I venture into a domain that is not usually spoken about in polite conversations but I am convicted that Evangelicals are commanded to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5).
The thesis for this blog post is Evangelical should not endorse the use of birth control for married Evangelical couples. The wording is intentionally narrow because the use of birth control is not applicable for singles, widows or divorcees as sex is confided to those in a martial covenant.
I fail to understand the justification of Evangelicals endorsing or sanctioning the use of birth-control. As I have reflected upon all the objections I readily admit there maybe exceptions to the rule but as a general principle I fail to see the legitimacy in normative circumstances. I readily admit this particular worldview falls within the secondary or some might say the tertiary areas of Christian ethics. Consequently, I understand good men and women will come to different landing positions on this issue.
I understand I enter the conversation as one voice among many. My voice will not be the definitive one nor the last one but I enter as one always seeking to understand the mind of God and doing my level best to obey what I understand to be God’s voice in the matter.
Evangelicals understand God to be the final arbiter of both life and death and all that that transpires in between the two poles of the human experience. While Bill Crosby made famous the joke “I brought you into this world and I will be the one who takes you out” only God has the power to do either in the ultimate sense.
Evangelicals understand God to be the agent who closed the wombs of countless women in the Old Testament. One can readily think of Hannah, “And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb (1 Samuel 1:6) or Rachel, “When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren (Genesis 29:31).
We see both the positive and negative actions of God concerning Rachel and her rival Leah. God opened the womb of Leah but kept close the womb of Rachel (at least up until this point as Rachel eventually found favor with God and became pregnant).
Evangelicals understand that sex is confided to a marital covenant between a man and a woman. I would submit, though I understand not all will agree, the primary purpose of sex is procreation and not mere pleasure. I draw this conclusion from the fact there will be no sex in heaven as there will be no marriage in heaven (Matthew 22:30) and the Bible promises, “no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly (Psalms 84:11). If pleasure was the primary purpose of God ordaining sex why would He withhold it in eternity. The reason there will no sex in heaven is there will be no need for procreation because no one dies.
Evangelicals understand that children are a heritage from God, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward (Psalm 127:3). It seems antithetical to desire to limit or artificially curtail blessings from God. It would seems we would want blessings to overflow. The Evangelicals cry is “feed us until we want no more.” Not, “ease back on the blessing.”
My inquiry to the Evangelical community is why are we embracing the secular feminism view of children. Why have Evangelicals naively embraced the concept of an ideal family. What happened to hearty families of ten or more siblings? Why we do interject an artificial process in the family planning dynamics. Why do we even attempt “family planning.” What happened to the good ole where we let God be God, thus letting the chips fall where they may. Some families would indeed have large off-springs and each child would be viewed as a blessing from God. Some families would have a couple or maybe three and they would be cherished. Some would have only one and that child would be adored. Tragically, as was in the Old Testament some families would experience barrenness. Some would find relief from God but some would not. Yet, Evangelical would let God be God. The secrets things would belong to God (Deuteronomy 29:29) yet we would trust God like Job and say, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him (Job 13:15).
If these points are correct then I fail to understand the legitimacy of Evangelical couples employing the use of birth control. Unless we believe God grants “bad gifts” then what is the legitimate danger to refraining from the employment of an artificial use of birth control. Is the refrain, “God will not put on us than we can bear” now to be considered theologically faulty or inadequate?
Did Father Abraham get it wrong when he exclaimed, “Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18:25). Is the Scripture misguided when it says, ” For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” when it speaks about Christ in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 1:20). Do we now believe that Christ will truly give us a rock when we ask Him for bread?
So, let me get this straight. I am supposed to counsel my daughter when she gets married (because there should no context of having a conversation about sexual relations since she is now single) that she should resort to taking birth control pills because of what?
- God will overwhelm with more kids than He can handle so take matters into your own hands
- God is busy with other affairs and wants us to manage the small stuff. God helps those who help themselves (you know the Bible NEVER says that)
- We believe in Deism: where God started it all but He is not actively engaged in human affairs
- God ordained the use of birth control so He does not have to micro-manage human affairs
- You fill in the rationale
I look forward to your response, especially if you disagree. I readily acknowledge in my formative years I did not always practice what I now understand. I cannot go back into my mother’s womb and have a do-over but I can repent (which I have) and spend my remaining days being light and salt. I have three young adult children who will one day (I hope) provide my grand kids. They have to make moral and ethical decisions concerning their sexual ethics. They all profess Christ as their Lord and Savior so they have the same obligations as any other Evangelicals.
I choose to not even venture into the secular background that advanced this worldview. Let me state in passing I believe, instead of its purported good in liberating women, the birth control pills has opened up “Pandora Box” towards the moral decay of this present generation. The message behind the use of the birth control pill is “enjoyment without consequences.” That is the lie of the Devil because all actions have corresponding consequences. Some are realized quicker than others, some will not be realized until eternity but all actions still have consequences.
Again, let me know what you think on my view about birth control. It should be interesting. Until then keep your hands to the plow and seek to serve for an Audience of One!