Skip to comments.Contraception is contrary to God's law: Why the Hahns became Roman Catholic
Posted on 10/05/2012 3:22:55 AM PDT by koinonia
From a transcript of Scott Hahn telling his story: We [Kimberly & I] got married right out of college. Both of us had so much of the same vision. We wanted to do ministry together [as Presbyterians], we wanted to share the good news of Christ, we wanted to open up the Bible and make it come alive for people...
We were off to seminary a week or two after our wedding...
[In] a course that Kimberly took her first year... Dr. Davis had all the students break up into small groups so that each small group could tackle one topic... One dinner she announced that she was in a small group devoted to studying contraception. I remember thinking at the time, "Why contraception?"
The year before when I took the class, nobody signed up for that small group and I told her. She said, "Well, three others have signed up for it and we had our first meeting today. So and so appointed himself to be chair of the committee, and he announced the results of our study even before it began. He said, 'Well, we all know as Protestants, as Bible Christians, that contraception is fine, I mean so long as we don't use contraceptives that are abortafacients like the I.U.D. and so on.' He announced further that really the only people who call themselves Christians who oppose artificial birth control are the Catholics, and he said, 'The reason they do, of course, is because they are run by a celibate Pope and lead by celibate priests who don't have to raise the kids but want Catholic parents to raise lots so they can have lots of priests and nuns to draw from, you know.'"
Well, that kind of argumentation did not really impress Kimberly. She said, "Are you sure those are the best arguments they would offer?" And I guess he must have mocked or said, "Well, do you want to look into it yourself?" You don't say that kind of thing to Kimberly. She said, "Yes," and she took an interest in researching this on her own.
So that night at dinner... she said, "I've discovered that up until 1930, every single Protestant denomination without exception opposed contraception on Biblical grounds." Then I said, "Oh come on, maybe it just took us a few centuries to work out the last vestiges of residual Romanism, I don't know." And she said, "Well, I'm going to look into it."
...she handed me a book. It was entitled Birth Control and the Marriage Covenant by John Kippley... I began to read through the book with great interest because in my own personal study, going through the Bible several times, I had come upon this strong conviction that if you want to know God, you have to understand the covenant, because the covenant was the central idea in all of Scripture. So when I picked up this book I was interested to see the word 'covenant' in the title, Birth Control and the Marriage Covenant. I opened it up and I began reading it, and I said, "Wait a second, Kimberly, this guy is a Catholic. You expect me to read a Catholic?" And the thought occurred to me instantly at that moment, What is a Catholic doing putting 'covenant' into his book title? Since when do Catholics hijack my favorite concept?
Well, I began to read the book. I went through two or three chapters and he was beginning to make sense, so I promptly threw the book across my desk. I didn't frankly want him to make any sense. But I picked it up again and read through some more. His arguments made a lot of sense. From the Bible, from the covenant, he showed that the marital act is not just a physical act; it's a spiritual act that God has designed by which the marital covenant is renewed. And in all covenants you have an opportunity to renew the covenant, and the act of covenant renewal is an act or a moment of grace. When you renew a covenant, God releases grace, and grace is life, grace is power, grace is God's own love. Kippley shows how in a marital covenant, God has designed the marital act to show the life-giving power of love. That in the marital covenant the two become one, and God has designed it so that when the two become one, they become so one that nine months later you might just have to give it a name. And that child who is conceived, embodies the oneness that God has made the two through the marital act. This is all the way that God has designed the marital covenant. God said, "Let us make man in our image and likeness," and God, who is three in one, made man, male and female, and said, "Be fruitful and multiply." The two shall become one and when the two become one, the one they become is a third child, and then they become three in one. It just began to make a lot of sense, and he went through other arguments as well. By the time I finished the book, I was convinced.
It bothered me just a little that the Roman Catholic Church was the only denomination, the only Church tradition on earth that upheld this age-old Christian teaching rooted in Scripture, because in 1930 the Anglican Church broke from this tradition and began to allow contraception, and shortly thereafter every single mainline denomination on earth practically caved in to the mounting pressure of the sexual revolution. By the 1960's and 70's, my own denomination, the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, not only endorsed contraception, but abortion on demand and federal funding for abortion, and that appalled me. And I began to wonder if there wasn't a connection between giving in a little here and then all of a sudden watching the floodgates open later. I thought "No, no, you know the Catholic Church has been around for 2000 years; they're bound to get something right." We have a saying in our family that even a blind hog finds an acorn, and so it was, I thought. That was my second year.
I am not Roman Catholic, and I agree that deliberately avoiding children is sin. I have been very guilty of this sin in the past, and asked the Lord forgiveness. He has blessed my wife and I with 11 children.
Yes, there are challenges, to be sure. There are heartbreaks, there are disappointments. But there are also victories and triumphs and many joys. We wouldn’t change anything.
See my tagline.
I think it goes deeper than just “unlawful,” because contraception says that God made human beings wrong ... that when He looked at His completed creation, crowned by man and woman made in His image, and “behold, it was very good,” He was incorrect.
This is not just a technicality, “You say tomayto, I say tomahto,” but an issue that profoundly affects and reflects our understanding of God and His heart towards us.
Very interesting article. Wonder why Scott Hahn knows that the plural of Christian is Christians, but doesn’t know that he and Kimberly are the Hahns, not the Hahn’s.
God has really BLESSED you....11....how wonderful.
Very interesting article. Wonder why Scott Hahn knows that the plural of Christian is Christians, but doesn’t know that he and Kimberly are the Hahns, not the Hahn’s.
God says, "Be fruitful and multiply;" IMHO it is the devil who says, "Be sterile and don't multiply (so I can more ready rule the world!)." The sinister Georgia Guideposts convince me of this. People like Ted Turner are publicly announcing (in the spirit of Margerat Sanger and Adolf Hitler, not to mention the global-warming crowd) that the world population needs to be severely reduced (95%!!!). Lord have mercy on our society!
Sorry...I'll stick to hating the killing of innocents lives, not the prevention.
as a pragmatist (and a confessed, lapsed Catholic), not being able to afford raising a child(another child? a 10th or 11th child?), then getting pregnant is a sure way to force early abortions...better to not get pregnant in the first place.
His tapes on the Book of Revelations are fabulous.
That’s my mistake, not his. :-)
Hahn’s. Tell the editor who wrote the headline, not the author.
Instead of being pragmatic, the option consistently presented by the Catholic Church (and all Christians prior to the Anglican decision at the Lambeth Conferences in 1930) is to be open to life, trust in God's providence according to the Gospels - like the lilies of the field and the birds of the air - and let God decide the number of children He wants to give to a family (instead of us telling God and human nature how many children we will "plan" to have).
As an aside, it's interesting that "birth control" is about not having births and, for many, not exercising self-control; so a sort of contradiction in terms. Likewise, "Planned Parenthood" is, in my opinion, better dubbed "Planned Barrenhood" because they certainly are not promoting having offspring. They definitely don't have a placard with this quote on it:
Behold the inheritance of the Lord are children: the reward, the fruit of the womb. As arrows in the hand of the mighty, so the children of them that have been shaken. Blessed is the man that hath filled the desire with them; he shall not be confounded when he shall speak to his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 126:3-5)
Just as a final thought, it is interesting to note that contraception and sterilization are, without talking about philosophy or the Bible or theology, just unnatural. I heard of a group of hippies who wanted to be "natural" and not use contraception and in seeking for others of this mindset the only outfit they found to hold their position was the Roman Catholic Church - they became Catholics and formed a lay Dominican community. (Sorry I can't find a specific reference, but it's an interesting story - not often that hippies make there way into the Catholic Church!).
God bless you.
May God continue to bless you & your family!
she said, “I’ve discovered that up until 1930, every single Protestant denomination without exception opposed contraception on Biblical grounds.”
interesting article. thanks for posting it!
not being able to afford raising a child
i agree abortion seems a greater evil.
but, the CHurch supports a couple delaying a child,
for serious reasons.
and NFP, is 99% effective.
it simply requires a bit of discipline.
( and, the few days of abstinance, can actually cause couples to enhance their marriage, and treat it less casually.)
“.. group of hippies who wanted to be natural...”
Ha!! In advising my own daughters I like to highlight the hypocrisy of the greenie/hippy crowd. The women are pro choice and pro birth control. Most of the college aged women are taking birth control. I enjoy pointing out the discrepancy involved in consuming only organic chemical free vegetables and then daily ingesting a powerful synthetic hormone that fools the body into thinking it’s pregnant!! And this certainly includes the ivy league types who are supposedly smarter than the rest of us! My neice graduated from Cornell and was brainwashed to be as pro contraceptive as most all who reside in the happy/hippie valley in Ithaca - yet she is a strict Vegan!!
Also - isn’t giving birth the most natural thing for a woman to do rather than kill her unborn child?
This seems a bit off topic, but consider this - Christians know that we are created by God. Therefore God understands our nature thoroughly because he created that nature. Our inherent natural reproductive qualities were His intention. The prevention/interference with this process is articifical and man made. At the very least this nce is interference with His plan implies a lack of trust - and at worst it is an actual sin. The saints know to trust God completely - just as Jesus on the cross had total trust in His Father - His will be done.
This has been a burden on my mind for the past year. The goalposts have been moved by the church in relation to the world. The world moves and then the church. Now, we are at the point, even good and sincere Christians get their daughters on birth control at 16. Good and sincere married Christians allow the wife to get the birth control injection which last 3 months or so with side effects. I am not innocent in any of this, my kids are grown, but articles the past year have caused me to talk with them about God and contraception.
I grew up in an all Catholic, Irish and Italian community in The Bronx, NYC. I saw many families with 8-10-14 kids. for the most part the kids were not regulated as well as families with 2-3 kids... limited resources prevented them from getting higher education and as they got older, they were doing stuff out in the streets that their parents had no idea about...because the parents were too busy taking care of the plethora of babies still in the house.
in the day of the family farm, where you ‘bred’ your own farm help and expected a good chunk of progeny to die in childhood, making lots of babies was not only common, but made good sense.
we do not live like that anymore...life expectancy is way up from the 1800s...power equipment does most of the hard work on farms and most people live in the burbs or cities....
it just does not make sense to breed like that anymore.
It’s not “breeding”. It’s being fruitful and multiplying.
Your language shows you think we are little more than animals. Our language shows we believe we were created in the image and likeness of God and have a godly purpose.
Look at some of zer0bama’s supporters ... The Obama-phone woman etc.
Little more than animals? That would be being polite.
By the way, the Apostolic Lutherans, Mennonites, Amish, Hutterites, and Bruderhoff are among the non-Catholic sects that teach against contraception. They often have huge families.
LOL. So true. That reminds me of when a friend of mine got a lot of ugly looks at a breast cancer awareness fund raiser for handing out scientific studies that clearly show that the "birth control" pill causes breast cancer. These "discrepencies" rain on their parade. They want a cure, but they don't want to look at the cause.
“The Obama-phone woman etc. Little more than animals? That would be being polite.”
I would not lump together the “Catholic, Irish and Italian community” with the Obama phone freeloader. That’s what you’re essentially doing.
Your comment reminds me of a married woman I know who, after years of taking the pill, confessed that she always felt like a prostitute... she felt used. Mind you, she and her husband were never unfaithful to one another, yet she felt the consequences of the "unnatural" aspect of the whole thing, and probably was bothered by her conscience as well.
The ironic thing in our society is that no one seems to recognize the obvious: if you take children out of the marriage equation then the relationship, instead of being based on self-giving and fruitfulness, becomes inherently centered on self indulgence - not exactly the best centerpiece for a marriage to last!
In my opinion the whole contraceptive mentality is to blame for all of the sexual problems of the day (and other problems as well). Simply put, if it is not about having children within marriage, then it must be about pleasure; and one can seek that pleasure when and where they prefer, that is, if it is not about having children with marriage. The results of contraception in society, although there is a lot of cover up and denial on this, are: depression, divorce, cohabitation, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, etc.
I think it's time to wake up and smell the coffee on this point, even if this means owning up to having fallen short of the mark in the past.
Oh, now it's contraception that caused the Hahns to convert? How often do they change their story?
As for Kimberly, "At this point [more than halfway through seminary] I was not steeped in Reformation theology, so the change in how I viewed justification did not seem momentous". Please consider the import of that statement. Here are two graduates of a Presbyterian College, two students nearing completion of their studies at reputedly one of the best evangelical Protestant seminaries in the country, two professing Christians and the meaning of justification is not all that important to them. As we shall soon see, despite or rather because of their education, the Hahns especially Scott could not defend the Reformation principles of the Bible alone, faith alone, and Christ alone.
-- from the thread The Lost Soul of Scott Hahn
I think "breed" is not the best term to use for families that were simply open to life, open to God's blessings in their marriage - whether in the Bronx or on the farm.
It should be pointed out that God Himself has put a limit on the number of babies a couple can have (no human couple has offspring the way rabbits do, for example, who can have 6-10 every other month!), and their are natural ways (without impeding human nature) of spacing children (like breastfeeding, or abstaining during fertile periods).
While big families had (and have) their problems, my simple question (and it's pragmatic) is this: Is our society better off because there are less children being born? I see divorce, adultery, violence, prostitution, substance abuse, addiction to pornography, etc. The problems today, after 50 years of contraception and abortion, are much worse than they were then. The sexual revolution is bearing its fruit - IMHO.
no...it is neither racial nor nationality biased.
just lots of numbskulls out there who should not be breeding...and they seem to breed the most....too many baby mommies/ baby daddies out there littering and zer0 has me and you to pay for them.
Hi Alex. Read the full article, they haven’t changed their story. It was just one of the landmarks (huge) in their journey that caused them to relook at the Catholic Faith. At any rate, their objective point about contraception is worth looking at objectively.
God bless you!
But the Bible tells us that God’s instruction to mankind (including Adam and Eve) were to be fruitful and multiply.
When couples engage in contraception they are directly disobeying God.
On your thoughts about the money — God will provide. Where is your trust?
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Scott Hahn on Our Lady
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The Lost Soul of Scott Hahn
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It is something that is burdening my mind as well. I have not used birth control ever, getting older now, I am having this conversation with my daughters, It is my opinion that the world has gotten into the church with regard to this issue.
You've fallen for the false choices the media sells, up to and including their bastardization of the language in order to cloud the issues.It's animals that "breed" and the Satanic eugenics machine believes all but those who they select to be a part of the nobility are nothing but animals. Therefore, they plan on dictating to their livestock ("the masses" not a part of their nobility) which of their livestock are permitted to breed and when. Humans reproduce, they don't "breed", which is why the media and propagandists avoid using that term at all costs, they want their livestock to realize their place in the scheme of things.
Of course, the least expensive approach to controlling the breeding of your livestock is to chemically sterilize all but the few members of the herd you have selected for breeding stock. Given the number of people who have now sterilized themselves, it looks like it won't be any problem selling the herd the idea of mass sterilization. Once the cost of contraception is borne by the taxpayers via the Federal government, if follows that the government should cut costs by sterilizing people as early as possible. The same people who object to circumcision will soon be preaching that parents have a duty to sterilize their children while they're young. The obstinate, of course, can be sterilized whether they want to be or not since Buck v Bell grants our government the power to sterilize whoever it chooses for whatever reason it chooses. When you grant propagandists power to redefine the language you cede them the argument no matter what the argument is.
Unless you agree with that agenda, why is it better to slaughter those children who are conceived than to abstain a few days month in order to avoid conceiving them in the first place? NFP is not only more effective than the vast majority of contraceptives, it has no side effects. Well before "the pill" there were plenty of good Irish, Italian, Polish, German, and other Catholics I grew up around who limited the size of their family before the pill came along by simply knowing which time of the month to practice some self-discipline.
how special for you....
Why, yes, it was special. Much better than it no doubt was for those who grew up around folks who didn’t have self-discipline.
I believe in a Creator, I believe in a moral code....I do not believe that abortion is any more than murder...
I do not believe the bible is, for much of it, to be taken as written...I do not believe in Adam and Eve....In that regard I believe more or less along the lines of Louis Leakey when it comes to the first humans
Catholics don't believe in the literal interpretation of the Genesis story of Adam and Eve. The Catechism explains belief in original sin as Genesis giving a figurative account of a "primeval event" that occurred at the beginning of humankind's existence. Our first parents - regardless of what names they had - sinned. And their sin was larger than them. Its roots were in the kind of evil that exists in opposition to God. So as a Catholic you don't have to believe in Adam and Eve as historic person, but you do have to believe in the original sin of humanity, a sin that leaves a mark on every human since the very first.
...but hey, that's just me. I understand that we all believe differently...
No, good and sincere Christians don't. One has to walk the walk not just talk the talk.
Wonder why you don’t know the difference netween an actual title and an altered one. Probably the same reason why you posted your silly critique twice.
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
I was really surprised when I read that his daughter, Kimberly Hahn had converted to Catholicism along with her husband. I read Scott's book defending Catholicism as being scriptural, and acknowledged his points in all but a very few important areas.
Nonetheless, I do believe the Roman Catholics are absolutely correct about contraception, and I see the basic problem being the arrogance of anointing oneself the determiner of the beginning of life. If is a slippery, easy slope from there to deciding one is also the determiner of the end of life....abortion on demand and all forms of euthanasia. And that easily falls prey to believing in a government's authority to determine not just the beginning and ending of life but also how life in between those end points should be lived.
Contraception, in my mind, leads to believing in Godless, all-controlling government. It leads to, in other words, slavery.
I'm sorry if I've interjected my protestant thoughts into a Roman Catholic discussion, but I'm hoping my agreement on the topic of contraception will mitigate any interference on my part.
“But the Bible tells us that Gods instruction to mankind (including Adam and Eve) were to be fruitful and multiply.”
If my wife & I were the only humans on earth, that command would make a lot of sense. And in a tribal society, as the Old Testament was, having children means just about everything. But I don’t live in a tribal society, and I don’t need to populate the earth.
If using a condom is wrong, then so is abstaining...
“I see the basic problem being the arrogance of anointing oneself the determiner of the beginning of life”.
God gives us brains and expects us to use them. I lock my doors at night. That doesn’t mean I don’t trust God, but that I use what God has provided to shape my future.
God gives us brains, but does He expect us to be in control of the ending of lives?
Does a condom kill anyone?
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It doesn’t make a lot of sense to just arbitrarily say that “...abstaining is wrong”.
It’s a discipline Christians expect unmarried people to observe.
It’s a discipline that becomes evident in the later stages of pregnancy and the early weeks after birth.
It’s a reasonable discipline in regards to menstrual cycles.
It is a prudent discipline in situations of health concerns.
Under the Hebrew law, women were to remain untouched until 14 days after menstruation. It was called “nidrah”. ( an is quite likely the reason why there were so many sons born)
“Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. 1 Cor. 6:5 ( and then go on to read 6 and 7).
Yes, St. Paul says “to devote yourselves to prayer.” If a couple has a valid reason for “mutual consent” to abstain for a while, they can prayerfully use it that it may be for the glory of God and the sanctification of their lives.
There is nothing wrong with that-—in fact, it is a virtue.
The use of condoms denies and blocks the life-giving powers that God has designed for us, that we may share in His creation.
Jesus does not block from us nor deny us of His life-giving, love-giving Precious Blood. His way is the way of Truth. As the Bridegroom, He shows us the way.
xzins, I am happy to read that you understand the problem of contraception. God bless you.
Posted twice because of an error on my phone. The incorrect plural was slap in the text. Really tired of conservatives who don’t know that Mr and Mrs Smith are the Smiths, not the Smith’s, who write Nazi’s as the plural of Nazi. What happened in America, did everyone go to the same bad school where they weren’t taught how to add an S to the word dog to make it dogs? Is there so little reading comprehension that even seeing the correct use of plural nouns constantly in the media doesn’t register?
“The use of condoms denies and blocks the life-giving powers that God has designed for us, that we may share in His creation.”
So does abstinence.
But what a condom does is give a couple the ability to express their love without choosing to have a child. Dogs breed. Humans can and should love each other. And the use of our minds gives us a choice a dog doesn’t have.
If anyone doesn’t want to use a condom, that is fine. They are free to decide for themselves. But I see no scriptural warrant for claiming a person using a condom is evil.
I have had the personal experience of this, in the years that I taught Fertility Awareness.
One woman told me, with her husband sitting next to her, that every time she took the Pill, she “hated” him. She had tears falling from her cheeks. It was her first chance to let him know the truth. (BTW, things worked out very well for them because she was faithful to the truth. They were Baptists, and they went on to teach other couples what they learned in the FA class.)
That woman was, I have no doubt, one of many (who probably never had her courage to tell their husbands the truth).