The default attitude of Protestants is that abortion is wrong, but there is nothing wrong with birth control. But the homosexual rights movement has forced many Christians to rethink their position because birth control, like homosexual practice, separates sexual activity from procreation. Here are my thoughts on the subject:
- Scripture never encourages birth control. On the contrary, the only person ever recorded in Scripture to have ever practiced contraception was struck dead by God because of his selfish desire not to have children (Gen 38:10). He wanted the pleasure of sex without the responsibility that comes with sex.
- The theology of the Bible is irredeemably pro-family and pro-life from Genesis to Revelation. We are commanded to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:22) and are told that “children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth” (Ps 127:3-4).
- Regular sexual activity among married Christians is expected to be a normal part of marriage: “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer” (1 Cor 7:5). This would exclude the “rhythm” birth control method.
- Many forms of birth control are purposely abortive in nature. These are known as abortifacients and include Plan B, Ella, IUDs, and RU-486 which prevent the implantation of human embryos.
- The same motive which drives a woman to get an abortion is often the same one driving birth control (the desire to avoid the consequences of sexual sin).
- The presence of birth control pills and devices in society inevitably increases the amount of fornication and adultery which take place because it helps to remove some of the risks that come with sex outside of marriage (unwanted pregnancy and unwanted diseases).
- Because of increased fornication, the number of abortions which take place will inevitably increase.
- When a child is conceived despite the use of birth control, the child is often looked upon by the parents as an unfortunate accident which never should have occurred instead of a special creation of God who has a purpose in all things.
- If couples are using birth control because they don’t want children, then this attitude falls under the condemnation of Onan in Genesis 38 because he too had the same desire. However, I am not sure that the condemnation of Onan would also condemn using birth control to space out the children that a couple plans to have.
- Bruce Thornton in his book The Decline and Fall of Europe explains why birth rates among white Europeans are so low: “Children are expensive, and they require a sacrifice of time and interest by parents. But what is the root cause of Europe’s ongoing demographic suicide — which coincides, by the way, with an explosion of the Muslim demographic on the continent? . . . the dolce vita lifestyle does not include children.”
God does not call us to live a “good life,” but one of suffering for the advancement of his kingdom.