Skip to comments.Being fruitful [Evangelicals and contraception]
Posted on 07/11/2002 1:09:31 PM PDT by Evangelium VitaeEdited on 07/12/2004 3:55:22 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
No one can accuse the Torodes of failing to practice what they preach. Their son Gideon was born almost exactly nine months after their November 2000 wedding.
"We don't waste any time," says Mr. Torode, 26, of South Wayne, Wis. He and his 21-year-old wife are expecting their second child in February.
(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...
When Scott Hahn was studying theology with his wife Kimberly (both were vehemently anti-Catholic at that time), Kimberly took up studying contraception for a course.
What Kimberly Hahn found was to prove to Scott (at that time just a student of theology) that there was more to the contraception issue.
There true story is quite compelling -- for it tells of the world of being evangelical Protestants and having a deep and rich interest in the Bible as well as reaching out to people. Yet on the other hand, they eventually ventured into the world of Catholicism (when Scott graduated from the seminary, he considered the Pope to be the anti-Christ).
More than anything, I get angry at Catholics who use contraception in direct violation of the Catechism, or who vote pro-choice, or who are "personally pro-life but ...".
The fact is that contraception is evil because it puts a barrier between the giving relationship of husband and wife. It takes life out of the equation, and makes sex a selfish act. Natural Family Planning is the only acceptable form of birth control. There are legitimate reasons to want to space children, and NFP lets couples to it together, while always accepting that God could have different plans and there may be an "unplanned" pregnancy, but never unwanted.
My husband and I have practiced NFP since we married, and I've never regreted it.
I hope that more Protestant couples come to the realization that the contraception mentality is leading them down the path of moral decay, and that they will join the Catholic Church in condemning contraception as an moral evil.
I pray that all young couples understand the true meaning of marriage as this couple does.
Food for thought... In Russia, the Baptists and Pentecostals have long considered contraception to be wrong. And so, in Russia, with one of the lowest birthrates in the world (due to abortion, contraception, etc), and a skyrocketing AIDS rate, one subset of the population is having 8-10 kids per couple -- the Bible believers. Do the projections -- in a few generations, virtually every Russian will have at least one Bible-believing grandparent, if they're not actual believers themselves. Now THAT is CULTURAL IMPACT!!!
Question: Will American Christians seize the opportunity? Or will we contracept ourselves into oblivion, and leave the land empty for a more deserving nation to move in? If we don't want it, someone else will be happy to have it.
I do know people who've had vasectomies and later in life ended up parents anew anyway, so I'm confident at this point that if I'm meant to father another child it will happen. When we first discussed this we had decided that if we wished to have any more children from that point on, we would adopt. We have a lot to offer to a child who needs two loving Christian parents.
I've heard a lot of debate over contraception recently, and I'm still undecided on what the Biblical position truly is. In any case, I have great admiration for those who can and do have many children.
I believe that one of the biggest misconceptions about NFP is that "oh, that's for people who want large families." Nothing is further than the truth.
When practiced properly, NFP is more effective than ANY OTHER FORM OF BIRTH CONTROL. Check out the information at the Couple to Couple League website which shows the studies done with NFP.
As for myself, I would love to have a large family but financially it's difficult. We have a five year spacing between my second child and my third, and planned it practically to the day. My OB told me if I didn't go artificial birth control that I would be in "within a year" pregnant again. I said no, five years. I was right.
The "no" to life, which the use of contraceptives cries out by its very name, can thus be seen first and foremost as a "no to God". This had already been forcefully stressed by Paul VI in Humanae vitae. This passage also bears repeating in its entirety: "... a reciprocal act of love, which jeopardizes the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator, according to particular laws, inserted therein, is in contradiction with the design constitutive of marriage, and with the will of the Author of Life., To use this divine gift while destroying, even if only partially, its meaning and its purpose is to contradict the nature both of man and of woman and of their most intimate relationship, and therefore it is to contradict also the plan of God and his will" (n. 13).Here's some biblical references:
The Bible and Birth Control
The book of Genesis is the primary reference for the prohibition on contraception. The basis for marriage is given in Genesis, "male and female he created them"(1:27)..."and they become one flesh" (2:24). The first institution mentioned in the Bible is the family. The first commandment of God to man is "Be fruitful and multiply"(1:28). So we know that in God's intention for Man, before the Fall, men and women were meant to be paired and become "one flesh", in order to fulfil the commandment in 1:28. The original intent was monogamous, lifetime union.
But in Genesis 38, we find the story of Tamar and Onan. Tamar was married to Er, but Er died before they had any children. Following a custom called the "Law of the Levirate", Er's brother Onan is commanded by Judah (their father) to have intercourse with Tamar.
38:8 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".Several things about this passage are significant. The Law of the Levirate was a mechanism for preserving and perpetuating a family line. But the penalty for not following it was not serious; if a brother refused to perform his duty, the offended sister-in-law could publicly strike him on the face with his sandal, and henceforth he would be surnamed "The Unshod". The death penalty was not involved. But 38:10 informs us that God considered this incident more than a mere refusal of duty; it was such a serious offence that He slew Onan.
38:9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother's wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother.
38:10 And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he slew him also.
For 19 centuries, until 1930 in fact, Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox commentators were in unanimous agreement on their interpretation of this passage: Onan attempted to have the pleasure of intercourse, but defrauded it of its procreative meaning by withdrawing. That this was a violation of the earlier commandments in Genesis was underscored by the magnitude of the divine penalty - God apparently took this very seriously!
Contraception takes life-giving out of conjugal love, and turns marital love into a selfish, anti-life act.
This is my opinion, of course, supported by the Catholic Church and an increasing number of Protestants. I hope this helps you understand that our position is biblically based.
You're wrong about that. If a couple decides to have a big family instead of cable tv, eating out to fancy restaurants, owning Lexus sedans, and vacations in Europe. See, that's how things ought to be.
The country will change because the liberals who believes in abortion will cease to exist in the next few generations. Maybe it's evolution in progress, after all.
My seventeen year old is a fairly faithful Catholic, but when we were discussing NFP he said, "Mom, what's the difference between that and, say, a condom: you are still planning and controlling birth. I call that birth control" That was hard to answer. Just some food for thought. V's wife.
Excellent article..I think it demonstrates some of the common ground that Conservative Catholics and Evangellical protestants share .
I am flagging to the non RC's for comment..I would guess there is a diversity of opinion on birthcontrol among us..
I'm not sure why controlling with one method is acceptable, but controlling with another method is not acceptable. It seems that no matter the method you are attempting to control the "origin of life."
"To suggest that birth control is evil or perverse," Mr. Van Leeuwen wrote, "because it undermines God's sovereignty
is to underestimate God's sovereignty and reject our responsibility to serve Him wisely.
Excellent article..I think it demonstrates some of the common ground that Conservative Catholics and Evangelical
protestants share .
I am flagging to the non RC's for comment..I would guess there is a diversity of opinion on birth control among us..
22 posted on 7/13/02 7:46 AM Mountain by RnMomof7
If a couple wish to worship the God of LEXUS or Range Rover
or cable tv, eating out to fancy restaurants, and vacations in Europe.
instead of Worshiping the One True G-d and they practice either NFP or contraception, it is WRONG.
Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character
than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with
great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if
what Paul said was true.
I disagree with the arguments using birth control is resisting God's will. We could also make the same arguments about anything else we do: flying to the moon, having a dentist fill our teeth, taking aspirin for a headache, or removing a tumor from a brain. "If God had meant for us to...(fill in the blank)"
As far as many people having many children, I think about that as I would anything else: one must be responsible for what God has given them. Not all people have much wealth, either, but all must prove responsibility for what is in their care, especially children. I think of this parable from the Lord, about what is given and how we are to be responsible with those gifts:
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his ability...So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, "Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.' His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." Mattthew 25:14-15a;20,21
I do not see where the Bible states that birth control is a sin. What God would have one couple do might differ from what He would have another couple do in an ideal marriage, but not doing so does not make it sin. Paul also wrote he believed it was ideal that we not marry so we could be more focused and have more time to do the Lords work because having a spouse and family is a prime responsibility. But being unmarried might lead one to sin, because of lack of self-control as pertains to sex so better to marry and have sex than to have sex without marriage and sin.
My understanding of how we are to live is that if the Scriptures clearly condemn a thought or behavior, then it is sin to all (i.e., murder). However, where it is unclear, where there is doubt or ambiguity, then God shall lead us by our conscience and then, if one goes in direct contradiction to his/her conscience, then that individual has sinned. See all of Romans 14, verses 1 - 8 are follow:
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." Romans 14:1-8.
How about, let each person be firmly convinced in their own mind. It is your motive that God is concerned with, not so much what you do, but why you do it.
So you do not think then that God can be fooled then huh? You think he reads the intent of the heart?
I can see your point. Controlling is controlling, no matter how it is done. Is this what they used to call the rhythm method? If so, it does not work well. My mother had 6 kids using it.
I keep saying motive, motive, motive.
Now, the Catholics and some Protestants would have us believe that, since the ultimate aim of sexual intercourse is reproduction, then anything that prevents that would be sinful.
But the Scriptures indicate otherwise. In Genesis 2:24, it states "For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." For what cause? It is integral to the relationship between man and wife.
Now, if we look in I Corinthians 7, we see marriage encouraged to prevent sexual immorality ("But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.") And the sexual act is commanded to Christian couples ("The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.... Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.")
The Catholic is forced to tell married couples unwilling for financial or other reasons not to bear children to completely abstain. But that is unbiblical -- the act is even commanded of married couples lest they stumble into sexual immorality.
I'm just considering the irony -- a single guy writing to a grandmother about Christian sexuality.
God does know the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I do not think sex's sole purpose is procreation...I do not think that is RC teaching eithor , or else all observant Catholics over child bearing age..or those that are unable to have kids for medical reasons would be celebate.....(not on a bet:>)
God made sex fun.. (yea from a Christian grandma) He gave it so that a man and woman could comfort and pleasure each other in times of joy and sadness.
I have told my kids that the best reason to remain pure till you marry is the excitement and joy of new sex is a gift from God to help newly weds bond and compromise and resolve the blending ot two different families and traditions
A fight over a mother in law can be lovingly resolved in each others arms..
If that "newness" has been used up the transition is more difficult
But having said that sex is for love and for consolation and for bonding it is still the ONLY way a child is naturally concieved.
God's design and purpose is 1st and formost procreation. To frustrate THAT purpose is to frustrate the plan of God IMHO...and CAN (not necessarily) reduce sex to a time of self pleasure..
My daughter and her husband have 3 daughters 7,5,3...and they have never used an artifical method....she nursed (a good natural method early on) and they are simply calandar aware
They do not want more children nor do the "plan" more..BUT if God so desires they will let Him be God
I would add this tale of caution....My son and his wife also never used any artifical methods...when a 4th unexpected pregnacy occurred several years after their last they decided to have her tubes tied.
We had a long discussion on it and I gave my best advise to them . It is what what I have told all my kids. None of us know what the future holds....that is a decision that you may later regret>
That baby was Nathan that drown at 17 months.....my beautiful Christian daughter in law cries over that decision now as her arms are empty and the hope of another child has been removed
Sex is a wonderful gift....the best part is opening the package and finding that God has used you for HIS purpose as a co creator with him.....
LOL, yes, that is true. My mother was a good Catholic, so she and my dad used the rhythm method, and had 6 of us. In other words, it did not work.
And aren't you glad it failed?
LOL, well now that you mention it, yes. My mom had 3, and I was just 6, and did not think there would be any more, but 3 more came along. There were 4 years between numbers 3 and 4, so maybe it did work for 4 years, but not indefinitely. I never asked my mom if she wanted 6, but if not, my only point is, that it did not work.
Most pills are abortifacients, and cause an early abortion.
When practiced properly (and it's not any more complicated than remembering to take a pill at the same time every day), NFP is MORE EFFECTIVE than any other form of birth control WITHOUT the side effects.
Refraining from sex in a marriage in order to avoid pregnancy (for spacing or financial reasons, for example) brings the spouses closer together. Couples who practice NFP have a lower divorce rate than couples who use artificial birth control.
More to come later, my little monster :-) is wrecking havoc in the house!
Yep, most likely.
LOL.......only if it was Gods will!