Christians And Contraception

.. s moral will is for humans to procreate. The most abundantly documented truth in the Bible concerning children is that they come from God as his gift and that he, and he alone, has the privilege of giving and withholding children. This choice is Gods choice not a choice to be made by humans. Science and Philosophy Science also plays a part as an authority of religious ethics. Although this branch mostly supports birth control for Christians there are biological issues that help the arguing side.

One is that, a casual observation of nature indicates that the natural purpose of sex is reproduction. Animals are driven by hormones, not pleasure. The sexual act is instinctive. The soul purpose of the egg has merely one function in life; to be present when the sperm reach it (which is the soul purpose of the function of sperm) . And so, it is a logical statement that reproduction is the natural purpose of the sexual act.

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A second understanding that science and philosophy give us about contraception, is that some forms of contraception are not contraception at all. They are actually forms of birth control, that are not always only hindering conception but often times just not allowing the already fertilized egg to be embedded in the endomitrium layer to grow . This fact leaves Christians unaware of their actions. Are they hindering the conception of the sperm and the egg? Or are the killing an already conceived child? The question leaves some Christians opposed to the use of any birth control or contraceptives. The Other Side Tradition Tradition also serves to support the use of birth control. The traditional view of the Presbyterians is in the support of a womans right to practice birth control.

The normative beliefs most important for understanding the Presbyterian perspective are, sex is a good gift from God, and justice is the primary desire of God . Saying sex is a good gift from God is different than saying sex is the means of procreation. From the Presbyterian perspective, sex is a gift like bread, sunshine, and friendship; things to be enjoyed, but not abused. This means that procreation is simply one possible outcome of sex. Pleasure is another, and equally as valuable . Saying that justice is the primary desire of God not only allows for birth control – justice for a woman to choose – but actually can be seen as encouraging birth control.

Given that the human population is rapidly approaching the carrying capacity of our planet’s eco-system, promoting large families can be seen as irresponsible, and in fact, threatening to the health of the larger community and future generations. Justice for all creation – both the natural world and human society – may require stewardship of reproduction through birth control . Also, there is now influence of todays culture that challenges the views of tradition, specifically the Vatican, which is against contraception. It strikes many Catholics as bizarre that the men of the Vatican, who havent had children, live celibate lives, and seem hopelessly out of touch with the realities of day to day Christians lives, made the decision and interpretation of the Bible as the one that doesnt let Christians choose to use or reject contraception . Thus, there are many tradition views that support the use of birth control, and many of the traditional views that did not condone contraception are now being re-evaluated by the followers of Catholicism and Christianity. Scripture The main argument for the condonence of contraception as it pertains to Scripture is that there isnt much, if any, of Gods word on birth control portrayed in the Bible.

What is said in the Bible is interpreted by the traditional Christians to pertain to contraception. It has been said by other traditions that by practicing the use of birth control, that you are thwarting Gods sovereign will, but what they fail to acknowledge is that by very definition, Gods sovereign will is not something that can be thwarted. His sovereign will is always fulfilled. His sovereign will even entails evil actions. He takes those into consideration to accomplish His sovereign goals. So it must be His moral will that birth control allegedly violates.

But His moral will is always clearly revealed, so we are careful to obey it. What do we have revealed in the Scriptures pertaining to birth control? Nothing . We have one reference in Genesis 38 that some have taken to be a reference to birth control where Onan spills his seed on the ground (coitus interruptus). He withdraws in the act of intercourse, ejaculates on the ground, and God strikes him dead . The big question is, why does God strike him dead? It seems foolish to assume that God struck him dead for practicing birth control. It seems like very strong punishment, and if that is what happened, the God must feel very strongly about such a thing as birth control.

If God feels so strongly about such a thing, why are we left up to our own devices to figure this out from one verse in the book of Genesis? Why wouldnt God confirm such a hatred for this act in the Law? There are no direct or even mildly indirect statements about birth control, or even one form of birth control coitus interrupts. Thus, God did not intend for us to reject birth control. Lastly, it is argued above that the natural function of sexual intercourse is procreation. It wasnt taken into account that the Bible clearly shows that there are more purposes for sex within marriage than simply procreation. In any case children are looked upon as an additional blessing in the Scriptures; Children are a gift from God: They are his reward.

Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows to defend him. Children are not an automatic event. God provided a companion for Adam in the Garden with no mention of children in that contact. The unity between husband and wife in marriage, throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, is spoken as a mystery expressing the relationship between Christ and his Church. In that contest is seems to have nothing to do with producing children.

Regardless of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, there is nothing in Scripture that prohibits the enjoyment of sexual pleasure within a marriage. Paul in the New Testament teaches that a limited period of abstinence may be appropriate but that otherwise normal sexual relations should take place. Procreation is not mentioned in this context. The point he is making is that one of the best antidotes to adultery is a satisfactory marital relationship. Conception is neither condoned nor condemned in Biblical Scripture. Science and Philosophy Science and philosophy also support the use of contraceptives.

Firstly, is it worthwhile to point out that many of todays contraceptives not only provide the hindrance of, but they also help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases . Secondly, is the counter argument to the issue revealed that the primary function of sexual intercourse is production. How can sexual intercourse be said to be essentially generative when most acts of intercourse are infertile? There are rhythmically only a few days out of a month that a womans body can retain a fertilized egg and incubate it throughout a pregnancy. It seems logical that if procreation were a main function, then God would have intentionally heightened the ability to conceive children at any time of the month. Lastly, in relation to the above, there is one factor of sexual biology that was overlooked when determining the main function of sexual intercourse as procreation.

Is there only one possible function of the organs, or does the fact we have bundles of nerve endings more concentrated in those areas than anywhere else on our bodies indicate a multifunction purpose? We do not need the extreme pleasure sensitivity in our sex organs to reproduce the species. Instinct and hormones alone could easily guide us. Therefore is it obvious that God intended more that just procreation when he gave us the gift of intercourse . Summary There are many factors to consider as a Christian when making the personal decision whether to use contraceptive devices in your relationship. Most traditional views and interpretation of Christianity condemned the use of any sort of birth control with the thought that god put humanity on earth to pro-create, therefore we must do as He wishes.

Finally, more contemporary views and newer interpretation of Biblical Scripture show us that in fact God has empowered us to make our own decisions about the choices concerning whether to use birth control or not. Like all areas of life, sexual activities must be placed in the context of the stewardship of God’s creation. We should enjoy God’s creation while at the same time making God’s creation more enjoyable for all people. Bibliography 1 Cor 7:1-7 Moskowitz, Ellen H. Long-Acting Contraceptives: Ethical Guidance for Policymakers and Heath Care Providers.

(The Hastings Report: Vol. 25, Jan/Feb 1995) p. S7 Woods, Thomas E. Jr. Contraception vs. Natural Piety.

(Berkley: New oxford Revie:1999) Vol. 66, Issue 3, p.3 Zimbelan, Ernie. Human Sexuality.


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