I do this about once a year and affording them this opportunity is a blessing to me in return as it acts as a great barometer of the different thoughts, beliefs, and even storms that are moving through their lives. Normally the questions range from the comical and hardly serious, to the dead serious, to the scandalous.
I do preview the questions ahead of time but I give no preference to them. After a quick shuffle of the cards right before the youth I pick one out and we then consider it in the light God’s Word.
This Sunday, the first question I pulled out, and the only one we got to this night was, “What does God/the Bible have to say about Birth Control?”
In the 5 weeks preceding this question we had certainly talked about marriage and procreation, but never at any point did I bring up the topic of Birth Control. Yet our discussion of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood had prompted this question.
We again approached Genesis 3. We looked at Genesis 38 (I presented to them the historic church position on Onanism and the modern interpretation – they were largely unimpressed with the modern interpretation. Of course they also found the concept of a kinsman-redeemer to be quite scandalous). We looked at Malachi 2, Ephesians 5… We talked about the churches historic stance on the topic and the changes within the last 100 years. We considered Humanae Vitae and the Pope’s prophetic predictions concerning the effects of the contraceptive age upon the culture and world at large. We covered a lot of territory and they were very interested in it and very receptive to it.
At one point, one of the youth called for a thumbs up, thumbs down vote – What does God think about birth control? I looked around the room and thumbs were down all around. Interesting.
I thank the Lord for the opportunity to have this discussion with them. As others have noted on this blog - it was one more chance to gently and not coercively or heartlessly bring this before them. It is a beginning, a starting point. There are still discussions to be had. After all, this is the i-pod generation, if I can say that. Where as past generations reinterpreted scripture or even ignored it, I believe I see in this generation that finely honed consumer skill to pick and choose. No longer do you have to buy a whole album of music. Instead, you can simply choose the songs you want…
Thumbs were down all around the room, but the question remains: Will they be moved and normed in their lives by the whole of scripture or will they pick and choose.