Birth Control and the Bible

            The Roman Catholic Church declares that the use of contraceptives as a method of birth control is sinfulThey have an Update concerning the dogma.  A copy can be obtained from the Catholic Church by the title, “The How and Why of Natural Family Planning” by Mary Shaivananda.  It strives to demonstrate the difference between the early “Rhythm Method” (sexual intercourse only during the non-fertile period and the Update)

             The Roman Catholic Church is not opposed to birth control totally, but is against artificial methods of birth control.  In his book, The Question Box (which has the leader of authorized printings for the church, B. L. Conway writes:  “It is perfectly ethical to limit the family, if the method is self-control by abstinence and continence.  What the Catholic Church absolutely forbids is the limitation of the family, or contraception, by chemical, mechanical or other artificial means” (p. 339)

             The pronouncement by the Roman Church is both illogical and unreasonableIn logic there is a law known as, “the law of the excluded middle”.  It simply states that a thing either is or it is not.  There is no middle ground.  For example, a line is either straight or it is not straight, there is no in-between.  Now let this principle apply to the matter of birth control.  Birth control is either moral or it is not moral.  If it is not moral, then every type of birth control must be opposed, including abstinence or natural methods, such as the rhythm methodThis would mean that every fertile couple would be divinely duty-bound to have a child each year throughout the wife’s entire child-bearing years!  Now what responsible and mature person will contend to follow that philosophy?

             While the Bible states man is to be fruitful and to increase in number so that the earth may be filled – good common sense tells us that this should not be done by one family.  Also, while it is true that one of the functions of the marital relationship is to produce children (Genesis 1:28; Psalms 127:3-5;        I Timothy 2:15; 5:14) that certainly is not the totality of the sexual function as designed by God.  Consider the following observations.

             First, if sexual intercourse within marriage is exclusively for the conception of children, then every married couple, who knows it is incapable of producing children, must refrain from sexual intercourse.  Yet who will so submit oneself to follow this insane way of life?

             Second, if the solitary function of sexual union for married couples is child conception, one wonders why the Lord did not create within woman a “heat” period (as with animals) so that she could only engage in sexual  intercourse at certain accepted seasons.  Humans are apparently set apart from animals in this regard.

             Third, in I Corinthians 7:1ff Paul wrote, “It is good for a man not to touch (be sexually intimate with) a woman.  But, because of fornications, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.”  (One must remember, of course, that within this particular context, the apostle advises against marriage because of an impending persecution, see 7:26.)  Paul thus teaches that while, at that time, it was best for men and women to remain apart, nonetheless, if they were tempted to commit fornication, they could marry to prevent such.  Now there is an implication in Paul’s statement:  that which motivates a person to commit fornication (a sinful act) can be fulfilled morally within marriage.  Well, why do people engage in fornication?  It's certainly not because they hope to bring children into the world, but rather to fulfill a biological urge.  Hence, one may conclude that the purpose of the sex act within marriage is not just to begat children; it is also for the fulfillment of God-given desires, and consequently, married people may enjoy sexual fulfillment without the obligation to produce children like brood animals.                                                                                                 

Fourth, there are other considerations involved.  For example, the Bible teaches that a man is obligated to provide for his own family (I Timothy 5:8).  Surely no one will argue that one must continue to produce children for which he is unable to sufficiently provide, and for this reason, the responsibility for which would fall upon others.  And if one contends that it is immoral to naturally limit the family, but it is sinful to artificially do so, then he must show from the Bible he has drawn that distinction!  It will not do merely to state it.

 Fifth, many times a woman’s health is a factor in the number of children she can bear.  Shall she be forced to bear children to the point of bringing about her own death simply to satisfy the dogma of a bachelor in Rome (The Pope)?

 Finally, though we would argue that there is nothing sinful generally in artificial birth control as a practice, we must issue a word of caution.  Any so-called method of “birth control” that is responsible for the destruction of a fertilized ovum (a child), or is suspected to be, would be a violation of other biblical principles, for this reason – it is sinful.  Christian women ought, therefore, to refrain from the use of such devices.

             May the readers of this article be very much aware that the God, Creator of our universe and all that is therein.  This includes each of us with our various systems, which has among them respiratory, digestive, circulatory, to mention a few.  However, may we not forget the reproductive system, which has many areas of purpose.  God has provided it not only to provide a way of procreating the earth, but to fulfill our psychological and physical sexual needs.  God made mankind with these needs.  Thus, sex activity in itself is not sin.   However, the fulfilling the need has caused him/her a great amount of distress.  Self-Discipline plays a great part in itIf a person does not use this, which God provides, many problems come on the scene.   An example of this can be found in II Samuel 11.  King David saw a woman bathing.  He no doubt took a second look and then a third, until he began to lust after her and sent for her.  He committed adultery with her, as her husband was gone serving in the military.  Then, when she told him she was pregnant by him, he eventually had him killed to cover up the sin.  Thus, the lust of the eyes progressed to where he committed murder.

             Strange how the eyes, which should be used for pleasure, can lead one to lust after another.  Of course, the parading around as some females and males do (nearly nude dress, and provocative apparel), setting the atmosphere for lusting probably has caused many unfaithful acts of sexual abuse.   May we submit to God’s will and keep our sexual activity within the bounds of Holy Matrimony!

    Plainly – now don’t get short changedLet’s be ready to meet our Maker.  The Bible (in Acts) teaches that to avoid hell and gain heaven - one must:

1) Believe In Jesus As Savior (16:31) 

2) Repent Of Sins  (17:30)  

3) Confess Christ Audibly (8:37) 

4) Be Baptized In  Water (2:38)  

5) Live A  Christian Life (14:22)  

6) Be Active In the Church (2:47)

Posted in Articles By Brother Hoyt.