Kauffeld, this is not a good example at all. Even if someone took my house, and left seven pounds of honey, I am going to be upset. The commandment "Thou shall not steal" or the commandments against kidnapping are not negated when someone leaves something else that is a blessing in its place.
Adam, my point is, that honey, sleep or friendship cannot be used in the place of children (or the 'hoped for offspring'), they are not similar types of blessings. Your argument re-interprets children (the hoped for offspring) as if they were somehow similar to elements of the worldly creation, which they are not, they are separate in that we are God's special creation made in His image.
That's not true Adam, you equate the 'hoped for offspring' to be on the same level as what one chooses to do with local farm animals, or property, or such things as sleep, honey, friendship etc. etc... I have no qualms about raising children in the training of the Lord, but the point is your re-interpretation of what children are, or the 'hoped for offspring' is.No, it is ignoring what the Bible teaches about about the commandment to raise your children in the training and admonition of the Lord
The philosophy you take on this point is simply not scriptural. Take a natural argument for example, say everyone used birth control, the world population would eventually die off. Ultimately the philosophy behind the use of contraception is that of death, not of life. This element of contraception is not in accordance with anything in scripture, it is simply a foreign element to the bible and should not be used. It is contrary to the general themes of scripture.
This is where we differ Adam, you re-interpret children to be part of the lower creation. My argument does not prove too much, you're just misunderstanding PS127. The exegesis that would state sleep and honey, the keeping of a city, and children are all the same type of sovereign blessings from God without distinction is incorrect. The first two verses are obviously an emphasis on God's sovereign power and influence over all of life and man's need for His favor, but verse three distinguishes a break in the context referring to children as a heritage, and reward, for those who trust and believe in this mighty and powerful God in verses 1 and 2. Your exegesis ignores this change and blankets the whole distinction made.Also, you neglected that I was exegeting Psalm 127. It is Psalm 127 that says that God must grant any blessing we have including sleep and honey in the same context as the granting of children [the opening and closing of the womb]. Thus, if you say you cannot prevent the conception of children because God must grant them, then the argument proves too much, in that it proves that you cannot stop the acquisition of any blessing, since God must grant all blessings.
Psa 127:1 A Song of degrees for Solomon. 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.
Psa 127:2 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.
Psa 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Ultimately, the re-interpretation you perform upon man's dominion of the creation of man, i.e. via birth control, you are attributing to man a aspect of God's dominion alone. That's where I disagree with you. I don't think God has given man the right to determine whether or not they have children. Secondary causes doesn't fit the bill, it's a overthrowing of the order God has placed in the world by creation. Who is man to overthrow it? Children are not 'blessings' in the sense of honey, or anything else. Consider do you 'cause' children to be born? Then what gives you the right to 'cause' them NOT to be born? (Not infallibly, though in a plain and practical sense this is true - I do not agree with secondary causes in this instance)
Regarding Malachi 2:15, I will not say the scripture is 'too obscure for it to be understandable' and Calvin didn't say that either, he said 'some obscurity' referencing the difficulty of the text - further, every translation I read of that verse still speaks of the seeking of a godly offspring, whether attributed to God or man, it still goes back to God and is obviously pleasing to Him, implying our required obedience regardless. Just because Calvin references the fact that the verse is speaking of the iniquity of the priests by running into polygamy doesn't mean that God doesn't desire a godly offspring, or that man shouldn't desire a godly offspring. The implication is clearly there either way. The priests were robbing God of that godly offspring.Also, I have often said that Malachi 2:15 should not be used to prove anything other than that there is a Malachi 2:15. The text is notoriously obscure.
Contraception often 'dispenses' with the 'hoped for offspring.' The accusation of the 'preexistence of the human soul' is not helpful to this discussion. We are dealing with what are the areas of man's responsibility under God, not ontological concepts which will only muddy the waters for everyone. Contraception in a very plain sense, 'dispenses' with the 'hoped for offspring.' I use the more exact term to keep from being misunderstood. My apologies.I would argue that in this statement there are some built in assumptions with which I cannot agree. First of all, contraception does not "dispense" with anything. Before conception, children do not exist! How can you "dispense" with something that doesn't exist? This is why many people have pointed out that, for quiverfull people to continue to use this argument, they will eventually have to believe in the Mormon concept of preexistence of the human soul.
I don't know about these quiverfull people, but I do know that if christians follow your argument, they will all have smaller families and less children to be raised in the 'training and admonition' of the Lord. Which to me, is a sadder and more practical result. I hope that all who read our back and forth arguments, though they may disagree with the anti-contraception position, would still seek to have a large family and raise them according to God's Word. I also want to say it is not my intent to offend you Adam or anyone else. I certainly acknowledge you as my brother in Christ though we differ on this issue.
---------- Post added at 01:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:14 PM ----------
Consider that God made Adam the 'keeper of the garden' not the keeper of the fruit of Eve's womb in the sense of determining whether to allow or withhold her from having children. i.e. contraception.