Author Topic: Contraception  (Read 9069 times)

edoughty

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #135 on: November 18, 2010, 09:25:09 AM »
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!

Count me in the "use contraception, care for your wife's health, do not abstain from sexual activity with her, and don't feel bad about any of that" column. 

Erik


grabau14

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #136 on: November 18, 2010, 09:26:45 AM »

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." 

Well said, Pr. Hess. 

Sandra

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #137 on: November 18, 2010, 09:25:35 PM »

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.

We may not have the right to separate the gift of procreation from the gift of being one flesh, but sometimes sin does that for us.


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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." 
Understood, but there is a burden placed upon women to do so as much as possible to demonstrate their faithfulness and trust in the Lord. However, a whole bunch of kids is not necessarily the result no matter how open the couple is to the gift. There are also plenty of women/couples who have been given such a gift that they are hardly capable of caring for. Where do those babies from other women fit into the picture of procreation. Should families have current homestudies and significant savings on hand so that they can be open to the gift of procreation in this way?
Sandra (Ostapowich) Madden
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Charles_Austin

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #138 on: November 19, 2010, 09:48:17 AM »
Mr. Gehlhausen writes (re parenting I think):
God qualifies those He chooses rather than chooses the qualified.

I muse:
Then, I fear, God is not doing a very good job. And since we have it on good authority that the Almighty is pretty good at most tasks, there must be something else going on.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #139 on: November 19, 2010, 09:54:58 AM »
Don't dodge the issue.
If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then what is going on with 14-year old girls on welfare, school drop-outs or drug addicts who get pregnant? If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then why are Youth and Family Service agencies swamped with the detritus of inept (or even evil) parenting?

kls

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #140 on: November 19, 2010, 09:59:19 AM »
Perhaps this is the answer (turn up your sound)?   ;)

Mike Bennett

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #141 on: November 19, 2010, 10:02:48 AM »
Don't dodge the issue.
If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then what is going on with 14-year old girls on welfare, school drop-outs or drug addicts who get pregnant? If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then why are Youth and Family Service agencies swamped with the detritus of inept (or even evil) parenting?


My stubborn insistence on reading the substance of the posting without regard to the name of the poster allows me to agree with Charles' point, and to call on those who disagree to respond to him with something other than smart-assed one-liners and ad hominems. 

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

grabau

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #142 on: November 19, 2010, 10:19:53 AM »
How this got to be about Islam?  OK, a few years ago in Cairo thr pastor of the American Church related that the media were constant in spewing anti-Semitic, anti_Christian propaganda.  grabau

peter_speckhard

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #143 on: November 19, 2010, 10:48:39 AM »
Don't dodge the issue.
If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then what is going on with 14-year old girls on welfare, school drop-outs or drug addicts who get pregnant? If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then why are Youth and Family Service agencies swamped with the detritus of inept (or even evil) parenting?

Maybe, just maybe, there is nothing in God's economy disqualifying about being 14 years old, on welfare, or without a formal education. Maybe such people's lives are (this could be a hard concept for some) worth living anyway, and maybe their own struggles with sin or addiction, like everyone else's, result in failure at parenting just as a thirty-something, self-sufficient, highly educated woman in perfect health might traumatize her children emotionally and psychologically in ways jus as bad, but that don't typically involve Youth and Family Services.

The connection to the theology of glory is clear. Education, job skill, maturity, health etc. are worldly "qualifications" based on what we think works best. But God qualified Gideon to be a general, Moses to be a prophet, David to be a king, Peter to be an Apostle, and He did so not by giving them the attributes they and everyone else thought were needed, but by working through them anyway, as though to say, my ways are not your ways, and what you think qualifies or disqualifies someone has no bearing on how I distribute vocations. God indeed qualifies those whom He chooses, but His purposes for them might not be their purposes for themselves or society's purpose for them.

To deny the axiom that God qualifies those whom He chooses based on the evidence to the contrary is to presume that we know the purposes (and therefore the qualifications) God has for everyone, as though we can take it as a given that God is trying to create educated, self-sufficient middle class people, and we merely note that He certainly fails a lot.

iowakatie1981

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #144 on: November 19, 2010, 10:57:34 AM »
When I volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center in college, we (the staff and volunteers) noted amongst ourselves on occasion that there are no "accidental children", but there are, at times, "accidental parents."  (One thinks almost immediately of the couple in the thread below taking an internet poll to determine whether to kill their child.)

Don't dodge the issue.
If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then what is going on with 14-year old girls on welfare, school drop-outs or drug addicts who get pregnant? If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then why are Youth and Family Service agencies swamped with the detritus of inept (or even evil) parenting?


peter_speckhard

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #145 on: November 19, 2010, 11:10:54 AM »
When I volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center in college, we (the staff and volunteers) noted amongst ourselves on occasion that there are no "accidental children", but there are, at times, "accidental parents."  (One thinks almost immediately of the couple in the thread below taking an internet poll to determine whether to kill their child.)

Don't dodge the issue.
If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then what is going on with 14-year old girls on welfare, school drop-outs or drug addicts who get pregnant? If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then why are Youth and Family Service agencies swamped with the detritus of inept (or even evil) parenting?

The problem with the abortion poll couple is not that God failed to qualify them to be parents. Were it so, there would be nothing wrong with what they're doing-- it is God's fault that He gave them a baby without giving them the requisite desire to be parents. Again, it is theology of glory-- the parents deciding that God couldn't possibly be calling them to do something they don't want to do--they couldn't possibly have a duty not of their own choosing. So, in a symbolically significant way, they poll the rest of humanity to find out what they should do.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #146 on: November 19, 2010, 11:30:29 AM »
So if we work to provide good sex education for 14-year old girls, preventing the birth of babies to young, sometimes addicted mothers, we are getting in the way of God? We are somehow thwarting God's will that there be human, earthly suffering in order to accomplish some divine plan which we cannot understand?
And that makes a "theology of glory"?
Thank you very much, but I'm willing to take the risk.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #147 on: November 19, 2010, 11:42:24 AM »
So if we work to provide good sex education for 14-year old girls, preventing the birth of babies to young, sometimes addicted mothers, we are getting in the way of God? We are somehow thwarting God's will that there be human, earthly suffering in order to accomplish some divine plan which we cannot understand?
And that makes a "theology of glory"?
Thank you very much, but I'm willing to take the risk.
To quote you upstream, don't dodge the issue. I was responding to your post, in which you said, If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then what is going on with 14-year old girls on welfare, school drop-outs or drug addicts who get pregnant? If God "qualifies" those chosen to be blessed with children, then why are Youth and Family Service agencies swamped with the detritus of inept (or even evil) parenting?

The theology of glory discussion centers around that word "qualifies". What is going on with young mothers is not Eden, but the point is that what God considers "qualified" might have very little to do with what our society considers necessary, things like a high school diploma. The young girl should be taught about God's will for marriage to be the context of sexual relations, not pre-emptively given remedies for the "problem" of babies that fail to address the spiritual issue of sin or the theological aspects of marriage, sex, and procreation.
 

Sandra

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #148 on: November 19, 2010, 12:57:09 PM »
Sandra wrote: Understood, but there is a burden placed upon women to do so as much as possible to demonstrate their faithfulness and trust in the Lord. However, a whole bunch of kids is not necessarily the result no matter how open the couple is to the gift. There are also plenty of women/couples who have been given such a gift that they are hardly capable of caring for. Where do those babies from other women fit into the picture of procreation. Should families have current homestudies and significant savings on hand so that they can be open to the gift of procreation in this way?

I'm not certain whether your last question is meant to be rhetorical in either a positive or negative way.

But taking it simply as a question, my answer (and I believe Luther's based upon this quote) is no.
Quote

As a mother through the miracle of adoption after years of infertility treatments, I can't help but wonder how adoption fits into this whole concept. Adoption is common in Scripture, we are even considered adopted by the Father in Baptism. This is not a foreign or modern concept of making families. But maybe, rather than reproducing every other year, it might be wise to take in a couple of strays as well. Adoption is NOT necessarily as difficult or expensive as people make it out to be - if you are willing to accept a child who is not an Aryan godlet.

For some reason, we have a tendency to wax idealistic when it comes to procreation. Children are good, more children are better, and a couple should be prepared to lovingly welcome them into the world whenever and how frequently they are conceived and brought forth. But we live in a sinful world where even things like procreation are affected by sin. We don't know what the originally created fertility cycle would've been, how frequently the opportunity to conceive would've come by, how conception apart from death of at least the sperm cells could've taken place, etc. And now, couples are difficulty conceiving at all, and teenage girls throw their newborns in trash dumpsters (if the babies make it to birth and aren't aborted before that point).

Quote
God qualifies those He chooses rather than chooses the qualified.

So then how does that work with adoption?

No motive or agenda, I just wonder how we can be so obsessive/self-righteous/law-driven about procreation of children within a Christian marriage when there are so many orphans who need parents too. Is there a place for adoption in the quiverful movement?
Sandra (Ostapowich) Madden
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kls

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #149 on: November 19, 2010, 01:28:41 PM »
I love full quivers, am unable to have more children, and would adopt in a heartbeat if God put children in need in my path.  Thank you, Sandra, for bringing this issue into the discussion.  I would suspect the full quiver movement folks have a very high view of adoption given all that Scripture sets forth on the subject as you mentioned.