The word contraception means to prevent conception or pre-conception. There are many forms of temporary birth control but only some are in fact contraception. Some forms of birth control, which are potentially post-conception, are considered abortifactant by much of the Christian community, and many other religious groups, such as the Islamic community. These forms are widely used with incomplete instruction in how they affect the process of conception and their use.
When I first married, I was given birth control pills by my family physician at my own request, but it was not fully explained to me what they do concerning the conception process. I took them for a week or so, but as the days passed, I found I couldn’t get out of bed for dizziness and nausea. When I had had enough, I threw them in the garbage and called the doctor. I was told that I could go back and get another formula that wouldn’t make me so sick, but something in my heart said no. I started researching the various methods of birth control available out of personal necessity and conviction, prayerfully considering all the alternatives available to me. Through this research, I have come to several conclusions over the years. I know I am not qualified to explain in depth the processes of each form of birth control, but since I have used and studied many of these at one time or another, I feel I am qualified on this basis to review them. I would like to explain the differences in the way they work and why I believe, as Christians, we shouldn’t adopt the use of those which are abortifactant.
First I will briefly discuss those methods I consider truly contraceptive in nature, which include abstinence, natural family planning, condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, and spermicides. Foremost, is abstinence, which is the preferred method of birth control for unmarried individuals as well as the safest method to prevent sexually transmitted (STDs) diseases. Natural Family Planning is one form of contraception for married individuals, and includes such methods as the calendar method, basal body temperature, cervical mucus, and symptothermal methods. Other forms that are considered a bit more risky for conception include periodical abstinence, coitus interuptus (male withdrawal), vaginal douching, and breastfeeding. The methods of Natural Family Planning are more effective when used in combination, with complete instruction, and consistency in their use. Condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps offer contraception by both a physical barrier and limited protections from STDs but are more effective when used along with a spermicide. Spermicides are another form of birth control that many Christians consider contraceptive. These usually destroy the sperm cells before they can reach or fertilize the female egg or ovum, although there have been notable birth defects, when impregnated using them, including deformities of the genitals.
Next I will examine those birth control methods, which are considered by many in the Christian community to be abortifactant in nature, and are questionable at best. I personally believe Christians should abstain from the use of these, because they potentially destroy the fertilized egg after conception. The Intrauterine Device (IUD) causes changes in the endometrium, or uterine lining, and the uterine fluids, which in turn, cause their cells to attack the fertilized ovum. If the egg cell survives the attack, the progestin element present in the device makes the uterus uninhabitable to the fertilized egg. The fertilized egg is then spontaneously aborted post conception. The hormonal methods of birth control generally come in two formulas, the combined estrogen and progestin formula, or the progestin only formula. Both methods are delivered in oral form, by injection, or by implants. The combined formula, which has both estrogen and progestin, is most often prescribed. The primary purpose of the estrogen is to suppress ovulation. The primary purpose of the progestin is to ensure that a fertilized egg doesn’t implant in the uterine lining. The estrogen suppresses ovulation, but any number of factors can cause this to fail, including taking antibiotics, and other medications. When the estrogen fails to prevent conception, the progestin causes the fertilized egg to abort. The progestin only formula, which is often prescribed to breast feeding mothers, does nothing to inhibit ovulation. The progestin simply changes the lining of the uterus, so that it doesn’t accept a fertilized egg, which is post-conception, and the ovum is aborted.
Now that I have presented the basic forms of birth control and how they affect the process of conception, I would like to establish what the Bible says to the Christian concerning the conception of human life. Many in the religious community, who believe in the sanctity of human life, would shun the idea of getting an abortion, yet, in ignorance, they continue to use birth control methods that aren’t truly contraceptive, but, in truth, are abortifactant. Christians shouldn’t cast that stone against abortion, until we have at least considered what God may be saying to us concerning other forms of birth control. This passage clearly states that God knew us even before we were formed, and at conception. With life beginning at conception Christians shouldn’t use those methods that usually only work after conception.
Psalm 139: 13-16  For You’ve impassioned my mind, surrounding me from my mother’s womb. I’ll praise You; for I am intricately and wonderfully made: Your creations are awesome; as my soul knows so well. My essence wasn’t hid from You, when I was conceived in private, and so interestingly created. Your eyes saw my substance, while I was still imperfect; and all my members were noted in Your book, which were formed each in their turn, before any of them existed.
I realize that birth control is sometimes necessary for spacing children, or when the mother’s health may be at risk by another pregnancy. I myself have been in both of those circumstances. But when mass birth control and sterilization is the rule, rather than the exception for God’s people, we cannot possibly expect to keep up with world evangelization when populations of other faiths are growing at a much higher rate than we are.
In Genesis 1:28, God commanded Adam and Eve to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and keep it under control.” This command didn’t only apply at the beginning of creation. This command was echoed to God’s people several more times in the Scripture. All through the Bible God’s people were outnumbered by those of other faiths, many times due to their own disobedience. Evidently God wanted His people to multiply so they could evangelize the rest of the world. At times God instructed His people to procreate “that you may be increased there and not diminished,” as in Jeremiah 28:6, when they were out numbered by their enemy captors.
I believe that command is still in affect today for believers. The Christian population is diminishing, while the Islamic population is steadily growing. Though converts are vital to world evangelization, procreation mustn’t be overlooked as a means to accomplish the great commission. Every year more missionaries are sent out, while the percentage of missionaries per number of persons continues to decrease. How can we, as Christians, ever hope to reach other peoples for God if we limit the seed (descendants) of God’ people? We can only advance the Kingdom of God as far as we can provide the manpower to fulfill the great commission:
So go, and make followers of all people, baptizing them in the Name of YAHWEH GOD, and of Yeshua, the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to remember and do everything I’ve told you…
Mathew 28: 19-20
Because I have eight children, some have accused us of trying to replenish the earth all by ourselves, but I do believe it’s the Christian’s responsibility to produce godly children for a heritage to the Lord, who will continue to spread the Gospel to all nations and to every generation. A verse in the Psalms has been my conviction for years:
See, children are a heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is God’s reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of the youth. Happy is the one whose quiver is full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they will have an answer for their enemies.
Psalm 127: 3-5
As you make decisions about family life through the course of your marriage, my hope is that you will prayerfully consider the moral aspects of contraception. Each couple must make a knowledgeable decision of conscience that they will be able to live with and agree on. The consequences of your choice will affect not only yourselves, but the world as well. God’s children will either be here or not, depending on our choices. Each fertilized egg is a potential human being, with a God-given soul. What if the mother’s of some of the great evangelists and missionaries had decided to use birth control? How many of them would never have existed? What of those that might have been and what might they have done for the Lord? Often we give God control of every part of our lives, except for birth control.
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, before I formed you in the belly, I knew you, and before you came out of the womb, I set you apart and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
Jeremiah 1: 5
Birth control in all its forms has become the norm in our society and the cry for population control is getting louder. Here in the US we have accepted it unquestioningly, and are now pushing it on the rest of the world. I believe the Christian community should set a godly example for the rest of the world. As the sin of Onan (Genesis 38: 9-10) was simply for selfish convenience, is it possible our minds are darkened, or shall I say “enlightened,” by our own selfishness? We have chosen a standard of living that promotes more for some and less for others or rather less of others. Could we have been deceived by Satan? Satan would like nothing better than to stop us in our endeavor to advance God’s Kingdom. The Bible clearly tells us that Satan is the enemy of both God’s seed and woman’s seed (Genesis 3: 15, Revelation 12:4). It has been said that if we took all the grain that goes for making alcohol and grew in its place that which is good for human consumption, we could feed the world. Just maybe the population explosion is a myth, straight from the father of lies. The rate of growth for a population to sustain itself is 2.11. Right now the rate of growth in the US is only 1.6 without the influx of immigrants. With the immigrants, it is 2.11, which is the bare minimum to sustain ourselves. The Muslims on the other hand, have more than an 8.00 growth rate. We have been convinced that we will outgrow this earth and that we must limit our family size to no more than one or two children, while the Islamic community is having as many children as they can, so they will eventually out number us. The Catholic Church just announced that the Islamic Faith has now outnumbered it. If we, as Christians, believe that God created us and this world, why can’t we believe that the world created for us will be sufficient until Jesus comes again to claim us. Satan has done a good job of deceiving the Saints of God that we will somehow run out of room. If and when we do run out of room, our God has prepared a place for us in Heaven, Oh You of little faith!
- Could Birth Control Pills Be Hurting Your Sex Drive? (fitsugar.com)