Artificial Contraception: Contrary to God's Plan

Author: A.L.L.


American Life League

Marriage, as the marriage tablets themselves proclaim, joins male and female for the procreation of children. Whoever says that to procreate children is a worse sin than to copulate thereby prohibits [the purpose of] marriage; and he makes the woman no more a wife than a harlot, who, when she has been given certain gifts, is joined to man to satisfy his lust. If there is a wife there is matrimony. But there is no matrimony where motherhood is prevented; for then there is no wife.

                                                         St. Augustine, The Morals of the Manichees.

Anti-Life Philosophy.

Men and women, world wide, must be taught there is nothing particularly spectacular in the act of conception, or even in giving birth. Any cow can do it ... we must acknowledge that human conception is a matter of routine biology, and not as a result of moon gods shining divinely on upturned stomachs.

                                                              Pro-abortion activist Lana Clarke Phelan.[1]

God would not want the quality of life of Christian couples to be degraded by having too many children, which would in turn mean that the children would be neglected and unloved. Also, God would not want his beautiful planet to be overburdened by teeming hordes of people.

For these reasons, and because there is no prohibition against artificial birth control methods in the Bible, there can be no theological, moral, or ethical obstacle to the use of contraception by Christian couples.

The Allure of Contraception.

Birth control is the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement.

                                                                                            Theodore Roosevelt.[2]


By definition, any attempt to prevent conception is called "contraception." Any jams, jellies, rubber goods, or other man-made items made for the purpose of avoiding conception are usually referred to as methods of "artificial contraception."

The natural methods of family planning are generally classified as "natural contraception." These, including the Billings and sympto-thermal methods (STM), make use of the natural rhythms of a woman's body to plan or prevent conception.

The "Contraceptive Mentality."

Many religious people of all faiths believe that all contraception (even natural family planning) is the first step towards giving in to the "contraceptive mentality." This means that people who use contraception take the critical first step of classifying unplanned pregnancies as "contraceptive failures."

When a child who is by his very nature an infinitely valuable gift from God is looked upon as a failure, the natural impulse is to remedy the failure with abortion. This is, of course, the important psychological link between contraception and abortion.

Perhaps the best way of explaining the "contraceptive mentality" is by example. Christian users of natural family planning employ the natural methods because they respect God's natural law and do not want to endanger their health with unnatural methods of birth control.

Certain Neofeminist groups also recommend natural family planning, but for radically different reasons. Their motivations are purely self-centered. For example, the Federation of Feminist Womens Health Centers propose that women use natural family planning simply to pinpoint their fertile times. During these times of possible conception, they recommend the use of condoms or other barrier methods. Naturally, if any of these contraceptive devices fails, any woman can stop in at one of their clinics to be cleaned out quickly and efficiently.

The Purpose of Sex.

If there were no childbearing, sexual union would degenerate into debauchery.

                                                               Russian existentialist Nicolas Berdyaev.[3]

The Purpose of Man.

As a species, we seem to have lost sight of our role and purpose on this earth. God created the universe and everything in it for His pleasure not ours! He created us to give Him glory, not just to re-create the world and its natural laws to make our lives easier and more pleasurable.

This concept is utterly alien to the utilitarian anti-life philosophy so prevalent in the world today. If a believing Christian should try to discuss these concepts with an agnostic, or, sadly, even with an average churchgoing 'Christian,' he will most likely be met with a blank stare and be considered a kook or a religious fanatic.

God's Plan for Sex.

According to Scripture, God views sex as having only one purpose: Procreation of more individuals to give Him glory. He told us in Genesis to "Go forth and multiply" for the sole purpose of glorifying His name.

We must, however, keep in mind that there is no real virtue in simply having a lot of kids, because any animal or insect can breed indiscriminately. The virtue lies in giving ourselves and our procreative power over to God's control and letting Him do with us what He wills: We submit ourselves to His plan for our bodies.

The pleasure related with intercourse is not the purpose of sex pleasure, but is merely an associated side benefit. However, man's utilitarian nature has turned this relationship on its head now, the only purpose of sex is pleasure, and procreation is a 'dreaded complication' to be avoided at all costs.

Mahatma Gandhi described the tension caused by the sexual drive in humans perfectly, as shown below.

Sex urge is a fine and noble thing. There is nothing to be ashamed of it. But it is meant only for the act of creation. Any other use of it is a sin against God and humanity. Contraceptives of a kind there were before and there will be thereafter, but the use of them was formerly regarded as sinful. It was reserved for our generation to glorify vice by calling it a virtue. The greatest disservice protagonists of contraceptives are rendering to the youth of India is to fill their minds with what appears to me wrong ideology. Let the young men and women of India who hold her destiny in their hands, beware of this false god and guard the treasure with which God has blessed them and use it, if they wish, for the only purpose for which it is intended.

I suggest that it is cowardly to refuse to face the consequences of one's acts. Persons who use contraceptives will never learn the value of self-restraint. They will not need it. Self-indulgence with contraceptives may prevent the coming of children but will sap the vitality of both men and women, perhaps more of men than of women. It is unmanly to refuse battle with the devil.[4]

God's Plan for Babies.

Scripture says that the Lord knew us before we were even born. In fact, six men (including Jesus Himself) were named before birth.

God's plan for babies has been in existence since the beginning of time. Every little baby, born or unborn, has an important place in this plan. More specifically, God would not allow a baby to be conceived unless He had a purpose for that baby. Therefore, if we use contraception, we are denying God His purpose and we are saying "NO!" to His plan.

The Quasi-Hinduistic View.

Some people may say that using contraception is not important, because if God really wants a baby to be born, He will arrange for it to be born when the couple is not using contraception, or allow that baby to be born to another couple. But this same "logic" can be applied to abortion and even infanticide and other types of murder.

If the pro-life movement adopts this attitude, we really shouldn't care how many babies are killed in abortuaries, because God will compensate by having the babies He wants born given to non-aborting couples. The same quasi-Hinduistic attitude could be applied to murder. We really shouldn't care if people are killed in robberies or wars or acts of terrorism. If God allows individuals to die, then they have obviously fulfilled their roles in His plan.

In fact, why should we even bother praying? God knows what we want. He knows that we adore Him. Why even bother having churches or organized religion?

The fallacy of this reasoning is obvious, because every baby is a part of God's plan. By the use of contraception and abortion, we are trying to force God to conform to our plan, instead of the other way around.

Contraception = Genocide.

This equation may appear extreme to many believers, but consider the logic behind it for a moment.

Most artificial contraception (with the exception of the barrier methods) is abortifacient. In the Scriptural sense, the killing of a person is not only murder, it is genocide, because it kills that person's descendants as well.

In this country, we are already into a 'second generation' of abortion those women who legally aborted their children 20 years ago not only killed those children, but their grandchildren who would have been born last year, this year, next year and the year after that. In fact, little preborn girls and boys who were killed in 1973 would be entering their childbearing years now.

Therefore, if we are to believe the spirit of Scripture, abortion and all methods of abortifacient contraception are not only murder, they are genocide.

Church Teachings on Contraception.

What Does Scripture Teach?

Pro-abortionists frequently attempt to use Scripture verses out of context to "prove" that God neither condemned abortion nor contraception.

Regarding contraception, they say that God slew Onan, not because he practiced birth control (in the form of withdrawal), but instead because Onan was merely disobedient.

To begin with, this is a ridiculous argument, which is obvious even to people who are not familiar at all with the Bible. If God killed people merely because they were disobedient, why did he not kill Adam and Eve and exterminate the human race several times over in Scripture, instead of just once?

As far as the Scripture verses regarding Onan are concerned, they tell us that Judah and two of his sons, Onan and his brother, were all found guilty by God of having violated an ancient law called the Law of the Levirate. Judah admitted his guilt in Genesis 38:26, and the punishment for violating this law in the smallest degree was very mild, as described in Deuteronomy 25:5-10.

By contrast, God slew Onan, not because he was disobedient, but because he practiced contraception in this case, by using withdrawal, or "spilling his seed." (Genesis 38:9-10).

This interpretation is strengthened by the fact that the only application of capital punishment in the New Testament to sinners was against Ananias and Saphira, who went through the motions of giving but instead defrauded (Acts 5:1-11).

The Beginning of the End.

The Roman and Orthodox Catholic Churches, Islam, many Jewish sects, and numerous Protestant denominations teach that the only acceptable methods of conception are abstinence and natural family planning.

Basically, the rationale for this attitude is quite simple: For 1,900 years, all of Christianity stood united in its condemnation of artificial birth control. Then, in the year 1930, the Anglican's Lambeth Conference resolved that artificial contraception could be used by married couples for only the "hard cases."

So, only since 1930 have artificial means of contraception been allowed by most churches.

Which is the Fruit of the Spirit?

Therefore, we must ask ourselves the paramount question: Which teaching is truly the fruit of the Holy Spirit the teaching that endured for more than 1,900 years, or the technology-based fad that is now only 60 years old? Common sense should reveal the answer to any person who is being honest with himself or herself.

The Catholic View.

The Catholic Church has always allowed the use of infertile periods to space children for serious reasons. Pope Pius XI, in his December 31, 1930 Encyclical on Christian Marriage (Casti Connubii), states that there are only three conditions for which a couple may consciously limit the number of children they have;

(1) life-threatening health conditions that would be seriously aggravated by 
(2) inadequate finances at the present time (which would lead to malnutrition 
      or other very serious damage); and
(3) if a married couple already have as many children as they can properly 
      care for.

Some people may equate these exceptions to those that justify artificial contraception and even abortion. However, married couples who take the time and trouble to learn natural family planning only to practice a contraceptive, anti-baby lifestyle are extremely rare. If it is the couple's intent to contracept, the artificial means are much easier to use.

For a more detailed history of the Catholic Church's attitude towards artificial contraception, see Chapter 98.

References: Scripture and Philosophy on Contraception.

[1] Lana Clarke Phelan. "Abortion Laws: The Cruel Fraud." Speech presented at the First California Conference on Abortion at Santa Barbara, California in March of 1968 by the Society for Humane Abortion, Inc., San Francisco, California.

[2] Eugene E. Russell. Webster's New World Dictionary of Quotable Definitions (2nd Edition). New York: Prentice-Hall, 1988. 674 pages.

[3] Nicolas Berdyaev. The Destiny of Man. New York: Harper & Row, 1960. Page 242.

[4] Mahatma Gandhi, quoted in Father A.S. Antonisamy. Wisdom for All Times: Mahatma Gandhi and Pope Paul VI on Birth Regulation. Family Life Service Centre, Archbishop's House, Pondicherry 605001 India. June 1978. Quotes are taken from D.G. Tendulkar (Editor). The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volumes 2 and 4. Published by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

Further Reading: Scripture and Philosophy on Contraception.

American Life League. "The Birth Control Game: Gambling with Life." 
Order from American Life League, Post Office Box 1350, Stafford, Virginia 22554. How IUDs and the birth control pills work by killing new life.

Gary Atkinson, Ph.D., and Father Albert Moraczewski, Ph.D. A Moral Evaluation of Contraception and Sterilization: A Dialogical Study. St. Louis, Missouri: Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research and Education Center, 1979. 115 pages. Reviewed by Donald DeMarco, Ph.D. in the Summer 1980 issue of the International Review of Natural Family Planning, pages 166 and 167. This small volume presents the central arguments of the controversies over contraception and sterilization.

G.K. Chesterton. What's Wrong With the World: The Superstition of Divorce, Eugenics, and Other Evils, and Other Essays.

450 pages, hardcover, softcover. Order from Ignatius Press, 15 Oakland Avenue, Harrison, New York 10528. Although a century old, these economic and sociologic writings by one of the most prolific and respected Christian writers of all time show conclusively that the anti-life philosophy has been with us for many years. Chesterton shows that lax moral standards will lead to eugenics, divorce, artificial contraception, abortion, and ultimately the dehumanization of man, the loss of respect for human life, and the destruction of the family. A 'must read' for Christian historical scholars.

Larry and Nordis Christenson. The Christian Couple
Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1977. 185 pages. Reviewed by John G. Quesnell in the Winter 1977 issue of the International Review of Natural Family Planning, pages 387 and 388. The authors of this book meet the difficult questions and problems of marriage, including artificial contraception, head-on.1989, Paperback, 97 pages. Reviewed by Robert L. Sassone on page 46 of the March 1990 ALL About Issues. Order from Zimmer Press, 410 West Main Street, Monongahela, Pennsylvania 15063, or call (412) 258-7775, or order from American Life League, Post Office Box 1350, Stafford, Virginia 22554. The Christian case against birth control, written by a Protestant especially for Protestants.

Father Paul J. Quay. The Christian Meaning of Human Sexuality.
115 pages. Order from Ignatius Press, 15 Oakland Avenue, Harrison, New York 10528, telephone: 1-800-528-0559. Using Scripture and the writings of distinguished (conservative) theologians, Father Quay explains the understanding of human sexuality that divine revelation offers us. This book is written for Christian adults who want to know what kinds of sexual behavior are right and wrong and who want to gain true insight into why such behavior is right or wrong.

Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican Pontifical Council for the Family. Marriage and Family: Doctrine and Life
180 pages. Order from: Ignatius Press, 15 Oakland Avenue, Harrison, New York 10528, telephone: 1-800-528-0559. Proceedings of the third annual conference applying Catholic teaching to the problems of marriage and family life. Subjects covered include the road to salvation as a couple, the family's mission and place in God's plan, and the real difference between artificial contraception and natural family planning.

John Warwick Montgomery. Slaughter of the Innocents: Abortion, Birth Control, and Divorce in Light of Science, Law, and Theology
1981, Crossway Books, 9825 West Roosevelt Road, Westchester, Illinois 60153. This book, among other topics, covers how to decide whether or not to use artificial birth control methods; marriage, divorce, and abortion from a Christian perspective; and the historical Christian perspective of the unborn child.

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This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist’s Encyclopedia published by American Life League.