Is Birth Control the Church’s Business?

Every time, raising the subject of children raises the subject of birth control. And that raises the subject of “why does it matter?” as well as the subject of “is it anybody’s business?”

I’m never able to discuss the blessing of children without the subject crossing over into the details of birth control. And I think that’s a good indication that we really can’t separate the two. I’m not sure the issue would even be worthy of discussion if we could hold in one hand the general acceptance of a man-made birth control, and hold in the other the absolute blessing of children. But it seems difficult to do so. For the ability to prevent children has largely become the assumed responsibility to do so. That’s the heart of the issue I address.

 

(Since first writing, I thought of maybe an abbreviated explanation…it’s not birth control itself I’m against so much, but the undeniable consequence of its effects on our attitude toward children.) If I saw it as neutral–not affecting our hearts toward children, it wouldn’t even be an issue. But such is not the case.)

Please understand I struggle with drawing the lines. I am always asking myself these questions. So this post is my opinion regarding these two questions, and a request for yours.

In a thoughtful, respectful way, I challenge you to think about the answers. My posts are never meant to condemn people. But if at any time truth condemns, truth must answer.

(By the way, I know many of you who read are not Christians. I never discourage your reading, but to interject hateful, anti-God comments is not welcomed here. If you find this subject repulsive, perhaps you should try another blog.)

“Why does it matter?” and “Why is it anybody’s business?”

     

  • As I alluded to earlier, it matters (to Christians) because we are a body, and what one member does affects another.
     

  • It matters because if indeed God has an opinion on child-bearing and/or birth control, the church stands to reap blessing or curse based on its obedience to that Word.
  •  

  • It matters because if we are commanded to “teach the younger women”, we better be teaching the truth which requires we know what the truth is.
     

  • It matters because there seems to be a direct correlation between the rampant use of birth control and blatant “evils” in the church (and outside). The divorce rate, the rate of infidelity, the rate of STDs, and rate of teen promiscuity has sky-rocketed since the wide-spread acceptance of birth control.
     

  • It matters because most artificial birth control has been proven to be abortifacient. For the Christian, this should matter immensely.

 

  • It matters because the widely accepted practice of birth control has invariably affected the biblical message of “children are a blessing”. Bringing that to light doesn’t necessarily eradicate birth control, but help believers have a biblical response to children.
     

  • It matters because if our thinking is wrong about children, then those who give this area to the Lord are often ostracized at best, and persecuted at worst. Instead of receiving the support and encouragement the body of Christ should afford, they are being burdened by the body.

These are a few–certainly not all–reasons I feel it is important to discuss birth control. And if you think I’ve been bold or over-stepping in my assertions to the church, consider what the early church leaders said about it: (the church at large was completely against the use of birth control, predicting all sorts of evils, all of which we have unfortunately seen come to pass.)

 

“Apart from childbearing the marriage chamber is a brothel . . . husbands are shameful lovers, wives are harlots.” St. Augustine

(Added: I don’t agree with this quote entirely, just wanted to point out the boldness of the church in addressing this subject.)

“Pius was clear:Β ‘Any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin’ (CC, No. 56).

Paul was prescient when he noted that artificial birth control would “open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards” (HV, No. 17).There is no doubt that such unfaithfulness is on the rise as moral virtue declines. Indeed, artificial birth control has opened the way so wide and facilitated such a lowering of moral principles that Paul’s words seem but modest and understated.”

And this interesting note on the story of Onan, (the man who God struck dead upon his practicing “withdrawal”)…people have commonly blamed God’s killing him on breaking the brotherhood law, rather than practicing birth control, and I thought it was difficult to argue differently, until this–I had never read this before:

 

“The 38th chapter of Genesis tells the story of Judah, his sons, and Tamar. One of the sons, Onan, practiced the sin of contraception–withdrawal in this case–with Tamar, and the Bible tells us that God slew him because he had done an abominable thing (Gen. 38:10). It is recognized today that Judah, Onan, and another brother were all guilty of violating an ancient Eastern brotherhood law called the law of the Levirate. However, the punishment for violating that law was very mild and is spelled out in Deuteronomy 25:5- 10. Judah himself admitted his guilt (Gen. 38:26). It is therefore clear that the special punishment meted out to Onan was not just for the violation of the Levirate but rather for the way in which only he had sinned–his contraceptive behavior of going through the motions of the covenantal act and then “spilling his seed” (Gen. 38:9).

“Yes. Before 1930, no Protestant Christian church accepted contraception, sterilization or abortion. However, in 1930 the Church of England accepted contraception. Many churches followed that path, but there are still some Protestant churches that reject all forms of unnatural birth control.”

 

Again, it is not my intention to condemn people or make them feel bad..I have LOTS of friends who practice birth control–I never even think of condemning them.

 

Some say, “just let the Holy Spirit deal with people on this issue”. And He is quite capable of that. But when the church, through which we are supposed to receive instruction is teaching something contrary to God’s Word (i.e. the burden of children), the Holy Spirit would have to be really loud to be heard over the clamor. I don’t know many who have embraced God’s sovereignty over the womb without some human prompting or questioning…I don’t think the Spirit would have ever broken through my “noise” had it not been for some persistent voices challenging me to even “go there.”

(Besides that, we are repeatedly instructed to teach sound doctrine, and exhort one another in truth….lots of people like to forget that part of Scripture.)

 

And this, randomly and coincidentally, from a story I read to my children last night. I picked up a secular, middle school literature text book and read a story about the Amish. Here is a quote from it–it just struck me:

 

“The most important fact about the Amish family–which largely explains why the group’s population has kept increasing–is that its members look on children as a great blessing, and they have a lot of them.”

This spoke to me of an “if so, then” concept. No, it’s not that I’m so vehemently against any kind of birth control, it’s that it seems difficult to hold the love of it in one hand, and hold the love of children in the other. It only seems natural that if we really believe children are a blessing, generally speaking, we believe every one is, and we would desire them–at the very least, we should be happy to see other Christians with “a quiver full” of them.

Does our attitude and do our responses speak God’s heart to the world about children? Would Jesus have looked at a woman with eight in tow and said, “Woman, don’t you know what causes that?” (By the way, I am fully aware that God has given barrenness to some; and yet, these families are still fully able to embrace the blessing of children. Through supporting other families, adopting, foster home, etc. Just wanted to bring that up because it usually gets mentioned. My stance doesn’t “leave the barren woman out”, as God ordained it all.)

 

I question in love…

 

109 Responses to “Is Birth Control the Church’s Business?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    There is scarcely anything more tragic in human life than a child who is not wanted.

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Woe unto them that join house to house, lay field to field, till [there be] no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!”

    Isaiah 5:8

    The world population has doubled in the last forty years. Who has contributed the most to overconsumption and pollution? The
    more developed nations with a relatively stable population growth, but who use 5-50 times the resources of the poor, or the less developed nations whose populations will double again in 30 years, who will run out of food and water first, and whose pollution due to agricultural burning, coal burning, lack of emission controls, mis-use of pesticides, and toxic waste
    from under-regulated industries, will only worsen with the increase of population?

    Hmm. Let’s think on this, shall we?

  2. Shannan says:

    Kelly,
    (I hope you remember me by name by now)

    I was going to leave this on the last post, but i think it fits well here too. IF you think this is to long or off- topic, please fell free to remove it, i won’t be upset.

    Please forgive the following typos and lack of capitalization.

    I think i start every comment on your blog with ‘i am not a christian, blah blah blah.’ i don’t do this because i expect to be persecuted or argued against, but because i realize that often, you are really speaking to your our ‘choir’, so to speak. but in the end, i think you and i are “bizarro” versions of one another. (you know, the comic books with the weird looking superman who is the total opposite?)

    We both like to challenge people to REALLY DO the things they claim they believe in.

    I am constantly frustrated with ‘my own kind.’ I mean, i PRIDE myself on being a “liberal.” What does tha mean? Well, most ‘liberals’ preach a platform of “as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, your lifestyle is fine.” allow me to explain how this works…

    “wow, you’re GAY??? that’s so AWESOME! i’m gonna go be in a prop 8 protest RIGHT NOW, then i’m gonna buy a nice pant suit for your wedding, because if i wear a dress that means i’m being oppressed!!!”

    “no kidding.. you’re SO vegetarian that you don’t even eat foods with the letters “MEA or T” in them? you are SO enlightened… I’m gonna try that, oh! and you’re DRIVING 15 miles to go to a place that sells organic greens, even though there in a nice locally owned market within walking distance of your place? that’s being GREEN man!!!”

    “You are a wiccan who belives that animals are our superiors? That’s GREAT! can you help me hold a seance for my dead cat? i think he’s having trouble finding peace…”

    “Wait… you’re a CHRISTIAN who intends on HOMESCHOOLING your SEVEN kids? GET OFF MY PLANET NOW, YOU ARE WASTING MY OXYGEN, I HATE YOU!!!!!”

    Does that sound familiar?

    Kelly, you struggle to understand the same behavior PATTERN (as far as i am concerned) that i do…

    What’s so bad about being black and white? why must EVERYTHING be a gray area? i am NOT AFRAID to stand on the edge, and i am NOT AFRAID to hold others to their convictions.

    At least your principals are based in the Bible. You have words older than yourself to back them up. (in fact, I often read your blog with my harper-collins study bible in hand)

    But those who you perceive to be ‘your own’ are often contending with those very words. And i am in the SAME situation.

    Except that the ‘ideology’ i follow is well… i hate to say it… but, we came up with it by ourselves. I really do believe (and my compatriots swear they also agree) that, as long as no one is hurt or harmed, ANY lifestyle is okay. That includes my lifestyle. I love having a career and I lived with my ‘hubband’ for a year before we married.

    BUT my beliefs also say that, as I support my brother and his boyfriend in their desire to get married, I also support YOU in your desire to teach your OWN children Creationism instead of the Evolutionary theory. Isn’t that SUPPOSED to be the great thing about this nation? That you and I can live happily, exploring and sharing, neither of us having to worry about someone trying to take that away from us?

    Are we, as humans, SO rebellious that we even have to rebel against our own rebellion? Do we only uphold the ideals that are EASY??? regardless of the faith or convictions that brought us to those ideals? ACK!!!

    Let me know if I’m missing your actual point.

    Again I’m sorry for such a long comment.

    -Shannan

  3. jntskip says:

    First of all, as a pastor I thank you for this article.
    Secondly, for anonymous:
    The issue to change the environmental problem is not less children, but a conscious concern for the environment and a careful practice of dominion as commanded man in Genesis chapter 1.

  4. Mother of Dog says:

    I’m with you, Shannon – EXCEPT about Creationism. Because science is just science, you know? Facts is facts. You can’t argue with Darwin. πŸ™‚

    Do I agree with every liberal position? No. I don’t agree with shouting down people who don’t agree with me. Nope, I’m not down with that.

    On the other hand, I find it disturbing to be told that there is only one right way to read the Scriptures. The result of that was, well, the Inquisition. I realize this is Kelly’s blog – I’m just sayin’.

    *Shakes hand with Shannon*

  5. Shannan says:

    M.O.D.. i actually believe in Evolution. I’m just pointing out that others belivev otherwise. And i try to stay out of the idea of ‘reading the Scriptures… i’m SO VERY out-schooled here!’ πŸ™‚

  6. Mother of Dog says:

    I hear you about Scripture, Shannan. And as I’m a guest on this blog I try to be a gracious guest. But I will point out that being didactic has NEVER a good thing in the history of the world. Many examples of that.

    But then, I’m a live and let live kind of girl myself. Just be nice. And pick up your own dog’s poo. πŸ™‚

  7. Chelsea says:

    I agree up until you start quoting early Church leaders. I believe it’s the church’s responsibility for the reasons you stated: the heart of the issue. When you start making blanket statements about married sexuality like St. Augustine did, then a married couple would, really, not be allowed to practice marital intimacy during a woman’s period, because there would be no chance of conception. They would not be able while she was pregnant or if a couple was proven to be infertile.
    While I think children are a blessing and definitely a component of sexuality, there are other blessings such as oneness and a gaurd against temptation that intimacy of this such creates.
    That being said, I am against birth control personally, but I have heard of instances where I believe it is used properly (the barrier kinds, not abortive). However, agree that its use is too rampant, and while these situations do occur, a majority of its use is a selfish disinterest in children.
    (I am unmarried, and so I respect that I have no experience dealing with these issues as older, wiser women have. However, these are my observations so far.)

  8. Chelsea says:

    Shannan,
    as politically incorrect as this sounds, Christians are not told to be tolerant of other world views. We are told to love the people who participate in them, but love and support are on two different wavelenghts.
    For instance, to the gay, wiccan, “vegetarian” (I don’t beleive that there’s nothing wrong with being a vegetarian. It’s not spoken against in the Bible. However, I would question how concerned someone is about the environment/animal life if they were wasting that much gas for the sake of such a cause on something as regular as grocery trips), I love them and do understand that I cannot expect them to understand my beliefs because they do not hold the Bible as the ultimate Word.
    However, that does not mean I have to love or even approve of their actions. I have friends who are gay, and while we love having insightful conversations with each other, I do not even pretend to support their “lifestyle choice.” And yes, sometimes I find it difficult to practice both, but it’s a struggle I find I am called to follow through with. Anyway, “Love people” is an action. “To love someone” should disregaurd emotion at times, and stick it out to make that person feel cared about and welcomed through actions. Baking cookies for someone on their birthday is an act of love. I honestly don’t see tolerating activites that the Bible views as sinful to be an act of love for that person.
    It’s a hate the game, not the player type of scenario.

  9. Kim M. says:

    “I’m with you, Shannon – EXCEPT about Creationism. Because science is just science, you know? Facts is facts. You can’t argue with Darwin. πŸ™‚ “

    Hang in there with me until the end…. my comment has EVERYTHING to do with our de-valuing children!

    How can we “NOT” argue with Darwin?

    Should we just accept something because some person theorized it?

    There is NO PROOF whatsoever of his theories.. Why are there no PROVEN links? Why have people tried to even fake and hoax these “links” over the years to “prove” something that isn’t true?

    Why do we keep looking for monkey/men when no such creatures ever existed? Why don’t we see them now? Where ARE THEY?

    Darwin reportedly questioned them himself:

    http://www.carm.org/evo_questions/deathbed.htm

    Which is older? The Bible(which is the inspired WORD OF GOD)? Or Darwin’s “theories”?

    And where in the world “did” those cells come from in the first place?
    Who created THEM? How did THEY get there?

    No one seems to be able to explain intelligent order (DNA for example???) in this universe except God’s word.

    Darwin’s theories ARE, IN FACT, part of the problem with our society’s acceptance of babies:

    “there is an inherent logic in the move by Darwinists to undermine the sanctity-of-life ethic, which makes it so alluring that I doubt it will ever disappear as long as Darwinism is ascendant. In any case, it is certainly safe to say that in modern society Darwinism has contributed mightily to the erosion of the sanctity-of-life ethic. Darwinism really is a matter of life and death.”

    Read this for the full article:
    http://www.csustan.edu/History/faculty/Weikart/DarDevalue.htm

  10. Anonymous says:

    Kelly and Kim— good job. I can’t understand how anyone could believe that there was a big bang and all this orderly universe was created. It is so much easier to believe that God created it just as he has created everything in the universe. We have a great big wonderful God who hates sin but loves the sinner just as we have to do. I read somewhere that a child was upset because her teacher said that humans came from monkeys and the preacher told her that God created her so the mother told her that maybe the teacher was talking about her ancestors, but the preacher was talking about his ancestors. Now, wouldn’t you rather have been created by God instead of being descendants of a monkey. I have been reading to my children the book “It Couldn’t Just Happen”–for you people who actually believe in evolution–this book may help to clear up your confusion. Evolution is a very hard THEORY to believe and also evolution is just a THEORY!!!

  11. Leah says:

    Kelly, early church fathers also believed that having marital relationships in any position except missionary was equal to sodomy. Should we agree with them on this one, too?

    Children being a blessing doesn’t mean each and every child is a blessing. It was spoken in general. (I doubt parents of a serial murderer would think they were tremendously blessed).

    There are methods of birth control which are abortifacient, but there is also NFP and even Catholic Church allows it.

    A lot of folks commenting here complain that people are rude to big families. I agree it’s very wrong to make such personal comments. I also think it’s wrong to make comments on somebody’s family size in general. It’s hardly my business what other people are doing in the bedroom. Should we go back to the times when if the couple were married for a certain time and had no kids the preacher would visit and start asking them why hadn’t they reproduced yet?

    There are perfectly valid reasons for couples not to wish to have any more children, like health and income issues. It’s irresponsible to have more children than you can provide for. You may not believe it, Kelly, but in the past centuries people knew what produced children and actually often limited the number of them. Abstinence was considered a normal way to avoid having kids. People were not so s*x-crazed as they seem to be nowadays, and the husband was supposed to leave his wife alone after they got several children.

    In medieval Europe an average family in the city had 1-2 kids, in the country 2-3. It doesn’t fit in the theory of people never respricting the number of children they had, does it?

    Finally, the decision is between the husband and wife. Not between the husband, the wife, the pastor and local busibodies.

    Honestly, I find this new movement just as bad as feminists. Feminists tell women to have 1 child and a career, quiverful folks say everybody must have 14 kids, and if you dare send them to school instead of homeschooling then you are in mortal sin.I find that common sense totally went out of the window.

    Kelly, I find it fine that you want to have many children. I find it great. I’m really very happy for you.

    Please don’t tell me, how many I should have.

  12. Word Warrior says:

    Let me clarify an apparent misunderstanding…by quoting Augustine, I’m not necessarily agreeing with him. I was making a point that the church has previously not had qualms about discussing this area,(whereas now people don’t want the church addressing it) and the things I’m saying aren’t nearly as “intrusive” as earlier ones have spoken.

    Leah,

    I get really frustrated when readers here misrepresent what I say and quote it as fact…you said:

    “Honestly, I find this new movement just as bad as feminists. Feminists tell women to have 1 child and a career, quiverful folks say everybody must have 14 kids, and if you dare send them to school instead of homeschooling then you are in mortal sin.”

    I’ve never made either one of those statements.

    Having babies that come naturally is not a movement…it’s silly to say so. I’m not telling people to have 14 children. I’m trying to return our thinking to the reality that God gives life. When we lose that vital point, life becomes less valuable and therefore, threatened. It’s not about everybody having a large family…it’s not even about a couple prayerfully and carefully deciding to use NFP. It’s about the sovereignty of God written in Creation, and our understanding of the sanctity of life.

    I’m also speaking to Christians who believe that the Word of God is true, and therefore, it is GOD that provides for them, ultimately. (You said its irresponsible to have children you can’t provide for.) If a Christian couple is working hard and trusting God, He promises to provide for His own; that includes any children He adds to their family.

    Again, it’s not “have a bunch of children” that I’m promoting. It’s “realize we’re mere humans, and ‘it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.’ ” Psalm 100

    That “movement” was started by the Almighty.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “Children being a blessing doesn’t mean each and every child is a blessing. It was spoken in general. (I doubt parents of a serial murderer would think they were tremendously blessed).”

    When my third child is laid in my arms, I won’t know what s/he is going to grow up to be. Does that make this child somehow less a blessing to me as a 1yo? A 2yo? Proverbs is full of warnings – a child left to his own devices brings grief, sorrow, and suffering to his parents. Why? Because they still care about him. Even hate is love reversed. If you don’t care about someone, you are apathetic and they have no power to hurt your heart. Bitterness hides a wounded spirit.

    A child born out of rape – the child isn’t guilty of anything. That child can be a blessing and grow to bless many people, either with the birth mother or adoptive parents.

    Honestly, I find this new movement just as bad as feminists. Feminists tell women to have 1 child and a career, quiverful folks say everybody must have 14 kids, and if you dare send them to school instead of homeschooling then you are in mortal sin.I find that common sense totally went out of the window.”

    First of all, QF doesn’t say everyone should have 14 children. God didn’t give Abraham and Sarah 14 children. He didn’t even give Jacob 14 – just 12. The adverage is 6-7 I believe, with some families bigger and some smaller.

    Many people would assume that we are going to have two dozen children because we’ve had three close together – but it would take many pages to explain that each of my children is a blessing to me in spite of shaky fertility! Truely, God can do as He pleases regardless of what the medical world says!

    Please don’t tell me, how many I should have.

    No one QF should dare to tell you how many you should have.What we would gently suggest is that you pray about it and honestly seek God’s Will and His desire for you.

    That’s all.

    Ashley
    http://www.homesteadblogger.com/Jonash2004

  14. Anonymous says:

    Leah, also agreed is that people have limited having children since time began. Children often interfer with personal goals or desires.

    But what Kelly is addressing is the Body of Christ’s additude towards children. It needs to be carefully considered if perhaps our position shouldn’t be more counter-cultural instead of contemporary and widely acceptable.

    Also is God’s provision. Does He provide? I believe He does, but often it is not the large house or boat or flat-screen TV that is the desire of our hearts. God does not supply beans and gruel and the luxeries we work for ourselves. God is not stingy … though He often allows seasons of trial to strengthen our faith in Him. I believe He provides, but often we take what He gives and we are *not* good stewards, using the money for things we don’t really need or we trap ourselves with massive amounts of debt and wonder why God “didn’t provide” when He did, just for a smaller home or used vehicles!

    I often think of early Christians, who would find abandoned babies in fields and raise them as their own. Do you think it was only well-off farmers who found these babies? I think the equivalent might have been finding a baby during the Dust Bowl/Great Depression. It must have tried people’s faith sorely!

    The followers of Christ have always had to walk by faith.

    Just a few more thoughts.

    Ashley
    http://www.homesteadblogger.com/Jonash2004

  15. Word Warrior says:

    Leah–something else..you said:

    “Finally, the decision is between the husband and wife. Not between the husband, the wife, the pastor and local busibodies.”

    See, that would be ideal. But the undeniable link between the acceptance of bc and it’s pressures on every married couple in the church is precisely and the ONLY reason I post on this subject.

    Rarely (although yes, sometimes it happens), does a couple who practices bc say to a couple who does not, “Congratulations on your 5th baby! What a blessing.”

    On the contrary, a woman expecting her 3 is often made to feel like a moron.

    So to your statement, it’s already “not between a husband and wife”. The prevailing anti-child attitude has to be dealt with on some level in the church. I feel positive that this attitude has very much to do with the expectations of BC (i.e. because it is available, you better use it.)

    I have no hesitation in saying that I believe the “You’re bc didn’t work!!!” attitude has played part to Christian women aborting their babies. I’ve heard it from women myself.

    Now it’s the church’s business.

  16. Sarah says:

    Regarding this comment:
    “Apart from childbearing the marriage chamber is a brothel . . . husbands are shameful lovers, wives are harlots.” St. Augustine

    Umm, marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled, according to the Word of God. The purpose of the marriage bed is not solely for procreation, and a husband and wife using it for pleasure are merely enjoying a special marriage gift from God!
    The marriage chamber can not be described as a brothel. That’s illogical.
    I’m not arguing with your points, just Augustine’s.

  17. Word Warrior says:

    Sarah,

    You may have missed my comment explaining that I don’t agree w/ his quote either, and why I included it.

  18. Kim M. says:

    “You may have missed my comment explaining that I don’t agree w/ his quote either, and why I included it.”

    Whew, I was starting to feel guilty! πŸ˜‰

  19. aimai says:

    I think Kelly should be complimented for writing such a thoughtful post, backed up with scriptural quotations, that explicates her firm belief that lots of children for each and every family is g-ds plan, and not only g-d’s plan but among all other possible plans and duties among the most important. So important that she feels especially hurt that members of her own church don’t agree with her.

    I guess where I come down on it is “how important is this, really?” I mean, g-d may have said “be fruitful and multiply” but when I say to my children “practice the piano” I don’t mean them to do it every moment of every day. Just because something is good, and it may be really quite good, doesn’t mean that it is a goal that should be pursued beyond reason, or health, or sense. I’m not opposed to any family that can afford them, and has the grace and good humor and education to feed, clothe, and educate those children properly from having or adopting any number of children. I honor them and I’m sure its lots of fun. But plenty of Kelly’s posters seem to have experienced extreme want and even despair while pursuing a course that they were not sure *they* wanted to pursue, but which they were informed *g-d* wanted them to pursue. I respect any person who makes up his or her own mind about how to pursue the truth, but sometimes the truth is extremely painful for people, or sometimes they are wrong and its not the right truth for them.

    Jesus spoke on a number of issues but the necessity for large families was not one of them. In fact, if you read careful studies of the earliest christian literature and the lives of the earliest martyrs the family was not seen as a way to heaven but an impediment to heaven. Husbands and wives, children and parents, were all seen as a *problem* coming between the believer and his new g-d. It wasn’t until the church took over the roman empire, or individual towns and communities in the empire, that the focus shifted from revolutionary anti-family practices to a pro family model. So, were those early christians not christian enough, somehow?

    Someone on an earlier thread said, pathetically I thought, that “nuclear winter” was a real possiblity because young people were fleeing Oklahoma for education, jobs, and better lives elsewhere and the deficit in population could easily be made up if every remaining family had 15 kids. This post, however heartfelt, expressed the basic nuttiness and incoherence of this viewpoint. Just because your neighbors kids moved away *didn’t make them dissapear* from the population total. The population is still growing even though some towns and some environments are shrinking. And you know what? If every family had fifteen kids those kids would grow up and move away too–because if the jobs and the educational opportunities, the social life and the freedom are not present in a small, dying, community then some fairly large proportion of that community will simply up and leave. That’s as american as apple pie. My ancestors didn’t leave the old world for the new one because of overcrowding–they left for religious and social freedom, democracy, and a better life. And to pursue that they instantly stopped having 12 and 14 children so that they could, as they saw it, feed, clothe, and educate those children to the maximum available.

    Cities and towns, communities and ideologies, are always growing and dying. Those little rural towns on the great plains weren’t there 200 years ago, and they won’t be there 100 years from now unless a new kind of industry can be created and built there. And the same holds true for ideologies. What seems like g-d’s own eternal verities has been changing from the moment it was written down, through its early debates in every religious community, through the wars over doctrinal interpretation, until today when little families and splinter groups–like Garrison Keilor’s Plymouth Bretheren–attack each other and refuse to break bread together. The ones that attract and hold the largest number of followers will thrive, and the ones that drive off the largest number will dwindle. And all the pro-natalist policies in the world won’t stop that because as you can see from looking around in your own community the first people to leave are the children your community ends up rejecting for wanting a better education, wanting to sample other religions, wanting to use birth control, wanting to space their children, wanting to be gay, etc…etc…etc…

    aimai

  20. Word Warrior says:

    aimai,

    As I’ve stated many times before, I think you waste a tremendous amount of time here. Your opinions and ideas are so far off-based from our world view, that they are…forgive me for using your own deragortoy words–nutty.

    So many unfounded and/or incorrect claims, that it’s not worth the effort to try to dismantle them all.

    So I won’t.

    We’re Christians. We see almost everything differently from you. God’s wisdom has always been foolishness to man, as you have so clearly illustrated to us.

  21. Kim M. says:

    Which is more believable anonymous??

    Why aren’t monkey-men walking around? Answer me that.

  22. Kim M. says:

    Oh and by the way,

    Also I have 2 people who struggle with that temptation (*homosexual*) but remain chaste.

    You can choose to live in infidelity whether you live with same sex or opposite sex.

    Someone could struggle with wanting to murder, but they can choose NOT to sin.

  23. Kim M. says:

    I meant to say “I know 2 people” instead of “I have 2 people”

  24. Anonymous says:

    So you agree that someone is born gay or not gay? Interesting. Why would God do that to His Children? Have you wondered that?

  25. aimai says:

    Oh, and this is a perfect example of the confusion between religious thought and real thought:

    Kim M:

    Oh Kim – I think Monkey Men are walking around….and Monkey Women. Sadly they are teaching their children. That’s what I think.

    November 20, 2008 10:20 AM
    Blogger Kim M. said…

    Oh and by the way,

    Also I have 2 people who struggle with that temptation (*homosexual*) but remain chaste.

    You can choose to live in infidelity whether you live with same sex or opposite sex.

    Someone could struggle with wanting to murder, but they can choose NOT to sin.

    Okay, fine, but do tell me what civil rights we deny to people who commit (heterosexual infidelity) or murder? Are murders not allowed to be married? Do we forcibly divorce couples where one member has been married before? Or where one member commits adultery?

    What on earth do your friends or relatives who are so self hating (or so deceptive) that they “live chastely” because they are afraid of their true sexual desires have to do with our laws on civil unions and state sponsored marriage? The Catholic church does not recognize divorce and will not marry, in the church, divorced couples. Oddly enough divorced people can get married by a justice of the peace under state and federal law in this country. What makes homosexuality any different? Churches think its bad? sure, then don’t marry them. Don’t allow them to be members of your church. Exhort your church to excommunicate them or shun them or whatever. The mormons do and they believe in plural marriage and that each man is a god. But what that has to do with state law, a law which ought to protect and serve each and every citizen no matter how religiously disabled they may be, is beyond me.

    aimai

  26. Anonymous says:

    Okay, Kim. This might say it best:

    I’ve been using clothing today so will continue. Let’s agree that men and women’s clothes evolve from a common garment. However, today men’s clothes button on the right and women’s clothes on the left. There’s several explanations for this: men could unbutton and reach their swords, women were dressed by maids, etc. but it’s rare for gender specific clothing not follow this.

    So asking “why aren’t men’s clothes evolving to left buttons?” is the same as asking “why monkeys and apes aren’t evolving into humans?” Eight million years ago humans and apes shared a common ancestor. Since then, each has evolved in their own way. In one sense apes would have to devolve back to the common ancestor, then evolve along the same lines to become human. That would be on the order of 16 million years.

    Humans are part of the hominid family. They are both part of and descended from them. The process of this development is called evolution. In brief, this means that new species develop and expand as they are better at dealing with their environment then others. See: http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/evo
    for a discussion of the evolution process.

    The hominids include humans and the apes. They are part of the family Hominidae, of the order Primate. Chimpanzees, our closest relative, share a 95-99% match in DNA.(depending on who is counting) In protein sequencing, the match is closer, no differences at all. When man’s protein sequencing is compared to gorillas there is only two differences in the match with hemoglobin, red blood cells and amino acids. Lastly the antgen-antibody reaction for humans is 97% from chimpanzees compared to 50% for baboons. In other words we’re related. DNA is today used to show how closely people are related (as in determining paternity) and to determine if people were at a crime scene (as a means to determine guilt or innocence). It also is used to determine how long ago species split off from each other.

    In short there’s firm evidence for a common ancestor and evidence that shows we then went our own ways.

  27. Erin says:

    Everyone is born with sin…it’s just different kinds of sin. I have certain temptations, but whether I give in to them is the question.

  28. aimai says:

    Erin repeats the fallacy that all sins and sinners face the same temptations and fall under the same ban. So, she reasons, if she is a “sinner” and wrestles with “sin”–say sloth, or gluttony, or sexual temptation then…what?

    What follows from that, even if you believe homosexuality is a sin (which I, of course, do not). Erin wrestles with temptation with sloth, or gluttony–does she want the state to step in and lock her ice box? Or kick her out of bed in the morning? Or order her divorced because she once looked at another man with lust in her heart? No, she doesn’t. She thinks that her sins remain an issue between her, her family, her church, and her g-d. There’s simply no way she would want the state to step in and determine which laws applied to her and which didn’t on the base of her sins. She wouldn’t want to pay taxes all her working life and have the state refuse to give her a marriage liscence, or treat her children’s medical needs, or be her husband’s heir because she once succumbed to the sinful temptation to take the last hostess cake or whatever sins she thinks she wrestles with.

    aimai

  29. Erin says:

    Why is it that apes and monkeys don’t have disagreements about wether or not there is a God and how they were created?

  30. Erin says:

    Aimai, you completely misquoted me. I didn’t say that we all struggle with the same sins. We struggle with different sins. It’s not the governments place to redefine marriage. Why would we even be having this argument if homosexuality wasn’t questionable?

  31. Erin says:

    …and also, if people of the same sex were meant to raise children why can’t they reproduce naturally?

  32. Kim M. says:

    This below was written by a Christian brother who struggles with same-sex attraction. It is a constant struggle for him, but he chooses chastity:

    "You can take it out of the sinful realm and into the physical realm. Some people have to deal with crippling disease, while others are healed, or never have to go through any physical pain. Parents have to deal raising a child who will never be able to run & play like other kids, and may not live to see high school. Others face horrible accidents, and things too horrible for any person to go through.

    Could there be something to this idea? That God lets those suffer from strong temptations or physical pain who will be able to handle it, and become stronger because of the struggle? Are some of us like the butterfly? They say the butterfly needs the struggle of getting out of the cocoon to emerge a beautiful butterfly, and if someone tries to help that butterfly by snipping away part of the cocoon, the butterfly will emerge crippled, and will not live long. So it isn't a stretch to say that many of us need to go through tough times, or rough times of intense temptations, to emerge a mature Christian."

  33. Kim M. says:

    Anonymous,

    If we are going to use clothing as an example then:

    Someone created that clothing. Who created the fibers that went into those outfits?

    WHERE DID those fibers came from????

    Just because something is similar doesn’t mean it evolved FROM that.

  34. Kim M. says:

    a shirt doesn’t just evolve from fibers…. it is impossible!

  35. Erin says:

    I have a few questions for the people who have criticized this blog and everyone who agrees with it. Why do you even come to this blog and read it if you disagree with it so much? I don’t go to athiest blogs and insult them and anonymously comment that they are wrong and extremely misled. I think the only reason you people come on here and argue with Kelly is because you are threatened by what she has to say. If I disagreed with someone’s blog, I would just never visit their blog again. What makes you keep coming back? I really want to know. If Kelly’s words, which are really God’s words spoken through her, don’t have some kind of impact on you, you wouldn’t feel the need to defend yourself and justify your own insecurities and sins would you? I just want you to think about that.

  36. Kim M. says:

    If we re-define marriage, then why not allow people to have multiple spouses?

    Why not let them marry their animals????

    Why not? If he really loves his dog, then why not let him marry…

    I am not trying to be rude, it's just that if we are going to argue "logically", then how far will it go when you re-define marriage?

    The line will just keep being pushed farther and farther left until we are destroyed as a society.

    And yes, it will affect me and my children when disease abounds and perversion is rampant and open.

    When you start arguing that there are no moral relatives, there comes a point when perversion & chaos abounds. We are getting there.

  37. Mother of Dog says:

    “I have a few questions for the people who have criticized this blog and everyone who agrees with it. Why do you even come to this blog and read it if you disagree with it so much?”

    Excellent question! I do disagree with Kelly. I’m also a Jew so there is no chance that I’m ever going to come over to your side, as it were. I mean that affectionately. I don’t feel she is speaking the Word of God. In fact, I don’t think anyone is speaking the Word of God. I don’t know how that could possibly be ascertained. My only sins are against man, you see. I snapped at my boyfriend yesterday. Sin, no question (he’s the most wonderful man alive – thanks for asking!:) But sins against God? Nope, I don’t see those. All that lives is holy. If She wanted perfection, She would have created it, right?

    However – I want to answer your question. I come here because I want to understand how other people think. I feel that’s important.

    And….I’m not an Atheist. I’m going with Agnostic. I mean, you never know. πŸ™‚

    Please feel free to visit my blog and comment as you see fit. It isn’t really a political or religious manifesto though – I just like blogging.

  38. Word Warrior says:

    Erin,

    Thank you…it’s been my major head-scratcher today! And please be sure to tell me if my posts are “hostile”…I would never want to be hostile.

    As for your comment-MOD:

    “I don’t think anyone is speaking the Word of God. I don’t know how that could possibly be ascertained.”

    We believe the Word of God was given to us in the Holy Scriptures. Anyone can ascertain it, though we all differ on certain interpretations.

  39. Mother of Dog says:

    “Why not? If he really loves his dog, then why not let him marry…”

    You might have something there, Kim. No inlaws to argue with. No problem with hogging the remote. Until I met my current boyfriend, my dog is the best boyfriend I ever had!

    *Off to propose to my pup*

  40. Erin says:

    Yeah, Kim’s right. I heard on the news that an 8 year old boy killed his dad and his dad’s friend. Does anybody reading this blog think that’s normal? I really hope not. Why are we gradually losing all of the values our parents and grandparents were taught? Do you think your great grandparents would say “Oh, those 2 men were kissing…how sweet”. I think not. They also didn’t live in a time where crime was so rampant, and people definitely didn’t turn on the news every single day and hear about pedifiles and murders as much as we do now. People didn’t even lock their doors back when my mom was growing up because they didn’t worry as much about people coming into their house. Why do you think they didn’t see as much crime and we do? Our country has completely turned its back on God, and the very people commenting on this blog are proof that we are living in a world where people’s morals are slowly disappearing, and where people have no value for human life anymore.

  41. Kim M. says:

    Mother of Dog,

    LOL!!!

  42. Mother of Dog says:

    “We believe the Word of God was given to us in the Holy Scriptures. Anyone can ascertain it, though we all differ on certain interpretations.”

    With all due respect, I know you believe that. I just am puzzled by that belief, that’s all. πŸ™‚ Every religion feels that about their own holy text. Hence, Muslims feel that about the Koran. For what it’s worth, I don’t believe that’s the word of God either.

  43. Erin says:

    You’re welcome Kelly…. I just think that if people come on here so much they must be searching for something….and I definitely don’t think that your posts are hostile at all. They are actually encouraging. I don’t understand why all of these people feel the need to attack you. I’m also wondering if these people go around on the Internet and just look for people to attack? It’s just crazy. I mean do they not have anything better to do?

  44. Kim M. says:

    But did any of their gods come to give their ONLY SON to die for them and pay the price for their sins?

    Does their god love them?

    Isaiah 55:3 (prophesying about Jesus….read the whole chapter

    http://nasb.scripturetext.com/isaiah/53.htm
    and you’ll see)

    “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not”

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE

    How could anyone reject such a gift?

  45. Anonymous says:

    Erin-
    This is why the one time I went to one of these person’s blog I didn’t comment. I just prayed for that person. And left.
    Some people just really enjoy giving other people a hard time for fun. I choose not to do the same.
    This is why I choose not to respond those who make such comments on my blog once I realize they are there only there to waste their time.
    I agree with Kelly (although she may not agree with what I am saying above) when she said:

    “God’s wisdom has always been foolishness to man…”

  46. Erin says:

    …oh and by the way…your kids are adorable =)

  47. Mother of Dog says:

    “This is why the one time I went to one of these person’s blog I didn’t comment. I just prayed for that person. And left.
    Some people just really enjoy giving other people a hard time for fun. I choose not to do the same.
    This is why I choose not to respond those who make such comments on my blog once I realize they are there only there to waste their time.”

    Well, you know – why are you all preaching to the converted? Literally? Heh. I’d LOVE if someone who disagreed with me came upon my blog. Seriously – what a dull world if everyone agreed on everything.

  48. Jen in Al says:

    Wow, what a lively discussion! i really don’t know where to start. here a just a few of my thoughts:
    i am curious how MOD could be Agnostic and a Jew at the same time?

    Evolution as defined by Darwin has never actually been observed or proven to have happened and goes against several scientific laws that have never been disproven. Food for thought…

    Kelly and all considerate commenters, it is such a blessing to read the thoughtful well written posts by Kelly as well as the respectful comments by those who agree AND disagree. Thank you! it is important that we are “always ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us.” Keep on keeping on…jen in al

  49. Erin says:

    Kim, that’s funny that you said that about the other gods not dying for their children. I was just about to say the same. Great minds think alike…or maybe we just think alike b/c we’re sisters…idk. LOL

    If I’m not mistaken, Muslims believe: that their god asks them to kill Christians and other unbelievers of the Koran and of Allah…and then in the end die and go to heaven where 7 virgins are awaiting them. (correct me if I’m wrong…I haven’t really studied the muslim religion but this is what I’ve been told)

    Christians believe: God sent His only Son to die for our sins, so that we can have a personal relationship. He loves us so much that he knows the number of hairs on our head. All He asks is that we love Him and follow Him and have a personal relationship with him.

  50. Kim M. says:

    Erin,

    πŸ˜€

    I promise I am doing housework…. just keep walking by and having to comment! ha!

    “Kim, that’s funny that you said that about the other gods not dying for their children. I was just about to say the same. Great minds think alike…or maybe we just think alike b/c we’re sisters…idk. LOL”

    ditto! πŸ™‚

    Love ya!

  51. Erin says:

    LOL Kim! I figured you were doing housework and just leaving this on. I’ve been exercising and leaving this on and commenting haha!! We’re so ADD! Both of us!! haha love you too! =)

  52. Mother of Dog says:

    I’m very much a cultural Jew – I don’t go to temple very much or at all, and I don’t have a fervent belief in a Deity. (My mother however was a Holocaust Survivor and I would never – nor could never – turn my back on that religion). My culture is very much based on Man’s Relationship to Man – which is not to say that Hasidic Jews do not live very much like yourselves – which I’ve duly noted before.

    We believe essentially that Jesus did exist and that he might have been a great teacher, but we don’t believe he died for our sins. In fact, Yom Kippur – the holiest day of the year – is about praying to God to forgive the year’s sins, true – but it is equally about going to others and asking for forgiveness. My rabbi used to say, it’s easy to ask God for forgiveness. People are trickier. πŸ™‚

    (This post is brought to you by ten years of Hebrew School, lol).

    My point before is only that all religions purport to be the true religion. But for what Islam is about, see here:

    http://www.geocities.com/gngerald/Islam.html

    There is certainly NOTHING in Islam that promotes killing of any kind. Radical Islam is akin to the Oklahoma City Bombing – it is a violation of their religion, not an aspect of it. I think this is important to understand, although of course I’m not a Muslim!

  53. Mother of Dog says:

    I should add that – just like Christians – there are various ways of being a Jew. There are certainly Jews that disagree with me – I’m not an Orthodox Jew. I believe, for example, that Isreal is far too right wing in the recent past. There are Jews that think it is despicable to criticize Isreal EVER. So you see, there are variations within everything.

  54. Kim M. says:

    Mother of Dog,

    Respecfully….

    If Jesus is NOT God, then He was a liar

    John 14:6

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  55. Craig and Heather says:

    I’m treading lightly into the comment section here…

    Kelly, I do appreciate your heart in this.

    I think, at least my understanding of your perspective here, is—-

    Christian believers have allowed secular humanistic morals to color the way we see our children. The idea that God GIFTS us these little souls appears lost on many of us who are bogged down worrying about our finances, house size, ability to play when we want to, etc. This goes against Jesus’ teaching that we are not to be anxious over temporal concerns and places emphasis on “worldly treasures” as opposed to things of eternal value.

    In turn, many professing Christians (who, for varying reasons do not feel led to fully hand God the reigns concerning procreation)—tend to sneer at families with several children, who often are closely spaced in age. The reaction often is one of scorn, as though the large family has a civic duty(which they are shirking) to limit the number of children they bring into the world.

    Or, a 4th, 5th, etc. baby is looked at by some as being a burden and is, in some cases, seen as a disposable nuisance, thus contributing to the numbers of “unwanted” or aborted children.

    The use of birth control often contributes to the problem because it tends to give an artificial sense to the user of being the one who is ultimately in charge of his/her own life. This leads to the question of “What do we do when that ‘control’ fails? (because ALL methods at one time or another have failed to give the ‘desired’ results)” Does a “surprise” baby ruin our lives? Do we raise it but resent it? Abort it? Even if the parents eventually “get over” it, is hitting the panic button an appropriate way for a Christian to respond when things don’t go the way “WE” think they should?

    Or is a simple solution to the whole mess to remember to put GOD first in our hearts, and love others (even an unexpected baby) as ourselves.

    As the Psalmist (34:7) stated: “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart”.

    That doesn’t mean that if we enthusiastically give Him lip-service, He will grant all our self-centered requests. Rather, if we allow Him to align our hearts with His, than what HE wants for our lives will BE our deepest desire–whether it is 2 children, or 12. AND HE WILL BE FAITHFUL TO FULFILL THOSE DESIRES because it ultimately reflects on what a good and mighty God He is.

  56. Mother of Dog says:

    Kim –

    I’m not calling Jesus a liar, LOL! That’s funny. Understand – Jews don’t use the New Testament, only the Old Testament.

    So, in essence, Jews are still waiting for the Messiah. Mind you, I’m not, personally. πŸ™‚

    Faith is an interesting thing. It must seem bizarre to you that I don’t comprehend yours. That’s the way of religion I guess. That’s why so many wars are fought in the name of God…

  57. Kim M. says:

    Mother of Dog,
    No, I didn’t mean that YOU said that πŸ™‚

    I just meant that “if” Jesus was only a good man/ teacher, then He would have been a good liar

    because He said that He is God. πŸ™‚ You know what I mean?

  58. Erin says:

    Mother of Dog…I researched a little bit about Muslims, and here is what I found. I’m not trying to insult anyone, I just think it’s very unhealthy for anyone to believe this way:

    The Qur’an contains detailed instructions and examples of how to meet unbelievers. The first instruction is that they should be called to Islam; in fact, the Qur’an says you cannot wage war against unbelievers until you have preached to them. The second instruction is that if they do not convert to Islam, then, they must be fought. The third instruction is that if they surrender, or convert, then you must stop waging war. The final instruction is that if they do not convert or surrender, then they must be killed. This is the optimum route for Islamist expansion: A tidal wave of war, subjugation and conversion.

    There is another provision in the Qur’an though, because sometimes Muslims aren’t in a position to wage war. In this occasion, the examples and teachings of the Qur’an are that Muslims may make deals with their enemies, with unbelievers, engage in truces and the like in order to recuperate and gain strength. The overriding concern is the fight against unbelievers; if this can’t be achieved then it is ok to strategically lay low. To achieve more sneaky victories, it is acceptable to deceive, double-cross and break deals. Deals with unbelievers are not real deals, anyway, and are to be broken as soon as more aggressive moves can be made.

    Robert Spencer, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam” points out that there are over 100 verses in the Qur’an that exhort Muslims to fight unbelievers; this includes ‘chopping their heads off’ (Qur’an 47:4). The verse says that Allah forgives only those who have the right beliefs, and non-believers’ actions will ‘come to nothing’. The reason that such black-and-white morality is permissible is the same reasons that Christians gave during the Dark Ages of Faith: any enemies of Christians were actually Satanic:

    β€œThis warfare was only part of the larger spiritual conflict between Allah and Satan: “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil: so fight ye against the friends of Satan” (Qu’ran 4:76)
    “Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Qur’an 9:5). The “poor-due” in this verse is zakat, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and regulates religious tithes.”

    “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29). The jizya was a tax inflicted upon non-believers.”

    I just wanted to share that. I honestly don’t think anyone on this earth has the right to kill another person because of their religious beliefs and the Qur’an instructs Muslims to kill unbelievers.

  59. authenticallyme says:

    to answser why I come here, this poster took the answer right outta my mouth! πŸ™‚

    ***However – I want to answer your question. I come here because I want to understand how other people think. I feel that’s important. ***

    I grow by learning how to understand others; it also helps me understand myself. It helps me to examine my own thoughts. I also feel it is important to get along with all types of people, and i am *trying* to learn how to do that, in spite of many differences of belief. Often, I also learn things, as a bonus. πŸ™‚

    plus I really like Kelly’s frugal tips and if I stop reading her blog, I might miss them! πŸ™ LOL!

    I will also admit to coming here out of interest, as many of the lifestyles here are ones I have left behind, as my experience living that way really harmed me. But I am open to seeing as just because others choose similar paths, doesnt mean they are evil, acting out of shame, guilt, or condemnation, or possibly not even (dont fall over Kelly), legalism! But, naturally I have my own thoughts and things ive learned along the way…so I will be passionate at times. But, I am trying to be open minded, live and let live, and not supoose to know everything! just trying to be honest.

  60. authenticallyme says:

    to answser why I come here, this poster took the answer right outta my mouth! πŸ™‚

    ***However – I want to answer your question. I come here because I want to understand how other people think. I feel that’s important. ***

    I grow by learning how to understand others; it also helps me understand myself. It helps me to examine my own thoughts. I also feel it is important to get along with all types of people, and i am *trying* to learn how to do that, in spite of many differences of belief. Often, I also learn things, as a bonus. πŸ™‚

    plus I really like Kelly’s frugal tips and if I stop reading her blog, I might miss them! πŸ™ LOL!

    I will also admit to coming here out of interest, as many of the lifestyles here are ones I have left behind, as my experience living that way really harmed me. But I am open to seeing as just because others choose similar paths, doesnt mean they are evil, acting out of shame, guilt, or condemnation, or possibly not even (dont fall over Kelly), legalism! But, naturally I have my own thoughts and things ive learned along the way…so I will be passionate at times. But, I am trying to be open minded, live and let live, and not supoose to know everything! just trying to be honest.

  61. authenticallyme says:

    Hi Kelly/everyone,

    I actually really like the way your article is written Kelly. It seriously DOES help me understand where you are coming form, how you arrive there, and where your convictions are, and that apparently your focus is on the principle……not the act of ‘not taking birth control’. in other words, you are operating, for yourself and family, out of a position of strength.

    I am glad you explained about the Augustine reference. I was not understanding that line of reasoning at all.

    I wanted to share on this portion of your post, and anyone can share what they think, of course….

    ***It matters because there seems to be a direct correlation between the rampant use of birth control and blatant “evils” in the church (and outside). The divorce rate, the rate of infidelity, the rate of STDs, and rate of teen promiscuity has sky-rocketed since the wide-spread acceptance of birth control.***

    My comment may not be on the same tangent as you are coming from here, but my thoughts are that birth control in and of itself didnt cause the evils above. Jesus says that anything we put into our mouths is eventually dismissed..it passes through the stomach and is eventually eliminated. a pill itself cant cause damage where hearts were not already turned toward evil. The reason things IMO went haywire, were because mans heart already had skewed motivation and intention.(I am not talking about the possibility that contraceptions can carry abortifacients…simply saying “things” dont cause sin, our hearts do.) That being said, I do not see pills as being evil then that way. Any thing or item can pretty much be used as an instrument for evil, but that is pending on a persons motivation behind it.

    While I kind of took a crooked path to get to my point, hopefully ya’ll can follow what I am saying….Id liek to hear comments. πŸ™‚

    AM

  62. Mother of Dog says:

    Well, I’m not going to argue the inner workings of Islam, certainly. I mean – I’m not Muslim. But I have friends that are Muslim, and they are not going to take up arms, believe me!:) It’s a little akin to believing that Christians still agree with how early Christians viewed the Inquisition. They thought burning people at the stake led them to God. You know? You wouldn’t find any Christians advocating it now, would you? πŸ™‚ They pointed to biblical references as to why this was right, too.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: All religions feel they have found the Word of God. They would all happily argue that point with you – from Hindu to Muslim to Christianity. I worked for American Sikhs at one point. They too believed that their faith was the one true faith.

    To my mind, they are ALL wrong. I make no distinctions. But if it brings anyone comfort and happiness or purpose, it’s all okay with me. As long as no one wants to burn me at the stake! LOL!

  63. Jen in Al says:

    Even more interesting discussion since i last checked!:) Thank you MOD for clarifying your beliefs. i would encourage anyone interested to check out a book called Profit of Doom. Very in depth look at Islam. not for children. some points were already explained very well in another comment. it is certainly NOT a religion of peace. they should definitely be in our prayers… blessings to all, jen in al

  64. Jen in Al says:

    oops, typing so fast i typed the title wrong!:) Prophet of Doom! sorry, jen in al

  65. Word Warrior says:

    AM,

    Yes, thank you, it is a principle I’m seeking to address. It’s a fine line…the principle of someting begs the discussion of details…i.e. “if bc causes our hearts to be skewed toward children, what does that look like for the Christian on a practical level?”

    I agree with you too, the pill in and of itself isn’t evil. But as Jesus alluded to in Scripture regarding sin and restraint–“if you right hand causes you to sin, cut it off”…one could argue it’s not the hand itself, yet Jesus was saying “do what you have to do to keep yourself from sin”.

    Furthrmore, the evils I mentioned–divorce rate, STD, promiscuity–these are bad for a society in general, discounting matters from a Christian perspective. So we might conclude that yes, even if the heart is evil in the first place, it’s still wiser to refrain from man-made substances that facilitate that evil (could this be compared to drugs?) Morality can exist apart from a Christian life; bc seems to skew that moraltiy.

    I’m not making a lot of sense, I think, but the bottom line is that our wide-open acceptance of BC–translated “my control”–has caused tremendous problems–both in how we view children and how behavior as a society has been negatively affected.

  66. Erin says:

    I’m not saying that ALL Muslims believe this way…but if a lot of them still didn’t believe the Qur’an, we wouldn’t have had terrorists attack our trade centers on September 11. I do see where you are coming from though about them not all believing that way. I didn’t mean to get into a big discussion about Muslims, but if at least some of them didn’t believe that way we wouldn’t have the terrorism problem with a lot of them. I don’t think you’re in danger of anyone burning you at the stake by the way LOL…can you tell me where it says that in the Bible because I don’t recall reading anything about burning people at the stake leading anyone to God…I’m sure some people who called themselves Christian believed this way a long time ago, but they were very misled.

  67. Mother of Dog says:

    I’m joking, Erin, about being burned at the stake! But I’ll find some sources for you on why many early Christians were totally for that…and yes, misled.

    Now there are Radical Muslims who do any number of stupid things. No question. But the fact that a few of them decided on 9/11 does not lead me to the conclusion that it is bad to be Muslim. As I said, I know very peaceful Muslim families. There are also born again Christians who have killed abortion doctors. I would not expect that anyone on this blog would agree with that action, either.

  68. authenticallyme says:

    Hi Aimai,

    I have to say, I really love what you said in your last 2 posts on this thread. IMO, you bring up good points. I am not ‘fundamentalist’, so I suppose I am able to see both sides of the coin…

    But I will say, that I think you misquoted civilla’s post. I didnt read it that way, and I went back…thinking I missed something. It appears she was simply stating that *if* we lived where she does….one could see how the probability of believing “Demographic Winter” could be more easyto the average Dakotian viewer. Her post seemed more just stating facts as to ‘the way life is’ up there…….I wasnt seeing the post as ‘fuel’……

  69. Craig and Heather says:

    “There are also born again Christians who have killed abortion doctors. I would not expect that anyone on this blog would agree with that action, either.”

    Not all who claim the name of Christ are His true followers. Jesus said we are to be known by our fruit (meaning our attitudes and actions, in addition to our words)…Although all Christians are still susceptible to making mistakes and sinning, our lives are not to be marked by repeated, unrepentant acts of violence, hatred, adultery, impatience, outbursts of anger, gluttony, etc. Simply saying “I’m a Christian” and being able to spout off Scripture passages does not mean a person is, in fact “born again”.

    H

  70. Kim M. says:

    I wanted to recommend a book to anyone that is really searching for answers (written intelligently and with proof/evidence in the case for Christianity)

    Evidence That Demands a Verdict
    Josh McDowell (I “think” he was atheist)

    Or anything that Ravi Zacharias has written

    Right now I am reading:
    End of Reason
    by Ravi Zacharias

    It is a response to the “new atheists”

    (Ravi used to be an atheist)

    P.S. Anonymous,
    I went back and re-read some of my answers refuting Evolution. They were not meant as jabs, but as my feeble way of trying to challenge you to think logically as well as challenge you to seek out the Creator WHO LOVES YOU! πŸ™‚ No hard feelings I hope!

  71. Angela says:

    Kelly,

    I think your article is well written and has given me some things to think about as this has been a struggle in my life. You continue to be an encouragement to me. Thank you.

    A quick question for the evolutionists:

    If evolution is scientific fact, where is the evidence such as fossils of transitional creatures? We should see tons of these if in fact, evolution is true.

    For supporting evidence of creation, visit http://www.icr.org/

  72. Angela says:

    Kim,

    Josh McDowell was an atheist until he tried to prove that the Bible and Christian beliefs were false.

  73. authenticallyme says:

    That is what I thought too, Civilla…then again, I have not investigated the subject all that terribly.

    What is peculiar though is that the Catholic Church promotes the NFP plan……(I paid a small amount of money once, for my husband and I to learn the method, along with some counseling.) If they are anti-birth control, I suppose it isnt as absolute as The Quiverful mindset in tha they are allowed/encouraged to abstain during fertile days. Either way, I enjoyed the method; just saying it woudlnt follow the same reasoning as Kellys, I guess.

    AM

  74. Craig and Heather says:

    Nope, not just Catholics. Many Protestants have been personally convicted of trying to artificially manipulate family size.

    Someone may need to correct me on this, but I believe it is particularly common among those who subscribe to the Reformed theology. We personally know people from this background. But we also know of those who were raised with Baptist or non-Denominational backgrounds who have come to a decision that they should just allow God to decide the size of their family. Some people have 6 children and others have as many as 12–

    But I think the main difference between these families and those within the Catholic Church is that these people PERSONALLY have been convicted about their role in fertility control and attitude toward children. When asked, they all will have a differing reason than simply “It’s church policy”.

    Not saying Catholics can’t be true believers, but I believe the Catholic religion does a disservice to members by determining to take the place of a daily personal relationship with Jesus.

    Heather

  75. Anonymous says:

    I wanted to respond to the reasoning that “Craig and Heather” stated here about using forms of birth control:

    “The use of birth control often contributes to the problem because it tends to give an artificial sense to the user of being the one who is ultimately in charge of his/her own life.”

    Would this line of thinking be thought of as reasonable if we replaced “birth control” (in the case of preventing pregnancy for a woman with insulin-dependent diabetes) with “insulin”?:

    “The use of [insulin] often contributes to the problem because it tends to give an artificial sense to the user of being the one who is ultimately in charge of his/her own life.”

    You see? Why can’t this be just a thing between God and the married couple, as long as people aren’t killing babies, that is?

    The reason why I bring this up is because I HAVE been judged by other women and men just because I had my tubes tied after having 4 very high-risk pregnancies (I’m insulin-dependent) and the last pregnancy resulted in the severe heart defect and intestine defect of my daughter. She died at the age of 2 years old. I had my tubes tied after listening to my doctors and reading the statistics on insulin-dependent diabetes and pregnancy and prayed much with my husband. Was I in sin for not just continuing to have children? Should I have not used permanent birth control? I’ve had diabetes since I was 12 and my health is starting to become fragile.

    These are just issues to consider before we start to judge those who don’t promote a “birthing many children” idealogy. My situation is just one type of situation in a sea of complexities, that the Lord, by His Spirit is capable to guide His people in.

  76. Anonymous says:

    We homeschool and believe in as many children as the Lord gives.

    If not using birth control were to become church policy, wow, it just would be shocking to most in the church.

    We don’t believe in using birth control, but, we are all by ourself on this one. That’s okay, the Lord put us where we are for a reason, it’s not to win favor of men.

    But, on the other hand, to preach that, without talking about the mother being at home, without talking about being content whatever situation, without preaching the Father has a spritual role in the family, then preaching/teaching that using birth control is wrong, would be worthless. Without LOVE, it’s an un-fruitful discussion.

    We have many friends, who do not believe as we do at church. Maybe we will be a light? Only the Lord knows. But, there are bigger issues than not using birth control. If many of the members actually had a real relationship with their children, where time is spent – teaching, loving, walking the walk, etc., then, they would want more children.

    But if the church preached birth control is wrong, to families who really don’t have relationships,use daycare for a 3 month old, who do not spend time with their families, etc. – it almost seems like getting the cart before the Horse.

    We would rather be a good witness, get to know them, let them see how it works, before telling them how we feel.

    We are in a church where there are a lot of sinners, OURSELVES included. πŸ™‚

    As far as our church enforcing not using birth control. There are things that could be addressed before that. What about daycare all day, what about the wives that work a career job outside the home, what about the father who never studies the Word with his children, etc.? These things have to be addressed, because if they are not, having kids and ignoring them, isn’t going to help anything.

    P.S. AM- I am very sorry about you losing your 2 year old.

    With your situation, the Lord has given you 4wonderful children, and, your health is important. He has given you and your husband wisdom to take care of your family. Trust the Lord and your husband.

  77. Word Warrior says:

    Anon,

    I’d like to restate what I’ve said in earlier posts to answer your comment:

    First, I don’t consider being able to use the word “medicine” as an interchangeble word in that statement (I take tyroid meds to stay alive) because taking medecine to fix something that is broken lines up with Jesus’ love of healing (since pain is not from God, but sin.) Whereas, taking something to alter what works properly is a different thing.

    As to your specific medical situation though, this is the reason I don’t emphatically say “birth control is wrong”. I’ve never said that. I don’t want people to feel “judged” either.

    I’ve emphasized many times, it’s the general attitude about the general practice of “birth control just because” that I feel has been damaging to our culture’s attitude toward children.

    If birth control were treated more like something unfortunate (as in your case), I think that would be a very different thing.

    And even on that note…I believe it is prevalent in the medical community to lean toward causing fear among women in convincing them to sterilize. For what ever reason. Even in medical cases, I think it has to be weighed out carefully, leaning on God’s leading a lot more than a doctor’s word.

    Here again, that’s still a different mind set than just the flippant attitude we tend to have toward preventing children.

    I hope I’m making sense?

  78. Craig and Heather says:

    Anonymous,

    I must have been distracted while typing my comment. It doesn’t read the way I thought it did.

    Mainly, I was attempting to make sure I understood what Kelly has been trying to say. Restating concepts in my own words helps me to sort information. I was not saying I specifically agree (or disagree) as I am still processing her stand.

    I also wanted her to know I appreciate her concern for the church body as a whole. Each of us should be aware of the way our personal lives reflect on Christ’s body as a whole, and I believe Kelly’s motives are pure in this cause.

    I DO agree with the point that I am pretty sure I understand. There is no question in my mind whether it is wrong for other believers to look disdainfully down on someone for having many children.

    I personally believe it is JUST AS WRONG TO make accusation against SOMEONE WHO HAS A FEW, or even none. I’m not accusing Kelly of doing this. Just wanted to be sure that I am not misunderstood here. How or why a family remains small can be due to a very personal and painful reason, as you (anon) pointed out.

    I currently believe that if God allows someone peace over their birth control choice, it is not my place to tell them they are sinning. However, some methods do have undesirable side effects, and others are highly unreliable, so it is good to pray, ask many questions and do plenty of your own research before choosing.

    My personal thought concerning the verse in Psalms was simply meant to say that no matter what the “official church position” happens to be, God will direct the hearts of those who place Him first. I did not mean that I think He wants everyone to try to have lots of children (in spite of other health concerns), but rather that He will direct individuals on how to maintain the overall relationship between husband and wife, that He can cause a family to graciously and thankfully accept a “surprise” baby, and that He is perfectly capable of letting them know when the “quiver” is full.

    Heather

  79. Craig and Heather says:

    To the insulin-dependent anon poster,

    I am very sorry for your loss and can not even imagine the grief of losing a child.

    I absolutely understand that sometimes, God does not miraculously heal a person from an affliction, but instead gives them a path of obedience which they are to follow.

    God is faithful, and will teach each of us what we need to know, if we are willing to listen to Him.

  80. Anonymous says:

    I find the question you put forth interesting, to say the least. It is only business between yourself and God. God gave us free will. We will be accountable to Him. This does carry an issue with the “general public”, but if you don’t care what they think or say so be it. I do NOT promote abortion, I am talking about BC pills or some other form of BC, not an “after the fact” measure to stop the pregancy.
    This is your site, but you are also asking the question. I feel that my way is right, not just bringing untold numbers of children into the world just because YOU CAN. In the end it is all put before the Lord. Anon.#4.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Also, my relative was told by her doctor that she should not have children because it would be too hard on her system, so she and her husband adopted seven children that nobody else wanted. I think that that is better than just bring more children into the world, especially if it would be dangerous for you. Anon.#4.

  82. authenticallyme says:

    Heather, I agree very much with your post, that any choice we make should be out of strength, and authenticity, and NOT band-wagon jumping. IMO, it is sinful to just obey man….and let him do the thinking for you.

    To the anon poster who said ducks must be in a row. i agree. while I am sure some people are convicted of relinquishing all control of the womb, and go form there backwards, most could take it out of context and skip the ‘other things that should not be left undone’ (paraphrase). I had 4 children , all daughters, and was open to more (not saying I still would not have reached a point in life where i would have used NFP or the pill, but….)but my husband has struggled with addiction for a long time. There are many people I know who struggle with addictive behavior, and other paramount issues. The whole point and motive to have more kids is to have a mindset of ‘selflessness’, and obviously someone struggling with and not overcoming addiction…..coould not carry that mindset, or make that promise. adding kids to the mix only seems to reap more problems and heartache for families i see like this. just my opinion.

  83. Word Warrior says:

    Anon #4….

    Your comment kind of proves a point I’ve been making all along…that we haven’t even studied this topic or thought enough about it to make informed statements.

    You said:

    “It is only business between yourself and God. God gave us free will….I do NOT promote abortion, I am talking about BC pills or some other form of BC, not an “after the fact” measure to stop the pregancy.”

    I submit that because the church isn’t promoting a message of truth (nothing more than “God is the Author of life and children are a blessing”) that the general concept of OUR being in control and making life so easily disposable (before and after the fact), has played a part in the facilitation of abortion.

    Furthermore, almost all artificial forms of birth control have been found to cause abortions some of the time. In my opinion, that’s not just between “me and God”. If I’m unknowingly aborting my babies, and someone knows, it is a fellow Christian’s responsibility to try to stop me. Anything else is not true love.

    So while I’m not advocating “let’s have as many babies as we can” (that would put man back in control in a sense), I’m asking, are we REALLY thinking about the negative implications BC has had on the church, and on our perception of children?

    Paul said “teach sound doctrine”, not “just let everybody figure out his own doctrine”…I’m challenging us to take a subject that we’ve given very little thought to,(and have been told ‘that’s nobody’s business) and really dig in to see if the church needs to change the tune of its message about children, for the good of its body.

    Sound doctrine is what the Scripture says…”Children are a blessing and the fruit of the womb is His reward”. We don’t have to set up “rules” to teach that. We just have to start teaching it!

    Like you said, I think that’s the foundational belief system a Christian should have, and then a couple can “work backward” from that for their personal lives.

  84. Word Warrior says:

    Anon 4,

    Wanted to back up and say I certainly didn’t mean for my last comment to be insulting. By “uninformed statements” I was referring to the inconsistency between “it’s not the church’s business” and the fact that most BC is abortifacient. Very few people realize that. But when you understand the full implications, you see why I’m advocating the church’s role in the subject of teaching truth to its members.

  85. Word Warrior says:

    Civilla,

    I agree…so what do you think, though…do you think this is what he was killed for? I’ve always given room for the real evil being the breaking of the brotherhood law…but after that explanation–that God had already spelled out that punishment, what else are we left to think?

    I’m just wondering if this, in fact, a “proof text” that God is anti-birth control?

  86. Catherine says:

    Mother of Dog,

    Jesus was much more than a teacher. He claimed to be God. The Pharisees knew exactly what He was claiming and that prompted them to pick up stones to kill Him.

    I understand being culturally Jewish. I have lots of Jewish relatives who are not practicing Jews. My grandma was Jewish, so I am certainly proud of my heritage. To an orthodox Jew (and others), if you don’t practice Judaism, one can’t be Jewish. I disagree, since, like you, I believe in being culturally Jewish.

    The bottom line is this (and this isn’t original with me–C.S. Lewis said something akin to it, and I shall paraphrase): Jesus claimed to be God. That must be reconciled. If you say that he was a “teacher,” then did He lie when He claimed Godhood? Was He crazy? Or, was He Lord? Philippians says that one day, every knee (even yours), will bow and proclaim Jesus as Lord. If I was you, I would investigate more thoroughly the claims that Jesus made with a less casual attitude, but that is up to you.

    Here are a couple of other things to consider: You rightly state that there are many religions that claim to be the only true religion. Many people have even claimed to be deity. In Jesus’ day, there were religious leaders who claimed to be God, but what happened to their followers once they died? I submit that they deserted their faith. Conversely, when Jesus died and rose again (and was seen by over 500 witnesses), His disciples’ zeal was renewed. They were invigorated. After the Ascension, the next thing we see is Peter preaching at Pentecost, unabashed, unashamed and unafraid. What were those twelve guys (the disciples) like before Christ’s death and Resurrection? They were sniveling, fighting and cowardly (think Peter’s denial of Christ). Yet afterward, they were emboldened to preach the Gospel, and all but one, history shows, died martyrs.

    As an aside, since you’re Jewish, you might want to spell “Israel” correctly (it’s not “Isreal”). It might give you a more credibility. My tongue was firmly planted in cheek as I wrote that.

    Civilla and Kelly–I am not a theologian, either. It is a stretch, though, to use Onan’s death to prove that God is disapproving of birth control. Rather, Onan disobeyed God and God killed him. Wiersbe, Calvin and MacDonald are among the writers of commentaries that make that assertion. I think that birth control, or lack thereof, is a matter that it between your spouse, you and God. We walk by faith, so if believers seek God’s wisdom and decide to practice birth control, they are accountable to God, not to the Church or to other believers. The same can be said if they have lots of kids. Lest you think I speak from a vacuum, I will remind you that I have ten kids, but believe that we have liberty in Christ to make those kinds of decisions. The irony is that so many who want children, can’t have them, but there are lots of babies born despite birth control. God is in charge, and He will do as He pleases.

    Cathy

  87. Mother of Dog says:

    Catherine –

    Why did Jesus say he was God when he wasn’t? Well, for one thing I’m not sure he did. The Bible is a written document, and just as I wrote “Israel” as “Isreal” because I was typing too fast – hey, who knows what he actually said? I wasn’t there. πŸ™‚

    But let’s say he did say that. Maybe he believed it. Maybe a lot of people believed it. Clearly they still do. That doesn’t make it fact. The Mormons, for example, believe that women need to be yanked into Heaven via their husbands. Many, many Mormons believe this.

    So in conclusion, no I don’t believe that Jesus was God. We don’t believe this as a culture. I’m not trying to offend you, I’m merely clarifying.

    Here’s one thing I don’t understand. While I don’t partake in it, true, Jews have a very ancient faith that predates Christianity. So I’m bemused when Christians tell me – with admirable patience – that I must believe what they believe because they have the TRUTH. That’s very nice for you, but I’m happy with my own beliefs.

    Most Orthodox Jews would believe I’m Jewish. That’s a category you’re born into via your mother, however you worship. πŸ™‚

  88. Catherine says:

    MOD,

    I’m not trying to convince you that Jesus is Lord. That is God’s business, and I will leave that to Him. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to open blind eyes. If He doesn’t see fit to do that in your life, you will die in your sins.

    Your argument with regard to truth is a straw man. You weren’t there hundreds of years ago when the Declaration of Independence was signed (I don’t think), you weren’t there when JFK was assassinated, etc. The point is that like everyone else, you’re relying on the word of others, the press (God forbid) and on eyewitness accounts for your historical knowledge. That’s an empty argument. Surely you can come up with something better than that.

    What does being Mormon have to do with anything that I wrote?

    Finally, yes, I’m aware that Jews believe that if one’s mother is Jewish, then, you are, as well. For someone who isn’t a practicing Jew, you sure mention your background a lot.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    Cathy

  89. Catherine says:

    BTW, MOD, I get the sense that you like to tweak and get a reaction from people, rather than being on a search for the truth.

    I thought that Kelly was unduly harsh with you a couple of times, but, perhaps your veneer needs to be stripped away.

    Cathy

  90. Mrs. Anna T says:

    “To an orthodox Jew (and others), if you don’t practice Judaism, one can’t be Jewish.”

    On the contrary, if you are born to a Jewish mother, you are ALWAYS a Jew. You are a Jew if you are atheist, and you are a Jew if you choose to ‘adopt’ another faith. That’s why, even though we never try to convert others to our faith, we always seek to bring back the lost Jewish souls.

  91. Mother of Dog says:

    “I’m not trying to convince you that Jesus is Lord. That is God’s business, and I will leave that to Him. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to open blind eyes. If He doesn’t see fit to do that in your life, you will die in your sins.”

    Whew. I feel better already! πŸ™‚

    “Your argument with regard to truth is a straw man. You weren’t there hundreds of years ago when the Declaration of Independence was signed (I don’t think), you weren’t there when JFK was assassinated, etc. The point is that like everyone else, you’re relying on the word of others, the press (God forbid) and on eyewitness accounts for your historical knowledge. That’s an empty argument. Surely you can come up with something better than that.”

    Well, Catherine – that’s just my point. History IS shaky. There are many examples of it being rewritten. Columbus did not “discover” America, etc. Still, yes, I believe in most components of history. But I’m not making the Declaration of Independence a religious artifact and using it to worship. There’s a difference. The Greek gods were as real to them. I’m not bowing down to them either.

    More to the point, a belief in any deity is faith, not fact. To say that Jesus said he was the Son of God and it is true because many other people believe it does not – in my opinion- make it true. I’m not going to rely on that because it is not empirical evidence as you present it. I accept that many find solace and comfort with a belief in a deity. I think that’s wonderful. I happen not to.

    “What does being Mormon have to do with anything that I wrote?”

    That was just an example of a belief that you might not share that THOUSANDS of people believe.

    I’m sorry if you feel I’m poking fun at you because that isn’t my intention. Maybe I’m a bit too lighthearted about a subject that is clearly so serious for you. That might be cultural (See: Shalom Aleichem).

    On the other hand, who said I was searching for truth? I don’t think there is ONE truth. I’m just engaging in what I think is a fascinating dialogue. I’m not sure why you think I have some veneer to be pierced. Puzzling because I’m not trying to poke holes in your belief system. I’m just clarifying why I don’t share it.

    “Finally, yes, I’m aware that Jews believe that if one’s mother is Jewish, then, you are, as well. For someone who isn’t a practicing Jew, you sure mention your background a lot.”

    As Mrs. Anna T points out, whether I am practicing or not is not the issue. I’m proud of my heritage. My grandfather died in Auschwitz, and I feel a profound connection with my culture if not my faith. But I’m not sitting here wearing a Kiss Me I’m Jewish t-shirt or anything. πŸ™‚ I bring it up merely to specify that I’m not Christian – and so if I were in search of spiritual guidance, I would likely find it with Mrs. Anna T’s practice and not your own.

  92. Catherine says:

    So, if Jewish person is Christian, are they still considered Jewish? I contend that they are, but I don’t believe that your rabbi would concur. As Mother of Dog expressed, she is culturally Jewish, but doesn’t practice the religion. So, is it possible to be a Christian and still be considered a cultural Jew?

    MOD, I am not offended by your statements–even a little bit. You mentioned that you’re “engaging in a fascinating dialogue,” but to what end? What is the purpose? It’s certainly not to learn anything.

    Cathy

  93. Mother of Dog says:

    I believe there are various sects called Jews for Jesus or Messianic Christians that deal with this duality. But it’s an interesting question. I’m not sure it comes up very much, at least not around the people I know. I will say that I have in the past enjoyed going to Quaker meeting. I just like the silence of their worship. I’m certainly still not a Christian nor am I Quaker, but one of my Jewish friends asked if I was now a Jaker. πŸ™‚

    You asked to what end I’m here – well, I’m learning an awful lot on this and other sites about some very opposite world views. I don’t need to embrace them to learn about them, but I have a broader perspective. I was hoping others on here would learn about my world views – and it would slightly broaden their perspectives as well. Clearly no one is going to convince the other. I feel that is fine and that the dialogue is enough.

  94. Word Warrior says:

    MOD,

    You are welcome to stay and continue to learn about other world views. But if that is really why you’re here, please keep your comments as respectful as your last few have been. Most of them have not indicated your desire to “learn” but to stir up strife. I don’t mind respectful discussion, but strife and insults are not what I want to characterize my blog. Thank you for obliging.

  95. authenticallyme says:

    Mother of Dog,

    I actually really like this:

    ***
    More to the point, a belief in any deity is faith, not fact.
    ***

    that, IMO, is a great way of stating it. while I tend to state it differently to those who believe as *I* do, I think there is something to claiming it really is only ‘faith’. facts can stand up for, and prove themselves. faith doesnt need all the facts.

    i do try to word things in an ‘unoffensive’ manner when speaking to people or groups who dont believe as i do, as i myself do not like being spoken to in a “matter-of-fact” way. I respect other peoples freedom to believe and think and feel as they do, and i have learned much from anyone ive been fortunate enough to have these types of conversations with!

  96. Word Warrior says:

    Civilla,

    I appreciate your honest assessment of the bc issue…that’s what I always hope discussions here will ignite–the thougt process,the subjective view at a subject, and the willingness to “be wrong” or to see it in a way you never have before.

    I think I may do a post on why I blog about these subjects…and that it’s not to be dogmatic.

  97. Catherine says:

    Civilla,

    I’m curious what commentaries you read that stated that passage in Genesis is proof text for not using bc.

    If I hurt YOUR feelings, please forgive me. You certainly didn’t hurt mine. I think spirited discussions are a good thing. I don’t think arguing for the sake of arguing is profitable, but I’m also not for censoring thoughts. It’s not my blog, anyway.

    Finally, it’s amazing what the devil uses to trip us up. Even if you were wrong about bc, so what? Aren’t you happy that God doesn’t remember our sins (I don’t believe bc is sinful, for the record)? Oftentimes, I’ve confessed something that I’ve already confessed and that happened years ago. However, I’M the only one remembering my sins. God cast them into the deepest sea removed them as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103) to be remembered no more.

    And, for that, I’m thankful–on Thanksgiving Day–and always.

    Cathy

  98. Word Warrior says:

    Civilla,

    “Kelly, are you sure you didn’t set me up? I’ve managed to get a couple of people angry with me.”

    Welcome to my world πŸ˜‰

    I thought your comment was very clear–questioning, that’s all. Which I love. Which is what I encourage every reader to do. I love the fact that you are willing to ask questions, read and research, even if you don’t come to any hard and fast conclusions.

    That’s a sign of desiring truth, not just defending your position from a “because I want to” standpoint, without even thinking further. I wish everyone would take more of your approach. Wise.

  99. Kim M. says:

    Kelly, I agree! I really admire Civilla for her open searching and not just shrugging it off because “it doesn’t apply”. It applies in all areas if we are to be Titus 2 women.

    I think we will be held accountable for willful ignorance one day. It’s really sobering, but important.

  100. Kathleen says:

    I posted this comment on the other thread as well, because I thought it was applicable:

    Here is an example of the kind of thinking that I encountered by women and men who say they weren’t judging me (for my decision to not have any more children). This is a statement from a website’s statement of beliefs that encourages reversals of vasectomies and tubals:

    “Blessed Arrows is designed for Christian couples to confess openly their sin, repent before God and others, and act on that repentance through obedience in putting their bodies back the way God designed them and trust in Him for their family.”

    Someone I know from my former church and is full-quiver links to that site. All that I’m trying to show here is that yes, it is a judgement indicating some believers think it is sin (and would even preach that) to use any form of birth control, including NFP, which has been going on for millenia. I disagree with that, because I believe there is little grace involved in such teaching, and positions people like myself in a perpetual state of “unrepentable” sin, theoretically.

  101. Sara says:

    Thanks for this! I enjoyed this article….I thought I’d comment though, as a Catholic convert from Protestantism, how the quote from St. Augustine should be taken.

    Protestants and Catholics usually oppose contraception for different reasons. Protestants tend to take it from the stance Kelly has- the soverignity of God and the blessing of children. While Catholics hold those as reasons as well, we also oppose it for another reason- that artifical birth control perverts the very nature of the sexual act, which is both procreative and unitive. To use birth control is essentially a perversion and also a lie- saying that you fully give yourself to each other, honoring the nature of the very marriage covenant, while putting physical barriers or altering your body with hormones to prevent you from giving each other your fertility and from letting God use the marriage act to create new life. This is different then infertility, a woman’s cycle, menopause, total abstinance, or NFP in that 1. to not engage in martial relations is not a sin, and 2. using a naturally occuring phenomenon (whether the naturally occuring infertile period in the woman’s cycle or the permenant infertility of menopause or some other issues) is also not a sin.

    It is from that belief and in in that sense- the sense of birth control being a perversion of the martial act in the same way engaging in other forms of sexual perversion would be (I’m not going to name any that can occur between husband and wife- I’m sure we can all think of many!) that the quote from St. Augustine needs to be understood.

    There is nothing wrong with saying something is sinful. Almost everyone involved in pro-life work will come across the issue of birth control, so intimately linked are birth control and abortion, as well as birth control and divorce, and other issues. Catholics still maintained a much lower then average divorce rate after Protestants accepted birth control, while the Protestant divorce rate went up. After the Second Vatican Council and Humanae Vitae, when the majority of Catholics rebelled against Church teaching, their divorce rate, like the Protestants, became essentially the same as the general population.

    Oh, btw, the earliest Church document (other then Scripture) against birth control was “The Diadache”, written before 100 AD (the exact date escapes me at the moment).

  102. Jennifer says:

    I’m very tired of the “Muslims are peaceful little mushrooms” believe, MOD. They’re not; their beliefs dictate that all “infidels” are to be killed and that it’s okay to hit wives when it pleases the husband. As a Jew, you should be better informed.

    Kelly, I don’t think Onan was punished for BC. I think he was a rotten person and his deliberate attempt to ruin Tamar’s life by depriving her of children was the last straw.

    Those words by Augustine are horrid; only hyper-religious people like that would cheapen married holy sex in such a way. It’s that kind of attitude that led to the frenetic defensive BC that’s around today.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Jennifer,

      You can only guess at what you think about Onan. Given the fact that there was already an established punishment for refusing to give a brother’s widow a child (you read that right?), we are only left with this statement:

      “…so whenever he lay (this sounds like a continual thing) with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so he put him to death also.”

      Bottom line? Engaging in the pleasure of sex while trying to avoid procreation with his wife was “a wicked thing” in the sight of the Lord.

      • Jennifer says:

        True, he was dishonoring both his brother and Tamar. I think this sin, more than simply trying to practice BC, was what condemned him.

  103. Jennifer says:

    “There is nothing wrong with saying something is sinful”

    Even if it’s not declared so by God? Oh YES it is.

  104. […] Is Birth Control the Church’s Business? […]

  105. Patti says:

    As an older woman, I thank you dear Kelly for your work for the families. You speak about so many topics that are relevant for the culture we find ourselves living in. Blessings to you and yours. Love you.

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