Thoughts on Birth Control

Let’s talk about theology, baby. You never really hear those words, do you? Between mashed potato bites at supper you usually don’t talk about the divine attributes of God. The depravity of man isn’t a normal topic of conversation during your study breaks in the lounge. But even though we don’t talk about theology in our every day conversations, it influences every aspect of our lives.

My fiance pointed out an article in a Christian Bridal magazine (yeah, believe it or not, they do exist) that was talking about different kinds of birth control. They were giving alternatives to the pill, and they gave one couple as an example that had chosen to let God do their family planning. They figured if God wanted them to have a child, they would. If God didn’t want them to have a child, they wouldn’t. They had seven children and three miscarriages–two of which were nearly fatal–and decided they’d had enough children and went back on the pill. What’s interesting is how their decisions were based on their theology. They believed that God planned their lives, including how many children they would have, and in so doing took the necessary steps to make that happen. It goes back to the Calvinist/Arminian debate of just how involved God is in our lives. Based on this belief, they decided that birth control wasn’t necessary.

Personally, I think that’s a rather simplistic view of God. He created us with thinking minds and with the capacity for responsibility. I believe he expects us to exercise that responsibility in such areas as birth control. God created this world with natural laws and I believe he uses those natural laws to bring about his will, with the exception of the occasional miracle.

But my point here isn’t to get into the Calvinist/Arminian debate. It’s been going on for centuries and I’m not about to bring earth-shattering insight to the debate. My point is that our theological decisions, the ones that seem so abstract, in fact determine many of the concrete situations we deal with in every day life. For example, let’s say you buy a Coke at lunch. If you believe that God has planned out your life and is intimately involved in the details it won’t matter if you just throw the can away. But if you believe God is less involved in the intimate details, then you feel a responsibility for the creation God has given us and you recycle the can.

Okay, it’s a simplistic example. But think about it. That’s what these Thoughts are all about. As I struggle with these issues my goal isn’t to come up with the answer. My goal is for you to struggle with the issue yourself and come up with your own answer. So what do you believe about the nature of God? What you believe will have a huge impact on how you live your day to day life.

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