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Showing posts with label sex. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sex. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The insanity of denying differences between the sexes

I enjoy parody as much as the next guy. Articles like those from The Onion are funny because they take a position and ridicule it through exaggeration. That's why I was completely surprised when I saw an article by Christin Scarlett Milloy entitled "Don't Let the Doctor Do This to Your Newborn" on Slate's web site and not the Onion.

In the article, Milloy paints a picture of a woman who has just given birth holding her infant when the doctor walks in and ominously announces that the newborn is due for its "treatment" which will give the child some social advantages, but also runs a risk of dangerous side effects. Milloy puts these in the mouth of the doctor:
"Oh, in 1 or 2 percent of cases, we see long-term negative reactions to this," he says with a hint of distaste. "It leads to depression, social ostracism, difficulty finding or keeping a job. Those with negative reactions often become subject to intense discrimination in society. Suicide is not uncommon."1
Then, with a theatrical flourish, Milloy supposedly drops the bomb:
It seems unlikely that doctors, hospitals, parents, or society in general would tolerate a standard practice like this.

Except they already do. The imaginary treatment I described above is real. Obstetricians, doctors, and midwives commit this procedure on infants every single day, in every single country. In reality, this treatment is performed almost universally without even asking for the parents' consent, making this practice all the more insidious. It's called infant gender assignment: When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It's a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring's genitals.2
Oh, please. You note the quick dismissal of sex as "nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring's genitals." That's what those who promote sexual fluidity would have us believe. The reality is that every cell of one's body defines one's sex. Even high school biology students know this; human beings have 23 pairs of genes and the last set is either XX or XY, which determines one's sex. Those chromosomes begin a process that change hormone development, brain development, muscle mass, and bone physiology. Basically, they change the entire person's anatomy.

Because a man's or woman's sex is coded into the very DNA of an individual, it's a bit more than disingenuous to claim that we don't have to identify a child's sex at birth. Even those who claim to be transsexuals cannot have any kind of surgery to remove the offending chromosome from their system. They simply wish to pretend it doesn't exist. However, as I've written before, surgery to make one appear physically as the other sex isn't the answer. Walt Heyer, a former transsexual himself, reports that Transgender suicide death rate is at 30% regardless of whether one has had transformative surgery or not:

One out of every 3 transgenders, even after undergoing a surgical gender change, will die from suicide. Gender surgery is no help in preventing or reducing transgender suicide deaths. More than 40% of transgenders will attempt suicide and 30% will not survive the attempts and die.3

This argues that the condition of not identifying with one's sex is a mental illness which can never be treated with a plastic surgeon's scalpel.

 Milloy, if you hadn't guessed already, identifies as a transsexual and is an activist for transsexual issues, and the bias is evident in every paragraph of the article, except one. In his opening sentence he writes, "Imagine you are in recovery from labor, lying in bed, holding your infant. In your arms you cradle a stunningly beautiful, perfect little being." There is simply no way a person born with an XY set of chromosomes is in view here. He is addressing a mother who has just given birth, and no amount of fear-mongering can spin that role to something else. He later writes:
We tell our children, "You can be anything you want to be." We say, "A girl can be a doctor, a boy can be a nurse," but why in the first place must this person be a boy and that person be a girl? Your infant is an infant... The world is full of possibilities that every person deserves to be able to explore freely, receiving equal respect and human dignity while maximizing happiness through individual expression.
The problem is that a boy cannot be a mother and a girl cannot be a father, no matter how much they want to be. Such roles are not up for grabs. They are too important. The survival of the human race relies on infants having XX or XY chromosomes. Without both, we can never produce another generation. To flippantly dismiss those very real differences as meaningless shows that Milloy would damn the necessary in order to maximize his own happiness. Now that I think about it, it doesn't strike me as funny.


1. Milloy, Christin Scarlett. "Don't Let the Doctor Do This to Your Newborn." Slate Magzine. The Slate Group, LLC. Web. 26 June 2014. Accessed 2 July 2014.
2. Milloy. Ibid.
3. Heyer, Walt. "Transgenders suicide death rate at 30%." Sex Change Info. Web. 29 Dec 2012. Accessed 2 July 2014.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Watching The Car Crash of Colleges Purging Christians

Imagine living in a town with a moderate population of 20,000 people. The town has several traffic signals that seem to take far too long to turn green. Townspeople complain that the signals are slowing down their commutes, even when no one else is on the road. Why should they be held up when they have important things to do?

The city council members, hearing from this vocal minority and wishing to be reelected, begin to justify the idea of removing the signals and selling the idea to all the townspeople. Drivers are smart; they will be careful when crossing the intersection, they argue, because no one wishes to get into an accident. They will slow down and stop, giving deference to others who were there first.

So, the leaders issue a command to take down the signals, proclaiming that everyone now has more freedom. They can now enjoy an unencumbered driving experience and they may make better time since they don't have to stop unnecessarily. They even begin to say that commerce should increase because of the time savings.

As you can imagine, that isn't going to be what actually happens. More people begin to traffic through these intersections because there are no signals and those in a time crunch think they can save a few seconds off their commute. Accidents at the intersections go up; sometimes this is because a rogue speedster simply didn't want to stop, but more often because everyone has a different opinion of who was to have the right-of-way. Stymied, city officials decry the actions of anyone who gets into an accident and set up special panels to fund out why drivers wouldn't stop. They then begin to focus more blame on sports car owners for being at fault because they obviously want to go faster than anyone else. Why else would they be driving such a performance-oriented vehicle? It's no matter, though. Accidents will continue to rise and people will continue to be hurt.

Today's Colleges Have Removed the Traffic Lights

This is what our college students are facing today. Institutions of higher education used to understand that they had a responsibility to educate the entire person. Part of that education included religious and moral instruction. Alvin J. Schmidt notes that even as recently as 1932, 92% of the 182 colleges and universities in America were founded by Christian denominations.1 However, things have changed. Not only have many of those institutions abandoning their Christian roots but, colleges across the country are forcibly pushing for amore liberal sexual acceptance policy. Even the New York Times is reporting, campuses are ejecting Christian clubs because their stand on sexuality is being classified as “discriminatory.”

At the same time, we are seeing reports that sexual assault on college campuses is rising.2 While some of this is due to sketchy reporting methods, there is no doubt that the number of casual sexual encounters has grown on campuses across the country.

One function of Christian teaching is that it provides certain guidelines on moral behavior. It is like those traffic signals in the parable above. The Judeo-Christian understanding of sexuality is that it should be considered holy and exclusively reserved for married couples. But such views make people wait instead of receiving immediate gratification. So, colleges have adopted a position to remove any traffic signals and allow everyone to judge for themselves when and how they should engage in sexual relations. Sexual encounters went up and so did complaints of unwanted sex. Colleges tried to enforce an idea of mutual consent, but what constitutes mutual consent can be interpreted differently by those involved. Policies have been revised (such as Cornell's and Yale's) to say that one must verbally say yes. So, to have sex, the college expects two twenty-year-olds in the heat of passion to go through the same motions as the assent one must give to sit in an emergency exit row of an airplane. But that consent doesn't count when one person is intoxicated. And this is considered rational and based in reality?

Will any of these gyrations matter? Of course not. Just like our imaginary town, there will be legal battles and squabbles, but it should surprise no one when problems go up and people get hurt. Colleges, just at the time where they need clear guidelines to restore order and protect all of their students are removing the last vestiges of restraint they had. It's like watching a car crash in slow motion.


1. Schmidt, Alvin, J. How Christianity Changed the World. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004.) 190.
2. Associated Press. “Sexual assault reports on U.S. college campuses increased by 51 percent in 10 years, report shows.” Accessed 6/11/2014.

Photo credit: Damnsoft 09

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Let’s Change Our Message on Sex

This blog post is about sex, and it's the first time I've written about it directly in my years of posting. Is sex an apologetics topic? Absolutely. One's understanding of sex reflects one's worldview and many times actually helps shape the worldview of the individual. I think that the church hasn't done a very good job in expressing exactly what the Christian position on sex really is, and I'd like to try and provide a different approach from what you may have heard before.

In his Deeper Waters blog post this morning, Nick Peters talked about running across some online comments regarding sex and chastity. The poster said he was on "a bit of a 'sex' kick" and asked the mixed Christian and non-Christian audience "How important is virginity?" I think that both the Christian and the non-Christian are both really confused when it comes to understanding sex. Nick reminded me of the old joke, "I was told two things about sex growing up. #1. It's dirty. #2. I should save it for someone I love." Obviously, that sounds a little bit contradictory. How can sex be dirty and special at the same time?

Defining Sex as Holy

I think one of the real difficulties we have when trying to present the Christian viewpoint on sex is the language we use (maybe Wittgenstein was onto something!). Because sex is uncomfortable or embarrassing to talk about, we try to communicate its value by using words like "private," "special," within marriage but "dirty," "inappropriate," "foul" or some other negative term in public. I want to inject a new definition into the discussion. Ultimately, sex is holy. Now, some may recoil from that statement, but I believe it's true and it can be supported biblically. Sex is a God-created union that joins a man and a woman in a way that no other act or speech could. The Christians in Corinth had a sexually permissive attitude, but Paul tells them, "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, 'The two will become one flesh.' But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him" (1 Cor. 6:15-17).

So, Paul says sexual relations joins people together in a spiritual fashion, just as becoming a believer joins one spiritually with Jesus. Sex is therefore a spiritual union. It's holy. This idea is not new; in the Old Testament, the nation of Israel would often sin by worshipping foreign gods. Their actions are consistently referred to by God as "playing the harlot." Even in the book of Hosea, there's an extended analogy of the prophet Hosea's wife sleeping with other men, and God compares this to Israel's idolatry. If worshipping foreign gods is harlotry, then it stands to reason that worshipping the one true God is akin to the sexual union within marriage. It is how God designed us to behave. Sex is holy, and it should only be exercised within a context of holiness.

How Seeing Sex as Holy Changes Things

If we define sex as holy, it can radically alter our perspective. Just as the desecration of a holy object should naturally cause shock and revulsion, so to taking the holy act of sex out of its context and using it casually, for recreation, or to see how many times one can score becomes repulsive. Pornography takes on a whole new dynamic as besmirching and degrading that which we should hold in honor. Even lust can be seen a bit more clearly as deviating from the way we should be looking at one another. Marriage is a holy bond, a covenant made by two people before God. In this context sex becomes exclusive and focused, and it serves the purpose of drawing those two people together in a way that nothing else will. To run it through the mud by saying that it can be used with anyone interchangeably makes no sense. Chastity sounds reasonable and appropriate.

The holiness of sex is why infidelity is so damaging to a couple. Even if one person no longer desires sex, to learn that his or her spouse had sex outside of marriage is devastating. Infidelity intrinsically violates the entire marriage bond between husband and wife. It reduces one's commitment to frivolity. It's considered dirty because it damages the relationship. In other words, the misapplication of sex is a corrosive that breaks down the very bonds of marriage itself.

A Good Start

I recognize that sexual temptation is an absolutely huge problem, inside the church as well as outside. This one blog post is not going to change that anytime soon. However, if we make a mental commitment to use the language of holiness whenever we talk about sex, it may actually help up to begin really seeing sex in that way. This won't solve the problem by itself, but the more we reinforce the concept of sex as holy, the more we will begin to naturally understand it to be such. Anytime we can see things more as God sees them, we're one step closer to holiness ourselves.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Swallowing the Poison of Moral Relativism

As society continues down the path of moral relativism, the principles we rely on to live our daily lives become more and more muddled. Because there are no real boundaries, we lose focus on where we should approach boldly and where we should approach cautiously. Because there is no yardstick for good and evil, we now begin to call evil "good" and good "evil," just as the Bible warned.1 The relativist becomes detached from reality and misidentifies what was supposed to protect us as being "restrictive" and what was supposed to help, encourage, or teach us as something oppressive.

Sexual promiscuity is a good example here. God's original plan was to keep sexual relationships reserved for a husband and wife after marriage. But many deem such standards as a repressive approach to a natural feeling. Of course, the natural consequences of such actions, such as sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy, soon follow. So rather than treating the cause of the problem and tying to demonstrate that sex should only be practiced within the commitment of the marriage relationship, most schools are now dropping an abstinence-based philosophy and adopting a "comprehensive" sex education curriculum that at its core seeks to reduce the unwanted consequences of premarital sexual behavior.2 Even though humanity for millennia have understood that loose sexual practices lead to pregnancy, disease, and emotional injury, our modern society seeks actions without repercussions.

Relativist claim: "Don't push your beliefs on me!"

Of course, such an approach is never consistently applied. No one is a relativist when it comes to prescription medication, for example. When receiving medicine from a pharmacist, I read the label carefully to see just how much I should take and when. I never think, "The doctor prescribed an antibiotic for my infection, but he's just trapped in his own biases, so I think I'll take some morphine instead." No, we rely on the training and expertise of the doctor, who knows that certain medicines have one outcome and others have a different outcome. If you seek to take only what feels good instead of what is good for you, you will end up in worse condition than when you started.

One aspect of moral restraints is that they function to protect us from overdosing on our cravings. Yet, the relativist objects to such normative rules for society by shouting, "Don't push your beliefs on me! You have no right to force me to accept your beliefs." The Christian can simply respond to this by asking, "Are you saying it's wrong to think that a personally held moral view should be applied to another? But isn't that a view that you personally hold? I mean if something is wrong, then it's a moral value. So, why are you trying to push that on me?"

Relativism offers up conflicting rules. Relativists seek freedom from traditional moral laws and are offended if anyone else tries to point out the fact that their actions have dire consequences. They believe a "healthy" morality is one that is right for them, yet they would never take such an approach with their physical health. But as we see with the rise in pregnancies out of wedlock, climbing STD rates, abortion, and ever younger children engaged in sexual activity, their actions are having dire consequences. Even the relativist becomes an absolutist when it comes to medical treatment! To believe that moral decisions are consequence-free is to swallow poison instead of medicine, and it is making our society very sick.


1. Isaiah 5:20
2. The state of California, with the largest student population in the U.S., is a good example of this standard. The legal requirements for sexual education in California public schools comes from The California Department of Education, who published The California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act (Education Code [EC] sections 51930-51939). They write that the Act "has two primary purposes:
  • To provide a pupil with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect his or her sexual and reproductive health from unintended pregnancy and STDs;
  • To encourage a pupil to develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender roles, sexual orientation, dating, marriage, and family
The statute goes on to say "Abstinence shall be taught within the context of HIV/AIDS prevention education (EC 51934 (3), however, abstinence-only education is not permitted in California public schools" (emphasis theirs).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Monkey Business: Stop Excusing Sexual Deviance

An article entitled "Face it: Monogamy is unnatural" was featured yesterday on the CNN site. Written by Meghan Laslocky, her thesis is that "a greater tolerance toward the human impulse to experience sexual variety is needed."[1] Laslocky bases this on the fact that "Biologically, we humans are animals. So it makes sense to look to the animal kingdom for clues as to what we are built for." She then throws out examples from the animal kingdom of how monogamy is a sham. "The evidence shows that monogamy is a rarity among mammals. Only 3% to 5% of all the mammal species on Earth 'practice any form of monogamy.' In fact, no mammal species has been proven to be truly monogamous."

She culminates her argument with a look at the biology of pair-bonding in prairie voles, a small rodent native to North America. Stating that hormones and receptors are the cause for such behavior, Laslocky concludes:
"Among humans, here's the rub: we have the chemicals and the receptors, but it varies from person to person how much we have. Based on brain wiring alone, inclination toward fidelity can vary dramatically from one individual to another. In other words, 'once a cheater, always a cheater,' might have as much to do with brain wiring as with a person's moral compass, upbringing or culture. "
I'm sure everyone who has walked in on their spouse in the act of infidelity is comforted by that fact.

Arguments like the one Laslocky proposes are not new. Many times I hear from homosexual advocates that homosexuality must be natural because zoologists have observed animals performing homosexual behavior in the wild. This type of reasoning is as preposterous as it is inconsistent. No one would say, "Chimps fling their feces and we are so close genetically we should, too." Or to take a more mundane example, it isn't uncommon for a host to be horrified when his or her pet dog mounts the leg of a guest. Even in the article, one image of elephant seals is accompanied with the note that males "protect harems of more than 100 females from other males thinking of moving into their territories." I'm sure such a "natural" relationship model will be not considered acceptable by women!

No, these appeals to the animal kingdom as a way to understand our sexual actions make one of two egregious errors. The first is they assume humans are slaves to our biology. While prairie voles may not be able to rise above their responses to chemical hormones, part of what it means to be human is to NOT react to our base stimuli. We don't want a man threatening to kill at the mere presence of another male. We don't want a person to simply take whomever he or she desires. We have this capacity for reason that makes us--let's choose this word wisely--civilized.

In fact, that's the argument that women's groups have relied on when talking about rape and provocative dress. It doesn't matter how it makes you feel, you don't have to act on it. So, to dismiss infidelity as people who are victims of biology opens up a much larger issue and gives sexual predators an out.

The second way these kinds of arguments err is by blurring actions and assuming animal motivations are the same as in humans. This anthropomorphizing animal behavior is a common plague in animal behavioral research. The case of Koko is a perfect example.

Koko is a famous gorilla who supposedly mastered over 1,000 signs and uses American Sign Language to communicate in complex sentences. However, as Steven Pinker in his book The Language Instinct documents, the handlers were interpreting actions as signs, interpreting one sign to mean something else, and basically superimposing what they wanted Koko's behavior to mean onto the ape's actions. [2] Similarly, no animals form homosexual relationships for pair-bonding. They auto-stimulate themselves with whatever they may find. That's why the dog mounts the guest's leg.

One thing not mentioned by proponents who liken human sexuality with animal behavior is acts of sexual gratification between species. Peter Singer writes that while visiting an orangutan refuge in Africa with a group, one of the women "was suddenly seized by a large male orangutan, his intentions made obvious by his erect penis. Fighting off so powerful an animal was not an option, but Galdikas (the refuge's director) called to her companion not to be concerned, because the orangutan would not harm her, and adding, as further reassurance, that ‘they have a very small penis.' As it happened, the orangutan lost interest before penetration took place."[3] Such a scenario is scary, but not as scary as Singer's conclusion. He says such an action is an example of why sex across species should "cease to be an offence to our status and dignity as human beings."[4]

Regardless of which error is committed, you can see how judging sexual actions by observing animal sexual behavior leads to dangerous consequences.  Human beings are not merely animals. We have minds and we have a moral compass. Bestiality is wrong. Rape is wrong. And excusing infidelity on the basis of biology is itself inexcusable.


1. Laslocky, Meghan. "Face it: Monogamy is unnatural." <> Accessed 6/22/2013.

2. Pinker, Steven. The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language.
(New York:William Morrow & Co. 1994). 345-347.

3. Singer, Peter. "Heavy Petting." Nerve, 2001. < > Accessed 6/22/2013

4. Ibid.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Is Science Against Homosexuality?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
We all know that smoking is hazardous to one's health.  In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put out data showing that when looking as smokers versus non-smokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of:
  • coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times,
  • stroke by 2 to 4 times,
  • men developing lung cancer by 23 times,
  •  women developing lung cancer by 13 times, and
  • dying from chronic obstructive lung diseases (such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema) by 12 to 13 times.[1]
These are pretty compelling numbers and they are enough to cause the U.S. government to require warning labels on every pack of cigarettes sold, the state of California to spend taxpayer dollars on a long-running anti-smoking ad campaign, and folks like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to actively try and dissuade people from taking up smoking.

What if smoking didn't increase the risk of lung cancer by 23 times, but 150 times? Do you think that public health organizations would put forth even more effort to try and curtail the act of smoking? What if it wasn't smoking, but some other act? Would we react just as strongly?

Many people would immediately say either "Yes" or "some may not, but they should!"  After all, the science is on their side, right?  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of the pre-eminent health institutions of the world, and they are using the latest in scientific findings to try and promote healthier lifestyles for our citizens. Therefore, we should heed their findings. That's the theory in the abstract, but it doesn't work out that way when the activity under question is one that is politically popular to support.

MercatorNet  recently published an article (h/t WinteryKinght) where they culled several stats from the CDC on how susceptible people are to contracting HIV. The CDC reports that men who have sex with men (MSM as the CDC labels them) are 150 times more likely to contract HIV than the heterosexual male population at large. That means that MSM are engaging in a behavior that is astronomically more likely to cause HIV than smoking is to cause lung cancer, heart disease, or stroke. It's an incredibly serious find.

Do I think that because of the CDC finding that various federal and local governments will immediately generate campaigns and advertisements to dissuade people from even casual same sex intercourse?  Of course it won't, because such a statement is politically incorrect. Correcting the actions to lower the risk are a secondary concern to protecting their reputations as being tolerant of others' lifestyles. I guess tolerance takes on a different meaning when it's a smoker's activity that is being questioned.

I'm sure I will hear simple-minded rebuttals to this post such as "well, no one is born a smoker!" True, but so what? I'm talking about actions, not orientation. We can each control our actions. What about those who claim to be bisexual? Should we try to dissuade them? Should we try to dissuade heterosexual men who are just experimenting? If the answer is "no" then my question is "why not?"

It seems to me that quitting smoking is a very hard thing to do, especially if someone was raised in a household where smoking was ubiquitous, where all their peers expected them to smoke, and they have been smoking for some twenty years now.  We still ask them to quit, and we do so because of the science that shows the risks to themselves as well as the wider society. Why can't we say to the vast majority of men out there that the science shows having homosexual relations is in itself proven to be a high-risk behavior and it should be avoided if at all possible?

In my discussions with atheists, I have many encounters with those who wave the flag of "science über alles!" They feel that science is the only way to the future and science is the only thing that is authoritative.  They claim it is only through science that we've left the superstitions of the past behind and we should follow its findings if we want to progress as a species. So here I want to challenge them.  If we should follow science wherever it leads, then let's discourage men having sex with men.  If there are factors other than just the science that mitigate this, then you must admit that and give up on the claim that science is the only guiding principle for the betterment of humanity. Which choice would you like to take?


[1] See "Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 3/26/2013.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Has the Sexual Revolution Been Good for Women?

The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting couple of articles earlier this year discussing the pros and cons of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It is clear to anyone who takes the time to look at history that humanity, and especially Western societies, underwent a fundamental change because of the separation of sexual activity from procreation.

In this article, Hoover Research Fellow Mary Eberstadt focuses on four myths that seem to still be prevalent today (especially by those with a certain political agenda) and she deftly knocks down each one.  The four she identifies are:
  1. The "war on women" consists of tyrannical men arrayed against oppressed but pluckily united women.
  2. If it weren't for the Catholic Church, no one would be talking about contraception anyway.
  3. The "social issues" are unwanted artifacts of a primitive religious past that will eventually just fade away.
  4. The sexual revolution has made women happier.
Eberstadt takes each of these in turn and shows how silly they are when looked at in real world contexts. She shows that even by looking at popular women's periodicals you can see these myths don't hold. You can read the short article here. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Christians and Birth Control - A Thoughtful Analysis

Many decisions Christians make as we live out our lives have consequences well beyond what's apparent. Our ability to control our environment and even our biology has had profound implications on not only our individual persons, but on our ethical understanding of how the world works and even social implications regarding others.

We tend to compartmentalize decisions that we do in the open as "public" and those that involve our home life as "private" but this is an artificial construction since all choices have a reverberating effect to some degree within the greater societal framework. In fact, many people don't even think about personal decisions having a broader social impact, but they do and therefore, as thinking Christians, we should consider all effects of every choice we make, whether a public or private action.

One such sensitive (and controversial) topic is that of family planning. Of course abortion is a hideous blight on our society and I'm hopeful that with continued effort we can turn the tide on this despicable practice. But other topics such as IVF, surrogacy, and birth control need to also be weighed appropriately in the context of a Christian worldview.  Many Christian women, I'm sad to say, feel that surrogacy for a stranger is doing a Christian service, when they never really understand all the aspects of such a procedure, including the possibility of killing some of the babies in utero or the difficulties of extra fertilized embryos kept frozen.

What's Controversial About Birth Control?

Birth control, while seemingly more benign that other aspects of family planning, has its share of complications to consider. Recently, Douglas Wilson posted a new article entitled Eleven Theses on Birth Control.  There, he took a thoughtful look at some of the aspects and points of contention among Christians about issues associated with birth control. It's a great read and provides a lot for us to think about. An excerpt:

The rise of our birth control-friendly culture and our abortion-friendly culture happened as twin parts of the same zeitgeist. This was all part of our cultural apostasy, and our rejection of the Christian view of marriage and family...

While the Scriptures don't say anything definitively about birth control as such, they do teach an enormous amount about the blessing of faithful covenant seed. This is one of the three main reasons for covenant marriage -- the begetting of a godly seed (Mal. 2:15). This should be taught and emphasized in the church, and is the only really effective way to counter the world's anti-child bigotry. If this is effectively done, visitors to your church will think you must teach against birth control, and they will think this because of the large teeming population at the three foot level that they can see during fellowship hour.

Wilson is careful, though not to pigeon-hole Christians into a rigid "no-birth-control-ever"  mantra.  He writes:

"Notwithstanding, the Scriptures say nothing definitively about birth control considered as such. Despite the anti-family bias that created the default assumptions of the world around us, we still have to be careful not to go beyond what is written. We especially have to take care not to go beyond what is written. Slavish following of the world is bad, but so is knee-jerk reaction to it."

He also tackles the problem of birth control techniques that are abortifacients and the issue of Onan (no pun intended).  Overall, it's refreshing to see a look at this topic with a thoughtful eye—something modern Christianity needs more of these days.

Image courtesy Ceridwen and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 France license.
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