Author Topic: Contraception  (Read 9418 times)

James Thomas Sharp

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
  • Deserve's got nothin' to do with it.
    • View Profile
    • Lutheran Mission in Uruguay
Re: Contraception
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2010, 05:15:27 PM »
I don't think contraception within married couples is a tough decision at all, and I don't think adopting the Roman Catholic position makes good sense for Lutherans.
What about re-adopting the historic Lutheran position, which is a lot more similar to the current Roman position than it is to the current "Lutheran" position.

The thing I am most embarrassed about in the LCMS is the way we have sold out on divorce and birth control.
I don't think it is fair to link selling out on divorce to allowing birth control, scripture being very clear about divorce and not so clear on the other.  But as for going back to the way the things used to be....

My German-Lutheran immigrant great-grandfather married his first wife, who gave him children and died young of childbirth complications. Then he married my grandmother's mother, who likewise met a similar fate. The third wife produced babies, but at least she survived childbearing years. They all lived out their lives in poverty, my sainted grandmother being pulled from school in the 4th grade to work in a Baltimore textile mill.  Took a needle through the hand, and never finished her education since she herself married at 15 and began her family.  And those were the "good old days" right before the turn of the century. May they never return.
Kurt
I am not suggesting we abandon modern medical care.  I am suggesting we return to the Biblical worldview and classic Lutheran theological position that children - yes, plural, yes, lots of them - are a blessing and gift from God, not a burden/project/something to be had at our convenience.  I do not believe it is a black-and-white issue in the same way divorce is, but we most certainly have sold out by just throwing up our hands and saying, "oh, well, the Bible isn't clear, so do what you want."

My parishioners complain about how the church used to be so full and now it's so empty.  I ask them how many brothers and sisters they had, and how many children they had.  QED.

No, it is not QED.  Asking them how many of their neighbor's families, co-workers, friends and enemies they have asked to come to church might provide that.

Biological church growth is an excuse not to do the work of proclaiming God's mercy to a world darkened by sin.   Biological Church growth however is a heterodox teaching that goes back to the time of the Judges and Kings, when Israel forgot (conveniently) the laws pertaining to bringing God's promise to the world, and that through Abraham's seed all nations would be blessed.
Now saying that Christians should have kids is a heresy?  We need to get you out of California.

Their neighbors (even the papists), co-workers, friends and enemies didn't have many kids, either.
"Don't thank me,  thank Marge Simpson!  She taught me that the ministry is more than just not caring about people."
- Rev. Lovejoy

Support Lutheran mission work in Uruguay!
www.lcms.org/sharp

mariemeyer

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4320
    • View Profile
Re: Contraception
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2010, 05:21:45 PM »
Sorry - I hit the reply key too soon.

The comment "Now, children are seen as burdens that must be planned" is a non-documented generalization.

That some people see children as a burden or an inconvenient nuisance has been true for ages.  Today, as in the past, there are cultures where baby girls are a burden and little boys a highy valued prize.  

One has only to look at the magazines available at the grocery check out to see how having a baby has become something of a status symbol in Hollywood.

As to the will of God and the number of children a couple has. Talk to couples dealing with infertility and they have a hard time regarding their inability to have children as the will of God.

Kurt Weinelt

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1223
  • Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders!
    • View Profile
Re: Contraception
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2010, 05:26:38 PM »
I live in a VERY Roman Catholic city, so it is interesting to me to see that somehow middle class Catholics in general don't seem to procreate in greater numbers that the rest of us. I think to reverse-engineer a birth control prohibition upon Lutherans will be eqally as successful.  So far in SATx, it is unwed teens (I teach them and am familiar with the issue) who seem to procreate in large numbers, and women in poverty who practice serial monogamy (with or without the benefit of marriage) and raise a household of children with multiple sires. Instead of condemning Lutherans for not producing "a baby a year", maybe we should make all these dysfunctional families with needy children the priority for mission growth right here at home.
Kurt
"Learning about history is an antidote to the hubris of the present, the idea that everything in OUR lives is the ultimate." David McCullough

pr dtp

  • Guest
Re: Contraception
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2010, 05:29:19 PM »
I don't think contraception within married couples is a tough decision at all, and I don't think adopting the Roman Catholic position makes good sense for Lutherans.
What about re-adopting the historic Lutheran position, which is a lot more similar to the current Roman position than it is to the current "Lutheran" position.

The thing I am most embarrassed about in the LCMS is the way we have sold out on divorce and birth control.
I don't think it is fair to link selling out on divorce to allowing birth control, scripture being very clear about divorce and not so clear on the other.  But as for going back to the way the things used to be....

My German-Lutheran immigrant great-grandfather married his first wife, who gave him children and died young of childbirth complications. Then he married my grandmother's mother, who likewise met a similar fate. The third wife produced babies, but at least she survived childbearing years. They all lived out their lives in poverty, my sainted grandmother being pulled from school in the 4th grade to work in a Baltimore textile mill.  Took a needle through the hand, and never finished her education since she herself married at 15 and began her family.  And those were the "good old days" right before the turn of the century. May they never return.
Kurt
I am not suggesting we abandon modern medical care.  I am suggesting we return to the Biblical worldview and classic Lutheran theological position that children - yes, plural, yes, lots of them - are a blessing and gift from God, not a burden/project/something to be had at our convenience.  I do not believe it is a black-and-white issue in the same way divorce is, but we most certainly have sold out by just throwing up our hands and saying, "oh, well, the Bible isn't clear, so do what you want."

My parishioners complain about how the church used to be so full and now it's so empty.  I ask them how many brothers and sisters they had, and how many children they had.  QED.

No, it is not QED.  Asking them how many of their neighbor's families, co-workers, friends and enemies they have asked to come to church might provide that.

Biological church growth is an excuse not to do the work of proclaiming God's mercy to a world darkened by sin.   Biological Church growth however is a heterodox teaching that goes back to the time of the Judges and Kings, when Israel forgot (conveniently) the laws pertaining to bringing God's promise to the world, and that through Abraham's seed all nations would be blessed.
Now saying that Christians should have kids is a heresy?  We need to get you out of California.

Their neighbors (even the papists), co-workers, friends and enemies didn't have many kids, either.

No, I said that saying that your stated reason for churches being empty supports a heterodox concept that producing children is the best method of growing churches.   Mt 28 doesn't say create disciples only within your own family.  Yet there was even a resolution which sounds vaguely like your solution this summer.  The Floor Committee noted there wasn't a historic LCMS position on the matter, if I recall.


Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: Contraception
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2010, 05:32:09 PM »

This goes into ESCR as well.  Shouldn't we give up a few unwanted fetuses if it can help cure Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's?


Which god do we offer the sacrifice to?

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Kurt Weinelt

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1223
  • Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders!
    • View Profile
Re: Contraception
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2010, 05:34:30 PM »
Sorry - I hit the reply key too soon.
The comment "Now, children are seen as burdens that must be planned" is a non-documented generalization.
That some people see children as a burden or an inconvenient nuisance has been true for ages.  Today, as in the past, there are cultures where baby girls are a burden and little boys a highy valued prize.  
One has only to look at the magazines available at the grocery check out to see how having a baby has become something of a status symbol in Hollywood. As to the will of God and the number of children a couple has. Talk to couples dealing with infertility and they have a hard time regarding their inability to have children as the will of God.

Forget Hollywood---having a baby is a status symbol in high school now!  :o Since I left the Air Force and began teaching almost 18 years ago, I have only known one of my pregnant students to give up her baby for adoption.  The norm for young generation we have now is NOT a family with an adult currently-married mother and father.  It is a national disgrace, and something more worthy of attention than a movement to ban Lutheran contraception.
Kurt
"Learning about history is an antidote to the hubris of the present, the idea that everything in OUR lives is the ultimate." David McCullough

Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: Contraception
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2010, 05:37:57 PM »

Even natural family planning allowed by the Roman church is a contraceptive method, intent on preventing the conception of a child except when decided by the parents.  Is that acceptable?  Why?  What is the big difference between preventing conception by refraining from intercourse at certain times, and doing so by using other methods?


Choosing to engage in marital relations only when the wife is less likely to conceive is not the same thing as preventing conception.

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

pr dtp

  • Guest
Re: Contraception
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2010, 07:03:05 PM »
If contraception is playng God, then so wouldn't artificial insemination and other methods that go outside natural means to impregnate someone?

And there are indeed those who credibly argue this as another way in which man tries to usurp God's role as the Lord of Life.

But for me, the direction of earnestly desiring a life and using medical science in aiding that goal is dramatically different than using medical science in a despising and destruction of life.

This goes into ESCR as well.  Shouldn't we give up a few unwanted fetuses if it can help cure Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's?

Mike

Mike,

My point is here - if contraception is a sin because it denies God's natural order and will, so to is AI and the usage of drugs to create hyper fertilization.   It would be inconsistent to say that the erason makes one sin, but not the other.

Is there another reason it is sin, that is equally applied, yet results in one being sin and the other not?  Or is one sin so much less than the other, even though the reason it is sin is exactly the same?  Or do you simply think we should tolerate one sin more than the other?

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43151
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Contraception
« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2010, 07:23:12 PM »
Now, children are seen as burdens that must be planned. 

I had a man tell me that back in 1974. His argument was that once children were no longer the free laborers on the farm or ranch, they turned from assets to liabilities. For the most part, they take much more money out of the family finances than they contribute to them. I recently heard from a retired man who is helping to support two of his four grown children. We feel fortunate that when one grown son couldn't get a job after college, his college would pay for his masters program. He stayed in school. When our other son was laid off from his job -- at the same time his student loans came due -- we had to help support him. There is a limited amount of funds that a family has to spend.

While we talk about God providing, I've seen way too many congregations get behind on bills and mortgages and even have to shut their doors, because God did not provide. (Perhaps the members were spending too much money on too many children :))
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43151
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Contraception
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2010, 07:26:32 PM »

This goes into ESCR as well.  Shouldn't we give up a few unwanted fetuses if it can help cure Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's?


Which god do we offer the sacrifice to?

I think it's the One who sacrificed his Son -- for an even greater good.
"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]

Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: Contraception
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2010, 07:49:28 PM »

This goes into ESCR as well.  Shouldn't we give up a few unwanted fetuses if it can help cure Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's?


Which god do we offer the sacrifice to?

Pax, Steven+

If I understand you correctly, then I am guessing Moloch is the most appropriate.  ;)


Got it. 

Several years ago it struck me that 500 years from now, they might be teaching the history of our culture much as we were taught about bloodthirsty Aztecs sacrificing virgins to the thier gods...

Christe eleison, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

mariemeyer

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4320
    • View Profile
Re: Contraception
« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2010, 08:08:04 PM »
Choosing to engage in marital relations only when the wife is less likely to conceive is not the same thing as preventing conception.

Pax, Steven+

 


Isn't the intent the same thing? In both instances the goal is to avoid having a child at a particular time.   

Marie Meyer

ptmccain

  • Guest
Re: Contraception
« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2010, 08:25:59 PM »
I can appreciate some of the points made about contraception, but finally what always strikes me about many, not all, of the folks advocating the "no contraception" thing is that there is quite an odor of legalism and self-righteousness about it. Kind of like ex-smokers preaching their new found freedom from smoking. It's not enough for them that they have many children as physically possible for them, they try to send others packing for a guilt trip that do not share their zeal to have a bevy of bambinos.

Those who choose to have many children, I say, more power to them and God bless them. Those who decide not to, that's their choice as well. There is no sin, necessarily and always, in contraception.

I do, however, believe healthy young men and women who marry with no intention to have children, should not be married and should abstain from sexual relations. One of the Creator's clear intentions for marriage is that it should be a relationship in which there is fruitful multiplying.

When I'm asked about contraception, I always like to say, "God said to be fruitful and multiply. My wife and I have. So, now tell me again, what are we doing wrong?"

 :)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 08:40:32 PM by ptmccain »

Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: Contraception
« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2010, 09:03:48 PM »

Isn't the intent the same thing?


No, it isn't.

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Weedon

  • Guest
Re: Contraception
« Reply #44 on: October 27, 2010, 09:08:05 PM »
I'm sure Pastor Hess is aware of this website, but others may not be.  Well worth perusing to hear some of the stronger arguments in favor of refraining from contraception by those most affected:

http://concordiansisters.blogspot.com/