A few years back, I was intrigued to see a book called "Open Embrace," where the authors--newlyweds of two years at the time--detailed many of the reasons that they had walked away from the typical evangelical endorsement of barrier and chemical birth control. I bought and read the book, mildly encouraged by their stance even though my own view is "not quite that of the Catholics, or even that of pre-1930 Protestants."
And then I learned that they had walked away from their stance in 2006, walked away from evangelical Christianity to the Eastern Orthodox churches (which ironically also oppose contraception), and then finally walked away from each other in divorce.
Now, one could--but I won't--delve into personal issues and say "aha, that was it," but really I think that misses the point. Rather, I noticed something in the book; not only did they not discuss the standard argument against contraception--the story of Onan--but they also really didn't develop a Biblical theology of marriage, but rather assumed it.
In other words, the testimony of their book indicates that their difficulty was, at least in part, that they were not rooted in authority, and then to no one's surprise they ended up....rootless. And I'll be fair here; I hope and pray that time proves me wrong about this couple. However, one thing I can say for sure; in whatever we do, we do well to examine whether our roots and foundations are sound or not.
And if you're curious, my personal stance is that the Bible is authoritative when it says to married couples "Be Fruitful and Multiply", but that Onan's sin was primarily disrespecting his father, defrauding his brother's wife, and attempting to blot out his brother's memory while stealing his brother's birthright and inheritance, not the spilling of the seed. Hence I do not oppose non-abortifacient contraception, though I do wonder why anyone would deliberately put a tire in the middle of that wonderful affirmation of marriage.
Podcast #126: Christianity, Masculinity, and Manly Maxims With Stephen Mansfield - During the past few centuries, Christian churches have had some difficulty reaching men. During the late 19th century and even today, churches created spec...
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