Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

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Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:00 pm

http://abpnews.com/opinion/commentaries ... jDKop3naCg

Paige Patterson dream come true. It seems to be going over as well as the inerrancy thing!

Excerpt from the article (courtesy of William because this is a good subject):

But there is a quiet revolution brewing among a growing segment of fundamentalist Protestants. Certain sects, usually hyper-Calvinist and often identified with "Christian patriarchy," Dominionism or the "Quiverfull" movement, are wooing mainstream evangelicals and exhorting them to let God determine the size of their families.
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Re: SBC Contraceptive Doctrine

Postby William Thornton » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:41 pm

Stephen, if "SBC" is in the title, maybe the SBC Forum is the proper spot for it.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby William Thornton » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:07 pm

The quiver full crowd is present in the SBC (and has been for decades, I knew some QF folks in the 1980s) and it has tentacles among some Calvinists but overall is not widespread and I don't see much to worry about here. I'm not impressed with the PhD candidate who wrote this piece or his speculations. I grant that ABP likes this sort of stuff occasionally.

Low birth rates are a problem and a legitimate subject for examination. Procreation is a thoroughly Biblical concept, duh, and there should be some consideration and evaluation of contemporary lifestyles that exclude children.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby William Thornton » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:11 pm

Author, Lupfer wrote this:
It is undeniable that the decoupling of sex from procreation was a dramatic technological change with profound social, moral and theological implications. Southern Baptists should want their top ethics expert and chief lobbyist to have grappled with the issue. But the 15 million Southern Baptists for whom Moore now speaks have the right to know if he thinks they are sinners for using contraception to control the number and spacing of their children.


If he has evidence, writings or quotes, where Moore has expressed his thoughts along these lines, the let's see them.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Sandy » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:39 pm

Jacob Lupfer in APB wrote: But the 15 million Southern Baptists for whom Moore now speaks have the right to know if he thinks they are sinners for using contraception to control the number and spacing of their children.


It's a small, but important, point that goes to the credibility of the author of the article, that in writing about Southern Baptists, one should know that no Baptist speaks for any other Baptist. The ERLC does not "speak for" Southern Baptists, it speaks to them. If you're going to be critical about a particular issue related to the ERLC and its exec, then you should demonstrate a knowledge of how the ERLC works.

Jacob Lupfer in ABP wrote:Conservative Protestants have adopted Catholic positions on other sex-related issues. Perhaps it was only a matter of time until evangelical elites began pushing back against birth control. If they think they can convince the rank and file, they should take a good, hard look at the Catholic hierarchy’s absolute failure on that score.


Or, have conservative Protestants come to this position because their own study of scripture has led them to this point? I don't think it is a matter of being influenced by, or copying, the Catholics. Not anywhere even close to that.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Dave Roberts » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:28 am

Sandy wrote:
Jacob Lupfer in APB wrote: But the 15 million Southern Baptists for whom Moore now speaks have the right to know if he thinks they are sinners for using contraception to control the number and spacing of their children.


It's a small, but important, point that goes to the credibility of the author of the article, that in writing about Southern Baptists, one should know that no Baptist speaks for any other Baptist. The ERLC does not "speak for" Southern Baptists, it speaks to them. If you're going to be critical about a particular issue related to the ERLC and its exec, then you should demonstrate a knowledge of how the ERLC works.


Excellent point, Sandy. That is part of the legacy of Richard Land who tried to tell others outside the Baptist fold that he "spoke for Southern Baptists." I've heard a bit about the FQ folks, as William has, for a number of years. It seems to have fallen largely on deaf ears among youth and young adults. Part of the lowered birth rate, however, does not relate to the lack of interest in families and children but to the economy in the 21st century. First, there is a strong pressure for both partners to work, especially when they come out of college with deep debts. In fact, it is impossible for most to repay educational loans with only one job in the family. Second, because of those loans and the economy, in part, marriage is being postponed until the mid to late twenties shortening the probably child bearing years. Couples are far more likely to face conception problems after 30 than before. Admittedly, there are those who simply refuse marriage out of selfishness, but there are many other factors influencing the trend toward smaller families.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Blake » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:42 am

As a young person, I'd like to share that my personal experience is that Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body is catching on among younger conservative Christians (including non-Catholics), but I've never met anyone that has bought into the Quiverfull movement. I've had many married friends decide that if they were going to use any birth control they'd only use Natural Family Planning.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby ET » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:28 am

William Thornton wrote:Low birth rates are a problem and a legitimate subject for examination. Procreation is a thoroughly Biblical concept, duh, and there should be some consideration and evaluation of contemporary lifestyles that exclude children.

Low birth rates aren't exactly good for the government social welfare programs. Things like social security here and in other parts of the world depend on a high payer-to-consumer ratio....we've gone from 14-to-1 to 2.5 or 3-to-1 in the last 70s years. Japan is headed down that road a few years ahead of us from what I've read.

I think this is a topic that needs more serious thought and discussion among Christians. Given what the Bible says about children, I think there are issues one should ponder, pray about and really examine one's own heart before stating, "we only want X number of children..." Does that "we" really include what we think God wants us to do in the area of family size? Or is it due to a lack of faith that God will provide? Or do we want the nice house, car and lifestyle that might be in jeopardy with more than 2 or 3 children? Are the limits we impose on our family size of our own making rooted in our own will, or have folks truly sought out God's leading in how much of a "heritage" we shall have from the Lord? Should they be determined by our wants..."we only want 2/3/4 children?"

Yeah, I struggled with this issue some years ago and not sure I've got a definite answer for it. I can come up with a long list of why one shouldn't have a large family....and just as long a list of Scriptures that blow up every one of those reasons.

Scripture admonishes us to NOT be transformed by the thinking of this world....and most of what we take into account for self-limiting family size seems to be thinking like the world.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Ed Pettibone » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:03 pm

Ed; ET, When you say "Things like social security here and in other parts of the world depend on a high payer-to-consumer ratio....we've gone from 14-to-1 to 2.5 or 3-to-1 in the last 70s years. What does the (1) represent. and where are you getting you figures?

But moving on, what biblical mandates for large families do you find other than be fruitful and multiply? Of course that one was given when there where only two people on the face of the earth. :)
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby ET » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:16 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed; ET, When you say "Things like social security here and in other parts of the world depend on a high payer-to-consumer ratio....we've gone from 14-to-1 to 2.5 or 3-to-1 in the last 70s years. What does the (1) represent. and where are you getting you figures?

The figures are from what I can recall reading in the past....when social security, for instance, was first implemented the ratio of those paying into the system was around 14 people for every one person receiving social security. Now that ration is around 2.5 payers for every one recipient.

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed; But moving on, what biblical mandates for large families do you find other than be fruitful and multiply? Of course that one was given when there where only two people on the face of the earth. :)

Well, I don't really mean for everyone to be the Duggars and have 15+ kids. I don't think there is some "Godly threshold" regarding how many....I just think we often limit our families by "what we want" instead of considering that maybe there are other angles on this issue that should be viewed in a manner other than what worldly logic regarding economics (how many can we "afford") would dictate. Al Mohler had a good "food for thought" commentary some time back on the issue. I'll see if I can dig that up.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:48 am

ET writes in part " Al Mohler had a good "food for thought" commentary some time back on the issue. I'll see if I can dig that up."

Ed: So why do Al and Mary not practice what he preaches, I'm sure Kati and Mathew would have welcomed a few more siblings.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Mrs Haruo » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:19 am

Something my Dad used to say--and it applied to livestock as well as children "If you can't feed them, don't breed them."
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby KeithE » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:26 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed; ET, When you say "Things like social security here and in other parts of the world depend on a high payer-to-consumer ratio....we've gone from 14-to-1 to 2.5 or 3-to-1 in the last 70s years. What does the (1) represent. and where are you getting you figures?

But moving on, what biblical mandates for large families do you find other than be fruitful and multiply? Of course that one was given when there where only two people on the face of the earth. :)

I agree Ed P, the so-called mandate to multiply should not be taken as command these days. Never intended as such.

As for Ed T’s figures - Here is some data that backs up Ed T's trends. “1” represents the number of beneficiaries. That ratio was even higher than 15:1 in 1940 (~70 years ago when SS started) but in that timeframe spouses/disabled were not covered.

Here is a useful discussion of the issues as does this series of informational charts.

Some quotes:
From the “this series” link:
Under present laws, Social Security will exhaust its trust funds in 2038, and would have to cut benefits by 19 percent to match payroll-tax revenues. Because of the population growth of older citizens, Social Security spending would rise to 6.1 percent of the economy in 2035, from 4.9 percent in 2010.


Does not sound too bad (for most of us). But when you realize that while the US government remains in deficit mode, in a sense that “trust fund” has already been tapped since the 1983 readjustment - Read The Looting of SS. There are signs that the deficit is improving markedly (down to $642B for the fiscal year nearing end from over $1T/year in 2009). But another stimulus would improve the long term. Immigration can also help as can eliminating the cap on salaries for high incomers (>$$113,700) on SS contributions. Perhaps by 2038 SS benefits will not have to be reduced by 19% (or SS taxes raised by ~10%, given the ~2:1 ratio) projected in that period.

I am so glad we did not get into privatization of SS as Bush Jr. tried prior to the 2007 recession and 2008 financial crash.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Haruo » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:44 am

KeithE wrote:There are signs that the deficit is improving markedly (down to $642B for the fiscal year nearing end from over $1T/year in 2009).

Yes, but. Unless I am completely misunderstanding the situation, this only refers to a reduction in the current-year deficit, not a reduction in the debt that has accumulated over all the years past and present in which there has been a deficit. Unless there is also a paying down of the debt, fluctuations in current-year deficits (or even their complete elimination) do little to alleviate the long-term problem.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:31 pm

The simple answer is to double the cap on the payroll tax, but get a Congressman to even talk about it--NO WAY.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Haruo » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:54 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:The simple answer is to double the cap on the payroll tax, but get a Congressman to even talk about it--NO WAY.

Absolutely, on both parts of the response. Actually I think there are a few Congressmen who will talk about it, but nowhere near enough to bring anything like it to a vote. And one still has to make sure the extra revenues so generated aren't used—while waiting for the taxees to retire or become disabled—to fix collapsing uninsured infrastructure or provide Christmas bonuses.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby ET » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:06 pm

Ed P, here's the article: Can Christians Use Birth Control?
Actually, here, Mohler is taking more issue with the idea of separating sex from procreation as the culture wishes to do and also making note of evangelical differences with the Catholic position on birth control. The concluding point is:
Therefore, Christians may make careful and discriminating use of proper technologies, but must never buy into the contraceptive mentality. We can never see children as problems to be avoided, but always as gifts to be welcomed and received.


To address one of Keith's points, I include a quote from the article:
Fourth, Christian couples are not ordered by Scripture to maximize the largest number of children that could be conceived. Given our general state of health in advanced societies, a couple who marries in their early twenties and has a healthy and regular sex life could well produce over fifteen offspring before the wife passes her early forties. Such families should be rightly honored, but this level of reproduction is certainly not mandated by the Bible.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Sandy » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:18 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:ET writes in part " Al Mohler had a good "food for thought" commentary some time back on the issue. I'll see if I can dig that up."

Ed: So why do Al and Mary not practice what he preaches, I'm sure Kati and Mathew would have welcomed a few more siblings.


You've misinterpreted what Mohler said. Not an uncommon practice here, but Al doesn't preach that you should have as many children as physically possible during your childbearing years.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:02 pm

This becomes a sensitive subject for many of us. Personally, my wife and I wish it had been possible to have more children, but our son was, as one doctor said, a "biological improbability." We are thankful to have him. The danger here is that involuntarily childless couples or those who after genetic counseling are told they should not reproduce who come to church and get a dose of guilt. Check and see how many childless couples are missing from your churches on Mother's Day and Father's Day because they can't take the inherent message of the day that there is something wrong with them.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby KeithE » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:53 pm

Haruo wrote:
KeithE wrote:There are signs that the deficit is improving markedly (down to $642B for the fiscal year nearing end from over $1T/year last year).

Yes, but. Unless I am completely misunderstanding the situation, this only refers to a reduction in the current-year deficit, not a reduction in the debt that has accumulated over all the years past and present in which there has been a deficit. Unless there is also a paying down of the debt, fluctuations in current-year deficits (or even their complete elimination) do little to alleviate the long-term problem.

You are not misunderstanding the situation. The long term problem has been accumulating for years.
National Debt Table.
The worse growth percentage-wise was under Reagan, second worse Bush Jr,, third worse Bush Sr. Only Clinton/Gore reduced that national debt and that for only 1 year.

There has been a reduction of the annual deficit by ~50% in fiscal year 2013 (from that in 2009 - $1.3T). That should be celebrated and credited to the stimulus spending Obama applied in his first few years after the financial crisis. That’s basic Keynesian theory (increasing spending on future enhancing jobs) at work with tax revenue growing 2-3 years after spending increases w/o tax rate increases. Austerity programs (forced reduced spending and jobs) that Europe has used has only made matters worse. RW deficit hawks like Paul Ryan advocate austerity.

If this goes any further we should probably move this to the PPP Forum, but I’d hope that by now most of BL has seen enough to convince that Keynesian spending works while austerity does not.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Sandy » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:24 am

Like most issues, this one is going to have varied opinions among Christians, including Southern Baptists. I don't think the SBC is trying to do what Stephen wants to accuse them of doing, and in fact, if Mohler can be considered a source, it looks like they leave the issue up to individuals and churches. Gee, that sounds characteristically like something a bunch of Baptists would do. Imagine that.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:51 am

The real issue here is that Baptists, like many other groups, are not having enough babies to fill the nurseries and children's departments nor to keep the waters of the baptisteries stirred on a regular basis. Baptist growth, at its highest point, was in part the result of the post World War II baby boom. Part of the decline is simply that there are not babies rushing through these days.
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Economic Sidebar - Answering Haruo

Postby KeithE » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:58 am

KeithE wrote:
Haruo wrote:
KeithE wrote:There are signs that the deficit is improving markedly (down to $642B for the fiscal year nearing end from over $1T/year last year).

Yes, but. Unless I am completely misunderstanding the situation, this only refers to a reduction in the current-year deficit, not a reduction in the debt that has accumulated over all the years past and present in which there has been a deficit. Unless there is also a paying down of the debt, fluctuations in current-year deficits (or even their complete elimination) do little to alleviate the long-term problem.

You are not misunderstanding the situation. The long term problem has been accumulating for years.
National Debt Table.
The worse growth percentage-wise was under Reagan, second worse Bush Jr,, third worse Bush Sr. Only Clinton/Gore reduced that national debt and that for only 1 year. Although there is debate among economists about the desireability of reducing any of the debt (e.g Why We Should Never Pay Down the National Debt and The National Debt: So What?), most economists think it should be reduced after something much nearer full employment is obtained.

There has been a reduction of the annual deficit by ~50% in fiscal year 2013 (from that in 2009 - $1.3T). That should be celebrated and credited to the stimulus spending Obama applied in his first few years after the financial crisis (80-90% of economists agree). That’s basic Keynesian theory at work (when in a recession, increase spending on future enhancing jobs); it results in tax revenue growing 2-3 years after spending increases w/o tax rate increases. Austerity programs (forced reduced spending/jobs and decreases in taxes) that Europe has used has only made matters worse in terms of their deficits and human suffering. RW deficit hawks like Paul Ryan and Rand Paul (to mention 2 prominent ones) advocate an American brand of austerity (reduced spending on social programs, reduction in taxes primarily for rich people and corporations). I think perhaps another round of stimulus funding is needed to bring the economy back to health.

If this economic discussion goes any further we should probably move it to the PPP Forum; but I’d hope that by now most of BL has seen enough to be convinced that Keynesian spending works while austerity does not.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby ET » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:47 am

Sandy wrote:
Ed Pettibone wrote:ET writes in part " Al Mohler had a good "food for thought" commentary some time back on the issue. I'll see if I can dig that up."

Ed: So why do Al and Mary not practice what he preaches, I'm sure Kati and Mathew would have welcomed a few more siblings.


You've misinterpreted what Mohler said. Not an uncommon practice here, but Al doesn't preach that you should have as many children as physically possible during your childbearing years.

I specifically stated I didn't believe there was a Scriptural mandate to "have as many children as physically possible during your childbearing years". My issue was about how Christians think about the topic of contraceptive, not about requiring a large family.

I see from rereading my comments that one might infer that I was implying that Mohler was arguing for a certain family size when I mentioned the article to Ed P. That was not my intent.
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Re: Is the SBC to declare war on contraceptives?

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:05 pm

Ed: And around and around we go! We had essentially the same discussion from April through
Mid July of 2010. Aaron Weaver and D. Flick where also involved in that one.
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