Preventing Pregnancy Displeases Thee Lord

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Jul 22, 2010
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Jesus spoke a few times about marriage, especially it being the Lords purpose right from day dot.
'and the two shall become one flesh' in no way can be taken to mean 1 mom + 1 dad = many babies.
He spoke of the unacceptability of divorce and adultery.
When or where exactly did Jesus teach about contraception. Is it recorded anywhere in Scripture? It must be of eternal importance to have had such detailed teaching.

Naomanos, You might not have mentioned the undesirability of purposefully depriving your children of their mother by putting her health at serious risk..sorry if I missed that.
I don't agree with LysanderShapiro's last comment at all, nor as I read it does Scripture. It is not up to us to change our minds it is up to us to listen to the teaching of Scripture by the Holy Spirit.
Jer 10:23. I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
Jer 17:9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Jer 17:10. "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."
 
Jul 25, 2013
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Jesus spoke a few times about marriage, especially it being the Lords purpose right from day dot.
'and the two shall become one flesh' in no way can be taken to mean 1 mom + 1 dad = many babies.
He spoke of the unacceptability of divorce and adultery.
When or where exactly did Jesus teach about contraception. Is it recorded anywhere in Scripture? It must be of eternal importance to have had such detailed teaching.

Naomanos, You might not have mentioned the undesirability of purposefully depriving your children of their mother by putting her health at serious risk..sorry if I missed that.
I don't agree with LysanderShapiro's last comment at all, nor as I read it does Scripture. It is not up to us to change our minds it is up to us to listen to the teaching of Scripture by the Holy Spirit.
Jer 10:23. I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
Jer 17:9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Jer 17:10. "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds."
We do know what we were taught in regards to marriage, and contraception contradicts what we've been taught through scripture. What is contraception but a way to block any possibility of procreation. The Bible does teach us about means of avoiding procreation and how God feels about this.

I think we've gotten into this already.
 
Jul 22, 2010
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We do know what we were taught in regards to marriage, and contraception contradicts what we've been taught through scripture.
Not all Churches teach that marriage is solely for procreation... tell that to the thousands who though married can not have children either for some medical reason or age.
I think we've gotten into this already.
If you are talking about Onan, and I think you are, may I suggest that Onan's 'crime' was more to do with sexual abuse of his widowed sister in law than contraception;. He was having a good time with her, while not wanting to shoulder the responsibility of a deceased brother. The passage you cited earlier from Deuteronomy 25, does not indicate the death penalty for refusal, yet Onan did get the death penalty...why was that?
If you say it was because he spilled his semen then in that case right throughout history we should expect to see men by their thousands dropping like flies; but we don't see this, so we can't very well claim his spilling of semen as a proof of anything except what it was, his refusal to raise up an heir for his late brother. The penalty for rape was death. The penalty for adultery was death. The penalty for failing to raise up an heir for a deceased brother (if they resided in the same house), was only a stigma.
See the idea behind 'the two shall become one flesh' is not baby making, but as Paul explained :
1Cor 6:16. Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh." no mention of babies here.
Eph 5:28. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Eph 5:29. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
No mention of babies here.

So how was it in Onan's heart that he took Tamar as his wife?

In Onan's eye, Tamar was Er's wife first and foremost, that makes it adultery on his part, and the penalty for adultery is death.
Why might this be so? Because for one thing, it was only the first born son that would be heir to the deceased brother. Onan and Tamar could just as easily have had ten daughters before a son was born, and those daughters would have been his children, plus any subsequent sons after the first one. But no, first and foremost in his thinking was that Tamar was Er's wife, not his.
And remember the only penalty for refusal to raise up an heir was a spit in the face, the loss of one sandal and a stigma..not death.
So to recap, Onan took Tamar not as a wife, but as a means for sexual gratification only. What is the heart motive for rape? what is the heart motive for adultery. Both seek selfish sexual gratification.
 
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Jul 25, 2013
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Not all Churches teach that marriage is solely for procreation... tell that to the thousands who though married can not have children either for some medical reason or age.

If you are talking about Onan, and I think you are, may I suggest that Onan's 'crime' was more to do with sexual abuse of his widowed sister in law than contraception;. He was having a good time with her, while not wanting to shoulder the responsibility of a deceased brother. The passage you cited earlier from Deuteronomy 25, does not indicate the death penalty for refusal, yet Onan did get the death penalty...why was that?
If you say it was because he spilled his semen then in that case right throughout history we should expect to see men by their thousands dropping like flies; but we don't see this, so we can't very well claim his spilling of semen as a proof of anything except what it was, his refusal to raise up an heir for his late brother. The penalty for rape was death. The penalty for adultery was death. The penalty for failing to raise up an heir for a deceased brother (if they resided in the same house), was only a stigma.
See the idea behind 'the two shall become one flesh' is not baby making, but as Paul explained :
1Cor 6:16. Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh." no mention of babies here.
Eph 5:28. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Eph 5:29. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
No mention of babies here.

So how was it in Onan's heart that he took Tamar as his wife?

In Onan's eye, Tamar was Er's wife first and foremost, that makes it adultery on his part, and the penalty for adultery is death.
Why might this be so? Because for one thing, it was only the first born son that would be heir to the deceased brother. Onan and Tamar could just as easily have had ten daughters before a son was born, and those daughters would have been his children, plus any subsequent sons after the first one. But no, first and foremost in his thinking was that Tamar was Er's wife, not his.
And remember the only penalty for refusal to raise up an heir was a spit in the face, the loss of one sandal and a stigma..not death.
So to recap, Onan took Tamar not as a wife, but as a means for sexual gratification only. What is the heart motive for rape? what is the heart motive for adultery. Both seek selfish sexual gratification.
That was addressed in post #207 as well. This was not due to sexual abuse but to spilling his seed. Otherwise the punishment would have been humiliation, not death.

The churches who don't recognize it as a sin have only changed there minds no earlier than 1930. 1930 was the first time any Christian religion gave contraception the nod. Before that, every single one rejected it entirely.

Couples who cannot procreate out of their control are not sinning. How can anyone blame then when they don't have a choice. However couples who have this ability but choose to block life as a possibility when having sex are indeed living in sin. These are two different scenarios. No one blames infertility. If you think this is the same thing then you will constantly miss the point.

Anyone who says they are pro-life but also pro-contraception aren't really pro-life. You cannot save the unborn if you promote precisely what got abortion permitted in the first place. Marriage will never be looked at with the dignity it deserves the more these things are turned a blind eye.
 
Jul 22, 2010
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yes, you correctly identified the ideals of Deut 25, post #206 not 207 btw.
However you seem to have neglected what Scripture tells us about Onan's heart attitude.
As I see it, yes he spilled his semen, but what I ask was the circumstances where by this thing happened.
Was it in the paddock, or the barn, or was it in his bed with Tamar's needs denied?
Instead of seeing only the physical act, why not look deeper at the 'how'? He could have spilled his semen out in the barn or someplace away from the presence of Tamar, but he didn't. Instead he used, or should I say abused her sexually. That is the inescapable conclusion we should come to.

Well you have made up your own mind, I am endeavoring to let the Holy Spirit make mine a better place for Him to reside.
 
Jul 25, 2013
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yes, you correctly identified the ideals of Deut 25, post #206 not 207 btw.
However you seem to have neglected what Scripture tells us about Onan's heart attitude.
As I see it, yes he spilled his semen, but what I ask was the circumstances where by this thing happened.
Was it in the paddock, or the barn, or was it in his bed with Tamar's needs denied?
Instead of seeing only the physical act, why not look deeper at the 'how'? He could have spilled his semen out in the barn or someplace away from the presence of Tamar, but he didn't. Instead he used, or should I say abused her sexually. That is the inescapable conclusion we should come to.

Well you have made up your own mind, I am endeavoring to let the Holy Spirit make mine a better place for Him to reside.
Are you suggesting only one of us tries to look toward the Holy Spirit with that last statement?
 
Jul 22, 2010
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Indeed. I can't imagine most people having a change of heart. Though I think everyone should be able to defend why they hold their beliefs. By no means was I trying to change your mind -- that's entirely up to you. And to change my mind is up to me as well.
I was commenting on your own words as quoted here. So if indeed the changing of your mind is up to you as you stated, then indeed who am I to argue. As for myself I try to be led and instructed by the Holy Spirit.
If you would make the same claim, then it would seem reasonable that you would witness to the fact instead of putting your own self rule first as you seem to be doing as per the quote.
And throughout these series of posts I am not trying to change anyone's mind.
I am merely setting forth some food for thought for anyone who wishes to study and pray about the matter.

Some extra about Tamar, she remained a widow in her father's house till the younger son came of age. She was still committed to raising an heir for Er, so she had Judah do the deed though he was not aware.
She subsequently brought forth twin boys, so Er had his heir/s
But she probably could have remarried if she wished.
With the obvious dedication to raising an heir for Er, how greatly sexually abused at the hand of Onan must she have felt.
 
Jul 25, 2013
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I was commenting on your own words as quoted here. So if indeed the changing of your mind is up to you as you stated, then indeed who am I to argue. As for myself I try to be led and instructed by the Holy Spirit.
If you would make the same claim, then it would seem reasonable that you would witness to the fact instead of putting your own self rule first as you seem to be doing as per the quote.
And throughout these series of posts I am not trying to change anyone's mind.
I am merely setting forth some food for thought for anyone who wishes to study and pray about the matter.

Some extra about Tamar, she remained a widow in her father's house till the younger son came of age. She was still committed to raising an heir for Er, so she had Judah do the deed though he was not aware.
She subsequently brought forth twin boys, so Er had his heir/s
But she probably could have remarried if she wished.
With the obvious dedication to raising an heir for Er, how greatly sexually abused at the hand of Onan must she have felt.
Fair enough. I ought to say our own beliefs as to not misunderstand each other.

Why was sex a gift from God and to who?

Follow up: where does the Bible permit contraception?
 
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Jul 22, 2010
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What do you mean 'sex a gift'? Just about every critter, cows, fish, mosquitoes, canaries etc. have sex. 'male and female He created them'.
But if you are observing the fact that mankind is unique in that the ability and desire for sex is not restricted to any fertile time or season, then I think it would be hard to argue that the sole purpose of sex is to make babies.
 
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Jul 22, 2010
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In fact if sex were only meant for making babies then one could reasonably expect that there would be clearly marked seasons for reproduction, only at which times women would be approachable.
The Bible neither permits nor forbids contraception.
Do you have the winess of two or three scriptures that say otherwise?
 
Jul 25, 2013
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In fact if sex were only meant for making babies then one could reasonably expect that there would be clearly marked seasons for reproduction, only at which times women would be approachable.
The Bible neither permits nor forbids contraception.
Do you have the winess of two or three scriptures that say otherwise?
I wouldn't suggest that sex is strictly about reproduction, but sex cannot be divorced of that either. It is indeed a gift from God to those who come together through marriage. For the function of creating life and becoming one through intimacy. It isn't for those outside of marriage nor is it for those who intend to block off the chance of new life. It is for those who submit to God's will.

If I were to offer Scripture, I'm certain you would discard it as meaning something entirely different no matter what it says. I think everyone has exhausted passages here and nothing came of it. However, if sex is indeed about making babies as you put it (which is very much is, and then some), then why would God permit sex outside of the idea of making babies? Not every sexual encounter will result in reproduction, and for some couples, it will never happen. But there is a difference between direct and indirect. If a couple directly tries to avoid it, then they have disobeyed God and rejected one another to a point. "I love all of you...except for your motherhood/fatherhood." Sex is intended to be a physical act of love, not lust, and once rejection of the partner happens, it becomes an act of lust.

Why did it take nearly 2000 years for Christians (any Christian of every denomination) to finally say that contraception is OK? Was it pandering to the unbeliever? Was it out of convenience? "I love sex, but I don't want to get my wife pregnant--we can't afford it...so contraception is OK now." Was it that every Christian before 1930 had it wrong and finally that was the year where the interpretation of God's Word was finally accurate?
 
Jul 22, 2010
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I think before 1930 or so contraception a) was not all that safe or easy.
b) things were not talked about with the freedom that really took hold in the 1960s, but had its beginnings in the twenties
You said, "If I were to offer Scripture, I'm certain you would discard it as meaning something entirely different no matter what it says."
That is an entirely unfair accusation. It seems to me to be a rather nasty was of saying that anything you say is right and the rest of us can go jump. Is that your attitude toward non Catholics?
 
Jul 22, 2010
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OK Lysander, if you can't cite two or three witnesses from Scripture, to support what you believe, just say so. There is no need for cheap shot comments such as you used in post # 231.
Comment like that does not speak well of you. IMO.
 
Jul 25, 2013
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I think before 1930 or so contraception a) was not all that safe or easy.
b) things were not talked about with the freedom that really took hold in the 1960s, but had its beginnings in the twenties
You said, "If I were to offer Scripture, I'm certain you would discard it as meaning something entirely different no matter what it says."
That is an entirely unfair accusation. It seems to me to be a rather nasty was of saying that anything you say is right and the rest of us can go jump. Is that your attitude toward non Catholics?
Of course not. It wasn't meant as such. I meant we were at a halt in regards to our references to Scripture. We've both used Scripture and each found very different interpretations in regards to sex, contraception, and abuse. I think it's fair to say neither of us would accept one another's perspective.

And it certainly wasn't against non-Catholics. Why do you think that's my attitude toward non-Catholics when I find it so easy to get along with them? Why else I contribute to a non-Catholic forum?
 
Jul 25, 2013
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OK Lysander, if you can't cite two or three witnesses from Scripture, to support what you believe, just say so. There is no need for cheap shot comments such as you used in post # 231.
Comment like that does not speak well of you. IMO.
Calvin, this wasn't cheap shot comments. I think you misread what I wrote. None of what I said was ever an attack on you or anyone. I strongly disagree with you and protest against what you say, but you haven't done anything wrong by disagreeing with me.

I'll offer scripture to support what I believe.
One is Genesis 38:8-10 which we already discussed. However, the reason why I argue it wasn't a subject of abuse but violating the natural law of procreation because Deut. 25:7-10 expressed the punishment of not fulfilling one's duty to his brother which wasn't death. In fact, uses of contraception have also been known as "Onanism" (just as Sodomy came from the word Sodom).

Contraception is for the most part a silent item in the Bible. So we should look at passages of children and sex. Psalm:127:3 refers to the result of sex to be a gift from the God. The Bible recognizes that procreation isn't the only benefit to sex -- it has referenced that the two become one flesh and that this is a bond between them. (1 Corinthians:7:3-5). But the latter passage doesn't express that this can be done with the closing of the possibility of life. We see this from "Onanism," which is indeed about disobeying the natural law of sex.

The students of the apostles wrote more explicitly on this. Clement wrote: "Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted" Augustine wrote: "I am supposing, then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame."

Since the Bible is fairly quiet on contraception, it took understanding and reasoning from the Holy Spirit to understand that it is about disruption of the natural law God instilled. We know where the line draws from love to lust and it's and easy line to find. Sex is intended to give to one another, not take, but accept. Pleasure from one another is accepted, but we also accept the partner entirely along with God's model of sex for those married in His name. With understand of how the Bible recognizes this natural law, marriage, sex, and children, this is why for almost 2000 every Christian despite denomination held to this position that contraception was downright evil. Most still do, and rightfully so.

Anyone who practices contraception is objectifying his wife or her husband.
 
Jul 25, 2013
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Calvin, I do want to apologize though. I think one of my responses was partly out of anger. It should never have been. I should only speak to you the way you deserve to be spoken too. I wasn't pinning anything on you and I stand by my beliefs, but the motives of which I express them should be pure, and I know I dropped the ball at one point. For that, I am sorry.
 
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To begin, I'd say possibly even more than just half of the Catholic laity practice birth control and are going against Catholicism. It's one of the biggest problems we have today.

I'll do my best to explain the difference between the two -- it's ultimately a moral difference.

NFP is the practice of having sex with an openness to procreation. It may take place during a fertile period or not, but the moral idea is to accept the partner entirely -- not partially. To honor one's vows of honor and cherish the spouse and not only accept partially. If a couple chooses to abstain during a fertile period, they haven't neglected each other, they recognize that sex is an all-or-nothing (not some or even most) activity of love.

AFP is the practice of having sex with no openness to procreation and not accepting the partner entirely. Every act is the idea of having sex while also intentionally trying to stop any possibility of procreation, whether it be using the condom, the sponge, the pull-out method, etc. It's demeaning to women because it suggests sex strictly for pleasure and it separates the woman from her motherhood. It's saying "I want most of you, but not all of you."

Acceptance of contraception was predicted long ago as being the gateway to acceptance of birth control. Forgive me, but anyone who claims to be pro-life and pro-contraception is doing no good to promoting the pro-life concept. This is one of the biggest issues I have today--the acceptance of abortion. And the get to the root of it, it has to be traced back to selfish desires and much of it surrounds the use of contraception.

I know this offends people (not my intention), but I do believe it should be said regardless. Anyone who practices contraception doesn't fully accept their spouse. Perhaps not consciously, but that is the case. Sex is a giving and accepting of one another entirely, not partially.
This really comes down to a fundamental difference in catholic thought. There is, and has long been, a belief that sex is innately immoral, and a necessary evil to achieve procreation. A lot of the arguments that come down the pipeline are really attempts at trying to sugar coat that philosophy, and most of them are not coherent.

Both artificial family planning and natural seek to achieve the same goal: to space pregnancy and manage the size of one's family.

Artificial family planning has a major advantage in that it does not require the woman to abstain during her most fertile period when she would enjoy sex the most. It also allows a couple to freely enjoy each other's bodies without having to worry about whether she is ovulating.

In fact, Paul, in 1 Corinthians says, while it is good to abstain, if your going to be controlled by passion take a wife (or husband) so that you can relieve that passion in a non-sinful way. So, the doctrine that it is sinful to relieve passion through martial relations is not true. Granted, it is not ideal either, but it is clearly instructed that it is better to have imperfect, but moral, martial relations, than anything extramarital.

As for abortion. Some Christians have found it permissible in rape, incest or to save the mother's life. But birth control in no way condones abortion.
 
Jul 25, 2013
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This really comes down to a fundamental difference in catholic thought. There is, and has long been, a belief that sex is innately immoral, and a necessary evil to achieve procreation. A lot of the arguments that come down the pipeline are really attempts at trying to sugar coat that philosophy, and most of them are not coherent.

Both artificial family planning and natural seek to achieve the same goal: to space pregnancy and manage the size of one's family.

Artificial family planning has a major advantage in that it does not require the woman to abstain during her most fertile period when she would enjoy sex the most. It also allows a couple to freely enjoy each other's bodies without having to worry about whether she is ovulating.

In fact, Paul, in 1 Corinthians says, while it is good to abstain, if your going to be controlled by passion take a wife (or husband) so that you can relieve that passion in a non-sinful way. So, the doctrine that it is sinful to relieve passion through martial relations is not true. Granted, it is not ideal either, but it is clearly instructed that it is better to have imperfect, but moral, martial relations, than anything extramarital.

As for abortion. Some Christians have found it permissible in rape, incest or to save the mother's life. But birth control in no way condones abortion.
I would disagree with those who believe sex itself is immoral. It never has been, but sex is only for those who have committed themselves, under God, through the sacrament of marriage. It must be done according to his plan, and with complete acceptance and respect for the spouse. But I also don't think this differs between Catholic thought and other Christian groups. Many other Christian groups agree with Catholicism in regards to contraception. In fact every group believed it until the 20th century. It wasn't until about the 60s that you saw more groups challenging it.

But the idea that, say, NFP is to only abstain between certain points isn't true. Actually, many people -- myself included -- use it to work toward procreation. But even outside of the biological aspect of NFP, there's also a moral one. One book that I really love is Love and Responsibility by Pope John Paul II. In it, he made a distinction between NFP and AFP. He made a point that AFP treats the person as a means to an ends while NFP treats the person as the ends.

Abortion is a further level of problem. John VI wrote an encyclical called Humana Vitae and explained that once more and more Christians hop on the "Contraception is OK" bandwagon, you'll begin to see the culture and many Christians begin to accept abortion -- maybe only under certain circumstances at first, but then it will keep going until they begin advocating entirely and deny the unborn. Even if it is for situations like rape or incest, it's still a denial that the child being aborted is an entirely different human soul. (You can read the encyclical HERE -- I recommend it)
 
Jul 22, 2010
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Lysander, HisManySongs closed a thread earlier because it was going nowhere fast (my words not HMS')
I have just quickly scanned this thread and found that you have effectively repeated the same point at least 14 times. I may have missed one or two. The posts I refer to are #21,47,69,71,94,105,124,158,170,180,201,216,231 and 238.
It is well known that if something is repeated often enough, whether true or not, it will begin to be perceived by many as the truth. You might like to ask yourself if this is honest.
Long before the Unitarian thread reached this point, it was closed.
What would you say should happen to this thread?
 
Sep 3, 2009
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Lysander, HisManySongs closed a thread earlier because it was going nowhere fast (my words not HMS')
I have just quickly scanned this thread and found that you have effectively repeated the same point at least 14 times. I may have missed one or two. The posts I refer to are #21,47,69,71,94,105,124,158,170,180,201,216,231 and 238.
It is well known that if something is repeated often enough, whether true or not, it will begin to be perceived by many as the truth. You might like to ask yourself if this is honest.
Long before the Unitarian thread reached this point, it was closed.
What would you say should happen to this thread?
Calvin. I have just been observing and not commenting. I do however agree with you.

I am perplexed as to the date of 1930 that Larry has posted. The only reason this is a conversation is because of things such as the internet, TV, papers and mass communication. Today people talk about sexual things openly but that was not the case. It was something that was never discussed. To think that married couples did not practice some kind of sexual control so as to limit children is not really thinking at all IMO.

Of course they did. Some women had health issues and a pregnancy would have killed her. I can point you to a grave yard in "Burn Out" Alabama.
(Name from Civil War battle).
I was there to do a funeral about 20 years ago. Going back to 1928-39 where there are 12 little cross's side by side dated one year apart. It bothered me when I saw that and asked what happened to some of the older church members. The doctors of that day did not know about the RH factor and every one of their babies died when born. Not knowing, they did as they thought they were supposed to and it happened all over again for 12 straight years.
 
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