She needs to get a copy of the documentary Demographic Winter. Birth control is one of the major factors that is causing our economic catastrophe!
There are real possibilites for savings here. Let's think about this some more before we dismiss it outright. If those pesky babies are a burden because of the costs they imposed, what about the old folks who are terminally ill? Shoot, what about those folks who are not terminally ill, but are no longer able to work and are drawing on social security and medicare? Come to think of it, if birth control is needed to eliminate costly babies, why not fund infanticide?Yeah, Pelosi's on to something. I think it's called paganism.
How about the problem our future children already face of bearing the burden of our debt? Now there can be less than half of the people sharing in that burden because we've eliminated the other 60% or more before they are even born! I'm sure our children are very thankful for taking all of their wealth and security for the sake of our excess. Hurray for "Stimulus"!
I was very sad to see this interview with Nancy Pelosi. I think we are in for a change ~ and it's not a good one. Still we must not lose hope.
We should neither have babies nor eliminate babies so that they can take care of us. Either end of the spectrum is sad. But in the US we don't appreciate the issue of overcrowding and lack of birth control. Travel to a third world country and see what it is like when the average woman gives birth to 6 - 8 babies, depending on the region where she lives. Every child is worthy and should receive an education and other blessings, but when the adults are overwhelming outnumbered by the children, then they can't easily be supported. That is also a cause of economic problems. Been there, seen that.
I have "been there and seen that" too - Mexico City and Toluca Mexico - and I have a different perspective. Although life is difficult and many children suffer in poverty, the greatest joy in life for many many of the poor is their children. This blessing far outweighs for many the burden to care for them.I have seen this slogan many times as of late, "poverty is the greatest form of violence". This is absolute socialist/communist bs. Poverty is a burden, it is sad and scary, but it is not caused or hightened by the amount children, poverty's cause lies in corruption or in lies - as in the case of Mexico City. People believe the lie that a better life is found in the city rather than as a country peasant. Mexico City's problem lies in local corruption. Mumbai's problem is not children, it is a caste system.The amount of children is not the root cause. It is not even a symptom. It is a scape goat.Open your eyes, "been there seen that" look past the appearance to the root cause and you will find it is not the amount of people, but it lies in what people are doing, or not doing.
While I know that poverty is a complex issue, involving class, greed, climate, education, as well as other issues, JT's comment about Mexico is about a country that isn't even close to the poorest countries of the world. For example, Mexico's GDP is 9X of Uganda and 15X of Malawi, Somalia, Comoro, or the Solomon Islands. Yes, that takes into consideration averages, but that's all statisticians can use. And yes, children are a joy, if they live, and if the mother is alive to have that joy. The death rate among giving birth in a country in deep poverty is 300X what it is in a developing country. When Habitat for Humanity builds a new home for 3 adult women with 5 children in Uganda, its two rooms together are smaller than some people's bathrooms.
PS,One issue which you are missing is the question of whether existence is better than non-existence. Is it better to be conceived and die in infancy than to have never been conceived at all? I guess to answer that question, you have to answer the question of what happens to us after we die. If you are a strict secular materialists, maybe there is no value in having ever existed, but if you are a Christian, then it is better to be than not to be.What those who use birth control are unwittingly deciding is that non-existence is better than existence. I believe that such a position is plainly unChristian. I also believe most Christians who use contraception have never thought about it in those terms. I know I never thought of it in those terms when my wife and I were using contraception in the early years of our marriage.
I see where you are coming from, but how can you equate a person dying and going to heaven with never having existed? After all, God is the final arbitrator of all of that, the creator of us all. Are you really meaning non-existence or are you thinking that not existing is sort of like being in line to get born but not getting the chance? There is a famous monologue about the babies waiting to be born, waiting to see which chute they will go down to a family. I'm quite sure that we value life, as Christians, in the same way. And that, to me means, adopting, supporting children in third world countries to get education, building housing for poor people, building schools for orphans, buying food for students who have no family to support them. Action, not theory, not from one's surplus, but from one's need.
>>>I see where you are coming from, but how can you equate a person dying and going to heaven with never having existed? After all, God is the final arbitrator of all of that, the creator of us all.<<<You'll have to unpack this for me. Do you mean to imply that God will decide whether our contraception works? That is, are you saying that He'll cause it to fail so that the life He intended will come into being despite our efforts to the contrary? If so, I find this to be specious. That's like saying that I can point a .38 at someone's heart and pull the trigger because if God wills that the target is not to die then He can cause the gun to misfire. That is a level of determinism which I reject.>>>Are you really meaning non-existence or are you thinking that not existing is sort of like being in line to get born but not getting the chance? There is a famous monologue about the babies waiting to be born, waiting to see which chute they will go down to a family.<<<I mean non-existence, that is, never having existed. Orthodox Christianity rejects the notion of spirits waiting in line to have a body conceived which they may then occupy. That is something you see in cults, like Mormonism. No, I literally mean that Christians who contracept (or anyone, for that matter) are attempting to prevent a person who would come into existence by the grace of God ever coming into being. Once we are, we are forevermore, ultimately living either in hell, eternally estranged from God, or on the new earth, eternally in His Presence. However, prior to contraception, we do not exist at all. By contraception, if it has any effect (I believe it does), we deny existence to not only the child who might have been conceived in an act of marital intimacy, but all those who might have come to be descendants of that person.>>>I'm quite sure that we value life, as Christians, in the same way. And that, to me means, adopting, supporting children in third world countries to get education, building housing for poor people, building schools for orphans, buying food for students who have no family to support them. Action, not theory, not from one's surplus, but from one's need.<<<I'm not sure what your saying here. If you are calling my opposition to contraception a theory, I would say that it is more akin to a belief. God declares in His Word that children are a blessing from Him and the He opens and closes the womb, and I take His Word for it. All actions flow from belief. I act on my trust in His Word by no longer using contraception. I have four children (so far) whom I value greatly and for whom I provide as their father. As to how our Lord uses our family to do His will in relation to helping others, that is something I tend not to discuss with others. I certainly am not going to try to make a comparison between what I do and what someone else does under any circumstance. I certainly wouldn't do so when I knew nothing about what that other person might be doing. And, in any event, I can do nothing of value other than what He does through me. I will say that I am thankful to Him for any good which He does for others through you and praise Him for it. Soli Deo Gloria.
PS,I should have added that I have two other children who were never born, but miscarried. I trust in God and His mercy toward the unbaptized, unborn children of those who are His. I hope to see those children someday and together with them worship our Lord and Savior forever. For all my sins, including my past acts of contraception, those two little ones were not denied existence. Like all who come into being, they will live forevermore. I grieve far more for those children who might have been but for my contracepting than I do for those who I have hope that I will see one day.
Just a short response because I see that my antecedent wasn't clear. I meant that valuing life means taking action, such as the actions I stated, not just being in favor of more children, for oneself or others. It means caring for other people's children, because many don't have the means to do so. One might take the Bible literally about giving up all one has (material goods) for God's kingdom. Some Christians believe that insurance is against what the Bible tells us, but that is a whole 'nother discussion. I have three live children. I gave birth once, I adopted twice, I miscarried once. I used birth control about one year when I was first married, 36 years ago. I didn't tolerate it, so I gave up on it. We get on shaky ground when we say that God creates but when we don't give credit when bc doesn't work, don't we?As far as caring for children all over the world, don't we also deprive a community of a possible leader and deprive a community of future generations when we don't provide adequate health care and food? When we live in a country that wallows in excess, can we stand idly by?
P.S.,I simply don't understand what appears to be an either/or mindset which your posts exhibit. That is, you seem to assume that it is either be open to life in our own marital intimacy or to provide aid to the poor, including poor children. Why not do both? Since you don't know, why do you appear to assume that those who post here do not also obey our Lord's teaching to love our neighbor as ourselves, to care for those with needs, to feed the hungy, clothe the naked, and house the homeless.God's Word does not teach us to EITHER be fruitful and multiply OR love our neighbor. It teaches us to to do both.>>>We get on shaky ground when we say that God creates but when we don't give credit when bc doesn't work, don't we?<<<Again, you'll have to unpack this for me so I understand your point. Each and every human (save our Lord) who has ever lived was created by God. All except Adam and Eve were created by Him through human procreation. (Our Lord, of course, was not created, but was, is and always will be, and He was conceived as a man without a human father, that is, without normal human procreation. See the Nicene Creed.) So while God can create without our cooperation, He usually allows the natural consequences of our sins to occur, including the naturally resulting harm to ourselves and others.
Greg,You wrote: "Each and every human (save our Lord) who has ever lived was created by God. ...Our Lord, of course, was not created..."I'm not sure you would want to make your point with those particular words.Yes, we confess our Lord in the Nicene Creed as "begotten, not made."However, we also confess in the same creed that our Lord "was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man."Christ has two natures. He is 100% God and 100% man. The first statement in the Nicene Creed speaks to Christ's divinity, the second to His humanity. With regard to His humanity, Jesus Christ is, indeed, a creation of God, but not through the normal means of human procreation.
Erich,I'll have to give that some thought, though it makes sense. I will have to test that against Scripture and the creeds before I comment.
These might help also:Luther's Disputation On the Divinity and Humanity of ChristThe Formula of Concord, VIII. OF THE PERSON OF CHRISTChristology is the primary foundation of all theology.
The only reason for my caution is the matter of whether "made" and "created" are synonymous as those terms are used in Scripture and in Church doctrine. Certainly, the Son of God was made man. The issue is whether being made man is the same as being created. The Nicene fathers were very careful with the words they used. I like to follow that example.I'll read your references in the next day or two.
You are right to be careful, and to follow the pattern of words handed down by the Fathers. As Paul said: "Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you" (2 Tim. 1:13–14).Of course this is quite tangential to the subject of this post, but I cannot think of any tangent that is more important to follow. Nothing is more important than Christology. It is the first principle from which all proper theology must flow from. That is the mistake other churches make. Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy tend to flow from ecclesiology, and Calvinism tends to make the sovereignty of God its first principle. You were right to take this argument about birth control back to certain first principles, and this is the very first and most important principle of all.Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary's womb. And what was Mary's response to the knowledge that God intended to use her virgin womb to conceive the Son of God when she was not even married? From the perspective of the world she lived in, this would be a most difficult situation for her to be in. Mary's gift of faith gave her the courage to place her complete trust in God, that He would see her through this difficult situation, and to say: "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." There is the model for all of us to follow with regard to God's will for children. "Let it be to me according to your Word." Did He not make them one,Having a remnant of the Spirit?And why one?He seeks godly offspring.Therefore take heed to your spirit,And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. [Malachi 2:15]So, you are right to bring this all back to Christ, who was conceived in the virgin's womb and made man. The same Christ by whom all have been created and commanded to "be fruitful and multiply."Now, back to the specific tangent of Christology:There is a wrong way to refer to Christ as "created" - this sense we must vehemently deny. Arius referred to Christ as "created" because he believed that the Son is only a creature. For this reason, I would not necessarily recommend generally referring to Christ as "created" or a "creature" - even though it is certainly correct in regard to His humanity. The word "made" is, indeed, more consistent with the pattern of words used by the Fathers. But at the same time, it is very important not to deny essential qualities of the humanity of Christ. If someone denies that Christ was created as a human, then we must clarify and correct the pattern of words so as to be certain not to deny His essential humanity as a "created" man - yet while affirming His uncreated nature as the only begotten Son, begotten of His father before all worlds.You will read in the Formula of Concord: The properties of the human nature are: to be a corporeal creature, to be flesh and blood, to be finite and circumscribed, to suffer, to die, to ascend and descend, to move from one place to another, to suffer hunger, thirst, cold, heat, and the like; which never become properties of the divine nature.In Luther's disputation, you will read: Even if the Fathers say that Christ according to His humanity is a creature, this could in any event be tolerated; but Schwenkfeld wickedly twists it: "Therefore Christ is simply a creature." Why, wicked man, do you not add that Christ according to His divinity is the Creator? Therefore he was created! But he does not add this, because he says, "I can let my conscience be deluded in this way. Therefore I have omitted it"--that is, I have done wickedly! He employs a fallacy of composition and division.Let me know, Greg, if you find any reason to disagree. I don't think you will.
Erich,I can find no reason to disagree with anything you wrote. As you say, however, is we use the word "created" to refer to Christ's humanity, we must be very careful to define precisely what we are saying lest we unwittingly fall in to Arius' heresy. As you define it, I can see no error.
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