Introduction to Chapter 1

Many Christians today have not even considered the question, “What does God think of birth control?” It is a question “too stupid to even consider” in the eyes of most. After all, birth control is an American social custom, practised by most married couples in our country, and in most “civilized countries,” too.

But just because Americans think that birth control is morally acceptable does not make birth control right in the eyes of God. Our study here will seek to lay a solid Biblical basis for opposition to birth control. You may be surprised to find that the Bible does in fact say quite a bit about this widespread custom – all of it negative. What we say here should not be viewed as a new idea, for it is a fact that the Christian Church, since its inception, has consistently opposed birth control as a great evil. This opposition continued quite strongly down into this present century, when birth control carried the day. Some theologians spoke out against the limiting of children by Christians until fairly recent times. And now, opposition to birth control is almost dead. We hope this paper will help to rekindle it, and lead to God bestowing many blessings upon his people; wonderful children!

Before you begin, please be aware of the fact that this paper quotes quite a few Scripture verses which mention sexual matters. We have not used these verses to offend people, but have used them to illustrate various points in our argument. Please do not become upset. Rather, understand that the Bible speaks plainly of these matters. Many do not realize that all the members of Israel, including children, were commanded to hear the entire Mosaic Law. This law contains many blunt statements on sex, things about which all Israel was to be informed. And this is why we feel free to talk about them, in a proper manner.

Some may think that we quote the Old Testament too much. However, we do not feel badly about this, since the New Testament itself contains some sixteen hundred references to the Old Testament. Further, the Church of Christ is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,” as Paul says in Ephesians 2:20. In addition, in 1 Corinthians 5:1, Paul gets his rules on sexual matters right out of the Mosaic Law (Lev. 18:8), and he was writing to converted Gentiles! As Martin Luther says, God gave us his holy Law “to keep men from open outbreaks of sin” and to “teach us the works which are really pleasing to God.” (Small Catechism, Question 159).

All Scripture quotes in this chapter are from the New American Standard Version of the Bible. A few of the verses we have cited are margin translations of the same version.