Christians examine morality of birth control

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(RNS) Is contraception a sin? The very suggestion made Bryan Hodge and his classmates at Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute laugh. As his friends scoffed and began rebutting the oddball idea, Hodge found himself on the other side, poking holes in their arguments. He finished a bachelor’s degree in biblical theology at Moody and earned a […]

  • Ziggy

    “The ban on contraception is completely irrelevant to Catholics. We know the position the hierarchy has on contraception is fundamentally flawed, and that’s why it’s ignored en masse.” – Jon O’Brien

    Jon O’Brien’s opinion is fundamentally flawed, that’s why it’s irrelevant and should be ignored en masse

    It’s very difficult to be obedient to Holy Mother Church when you hold the opinion you’re smarter, and don’t even try to understand. For any Catholics reading this AND contracepting, I challenge you to stop for three months and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you. My wife and I did and the gifts we were given confirmed our church’s wisdom.

  • Mike

    The U.S. has become a nation of sodomite marriages and mass baby murderers as many birth control methods can actually expel/kill a fertilized embryo.

    As a consequence, I don’t think many people will be around in the near future to use birth control.

  • USA is the largest consumer of the Pill and Highest incidence of Breast cancer. July 29th 2006 Declared by WHO a Group One Cacinogen Causing agent. think Cigarettes,Benzene,Cadmiun!

  • Dora

    More and more people and, particularly those in the medical community, are admitting that the birth control pill is not really a contraceptive at all but an abortifacient. The meaning of the word contraception is literally “against conception” or preventing conception. Birth control pills do not prevent conception; they prevent implantation, which is why they cause abortions. The newly formed baby has no place to live, so it dies.
    When people begin to realize and to learn everything that was kept from them or the lies they were told, then they will reject the birth control pill. I pray it happens very quickly. We have killed more than 50 million children in the this country in abortion mills, but we have no idea how many children have been killed by the pill. It is probably billions–fifty years of it.

    Also, because of the pill, as stated in the article, couples remove life from the marital act and it becomes just sex, which leads to other perversions in the marriage–oral sex, sodomy, pornography, etc. They have opened the door not to life but to death. In that environment almost anything is allowed and marriages and families suffer, many ending up in divorce. And the couples express their bewilderment as to what went wrong. The culture of death–death itself–entered the relationship and the marriage.
    Contraception is a killer all the way around. God help us all!

  • Katy

    I think “instant gratification minus the repercussions” played a huge role initially in the contraception revolution, but now it seems to also revolve around materialism. We want our children to have the best of everything and twice as much as the Jones’ kids. And just how many daughters can one afford to buy Prada bags for? We are sacrificing children for “things”. I truly hate to sound like a panic-stricken fundamentalist, but if this level of greed isn’t a sign of the end times, I don’t know what is.


    The Catholic Church has named so many sins as mortal – that is condemning to HELL for all eternity if the sinner has not validly confessed and been forgiven. Artificial contraception is considered a GRAVE sin by the catechism. To make a sincere confession a person must confess and do his/her best not to commit the sin again. How can the contracepting catholic make a valid confession?
    Are they all to be condemned? Or is Hell not ETERNAL as Jesus mentions in Thomas Gospel?

  • Laurie

    I am overjoyed that the sin of contraception is beginning to dawn on Protestants. I would suggest the study of the Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II. This document offers a deep understanding of why contraception is contrary to God’s will.

  • G

    If we depend on God for everything,this must include “birth control” or should I say the precious gift of life. This topic was a hard one for me to deal with initially because I felt I knew better. So, how did I get over it…..prayer and just like in gettin into a swimming pool, I jumped in….No wading…Let Go and Let God. Can Natural Family Planning be difficult and not very spontaneous…..yep, but if we are to be truly Catholic(follow the teachings)well then we can’t pick and chose which things we are going to ignore because we “feel the need”. Is it tough…….you bet it is.

    Another aspect is that of what the pill does and what it can do to the female body. I think other people commented about that, so I will not. Just like the author said, a vast majority of Christians were totally behind this along time ago. We have become comfortable numb( had to get a pink floyd reference in there….sorry). Am I perfect……………..ok no, but I am trying to do the best I can to follow. Is it easy being a Catholic these days with all the abuse…..nope, but maybe we all can start small with changing our mind set on the birth control and pray for those who have offended the Church……..Sorry for the rant……(24 cups of coffee….ok 2. God Bless and Good Night

  • Colleen

    Genesis 38:9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
    38:10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also. –The idea of contraception has been around from the beginning and God made it clear from the beginning that it is a sin against Him and evil in His sight.

    This document reiterating what the Catholic Church has always maintained regarding human sexuality was promulgated 42 years ago yesterday.

  • Laurie

    Also, there are the medical consequences of use of the birth control pill….Breast cancer link is one of them, a fact scientifically documented that is kept under wraps. Also, birth control pills are abortifascients, a fact that is not common knowledge. These are most certainly not the will of God. It is time Christians wake up to how the poison of the secular culture has entered their life practices.

  • momtoo

    The pill is an abortifacient, I’ve researched it. I’ve used the billings method (natural method) for 12 years after I was told by my doctor to not have more. I find this method extremely easy and no problem at all.

  • Luciano

    Saint Augustine one of the great early Fathers of the Church commenting on the sin of Onan said “intercourse even between a husband and wife is both immoral and illegal if you prevent conception fro taking place”. Today’s people are easily propagandised because they do not make the effort to educate their conscience to better conform to God’s Will. As Solzhenitsyn quoted in his book the red circle about why have all these evils happened to us? Because we have forgotten God. In contraception the same thing happens, God is not in the picture. Evil increases because people do not think within their heart. Remember the blind man on the side of the road, he was the only one who recognized his own blindness thus he was insistent in calling to Jesus for healing that he may see. The others were motivated by curiosity thus they were telling him to be quiet, they did not recognize their own blindness they wanted something to talk about. The healing was for the glory of God and it opened their eyes to a greater vision. Let us beg with the same insistence of the man born blind that Jesus may open our eyes that see, repent and reform our lives according to God’s Will.

  • To me, the problem stems from Protestantism’s Adulterous Affair. Protestantism, even conservative, is stuck in a position of moral (and theological) relativism, where each person decides what’s good and evil. While it’s a good sign to see Protestants waking up to the problem, it’s no solution to remain Protestant while doing so since that’s a false solution.

    As official Catholic theology (i.e. not those Catholics disobedient to the Church) has always maintained that all these issues are inter-related. If contraception is ok, then you’re not far off from having to ok masturbation and even sodomy (whether between spouses or gays), since they’re all based on formally divorcing sex from any chance of children. This also ties into why Protestants have a weak view of marriage, allowing divorce for a range of reasons, and that’s because “the two becoming one flesh” is directly blocked via contraception – i.e. there is no consummation of the marriage! Imagine the sickening thought of having to put on gloves before you held your wife’s hand and calling that truly feeling your wife’s skin, or a plastic bag over your head when you kiss her, or blanket around you when you hug her…yet this is precisely akin (but way worse) to what Protestants do when they say yes to using a condom in the most intimate act possible and consider that truly loving the other!

    Protestantism (and Eastern Orthodoxy) has failed in this regard, revealing the One True Church Christ founded, the Catholic Church.

  • john

    Catholic convert Kimberly Hahn has already traveled down this road on contraception and written a book on it.The problem with both Catholics and Protestants is that we are too connected to the world.We live as what is called Christian aetheist..we say we believe in God and then live like He does’nt exist.I’m having a biblical brainout at the moment but for all you sola scriptura Christians there is a case against contraception in scripture,which is one of the Catholic Churchs foundations for being against contraception. But if you look at Catholics who every Sunday recite the Nicene Creed..we say we believe in the Holy Spirit,the Lord,the Giver of Life.If we profess that,then how in our good conscience can we put ourselves above God and decide when,how and how many children we should have.It is through the family that God builds His Kingdom on earth…the devil knows this thats why there is such an attack on the family…Godless death culture organizations such as Planned Parenthood,Naral and others are the biggest enemies of God.We as Christians of all denominations must stop attacking each other and face the real enemy..who in decietful ways ahs already got us too buy the lie of contraception thereby reducing our numbers and bringing degradation to both men and women through lust,pornography,promiscuity,and destroying the family unit.We need to be responsible with our bodies and to trust in God above all things.

  • It’s so funny how blind one can be if you forgotten your history. First, everyone is familiar with catholic teaching against contraception…but what everyone fail to realized that every Christain were united against birthcontrol and identified it as an evil. So you Protestants need to look up history of your pass ministers…especially their old sermons…you may even want to review old newspaper articles and books printed back in the day. Yep, the old heads were all in agreement that birthcontrols were evil and traditionally associated with illicit people: loose women eg prostitutes, whorish men, and adulterers…I forget which denomination of of protestantism abdicated first…but it wasn’t a mainstream…it may have been Mormons…which back in the day was considered a cult. You also have forgone other influences promoting contraception: lesbianism and feminism: hatredness of men and desirous of women to be like men, idelogies of Marxism, racism, eugenics: to recontruct society and rid of the undesirables: poor, mental retards, minorities, blacks, the ignorant, religious groups: groups to be excluded: elites, secularists, atheist, rich, Marxist, those who have desirable genetic traits to breed the next generation of the same; sinfulness: lust, pedophilia, adultry, fornication, ponography, homosexuality: where the person are objects, primary victims of contraceptives: women and children and marriages and families, divorce increased: back in the day was considered really really scandalous…multiple marriage scandalous…out-of-wedlock births and
    shotgun marriages increased, single mother-absent father increased, abortion increased: baby conceived with contraception viewed as mistake that need correction.
    Not to even mention the pressure imposed by media: ma and pa kettle viewed as poor white trash, dirty and ignorant for having all those children it was a fluke that they had one colleges degree son who could invent; pressured by healthcare providers; pressured by articles, movies, soap opera, etc…that women need to put out if they want to keep their man, boyfriend, or husband or loose him to some contraceptive
    floozy. Not to mention the amount of money made off the contraceptive industry by drug companies, abortions, lawyers, and courts. Another thing people don’t realized that contraception and abortion industry protect sexual predators: rapes—first by concealing the crime and getting rid of the evidence: the victims here are children. Yes contraceptive is an evil…a grave, intrinsic evil…that is why the Catholic church has not change its position. Anyone condoning contraceptive is ill-informed, dead conscious, are brought the lie and recruiting. Was originally directed at married, women but targets children and all age groups including boys and men.

  • john

    Amen winkyb..well said and painfully true.I hope the eyes of all Christians will be opened to this. I hope that priests will stop worrying about offending the people instead of God and start speaking about these things as well.People have been lulled to sleep to sin by the media and the silence of the Church over the years.It’s time to wake this sleeping giant.Men need to start being men again and women need to stop being like men.Families need to be built up again.To those who say they can’t afford children..I say trust in God..He provides and He never fails. Those who scoff at that are those who did’nt trust or were not faithful to begin with.Let go…Let God.

  • I am a Catholic who has been married for 29 years. We have used Natural Family Planning and it is very successful. Any Catholic who is not obedient to Catholic teaching on this subject is in grave error. We are living in times when many who profess to follow Christ are following the false-christ.

    The Holy Spirit would never give consent to something as evil as contraception. The Pill and IUD are abortificients. Look at all the social evils that have come to pass with Pope Paul VI’s prophecy that if contraception became accepted abortion would follow, breakdown of family life, poverty.

    The Catholic Church was promised by Christ (and history proves it is the Catholic Church He started and if He is God He doesn’t make mistakes.) to have the Holy Spirit to guide it into all truth concerning faith and morals. Artificial Contraception will never be okayed by the Church because it is a grave sin. I commend Bryan Hodge for his beliefs. He is on the right track!!

  • momtoo

    JFYI…We saw the “Catholics for Choice” group during a demonstration a few months ago on tv and my husband got so mad he called them. A woman answered and he asked her “are you a Catholic?”. She said “yes”. He continued, “you’re a Roman Catholic?” She replied “I don’t know what you mean.” He said “a Roman Catholic… Roman Catholic, are you a Roman Catholic?” She just said again “I don’t know what you mean.” She wasn’t understanding the “Roman” in Roman Catholic. This group is NOT Roman Catholic. I suspect they are part of the “American Catholic” Church I heard about a few years ago (in California, of course). They are former Roman Catholics who know they can’t participate fully in the Roman Catholic Church (due to things like divorce and remarriage) and so instead of fixing things they formed their own church.

  • Kate Callender

    Giving up contraception is an embrace of trust in God. We gave up all forms of birth control, including natural family planning and decided to trust God. His number for us is 4 children. I would never turn back the clock. Trust in Him and His will brings freedom and untold blessings. To artificially meddle in the life giving act is to put oneself above God. The Catholic Church has had it right all along.

  • Howard Kainz

    Readers may be interested in my recent article in The New Oxford Review, which goes into the logical consequences of contraception.

  • Greg

    SOLOMON, you do not state, yet imply: an overwhelming number of Catholics routinely commit grave sin in contracepting (which I am not disputing). Would your seeming objection about their presumed eternal condemnation be null and void if the overwhelming number of Catholics did *not* contracept? If yes, wouldn’t that mean your moral yardstick is driven more by statistics than principles and precepts? If no, wouldn’t the point you are attempting to argue be impotent? (No, not important — impotent, meaning “weak”.)

  • Francis J. Donovan

    Thje first command given to us by God will be found in Genesis

    “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

  • Michael Bates

    Thank you Lord Jesus Christ that eyes are starting to open. I pray that Christians will increasingly reject secular values and embrace God’s clear word to the first married couple. “Be fruitful and multiply”

  • Michael

    Let us continue to promote natural family planning (NFP). Fertility awareness is “knowledge every woman should have”.

    There is a very significant difference in the attitudes, motivation, and values of couples who use NFP as purely as they can and those who thoughtlessly use contraception.

  • Michael

    Anthony Comstock of Connecticut, the famous (or “infamous” as some would say) anti-contraception crusader of the 19th and early 20th century was also a Presbyterian and not a Catholic as many think.

    I wonder if Bryan Hodge could lay claim to any connection to Comstock? Comstock was quite rough and almost totalitarian in his opposition to some things like contraception. He spearheaded the “Comstock” anti-contraception laws which remained in effect in some locations like Connecticut until the 1950’s. President Theodore Roosevelt was fiercely anti-contraception.

  • Brian Hodge has done a good job in his research on this subject. I have long admired our Catholic brothers stand on this issue. The only good birth control is self control according to God and his Word, the Bible. Brian points out in his argument that we are trusting God without birth control. This is a depth of the person in the mirrors faith. Brian also points out that we are acting selfishly for our own pleasure. Try to tell this to the “me generation”. But it is right. Selfishness IS the Spiritual Opposite of Love. Brian thank you for your work.

  • momof6

    Solomon, you stated:

    “The Catholic Church has named so many sins as mortal – that is condemning to HELL for all eternity if the sinner has not validly confessed and been forgiven. Artificial contraception is considered a GRAVE sin by the catechism. To make a sincere confession a person must confess and do his/her best not to commit the sin again. How can the contracepting catholic make a valid confession?
    Are they all to be condemned? Or is Hell not ETERNAL as Jesus mentions in Thomas Gospel?”

    Ok, let’s take this point by point. First of all, the nature of some sins places them under perhaps the category of “grave,” but it is the conditions under which a sin is committed along with the actual sin itself which renders it “mortal.” Mortal sin, as defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC, 1857) is as follows: “For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: ‘Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.'” One could then assume that a person using contraception would be doing so with full knowledge and deliberate consent. And yes, contraception is a grave sin.

    The CCC also says this about mortal sin (1855, 1856): “Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.” “Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us–that is, charity–necessitates a new initiative of God’s mercy and a conversion of heart which normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation.” So again, you’re right in that confession and absolution are needed.

    To make a “sincere confession” as you put it is spoken of this way (1450, 1451): “Penance requires…the sinner to endure all things willingly, be contrite of heart, confess with the lips, and practice complete humility and fruitful satisfaction. Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies the first place. Contrition is ‘sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.'” So clearly, yes, after making a good and sincere confession, one is entreated to “go forth and sin no more.” It IS possible to make a good confession as a “contracepting Catholic”–though this term is itself quite at odds–provided that the penitent actually intend to no longer engage in the sinful act of contracepting.

    Going into the confessional with the intent of going on contracepting as though nothing ought to change is absolutely not making a “sincere confession,” then, is it? And so, the CCC states (1457): “Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to concession.” In other words, if one is aware of the gravity of the sin of contraception, then he or she ought to recuse themselves from receiving the Body and Blood of Our Lord while in a state of mortal sin.

    Of course Hell is eternal. CCC 1033: “We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves….To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called ‘hell.'” And 1035: “The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishiments of hell, ‘eternal fire.'”

    So, in a nutshell: Those who continually choose, against the clear teachings of the Church, to engage in grave, mortal sin, to not make sincere confessions, to continue to choose selfish, sinful behavior rather than God’s love for them, yes–the Church says that does mean that the soul is condemned to hell. Eternally.

  • I’m curious if “The Christian Case Against Contraception” differs from the Catholic case against contraception.

  • The question of Catholic and Christian should NOT be different. Jesus died for us all. Many Christians go directly to Scripture which our author did. The Catholic Church goes thru a reflection of Scripture through their officials. Many churches do this even at the local level.
    The question really is what does God through whatever means put on your heart. That is what we must answer at judgement day.

  • john

    It’s really quite simple…if it’s artificial it’s not natural..if it’s not natural it’s not of God