Looking for wise advice on Birth Control and inlaws

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by jjraby, Apr 28, 2010.

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  1. Hebrew Student

    Hebrew Student Puritan Board Freshman


    As I understand you, you are using the term "promote" in the sense of "generate" or "allow to come into existence." However, isn't the issue of murder when life already exists? How can you murder a "potential life" when murder, by definition, is the taking of life that already exists, and is not potential? I can understand how a positive aspect of this commandment might be to *preserve* life, because that would presuppose that the life already exists.

    The issue with this commandment seems to be that God is only one who can give and take life, and hence, we must preserve it until he decides to take it, and not try to take it ourselves.

    God Bless,
  2. Brian Withnell

    Brian Withnell Puritan Board Junior

    One thing I'd like to add to the discussion. If I live in a dangerous area, I am not going to do nothing to protect my family from what is happening around them in addition to "trusting the Lord" ... "praise the Lord, and keep your powder dry" is trusting God, but also knowing that we have responsibility. There is no lack of "trusting the Lord" on the part of those that in addition to trusting God do what they can to plan their future. Pro 30:25 praises the ant for preparing its food in summer (while not planning for the winter explicitly, it is the clear meaning). Planning ahead does not contradict or even conflict with "... but the Lord directs his steps" but rather dovetails with it. We plan, trusting the Lord to bless the results of our plans, or to bless us in the thwarting of them. That we trust the Lord to be sovereign in all things means not that we do not plan, but that while we plan to do what we can with the light of his word as we strive to understand it and live by its principles, he will superintend all things to carry out whatsoever he has ordained, and that it will be used for the good of them that love him.
  3. Idelette

    Idelette Puritan Board Graduate

    Hi Adam,

    Actually, I was referring more to the positive and negative aspects of the law (not specifically murder itself.) Each commandment not only has a negative aspect but it also implies a positive action as well. So, not only are we to not profane the Lord's Day but we are to keep it holy. Not only are we to not bear false witness against our neighbor but we are to uphold their good name before others etc. And as for the sixth commandment, we see that we are to not only avoid murder but actually promote life.
  4. YXU

    YXU Puritan Board Freshman

    I did not say that it is immoral for those who cannot have children to have relationship with each other, you misread what I said. It is absolutely ok for them to have relation, for they did nothing on their part to destroy the hope of raising future children.

    The argument is not the actual result of having children, since no man is in control but God, it is whether a man destroys his hope of having future children that matters, for it is against nature to have relationship with our wives and then by some means to destroy the hope of having children. If you deny this, then how do you argue against self pollution?
  5. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Senior

    Theirs is the decision, not yours. And that decision is whether or not they want to apart of their children's and grandchildren's lives. Speak the truth in love, and then trust that God will be faithful in the circumstances that follow.
  6. Hebrew Student

    Hebrew Student Puritan Board Freshman


    I guess what I am questioning is whether understanding "promoting life" as a positive aspect of this law is correct. As I understand it, when we discuss the positive aspects of the law, we must relate them to the negative aspects. What I am saying is that the law seems to be referring to an instance in which existing life is taken, and thus, we must understand the law to be referring to existing life. Thus, the positive aspect would seem to refer to the preservation of life, rather than the promotion of life. In fact, for what it's worth, the confessions seem to agree:

    WLC 1:135 What are the duties required in the sixth commandment? A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies, and lawful endeavours, to preserve the life of ourselves(1) and others(2) by resisting all thoughts and purposes,(3) subduing all passions,(4) and avoiding all occasions,(5) temptations,(6) and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any;(7) by just defence thereof against violence,(8) patient bearing of the hand of God,(9) quietness of mind,(10) cheerfulness of spirit;(11) a sober use of meat,(12) drink,(13) physick,(14) sleep,(15) labour,(16) and recreations;(17) by charitable thoughts,(18) love,(19) compassion,(20) meekness, gentleness,(21) kindness; peaceable,(22) mild and courteous speeches and behaviour;(23) forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil;(24) comforting and succouring the distressed, and protecting and defending the innocent.(25)

    WSC 1:68 What is required in the sixth commandment? A. The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life,(1) and the life of others.(2)

    As I said, the issue really seems to be how, if promoting life is one of the positive aspects of the commandment, how then the positive and negative aspects of the commandment would be related. When we say that the preservation of life is one of the positive aspects, the unifying issue between the two is the idea that God is the only one who has the right to take life. Thus, we must seek to preserve life [positively] as well as not murder [negatively].
    God Bless,
  7. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    The only way to deliberately "destroy the hope of having children" is to damage your reproductive system in that way that it never works properly again.

    Anyone married who does this without having children (even one child) is not seeking to raise a godly (or ungodly) seed, which goes against God's Word unless they have a very special reason.

    God uses secondary and human means in giving children. E.g. he may close someone's womb but use a doctor to open it. Contraception in itself is never condemned in the Bible as it could have been if it was immoral in itself. Lust and certain taking of human life are condemned.

    The Bible talks about many things and this could easily have been dealt with in the Torah or Paul's Epistles.

    There is more than one purpose for sexual relations presented in the Scripture as there is more than one purose for eating and drinking presented in Scripture.

    "Self-pollution" - what is it? Desire for someone you are not married to is lust and is sin.
  8. Momofmany

    Momofmany Puritan Board Freshman

    Look up Randy Alcorn and Birth Control. He's very exhaustive. I asked my (non Christian) ob, and two other OBs and they all confirmed it.
  9. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't buy it. I think the difference here is the concept of how children come to be. Your example makes it a mechanical matter of fact, and removes God's hand from it, to a large extent. I would say that instead, it is an instance of God opening and closing the womb as He sees fit, and the mechanics of conception are but a small part of it. Thus while Subject A must indeed lie with his wife in order to conceive, that physical coming together is of little consequence if the Lord does not bless it with conception (and He MUST in order for it to happen, it is not mere biology separate from God's hand).

    The honey example is simply an issue of gluttony. I stretch forth my hand, take it to my mouth, and I vomit after 2-3 kilos of it. Thus I don't see how it could be applicable in this instance in that (unless you want to get really nit picky) God's hand is not a specific part of you getting too much honey. As I read your example, God stops at the bedroom door and it is basically up to the strength of our swimmers to see whether or not the wife gets pregnant... But if it is not a miracle with God's specific blessing attached to it, then how are we any different from animals?
  10. Hebrew Student

    Hebrew Student Puritan Board Freshman


    If you think this is in text, could you please show us where in Proverbs 25 the author makes whether or not God must grant the blessing crutial to his argument?

    Secondly, I don't think the distinction works here. You can go out to find honey, but God will control the amount that you find. Hence, the argument still works. God is the one who grants *all* blessings, including a large amount of honey. The Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from above, and that includes honey [James 1:17]. The question is whether you should receive those blessings that God grants if you are already full of honey [i.e., other blessings of God].

    First of all, yes God's hand is a part of you getting too much honey, as it is God who causes you to find it in the first place! You wouldn't say that his providence is left out of something like that would you?

    Not only that, but simply mentioning something like gluttony alone ignores the context of the passage, not only in terms of its immediate context, but also in terms of its context in the wisdom literature itself. It is not just about gluttony. Consider the following verse:

    Proverbs 25:17 Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor's house, Or he will become weary of you and hate you.

    Now, the enboldened term is the exact same Hebrew expression that is found in verse 16 [pen+saba']. Thus, this verse 16 is now taken and applied to friendship. The usage of terms such as "honey," "have enough of," and "vomit" throughout the wisdom literature as well as the ANE make the idea that we are simply referring to gluttony here impossible, as does the context of verse 17. Also, in the structure of the passage, you have to note that the last to verses of this chapter are highly relevant:

    Proverbs 25:27-28 It is not good to eat much honey, Nor is it glory to search out one's own glory. 28 Like a city that is broken into and without walls Is a man who has no control over his spirit.

    Now, what I find fasinating is that verse 28 clearly states that the issue involved in these passages is restraint and control, and nothing is mentioned of anything being granted by God! It is in the context of control over one's spirit, and whether or not it the blessings are given by God are never said to be crutial anywhere [of course, I would argue that there is no such thing as a blessing that is not granted by God]! To just simply say that you are going to receive God's blessings even when you will vomit them up makes you like a city broken in without walls.

    In fact, that is why I like to use this verse in talking with quiverfull advocates, because quiverfull advocates will often quote Psalm 127:5 and talk about the not being ashamed when they speak to the enemies at the gate [which I think is erroniously applied to culture wars, when the context is most clearly law courts, as even John Calvin argued]. However, what is interesting is that, although Psalm 127:3 says that children are a blessing, Proverbs 25 says that overendulgence of any blessing such that it causes vomiting of any kind makes you a city without walls which is broken in, totally the opposite of Psalm 127:5!

    The problem is that quiverfull is reductionistic. It sees the blessings of God, and it sees the goodness of children, but then, because of an "American excess" view of what a blessing is, they then say to go out and have as many children as possible with no concern as to "what they need" [Proverbs 25:16]. The truth is somewhere inbetween. Yes, children are a blessing, and yes, more people should seek to have children, as it is a need in the church right now. However, to do that in excess without considering, as the ant does in Proverbs 6:6-8, what he will need for the winter, is something that the wisdom literature says is folly, on more than one occasion.

    God Bless,
  11. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    Adam, what would you say about Proverbs 10:22 - "The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it"?
  12. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    So then we are looking to contradict this:
    , correct? I'd rather not, thank you. Thus I don't follow the logic; you can sleep with your wife all you want, but without God's specific blessing in the matter, you will not conceive. You really have very little to do with the conception of your child.

    If God puts honey before you, it is within your power to not eat it. Nowhere does it say "defraud yourselves not of honey..." so I really don't see the correlation that you are trying to put together there.

    That's precisely what I mean about getting too nit-picky. We are a group of Calvinists here, and no one will deny the sovereignty and providence of God in all this.

    I'm afraid you put far too much of the power of conception in the hands of man with this argument. It is not an automatic thing, you see. "American excess" has no bearing on the argument whatsoever on the part of the child-bearer, as, again, without the hand of God, there will be no conception, regardless of the 'excess' you seem to place on the QF follower. Does 1Cor7 have no bearing at all?
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  13. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    From Adam:
    So, before America, it would have been ok to have as many children as possible, since the main reason Americans want babies is b/c they are after excess? This is so contrary to any American seeking excess that I know of. Maybe you aren't an American so don't know this, but the excess that we are after is usually prevented by the birth of multiple children. We like things and money in excess. Children ruin our things and take our money. The people who are open to having many children are actually usually not the ones who are treating children like commodities or collectibles.

    And what about before birth control? Sure, now we can do both: obey Scripture and not defraud one another while using BC to not get pregnant. BUT there was a time before BC where obeying God and giving yourself freely to your spouse would have been accepting the possibility of making babies. SO then it was OK to have blessings in excess, but not now that science has stepped in to fix what was broken in God's word?

    I guess I'm saying that I don't think time or circumstance changes the meaning of God's word. God's word exhorting us to not defraud one another stood before BC. I think we can all agree that this meant at that time children, and lots of them, were to be very welcome in families.
    If this meant that then, why would it change now, just because we now have a more precise way of preventing child birth?

    ---------- Post added at 10:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:00 AM ----------

    I also have to ask why we are even using Proverbs 6:6-8 to describe how many children we should have? What are the children in this analogy?
    The ant, or the man, needs to be diligent before the time of need (ie winter) comes. Regardless of the number of children, the ant/man needs to rise to the occasion. Winter will definitely come, so the ant must prepare. Using this in regards to children is like saying, only let winter come when you are ready for it. Instead what it is saying is work hard always. If you have to feed three children, prepare for that. If you have to feed six, prepare for that. I don't see how someone can say I can only feed two children, so I better only have two. In summer, you can't control what winter will be like. If you have enough for two children, but have three, then this verse is telling you, if anything, then go gather more for that third. Rise to the occasion.

    If I just slaughtered Scripture, please correct me. I just don't see how this proverb speaks to this question, so I'm trying to make an argument against that.

  14. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    Amen. Amen. Amen.
  15. captivewill

    captivewill Puritan Board Freshman

    Any time we completely sever the connection of sexual intimacy from reproduction we create an artificial situation which simply does not fit the assumptions the scriptures were addressing. Margaret Sanger has infiltrated the very fabric of our daily lives. We are infected at the level of our assumptions by HER influences.
    I don't know how you explain this to relatives but "they" are the ones with artificially evolved asssumptions while you have returned to the order of nature.
    It seems to me that they are the ones who should explain.
  16. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Amen Jessica!
  17. captivewill

    captivewill Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree with MomofMany..at the same time there is considerable difference in the natural exceptions to conception and the many deliberately contrived and manipulated controls that we humans devise.
    I dare say that any believer reading Margaret Sanger would perceive nothing but evil in her designs and plans which were quite sinister.
  18. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Some thoughts for your consideration...

    I would echo what has been said above, this issue is your in law's business, because as your inlaws, they are in a God ordained position that requires you honor them. I believe that biblically, you should strive to do your best to honor your inlaws, even if in this matter you may not obey them or please them. Its not very clear what the objections your inlaws may have, but if I were in your position, I would do my best to allay any fears my inlaws may have, and to let them know I respect and value their advice and opinions. I would be gracious in explaining why I differ from their views, and let them know that my trust in God is different from a airy-fairy assumption that "everything will be ok in the end". If their fears are financial, I would let them know I am doing my reasonable but absolute best to be able to provide comfortably for your wife and child, and that I am trusting in God to bless my efforts.

    I do think you should do everything in your power to obtain your inlaws' blessing or understanding, even if it means making an extra effort to honor or please them in other areas where you can. Even if your inlaws may not have the authority to dictate your actions in this area, it is, I believe, the christian thing to do to do whatever you can to continue to honor them.

    Maybe Pr 25:15 may also be helpful in obtaining their support and understanding.

  19. Hebrew Student

    Hebrew Student Puritan Board Freshman


    I wouldn't say anything to the text, but I would say a whole lot to this translation. The issue has to do with the meaning of the Hebrew term 'tsm, as well as the subject of yasaph. The subject here is assumed to be "The Lord." However, what if the subject were 'tsm? 'tsm has a wide range of meanings. One of its meanings is something like "effort, strength" [c.f. Job 21:23]. Now, if that is the subject, then the text would read "The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and effort does not add anything to it." Michael Fox takes this interpretation in his commentary.

    However, even if I were to agree with the translation above, it would be irrelevant, as we are not talking about blessings, but excesses of blessings.


    The issue in this text is not contraception, but sexual relations. It is forbidding the deprivation of sexual relations. The answer that I would give is, use contraception, and you can keep both commands, the commands of Proverbs 25:16 and 1 Corinthians 7.

    The problem is, without the hand of God, there is also no honey. Without the hand of God, there is no friendship. Unless you are going to argue that blessings can come without the hand of God, I don't see how this argument is relevant. Also, yes, I am going to be picky on this, because I am looking for consistency in what you are saying.

    1 Corinthians 7 has bearing because contraception is the only way you will be able to obey both of these commands. That is why I think it is the most consistent with scripture [although others would use things like natural family planning which, I believe contradicts 1 Corinthians 7]. Either way, both 1 Corinthians 7 and Proverbs 25:16 must be obeyed.

    He Beholds,

    No, my point is that the quiverfull movement comes from the same thinking pattern as obesity, excesses in entertainment, and all the excesses we have as Americans. Quiverfull just adds an excess of children to the mix. However, it is based on the same concept as the excesses of obesity, entertainment, etc.

    My point is that, in order to avoid these excesses you are talking about, you have created another excess, namely, an excess of children resulting in financial "vomiting" and "vomiting" in terms of health. Hence, I would say you have the same problem as the people who do not have children because they could no longer be rich. Too much money causes you to vomit "selfishness," to many children cause you to vomit financially and medically.

    First of all, birth control has existed for far longer than the 20th century. It may not have had the same form as it does today, but birth control goes clear back even to the ANE at least to 1550BC. Also, I should note that the context is not about someone who must sin in order to avoid taking the excess. Yes, if a person had no access to contraception, the excess would be unavoidable. In fact, such a situation would be parallel to the original post, since a person would have to sin to avoid it. However, there is no sin of contraception.

    Nor do I think it changes the meaning of God's word. I would just question whether your history is correct. For example, you also have to deal with the fact that the idea that contraception is a sin was something that developed over time. Dr. John T. Noonan, Jr. in his magnum opus, “Contraception: A History of Its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and Canonists.” (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986.) writes the following on page 6:

    [QUOTE[A closer examination of the teaching (on contraception) may show that it does not possess an abstract constancy and independence. It has developed…[/QUOTE]

    In the rest of that book, he proves his case through many citations of Patristic writers, and shows that the idea that contraception was a sin was something that was unheard of in the early church, and was a reaction to many things, including the heresy of Gnosticism. Hence, I would say that your argument relies on a view of history that is entirely reductionistic.

    There is nothing masculine that is in view here, first of all. The slothfulness of both men and women are condemned roundly in this passage, and there is nothing in the text that relates this to men. Secondly, the issue is not so much the children, but the ideas and attitudes that quiverfull advocates express. If you plan well for difficult times [i.e., are careful to choose whether or not you have children and the number of children wisely], you will be more likely to weather the winter than the person who says "I will just blindly accept however many children with which God gets me pregnant, and then, I will risk further financial difficulty, health problems for my wife, as well as the other problems that are sure to come in my life." In essence, the sluggard represents the quiverfull advocate, and the ant is the person who exercises moderation, because he is planning for the future.

    Again, I would still ask for an exegesis of Proverbs 25:16. I have not gotten it. All I am getting is the idea that God must grant children, totally ignoring the idea that God must grant all blessings, and totally ignoring that nowhere does the author of Proverbs 25 make the granting of blessings crutial to his argument. If what Proverbs 25:16 says is true, then the concept of a blessing can contain moderation in receiving God's blessings, and thus, the argument that children are a blessing is totally irrelevant to the discussion.

    God Bless,
  20. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I just checked a bunch of translations and found the translation of this verse to be consistent. Based on what I know of linguistics (a good deal, in spite of Hebrew not being one of the languages I've delved into much), this indicates to me that the syntax of the sentence most likely indicates the subject--especially if Proverbs happens to be filled with similary structured statements, which seems likely to me given the nature of Proverbs.
  21. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    So prior to widely available contraception, people were in sin in having unbridled marital relations? Wow, that's thousands of years of wickedness that has finally been solved by Family Planning. Thank you Trojans!

    The fact that this idea of 'too many blessings causing one to vomit' flies in the face of 1000+ years of church history to the contrary (where any child was a blessing) seems a bit of a stretch...

    Yes, but while I can sinfully steal honey from a pot, I cannot sinfully conceive against His will, so to speak.
  22. Hebrew Student

    Hebrew Student Puritan Board Freshman


    Hebrew poetry is notoriously ambiguious. Both translations are possible, and I cited Michael Fox's commentary as an example of someone who takes that view. As I recall, Murphy also takes this interpretation. I recall Waltke having a yet different understanding.

    However, it is open for debate, and I am not dogmatic on my interpretation. That is why I addressed the possiblity that Andres' translation is correct.

    God Bless,

    ---------- Post added at 04:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:58 PM ----------


    Kvanlaan, go back and reread what I wrote. I addressed that issue. In the event that one does not have access to contraception, one cannot avoid the excess without breaking God's commandments. There is no command that says, "thou shalt not refrain from eating honey," and hence, that is the context of the passage. That is why I said that the issue of a person who does not have access to contraception would be similar to the original post, because the only way the original poster can avoid the excess is by sinning, namely, by taking an abortifiacient pill. However, the situation you have brought up is exactly the same in that, the only way a person without contraception can avoid the excess is by sinning, namely, by avoiding sexual relations with their wife.

    However, what happens when it is possible to avoid the excess, and still keep God's commands? That is the boat you are in, and thus, Proverbs 25:16 applies.

    I guess the short answer is that, you have access, so why do you assume a parallel between their situation, and your situation?

    Actually, I don't care what history says. If we are protestants, we should hold to Sola Scriptura. History can be helpful to give you exegetical ideas, and to see how commentators throughout the ages have handled the text, but it is not our ultimate authority. Scripture interpreting scripture is our ultimate authority. Also, even when we look at history, we find the historical ideas presented by Roman Catholics and quiverfull advocates to be entirely reductionistic, as I said in my last post.

    Also, kvanlaan, if it is "a bit of a stretch," then why did my professor, Dr. Willem VanGemeren who is considered one of the top scholars of the wisdom literature, give me an A on a paper where I specifically exegeted that passage, and applied it to quiverfull? If it is a stretch, that wouldn't make sense.

    The reality is that quiverfull is rejected by the vast majority of exegetical scholars for the very reasons I have laid out above. It has an entirely reductionistic view of scripture, that cannot make sense out of the complexities of the Biblical worldview, including blessing and moderation. While I appriciate the desire to see children as a blessing, I think we also need to go back to scripture in order to understand what the Biblical conception of a blessing is.

    God Bless,
  23. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    There is no way someone can argue, from Scripture, that you are not allowed to have a lot of children. (edited b/c the rest was just immature and rude♥)
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  24. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

    The entire book of Song of Solomon is about marital pleasure and never once mentions children.
  25. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    According to this philosophy, a christian married couple should have sexual relations as often as they can, always try for a child, and continue having sexual relations until they are clapped out and die from heart attacks.

    But if they know that they can't have children they shouldn't have sexual relations, since it is wrong to separate having sexual relations from having children.

    The Bible never says that married couples are obligated to try for as many children as they can have. This is just to add to Scripture.

    It's rooted in Roman Catholic natural law theory.


    The Bible indicates that one of the purposes of sexual relations is "knowledge" of one's spouse. Therefore, it puts fences about that "knowledge" whether or not there is conception.

    E.g. The Bible doesn't say adultery is wrong if it leads to pregnancy, but adultery is wrong whether or not it leads to pregnancy.

    The Bible protects this knowledge as something important independent of having children.

    He beholds
    No-one's arguing that a couple can't or shouldn't have lots iof children, but that you cannot argue from Scripture that all contraception is always immoral.

    God has already given Man a hand in conception by giving him a degree of choice over whether or not he marries, who he marries and when he has sexual relations with his wife.

    If he thinks any of these things do not accord with godly wisdom he may forbear as a wise and godly man.
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  26. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm sorry, then. I really thought he was saying that wanting many children/many blessings was a sin and based on greed, or American excess. I am not convinced that BC is immoral, so I have no argument with Adam or anyone else as long as he's really not saying that to have lots of kids, even as many kids as possible, is a sin. I cannot see that from Scripture.
  27. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    I can't see how it would be a sin either, to have as many kids as possible. But it might not be wise, depending.

    It might be ungodly and immoral, and therefore unwise, for a married couple to avoid having any kids or have a small number.

    "All things are lawful but not all things are expedient" - the Apostle Paul in Scripture.

    There can be a wise and appropriate use of contraception by the wise Christian couple.

    There can be an ungodly, immoral and unwise use of it.
  28. Idelette

    Idelette Puritan Board Graduate


    You have completely taken this passage out of context, and you are reading things into this text to fit your own views. This passage is teaching us that we are to be good stewards of what God entrusts into our care, not to determine what should or shouldn't be placed into our care as you are suggesting! The sluggard is the one that is not a good steward and takes for granted the things placed into his care. And for you to liken quiverful families to the sluggard I find appalling and offensive! To be quite frank, I know several qf families, and they are some of the most hard-working, zealous, frugal people that I have ever met! I think you should be careful to make generalizations about people simply because you do not agree with having many children. And to be quite honest, their vineyards are overflowing both spiritually and physically and I think it has a lot to do with their faithfulness!

    You can do all the planning you want, you can distort as many passages as you'd like, you can opt not to get married, not to have any children at all, to save every penny.....and still be very poor! The Lord is Sovereign over all, and His purposes will stand!
  29. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    "One cannot avoid the excess without breaking God's commandment" - this is, to me, still a complete rejection of the Biblical idea of children as a blessing from the Lord. I cannot argue against it because I cannot wrap my head around it as any sort of exegetical concept actually found in Scripture. While many on this board have differing ideas as to whether or not birth control is a sin (in its various forms) I don't think anyone has ever raised the idea that not using birth control is to commit an 'excess' of some sort in God's eyes.

    And while the idea of children as a blessing (ANY child, no matter how "excessive" the number may be) is regarded by most theologians worth their ink as just that, a blessing, you would rather that I take your opinion as truth rather than rest on the shoulders of the theological giants of the Reformation and of the Puritan movement. Sorry to disappoint, but I choose them.
  30. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

    To be rude we gotta start out breeding the Muslims and the Atheists. Natural church growth is the best church growth.
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