Birth Control

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Birth Control

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Post by DavidLeon »

The Bible doesn't say anything about birth control. Though some ancient peoples did make some attempt at birth control, they were usually ineffective and the people of ancient Israel were not, as far as the Bible indicates, among those who practiced any of those methods.

Skeptics often give five verses which have very little to do with birth control from any perspective that I can see but I will briefly discuss those verses trying to understand what reasoning may have inspired their having been listed as anything to do with birth control, and I will try and give a balanced Biblical perspective on what birth control means to the modern Christian.

Genesis 1:28 tells Adam and Eve to be fruitful, to multiply and replenish the earth. It is important to recognize that this was spoken to Adam and Eve, the first human man and wife. Had they not done what they were told, we wouldn't be here. Fortunately for us, God's intention for the earth to be inhabited by people came to pass as Adam and Eve were willing to do this.

At Genesis 9:1, 7 God gives the same command to Noah and his family for the same reason.

Genesis 38:9-10 gives the account of Onan. After his brother Er had died his father Judah asked him to perform brother-in-law marriage with Tamar. Also known as levirate marriage, this custom involved the deceased man's brother to have offspring with the childless widow, who would carry on the family line and hereditary possession. She should not marry outside the family of her deceased husband. (Deuteronomy 25:5-6) Onan took pleasure in Tamar but failed to fulfill his obligation, and that is why he was put to death. Not for birth control.

It was not until the second century C.E. that professed Christians began to adopt the Stoic rule which dictated that the sole lawful purpose of marital intercourse was procreation. This was a philosophical rather than a Biblical reasoning, and through the ages various Catholic theologians expanded upon it, the result of which was that sexual pleasure between married couples except for the purpose of procreation was considered sinful and immoral. Not until the 13th century did Pope Gregory IX enact the first legislation by a pope against contraception. Again, the Bible doesn't teach this. Proverbs 5:18-19 says; "to be blessed and rejoice with the wife of your youth . . . Let her own breasts intoxicate you at all times. With her love may you be in an ecstasy constantly."

To Adam and to Noah's family God said to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth, but this was not repeated to Christians, and in fact, there is only three things that the Christian need consider when faced with the issue of birth control.

1. Sexual pleasure between married couples is not a sin. (Proverbs 5:18-19)

2. A very important point of consideration for contraception is to avoid abortive contraception. Most of them are non-abortive, make sure the one you use is. The choice of contraception should reflect a respect for the sanctity of life. (Exodus 21:22-23)

3. The Christian perspective on contraception should reflect the idea of personal choice, and therefore be careful not to judge others regarding the matter. (Romans 14:10-13)
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