My Fitness

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Dreaded Birth Control Discussion

First, if you're not a Christian, this absolutely does not pertain to you. And you will think the whole issue is ridiculous. This is not a fun post, but I'm still happy :) lol!

Second, I want to reiterate that I absolutely do not condemn anyone for any decision. And I mean just that.

Third, my personal beliefs are that all forms of birth control, including barriers, are sinful. What is sin? As far as I can tell, sin is anything that is not directly intended for the glory of God. Is it sinful to go to church if you are going for the wrong reason, yes. Is there a right reason to use birth control, no. What about health? Don't I care about sick mothers? I do, and God does too. But He knows how to care for sick mothers. He isn't going to produce a life that He didn't want. Even if it means I must die, I want my children to live. If I were in the position to choose spacing my children or face health issues, I pray that my faith would be firm enough to handle making the right decision. But because I know I am a weak and fallible human, I don't condemn anyone who has made a bad choice.

Finally, I read in "Respectable Sins" many good things and I suggest you read it for yourself. One line reads, "We don't become saints by our actions." (page 14) Another, which I can't find at the moment, says something along the lines of, "I think I'm right, but I'm willing to admit that I'm not God and I'll only know for 100% certainty once I'm in heaven." -obviously Jerry Bridges is not this inarticulate. Read it yourself and be convicted. (Another good book is Randy Alcorn's Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? I haven't read the revised edition yet.)

Ok, finally finally, this is the real "finally", there are two issues that I'm going to bring up. The first is on abortifacients, and the second on other forms of control.

Abortifacients are substances that induce an abortion. What is an abortion? An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. What is pregnancy? Pregnancy is when an egg and a sperm meet. What's wrong with ending a pregnancy? With the beginning of new DNA is personhood. This life is a creation of God. God has called us to choose life. Ending a pregnancy is murder. Is it ever ok to end a pregnancy? This is a-whole-nother topic and I refuse to give it justice here.

Most American Christians agree that abortions are wrong. My European Christian friends, do not though. Some of my friends believe that life beings with synapsis or blood. In biology (my major at UTA) we learned new DNA = new life. So, I just can't argue with some a faulty premise. But for most of you reading this their opinions aren't important. Randy Alcorn's book shows how hormonal birth control leads to abortions at least some of the time. Not every time, surely. But maybe only once. So maybe a pill user has only killed one person. What's one life?

So on the first issue, I believe Randy's got it covered. On the second one, that of control, I diverge from my Brother. The first (and only essay because apparently I accidentally deleted the other) essay below is written to a dear friend after I found Yasmin in her bathroom. She was engaged and I know that she waited to have sex until marriage. And I know her to be a professing Christian. Here is that letter:

Dear Friend,
This has been troubling me for the past few weeks. One night it got so bad that I couldn’t go to sleep and stayed up crying and praying for you and your fiancé and some others. I want you to know that I don’t go into this with “lightness of heart”. In fact, I don’t want to go into this at all. But I believe that God wants to use me to give you some information that I have recently become aware of. 
I’m not perfect, as you know very well. But I want to try to be a loving sister to you. Most importantly I want to be an obedient child though. And my obedience to God is more important to me than my friendships or my reputation (as is true for you and your fiancé, I think, too). 
John Vandervelde [a lay minister friend of mine] once said to me that we all believe our own personal heresies. When he said that, it shocked me. Why would I willfully believe something that wasn’t true? But his point was that as we journey with Christ, He will slowly open our eyes and enlighten us as He sees fit. None of us will reach perfection until we’re in heaven and we know just as we are known (I Cor 13:12). 
I mention this because I don’t want you to feel I’m attacking you. But as my friend and sister in Christ I ask you for the respect to read all the way through this letter. Don’t skim it. This means a lot to me. I spent many nights and days reading and researching. I’ve spent money and tears, and all I ask is that you read. Then, maybe if you’re up to it, we could talk all about it. I’ll be your loving friend at the end of this no matter what you decide.
Also, feel free to share this with your fiancé, especially with him, and anyone else you want to share it with. I realize that I’m putting myself out there to sound stupid, legalistic, preachy, etc, but I know this comes from a broken heart with lots of love. And I don’t think it originated with me but rather with God.
About all of this, I think that if we sincerely pray Psalm 139:23-24, and try to humbly reason together (Is 1:18-20), we’ll be alright!
There’s been a debate going around Christian circles for the past 40-50 years about the moral and ethical issue of birth control. Many Christians believe it to be just fine, and never thought of anything else. Other Christians believe it to be ungodly and even sinful.
I’m writing about the ethical side or the motive behind using birth control (aka contraceptives). I came across a book entitled Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? In which Randy Alcorn shows scientifically not only that it does but that the manufacturers know that it does. I hope you read it. I also went to the public library and read in the Physician’s Desk Reference that Yasmin is one of those pills. 
I want to let you know that there are just as effective ways to avoid pregnancy without causing a risk to yourself or causing an abortion. And Randy Alcorn mentions them toward the back of his book. I also want to mention that he and I don’t share the same opinion on birth control. He thinks the Pill is bad because it causes abortions, while I think birth control is wrong because it puts oneself above God.
Now, I hope you don’t lose interest. I’ll get to my point now. 
Some have looked at John 1:13 as God saying that it is alright to use birth control. They say that since this verse states “these” have not been born of the will of man, then others have been born by the will of man. Thus, it is alright to have or not have children based on one’s own desire and will: God gave us free will, why not use it? 
Of course, that is as long as our liberty does not become an opportunity for the flesh (Gal 5:13). And we remember that with Christians all things are lawful (I Cor 6:12). However, remember that the Bible also says that our own hearts are evil (Jer 17:9) and we are warned not to trust it (Prov 28:26) but to acknowledge God in all things (Prov 3:5-6). We are told to let our faith show through our actions (James 2:17-20) and to trust God (Psalm 37:3-4) and we are shown by the very example of Christ to esteem the Lord’s will over our own (Matt 26:39, 42; John 5:30; Rom 12:2 etc).
First, I want to point out the obvious flaw with thinking that since we have our own will we should do whatever we wish. As Christians, we have been called to be set apart (Ps 4:3) and to submit our wills to that of the Father’s. If we did what our own deceitfully wicked hearts told us to do, we would not be in the will of the Father; Which is why I challenge you to show where the Bible states that taking control of one’s own life is Godly. This isn’t a homework assignment; this is something that as an obedient child of God you should want to do.
Of course, as children of God, we want to submit our will to His. Sometimes it’s hard. And sometimes we don’t understand. But always we are called to have faith that He won’t leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5). He will give us grace and strength for every circumstance. He won’t say “This child is a blessing from Me.” And then not provide for that child. You are a child of God and He has always taken care of you and provided for you (Mt 6:8; Mt 6:25-34; Mt 7:11). And He will continue to do so for you and your child (Deu 7:9).
I want to address the John 1:13 argument. Simply put: some people die naturally (by the will of God, old age etc) and some by the will of man (murder, war etc). But we would never think of pointing a loaded gun at someone and think, “I can pull this trigger and if God wants this person to live, he will. If he dies, obviously it was meant to be”. An argument like that would never hold up in court. My point here is that just because we are capable of doing something doesn’t mean we should do that thing. Taking birth control is playing Russian Roulette with a child’s life. 
I heard someone from the ballet company pose the argument that if they were called to dance for God then they would need to use birth control so that they could continue doing the will of God. [I also heard some missionaries use the same argument, and I think they are not hearing God’s voice at all.] But God is the One who opens and closes the womb (i.e. I Sam 1:5) and HE is the giver of life (Acts 17:25). Satan’s power is only to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10); he cannot give life, even if it is unwanted. So if life is given, it is given by the will and desire of God. My conclusion is then that either, God would not give someone a child who would hinder His work, or they mislead themselves into thinking that God has called them there. 
Someone has said they don’t have the money for a child. But just as we trust God for ourselves, we must always trust God for our children as well. We can never think that we are secure in our own provision (I Tim 6:17); For it is God who provides for all our needs (Phil 4:19). Be sure to note that He provides according to His riches in glory, and His riches are eternal and heavenly (Mt 6:20), not of this world. But that doesn’t mean we won’t have riches in this world.
Some people just don’t want kids. To them I ask, “Why get married?” What is the purpose of marriage? Malachi 2:15 says: He seeks godly offspring. What is the motive behind wanting a spouse without children? It is true that once you have children, less time will be spent with your spouse; your time will be divided. Perhaps it is the desire to have fun; who’s to say you won’t have fun with kids around too? But maybe it’s the desire to have a “Hollywood” lifestyle, where you can kick back, have sex, no responsibilities, no hindrances, but still appease Christians by having a marriage license. The best of both worlds! (Luke 16:13)
Don’t fall to what the world says (Col 2:8). Children are a blessing (Ps 127:3-5), not a burden. God will give you the grace you need to accomplish His will (James 4:6). If He were to open your womb and give you a child, He will also give you all the grace and provisions you’d need for that child. The world says children are bad, but God says they are good. Who are you going to believe?
I heard someone say that since her husband wanted her to use birth control therefore she must. She wanted to be submissive (Rom 13:1-7; Eph 5:22-33). But to whom is the greater submission required? To her husband (Col 3:18) or to God (James 4:7a, Acts 5:29)? “As is fitting in the Lord” We are also called to submit to one another (I Peter 5:5). Her husband should not lead her into an area of disobedience (Mt 18:6). And he should seek her well-being (I Cor 10:24); (telling her to take a drug that lists, among other things, heart diseases and stroke as side affects is not looking out for her and definitely not “fitting in the Lord”). Beyond that, telling her that she should trust him rather than God is placing himself above God (Deu 11:16); and wicked. Thankfully, there is mercy, but that mercy is not given to empower our sinning (Rom 6:1-4). 
Someone once told me that they prayed about it and felt peace so they knew it was alright for them to use birth control. I also had a friend once whose mother prayed about it and felt peace so she knew it was alright that she have an extra-marital affair. I think that if someone is already set on doing something, then God will allow them to sin. We do have free will. What caused my friend’s mom to even think about praying about something that is so obviously sinful to the rest of us? It was the hardness in her heart. She willfully blinded herself from the righteousness of God so she could practice her lawlessness. (2 Thes 2:7-12; Eph 4:17-24; Mt 19:8). 
Finally, I want to share some examples of families who did not use birth control. One such family is my aunt and uncle. My aunt told me that people always assume that they had used birth control because they only have three children. But they never used anything. The youngest is a teenager now. I visited a church once in Pensacola where no one used birth control. The average family there only had 5 children. I think there’s a fear that there’ll be more than that, which is possible. But there’s also a possibility that there’ll be less. One family in that church only had two children! 
What it all comes down to is this: who do you trust more to plan your family? Yourself or the infinite in wisdom, all-knowing, merciful and kind God of the universe who is the Author of life. 
Summarizing: God says He should have control. He knows best. We should submit first to Him. We should let our faith and trust in Him be shown through our actions. 
As I’ve already stated, I’m not going to ostracize you if you don’t choose what I want you to choose, which is life (in case I hadn’t made my point ). I will continue to pray for you always. I love you. And I hope that you can receive this as from a sister in the Lord. And again I’m sorry for not having told you about the Pill sooner.
PS -Let’s remember also that it is the Lord’s command that we multiply (Gen 1:28; Gen 9:1). Some have said that this is an Old Testament command not meant for us today. But what other parts of covenant would you leave behind? I know we’ve both done Covenant Study and know how important covenant is. And unlike the food laws, God never retracted this command. 
Also, two people having just two children is not multiplying. They just replace the parents. 2parents+2kids-2parents=2kids Starting with two and ending with two.
I Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
Psalm139: 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
                         Try me, and know my anxieties;
                  24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
                         And lead me in the way everlasting.
Isaiah 1:18 “ Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “ Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.  19 If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
John 1:13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
I Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Prov 28:26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
Jeremiah 17:9 “ The heart is deceitful above all things,And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
Prov 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Matthew 26:39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
John 5:30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Matthew 6:8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Deut 7:9 “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
I Samuel 1:5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb.
Acts 17:25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
I Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
Phil 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. 5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “ God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
Romans 1:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities...
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Acts 5:29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men
I Peter 5:5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “ God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
Matthew 18:6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
I Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
Deuteronomy 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them,
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
II Thes 2: 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Eph 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Matthew 19:8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 9:1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

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