Author Topic: Contraception  (Read 9066 times)

Team Hesse

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #120 on: October 30, 2010, 03:14:46 PM »
And fairness would insist that we also cite the long periods of time when Christians, Jews and Muslims lived side by side and shared each other's culture and learning.




What period in which country are you referring to?

Lou

ChrisG

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #121 on: October 30, 2010, 06:52:39 PM »
For those of you who are inclined to say that contraception is sinful, does your opinion change if the life of the mother would be jeopardized by a pregnancy?  My wife is 30 years old and her health is extremely fragile (stage four pulmonary hypertension, anomolous pulmonary venous return, ventricular septal defect, and right side heart failure).  A woman with any type of pulmonary hypertension only has a 33% chance of surviving a pregnancy.  Given the advanced nature of my wife's condition and the existance of heart defects and heart failure, a pregnancy would almost certainly result in death.  She has medication (Flolan) continuously infused into her jugular to stay alive.  This medication produces terrible birth defects, and she does not have the option of stopping the therapy. 
So, again, if you believe contraception is sinful, and you were married to my wife, would you abstain from using birth control?

Richard Johnson

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #122 on: October 30, 2010, 07:02:17 PM »
For those of you who are inclined to say that contraception is sinful, does your opinion change if the life of the mother would be jeopardized by a pregnancy?  My wife is 30 years old and her health is extremely fragile (stage four pulmonary hypertension, anomolous pulmonary venous return, ventricular septal defect, and right side heart failure).  A woman with any type of pulmonary hypertension only has a 33% chance of surviving a pregnancy.  Given the advanced nature of my wife's condition and the existance of heart defects and heart failure, a pregnancy would almost certainly result in death.  She has medication (Flolan) continuously infused into her jugular to stay alive.  This medication produces terrible birth defects, and she does not have the option of stopping the therapy. 
So, again, if you believe contraception is sinful, and you were married to my wife, would you abstain from using birth control?

Chris,

What a terrible dilemma to be in. I have some ambivalence about contraception. I do not believe it is necessarily sinful, but its moral status has to do with the kind of contraception used (i.e., no abortifacients) and the motivation for use. In your case, I, for one, would not have any moral qualms about preventing a pregnancy.

God's blessings to you and your wife.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Scott6

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #123 on: October 30, 2010, 07:06:57 PM »
For those of you who are inclined to say that contraception is sinful, does your opinion change if the life of the mother would be jeopardized by a pregnancy?  My wife is 30 years old and her health is extremely fragile (stage four pulmonary hypertension, anomolous pulmonary venous return, ventricular septal defect, and right side heart failure).  A woman with any type of pulmonary hypertension only has a 33% chance of surviving a pregnancy.  Given the advanced nature of my wife's condition and the existance of heart defects and heart failure, a pregnancy would almost certainly result in death.  She has medication (Flolan) continuously infused into her jugular to stay alive.  This medication produces terrible birth defects, and she does not have the option of stopping the therapy. 
So, again, if you believe contraception is sinful, and you were married to my wife, would you abstain from using birth control?

Chris,

What a terrible dilemma to be in. I have some ambivalence about contraception. I do not believe it is necessarily sinful, but its moral status has to do with the kind of contraception used (i.e., no abortifacients) and the motivation for use. In your case, I, for one, would not have any moral qualms about preventing a pregnancy.

God's blessings to you and your wife.

Chris -- What a difficult situation!  I, too, have concerns with many forms of birth control, but given the situation you and your wife find yourselves in, I agree with Richard.  If somebody's body physically cannot (or most likely will not) survive a pregnancy, then avoiding pregnancy makes perfect sense.

Blessings!

ptmccain

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #124 on: October 30, 2010, 07:11:03 PM »
Chris,

What a cross has been laid on your and your wife's shoulders! How good both of you to know the great love and mercy of the One who bore the cross and by whose stripes all our infirmities are healed, the greatest infirmity of sin, and all other infirmities, if not now, then in the blessed life to come. You and your dear wife will be in my thoughts and prayers.

As for the situation you describe, I could not in good conscience possibly think to tell either of you that your use of contraception is sinful. In fact, I think it would be sinful for you not to use it.

God bless and thanks for trusting us, and blessing us, with the account of your struggles, so we may lift you up in prayer.

In Jesus,
Paul
« Last Edit: October 30, 2010, 07:35:37 PM by ptmccain »

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #125 on: October 30, 2010, 07:20:17 PM »

So, again, if you believe contraception is sinful, and you were married to my wife, would you abstain from using birth control?

Okay, somebody has to say this: if I believed contraception were sinful and pregnancy were that life threatening to my wife, my first option would be to abstain from sexual intercourse.

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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ptmccain

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #126 on: October 30, 2010, 07:31:19 PM »
That would be an option, not the only option, and in my opinion, not the best option.

The *first* purpose for the creation of Eve was *not* procreation, but of being one flesh with Adam, a companion, a wife. "Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh."

Women are not merely, only, or firstly and chiefly, baby factories.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2010, 07:32:58 PM by ptmccain »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #127 on: October 30, 2010, 07:34:39 PM »
That would be an option, not the only option, and in my opinion, not the best option.

The *first* purpose for the creation of Eve was *not* procreation, but of being one flesh with Adam, a companion, a wife. "Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh."

Women are not merely, only, or firstly and chiefly, baby factories.

I agree with you again! Will wonders never cease?
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

ChrisG

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #128 on: October 30, 2010, 08:42:41 PM »

So, again, if you believe contraception is sinful, and you were married to my wife, would you abstain from using birth control?

Okay, somebody has to say this: if I believed contraception were sinful and pregnancy were that life threatening to my wife, my first option would be to abstain from sexual intercourse.

Pax, Steven+
That thought has certainly crossed my mind.  To be honest, the notion of contraception (or abortion for that matter) becoming morally acceptable if and only if it endagers the life of the mother doesn't sit completely well with me - hard cases make for bad laws.  Any pregancy carries with it the risk of death for the mother, so we are left with trying to figure out what probability of death is required for contraception to become morally acceptable.
That being said, I don't know that celibacy within marriage is really a good option either.  With pulmonary hypertension being a terminal illness there is a huge problem of spousal abandonment.  The caregiving spouse throws in the towel, leaves, and the sick spouse dies soon thereafter.  Prior to my wife becoming sick, I never understood how anyone could abandon a spouse in that type of situation, but I absolutely see how that could happen now.  Illness of such a serious nature puts an unbelievable amount of pressure on the marriage.  Celibacy would only add to that.
As a side, I certainly appreciate the prayers and kind words from everyone.  It has been a very difficult experience, but I don't know that I would desrcibe it as a bad experience.  I find it to be something of a blessing to be faced with one's own mortality at a young age.  To see that sin has so corrupted creation to the point that someone can be born with half of their pulmonary arteries connected to the wrong place is a scary thing.  However, that only serves to maginfy God's providence in that she lived 28 years without ever knowing that she had this condition and that she can live somewhat of a normal life even though her blood pressure in her pulmonary arteries is five times the amount of a normal preson's.  It also underscores our need for a savior and the Lutheran notion of looking to the means of grace for comfort and evidence of God's favorable disposition towards you.



ptmccain

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #129 on: October 30, 2010, 08:47:28 PM »
Thank you for witness, Chris.

It is humbling, and encouraging.

God bless.

kls

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #130 on: October 30, 2010, 09:18:32 PM »
Thank you all for your pastoral responses.  It has helped me personally, too.  Many blessings to you, Chris.  I can't even imagine what it must be like to walk in your shoes (or your wife's). 

Kurt Weinelt

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #131 on: October 30, 2010, 10:41:09 PM »
Chris,

What a cross has been laid on your and your wife's shoulders! How good both of you to know the great love and mercy of the One who bore the cross and by whose stripes all our infirmities are healed, the greatest infirmity of sin, and all other infirmities, if not now, then in the blessed life to come. You and your dear wife will be in my thoughts and prayers.

As for the situation you describe, I could not in good conscience possibly think to tell either of you that your use of contraception is sinful. In fact, I think it would be sinful for you not to use it.

God bless and thanks for trusting us, and blessing us, with the account of your struggles, so we may lift you up in prayer.

In Jesus,
Paul
This is one of the finest things I've ever read on ALPB. Thank you for posting this pastoral response, Pr. McCain!
Kurt
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Weedon

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #132 on: October 30, 2010, 10:59:34 PM »
Chris,

Prayers arise for you and your wife.  I agree:  exceptional cases are not the stuff on which general principles can be built.  My wife and I also wanted many children.  Her last pregnancy was so...odd - even the doctors and midwife were befuddled - that we felt we oughtn't risk more.  But we always ask ourselves whether we didn't make a mistake - not trusting God?  Not putting it in His hands?  I don't know today if we'd have made the same choices we made all those years ago, but now it is too late.  Still, this much is sure:  I will never judge those who are faced with hard decisions and make a choice that they are not entirely happy with or certain of.  I'd instead assure them of Christ's gracious forgiveness and love.  But at the same time I stand with you in realizing that the exceptional cases ought not set the general principle.  Pax!

LCMS87

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #133 on: November 17, 2010, 02:08:00 PM »
For clarification's sake, I should note that I did not have in mind parental rights with regard to those children they have been given.  My comment involves the lack of a right to become a parent.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 12:06:59 AM by LCMS87 »

Karl Hess

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #134 on: November 17, 2010, 11:51:11 PM »

The *first* purpose for the creation of Eve was *not* procreation, but of being one flesh with Adam, a companion, a wife. "Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh."


I'm not buying this.  If you'll excuse me, Paul, it seems like this line of reasoning is afflicted with the LCMS illness of wanting to dissect God's institutions into "functions," as some do with the ministry.  Being Adam's companion, being one flesh with him, and procreation are all of a piece.  Sometimes God withdraws some of these benefits or allows them to be withheld--but this is the result of living in a fallen world.  It doesn't follow that we have the right to separate the gift of procreation from the gift of being one flesh.

Also, disparaging fruitfulness as making a woman into "a baby factory" is language and thinking borrowed from the culture of death.  Women are incapable of being "baby factories."  Each baby is handcrafted in its mother's womb by God.  A woman who permits God to have use of her body to bring forth many children is to be praised and honored, not disparaged as a "factory."