Can Christians Use Birth Control?
- Tuesday, July 14, 2009
A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
By God’s grace, our church has seen thousands of mainly young people come to know Jesus or come back into a transforming relationship with Jesus after years of rebellion. As a result, we see a lot of couples in our pre-marital counseling classes, and we answer questions constantly about sex, children, and birth control. Nowhere in the Bible do we find terms such as contraception, birth control, or family planning. Still, the Bible does speak to those issues in principle. Therefore, to best answer these and other questions, we have to begin with a Christian worldview and then explore how the Bible principally establishes ethical guidelines by which contemporary birth control questions can be answered. The biblical worldview necessary for answering this question is comprised of sixteen truths.
Truth 1: God is the Creator and author of human life.1
Truth 2: God made humanity in his image and likeness, which means that human life is unique and sacred.2
Truth 3: God intends for human beings to fill the earth.3
Truth 4: God authored that life begins at conception and declares that an unborn baby is a sacred life.4
Truth 5: God knows us from our mother’s womb.5
Truth 6: God declares that when human life is taken without just cause (e.g., capital punishment, just war, self-defense), the sin of murder has been committed.6
Truth 7: God made humanity to exercise dominion by ruling over creation.7
Truth 8: God made humanity to steward creation by exercising wise discernment based upon natural revelation, conscience, the Holy Spirit, counsel, and most authoritatively, Scripture.8
Truth 9: God made humanity male and female.9
Truth 10: God created marriage as a covenant for one man and one woman.10
Truth 11: God created sex as a gift only for a married couple.11
Truth 12: God is sovereign over the womb and can ultimately open and close it as he wills.12
Truth 13: Children are a blessing from God to be provided and cared for by parents and extended family and church, including those who are adopted as Jesus was.13
Truth 14: God desires Christians to raise godly offspring.14
Truth 15: God commands his people to lovingly help care for widows and orphans.15
Truth 16: God expects single nonparents to help parents raise children, as Jesus’ own life as a single man exemplifies.16
With this Christian worldview in place, we are ready to examine the various options for a Christian couple considering birth control.
THE HISTORY OF BIRTH CONTROL
It is important to note that birth control is not a new issue. Birth control has been around for thousands of years, although not all methods have been safe or effective.3 Two thousand years ago, Egyptian women soaked their crocodile-dung tampons in honey, onion juice, and mint sap, and then actually inserted them. Other methods included cocoa-butter vaginal suppositories. Ancient Chinese remedies included swallowing a live tadpole and eating the scrapings from inside a deer’s antlers. Greek and Roman women soaked their tampons in hemlock and quinine. Saxon women used roasted horse manure. Japanese prostitutes inserted balls of bamboo tissue paper in the vagina, Islamic and Greek women used balls of wool, and Slavic women used linen rags. These were intended to soak up sperm but the attempts were unsuccessful. Italian men would wrap a wet cloth around the erect penis and tie it with a pink ribbon.
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