I preached Sunday AM from Psalm 127 – “Children Are a Heritage from the Lord.” It went well. However, in my studies I ended up challenging my own thinking about contraception and I’d like to hear what the fellows think.
In the past, I’ve often scoffed at the Catholic teaching about it being a no-no to use contraception (or even the rhythm method with the intent to avoid conception). Yet, the more I studied last week, the harder I found it to deny their rationale on this matter. Interestingly, most of “Christendom” was anti-contraception 100 years ago.
In summary form:
- Children are a heritage/gift from God (which would imply that no pregnancies are accidents–from God’s perspective)
- Children are a reward from the Lord (who would purposefully reject or hinder the reception of a gift & reward from deity?)
- The Bible speaks of God opening & closing wombs (implying that He is in control of conception):
Gen. 20:17,18; 29:31; 30:1,2,22; Deut. 7:13; I Sam. 1:5
- A common quote from those of old I found: “He who send mouths will send meat–if we trust in Him.”
In the past, my response to all of this would have been: I Tim. 5:8. In other words, a family should only have as many children as they can provide for. Yet, I wonder now if that is more of a cop-out than a real answer. You sure don’t see the patriarchs worrying about that (except Onan perhaps). I wonder if citing 5:8 in this case is more a reflection of our faith in SELF rather than faith in GOD. Will God give a couple “too many” children as gifts and then not provide for them? Is the use of non-abortifacient contraception just another human effort to attempt to control what should ultimately be left up to God?
Are there other Scriptural principles I’m overlooking? As one striving to do only that which I’m authorized by God (Col. 3:17), I wonder now if Biblical authority exists for purposefully preventing the POSSIBILITY of conception. Your input is requested.