Answer: First, some people claim that: “Birth control is just another form of abortion,” however, this depends on what you use. Some methods do cause abortions and should not be used, such as the intrauterine device (IUD), the morning-after pill, and several types of birth control pills such as the ‘mini pill,’ and the RU 486.
An abortion is the actual taking of life. Life takes place at conception. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) This verse, by the way does not mean that it is sin to conceive a child, it is saying that at the moment of conception a person has come into being and that the sin nature is passed down from the parents to the child. There are some types of contraception that set up a barrier that prevents conception. This would not be an abortion since no conception has taken place, and therefore no life has been taken. These forms of contraception would not be wrong to use.
Some Christians use this passage to support their case for not ever stopping the normal result of intercourse: “But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD killed him. And Judah said to Onan, ‘Go in to your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother.’ But Onan knew that the heir would not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he emitted on the ground, lest he should give an heir to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD; therefore He killed him also.” (Genesis 38:7-10) However, these verses do not give a grounds for not using contraception because he was not judged for ’emitting on the ground’ per se, but because of his refusal to do his ‘duty,’ or what was expected of him to do as far as having a child who would be his brother’s heir.
Some forms of contraception take place after conception such as the ‘morning after pill,’ and do cause an abortion to happen. These forms of contraception would be against what the Bible teaches as far as the gift and preciousness of life. These would be wrong, for as Christian to use.
There are those Christians that believe it is wrong to use any form of contraception because they believe children are a gift from the Lord and God will open and close the womb just as He did in the Old Testament. They will probably use these verses: “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.” (Psalm 127:3-5) And it is true that children are a gift from the LORD, and we are happy to have our quiver full of them, however, stewardship would teach us that different families will have different size “quivers.” We need to use the wisdom God gives us as we pray for His perfect will to be done as to how many children He wants us to have and raise properly.
God wants us to be good stewards of all He has given us not just money but of every part of our lives. We need to honestly go before God and with our spouse and see what we could agree upon as being good stewards of our time, money, and energy for the number of children God wants us to have.
We have known several people who felt it was wrong to use any type of contraception. The women were having a child every nine to twelve months. There bodies were not given enough time to recover from the birth of one child before getting pregnant again. The woman’s health was suffering. Each successive child was forced to grow up sooner and not allowed to be the baby.
The women were depressed, discouraged, and lacked energy to take care of the children, husband, household chores, and do any service for the Lord. Each of these women had confided that their bodies could not take another child. Also, that they felt that their husbands were being selfish and self indulgent. God may lead people to have several children, but it will be something that both agree upon and they have the resources to support a larger family. There have been those too that we know of who did raise as many as twelve children, but you knew it was God who had asked them to do it, not as a result of faulty Scriptural arguments about the family. The children were also spaced further apart.
You might say, “Well, in Bible times they didn’t have contraceptives.” Contraception does not always have to be a pill or condoms; there are methods that have been used through the ages that work. There is such a thing as abstinence during the critical time of the month for conception. This is called the rhythm method, and I am sure there are web sites that explain this fully so there are no slip ups.
Thanks for the question,
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