The participants in these threads do not represent all of those who share our respective Christian traditions, but we are speaking from our own experiences, convictions and understandings on a host of issues. At present, this entry is devoted to the issue of birth control among married Christians.
My Catholic friend, Mandy P., suggested the topic as it has risen to fever-pitch in some segments of our society recently, especially as it pertains to everyone’s favorite (or most hated) political candidate and perspective. I can go the political/ healthcare route if we must, but I am far more interested in living as a Jesus-follower. By necessity, this means that I am against abortion in most cases, but possibly understanding it when the mother’s life is at stake (as long as it is her choice) and maybe in cases of rape, but by no means does this render me as an ardent supporter of any particular political party or candidate.
That being said, however, I see no problem whatsoever with a husband and wife practicing so-called “birth control” which prevents conception. In that sense, “conception control” is the more accurate descriptor by far. I suspect that this is the axis for the conversation between Catholics and Protestants, for as far as I know, the Catholic Church requires that all of its married people who choose to have sex must do so without any effort at preventing conception, much less destroying what has already been conceived.
If Christians (of any persuasion) find such top-down rigidity helpful in their faith journey, then I would not dare suggest that they should not engage in the practice. The problem (at least as it seems to me) is that the Catholic Church’s injunction against all of its married folks’ practice of contraception control is inconsistent (at best), oppressive (at worst) and completely unsupported by Scripture in the first place (a mystery to me). I recognize that these are potentially inflammatory words, so I apologize for that in advance. I just do not know how else I might state my initial thoughts on the issue. In short, I do not “get” Catholic doctrine on the issue of conception control in marriage, and I need some Catholic sisters and brothers to help me understand it/ challenge my perspective. If I’ve missed something important in the Bible, then I want to know what it is so that I might live better for Christ.
For new posters, please keep in mind that this is not an “interfaith” discussion, but rather an in-house conversation among Christians, and the purpose here is threefold:
1) To understand our friends’ respective Christian traditions better.
2) To promote unity among believers despite differences in those traditions, and
3) To respect those differences without trying to harmonize them or trying to get participants to proclaim unity in all beliefs.
Join us in the journey!