Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Standing Ovation!

I came upon this post today at Amy's Humble Musings titled "Thoughts on contraception and the quiverfull movement." I really appreciate the grace with which she addresses this issue and had to share it here. Here is a quote:

The quiverfull movement (QF for short) is good for the support of its members . . . Where it strays course is when it assigns motives to those outside of it. “Selfish” and “not trusting God” are the catch phrases. I’m not willing to go there. There is not a Bible verse that allows us to do this to one another.

The Bible tells us, “Owe no man anything.” (Should we start an ONMA movement?) This command leaves us less wiggle room and also finds itself in the New Testament. The Bible talks about money a whole lot more than babies. Am I allowed to accuse a person of “not trusting God” if she owed a debt to someone? What about the person who is debt-free and funds the Great Commission because of it?

“Be fruitful” isn’t the trump verse of the Bible. If we were looking for the trump verse, it would have to be Jesus’ words to love God and love our neighbor. He already told us the main thing. (Question to myself: How well am I doing that?) How can we avoid one verse becoming the measuring stick of the condition of our hearts and the vehicle in which churches and groups are built upon?

The woman who has trusted God for the timing and spacing of her children does well. She ought to be praised. Where she fails is when she tells others exactly how they ought to do the same: all birth control is a sin. (A married woman who has produced a child has multiplied technically, were it about technicalities and not loving obedience to a good God.) . . . The Bible doesn’t bind our consciences in this way, and so we shouldn’t do it to one another. We live with this tension all the time in Scripture. Circumstances don’t dictate theology, but yet we all make judgments and decisions based upon them. Women in China—where they forcefully abort your second child– have to decide in wisdom how to apply Scripture’s words.


Weetabix said...

I must confess I didn't read the linked article, but I think it's an interesting point that all denominations forbade contraception until sometime in the 1930's.

What changed in God's Word in the 1930's?

I ask, not to challenge, but to inquire.

Kim said...

I don't see where 1930 is referenced in this article, so I'm a bit perplexed at your statement. I have no idea the history of the church where it concerns contraception, or the history of the development of contraception for that matter. Could it be there was no real contraception other than abstinence until the 1930s?

What I appreciate in the article is her spirit of humility and desire to follow the Scripture in every way. Contraception is not the trump issue of the Bible: loving God and your neighbor is. I may feel very strongly about certain topics, but in order to love my neighbor well, I cannot insist that everyone feel the same convictions that I do.

People will know we are Christians by our LOVE, not by which soapbox we stand on. Does that make sense?

Kim said...

Weetabix said (but I think I accidentally deleted):
I should probably have been a bit more clear that I was straying off topic immediately!

I didn't read the article the first time. It doesn't reference 1930. I don't fully understand her point. She seems to be pondering whether contraception is moral or not and then concluding that we shouldn't tell others they're sinning if they use it. At least I think that's what she's saying.

I confused you because I wasn't addressing any of that. I was taking off on a bit of a tangent.

Prior to 1930, all Protestant denominations agreed with the Catholic Church that contraception was sinful. In 1930, at the Lambeth Council, the Anglican Church said that contraception was OK in some circumstances. Shortly thereafter they said it was OK all the time. Shortly again thereafter the rest of the Protestant denominations said it was OK all the time. "All" in a conversational sense of "most" - some might not have.

I'm Catholic, so I don't know exactly how Protestants interpret the 5 Solas, but I thought that Sola Scriptura meant that all the answers are in the Bible. So before 1930, it was forbidden, and after 1930 it was OK. Did the Bible change? If not, what did?

I should mention here, that I find religious and theological conversations and discussions utterly fascinating. I have frequently accidentally offended people because they thought I was judging them when I was merely pursuing an interesting (to me) line. If I ever offend you in any of this, ask me what I meant. I'm sure it wasn't what you thought.

Also, from comments I've heard people make, I know that most Protestants misunderstand Catholicism. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. If I don't know the answer, I'll find it. I think most Protestants would be very surprised to realize just how few differences there really are between Catholics and Protestants.

I agree wholeheartedly with the second paragraph of your comment above. It makes perfect sense!

Kim said...

The Word of God hasn't changed at all, but man's interpretation of it has. It's a difference in interpretation that caused the Reformation. Because something is historical doesn't make it correct.

The Bible does not give a clear statement on contraception, but, like many things, it is open for interpretation and conviction of the individual. I don't mean that to sound postmodernistic like, "what's true for you is true for you and what's true for me is true for me." There are some instances the Bible is very specific and others where it is not.

Contraception is a "non-essential." I do not believe contraception is a sin because I don't believe the Bible speaks to it directly. Ido believe the only way to be saved is to confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead because that is stated specifically. (Romans 10:9)

There are some who say homeschooling is mandated in the Scriptures. Some who say vegetarianism is. And some would probably argue that Christians can only be Republicans! :-) Some say spanking is clearly biblical, others argue it is not, but a matter of misinterpration of the word "rod." It's important to see what the original text meant to the original recipients and then let the Bible defend the Bible; not circumstances, history, culture, or anything else.

I clearly and firmly believe that God wants me to be home with my children. But I also read that the Proverbs 31 woman brought in income for her family! I can't use my soapbox or my convictions to make statements of judgment against others.

And if I'm truly loving my neighbor, I have to allow the Holy Spirit to be the convictor, not me. My job is to love God and others.