"The remarkable growth is almost entirely due to the Amish birth rate - many Amish families have five or more children. Kraybill said the Amish retain about 85 percent of the young adults who have to decide whether to remain in the church. The Amish marry within the community, and the total number of converts nationwide is believed to be less than 100, he said.Another important point in the AP article: "Nearly all Amish descended from a group of about 5,000 in the early 20th century." The title of the article might make one think this "boom" is something new and perhaps short-lived (like the post-WWII baby boom). Instead, this is simply evidence of what the ongoing procreative divine ordinance of God achieves when left relatively unhindered, showing us the rate at which the rest of Christendom would have grown since the "early 20th century" if it hadn't adopted the Margaret Sanger doctrine of Planned Parenthood. (N.B.: even the Amish community has not been entirely unaffected by this. Note the second paragraph down on this page.)
"About half the Amish are under 18 years old, meaning the community tends to focus much of its energy on young people and schools, Kraybill said."
The AP story points out that the "total number of [Amish] converts nationwide is believed to be less than 100."
By contrast, it seems Lutherans are now almost entirely dependent upon conversion to maintain their numbers, and we all know the minimal teaching (if any) that passes for "conversion" in most "Lutheran" churches. Here is a recent anonymous comment on L&P that is worth considering. It quotes this earlier post by Pastor Curtis.
HT: Rebekah at CSPP
From World Magazine, July 17, 2010
Childlessness is becoming more common in the United States. A Pew Research Center study found that 18 percent of women aged 40 to 44 have never had children, compared to 10 percent in 1976. Pew's researchers said the trend is a result of a combination of less social pressure to have children and women delaying marriage to later in life, when the ability to become pregnant has declined. Changing attitudes about the purpose of marriage also seem to be playing a role: A 2007 Pew study found that 41 percent of adults said having children is very important for a successful marriage, down from 65 percent in 1990.
Also in this issue of World: To breed or not to breed
Here is a video of his election and acceptance speech:
And here is his first interview moments later on Issues, Etc.:
Contraception affords people the ability to choose against children, against God-given fertility. This pro-choice mentality is the same that drives those who are pro-abortion, even if the pro-choice, pro-contraception crowd stops short of choosing to kill pre-born babies.
I was struck by the sheer bankruptcy of this thinking while hearing people recently describe themselves as “accidents,” “whoopses,” and “mistakes.” While the conversation was largely in jest, as no one of these participants in the conversation probably sees himself as still a “whoops” in the eyes of his parents, and even unintended children can be loved by their parents, it nevertheless belies the pervasiveness of this kind of thinking.
We want to be our own gods. We want the authority to choose how many children we will have. And when a child is born against our planning and desires, when we have to face the reality that there is another God who controls fertility and who gives children as gifts, we call our children “mistakes” to avoid relinquishing control of our own lives to Him who is the Author of Life.
I’m thinking about all this as my wife and I yesterday marked the 7th anniversary of being joined together by God in marriage. Anniversaries are always bittersweet for us as the age of our marriage and the age of our children reminds us of our real mistakes, of our years of choosing against God’s gift of children.
No child is ever a mistake or an accident. Every child is always a gift. That such a conversation can happen among Christians, even Christians who rejoice in God’s gift of children, whether such gifts are in concert with our plans or not, exposes the shallowness of our thinking and the pervasiveness of our culture’s anti-child, pro-self mentality even in the church. Yuck.
Cross-posted at Hemmersphere