Are Children Always a Blessing?

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by jpfrench81, Jan 4, 2011.

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  1. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    What about the menopausal couple? They aren't supposed to grieve every time they act married, are they?

    Perhaps this is a male thing, this idea that a couple cannot truly be fulfilled when the possibility of seed planting does not occur--but I do not think it is a biblical thing. And I, again, am and have been open to life.
     
  2. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Possibly; the future child is considered to have a real identity in the male's loins, Hebrews 7:10. But females should recognise their part as meet helpers in the process. That probably sounds so contrary to the pro-choice mentality of today which makes it all about the woman's body and maybe, just maybe, she might allow the husband to say this is "our pregnancy."
     
  3. Hebrew Student

    Hebrew Student Puritan Board Freshman

    Amourbearer,

    Actually, it does matter about Bible passages, because the Bible must interpret the creation account. We are creationists, but we interpret the creation account in a *Biblical* manner. For example, it would be silly to suggest that people should run around naked, or that we need to move over to the middle east, and work in a garden in southern Iraq. What is norminative in the creation account needs to be born out and interpreted by the scriptures themselves, and thus, the image of God needs to be interpreted by the scriptures.

    In Romans 1, Paul is specifically addressing something the Bible addresses many times, and that is that God created male and female to go together, and thus, only those two genders can go together. This an interpretation of the creation account that is given elsewhere, even in the law [Leviticus 18:22; 20:13]. In this case, the Bible is interpreting the creation account. However, you will find no text of scripture that interprets the creation account in the way you do. Again, the creation account must be interpreted, and we must allow scripture to interpret it.

    Not only that, but it is really simplistic to say that the Christian worldview is simply about creation and natural processes. It is also about dominion. We stop the natural process of the growing of trees to cut them down and use them for houses. We stop the natural processes of the growing of plants in order to eat them for food. What if we stopped the natural processes of having children in order to better serve God in some other way, such as helping at an orphanage, or working at a homeless shelter?

    Not only that, sin is a reality. I don't think that can be brushed off as "a problem," as the reality is that we all have major "problems" so long as we live in this fallen world. A woman that has medical problems, and could die if she ever conceived is reason enough given the fall. Men who have never heard the gospel need to be told the gospel, and men who are going into gospel ministry need to be trained. All of this produces many tasks, and many areas of service that the church needs.

    Combine all of these things with the fact that, as part of the Christian worldview, we are finite. We cannot do all of the things I just mentioned above. We have our limits. In fact, the book of Proverbs speaks of this:

    Proverbs 25:16 Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, That you not have it in excess and vomit it.

    God created honey to be good and desirable. Yet, we have to know our limits, otherwise we will get sick and vomit. That is why I say, it is way too simplistic to say that we believe in creation, and that God has created certain things to function in certain ways. He has, but we need to interpret the creation account in the way that the Bible does, and, within the Christian worldview, we are also called to take dominion of that creation, in a sin filled world, with all our limitations in order to serve God.

    God Bless,
    Adam
     
  4. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Some important points, but just to throw things out there from a farmer's perspective, we plant more trees than we can harvest and we grow more plants than we can eat. There's a natural drive involved.
     
  5. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    "Genders" is modern feminist terminology. This is what I meant about referring to specific Bible passages without accepting the biblical worldview. Pehaps you might read and think about the terms you use before you throw the discussion into further confusion.

    As for the contentions in the rest of your post, I have answered them in a previous thread. Again, your association of human biology with the lower creation over which man is to reflect the image of God and exercise dominion is unbiblical presupposition.
     
  6. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

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    Rev Winzer,

    In your view, what then does "living as though they had none" mean?

    Entering into marriage definitely puts certain obligations and duties upon a person, which will inevitability take up his time and energy. That is, to my understanding, what v28, 34 and 35 are saying.

    That does not mean a person should not take steps to ensure those obligations and burdens do not become overbearing, which is what v29-31 say.

    To take the example of business (or buying as per v30), a man is obligated to spend a certain amount of his time in the world earning a living. But he can and should make sure to limit the time and effort he expends in that direction to ensure he has enough time left over for the other duties God has given him. And the same applies to marriage and family. A man is able, by this passage, to make decisions so that he does not take on more family obligations than is proper for him, to ensure his life is not overwhelmed with carefulness (v32).
     
  7. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Those verses say nothing about burdens or duties. The exhortation relative to the phrase "the time is short" places lawful liberties in the light of eternity. Things that are lawful and free in themselves are to be used or disused in the knowledge that all such things will soon pass away and give way to an higher order. If anything it is a commendation to use marriage for the kingdom of God, which would include what the Confession of Faith states concerning raising up seed for the church, seeing as children of believers are holy, v. 14.
     
  8. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Could you briefly explain again how the human body is different from the lower creation (or point me to the relevant thread)?

    Through the discussion on the biblical worldview you have described, you have not referenced any bible passages. Save for Romans 1, and as Adam noted, that passage specifically states what God considers against the "natural use", and the sin in question there has nothing to do with contraception.

    What exactly is this biblical worldview? If it is biblical, surely it can be seen from the bible, and from specific passages.
     
  9. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Please do a search on Mark Driscoll and contraception for the relevant thread.

    The human body partakes of the image of God, is fallen under sin, and is redeemed by Christ. See 1 Corinthians 6. The body of believers shall be fashioned like to Christ's resurrection body. See 1 Corinthians 15 and Philippians 3. By means of presenting the body as a living sacrifice to God Christians offer reasonable service. See Romans 12. It is clear from such a view that human biology is created to serve God and exercise dominion over the lower creation. It is not itself under that dominion. Human personality is a union of body and soul. That is why death (severing soul and body) is considered so destructive of humanity.

    On Romans 1, it is impossible to confine "natural use" simply to "gender" or cultural conditioning of male and female roles (the feminist definition of their own term). It is the biology itself which determines their sexuality. If so, human biology is considered natural or normal for ethics. If so, the creation of another being in the same image as man is part and parcel of the "natural use."

    On the biblical worldview, I explained what I meant -- it is creationist. Man inherits his environment; it doesn't create itself, and he doesn't create it. If the natural or normal order is something inherited it is not something man has the prerogative to change.
     
  10. Hebrew Student

    Hebrew Student Puritan Board Freshman

    TimV,

    Actually, I agree with you on two levels. First, there is no guarantee that, if you use contraception, you will not get pregnant. God always gets to choose how you are going to serve him, and sometimes, you might believe he is leading you to serve him elsewhere, and he gives you a child. Also, my position is that the command "Be Fruitful and Multiply" is a covenant command. The Hebrew terms פָּרָה and רָבָה occur repeatedly in covenant contexts, and hence, I would say that the command is given to the covenant community. That is, just as every covenant community must have elders and deacons, every covenant community must have people who are about the task of having and raising covenant children. Hence, yes, there is going to be a natural overflow, yes. And that is exactly the way God intended it.

    Armourbearer,

    Apparently, Albert Mohler must also be a feminist, as he uses the term gender in the way I just did:

    http://www.albertmohler.com/2006/10/18/gender-confusion-in-the-kindergarten/]

    AlbertMohler.com – When the Gender Line Isn’t Clear?

    AlbertMohler.com – Designer Babies — Gender Selection Experiment at Baylor College of Medicine

    And for good measure, why not just search the entire website:

    AlbertMohler.com

    Apparently, according to your logic, Albert Mohler is using feminist language?????? Should Albert Mohler "think about the terms he uses" before writing something else?

    How in the world you got this, I don't know. I sure do hope that, when you get into the pulpit, you don't interpret the Bible as badly as you are interpreting my words! My context had nothing to do with cultural conditioning. Gender is used in both the biological sense as well as the cultural conditioning sense. I was exegeting Romans 1, and that is the context in which I used the word "gender." My point was that the context was the "natural function" in the context of male and female. You are correct that we are talking about Biology in Romans 1. However, it is in the context of a particular Biological issue, namely, that of which biological genders are to have sexual relations with which. To rip that out of its context, and make it apply to the product of sexual relations is total eisegesis, and has no warrant from this text, or any other text in scripture.

    Also, I have just repeated my position to TimV. I don't mind reposting arguments I have already made, out of respect for those who disagree with me, and out of the consideration that they may never have heard what I have to say.

    Also, I would like to see where in the Bible you get the idea that Biology is norminative for ethics. Indeed, Biology is the argument that the public schools use to give children condoms. Biology can be used to support any kind of perverse behavior. That is why we need the Bible to interpret what is appropriate Biologically and what is not. As I said, the creation account can be turned into a mish mash of ridiculous moral commandments given this logic if we don't have the scriptures to interpret the significance of the creation account for ethics.

    God Bless,
    Adam
     
  11. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    To begin with, I interpret the Bible before I get into the pulpit. It is amazing what a little reflection before speaking can accomplish. Further, the Bible doesn't change or err; you repeatedly resort to all kinds of arguments to prove a point without any care for the consequences of the arguments you are adopting. FYI, the feminist lobby uses Rom. 1 in precisely the same way you were doing before you offered this rather muddled explanation. It strips it from its creational and normative context. How do you suppose it is eisegesis to maintain a sine qua non? If you accept the sine qua non why are you arguing against it? If natural use refers to human sexuality then it is impossible to divorce biological reproduction from that sexuality. Or do you think man somehow developed his reproductive ability after he was created with sexuality? Why don't you go away and think about it, frame something like a reasonable response, and then come back and discuss the matter without making personal questions of a minister's preaching ability.
     
  12. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Rev Winzer and Kevin,

    Thank you for your time and explanations.
     
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