Skip to comments.For Growing Numbers of Baptists, Pope Francis is Drawing Admiration
Posted on 02/14/2014 7:17:17 AM PST by marshmallow
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And the Baptists have it right...But what's interesting is that with all this independence to read scripture, Baptists worldwide do not stray far from each other in their final conclusion of the meaning of scripture...Doesn't it seem odd that that takes place without a magisterium to lead them???
You have a little tiny Magisterium (relatively speaking) which says, 'believe us' as compared to millions upon millions of people who independently study the scriptures who come up with a pretty much unified understanding which is miles and miles away from the understanding of your little Magisterium...
What is “sweeping pink noise”?
It’s an electronically-generated background filler, like white noise only (I suppose) mixed with a little red noise. According to the comments, it’s a sleep aid. There are also recordings of gray noise and violet noise.
‘Violet Noise’ is also the name of some kind of feminist rock band.
I can’t understand the lyrics, so I don’t know whether they’re feminist or not.
If believers A, B, and C each has an individual responsibility to interpret Scripture, and they, after praying for enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, reach three mutually incompatible conclusions, it is not at that point possible to say whether all of them are wrong or whether one (at most) is right. This leaves you with the same result as "subjective interpretation", doesn't it?
This "Baptist distinctives" web page makes the sensible rule that "Ones interpretation should be compared to those of mature Christians past and present for possibly gaining a better understanding"-- which gives us echoes of a sensus fidelium or "hermeneutic of continuity" type of discernment--- good idea, says I.
What ever each “private” level a believer may be at in the eyes of God...all Christians who believe in Christ should hold at their root faith a certain core set of truths that are unwavering and are shared by all in the main. Two are key...the acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as being Lord by an oral confession of faith, and a belief in the heart that God has raised him from the dead. A repentance from a former sinful life must be evident and baptism by water and by spirit are also very necessary. There are several different creeds from antiquity, such as the Nicene creed which sum up those core values very nicely. Yes, I’ve attended Baptist churches in my life that would recite those creeds in their worship services quite regularly and several were printed on the inside binders of their Baptist hymnals. So, whatever...”private pagan” interpretations you think some Baptists indulge in, you have no idea of the dimensions of the core shaping values that God is writing on many of their hearts.
After all, if understanding scripture is truly of no “private interpretation”, then are we truly to trust even fallible human Popes to foster spiritual wisdom when God has himself said “and I shall write my laws in their inner parts.”? True, God has set various men in their places of authority, but he is also known to smite shepherds and scatter sheep when the shepherds themselves have gone astray. What shall sheep do when their shepherds have lost their vision?
MacArthur has built a career on repeating lies and half-truths and it's, "good stuff"? Dang
That just proves people who have been down so long that it looks like up to them will fall for any line of bogus trash that encourages their continuing to go along to get along.
What strikes me as odd, is your notion that Baptists are don't stray far in doctrine. Surely you realize that Baptists differ amazingly in what they believe, how they worship, their attitudes toward other Christians, and their understanding of what is essential in Christian discipleship.
I'm not talking about an individual having an individual opinion, or others, through human weakness, failing to live up to Baptist principles. (You'll find that everywhere, including of course in Catholicism.) I'm talking about whole churches veering this way and that on even the most basic questions of faith and morals.
Now I'm going to make a big list here. I don't want you to think I'm doing this triumphalistically as a Catholic--- far from it. Many of the problems you-all have, we-all (Catholics) have, too. May God have mercy on us all, strip us of pride, humble us and bring us more fully into His light. But I am refuting your assumption that Baptists, by and large, believe the same things.
You've got predestinarian Baptists and Free Will Baptists (or, if you will, Calvinist and Arminian): a divide straddling the most fundamental areas of Christian belief.
You've got General Baptists who say Christ's atonement extends to all people, while the Particular Baptists believe that it extended only to the elect.
You've got Baptists who believe that there have always been Baptist churches, in unbroken succession from the time of Christ. You've got others who insist there was a general apostasy (at the death of the last Apostle? At the time of the early councils and synods which set the canon of Scripture? At the time of the Council of Nicaea?) and that the whole of Christendom lay in error until Baptist Truth was recovered at the time of the 17th century English Separatists.
You've got Baptists who will admit into adult membership only people who have had believer's baptism, and others who do not require baptism for membership.
Regarding the Second Coming of Christ, you've got Baptist amillennialism, dispensationalism, premillennialism, and postmillennialism.
You've got Baptists who insist that every matter of faith and practice must be explicitly ordained in the Bible, either in command or by example: "If it's not commanded, it's forbidden."
You've got others that say it's OK if it is harmonious with Scripture and not explicitly prohibited by Scripture "If it's not forbidden, it's permitted."
The above has an impact on every single thing Baptists can or cannot do: do you build a church meeting house? Where is that in the Bible? Or do you meet only in believer's homes (house churches)?
Do you use musical instruments for sacred music? Acoustic or electric? Or none at all? Do you consider any kind of prayerful lyrics suitable for church music, or only paraphrases of Scripture, or only Scripture's ipsissima verba? Does your choir wear choir robes, or not? (Such questions split churches!)
Praying in tongues? Must not? May not? May? Can? Must?
Non-church-members can participate in the Lord's Supper services? Yes, sometimes, no?
Which translations of the Bible can be used? King James only?
Can women be deacons and pastors? (CBF yes, SBC, no.)
Can members be divorced and remarried? Can pastors be divorced and remarried? Twice? Three times?
(The divorce rate for self-identified Baptists --- 29% ---is higher than for any other major religious group in the U.S.)
Should Baptists support (Gay) Marriage Equality? (Alliance of Baptists, yes; most others, %$#$$@$ no!)
The Southern Baptist Convention (1971) adopted pro-choice (abortion) policies OK'ing abortion as a decision of the woman or the couple. Just like NARAL. Ten years later, the SBC came roaring back to a strongly pro-life position, but other Baptist churches are all over the board: some say intentional abortion is OK to preserve maternal health; some say it's OK for rape or incest; some say it's OK for prenatal abnormalities; most say the exact position on abortion is for each local congregation to determine. Pro-choice for churches!
The point here is not that some Baptists have (individually) divergent opinions. It is that whole Baptist churches, whole fleets of Baptist Churches, have official stands that diverge widely, and there is no standard one can point to that would be recognized as a authority.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the handiest summary of the teachings of the Magisterium. Dissident-as-Hell Catholics can be shown to be wrong by the Catechism. Dissident-as-hell Catholic *Bishops* can be shown to be wrong by the Catechism. Theres nothing comparable by which you can prove that a Baptist is just plain wrong. Or at least, just plain not Baptist.
Once again, no triumphalism here. It gives me no pleasure to point out weaknesses or failings in churches --- yours, mine, or anybody's.
May God bless you, and have mercy on us all!
Just curious, are you a Baptist?
Of course there are always exceptions to the rule...And there are a few division; Reformed Baptist, Litehouse Baptist and so on...It is certainly out of the ordinary that Baptist churches promote speaking in tongues...
Choirs with/without robes??? Not a deal breaker...Musical instruments in the church??? Again not a deal breaker...
Some things you can pretty much universally count on is salvation is by grace thru faith without works...And baptists are counting on the shed blood of Jesus Christ for a spot in heaven...
The Baptist churches I am familiar with require baptism for membership...I believe that is pretty universal...
The Southern Baptist Convention is a weird duck as far as I'm concerned...I know there are non Baptist churches that are affiliated with that organization...Doesn't make sense to me...
All those things that have nothing to do with doctrine are insignificant...
So I'll stick with my proclamation with a little caveat which is; as far as doctrine is concerned, those things which must be followed for salvation, Baptists have a pretty universal understanding in spite of no central leadership telling them what to believe...
Some say that it was only for his violation of the Law of the Levirate, a sin of selfishness, that Onan was slain. (The Levirate required the brother or closest male kin of a childless widow to give her children who would be considered as children of the dead brother.) However, Deuteronomy 25:5 spells out the punishment for the selfish refusal to fulfill the Levirate, and it is only a public shaming, not a death penalty. (The widow is supposed to arraign the non-compliant brother-in-law at the gates of the city before the elders, strip off his sandal, and spit in his face.)
Further, in the Onan account there are three people who violated the Levirate--Onan, Judah his father, and Shelah his younger brother--but the only one to receive the death penalty is the one who went through the motions of the covenant act but made it an act of contraception.
For a more complete treatment, please see http://www.nfpandmore.org/2006_SIN_OF_ONAN.pdf
To summarize, neither Judah nor Shelah was willing to knowingly impregnate Tamar, but they were not punished by God for this selfishness and disobedience, nor did the Law require the death penalty, but only exposure to public scorn.
This suggests that Onan was not killed only for refusing his Levitate duty, but for something in addition to that.
There were two elements: one, WHAT did Tamar's in-laws intend? (the "end".) And second, HOW did they intend to do it? (the "means".) Judah, Shelah, and Onan had the same end in mind, the same intention: not to impregnate Tamar. So why was only Onan seen by God as so evil that he was slain?
This doesn't need any guessing or supposing: the answer is right there in the text. It doesn't say he was struck down for what he didn't do (he didn't have a child by Tamar.) It ways he was slain for what he DID do: (Genesis 38:10) "What he DID was evil in the sight of the Lord, and he killed him also."
So it wasn't the mere intent (not to impregnate Tamar) that he was punished for, it was the means, the way he did it: he perverted the marriage act. He went through the motions of a covenant act, but deliberately deprived it of its natural fertility.
This sin is akin to sacrilege. It is sabotaging a sacred sexual union, making a parody of it.
So, think of the two parts of the moral evaluation --- the end, and the means. In Judah and Shelah's case, their "end" was selfish, but they were not killed; in Onan's case, his end was selfish (same as Judah and Shelah) but his means --- what he DID in the sight of the Lord was evil: and the Lord killed him.
So I would conclude that if Onan had avoided impregnating Tamar via the use of NFP, he would not have been killed for the sin of contraception, because there would not have been any act of contraception. There would only have been periodic abstinence motivated by selfishness.
We can answer the question of why God treated Onan differently than He did Judah and Shelah, by seeing that He distinguished plain selfishness, from selfishness PLUS SACRILEGE: perverting the act of intercourse. The latter He deemed far worse.
If you do, well, there's not much more I can say.
Have a good evening, and thanks for the discussion, iscool.
The law had not been given at that time to the Hebrews so there was no “Law of the levirate” for Onan to have violated. Only tribal customs and a vaguesence that the God El was overseeing their family from the time of Abraham thru Isaac, then Jacob their family patriarch. Judah was the branch of Jacob thru Jesus Christ was to come...that Lion of the tribe of Judah. In the end, via Tama’s crafty subterfuge and God’s timing, was Judah made the direct father of the child with Tamar.
There was a Satanic attempt to interfere with the line of Jacob thru Judah and God acted divinely and directly in this case. We see this interference again when Pharoah attempted to have the first born Hebrews killed. Pharoah thought he was reducing a population threat, but Satan knew that God had promised Abraham that he would bring the Hebrews out of Egypt after 400 years and thus tried to quash God’s plan by killing any of the potential leaders that would have been born at that time. Moses was spared by being hidden in the bull rushes until he was discovered and adopted by a princess of Egypt.
Finally we see this attempt of Satan again, when Herod was moved to kill all male children in the Bethlehem region 2 years and under in a scatter shot attempt to kill our Messiah.
The stakes and the battle were orders higher than just violated Mosaic laws of human sexual conscuspiscence and family/tribal mores.(Which weren’t even handed down or put into effect until the Covenant was handed down at Sinai)!
The battle between Satan’s seed and Eve’s seed rages even now...rest assured though, Satan’s head has already been crushed. Nothing left but the writhing of the tail and body...
I was raised Catholic, but it never really made sense to me. At my Confirmation we were told to commit our lives to Jesus, and I took that seriously, but the rituals of the church never clicked with me. My dad passed away soon after I graduated high school and I drifted away from church - until I met and married a Baptist preacher's daughter. It turns out that "commit your life to Jesus" is the same thing that the Baptists call being born again or saved, which made perfect sense to me(or maybe by then I was old and mature enough to understand better). Be that as it may, I am happily walking with Jesus now which is all that really matters.
It was a serious question. I don't do gotchas. Consider these few points WRT this topic. Onan's "spilling his seed upon the ground" is not all that different than spilling seed on "infertile" ground. In that sense, a man using the withdrawal method (which is not, generally, all that great of a contraceptive method though they didn't know it back then) accomplishes the same result (or tries to) as a man who only has sex with his wife when she is not ovulating and is infertile. Additionally, neither Judah nor Shelah were punished by God for their refusal. Judah, though, DID get drunk and Tamar slept with him (her father-in-law) and she conceived. God did not kill Judah for the sin of sex outside of marriage with his own daughter-in-law. Somehow, I do not think the sin of Onan was his withdrawal so much as his refusal to obey God, his sexual use of Tamar with no intention of fulfilling his familial duties and the plans of God to raise up the Messiah through his line.
Lastly, I'm pretty positive Onan wasn't the inventor of this act - though some call it by his name - it was probably something people did back then to avoid impregnating a woman, be she a wife or a prostitute. Since Scripture says nothing else about this, I see it as conjecture to base an entire doctrine on such a small piece of evidence. How many other men has God killed for doing the same thing? If it were such a GRAVE offense, why no strictures against it anywhere? I know this is a "biggie" with Catholicism and that Catholics pride themselves on being the stalwarts on the subject, but there really is no escaping the truth that Natural Family Planning (NFP) has the same negative intent as other types of birth control such as withdrawal or barrier methods. I don't think I am alone in seeing a double standard.
Protestants don’t recognize the Pope as the head of the Church.
Baptists don’t recognize each other in RCIA class.
Baptists dont recognize each other in RCIA class.
I thought the joke was that if a Catholic takes a Baptist buddy fishing, he should take another Baptist along so that none of them drinks up the Catholic’s beer!
Oh and I might add...so the really drunk Catholic has a choice of 2 Baptist sober designated drivers to get him home after a day of fishing.
As for the fish....fish fry fellowship dinner at Bubbaville Baptist, Sunday after church....y’all come, ya hear?!
All the things you’re saying here are excellent and provide a valuable context for correct understanding. The Bible records Onan’s contracepted act, and God’s response. And His response was that He struck him dead, for “what he did was evil in the sight of the Lord”.
Do you think it’s a sin for married couples to have intercourse when the wife is infertile?
Since there is no way a woman can truly tell if she may or may not be fertile, and even so called “post menopausal” women have been caught by surprise, when would the couple ever have sex, if sex during an infertility period was a sin?
Marriage is Honorable in all, and the bed undefiled...but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4
I was raised Christian Missionary Alliance as well as Baptist. My grandfather was a CMA minister. Bedtime Bible stories when I was young sent me off to sleep, and along with my regular church teachers was my mother and father teaching me basic bible lessons and verses, AW Tozer readings in the bulletins and magazines, Sprinklings of Spurgeon, goads to my conscience by the Holy Spirit, and a strong tutoring in apologetics albeit via books written by CS Lewis.
Even with all that, I did not always live the life I should have lived...but I’ve been married 25 years by the grace of God to my first and only wife and am sober, not given over to drunkenness or drugs.... or for that matter to despair.
And thanks for taking this topic seriously.
"... (a man using withdrawal) accomplishes the same result (or tries to) as a man who only has sex with his wife when she is not ovulating and is infertile."
Yes, if the men don't impregnate their wives, they're getting there same result. However, I hope you realize that
(1) Levirate obligation aside, not having babies is not, in itself, a sin (I'm sitting here not having babies right now) --
(2) so I undertook to morally evaluate the other element of Onan's behavior: not the end (no pregnancy) but the means (intentionally impairing the natural fertility of the sex act, i.e., contraception.)
My argument was not that intending no baby is wrong, but the WAY he did it was wrong. Are you getting that?
"Additionally, neither Judah nor Shelah were punished by God for their refusal. Judah, though, DID get drunk and Tamar slept with him (her father-in-law) and she conceived. God did not kill Judah for the sin of sex outside of marriage with his own daughter-in-law."
LOL --- it's actually weirder than that! Tamar is actually praised by Judah for being more righteous than himself (Gen. 38:26) ; her accomplishment is celebrated even generations later as a famous blessing (Ruth 4:12); and Tamar's one of only four female ancestors of Jesus given honorable mention in Matthew's genealogy (Matt. 1:3). There's an excellent reason for this: what she did was considered virtuous.
I did a BUNCH of research on this and related issues. I would be very pleased, really, if you would read what I wrote about it: http://www.wf-f.org/12-1-Wiley.html It was a fun article to write, and I think you'll find it a fun article to read.
(Authorial eyebrows darting up and down.)
On your last point: yes, I agree that Onan probably was not the first contraceptor, just the first one mentioned in the Bible. I am reasonably convinced that the prophets of Israel didn't do much inveighing against contraception, since for the most part it would have been seen as insane, as well as disgusting. It would be like the frequent reiteration of commandments against rolling in sheep dung: no sh*t, Shadrach!
As I mentioned before, the multiple, robust, and unified testimony of the Hebrew Scriptures is that the blessing for the womb is fertility; the curse is barrenness.
That's one reason why it's false to say all of Christianity (until 1930, anyway) was basing "an entire doctrine on a small piece of evidence." The evidence that sex is, by God's intent and by His intricate design, an inherently unitive and procreative act, goes straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
To say the evidence of this is "small," is like the Gay Christian apologists who say that there's only a few lines in the Bible against male-on-male sex, and that's -- they say --- all about male cult prostitution, not about homosexuality itself --- and if homosexual conduct in itself were so bad, Jesus would have mentioned it. But He didn't: not even once.
This gay argument is not valid, because while Jesus didn't say a lot about homosexuality, He did say significant things about the nature of marriage; He did not repudiate the millennia-long unanimous Hebrew moral view about sex and fruitfulness; and He instructed and inspired St. Paul who reflected and amplified the selfsame moral view of marriage in his Epistles.
There are a lot of things we know from a correct sense of the goodness of God's Creation, which expand on moral principles in Scripture. The Scriptural prohibition of pharmakeia condemns the harmful use of any drug: we don't need a special commandment "Thou shalt not inject endocrine disruptors to impair thy normal physiological function." The Scriptural prohibition of porneia condemns any unnatural sex practice: we don't need a special commandment "Thou shalt not insert thy semen up somebody's butt, down their throat, or into thy little latex baggie."
This is not an exclusively "Catholic" thing. All Christians saw Scriptural morality this way until very, very recently. The huge abandonment of this aspect of Scriptural morality came in my mother's lifetime.
The next innovation is going to be the beaming Christian OK on gay sex: and that is already WELL underway. (500,000 Links, anyone?)
"Natural Family Planning (NFP) has the same negative intent as other types of birth control such as withdrawal or barrier methods."
As I said before --- and I don't mind saying it again! --- intending "no babies right now, please" is not a negative or evil intent. It is an intent that COULD be evil (e.g. if it's motivated by selfishness), or COULD be good (e.g. if it's motivated by protecting the mother's life or health, or in cases of economic hardship and so forth.) Limiting pregnancies can even be a grave moral duty.
It's not the intent of limiting pregnancy (in itself) that's a sin. Do you get that?
Hold it right there.
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Researchers have found that a method of natural family planning that uses two indicators to identify the fertile phase in a woman's menstrual cycle is as effective as the contraceptive pill for avoiding unplanned pregnancies if used correctly, according to a report published online in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction.
OK, let's try your statement again:
"Since...even so called post menopausal women have been caught by surprise, when would the couple ever have sex, if sex during an infertility period was a sin?"
I don't know anybody who thinks sex during an infertile period is a sin.
Agreed, mdmathis6? Agreed, boatbums?
That sounds good to me. Praise God for such wonderful favor.
"Is this passage of scripture the source of the Catholic Churchs teaching against contraception?"
It's the most explicit and therefore easiest to refer to Scripture, so a qualified "yes" is probably the best answer. There are other reasoned arguments but in the age of soundbites and short attention spans they've fallen by the wayside. Most people no longer care enough about their immortal souls to honestly work through a well reasoned argument as opposed to a quick, one line, answer even if the answer is based on something taken out of context.
But you just need to actually let "Scripture interpret Scripture" in good "Sola Scriptura" tradition to arrive at the same conclusion.
Deuteronomy states the penalty for refusing to continue your brothers line and it is definitely not the death penalty. Therefore when Scripture says God killed Odin because of what he did it means just that, not for his intention to not continue his brother's line. So what was it he did as opposed to what he intended? What he did was he spilled his seed on the ground and for what he did God struck him down.
The fact that the contraception supporting crowd who argue over the meaning of Odin being struck dead ignore their own espoused method of interpretation in order to not interfere with their preferred interpretation has long been a source of entertainment for me.
It something of an acid test, actually, of who actually studies Scripture to arrive at the correct interpretation as opposed to saying they have a Scripture based belief when in fact they have just adopted the first lame interpretation that suits their preferences.
It's my turn to ask if this is a serious question.
No, of course not. God designed the sexual act as a gift to a married man and woman to enjoy and enhance their familial bond and this is true even outside of conceiving children. I haven't had a uterus since I was 37 years old, my physical relationship with my husband is STILL honorable in all and our bed is undefiled.
Rash, you've got a good point here: grasping the meaning of Gen 38 takes a commitment to a sustained analysis of this chapter itself, and where it fits in with the WHOLE scriptural testimony about God's creative design for human sexuality, lovemaking and marriage, and most people aren't willing or able to do that.
But I would add another point: in the 19-teens and 1920's, Margaret Sanger was launching her Birth Control Revolution together with the other social radicals of her coterie, and Christian churches formed a solid phalanx against her. It was clear she was making war against the decencies of a Christian civilization: she knew it, and they knew it.
But in 1930, the Anglicans gave her the password and the keys to the city when they approved contraception at their 1930 Lambeth conference. They couched it in good enlightened-compassionate-progressive language; and they didn't seem to be fascists, racists and statists like Sanger and her radical friends. They didn't (as far as I know) try to provide a fig-leaf of justification from Scripture at all (which they couldn't, because there are no pro-contraceptive Scriptures): so they just lumped it in with progressive ideals such as the abolition of war and so forth.
By the end of that year, Pope Pius XI came out with an Encyclical letter ("Casti Connubii" -- "Chaste Wedlock") which frontally opposed Lambeth on directly moral and theological grounds and exposed the moral vacuity and theological liberalism of the Anglican position.
However --- as I read it --- at that time, the antagonism between conservative and liberal interpretations of Christianity began to intensify, and basically, in most mainline denominations, the liberals gained the upper hand.
This "Social Gospel progressive" Zeitgeist went entirely for Sanger and the Left, with the American Episcopal church leading the way. Many denominations agreed with Pope Pius as to the moral teaching, but very few spoke out or published any support, perhaps not wanting to side with the Vatican against the liberal "Social Gospel" wing.
That triumphant modernism is, of course, still with us today, but people don't identify it as radical Sanger stuff, they just accept it without much analysis as "the way it is."
At this point, the Sanger radicalism and the Anglican "respectability" have been blenderized into the same mush, and the few voices which still object in the name of God are like "the voice of one crying out in the wilderness."
Obviously if a man has intercourse with his post-menopause or post-hysterectomy wife, he is still making love in way which is simply and fully spousal. This is THE natural and honorable act which is proper only to the two, which is a sign of their entire openness and self-gift to each other, like the sacred unity of the Christ and the Church.
On the other hand, what Onan did with Tamar was --- even though they were married --- not a marital act. It was not the "Act of Marriage", the act that makes of the two one flesh. It did not express entire and holy acceptance of the whole of her, but rather rejection. It was not honest lovemaking. It was not a sign of sacredness, but rather a sign of contempt.
It would have been wrong for Onan to do that, even if he had no live sperm at all, or if she was post-menopausal (and therefore his withdrawal made no effective difference, contraceptively speaking.) He deprived sex of its SIGN value, its significance --- the significance of total receiving, and totally being received --- which is the significance of "One Flesh."
It is this fleshed-out significance -- "I am my lover's, and he is mine" -- which embodies the "Mysterium Tremendum" of which the Apostle speaks.
Let me ask another question, which while in itself is --- to say the least ---- indelicate, is necessary to bring out the "sign" aspect. Do you think Holy Matrimony can be consummated by anal penetration? Is that a nuptial act?
As for Onan, Scripture says that EVERY time he went into Tamar, he did this act. You have to ask why God didn't off him the FIRST time if it was the act, itself, which was the crime? I think Scripture teaches that Onan's sin was in NEVER intending to fulfill his tribal obligation to his dead brother and he was only interested in using Tamar like a prostitute rather than a full fledged wife. It says it right there in Genesis 38:9, "But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brothers wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother." It was a pattern that dishonored his heritage, not, I believe, the actual act of withdrawal, that displeased the Lord.
As I said before --- and I don't mind saying it again! --- intending "no babies right now, please" is not a negative or evil intent. It is an intent that COULD be evil (e.g. if it's motivated by selfishness), or COULD be good (e.g. if it's motivated by protecting the mother's life or health, or in cases of economic hardship and so forth.) Limiting pregnancies can even be a grave moral duty. It's not the intent of limiting pregnancy (in itself) that's a sin. Do you get that?
I wonder if you get that "limiting pregnancy" for grave or other moral duty is an issue that each couple should decide for themselves between them and God and which is not the duty of their church to make this determination for them with blanket verdicts which do not take into consideration the responsibilities of each couple? It boils down to the method of this limiting of pregnancy and whether or not it causes death, which would be a grave moral wrong.
We agree, I believe, that some birth control methods have as their primary or secondary purpose to prevent implantation of an embryo (which IS a human life self-contained) and expel, or abort, this new life. These include the IUD as well as hormones in pills, implants and injections. Other methods such as the diaprahm, condoms and other barrier types do not directly or indirectly kill new human life. They work to prevent fertilization from happening at all, some more successful than others. My sense is that couples, as their own consciences dictates between them and God should have use of these methods without condemnation from others. NFP is in essence not different from other barrier methods OR withdrawal because, while they seek to limit pregnancy, they do not cause the death of new human life.
One last thought...very, very few methods can guarantee 100% prevention of pregnancy, I know people who became pregnant while faithfully using the BC pill as well as one who had a vasectomy and fathered TWO sons afterward. If a couple decides to use a method that doesn't cause human death in helping them control pregnancy responsibly and in prayerful consideration with God, they should have that freedom to determine for themselves what is best for them. Should pregnancy happen in spite of their attempts, then part of that decision is one of welcoming whatever is God's will for their family and a joyous acceptance of the child into the family as a blessing from God. I do not believe there is ANY justification for aborting a child other than an imminent threat to the mother's life should the pregnancy continue - in which case BOTH would die.
I respect your right to hold to the beliefs you do and appreciate all you do to reinforce a respectful and polite exchange of thoughts and opinions on this forum.
No, I don't know of anyone nor do I believe so.
As to mdmathis6's contention WRT 100% assurance of a woman's fertility, he qualified that with saying a woman could not "TRULY" know she is fertile/infertile. NFP is probably a good option for couples who want to responsibly control their family size but I don't think even its most vocal proponents guarantee it is a 100% effective method. Is that correct?
I have to ask you to extend your view of what in Onan's actions was displeasing to the Lord. I propose it was two things: an omission (what he didn't do), and an act or actions (what he did). What he didn't do, was have children by Tamar, and that was evidently because of selfishness (or maybe he hated his late brother.) That pattern of selfishness or enmity was surely displeasing to God But in addition to that, you have to consider what the text actually says: "What he DID was evil in the sight of the Lord." It clearly refers to an act, not an omission.
Your view that "what he did"--- the very act --- was not displeasing, is not well supported by the text. It is weighty, too, that all Christendom agreed with this Biblical view --- including the Reformers of the 16th century and their fellow believers through the centuries ---until 1930. What changed? The Bible? In 1930?
"I wonder if you get that "limiting pregnancy" for grave or other moral duty is an issue that each couple should decide for themselves between them and God and which is not the duty of their church to make this determination for them with blanket verdicts which do not take into consideration the responsibilities of each couple?"
We're in 100% agreement on that. Each couple must decide this between themselves: that is exactly the Catholic teaching.
"It boils down to the method of this limiting of pregnancy and whether or not it causes death, which would be a grave moral wrong."
Yes, it boils down to the method.
Yes, those that cause death involve a grave moral wrong.
But --- death is not the only possible moral wrong. There are other moral wrongs, short of death, which are still grave. (After all, Onan didn't kill anybody, but "...what he did was evil in the sight of the Lord.")
Tell me this: do you think it is morally right for people to attempt to change their so-called "gender" with sex-change "therapies" --- hormones and surgery?
Would you explain why?
I know you'll give me a thoughtful answer, and then we can build off of that.
Gotta go do dishes.
Scroll 3/5 of the way down the page, and you'll see that works out to a 99.6% effectiveness rate. ( = 0.4% method failure rate).
You make good points about when the slide into quasi-paganism mixed into "pop Christianity" began.
What Onan "did" in the sight of the Lord he DID many times, right? It wasn't one time and he was zapped. The passage in Genesis 39 says EVERY time he had sex with Tamar he did the same thing and it says the reason very clearly that he didn't want his firstborn son to "belong" to his dead brother. He wasn't treating her as his wife, wasn't giving her a child as was the agreement he made when he married her and his actions were a rejection of his obligation before God as well as his family. That is simply why I disagree that his "act" of withdrawal was the cause of his death - it doesn't add up and is too simplistic a reason. Let's not forget that it was only in the last several centuries or so that human biology advanced to the point that it became common knowledge that the man's sperm did NOT contain a tiny baby that he "planted" in the woman's womb. That just could be the basis for what theologians as well as physicians thought about the act of conception. At least factor that into the idea of what may have been held by Christians on the subject.
But --- death is not the only possible moral wrong. There are other moral wrongs, short of death, which are still grave. (After all, Onan didn't kill anybody, but "...what he did was evil in the sight of the Lord.") Tell me this: do you think it is morally right for people to attempt to change their so-called "gender" with sex-change "therapies" --- hormones and surgery? Would you explain why?
Absolutely there are moral wrongs that are grave that don't involve death. I just don't agree that a married couple using a barrier method or withdrawal to prevent pregnancy is one of them. As I think back, I also know of a couple who DID use withdrawal and STILL got pregnant. They did marry and have the child. So that isn't even a 100% effective way either. Condoms break, spermicides fail, vasectomies and tubal ligations don't always work either. I am 100% POSITIVE, though, that not having a uterus anymore would qualify as 100% though that's a pretty extreme way to avoid pregnancy and no moral doctor would do so.
As with "gender" reassignment, transsexualism and such, my opinion isn't a factor. I know that in rare cases, some people are born with what is called "Gender Identity Disorder" or gender dysphoria as well as some with real biological existence of BOTH genders within the same body (I don't recall the medical term for that). I am not a medical doctor or psychologist to pass judgment on people effected by this problem. Homosexual acts are grave moral wrongs - and we know that not only from science but from the giver of all moral law - our Creator God.
I have said before that the Protestants who love Francis tend to be liberal, social justice type Protestants. OTOH, I find the evangelical, bible-only, conservative types at best unsure of how they feel about him and in some cases are strongly critical of him.
I think this theory proves out on this forum.
Seems more probable than not. I met some great Protestants doing pro-life work, including a Baptist minister who had been a foster parent to over 20 kids. He said, "a priest told me that I'm a better Catholic than most Catholics."
They quoted Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa quite a bit.
Great post #9! This Baptist agrees wholeheartedly!! I live in a state that is largely Catholic. I’ve never seen the kind of zeal for Roman Catholicism as an institution and disregard for Scripture from the same venue that I’ve seen on this board. Crazy!
Always appreciate your posts, .45 Long Colt! (And I’m one of the traditional Southern Baptists!)
“We teach that every human being has the capacity and the freedom to read and interpret the Bible as she or he sees fit.”
That’s basic Baptist theology.
Once again, somebody straighten me out if I’ve got any kinks in this.
If that is “basic Baptist theology,” then the SBC would not have disfellowshipped (excommunicated) at least two entire congregations in Texas within the past decade for “interpreting the Bible as they saw fit.”
There is a difference between reading the Bible for yourself, asking the Holy Spirit to make the passages meanings perspicuous to you, and imprinting your own desired interpretation onto it. The Scriptures are unambiguous and very plain on the essential doctrines of the faith. Any departure from them is heresy.
BRAVO and well said, fwdude! You nailed the difference beautifully and hopefully put “paid” to that tired attack of many Roman Catholics here against Protestant believers that we “make up our own interpretation”.
No I disagree...and being an RN for 27 years, I might know a little bit about the subject. If a woman is very attuned to her self maybe....but I know many folks who’ve tried the natural methods but became pregnant anyway. Also the Song of Solomon has a lot to say about the love between a man and a woman, and nothing about the end result of such love simply being about children. Lot’s of lovin’ in the Song of Solomon but nothing about kids at all in the whole book.
No I disagree...and being an RN for 27 years, I might know a little bit about the subject. If a woman is very attuned to her self maybe....but I know many folks who’ve tried the natural methods but became pregnant anyway. Also the Song of Solomon has a lot to say about the love between a man and a woman, and nothing about the end result of such love simply being about children. Lot’s of lovin’ in the Song of Solomon but nothing about kids at all in the whole book.
We teach that every human being has the capacity and the freedom to read and interpret the Bible as she or he sees fit---is one I got off of a Baptist Church webpage, http://www.nhbcfayette.info/#!what-we-believe/c1zez; it isn't some paraphrase I made up. That's why I was sincerely inquiring about it.
Thanks to you, I now know that's not basic Baptist theology. I realize that every denomination has individuals and congregations which are dissident and which deviate from the essential beliefs. I try to avoid equating Baptist beliefs with what I read here and there from Baptist websites.
I wasn't aiming for slander, but for a more accurate understanding.
No harm, no foul. I believe you are sincere in your quest for knowledge in this area, as your cordial responses here show. My response is referencing a good bit of the slanderous comments in other places that I have seen from Roman Catholics towards Protestants on what is “sola scriptura”.
Maybe or maybe not: it's not something we know from the text. The actual verse says "when he went in to his brother's wife.." Check it out (LINK). It could have been once, or a dozen times or a score of times.
I don't see how the number of time he did it, matters. There were whole strings of apostate royalty (e.g. Johoiaim), and good kings that went bad (e.g. Solomon), and crooked sons (like Eli's sons) who made quite a career of their evil over a period of time, and the promised downfall doesn't come until months or years later, or even doesn't hit them but rather the next generation. It's very rarely in Scripture that a guy sins once, and gets instantly zapped.
"That is simply why I disagree that his "act" of withdrawal was the cause of his death - it doesn't add up and is too simplistic a reason."
Can you adduce any evidence for this? It seems to be a mere assertion of opinion without foundation.
"It was only in the last several centuries or so that human biology advanced to the point that it became common knowledge that the man's sperm did NOT contain a tiny baby that he "planted" in the woman's womb."
If they thought that turning the sex act away from conception was itself offensive to God (Onanism and Sodomy)--- it wouldn't make any difference whether they knew that men produced gametes and not zygotes. The fact that the man was intentionally doing an unnatural sex act, would be enough to make it morally objectionable.
That's how the Prophets of Israel, the Fathers of the Church, and the founders of the Reformation all saw it. (Luther said that anti-conceptive acts were "Sodomitical" --- did you read the link I supplied on that?) They weren't just looking narrowly at the Sanctity of a conceived Life. They also recognized the Sanctity of Sex. They saw the Lord God as not only the Lord of Life, but also the sovereign designer of our sexuality. They saw that it would be impious for anyone to pervert its normal, healthy, natural design, which is always procreative in "form"--- look, that's what the word "genital" means: generative, apt for generation. It means "this is the life-giving act" even if it does not accomplish conception.
Do you think they (Prophets of Israel, Fathers of the Church, Reformers) would be OK with a married couple doing oral and anal penetration and ejaculation as a contraceptive choice?
"I just don't agree that a married couple using a barrier method or withdrawal to prevent pregnancy is one of them."
I know that's your opinion, bu what you haven't shown is that your opinion is rooted in Biblical thought.
Consider this: there is a lot of sex, good and bad, in the Bible. But here is not one act of lawful procreative intercourse that is ever disapproved by God, and not one act nonlawful antiprocreative intercourse that is ever approved by God.
Check the OT and the NT: you NEVER find that. Surely that's not insignificant?
As with "gender" reassignment, I should have made my question more clear. I was not speaking of the unfortunate people who have very rare chromosomal anomalies (XXY, XYY or whatever) or who are born with objective genital malformation. I was writing about people who have a dysphoric emotional reaction against their healthy bodies, thinking their actual sex is "wrong," and who engage a doctor to surgically and hormonally alter themselves, e.g. castration.
There are all kinds of body image dysphorias: sighted people who want their eyes removed, people with normal healthy limbs that they strongly feel should be amputated, people of normal weight who want to starve themselves until they are practically skeletal. They want to alter their healthy normal body to match their confused emotions, rather than healing their confused emotions to match their healthy normal body.
Do you think there is an error here, in terms of medical ethics or a moral reverence for the human body? Or are doctors justified in enabling these self-maiming choices?
"Homosexual acts are grave moral wrongs - and we know that not only from science but from the giver of all moral law - our Creator God."
Agreed. Substitute the phrase "The deconstruction of sex" for the phrase "Homosexual acts" and the statement is still true. God doesn't want us to sabotage our bodies. It directly contradicts the Biblical attitude toward the human body, which is, "I give you thanks, O God, that I am fearfully, wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works!"
And you realize that "data" is not the plural of "anecdote" :o)
The solid research is unanimous on the effectiveness of NFP being fully on a par with the oral contraceptive pill, >99%. It has practically no "method failures" when used correctly.
That last part, "when used correctly," is important, since no method will work when used incorrectly. A condom isn't very good if you put it on your nose; NFP isn't very good if you're just trying to guess or predict ovulation, as opposed to actually observing real-time signs of impending ovulation. Your "many folks who tried the natural methods" possibly were guessing and predicting, and not doing actual Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) type NFP, or possibly did know when they were in the cycle and had intercourse knowing they were fertile. This latter case is not method failure: this is called "successfully achieving pregnancy through NFP."
Ross Pomeroy, a zoologist and science journalist who is derisive of the Christianity and dismissive of moral considerations in general, still admits that
"A large study conducted in 2007 found that the "symptothermal" method of natural family planning, in which the female user tracks both her body temperature and cervical secretions to gauge her fertility, is 99.6% effective when properly adopted, roughly the same as a copper intrauterine device.The Oxford Journal's Human Reproduction issue found 0.6 per 100 women and per 13 cycles when there was no unprotected intercourse in the fertile time (LINK) --- in other words, a 99.4% method effectiveness rate.
If you want to do a real survey of the studies, here's a huge list of studies, most (but not all) in English (LINK)
Personally, I wish everyone knew about this. It's literally God's gift to women.