Monday, October 08, 2007

BIRTH CONTROLLING

What do you think? Should Christians use birth control? Is avoiding certain days OK or is it wrong? We see in Scripture that it says to be fruitful and mulitply.
How many is a quiver full family?
I also know that some say "that God does not want us to have anymore." I also know that it is easy for all of us to say that God is leading us to do something or not to do something if we don't want it because we know you can't argue with God.

**I do not want to debate types of birth control and such. I simply want to discuss if birth control is a good thing in general.

44 comments:

dsstanfield said...

If a family believes that Christian families are to have as many children as possible, wouldn't that mean they pursue conception every time it is possible i.e. making sure certain days are "covered" as they are the most optimum for this.... According to this stance, any avoidance of these days would be disobedience.

What does being fruitful and multiplying mean? 2 children? 6 children? 10 children? Is there a magic number?

Dead Theologians said...

Deborah,

That is what I want to know. What is your view? Is birth controlling an option for us as followers of Christ?

DT

dsstanfield said...

Hey DT!

I think that the decision should be up to each individual family. Obviously, anything that is an abortifacent is not an option for a believer. However, avoiding certain days is a form of birth control.

I know several large families who were very adamant about having as many children as God would give them. By the time they hit 8 and 9, they changed their tune. I think God gives us wisdom to know our limits. After all, we want our children to be faithful, straight arrows. This takes much training and time. There are families who do this extremely well, both parents busy about parenting, and the children thrive. However, I have also seen families who have not done as well, and the children are all but neglected.

We have had three children. Have my husband and I filled our mandate to multiply?

Deborah

Anonymous said...

We shouldn't manipulate our bodies in unnatural ways.
I do believe that using a pill to make our bodies functions as God made them to function is fine, however using pills to cause our bodies to function differently than what God has ordained is simply wrong.

I know that it's a touchy subject, but if we are to really bow our knee's to the Lord, then we must not change what he has set in motion. That being said, God has given us a natural form of birth control. If you don't want kids, then don't have sex. We as Christians are able to use wisdom as to when and how often we make love. God has given us this authority. However, he has not permitted us to reverse what He has set in motion. To do so is sin. If you've ever wondered why homosexuality is a sin, it's because it is the act of reversing what God has ordained. Unnatural, Birth control does the same thing.
I know that's hard, but it's true.

Dead Theologians said...

Anonymous,

I want to tip my hat to you. This is an excellent comment and one that I have not thought about (pill altering our bodies).

Thanks,
DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

If we are to be directed by the physiological design, as we do with the obvious design of male and female organs, then girls should be married at around fourteen and bear children til 45.

Let us all face it, our culture has made us all compromisers. Thank God for grace!

Dead Theologians said...

Rick,

So what do you think about the question? Is birth control a good thing or not?

DT

Melissa said...

No birth control. Like Anon said, these drugs alter a woman's body. In my opinion, it is also a tool of the enemy to prevent godly seed (for Christians). With the increased methods now available, I cannot fathom why anyone would think that using a drug or getting a shot to prevent a normal cyc le is a good thing! It's unnatural and it is not apart of God's perfect design.

Let God be the birth control. He'll allow or won't allow allow children at the proper time. He knows whom He wants to have in the earth. We just have to trust Him and deny ourselves (not be selfish)...

dsstanfield said...

Here's a question for everybody:

What about the wife who has 5 or so children. Her hands are full. She is trying to educate them all and husband works long hours to provide for the family. The house is filthy, the laundry piled up, and getting three square meals on the table is barely possible. No birth control allowed. Can she refuse her husband's conjugal rights? Would she be sinning to do so?

(As a side note, I know women like this. The children are ill behaved and the moms usually look like walking death.)

Deborah

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

If we use birth control, we are compromisers, as am I.

Dead Theologians said...

Deborah,

Interesting question. Though it is framed well it still begs the question, "Is Birth Control right? "

The question that you have put forth gives us the pragmatic approach. The ends (a lot of children and no time) justify the means (withholding rights, abstaining on certain days, or some other form of birth control).

This is what the world tells us.

"Did you see that woman with all of those kids? Hasn't she figured out what is causing that problem? She probably can't even afford the ones she has and look at her, pregnant again."

I have heard this reasoning before.

DT

Mark said...

Didn't families in most of history stay together? Unlike today when grandma and grandpa get to being too needy we send them to a home, kids move accross the country and don't have the support of close family members.

These things contibute more to our wanting smaller families, along with our possesions which cause us to put more of our income to paying for our wonderful comfortable lifestyle.

Wholesale changes would need to be made, if they are indeed possible at all. Women are on their own with children, as compared to a closer group of mothers in the past who participated and supported one another, passing down crafts and such as homemakers.

Is the real question: Do we really WANT larger families? What would we be willing to sacrifice to do so?

I stand among the guilty myself.

approvedworkman said...

Since God is the creator of all life, and is completely omniscient, then obviously everytime the act of intercourse takes place it will not result in conception. The number of all who have lived, or will ever live, is foreknown by God.

God needs no help in populating the earth, a Roman Catholic and Mormon notion, nor does He need help in preventing pregnancy.
Be fruitful and multiply is not a command to have as many children as possible, as the command would also include all who are your descendants down through the generations.
Adam and Eve were given the mandate and the Bible records three sons; one who died childless, one whose descendants all died in the flood,and Seth through whose lineage creation was preserved.
Sounds like Adam kept his end of the deal at least in this, but obviously this is all God's doing.
Birth control is wrong, refusing conjugal rights is a different matter. let the husbands change diapers and do laundry; I did.

dsstanfield said...

Hey DT,

"Did you see that woman with all of those kids? Hasn't she figured out what is causing that problem? She probably can't even afford the ones she has and look at her, pregnant again."

I hope that I did not come across this way. If someone wants to have 8, 9, or 10 children, that is fine by me. I just have a problem when people suggest that I am sinning because my husband and I only have 3.

I also think having as many children as you can (for the sake of piety), when you are unable to adequately (not perfectly) rear the ones you have, may be unwise. I am not talking materialistically here, but spiritually. We are to train our arrows to be straight so that we can release them into the world to make an impact. Children should not raise themselves, and I don't think the older children should raise the younger children.

Ultimately, I would think that all Christians practice birth control in some form. To not practice any birth control, would mean actively engaging in marital relations especially on the days of the month when conception is most likely to occur.


Hey Approvedworkman,

You said:

"Adam and Eve were given the mandate and the Bible records three sons; one who died childless, one whose descendants all died in the flood,and Seth through whose lineage creation was preserved."

Surely God gave Adam and Eve daughters too, or else Cain would not have had a wife :) !


Deborah

approvedworkman said...

Deborah
Well I left that unsaid. :)
I was referring to the fact that the scriptures only record three sons with much importance placed on Seth. Hardly sounds like Eve wanted a dozen kids.

Genesis 4:
25And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, "God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him." 26To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.

Seth is similar to the Hebrew word meaning "he appointed"

Hey DT how about a post on incest in the scripture? :0

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

By the way, DS, the only real teaching on the subject is in the Old Testament when God commands men not to "spill their seed on the ground". I would think, knowing a little about you OT connections, that you would have to agree with that principle even today.

Although I have practiced birth control I still can't find anything but human and cultural reasoning to legitimize it. Most of the time it is practiced for monetary and convenience purposes.

I do see a legitimate reason for people who have some medical condition about having children.

dsstanfield said...

Now Henry (rick),

I think that there was more to that OT story...something about a brother's wife and a duty.... I am too lazy to go look it up right now.

Another question to ask is if by using birth control (or not) can any of us thwart God's plan? The number of children that He has decreed for each of us to have, will get here.

Deborah

dsstanfield said...

Hey approvedworkman:

Out of curiousity:

Who do you think Cain's wife was?

Remember, the prohibition of incest came after Adam and Eve :).

Deborah

approvedworkman said...

Deborah
You are correct about Onan the one who "spilled his seed".
Onanism, or coitus interruptus, is the term used today. However the story of Onan is strictly about rebellion and disobedience. Onan was told by his father, Judah, to conceive a child with the wife of his older and dead brother,Er.He interrupted the act purposely as the child would never be considered his by a practice which was later codified in jewish law as Levirate Marriage.
Of course we see later that Tamar, Er's wife, would become pregnant through trickery by her father-in-law Judah. All of this can be found in Genesis 38
The Babylonian Talmud teaches that this passage refers to masturbation. The Roman catholic church teaches that this passge proves birth control and/or masturbation are sinful.
They are wrong in relation to this story/passage. I am not saying masturbation or birth control are ok. I am saying Onan was killed like his brother Er because they were both wicked and disobedient.
It also proves the Babylonian Talmud and rcc dogma are cut from the same cloth.
Matthew 22:23-33 relates an incident with Jesus and the Saduccees that directly refers to the Levirate Marriage.
Jesus' reply says it all;
"you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God"

Well have I offended enough folks for today?
We are supposed to be church folk. Are we allowed to talk about this stuff or is it reserved only for the liberated and relevant emerging/mega/seeker-friendly crowd? :-)

As for Cains wife....good question on which I will have to think.

Ah the Bible, filled with incest, adultery, murder, war, genocide etc.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"Another question to ask is if by using birth control (or not) can any of us thwart God's plan? The number of children that He has decreed for each of us to have, will get here."

How very Calvinist of you! I still have to do my part, no?

Dead Theologians said...

Rick,

You said ..."Another question to ask is if by using birth control (or not) can any of us thwart God's plan? The number of children that He has decreed for each of us to have, will get here."

How very Calvinist of you!

Is this coming from a Pelagian point of view?

DT

dsstanfield said...

Hey approvedworkman,

I was not offended at all. I think you explained things well.

As to Cain's wife, there is no way around it. Unless aliens came and seeded the earth with another human race, brothers and sisters had to marry :) !

Deborah

approvedworkman said...

I didn't think you were offended.:)
It was just my poor attempt at sarcastic levity directed toward the self-procalimed more "relevant" post-post-modern churches.
Anyway I agree. Cain married his sister.There is no other explanation.
BTW,I heard that the land of Nod is found just east of Eden, Arkansas. LOL!!
Did I just offend more folks?

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Todd - I reject labels, my view is a Christian view. Can you imagine if we all said that?

Dead Theologians said...

Rick,

Please don't speak out of both sides of your mouth.

You said ...
"How very Calvinist of you!"

and then you said...
"reject labels, my view is a Christian view."

You don't like labels on you but you don't mind calling others by labels. Whether serious or in jest let's be consistent.

DT

TMD said...

Steve here, TMD = The Male Domain

As the father of 8 children, I see both sides of the debate. I do see what Deborah described, "Mom of 6, tired, barely making it, kids neglected, etc." But I also see Moms of say 2 or 3, who spoil their children and think that having more would mean less for Johnny and Susy.

I think the use of birth control, (meaning any form, abstinence on certain days, condoms, vasectomy, etc.), "can" be sinful if done for the wrong reasons. The question to ask those using birth control has to be "why?"

This will tell us whether or not they are sinning.

If they simply don't like, or want any(more) children because "they" are satisfied with what they got. That's sin. They're not viewing children as God does. A blessing to be greatly rejoiced in and to be celebrated with each new arrival.

If, however, they're seeking to prolong the possibility of having more children, say due to medical conditions, (womb needs time to recover, high loss of blood, low immunity in Mom, etc.), then I say ok. They love children and don't want to reckon Mom damaged goods after just 2 or 3 in 2 or 3 years. Maybe with birth control they could have 6 over 15 to 20 years. Get the point?

In our case, we may be done for medical reasons. My wife spent several months recovering in and out of the hospital after our last 2, twin boys. She was in for over a week straight at one point.

There is a difference between "trusting" God and "testing" God. We thank Him tremendously for the 8 He has blessed us with already.

So I say, it's a matter of the heart.

Most Christians who utilize bc do it for Godless and selfish reasons. They don't want children or don't want too many children. If we spoke more about this from the pulpits, maybe there wouldn't be so much wrong thinking about kids.

But as they, "fog in the pulpit, mist in the pews."

TMD said...

PS - On a side note.

I would covet anyone's prayers this weekend as my wife and I will be teaching at a Home Educators Conference on Saturday in Crown Point, IN.

My wife's giving a workshop, and I'll be delivering the Keynote address.

Anyone in the area is welcome to come. Email me at:

themaledomain@gmail.com

and I'll send all the info. You could also leave me a comment on my blog.

Thanks Friends!

dsstanfield said...

Steve,

You make a great point concerning the families with 2 or 3 children who do a poor job of parenting as well. We are all accountable to the Lord for how we raise the children placed in our homes. There are times when this makes me tremble, praying to the Lord to give me the grace and wisdom I need to prepare my children to live lives that will glorify their Creator.

I will be praying for you and your wife. May you both boldly proclaim the benefits of Christian parents educating their children at home!

Deborah

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

As an attempt to define our perspectives Calvinistic or Arminian gives some relief to where we see things. When you start with pelagian we begin to really overly dissect our theologies.

My comment was an attempt at humor. Sorry.

Dead Theologians said...

Rick,

My attempt was to keep the playing field level.

DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Listen Todd, I wish your parents had practiced birth control! See, a humor day throwback!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Frueh,
I understand you are attempting to be humorous, but I am not laughing. Please refrain from personal cut-downs while trying to be funny.

His,
Farley

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Farley, you are not the director here, it was funny whether you like it or not. I wish the same for your parents.

See, humor, I love it!

JSU said...

Rick,

Humor is never at the expense of someone else. Cutdowns aren't humorous, just immature.

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

It wan't a personal cutdown, just a generally funny remark. Where was it personal and where was it a cutdown? I mentioned nothing about Todd personally and the anectode about a retroactive birth control was generic and meant as humor to a friend.

I did not hear from TD yet just some who took a secondary offense based upon innacurate impressions and assumptions. Wow, non personal humor guys, relax.

Dead Theologians said...

Rick,

For one that has claimed to be a good writer I figured you would know what grounds to step on in the blogging world. Tones of voice our smirks on our face cannot be descerned at a keyboard.

DT

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

Sorry.

Dead Theologians said...

Thank you Rick.

DT

Aduladi' said...

Just to add another thought here...

"Mom of 6, tired, barely making it, kids neglected, etc."

I struggled for quite a while with just three kids with the same thing Deborah described regarding the mother with six (except mine acted well). However I have been convicted that my struggle was pure sin.

My laundry piled up and the house got dirty without nutritious meals because I got lazy and self serving. Instead of my role as a wife, mother and educator coming first, I thought it was all about me (rest for me, time out for me, quiet time for me, etc.) and my family and household suffered from it.

I think back to the women raising 8 or 9 on a farm where the men were out in the fields all day while she tended house, the garden, the children and various amounts of other chores without the modern conveniences we have now.

Kind of makes modern day gals look wimpy. Myself included!

Thanks for the discussion,
Angel

dk said...

I think the birth control issue raises another question - is sex to be done only for conception? If yes, then birth control is wrong (I would say such people should have sex once, then wait to see whether a child is conceived, only then have the next intercourse), else birth control is ok. As with many other issues this should be left to individuals to decide. If not explicitly commanded in the Word, no one should try to 'create' another sin. Discussion is fine if people make statements that include something like 'in my opinion', rather than say 'it is sin'.

dk

Yomi Adegboye said...

dk said: is sex to be done only for conception?

That's agood question, and Paul seemed to think it isn't, at least in addressing the Corinthians.

Plus, where is the place of wisdom and responsibility?

Plus, does "be fruitful and multiply" mean 2, 4, 8, 10, 50, 200? The command to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth does not seem to be a command addressed to one person, Adam, or else he certainly failed at filling the earth!

It makes sense to see it as a command to the human race, seeing that everyone else was in Adam's loins.

My wife and I practice birth control in one form or the other, and till noe have found no Biblical reasons not to ;-)

Dead Theologians said...

Yomi,

Thanks for the comment. I am concerned about people using birth control as a means of preventing an "event" that might interfere with their fun or worldly activities.

DT

Caroline said...

I was part of a church that decided it was ungodly to use birth control so about the 6 or 7th baby people decided to "sin a little" and get fixed. I have a friend with 12 children whose husband cannot work due to a back injury so they live by faith (welfare) quite the testimony in town and they arrogantly preach no birth control still like it is a doctrine that makes them a little more spiritual than everyone else!

We also thought having hospital births was ungodly too. Isn't that man's intervention? Then they decided that even midwives were ungodly, the pastor ended up being sought out to help advise about the home births.
So, if God cursed women with pain in childbirth are we ungodly trying to find ways to avoid pain, like getting in the water, or breathing, not to mention epidurals of all things. And if men are supposed to work by the sweat of their brow, why do we have computers to make the work easier? Aren't they supposed to sweat?

Dead Theologians said...

Caroline,

Thanks for the comment. If you noticed, I posted this at the bottom of the article...
"**I do not want to debate types of birth control and such. I simply want to discuss if birth control is a good thing in general."

I am not sure where your questions are coming from. I just wanted to know what people thought about birth control and how do you know when you have a quiver full.

DT

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