Some Thoughts on Birth Control

Birth control is not necessarily wrong. Condoms and intrauterine devices do separate sex from conceiving children. Married couples could use these devices to help plan when and if they have children.

Sex is a human activity.
But it deserves context.

Biblical standards mandates that sex be done in a marital relationship. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4)

All humans are made in the image of God. Since sex is part of our humanity, God has the right to decree how we exercise our sexuality.

Therefore having sex outside of marriage would be considered rebellion against God because it goes against the design He has for our sexuality and such an offense would rightly be punished by Him. Sexual sinners have two choices: repent and believe in the good news of Jesus who was crucified and risen on their behalf or face Jesus for their sins at their deaths or Judgment Day.

Ideally, humans should find someone of the opposite sex that they love and take the time and effort to commit to that person in spite of the inevitable flaws and mistakes that they see in one another.

However, God shows common grace to all. If people reject the authority and rule of Yahweh, it would not be expected that they would obey His moral teachings regarding human sexuality. That being said, sexual sinners could still use birth control to help mitigate the consequences of their actions like sexually transmitted diseases.

There is also the issue about using tax money to subsidize birth control for women.

I generally believe that women should pay for their own birth control, just as anyone else would pay for their own physician visit. People should not have to pay for the costs of other people’s decisions. Sex is voluntary: it takes both the man and the woman to agree to sexual relations. If it does not involve consent, then it would no longer be sex, but devolving into coercion and rape.

Ultimately, sex is a blessing when it is done in the marriage covenant, a grace for unrepentant sinners and redeemed saints. Birth control helps married couples plan if and when they have children. It also protects those engaged in premarital sex from sexually transmitted diseases even as we hope and pray that the Spirit might regenerate their hearts to solve the deeper issue of their rebellion against God.

Beto O’Rourke, the Gospel, and the Law

Christians submit to the authority and reign of the crucified and risen King, Jesus of Nazareth. People usually find our ways and customs to be contrary to the moral culture of a secular, post-Christian America.  Biblically speaking, same-sex marriage is not a marriage in the eyes of God just as gods made with hands are not gods.  The Supreme Court of the United States currently recognizes same-sex marriage in the eyes of the law just as the city of Ephesus recognized Artemis as a goddess to be venerated and worshiped in the eyes of Roman law.  

Since we are made in the image of God, God has a right to determine our worship.  He commands that we have no other gods before Him but to worship the LORD alone in Christ by the Spirit.  He also decrees that we exercise our sexuality in a way that honors Him.  We either pursue marriage to a partner of the opposite sex or abstinence.  Failure to honor God in this way merits His wrath. 

Thankfully, God provided His Son Jesus to die and rise in our place so that those who repent of their sins and come to Jesus as their crucified and risen Lord and Savior will be saved.  Not only that but the Spirit comes to regenerate and purify our hearts so we would not delight in our former sins but delight in God, in whose presence, is fullness of joy.

Christians ought to agree with Paul in saying “The sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”  But we also hope with Paul that God will wash, sanctify, justify some of them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit.

The gospel message speaks against people in the LGBTQIA+ community just as it did against the idolaters and magicians in the apostle Paul’s day. Yet Paul did not advocate for Roman law to change such that idolaters and magicians would be prosecuted and put to death, but rather those among them who did listen and respond to his message of faith and repentance gave up their practices willingly while those who disagreed with him were free to continue as before.  Neither did Paul advocate for people to bully, harass, and call idolaters and magicians with derogatory names. 

The church, just as Paul did, works through the power of persuasion.  Laws, just as Roman law did, carry in them the power of the sword, or the power of coercion.  We teach others the moral standards of God, but we do not force them to submit to God by the law when it comes to sins that do not carry a threat to life and property as murder, abortion and theft do. 

Idolatry was the law of the land in Paul’s day just as same-sex marriage is the law of the land in America today.  We do not need to change the law per se, but we faithfully preach the gospel, in the hopes that God will change the hearts of those who are His, so even though sin may be enshrined in the law, they will give up their old sins willingly and return to God in Christ Jesus. 

That all being said, Beto O Rourke’s statement to make religious institutions like colleges, churches, and charities lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage is concerning.   He would be acting as the city of Ephesus did, in bringing the law down on Christians to force them to be in alignment with a moral order that stands in opposition to YHWH. 

Mr. O’ Rourke states, “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone – or any institution, any organization in America – that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. So as president we’re going to make that a priority and we are going to stop those who are infringing on the rights of our fellow Americans.”

The gospel message would be seen as speaking against the full human rights and the full civil rights of those who identify in the LGBTQIA+ community, which would be true in the way Paul spoke against the idol worship of his day. But to say that we are infringing on the rights of our fellow Americans would be false, because we do not seek to bring the law down on people to force them into submission with our moral standards. Paul did not infringe on the right of idolaters to worship their pagan gods, as they were still free to worship them as they pleased, but he did speak against these idols as he strived to lead people to God in Christ Jesus.