Lenten Blogging Fast

In preparation for the Resurrection of our Lord, I will be fasting from blogging on both BeggarsAll and LutheransandContraception. If that and my fasting from beer and other carbohydrates (are there other carbohydrates?) doesn't kill me, I'll be back after Easter Sunday.

Lenten blessings to you all,



Birth Control to be Outlawed in New Town

Returning to those black and white days of the baby-boom of the 1940s and 50s - the theme of Pleasantville in reverse!

Pleasantville was a comedy about two '90s kids shockingly thrust into the black-and-white TV world of Pleasantville, a Leave It to Beaver-style town complete with picket fences, corner malt shop, and warm chocolate chip cookies, where everyone knew right from wrong. This time-travel occurs when a one-of-a-kind remote control (provided by repairman Don Knotts, who I'm very sorry to report died this past Saturday of lung cancer) transports them from the real world to the obligatory G-rated TV land. They are forced to play along as "Bud" and "Mary Sue," the obedient children of George and Betty Parker. Mary Sue starts shaking the town up, most notably when she takes basketball stud Skip up to Lover's Lane for some modern-day fun and games. Soon enough, Pleasantville's teens are discovering sex along with rock & roll, free thinking, and soul-changing Technicolor. The movie gradually transforms from all black and white to color, building by building and skirt by shirt.

Now, imagine this process in reverse...

Domino's Pizza Founder Plans "Catholic Only" Town
February 27, 2006 2:00 p.m. EST
Julie Farby - All Headline News Staff Writer

Detroit, Michigan (AHN)—A former marine who was raised by nuns and made a fortune selling pizza has embarked on a plan to build the first town in America to be run according to strict Catholic principles, the Times reports. Tom Monaghan, the founder of the Domino’s Pizza chain, has stirred protests from civil rights activists by declaring that Ave Maria’s pharmacies will not be allowed to sell condoms or birth control pills. The town’s cable television network will carry no X-rated channels.

Read more

I'm concerned about the pietism of this Amish-style retreat from the world. However, there is no indication that these people will never leave the town, like poor Jim Carrey in The Truman Show, or the sheltered children in The Village. This RC town could be a shining example of what life under a
government that pays attention to God's law could be without the error of the Amish of avoiding all innovation. I'd love to live in a works-righteous Roman Catholic town! Unfortunately, NFP will probably be legal - though serious Roman Catholics know that it is officially only sanctioned for extreme cases.

I think this would probably be an excellent place to live and raise a family if one could find a confessional Lutheran church nearby. I wonder if we Lutheran "catholics" would be welcome to purchase real estate in this new town. Alas, I believe the ideals of Tom Monaghan are doomed to failure, as legal battles will likely prevent such a town from ever existing. Let's see how long South Dakota's ban on abortion lasts.

A good article from Touchstone

I'm in a poasting links kind of mood today. Here's a really good one.

The question is, where is your treasure? And this question is for fathers as well as for mothers. Is your treasure your job, your career, your earning power, your advancement, your house, your car, your vacation, your computer, your money, and the things that money can buy? Or is your treasure your children? For where your treasure is, there also your heart will be.

Something Applicable from a Pastor I trust...

This would make Caspar happy.

World Population Hits 6.5 Billion!

Oh no!!! We're all going to starve to death!!!!!!

According to the best calculations available to modern man, on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7:16 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the population of the world hit 6.5 billion people. Thomas Malthus, the British economist who famously predicted in 1798 that the world’s population - then just under a billion - was growing so fast that people would soon be without enough to eat. In the days of the Industrial Revolution he formulated his notorious "law of population" which asserts that while food supplies expand only arithmetically, population soars geometrically.

This theory, with its controlling factors of survival of the fittest through famine and war, influenced the birth of Darwin's theory of "natural selection" and ultimately the eugenics movements of Margaret Sanger and Adolf Hitler. The popularization of family planning for undesirables led to its acceptance for undesired pregnancies, and thus the philosophy of the "pro-choice" movement of planned parenthood and the legalization of abortion: The death of the West! The western world is now at below replacement level fertility, while Muslims continue to procreate since they have not forsaken Islam's hatred of birth control.

The theory of Malthus has since been proven wrong (we're still here!), but we're stuck with all the subsequent sequelae of his preaching. Technological improvements have shown themselves to be so great that a much more rapid increase in food production (than in population) has been possible for centuries. The world is not just surviving, it's generally FAT! There are areas which experience famines, but these are not caused by population problems. Famines are associated with naturally-occurring crop failure and pestilence, but more today because of war and genocide.

We Christians must continually remind ourselves in this postmodern world that we can and should trust in the goodness of God in providing what is necessary for body and soul. The Western culture's myth of overpopulation has led us today to have below replacement level fertility in the West. We are looking today at the impending death of the West because of the suicidal mindset of "planned parenthood."



Trusting God to Plan Your Family

Relative to the exchanges Devona and I have had in the most recent posts below, it seems appropriate to proceed to the final point of the LCR document.

10. God desires that we put our trust in Him in all matters, also in His will and ability to provide for the children that He gives us (Exod. 23:20,26; Psalm 30:7; 37:25f.; Phil 4:13; 1 Pet. 5:7).

Exodus 23:20

“Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.

Exodus 23:26

No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.

Psalm 30:7

LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;
You hid Your face, and I was troubled.

Psalm 37:25

I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

1 Peter 5:7

...casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

And, at the risk of being repetative, here I quote Luther again:

Although it is very easy to marry a wife, it is very difficult to support her along with the children and the household. Accordingly, no one notices this faith of Jacob. Indeed, many hate fertility in a wife for the sole reason that the offspring must be supported and brought up. For this is what they commonly say: “Why should I marry a wife when I am a pauper and a beggar? I would rather bear the burden of poverty alone and not load myself with misery and want.” But this blame is unjustly fastened on marriage and fruitfulness. Indeed, you are indicting your unbelief by distrusting God’s goodness, and you are bringing greater misery upon yourself by disparaging God’s blessing. For if you had trust in God’s grace and promises, you would undoubtedly be supported. But because you do not hope in the Lord, you will never prosper.

[Luther's works, vol. 5: Lectures on Genesis, page 332]


Read the post below this one first.

A definition of Natural Family Planning, by a woman who uses it.

This will not likely change Caspar's opinion of what NFP is. But it might help some of our readers (are there any left?) to understand what NFP is since it is widely misunderstood.

NFP is the understanding and charting of a woman's fertility. That's it. It is simply the knowledge of when a couple can, and cannot conceive. What a couple chooses to do with that knowledge is not defined by NFP.

My husband, Rob, and I do practice NFP although we have never used it to avoid conceiving. In fact, we used it to conceive with this current pregnancy. I chart with NFP (sometimes more regularly than others) in order to know my body, mostly so that I will know if something is wrong with me if things change. We don't have any reasons to avoid children, and likely won't have any in the future, Lord willing. It will be good to know when to abstain, though, if anything should arise in our lives which would necessitate avoiding conception (see post below).

The thing that makes NFP different than any other form of contraception is that it is a hibernating form of contraception unless you choose to abstain. And if you do choose to abstain for one day of your fertile period, you have the chance to change your mind tomorrow. You have not avoided conception until you have continuously abstained for the whole of a woman's fertile period which lasts 7 to 10 days.

Sin and why I don't think all contraception is sinful

I have to apologize for my lack of scripture and confessional references. I do not have a profession which allows for extended free study time (all I have time to read is Where the Wild Things Are), and so you'll have to accept that my opinion is based on my basic understanding of Scripture and the Confessions. But that's all I have, a basic understanding.

Caspar believes that all contraception is sinful. I disagree, though. Rather, I believe that if it weren't for Sin (the state of mankind since the fall) contraception would never be necessary, but that is not the case.

It is easy to view the world through the lens of our own lives, and from where Americans sit, there are extremely few selfless reasons to contracept. We have cushy lives with cheap water and fuel, lots of food that's easy to come by, and most of us have jobs that support our families as well as buy us really awesome cars and TVs. But since Sin is a reality, this cushy life is not the norm for the rest of the world. And there are Christians in much more dire lives than we could ever imagine. As well, there are Christians in America dyeing of Cancer and Diabetes. There are any number of ways that Sin is eating away at the good things that God wants to bless us with, and it isn't any one specific person's fault, it's the whole world's fault.

So what's your point, Devona?

My point is that I do not believe that it is sinful for a married couple in China to avoid conception when they already have a child. While it is no longer "illegal" to have more than one child in China, there was recently a story on NPR about a pregnant woman in China. This was her second child and so she went into hiding. The local authorities discovered her and forced her to have an abortion just days before her due date and then forcefully sterilized her.

To avoid this fate, a Christian couple in China might choose to abstain during their fertile periods to avoid contraception. If I were to go visit them and say, "God forbids all contraception, even abstinence," what would that do to their faith? If I were to say, "I understand that you are just choosing the lesser of two evils," what would that do to their faith? Instead, I should mourn for them and the crush of Sin (not personal sin, but Sin) and offer them the Gospel of Christ which says that the evil of the world which we are all guilty of by Adam is crushed by Jesus' death on the cross, Amen!

Or what about the American couple whose wife suffers from bloodclots during pregnancy and is at risk of death. If they choose to abstain from conceiving would it be a comfort to them to say, "it is the lesser of two evils. It's better that you sin by contracepting than sin by killing your wife"? What comfort from Sin is there in that? Rather we should comfort them and say that the Lord of all life has conquered death, and that they are free from the curse of Sin which is the cause of the wife's illness.

How about the woman who has 7, or even 10 children, spaced years and years apart? Has she been fruitful? Has she multiplied?

An example I have used before is the couple who intends to adopt. Any adoption agency requires that a couple fit into very specific guidelines, one of which being that they promise not to become pregnant during the adoption process and for a year afterwards. I disagree with these requirements, but they are the requirements none the less. Even though the command to be "fruitful and multiply" is in Genesis it does not trump the command to take care of the "widows and orphans." So a couple who is longing to adopt must contracept in some way in order to bring home their child who is waiting for them.

I know (through a message board) a Catholic woman who was in the process of adopting a 4 year old blind girl from an Eastern country. She and her husband used NFP and ecological breastfeeding in order to postpone conception until the adoption process was over. In the end God over-rid her cycles and though she was practicing NFP perfectly she became pregnant almost exactly 3 weeks before she left to the East to bring her daughter home. She ended up hiding the pregnancy, and her daughter is home with them, but it would have been a tragedy if she had gotten pregnant sooner for she and her husband (they would have obviously loved their birth child, but they would have lost their daughter who they'd been waiting for for over 8 months and met twice) as well as for their daughter who likely would never have found another adoptive family with her age and disability.

I do not, and cannot, believe that this couple was sinfully avoiding conception.

There is a big difference between "personal sin" and "Sin" and when we condemn a person for "Sin" when they are already being crushed by it we are doing nothing more that damaging their faith. The suffering that "Sin" causes is enough to condemn us on its own, and it drives us to the foot of the cross.

All that said, there are definitely personally sinful reasons to avoid conception. In those cases we would be wise to bring our brother and sister to God's commands so that they can be called to repentance. But to say that all contraception, all the time, is a personal sin is to see the world through a very narrow lens. To call it "the lesser of two evils" is little consolation to those who feel the need to contracept for their safety or their survival. The crush of Sin is bad enough without us heaping condemnation on them to boot.


The Onan Incident

I'm going to jump ahead in the LCR document to point #9, which is the most direct condemnation of family planning in Scripture.

9. The Bible exhibits the wrath of God upon those who defy His will (Gen. 38:8-10; Exod. 21:22; Rom. 1:18).

Genesis 38:8-10

8 And Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother.” 9 But Onan knew that the heir would not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he emitted on the ground, lest he should give an heir to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD; therefore He killed him also.

Exodus 21:22

22 “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

Romans 1:18

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

The church throughout all ages has universally condemned the sin of Onan as the sin of family planning: St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (c. 339-397), Hexameron, 5.18.58; Athenagoras of Athens, Letter to Marcus Aurelius in 177, Legatio pro Christianis ("Supplication for the Christians"), page 35; St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (354-430), De Nuptius et Concupiscus ("On Marriage and Concupiscence"), 1.17; Barnabas (c. 70-138), Epistle, Volume II, page 19; St. Basil the Great, First Canonical Letter, Canon 2 (A.D. 374); Caesarius, Bishop of Arles (470-543), Sermons, 1.12; Clement of Alexandria, "The Father of Theologians" (c. 150-220), Christ the Educator, Volume II, page 10. Also see Octavius, c.30, nn. 2-3; Ephraem the Syrian, De Timore Dei, page 10; St. Jerome, Letter to Eustochium, 22.13 (A.D. 396); St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 24 (A.D. 391); Letter of Barnabas 19 (A.D. 74); Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies (A.D. 228); Lactantius, Divine Institutes 6:20 (A.D. 307); Minucius Felix, Octavius, 30 (A.D. 226); Origen of Alexandria (185-254), Against Heresies, page 9; Tertullian, Apology, 9:8 (A.D. 197), and The Soul, 25,27 (A.D. 210).

Augustine had this to say about Onan's sin:

And why has Paul said: 'If he cannot control himself, let him marry?' Surely, to prevent incontinence from constraining him to adultery. If, then, he practices continence, neither let him marry nor beget children. However, if he does not control himself, let him enter into lawful wedlock, so that he may not beget children in disgrace or avoid having offspring by a more degraded form of intercourse. There are some lawfully wedded couples who resort to this last, for intercourse, even with one's lawfully wedded spouse, can take place in an unlawful and shameful manner, whenever the conception of offspring is avoided. Onan, the son of Juda, did this very thing, and the Lord slew him on that account. Therefore, the procreation of children is itself the primary, natural, legitimate purpose of marriage. Whence it follows that those who marry because of their inability to remain continent ought not to so temper their vice that they preclude the good of marriage, which is the procreation of children.


Onan must have been a malicious and incorrigible scoundrel. This is a most disgraceful sin. It is far more atrocious than incest and adultery. We call it unchastity, yes, a Sodomitic sin. For Onan goes in to her; that is, he lies with her and copulates, and when it comes to the point of insemination, spills the semen, lest the woman conceive. Surely at such a time the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed. Accordingly, it was a most disgraceful crime to produce semen and excite the woman, and to frustrate her at that very moment. He was inflamed with the basest spite and hatred. Therefore he did not allow himself to be compelled to bear that intolerable slavery. Consequently, he deserved to be killed by God. He committed an evil deed. Therefore God punished him. [Luther's Works, vol. 7 : Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 38-44 (Ge 38:9-10)]

Lukas Osiander:

[What he did] which was an abhorrent thing and worse than adultery. For such an evil deed strives against nature, and those who do it will not possess the Kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 6:9-10. And the holier marriage is, the less will those remain unpunished who live in it in a wicked and unfitting way so that, in addition to it, they practice private acts of villainy.

It is simply a denial of orthodox theology for one to deny that Onan was killed for family planning. Our postmodern world would like this to be interpreted otherwise, but it simply cannot be.


"Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them."

2. Children are a blessing from the Lord (Gen. 1:28; 15:2-5; 17:5f.; 24:60; 33:5; 48:9; 49:25; Lev. 26:9; Deut. 28:4; Josh. 24:3; Ruth 4:11f.; Psalm 107:38; 127:3-5; 128:3-6; 147:13; Prov. 5:18; 17:6; LC 4th Comm., # 105, Trigl. p. 611).

Genesis 1:28

28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 15:2-5

2 But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”
4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

Genesis 17:5

5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.

Genesis 24:60

60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her:

“Our sister, may you become
The mother of thousands of ten thousands;
And may your descendants possess
The gates of those who hate them.”

Genesis 33:5

5 And he lifted his eyes and saw the women and children, and said, “Who are these with you?”
So he said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.”

Genesis 48:9

9 Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me in this place.”
And he said, “Please bring them to me, and I will bless them.”

Genesis 49:25

25 By the God of your father who will help you,
And by the Almighty who will bless you
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

Leviticus 26:9

9 ‘For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you.

Deuteronomy 28:4

4 “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.

Joshua 24:3

3 Then I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac.

Psalm 107:38

38 He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly;
And He does not let their cattle decrease.

Psalm 127:3-5

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 128:3-6

3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the LORD.
5 The LORD bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
6 Yes, may you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!

Psalm 147:13

13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates;
He has blessed your children within you.

Proverbs 5:18

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.

Proverbs 17:6

6 Children’s children are the crown of old men,
And the glory of children is their father.

Large Catechism, 4th Comm., # 105, Trigl. p. 611

"To this estate of fatherhood and motherhood God has given the special distinction above all estates that are beneath it that He not simply commands us to love our parents, but to honor them. .. He separates and distinguishes father and mother above all other persons on earth, and places them at His side."

Children are a blessing, the more the better! Family planning seeks to prevent and decrease the frequency and number of these blessings. Thus one shows contempt for God's blessings. Let us consider again Luther's words on this very point:

For one must also consider that at that time fertility was regarded as an extraordinary blessing and a special gift of God, as is clear from Deut. 28:4, where Moses numbers fertility among the blessings. “There will not be a barren woman among you,” he says (cf. Ex. 23:26). We do not regard this so highly today. Although we like and desire it in cattle, yet in the human race there are few who regard a woman’s fertility as a blessing. Indeed, there are many who have an aversion for it and regard sterility as a special blessing. Surely this is also contrary to nature. Much less is it pious and saintly. For this affection has been implanted by God in man’s nature, so that it desires its increase and multiplication. Accordingly, it is inhuman and godless to have a loathing for offspring. Thus someone recently called his wife a sow, since she gave birth rather often. The good-for-nothing and impure fellow! The saintly fathers did not feel like this at all; for they acknowledged a fruitful wife as a special blessing of God and, on the other hand, regarded sterility as a curse. And this judgment flowed from the Word of God in Gen. 1:28, where He said: “Be fruitful and multiply.” From this they understood that children are a gift of God.

Luther's works, vol. 5, p. 329

"Although it is very easy to marry a wife, it is very difficult to support her along with the children and the household. Accordingly, no one notices this faith of Jacob. Indeed, many hate fertility in a wife for the sole reason that the offspring must be supported and brought up. For this is what they commonly say: “Why should I marry a wife when I am a pauper and a beggar? I would rather bear the burden of poverty alone and not load myself with misery and want.” But this blame is unjustly fastened on marriage and fruitfulness. Indeed, you are indicting your unbelief by distrusting God’s goodness, and you are bringing greater misery upon yourself by disparaging God’s blessing. For if you had trust in God’s grace and promises, you would undoubtedly be supported. But because you do not hope in the Lord, you will never prosper.

[Luther's works, vol. 5: Lectures on Genesis, page 332]

Also consider these words from the Luther's (Large Catechism) explanation of the First Commandment:

13] Thus you can easily understand what and how much this commandment requires, namely, that man's entire heart and all his confidence be placed in God alone, and in no one else. For to have God, you can easily perceive, is not to lay hold of Him with our hands or to put Him in a bag [as money], or to lock Him in a chest [as silver vessels]. 14] But to apprehend Him means when the heart lays hold of Him and clings to Him. 15] But to cling to Him with the heart is nothing else than to trust in Him entirely. For this reason He wishes to turn us away from everything else that exists outside of Him, and to draw us to Himself, namely, because He is the only eternal good.

26] For even though otherwise we experience much good from men, still whatever we receive by His command or arrangement is all received from God. For our parents, and all rulers, and every one besides with respect to his neighbor, have received from God the command that they should do us all manner of good, so that we receive these blessings not from them, but, through them, from God. For creatures are only the hands, channels, and means whereby God gives all things, as He gives to the mother breasts and milk to offer to her child, and corn and all manner of produce from the earth for nourishment, none of which blessings could be produced by any creature of itself.

27] Therefore no man should presume to take or give anything except as God has commanded, in order that it may be acknowledged as God's gift, and thanks may be rendered Him for it, as this commandment requires. On this account also these means of receiving good gifts through creatures are not to be rejected, neither should we in presumption seek other ways and means than God has commanded. For that would not be receiving from God, but seeking of ourselves.


Fruit and Multiplication Beyond Genesis.

One comment to the previous post cast doubt as to whether the Lord's command to "Be fruitful and multiply.." was one that extended beyond Adam and Eve (Gen1:28), Noah (Gen 9), and Jacob (Gen 35:11). Such arguments have been made elsewhere and in other circles.

I would like to take note of another pericope that the LCR document fails to take into account. It is one more instance of the Lord's Word on the matter and it furthermore offers a serious challenge to the comment on the last post that is mentioned above.

And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, "Why does he not?" Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. "For the man who hates and divorces, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless. Malachi 2: 13-16 (ESV)

And what was the One God seeking from marriages some 1400 years after Jacob during the time of Malachi? He was still seeking Godly offspring. He was still looking for His people to be fruitful and multiply. Adam and Eve have accomplished the starting of the human race. Noah and his wife have replenished the earth. And Jacob and family have successfully given rise to the Lord's promised Israel. Yet the Lord still wants more Godly offspring here in Malachi. As a brother once said, "Now, that MIGHT be just a coincidence, but I find it hard to believe in coincidences that big."

We can draw a line after the patriarchs of the faith and declare that the command to be fruitful and multiply has been fulfilled. Yet to do so we would have to ignore the Lord's clear word on the topic as it comes to us from Malachi (and elsewhere). We can even join some in liberal bastions throughout the church who commend us to simply look at the world around us and see that we have sufficiently multiplied, subdued, and filled the eath. It certainly would be another line we could draw between us and the Lord's clear word to "be fruitful and multiply." Unfortunately, to do so is to draw a line between the Lord and us - the fruits of His Gospel.