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Should Christians Use Birth Control?
I. The Bible doesn't forbid all types of birth control; but it does forbid some of them because of how they work.
II. Birth control pills that contain progestin can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall.
1. "Birth control pills prevent pregnancy through several mechanisms, mainly by stopping ovulation. If no egg is released, there is nothing to be fertilized by sperm, and the woman cannot get pregnant. Most birth control pills contain synthetic forms of two female hormones: estrogen and progestin. These synthetic hormones stabilize a woman's natural hormone levels, and prevent estrogen from peaking mid-cycle. Without the estrogen bump, the pituitary gland does not release other hormones that normally cause the ovaries to release mature eggs.
Specifically, synthetic estrogen in the pill works to:
• Stop the pituitary gland from producing follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in order to prevent ovulation.
• Support the uterine lining (endometrium) to prevent breakthrough bleeding mid-cycle.
Meanwhile, synthetic progestin works to:
• Stop the pituitary gland from producing LH in order to prevent egg release.
• Make the uterine lining inhospitable to a fertilized egg.
• Partially limit the sperm's ability to fertilize the egg.
• Thicken the cervical mucus to hinder sperm movement (although this effect may not be key to preventing pregnancy).
There are two kinds of hormonal birth control pills: (1) the combination pill which contains estrogen and progestin and (2) the progestin-only pill (known as the minipill)." (How Do Birth Control Pills Work?, Go Ask Alice)
2. A child is formed at the moment of conception.
A. Isa 7:14 - Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
B. Mat 1:23 - Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
3. Therefore a birth control pill that prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus, thereby causing it to die, causes the death of a child.
4. The "morning after pill" does the same thing using a higher dose of the same synthetic hormones found in the combination birth control pill (Health.com)
A. This act is therefore forbidden by God.
B. Exo 20:13 - Thou shalt not kill.
5. Other forms of birth control which work in the same manner are: the patch, the vaginal ring, the shot, and implanted devices, which all contain progestin, and are therefore forbidden because they can cause the death of a fertilized egg.
III. Acceptable forms of birth control.
1. The following devices/procedures prevent sperm from reaching the egg and are therefore acceptable: Condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, tubal ligations (female tube tying), vasectomies (male tube tying)
A. These devices/procedures have the same effect as the "early withdrawal" and "charting" methods.
B. People who use these two methods are called....parents.
2. A birth control pill that does not cause or facilitate the death of a fertilized egg (if there is such a pill) would be morally acceptable, though it may not be healthy for a woman's body.
IV. It is a blessing to have children.
1. Psa 127:3 - Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
2. Psa 127:4 - As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
3. Psa 127:5 - Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
V. But the Bible doesn't command us to have children in the NT, nor does it tell us how many to have.
VI. God told Adam and Eve, and Noah and his family to multiply and replenish (fill) the earth.
1. Gen 1:28 - And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
2. Gen 9:1 - And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
VII. The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth is not repeated in the NT.
1. Obviously, not every person is under this mandate since Paul recommended celibacy to those who have the gift (1Co 7:7-8).
2. Furthermore, if a couple has three children, they have multiplied themselves.
3. There is no commandment in the NT to have as many children as possible.
A. We are to be wise and prudent and not tempt God.
B. Mat 4:7 - Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
C. A man is supposed to provide for his own house (1Ti 5:8) and it would be irresponsible for him to have as many children as possible without the means to provide for them.
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