This page is not really
an article. It is a conversation between Bruce Evan Murch and a preacher
who wrote to challenge him on his position that birth control was anti-Scriptural.
It covers most of the objections and arguments that we hear as to why
folks think they should try to STOP God from giving them "blessings
and rewards". If you would like more discussion on this topic,
feel free to write to
I can walk with you all day on the Abortion/Chemical
Birth Control issue as we see eye to eye.
I am curious though, you were intellectually honest with the Bible when
you stated that the Bible does not specifically address the topic of
where babies go when they die. I was wondering where God, in the
Bible, commands us to try to have as many children as humanly, physically
and technologically possible?
Bruce Evan Murch: It's
not that he commands us to TRY to have as many children as possible.
He does command us to "be fruitful and multiply" as a creation
ordinance which has never been repealed. He also kills Onan (Gen.38)
for the crime of "spilling his seed". This is not a punishment
for "masturbation" as some insist. He went in to his brother's
widow. But he refused to raise up offspring by her, and was killed for
Psalm 127 claims that children "are the heritage of the Lord, and
the fruit of the womb is His reward". This is not a burden or a
hindrance, but a blessing and a reward. I daresay if God promised to
give most Christians 9 houses or nine million dollars, they would view
it as a reward. But they do not view nine children as a reward, and
often take drastic measures such as having themselves surgically mutilated
in order to AVOID what God says is a blessing and a reward. Likewise
Psalm 128 says,
Blessed [is] every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his
ways. Thy wife [shall be] as a fruitful vine by the sides
of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.
While there is more
to say in the O.T. I will move to the N.T. Paul says, 1Corinthians
7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent
for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come
together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
This flies in the face of "natural family planning", which
advocates that Christians withhold themselves from each other at the
very time that God has made the woman to be the most desirous of intimacy--during
fertility. Why do you think God made women that way? Certainly not because
he wanted her to reject the desires that He gave reserved especially
and exclusively for marriage, only to be frustrated at the time that
they were designed for.
we can accurately predict the days of fertility of women, are you stating
that as soon as a woman has delivered a baby she should be impregnated
within the next month or two, and that this pattern should be maintained
throughout child bearing years. Thus, if she is a "Fertile
Mertyl" she should give birth every 9-10 months, for say 20 years?
Bruce Evan Murch: No, what I am saying
is that you should carry on a normal sexual relationship with your wife
and let God determine whether she will actually become impregnated or
not. Beverly and I use the Levitical Purity Laws as a guideline for
when we resume intimacy (not because we are bound by them, but because
just as the dietary laws have turned out to have strong health benefit,
it follows that there are also practical medical reasons for these regulations).
Beverly is very fertile. People have always joked that we should "hold
hands carefully". However, there are several natural factors in
why she doesn't always get pregnant right away. First is that she nurses
her babies for up to one year. That is a natural deterrent (usually)
to pregnancy. That spaces the babies out pretty well, usually. Our children
are between 18 months and 3 years apart. We have lost three children
Just because we know a lot more than our forebears did about fertility
cycles and have invented ways to interfere with it, doesn't mean that
we SHOULD. The real question is whether you believe that God has a plan
for your life. If He does, that it is VERY ARROGANT of us to think we
know better than God how many children we should have, and when we should
have them. That is His divine prerogative.
the married couple is commanded by God to reproduce as often as possible,
should couples spend thousands of dollars to become artificially inseminated,
if they are having trouble conceiving naturally? How long does
the couple try naturally before artificial insemination?
Bruce Evan Murch: I believe that this
is just as wrong as trying to prevent pregnancy. Our technology is way
out there ahead of our theology and our ethics. God has not "commanded
them to reproduce as often as possible". Rather, He has commanded
them to love each other deeply, fear Him and obey Him, and He will reward
them with children.
If a godly couple is infertile (which is the case with my best friends,
who have lost 6 children to miscarriage and have not given birth), a
couple steps should be taken. First, they should determine whether the
barrenness is a "curse" or a punishment for hidden sin. If
there is such sin, it should be repented of, and they should continue
to try to have children naturally. If they can absolutely rule that
out, then they should seek to adopt children that are unwanted. They
will ultimately receive the same rewards for raising godly offspring.
the Christian couple adopt as many children as the State will allow
throughout their entire life?
Bruce Evan Murch: Since adoption is truly
parenting by choice, there is no Biblical mandate concerning the number
of adoptions. That's a decision that must be made (rather subjectively,
if the truth be told) by the couple's leading of the Lord. Perhaps if
the couple is barren, God has set them apart for particular ministry,
but again, that is speculative. People use ministry as an excuse all
the time, for why they are denying God His heritage (Ps 127). We have
found that having a large family is a BENEFIT to the ministry of the
Word. First, we are a public witness by just showing up! Second,
our children are exposed to the battle in contending for souls and contending
for the kingdom at an early age. They know what they believe and why
they believe it. They have been scorned, mocked, ridiculed, spat upon
and cursed. They know what the Bible means when it says "If you
follow Me you will be persecuted".
hope that you do not take these questions frivolously, I am just trying
to test your limits on what appears, on the surface of the e-mail below,
to be a work of supererogation regarding producing offspring.
Bruce Evan Murch: I NEVER take these questions
as frivolous, because of the seriousness of the subject. They are all
valid questions. Some of them do, however, reflect a lack of understanding
of the whole counsel of Scripture regarding God's purpose in us having
a bunch of kids. There is often an assumption that if a couple doesn't
practice birth control, they will automatically get 12 kids. Not so!
They will get the number that God wants them to have; the number that
He is willing to give them the strength, patience and support to rear.
It's really that simple.
Bev and I decided "in our wisdom" to have only three children.
Our pastor counseled us to use birth control and "get to know each
other better" before kids (we had been engaged over a year). We
probably lost our first child to chemical abortion in our ignorance.
God changed our heart after we "accidentally" had number four.
I got involved in Operation Rescue and realized how hypocritical it
was to advocate saving unborn babies, when I was essentially saying
that I didn't want them either!
Now my young ones tell other people all the time: "If God hadn't
changed Mom and Dad's heart, we wouldn't be alive!" I almost fell
over the first time my six-year old said it. But it's the bottom line.
A servant of Christ,
Remarks on Birth Control
control is NOT a non-issue. Birth control is human tampering with
that which would be the express purpose of a Christian married
couple--to reproduce themselves and their faith in another
Furthermore EVERY chemical form of birth control functions some
percentage of the time as an ABORTION- making it just another
of murder, not just "prevention" of having children.
If God has a
plan for the lives of every Christian couple, then they THWART
plan and GO AGAINST GOD every time they take steps to PREVENT
God has ORDAINED.
Not only is this not a "non-issue" it is one of the
in the church. Since we are not having the size families that
would give us, if we didn't prevent them, we are not replacing
ourselves with multiple offspring to carry God's Word forward
take dominion in the earth. We will never reclaim the powerbases
socierty and cause them to once again conform to God's Law if
refuse to be obedient to Him ourselves in this fundamental matter.
Your brother in Christ,
June 1, 2003