This couple had a serious problem when they had their first child
together. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. It’s the “but” that’s
the killer. This child had numerous health problems from the get go.
Before the child was two, he was at the point of death. They had to
life flight him about 300 miles to a special hospital in Denver, CO to
keep him alive. They didn’t expect him to live. Fortunately, he did.
They have to have him on special equipment to survive from day to day.
They had their second child. More problems, again a host of birth
The man went into the hospital to have some genetics testing done at
this point. They found out he had some disorder in his genes that
enabled him to be born normally, but all his offspring would suffer
severe birth defects. He saw he could not ethically continue having
children, seeing he would doom them to such suffering. He had himself
After pondering this story, the ethical questions arise. Knowing that
you would birth children to a life of unusual suffering, what would
wisdom, love and responsibility dictate?
You must ferret out the principals involved in this issue of birth
control. You see, if birth control is evil of itself, then stopping
conception in any instance would be sinful. You must ask yourself, what
are your principals founded on?
We can start this by looking at a rather obscure, but important lesson
on growth management:
28 And I will send
hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite,
and the Hittite, from before thee. 29 I will not drive them out from
before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast
of the field multiply against thee. 30. By little and little I will
drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit
From this we can find the beasts of the field would automatically
multiply to the point of danger if they weren’t properly managed by
man. Even against God’s people! Birth is an established “law of nature”
God has set in order. It’s not a miracle. A miracle is that which
defies the basic laws of nature God has established. This Law is that
of multiplication. A miracle would be like Sarah, who was unable to
conceive, conceiving. Elizabeth, the mother of John the
Baptist, conceiving when she was way past age, then the real biggie of
the virgin birth of Jesus. Other than a few such examples, birth is not
a miraculous event, it follows the law of nature.
ISSUES INVOLVED IN REAL
An important principal on this issue can be found in a quick look at
A Psalm of David, when he
changed his behaviour before *Abimelech; who drove him away, and he
(In the margin it reads
1 I will bless the Lord
at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make her
boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3 O magnify the Lord with
me, and let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and
he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him,
and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried,
and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord
encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8 O taste and see that
the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
17 The righteous cry, and
the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
19 Many are the
afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them
22 The Lord redeemeth the
soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be
A cursory look at this Psalm might give the impression God gives
sweeping victories for His people without their lifting a finger. The
Prelude, actually a part of the first verse, gives the background this
Psalm is based on. I feel it worthwhile to quote the occasion for
10 And David arose, and
fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11
And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of
the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying,
Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? 12 And
David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish
the king of Gath.
13 And he changed his
behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and
scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon
his beard. 14 Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is
mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me? 15 Have I need of mad
men, that ye have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my
presence? shall this fellow come into my house? 1 David therefore
departed thence, and escaped . . .
1 Samuel 21:10-22:1a
We can see that though the Psalm gives full credit to God’s ordering of
events for protection of His servant, David did take an active part in
that protection. David wrote Psalm 34 and he said it was God who gave
the deliverance. These passages show the Lord grants providential
oversight of His own, but nonetheless doesn’t mean it’s lack of faith
for His David to take a determined action to help orchestrate that end
The same is seen in persecution in the New Testament. When the church
was persecuted, the Christians dispersed. Jesus even said that when
they persecute you in one city, flee ye to the next. There are those
who would cast up the accusation that to flee shows a lack of trust in
God’s keeping hand. “You flee, you’re afraid. You’re not trusting that
God will keep you and protect you!” I actually had someone say almost
that very thing to me once. Such actually presents a haughty
presumption on promises God never gave. You can eventually take that
kind of reasoning to say that to go to the doctor is sinful because
you’re trying to receive a healing for something that God obviously
hasn’t chosen to heal you of. What, you’re not satisfied with what God
has to give you? Hopefully you can see how people can take this line of
reasoning out to extremes.
Those against birth control cast the accusation of not trusting God
when a person practices birth control. A Psalm such as this shows the
principal that even though we are to trust God’s hand, we do bear some
responsibility. Especially when you couple this issue with the passage
of the beasts of the field multiplying out of control. After all,
wouldn’t God just hold back their overproduction for the safety of His
own people, if they simply trusted Him. Why would God pander to a lack
of faith instead of challenging them to simply trust in His birth
control of the dangerous beasts? Yet further, why not simply trust Him
to protect us from the overabundance of dangerous wild beasts? We end
up in the sin of “presumption” with such reasoning.
THE PURPOSES OF MARRIAGE
18 And the Lord
God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him
an help meet for him.
Marriage is for more than just reproduction. It meets other needs, that
of help and companionship. The lust factor is also dealt with by Paul.
He pointed out the definite danger of continual abstinence:
2 Nevertheless, to avoid
fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have
her own husband. 3 Let the husband render unto the wife due
benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
1 Corinthians 7:2,3
We can see from these two passages there are more reasons for marriage
than just reproduction.
BECOMING EUNUCHS AND ITS
There is another important lesson to be gleaned from Jesus when He had
been talking about marriage:
11 But he said unto them,
All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s
womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and
there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of
heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
Eunuchs made by man for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Jesus mentions
this practice and with not a word of condemnation of such practice. If
birth control was of itself evil, this practice would have been evil.
Especially in respect to its being done for the sake of the Kingdom of
God. Jesus would have made a definite reference to this being a
mistaken concept when He brought the issue up, if it had been an evil
The point of the anti-birth control position, is that practicing birth
control is of itself evil because you’re inhibiting the “be fruitful
and multiply” directive. To become a eunuch is to take it out of God’s
hands. To become an eunuch is the extremist method of birth control.
THE ONAN POLICY
One of the prime Bible passages those against birth control point out
is that of Judah’s son who refused to raise up offspring to his
6 And Judah took a wife
for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 7 And Er, Judah’s
firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him.
8 And Judah said unto
Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed
to thy brother.
9 And Onan knew that the
seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his
brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should
give seed to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased the
Lord: wherefore he slew him also.
He was selfish and either wanted to see his brother’s name removed from
Israel or didn’t want to risk losing the chance of additional
inheritance. He followed his legal obligation in going in to his
brother’s wife, after his brother had died. Since this legal
requirement would grant descendants to his brother’s name, and he
didn’t want that, he “spilled it on the ground” when he went in to his
brother’s wife. Because of this sin against his brother, the Lord slew
him. His sin was in seeking to destroy his brother’s name out of
Israel, hence the Lord slew him. It was not the issue of practicing
birth control. The context of the passage clearly shows what the sin
was for which the Lord slew him.
BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY
Another passage used to say birth control’s sin is:
28 And God blessed them,
and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the
earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and
over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon
God “blessed them” and “said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply”.
Those who condemn birth control say that since God told them to
multiply, it’s sinning for individuals to do otherwise. On this same
principal, it would also have to follow that God gave the same command
to the birds and sea life He created. The command is found in Genesis
1:20-22 and indirectly to the cattle and beasts of the field in Genesis
1:28, yet we see, in light of the passage already discussed in Exodus
23:29, that management was a factor to be hedged into a proper
understanding of God’s purposes and design in this issue. Not to
mention the management mandate found in Genesis 1:28. The law of
blessing to multiply had to be, otherwise life would become extinct
upon the earth. Look at it this way. You can have a multiplication
factor and regulate it and get what you want. If, on the other hand,
God did not set into motion the law of reproduction, no matter what
regulating man put into operation, life would not multiply and man and
animals would cease to live on this earth! You can see why the law of
multiplication had to be set in motion.
THE PRESENT DISTRESS
A very possible reason a couple might decide upon having a small
family, or possibly none at all, is drawn out through various
scriptural passages. A relevant point on this issue comes to the fore
in light of the present times. Consider the direction this country is
going, and whole world for that matter.
26 I suppose therefore
that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for
a man so to be. 27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed.
Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 28 But and if thou marry,
thou has not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned.
Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh; but I spare you.
1 Corinthians 7:26-28
In these verses we find Paul talking about remaining unmarried having
definite benefits in light of the facts of “the present distress”, as
he puts it. What is this present distress? In Paul’s case it was
persecution. Consider the issue of raising children when you didn’t
know if any day you were to be thrown to the lions or used as a candle
in the streets of Rome, since you were a Christian, and leave behind
orphans. Worse yet, have to watch your children used as candles.
Knowing this very real dangerous situation existed at that point in
time, it was better not to raise a family. You can go back to some
apocryphal literature from the time between the Old and New Testament
when the Jewish persecution related the horrible sufferings of one
woman who had a bunch of children. They tried to compel her to deny the
true God. To induce her to, they slew one child at a time in front of
her. She stood firm exhorting them to each keep their trust in God and
not deny Him. Eventually they slew the woman as well.
I believe we’re seeing a time of persecution arising in America. I
increasingly hear accounts of such going on. From “Child Protective
Services” who openly declare their views that they consider
Conservative, Bible-believing Christians as cultees whose children
should be removed from their homes to help protect them from being
brainwashed; to physicians who are held legally responsible to report
any child they consider as not being raised according to the accepted
methods of the local society. For an example of what I mean on that,
there was the case of a couple who didn’t believe in vaccinating their
child. They told the doctor and that began his effort to have their
child removed from them. He tried to trump up a neglect case. He
called in the police and the child protective services. Fortunately, in
that case, the parent’s called HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense
Association) and got their counsel. They followed it and it brought
that instance out safely. These are only touchstone examples of the
direction things are taking. Seeing this, we must consider Paul’s
consideration of the benefit of not having families or large families.
POLITICAL STABILITY IN
There are two psalms that expound on this point of consideration. They
are Psalms 127 and 128. They are both “Songs of Degrees”. The one
was sung immediately after the other in their special occasion of
singing at one of Israel’s major feasts when they were sung at
different stages in approaching Jerusalem .
A Song of degrees for
1 Except the Lord build
the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the
city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 It is vain for you to
rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he
giveth his beloved sleep.
3 Lo, children are an
heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4 As arrows are in the
hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5 Happy is the man that
hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall
speak with the enemies in the gate.
This first Psalm is undoubtedly quoted by proponents of the no
birth-control stance. We can see many children are a sign of blessing
of God in verses 3-5. That was the standard Hebrew view throughout the
Old Testament. Something very important to be seen in this Psalm ties
it along with the Psalm which was immediately to follow it in Psalm
128. Notice that in verse 1 it starts off with God’s providential
protection so that the city was kept in a state of peace and safety. A
safety that comes, not from strong military advantage, but from God’s
protection of His people. Verse 2 again shows that those who can count
on God’s protection for peace and safety are those He calls beloved.
Verse 5 closes it with the ability to confront their enemies without
fear. The blessing of many children is a blessing in a state of a
secure homeland that is secure because it’s one that follows the Lord.
Considering this, move on to the next Psalm in the degrees:
A Song of degrees.
1 Blessed is every one
that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.
2 For thou shalt eat the
labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with
3 Thy wife shall be as a
fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive
plants round about thy table.
4 Behold, that thus shall
the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.
5 The Lord shall bless
thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days
of thy life.
6 Yea, thou shalt see thy
children’s children, and peace upon Israel.
This Psalm summarized the principals of a good
environment for raising children. Verses 5 and 6 tied the blessing
directly into the city and the nation that followed the Lord - “that
feareth the Lord” and “walketh in his ways”. When that national and
city condition is not present, the security for family life is gone. In
that security, the large family is a blessed one. Apart from that, it
quickly changes into the situation that Paul was referring to in I
Corinthians chapter 7. Those husbands and wives that had large families
faced great grief in such a persecuted state. Even though they were
those who “feareth the Lord: that walketh in his ways” as 128:1
referred to, they were not immune from persecution and slaughter. Psalm
128 referred to a national Israel that was a theocracy God had set up
on this earth. God granted special promises of protection for that
unique theocratic institution, but not for the churches under the New
Testament, the situation has a difference.
Whether a couple chooses to have a large family, a small one, or none
at all is a matter to be carefully and prayerfully decided upon by each
couple. We cannot sit as judge of each other on this issue. This is a
personal matter for each couple to decide, having all the factors
before them so that they can make wise and loving decisions. They need
to consider both the potential children, their own strengths and
weaknesses and whether they can responsibly take care of them. Maybe
even the factor of providing a home for a homeless orphan or orphans is
It’s between you and God.
| ONE LAST VITAL WORD OF CAUTION!
There’s the very real concern about appropriate methods of
birth control. All methods are not morally acceptable. The moral risk
is too great! For instance, I’ve heard for many years that “the Pill”
is perfectly safe and actually preferable. Until recently I had never
heard that one of the ways it works is by destroying the fertilized
egg. It prevents the fertilized egg from implanting and thus succeeds
in killing the child. Of course, this information is not going to be
openly given out, it’s too explosive. To help confuse the issue of
what’s really going on, the child is given the new term “blastocyst”,
which means a newly conceived child not yet implanted in the uterine
wall. For thorough documentation and information on this see
www.epm.org/bcpill1.html for an article entitled Does the Birth Control
Pill Cause Abortions? by Pastor Randy Alcorn or contact Eternal
Perspective Ministries, 2229 East Burnside #23, Gresham, OR 97030 -
Phone # 503-663-6481 to order this article in a booklet. There’s also a
government publication - Publication No. (FDA) 94-1213 which confirms
the basics of how the pill works.
Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible