
Can’t go wrong with that!
In addition to her unchanging teachings on artificial contraception and abortion, the Catholic Church also gave the world the list of "Books" to be included in the New Testament, the same list which all Protestants use too. (The list of books to include was not specified anywhere within Scripture itself.) Was the Catholic Church right about that too?
The Catholic Church also gave the world the doctrine of the "Trinity". Were they right about that?
Ill stick with the sure word of the Bible, thank you very much. The words and traditions of men often fail us. (post 17)
Then do you agree or disagree with this text from the Bible?
So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. - (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
I think the Catholics, who are wrong on just about everything, are actually quite correct on the evils of contraception. We should support this and promote it amongst Protestants. This easy access to contraception, or at least this view that contraception is a-ok, has contributed to a break down of the family and of society as a whole. It isnt the ONLY cause, but its one of many.
Quote: “I think the Catholics, who are wrong on just about everything...”
If that were the case, then Protestants don’t have a leg to stand on. Wow.
The question is... Should a woman consume a carcinogen 21 days out of the month so she can have sex during the 7 days she is most likely to conceive?
The fallacy of the argument is that fertility should never be considered a disease that needs treatment.
The pill is a carcinogen? Well, maybe...everything else seems to be.
Perhaps you could ask, “Should men use a condom during the week a woman is fertile?”
Perhaps you should ask... Should a man take his DNA and dump it into a plastic bags and flush it down a toilet?
Yes, let's stick to barrier contraception. Chemical contraception can be abortifacient and all have harmful side effects on the mother, so they are also sinful for these reasons. Spilling the semen is another form of barrier contraception, employed by Onan, but you seem to either not realize that there is no difference between using a condom and the sin of Onan, or you are not persuaded by the biblical example of Onan punished for it. So let us discuss the natural law aspect.
It is true that people make love while animals merely mate. We are indeed asked to love everyone and to marry not merely to make children but for mutual sanctification (1 Cor. 7:14). Making sexual love is a good activity in this, uniquely human context. The Church never taught that lovemaking needs to be restricted to only cases when pregnancy is the goal and a real possibility. Indeed, it is for that reason that God gave us the "window" in time, when the woman is not ovulating but nevertheless enjoys sex, and men enjoy sex, well, pretty much always. During that window time, a married couple may enjoy sex whether or not they desire children to come of it, and since that is the window, they both know that the probability of pregnancy is very low.
Further, the window can be examined scientifically: the wife may take her temperature and examine herself, -- simple techniques exist that make natural family planning as reliable as any contraception to avoid a pregnancy, and it also can be used to achieve a pregnancy. So make use of the window that God gave you. It swings both ways.
The next question is, is it moral to avoid sex during a fertile period? The answer would depend on the motivation. When a pregnancy carries serious health risks, or when a serious economic hardship should result from the expense of raising another child, it is moral to abstain from sex during the fertile days. Otherwise, it is not moral: it is then deliberate childlessness, a sin.
So the question becomes, can we extend the "window" provided we have a moral right to avoid pregnancy?-- and the answer is, absolutely we can morally do so. Wives, make love to your husbands; men, make love to your wives: touch them, smile to them, play with them, bring them gifts: behave like a couple in love behaves in courtship prior to marriage. Re-learn romantic love. The inability to consummate lovemaking is an aphrodisiac that, in a few days, when the window is back in, will reward you.
Further, if your lovemaking during a fertile period leads you to intercourse that just could not be resisted, -- well, so God is leading you to make another baby. Don't fight God.
Can then a condom be a mechanical device that would allow lovemaking to become an unproductive intercourse, replacing the natural time window with a spatial, literal wall? It can allow the mechanics of the intercourse, but it would no longer be lovemaking. How so? The instinctive sexual appetite that God put in us is a single desire. It is not sometimes unitive and sometimes procreative: it is a single sexual instinct, both unitive and procreative at the same time. A condom, by disabling the procreative part, disables the unitive part also; it does, in fact, primarily disunites: it is after all, a barrier. The sex -- a sequence of rubbing motions and then a release -- will occur; the lovemaking will cease. Sexual love with the procreative possibility removed is two people lying "I love you" with their bodies. "I love you, but I deny you motherhood"; "I love you, but I reject your semen". The physiology is fooled, the physiological drive is down for a day, but the mutual sanctification, one prescribed to us by St. Paul, is blocked because there is a lie at its foundation. You said your wanted to become one body. Are you?
You expressed it all perfectly. Thank you so much!
We are the Body of Christ, member for member.
Jesus Christ came to give us LIFE and LOVE.
He did not separate these two gifts. When He gave for his Body the Church, He gave ALL.
He held back nothing.
We are a covenanted People. From Genesis to Revelation God reveals to us His everlasting love and keeps His covenant with us to save us from our sins and to offer us a personal role in his body, the Church (1Cor. 12;27).
Time and again God’s covenant with believers is likened to the marriage covenant between a man and his wife, alluded to or typified in passages in Isaiah, Hosea, and the Wedding Feast of the Lamb in Revelation. Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom in the clear teaching on covenantal married love in Ephesians 5:22-23. Jesus chose to work his first miracle at a wedding feast in Cana. (John 2)
In giving Himself, Jesus held back nothing. He gave us all. He gave and suffered in human form (Phil.2:6-11) but He is victorious for us as God. He spoke to us of this giving and this covenant which is clearly defined in Luke 22: 19-20.
We are asked many times to live our Christian lives with such fullness that Christ lives and acts through us (1John4:15, 18, 2Cor.13:3-5, John 15:4). “I live now, no not I, but Christ lives in me!” This means, as Our Lord showed us by his life which He wished us to imitate...that we hold back nothing, but give all.
As married people, we are visible signs to the world of God’s covenant with His people. This covenant of God with us gives totally of two things
LIFE and LOVE.
If married people are to share Christ with the world, within the covenant of marriage, they must, like Our Savior, give to each other both life and love. In this way, Christ lives in us (Gal2:20) and at our own human and earthly level we can echo the glorious words of Jesus at the Last Supper on the wonderful evening: “This is my body, which will be given up for you....(of the New and Eternal Covenant”) (Luke 22:19)
In this way, we live out in our finite, human level of the marriage covenant that which the Bridegroom, in his Divinity, gave to his Church.
In marriage, if contraception takes place, the covenant is either barred or broken at its very core...that part of us which is capable of transmitting life. This is the very gift which is such a positive sign of how we are created in his image and likeness...that powerful gift of sharing in God’s plan of creation of new life.
We can no more wish to cut or block this life-giving power that God has designed to share with us, than we could believe that Jesus would refuse to give us life through his saving blood, or refuse us the unconditional love of which that Precious Blood is a sign and seal.
Without contraception, husband and wife give to each other unconditionally, just as Christ gave to his bride the Church. The fertility which they share is the life-giving dimension of their covenant and finds its expression in the love-giving dimension of that covenant.
Whether the couple chooses to use the full creative power of their love, which may, if God so wills it, bring into the world new life destined for heaven, or whether they choose to forego married physical love for a brief number of days because a pregnancy may necessarily or prudently be postponed for a while...(and therefore they draw apart for a while (1Cor.7:5}..... they are, IN EITHER CASE, living their covenant as God does with his people.
In either situation they are sharing the Master’s way:
“THIS IS MY BODY WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU”
When contraception is practiced, the fertility (the life-giving dimension) of one of the partners is denied or obstructed.
It also upsets the mutual giving which is necessary to every covenant.
Covenant is the principle of “mutual gift-and-response” that enlivens the Christian conscience down the corridors of time.
Through God our Father we have received Life. This life has been made eternal for us through Jesus, the Son, who gave totally of Himself because He loved us.
He sent His Spirit, the Spirit of Love, to teach and guide us in all things.
This is God’s covenant with us: Life and Love.
In marriage, we are covenanted in Christ Jesus as signs to the world of His unconditional life-giving and love-giving. We fulfill this covenant in a holy manner when we leave our marriages open-—unobstructed and in unbroken unity-—to both life and love.
Amen. Thank you.
“Spilling the semen is another form of barrier contraception, employed by Onan, but you seem to either not realize that there is no difference between using a condom and the sin of Onan...”
There is a difference.
The story of Onan:
“8 Then Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother. 9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother’s wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother. 10 And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also.”
Notice Onan was going to his brother’s wife & having sex with her for the express purpose of giving her a child. Onan was willing to go have the sex, but not to have the kid - and the only justification for having sex with his brother’s wife WAS to have children.
This was a time when childbearing was more important than it is now, unless the Catholic Church still teaches that if your brother dies without offspring, you should go sleep with his widow and give her kids...
“Further, if your lovemaking during a fertile period leads you to intercourse that just could not be resisted, — well, so God is leading you to make another baby. Don’t fight God.”
By the same reasoning, do not lock your doors. If God sends the thief, who are you to object?
The question rests on if a man can use his brain to modify the results of what he does. If God sends me a headache, can I use aspirin to ‘thwart’ his will? I just had a mole removed, and the biopsy is cancer...so I’m going back in a couple of weeks to have a bigger hole made, hopefully removing all the cancer God has sent my way. I also use seatbelts when I drive, rather than refuse to drive at all. If God sends a drunk driver into the side of my car, I’d like to modify the likely outcome.
“It can allow the mechanics of the intercourse, but it would no longer be lovemaking. How so?...Sexual love with the procreative possibility removed is two people lying “I love you” with their bodies.”
Indeed...how so? My wife will not get pregnant if if I make love to her tonight, so it is no longer love-making, but something else? It will be a lie, just animalistic rubbing of bodies? Sorry, we think otherwise - and so do the overwhelming majority of men and women. We are humans, not dogs. Sex isn’t just procreation. Intercourse is entirely possible without the female being in heat, or even close to it.
It is written, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Not, “they create a baby, one flesh”. Oneness without always creating a new one. It is not the way of dogs, but it is the way of man.
What does that remind you of?
the only justification for having sex with his brothers wife WAS to have children.
The punishment for not fulfilling the levirical marriage was that the widow would publicly spit on the unwilling husband wile tasking his shoe (Deut 25:9). but Onan was punished by death, not for what he failed to do, but "because he did a detestable thing" (Gen 38:10). The only thing he did different from any other married couple was, he spilled his seed. That is what was "detestable" and the reason God killed him, Bible tells us.
The question rests on if a man can use his brain to modify the results of what he does
Generally, yes, provided that which he does is righteous act. Using medical technology for the purpose of healing is good as any healing is good. Using the same for a sinful purpose is not good. So the question is not at all whether to use modern technology for achieving contraception but whether to use contraception.
My wife will not get pregnant if if I make love to her tonight, so it is no longer love-making, but something else?
If it is not contracepted sex it is love making, and a righteous act because that is the act that makes babies, and if it is, then it is not lovemaking, because it is an act that only simulates making babies but in fact ensures none is made, -- a lie ad a sin. Her physiological condition has nothing to do with it. I did not make that clear?
“The only thing he did different from any other married couple was, he spilled his seed. “
Incorrect. He was having sex with his brother’s wife, allowed ONLY for the purpose of giving her a child, AND spilling his seed. I think there is a difference between a married couple choosing not to have kids right now, and someone having sex with their brother’s wife under a false pretense.
Couples can seek intimacy with each other without wanting to have kids at that time. I fail to see how mutually agreeing not to have kids equals lying to each other about your love.
Yet the Bible describes contraceptive behavior by Onan, then calls it "despicable". Surely having sex with the widow would not be despicable, since that is what the law required.
I fail to see how mutually agreeing not to have kids equals lying to each other about your love.
The decision to not have kids may or may not in itself be sinful, but if it is arrived at openly, certainly it is not deceptive. The contracepted sex, however, is a form of lying even if it is mutually decided upon as there is no union of bodies open to procreation, as married people are sworn to. Both spouses end up cheated objectively, and God's covenant of marriage is defrauded.
“Surely having sex with the widow would not be despicable, since that is what the law required. “
He was having sex under false pretenses. He was only allowed to have sex with her for the purpose of creating an heir. Otherwise, it was sex outside of marriage.
He let everyone believe he was trying to give her (and thus his brother) an heir, but in reality he was just going there to have fun screwing the woman, who could not defend herself. It was a form of rape.
Birth control within marriage being OK is one of the very few things that some conservative nonCatholic Christians and all liberal Catholics will agree on. I don’t think there is one liberal Catholic talking head who digs things like priestesses, priests in ‘relationships’, and ‘gay marrriage’ but who also thinks birth control within marriage is wrong.
The punishment for all that, with all the spin you’d like to put on it, was for the widow to remove his shoe publicly and spit on him. Not death.
Incorrect. The punishment for refusing to LAY with her was what you described. In essence, he raped her. The punishment for that is quite a bit more severe...
The closest I know of for a man & wife having intercourse but withdrawing beforehand would be Lev 15:
“If a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen, both of them shall bathe themselves in water and be unclean until the evening.”
The concern in context was with touching semen, but that is about as specific as scripture gets. There is nothing in Onan’s case that resembles a man using a condom when lying with his wife.
There was no rape. Onan had every right to have sex with Thamar, she “belongeth to him” (Deut. 25:7). The law of the levirate was not to have sex once, but to generally have a marriage. If Onan took Thamar, had sex, but no baby were conceived due to some physiological reason, Onan would have fulfilled the levirate anyway.
The death punishment is for “detestable thing” (Gen 38:10) which is described in the preceding verse: spilling the seed.
God punished by death not sex with a lawful wife, but specifically contracepted sex with her.
The Lev 15 supports the view, that spilling semen is to be avoided while semen that goes where it is supposed to go (and, of course touches the woman) is fulfillment of a Divine command. The difference is that the cleansing is all that is required since there is no intention to spill it; Onan, however, intentionally spilled his semen.
You can argue that the Bible detested contraception for specific socio-economic condition of the time, but as far as the biblical evidence against it, it is plainly there.
"8 Then Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brother's wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother. 9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother's wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother. 10 And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also."
That doesn't leave much doubt about WHY he was supposed to have sex with her, or what his rebellion against God was. I fail to see how this applies to a husband and wife being intimate without creating a baby.
The purpose of any contraception is not to “raise offspring”. There is nothing there that applies uniquely to Onan and Thamar, but not to a regular marriage.
The levirical marriage, as cited earlier says that the surviving brother has to marry the widow. While the purpose of the marriage is indeed to raise a son in the deceased’s name, that is not that different from any other marriage, which is always connected to the overriding commandment to “procreate and fill the earth”. We saw from by emphasis earlier that Thamar was a full-fledged wife, not a sperm recipient. Now, implicit in marriage is to have sex. If, for example, Onan and Thamar did not produce an offspring despite trying, there would be no transgression.
Onan’s behavior was exactly contracepted sex and he was punished precisely for contracepting.
This took place before the Law. Onan’s father gave him specific instructions (”raise up offspring for your brother), which he specifically defied (”so as not to give offspring to his brother”). Why? “Onan knew that the offspring would not be his...”
That is not analogous to a man & his wife choosing not to have kids during a specific period of time.
That is important to understand, indeed. Were the levirate marriage a law taught by Jesus or His Apostles, we would have to understand Onan's transgression narrowly, like you do, as that of merely violating the law; and conversely, since the levirate is not law to us, we don't have to marry women widowed by our brothers. Instead we have to view the Onan episode as an illustration of natural law.
Along that path, we notice that levirate marriage did not create a different marriage in essence. The Bible refers to Thamar as Onan's wife, as any levirate wife is; "she belongeth to him (Deut. 25:7). The difference is not in the marriage itself -- the Bible gives us no warrant to imagine a Marriage 2.0, something akin modern sperm-donor relationship. The difference is in that the child will carry not the brother's name but the deceased first husband's name, -- but otherwise it is the same marital relationship as any. The behavior condemned so harshly in the case of Onan is therefore equally worthy of condemnation also in any marriage, -- since the obligation to "be fruitful and multiply" exists in any marriage, and that is the obligation Onan has violated alongside the particular obligation toward the deceased brother.
Had the death punishment meted out to Onan been for narrowly escaping the raising of the son requirement, the method of avoiding pregnancy would not have been the issue; Onan could, in a polygamous society simply carried on with the wife he probably already had, or marry yet another, and not have sex with Thamar; further, Onan could have simply refused to marry Thamar and receive only a nominal punishment; yet the method of avoiding pregnancy is vividly described in Gen. 38:9. It is that particular act, having contracepted sex that is called "despicable", a fitting epithet given the revulsion toward spilling the semen evident in Lev. 15, esp. verse 16-18.
Another corollary from the passing away of the Law of Moses in the Church is that no, we should not introduce capital punishment for those who use barrier contraception; we simply should heed the Word of God that calls the practice "despicable" and not have this practice.
Welcome to Free Republic.
Arguments from Protestant ecclesial authority do not work for Protestants any better than arguments from the early Church authority. In general a Protestant will not have any difficulty proclaiming that everyone was wrong on any particular subject till he finally got it right.
I suspect that the Orthodox view on contraception is that it is a sin in any circumstance, but not one condemned under a strict form of jurisprudence. To an Orthodox, there is a distinction between strict obedience and one relaxed under economia, and this allows them to avoid what they consider Catholic legalism while still keeping to the undivided Church of the seven councils.
Very good to have you around; welcome, and where have you been all that time?
God has in His word told us His will, be fruitful and multiply, I have never found scripture to say anything other than this. In fact multiple verses speak of children being a gift/blessing from God. Yes, I would agree that sexual intercourse without procreation is also part of Gods will.
Although are society is not tribal, whether you realize it or not, kids do care for their aging parents.
How many children should we have, what is the cut off?
Adam & Eve were told to be fruitful & multiply. I don’t believe God has called me to ‘fill the earth’. We also don’t practice polygamy any more, nor do I have an obligation to take a dead brother’s wife as my own to continue his line. And when my wife had trouble conceiving, she didn’t offer me her slave...