Saturday, June 25, 2005

Responses to common arguments for birth control

Welcome back. This post will be my response to different arguments that try to rebut my arguments against birth control, as well as a response to commonly heard arguments that birth control should be practiced.

ASSERTION: "Just like God has given us medicine for sickness, God has also given us methods of birth control to be responsible."

RESPONSE: This is comparing apples to oranges. Medicine is for what is unnatural and a result of the Fall: namely, sickness, disease, and death. But children are natural, and a gift from the Lord. It is His intention that we be fruitful and multiply.

ASSERTION: "Birth control does not take away from the natural union of husband and wife."

RESPONSE: Yes, it does. If it is condoms, then it blocks the man's seed, thus preventing the full giving of the husband to the wife. If it is pills, then it prevents the fertilization of the egg, and has a chance for a spontaneous abortion. Also, the so-called Roman Catholic idea of "natural family planning" prevents full union, because there are approximately 10 days a month in which you cannot be joined to your spouse sexually. The only natural family planning there is is to let God plan your family.

ASSERTION: "Yes, God seeks a godly seed--but who's to say it can't be two or three children?"

RESPONSE: God's command is to be fruitful and multiply. He blesses as He sees fit. Our culture hates children. But the Bible describes them as "arrows in the hands of a mighty warrior," that "he who has a quiver-full is blessed." Would we say that an orange tree that has three or four oranges is a fruitful orange tree?

ASSERTION: "Birth control does not undermine the beauty of the sexual act within marriage."

RESPONSE: Yes, it does. The full giving of each spouse to each other is blocked. Sex can then possibly become a selfish act. (Note, I said possibly.) Sex is about pleasing your partner, not just about getting yourself pleased.

ASSERTION: "You do not understand the passage about women being saved through childbearing. Besides, the interpretation has been disputed by many."

RESPONSE: God has created women under the headship and authority of man. As 1 Corinthians 11 says, the head of woman is man, the head of man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God. This does not make women lesser or suppressed. We do not hold to an Islamic view of women. For anyone who thinks this undermines women because the husband is the head, or because creationally man is the head of woman, consider the fact that God the Father is the Head of Christ. Christ is positionally under the Father's authority. But ontologically speaking, all Three Members of the glorious Trinity are co-equal. The same with man and woman. Even though Peter says the wife is the "weaker partner," he certainly does not mean weaker in dignity as a person. Man and woman are equal ontologically, but have different roles economically. Having said all this, the apostle is clear that one of God's roles for women is to bear children to the glory of God. This is her glorious calling. This is fulfilling for her, because this is how God designed her. Even consider the fact that the more children the wife has, and the more she breastfeeds, the lesser her chances of getting breast cancer. Consider the fact that statistics show that women who work out of the home their whole lives die earlier than those who stay at home and take care of their children. Indeed, our feministic culture has brainwashed women--even Christian women have been brainwashed by our culture.

ASSERTION: "But if you have so many children, your wife's body will get worn out like an old dog!"

RESPONSE: The following is a response from my wife herself: God gives grace and strength as He sees fit. Besides, the woman's body is back to normal in a short period of time. It indeed does NOT take years! Also, the whole ideology behind the above objection is a selfish one. We need to be obedient the Lord's commands. It is not about "me." It is about serving the Lord with gladness.

ASSERTION: "How are you going to provide for your family if you have like 20 children?!"

RESPONSE: Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. The Lord promises to provide as we obey Him. Mark my words on this! This is the Lord's own Word and promise.

ASSERTION: "What are you, a Roman Catholic?!"

RESPONSE: The above comment is usually made in jest by fellow Christians. So, I'll respond in jest as well. Do you believe in some or all of the following?---> The Trinity? The deity of Christ? The hypostatic union? An amillennial eschatology? The return of Christ? Well what are you, a Roman Catholic?!

ASSERTION: "So you don't want to use condoms because you want to fully enjoy your wife? But that sounds selfish!"

RESPONSE: I doubt my wife would think of that as selfish! Remember, our wives love to be cherished. Rejecting birth control is actually a major way we can cherish them.

This concludes my posts on the topic of birth control. In these two posts, I sincerely hope that I have not come off as "holier-than-thou" or as self-righteous. I have my own sins in my own life that I have to deal with. But the good news is that God is sanctifying His church. He promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth. Let us preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace, and continue to be patient with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. He promises to lead us into that unity of the faith that Ephesians 4:11-16 promises. May He be glorified in our lives!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

THOUGHTS ON BIRTH CONTROL

As promised, I will now begin a few postings on the subject of birth control. This is a subject which many Americans feel strongly about, and even many in the Reformed community. Since I have much to say on this, I will do a series of postings. Some of them will be short, others will be longer.

First, let me say that it is my intention to speak in love, and it is not my intention to cause any offense. We all need to check our beliefs by the Word of God. Therefore, in my posts, I wish to give Scriptural considerations, as well as rational discussion, and a gentle refutation of those arguments which try to refute my arguments, as well as a gentle refutation of those arguments which are pro-contraception. (I also recognize, with sympathy, that there are couples who, in the Lord's providence, are not able to conceive. These posts are not intended for them.)

VARIOUS REASONS WHY BIRTH CONTROL IS SINFUL

*Birth control takes away from the natural, God-ordained union of husband and wife. This is applicable to any form, whether it be condoms, or pills.

*Birth control takes away from one of God's main purposes in marriage, which is to seek a godly seed (see the book of Malachi).

*Birth control undermines the beauty of the sexual act within marriage.

*Birth control takes away from God's ordained means of sanctification for the woman; that is, that "women will be saved through childbearing," as the apostle Paul says.

*Birth control does not value the beauty of children; namely, that they are "like arrows in the hands of a mighty warrior," and that "he who has a quiver-full is blessed."

*Birth control disregards God's commandment to the married couple to "be frutiful and multiply." (Being fruitful and multiplying is much more than one or two.)

*Birth control can sometimes make a woman sterile eventually.

*Many times, birth control is associated with the woman's desire to get a career and work out of the home. (I am not against a woman working out of the home if she has no children.) However, Titus 2 is clear that God intends for the wife to take care of the children at home; this is indeed her calling, and is truly fulfilling for her.

*Birth control does not trust the Lord to provide, even though He promises to add all these things to us if we will but seek the kingdom of God first.

*Birth control is many times a cowardly act, because the couple does not want to go through the hardships of caring for children yet--even though someone had to change their diapers and feed them, etc., when they were young.

*When it comes to the pill, there is still a small percentage chance of a spontaneous abortion. This is true for every pill, no matter what kind it is. There is not one pill that is 100% preventive of a spontaeous abortion. Therefore, the pill risks the murder of a person.

*Condoms take away from the full union of husband and wife; the sex act was intended by God as a demonstration that husband and wife are giving all of oneself to each other; yet, with condoms, it's as though they are saying that they are not giving all of oneself to one another. This is especially true because of the blockage of the man's seed during ejaculation.

Other reasons could be given, but these will suffice for now. In my next post, I will respond to counter-arguments against these above claims. Again, I did not intend the above to be divisive in any way. May we all seek the Lord in our lives, and may our lives be fragrances of Christ to God the Father. May the world see something different in us.

Monday, June 13, 2005

You might be a paedocommunionist if...

Before I begin this post, I would like to make clear that what follows below is somewhat in jest, while most of it is also serious. I see paedocommunion as a serious error, and as the logical outcome of paedobaptism. We can be thankful that most of our paedobaptist brothers and sisters reject paedocommunion; but there is a growing movement of more consistent paedobaptists who are embracing it. Having said that, most of what I write is in concern, although some of what I write may not be necessarily true of all paedocommunionists. Just like paedobaptism, paedocommunion is not a monolithic movement.

YOU MIGHT BE A PAEDOCOMMUNIONIST IF...

(1) You think that breast milk is a sacrament.
(2) You think that our works mysteriously play into justification.
(3) You think that justification is a process.
(4) You think that the Holy Spirit does not blow mysteriously like the wind in regeneration, but rather that He can be predicted like the National Weather Service predicts the wind.
(5) You think that baptism doesn't really regenerate, er, uh, yes it does, in a manner of speaking.
(6) You have a strange affinity for Eastern Orthodoxy.
(7) You think that Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox are our brothers and sisters in Christ, just because they've been "baptized in the Name of the Trinity."
(8) You think that Norman Shepherd is a hero.
(9) Some of you say, "I hold to active obedience," and then redefine it.
(10) You are a consistent paedobaptist.
(11) Many of you are consistent theonomists.
(12) You are more epistemologically self-conscious, but deep down you see that the more consistent you are in your epistemology, the more you abandon biblical Christianity.
(13) You like to talk about "households" when it comes to baptism, but you strangely like to leave that out of the discussion when it comes to communion.
(14) You think that the Three Forms of Unity somehow support paedocommunion.
(15) You say, "See, at least one Reformer held to paedocommunion--look at Wolfgang Musculus!"
(16) You champion the fact that the pre-Reformers known as the Hussites were advocates of paedocommunion.
(17) You disregard the fact that none of the Reformed confessions (not one) embrace paedocommunion; all of the Reformed confessions reject paedocommunion, yet your cry is either "semper reformanda!" or "they don't really reject it!"
(18) You want to still be in the PCA or OPC and yet give communion to your babies anyways. (The PCA and OPC both do not allow their elders to administer communion to their "covenant children"; the OPC has decidedly rejected paedocommunion.)
(19) You think that your "presumed regenerate" children are in the household of faith, yet your unbelieving spouse (who, by the way, you're not sure is in the covenant or not) is a filthy heathen.
(20) You abandoned the regulative principle long ago.
(21) Your own subjective feelings of affection toward your children regulate your worship more than the regulative principle.

--Josh Brisby

Monday, June 06, 2005

You might be a paedobaptist if...

Hey all. My good buddy and brother in Christ Paul Manata posted a funny blog called "you might be a Baptist if...". I thought that I, too, would like to have a little fun. I truly hope you all enjoy this in good fun, and nothing more. I love our paedobaptist brethren very much. I hope they get a good laught out of this.--Josh

YOU MIGHT BE A REFORMED PAEDOBAPTIST IF...

(1) You recognize that you've never ordered a donut immersed in chocolate.
(2) You lean toward the philosophical position of monism.
(3) You undermine the very foundation of covenant theology, yet still want to hold to it.
(4) You give your children the "sign of the covenant" yet withhold from them the other "sign of the covenant" because they're only "halfway members" of the covenant--wait, no they're full members--wait, yes they are--wait, no they're not--they're Christians--wait, no they're not--wait, how do you define "Christian"--wait, they're actually filthy heathens.
(5) You are a Baptist when it comes to the Lord's Supper.
(6) You've never read Spurgeon, Gill, Bunyan, Tombes, Lloyd-Jones, Piper, Nicole, et al.
(7) Emotional subjective hermeneutics applied to different texts is your hermeneutical authority.
(8) You've never read the New Testament.
(9) You think corporate nouns change their meaning when it comes to the Lord's Supper.
(10) You say "all you're doing is asserting" when time and again it has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that the proper subjects of the Lord's Table are the same ones for baptism.
(11) You want to be dispensational when it comes to other members of the household who are "in the covenant."
(12) You're not real sure what you believe about the unbelieving spouse in 1 Cor 7:14. Maybe they're in the covenant, maybe they're not.
(13) Your favorite words are "but," "and," "or," "good and necessary consequence," "inference," "even so," "yet," et al.
(14) You get all uptight when you feel the devastating power of the Baptist arguments.
(15) You are trapped by the Baptist biblical guns, and your only out is, "But they're in the covenant! Freakin' they're in the covenant man!"

NOW, YOU MIGHT BE A REFORMED BAPTIST IF...

(1) Your church is the church of the apostles.
(2) Your doctrine is the doctrine of the apostles.
(3) Your sacraments are those of the apostles.
(4) Your church government is that of the apostles.
(5) You enjoy a good beer, a good cigar, and a good wife.
(6) You believe that your children are gifts from the Lord.
(7) You believe what God's Word says about your children, so you pray for their salvation.
(8) Your position is the only one which makes covenant theology tenable.
(9) You are consistent in your view of the sacraments.
(10) You have an ecclesiology which considers the corporate nature of the church.

-Joshy-pooh Brisby