Christianity and Reproduction

Does the church ever think about reproduction? Sure, we all know that abortion and premarital sex are evil. But have we ever really stopped to think about procreation, sex, and all that deals with reproduction? I don’t think so. In many ways we’ve become narrow in our mindset. Yet contraceptives were only accepted by the church seventy years ago. A few hundred years ago abortion was considered acceptable–of course it wasn’t abortion as we know it today. Back then they understood life to begin at “quickening,” when the mother can feel the fetus move or kick. Before that point in time it was acceptable to abort the fetus. It was not yet considered a living person, and therefore acceptable to discard it.

Now with modern science we have a difficult time deciding when life begins and knowing when to interrupt the process to control pregnancy is a moral and spiritual issue. Do you even interrupt the cycle at all? Many Christians so easily dismiss abortion but then warmly accept contraceptives, without considering the issues. Is there ever a time when abortion is acceptable? What about a woman in China who must abort her child to comply with the one-child per family law? Having the child would mean a severe fine and a 10% cut in salary, measures that would threaten the well being of the child she already has. Opting to nurture and protect her one living child, she volunteers to have the abortion. Is that acceptable? What about the pill? Using hormones to alter the body’s natural rhythm, causing uncertain side effects. The result? Sex without responsibility, the very thing Christian abstinence advocates warn against. Should a married Christian couple use the pill and feel no sense of responsibility when they have sex?

Sometimes as Christians I think we sidestep these issues and it doesn’t get us very far. There are some difficult questions that need to be asked, and I don’t think the answers are prevalent. However you see things, God designed sex as a wonderful gift for us. It brings both life and pleasure, and neither of those can be forgotten. Sex without the pleasure and joy a married couple should experience is just as insulting to God as sex without the understanding of the responsibility of bringing a newborn life into the world.

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