8 Feb 2011
The question has arisen regarding birth control and whether the use of birth control is sin or not. When I
come up against this question I always direct the conversation to "Who is Your God?" and I want to do
If we could go back to our foundational beliefs, we likely would all agree that the God we serve is the
Creator of heaven and earth. He was very powerful and mighty. We could likely agree that He miraculously
assisted the Israelites in crossing the Red Sea. And we could continue with other great and might acts
that He has done in the past, as recorded in the Bible.
But who is the God that YOU serve? Is He the mighty God of the Old Testament? (Jericho, Goliath,
speaking to Samuel, the miracle of Isaac's birth.) Does God have an active role in the running of the
nations today? Is God concerned about which house you should buy? Is God concerned about the career
choice of your husband? Is God concerned about which church you attend? Is God concerned about how many
children you have? In other words, are you sure that God is actively interested in our daily lives or is He a
distant authority, watching the antics of people on earth, and at the end of the age when everything gets
chaotic and out of control, God is going to step into time again and bring down judgment. Has God been
active in the past directing the nation of Israel, but since the ascension of Jesus, He has backed off, He
doesn't get involved in our lives, He no longer does miracles; He has given us the Bible and we are left to
our own to figure out what to do, clumsily flounder through life trying this, trying that, hoping to figure out
what pleases Him.
When we hear the supporters of birth control talk, we sometimes hear quite loudly, in between their lines,
that God has stepped back and is not intimately directing our lives at this time in history. He has
withdrawn His active role, that we see so pronounced in the Old Testament, and He sits and watches us,
expecting us to use our brains to figure things out, such as how many children to have and when to allow
them to be conceived.
The Bible does not support such a distant God. The Bible declares Him active and alive, directing us day by
day and willing to be intimately involved in our lives.
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1
"I, the Lord do not change." Malachi 3:6
Another question about God: Is God right? Does God make mistakes? When God calls children a blessing
and a reward, did He err in not being able to foresee the future and that difficulties we see in our own
age? Was He not aware that children are expensive? Are we more fertile today than people in the Old
Testament times? Does He not realize how close they sometimes come?
Another question-- Can God be trusted? Can you give Him control of your womb and believe that He will do
right with it? Or is your God too distant to care and will just let "a zillion" children come your way with no
care about the hard work and the expenses involved? Is God out of touch with the reproduction system of
man and woman? Has He forgotten how they work? Or if He does know how they work, does He care about
how frequently you can get pregnant, if you DID NOTHING to prevent it?
This whole issue of birth control comes down to, Who Is Your God? And does He actively direct and lead
your life? If you did give Him control of your womb, would the children born to you be hand chosen by God
just for you, or would they simply be products of intimacy, bound to happen, simply consequences of the act?
Are you the product of a mistake or random chance from intimacy between your parents, or are personally
selected by God, given a name, a number to your days (Psalm 139) with a specific call on your life?
Psalm 127 says: "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands
of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be
put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate."
Whenever you use birth control you must look this passage straight in the face and explain: if children are
a reward, why am I refusing a reward or preventing God from giving me more rewards? If children are
arrows in the hands of a warrior, why do I want to go into battle without arrows or with few arrows? If a
man is blessed with a full quiver of children, why would I choose to prevent the quiver from filling up? (And
don't say that you have special divine insight as to what a full quiver is. If God is the one who rewards with
children, He is the one who divvies out arrows, who fills the quiver and determines its number.) If we are
promised victory and honor, why do we prevent children and consider them burdens and liabilities?
To use birth control, you have to answer Psalm 127. And I guarantee you, you will not be able to refute.
All through Scripture, God reinforces this Psalm. His dealings with nations prosperity is often
defined as many offspring) , his dealing with the enemies of Israel (punishment was often
miscarriage), Jesus with the little children. All of these Scriptures align perfectly with Psalm 127. So
the question again, is God right? Or has our circumstances changed and our age is so different now
that the Scripture simply cannot apply to our situation? Some may say, I agree with Psalm 127, but I
believe two (insert a predetermined humanly chosen number) children are a fulfillment of that passage
and we should prevent any more children. Only when GOD decides that two children are a full quiver, is
that enough. To say with one side of your mouth that your two children are a reward, a full quiver, and
out of the other side of your mouth to say, more children would be a burden, a liability and curse -- is
not living by this Scripture. Children are not a blessing when they are few in number and a burden when
they are great in number. And yet, this Scripture has been twisted for generations to mean exactly
Now, I am fully aware of the many families who have NO children, ONE child or TWO children, who
have given their womb to the Lord and that is the state of their quiver. Not all families with none, one
or two use birth control. But these testimonies speak to you of God's awesome power, that He truly is
the Door Keeper of the womb, and He very deliberately passes out the arrows according to His divine
and infinite wisdom. We must not question Him and His dealing with man, but we must trust Him to do
what is right. I also write a lot of letters of encouragement to those hurting parents, to encourage
them to continue to trust God for His does what is good and He is trust worthy.
The original question was: is it sin to use birth control? Let's take a quick look at the definition of sin,
as found in the Bible:
Proverbs 21:4 "Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!"
Proverbs 24:9 "The schemes of folly are sin."
Romans 14:23 "Everything that does not come from faith is sin."
James 4:17 "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."
I John 3:4 "Everyone who sins, breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness."
I John 5:17 "All wrongdoing is sin
(As far as I can see, that is a complete list of the definitions of sin found in the Bible.)
If using birth control arises from a proud heart, it is sin.
If using birth control is a scheme of folly, it is sin,
If using birth control arises from a lack of faith (a trust in God) it is sin.
If using birth control is going against something you know you should do, it is sin.
If using birth control is breaking the laws of God, it is sin.
If using birth control is doing wrong, it is sin.
You be the judge. Does birth control fit the definition of sin?
And let me challenge you again, Who is the God you serve?
The God I serve has been faithful, He has shown a personal interest in our lives, He has answered our
prayers about jobs, a house, a marriage partner, He has healed members of our family, He has shown
Himself might on behave of our weaker family members, He gives us wisdom as to what curriculum to
use in school, how to organize our home, and directs us into opportunities for sharing His Gospel. The
God we serve is alive and well, active, caring, listening and intentionally directing our lives in the way
He has planned for us. The way He has led us has allowed us to experience the death of several
children, chronic illness, a handicapped child, and trust on Him completely to meet the needs of a large
growing family in a world hostile to these values. As for me and my house, we have found God to be
completely trust worthy.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways
acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."
Copyright Gracious Gardens 2001 – reprinted with permission
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