"No, you can't deny women their basic rights and pretend it's about your "religious freedom." If you don't like birth control, don't use it. Religious freedom doesn't mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs."
Be Fruitful and Multiply
Before I dive in, I want to make it clear that the thoughts, beliefs and points I make in this article do not speak for Christianity as a whole. I'm only speaking for myself here; sharing my own understandings and feelings. This doesn't mean that anybody else, including other Christians, follows these same beliefs.
By no means am I claiming that my own understanding on the issue is the only right one, and the points that I make may not resonate with every person, but they're the thoughts I have on the issue.
Let's start at the beginning, when God told Adam and Eve “be fruitful and multiply,” which means "procreate." The complete verse (Genesis 1:28) says "God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'"
I'm not discussing the animals in this article, but focusing on the part of that verse where God told Adam and Eve to procreate and fill the earth.
Point Number One -- God told Adam & Eve to Multiply, not Us
His plan, on that day was to create a population of people. It happened. Here we are, thousands of years later. In my opinion, this purpose has already succeeded. There’s a huge population of people.
Due to that verse, where God tells Adam and Eve to multiply, the belief that our top priority in marriage and sex is for the purpose of multiplying only surfaced, and the belief that we should never prevent pregnancies also stems from this verse. Notice that this was God's words to Adam and Eve, not to all humankind, although he did intend for the chain to continue.
Just like with so many other scriptures, people have taken God's words out of context. When God said "be fruitful and multiply," people think it to meant that our sole job is to multiply at every opportunity possible. God was specifically talking to Adam and Eve; there’s nothing that gives the impression that he was making this a “rule” for every human. This was their purpose, but it's not necessarily ours.
I remember hearing a preacher once say, “God told Noah to build an arc, does that mean he meant for all of us to build an arc?” He was preaching on the subject of people taking things out of context and assuming that when God spoke to one person in the bible, he intended it to serve as a "rule" for humanity as a whole to live by, forever. The question that preacher asked applies perfectly to this topic. If you pick up a bible, notice when God is speaking to humans as a whole, he says “and therefore every man and every woman shall …” Or he refers to us as “woman” and “man.” Now, when he told Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply, he did not say “and every man and every woman shall multiply for the rest of their lives.” No; He directed it to the two people he intended it for – Adam and Eve. Not us.
It is tough for me to feel that God’s number one priority for the first man and woman on earth should be ours, a gazillion Adam and Eve’s later. I personally feel that that goal has been met, but that's not to say that I feel God doesn't want us to have children at all, just that he didn't intend for that to be our number one priority.
Point Number Two -- Contraceptive was Likely Created by God in the First Place
This is where my feelings on God and birth control come in; I don’t think God is against us preventing pregnancies. I really don’t think that he intends for our first priority to be to procreate, since the world is full of us. I also believe that God gave us all specific desires in life, and some have no maternal instinct/desire and do not wish to procreate. I tend to feel that’s because God had other plans for those people.
A while back, I wrote an article on SexIs about natural pregnancy methods. One of those methods included lemon juice as a contraception. People in the “olden days” actually used lemon juice -- which is natural –- to prevent pregnancies! As unbelievable as that sounds, it is true. Lemon juice is a spermicide, meaning it kills sperm. This leads me to my first thought on God and how he feels about us using birth control. It is my opinion that every plant on earth was made specifically with purpose. For instance, we use the chamomile plant (usually in tea) to help us relax, to calm anxiety , as well as to prevent spasms, for coughs and colds and plenty more; indeed, God was aware of what he was doing when he created the plants and their uses. It is my belief that God created everything with specific purposes.
Let me focus on the lemon for a minute, though. God made the lemon tree to produce lemons for us to eat. He also added a dash of vitamin C to lemons, for our health. Lemons have astringent properties, which is why we use them when we clean, including when we clean our own bodies by drinking the juice or eating the fruit. Lemon juice is a well-known “detox” fruit. It cleanses the kidneys, and is extremely beneficial for preventing certain ailments. It even aids in helping us to overcome colds, coughs, to prevent infection, and more (like ahem, pregnancy!)
Most would agree that God gave the lemon these properties intentionally and designed them specifically for us. So, was it an accident that he also gave lemon juice the ability to kill sperm? He didn’t just throw these beneficial properties together in the form of a lemon for a science experiment; he knew we would need them. So, why would he not have known that the lemon also had the ability to prevent a woman from becoming pregnant – by killing the sperm?
On another less relevant note, how many times have you heard people say “God made herb (referring to the marijuana plant), man made beer. Which do you trust more?” It’s a popular saying. It even appears on bumper stickers and key chains. It’s true that marijuana is a natural herb, and many people believe that God knew what he was doing when he created marijuana's powerful effects. The same goes for lemons! I'm not condoning getting high, but I'm stating a point that marijuana does have that effect on us, and God knew this.
You might say, “so, you’re saying smoking marijuana is totally okay by God?” I’m not God, so I cannot give you direct answers, I can only speak from my own understanding of His Word. And, to answer that question from said understanding, I would say that God did not intend for anybody to be completely inebriated throughout their lives. In the bible, we learn that God was not against drinking alcohol (wine) in moderation. In fact, he drank it himself! It is my belief, so far, that marijuana was intended to be used as needed (it does have uses for certain medical conditions), and the same is true for the lemon.
However, there aren’t many people who use lemons as a means to prevent pregnancy these days, but I'll discuss today's contraceptives in a moment. To make my point though, God knew exactly what uses each of his creations had before he made them available to us.
Birth control, these days, is man-made, not God-made. Does that make it a sin?
One could say, “well, sure... God may have been okay with using the natural lemon remedy as a form of birth control, but these days birth control is man-made, not God-made.”
That's true. Most of today's birth control comes in the form of a pill, patch, injection, implant, tubal ligation, and so forth. None of those things are made by God.
To be honest, the thought of this – the use of prescription birth control – never crossed my mind as something un-Godly! I’ve been a Christian my entire life; I’ve studied the bible front to back, listened to countless different lectures, and teachings throughout my life. I can't ever know it all, but one thing for sure is that I have never heard or read anything about the use of man-made medication being immoral or un-Godly, unless done in such excess that it would become an addiction, or be nothing more than a means of getting high.
Does God expect us to never take medications prescribed by a physician? I hardly believe that! I think there are plenty of instances when prescription medication is necessary. How many people wouldn’t be able to function, or even live, if they didn’t take the medication prescribed for conditions they have? For God to be against you doing what you have to do... it would be a bit outrageous. He doesn't expect you to deny yourself medication, so why would it be different with birth control?
But Children are God's Gift, and We Should Never Deny Ourselves the Chance to Bear Them
The first time I had heard of contraceptives being an issue with God was within the last year. I understand some people and some religions strongly believe that one should never prevent life from happening, and that it is viewed as a miraculous gift from God. That is no doubt -- it surely is! Children are a gift from God, and he gave some women plenty of “eggs” to be certain they would have the ability to bear children, but did he really intend for them to use every one of those eggs? I tend to feel that he gave some women a great amount as a “just-in-case” measure.
That’s not to say I can’t be wrong. However, if I sit down and really, logically consider everything, I come up with this: Did God really intend for us to continue getting pregnant time and time again until we die? I certainly don’t think so! In the old days, it was common for a couple to have 10+ children. I can also say that life changes drastically over time, though. The world is more fast-paced, and not thanks to anybody in particular, but we don't have the option to stay home (many times even just one party) and raise 10+ children.
Point Number Three
God doesn't expect us all to live one certain way for thousands of years, thousands of generations later just because our ancestors did. A lot of our bodies couldn’t handle 10+ children, and I speak for myself there, too.
I believe that there’s such a thing as specific ways of living for specific time periods. I mean, we once had the Old Testament, and then there was the New Testament – that is proof that God understands change! The world is not what it was in the beginning of time, and God knew that it wouldn’t be. That's not to say that I believe it's okay to do whatever sin the rest of the world is doing; that just means that times change, and we as people have to adapt along with it. If God spoke to us today, I doubt his words would be "go forth and multiply," because that is no longer the need. God said that to Adam and Eve when he began to build the earth into what it is today, so priorities change.
But God Created Marriage & Sex for One Purpose -- Child Bearing
Another belief for some people is that God made marriage and sex only for child bearing purposes.
Point Number Four
This is not true, as you can find more than once in the bible where God said that he made man and woman for each other – to love each other, and to help each other. So, this alone would “debunk” the myth that marriage and sex are only about childbearing.
Another “argument” pertaining to the idea that sex was only designed for child-bearing purposes would be that God did not create sex only for creating children. He specifically talks about husband and wife meeting each others sexual needs. If you read my article God Loves Sex Too, you may remember me explaining how God created sex to be a good, pleasurable thing for a man and woman, and as a means to bond – not only for baby makin’. We’re not to feel guilty for the pleasure we get from this gift from God.
Another point I made in my "God Loves Sex Too" article was that if sex were only intended for procreation reasons, God wouldn’t have blessed us with the clitoris! Not to mention, if he intended for sex to be pleasurable and a way to bond with one another, then why would he expect us to only use it for conceiving?
Would he really expect us to create a child each time we had sex, even for pleasure and bonding? No. That is because God created sex for more than just bearing children, and it makes sense that he wouldn’t intend for the purpose to only be procreation -– or else he wouldn’t have made it something pleasurable, for bonding husband and wife, and as well as reproducing. You see, the entire picture has been lost. People have forgotten the part of the bible that tells the other purposes of sex!
Birth Control is Not a Sin
Lastly, an even more legitimate reason for me not to believe that birth control is a sin in God’s eyes – and this reason actually comes from the bible... it's not just my opinion!
The bible says in first Timothy, 5:8: “if a man provide not for those of his house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Intentionally bearing more children than you can even begin to provide for would fall under that category, so there you have it! Besides having an excessive amount of children when one knows they cannot provide for them, the other way to fall under this sin would be by not working when you are able, and of course have a job available. To sit and let those of your house go without necessities, when you are fully able to provide for them, is what this refers to.
So, point blank: Birth control is not a sin!