All thanks to God who gives us life

Rev. Mark Preus posted this on his Lutheran Hymn Revival blog
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
On Marriage: For Dr. Heidenreich

"I never translated a hymn Dr. Heidenreich asked me to translate, so I suppose this is my poor oblation instead."

Tune: Tallis' Canon.

Pr Preus has humbled me by bestowing on me this honor of which I am not worthy. I give thanks to God for the tremendous gifts He has bestowed on him and on Rev. Stephen Van Der Hoek, a friend in Australia, who subsequently wrote the following tune for the hymn, graciously dedicated to me as well.

3 What blessings come from woman's womb,
Through which our God did once assume
Our flesh and blood and sanctified
The life of every human child!

4 Forgive us if we go astray
And leave the one and narrow way;
Call us with words of comfort sure,
Which pardon sin and make us pure.

5 Grant that as Christ so loved his Bride
He gave himself for her and died,
To cleanse her from her sin and shame
And give to her His holy name,

6 So may each man of Christian faith
Cling kindly to his wife till death,
So that in every family
We see Your love's pure mystery.

7 Grant that as now the Church receives
The glory that her Savior gives,
As Sarah called her husband lord,
Let every wife embrace this word.

8 Let every man provide for them
Whom you have given unto him,
Give every mother strength and prayer
For those You put within her care.

9 Drive far from us adultery,
Lest we Your wrath and anger see,
Drive from our hearts all lusts perverse
That would Your pure design reverse.

10 Keep well our children chaste and pure,
And when the world and flesh allure,
Grant them repentance, guard their faith,
Return them to Your Spirit's bath.

11 And give to each a Christian spouse,
And keep Your Word within their house,
And if it be Your gracious will,
Their home with many children fill.

12 All thanks to God the Father, Son,
And Holy Spirit, Three in One,
To Him in whom we live and move
Be all our praise and all our love.


Does the LCMS have a Position on Birth Control?

I'm not a huge fan of Lutherquest, but the following linked discussion has some excellent points and exchanges regarding whether or not there is a synodical position on this question.

Is Birth Control a Sin? 

For instance, the following comment is by Rev. Robert C. Baker, formerly senior editor of adult Bible studies at CPH, now teaching philosophy at Lindenwood University-Belleville (IL).
Thank you, Rev. McCain. Taking your advice, I contacted Rev. Joel Lehenbauer of the CTCR, who told me just moments ago that the Synod does not have an official position on contraception. The Human Sexuality Statement produced in 1981 was commended by the Synod for "study purposes." Dr. Lehenbauer also informs me that the CTCR is in the process of formulating a new statement given same-sex marriage, etc.
I wrote on this question myself a couple years ago here on this blog:



Resolution to Oppose the HHS Birth Control Mandate

I must give credit to Rev. Gifford Grobien for the majority of the text.  He was working on this resolution for his district and asked my input.  He agrees with all my alterations.   

We both agree that anyone should feel free to use this for their own congregation, circuit, or district:

Resolution to Oppose HHS Mandate on the Provision of Abortifacient Drugs and IUDs

Whereas, the Holy Scriptures testify that the human person is made in the image of God, and thereby prohibits every kind of murder (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:13; Matthew 5:21-22; James 3:9-10); and

Whereas, according to God’s good order, human life is created and conceived by the union of man and woman (Genesis 1:27-28; Genesis 2:18-24; Genesis 4:1); and

Whereas, science describes the beginning of human life as fertilization, that is, the formation of a human embryo, a unique human being, which exists prior to implantation[1]; and

Whereas, all hormonal and IUD forms of birth control include as part of their published physiological mechanism for preventing pregnancy the potential inhibition of an embryo’s implantation in the uterus, thereby causing the death of the embryo, and the drug Ulipristal (Ella®) also has the potential of destroying an embryo after implantation, thus directly causing an abortion[2]; and

Whereas, the United States Department of Health and Human Services has mandated virtually all health insurance programs, including those serving or managed by the Christian church, to provide sterilization, hormonal birth control drugs and IUDs; and

Whereas, while Christians are called to obey political authorities (Romans 13:1-7), when human authority violates God’s will, Christians are bound to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:28-29); and

Whereas, the doctrine of the two kingdoms does not promote quietism, but affirms that civil government is to be concerned with things other than the gospel and should not exercise its authority in the church (CA XXVIII.11-12), and commands the Christian to use political laws and public redress for the benefit of temporal life (Ap XVI); and

Whereas, the aforementioned HHS mandate does not comply even with United States law, which prohibits the Federal government from establishing religion or preventing the free exercise of religion (The Constitution of the United States, Amendment 1); be it therefore

Resolved, that the _______ District of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in convention express its opposition to the HHS mandate; and be it further

Resolved, that the President of the _______ District of the LCMS formally petition the Congressional Delegation from _______ to oppose this mandate and to introduce and/or support legislation prohibiting it; and be it further

Resolved, that the laity and church workers of the congregations of the _______ District be encouraged in the opposition of this mandate, also by requesting their congressional representatives and other government office-holders to use all means to oppose and/or overturn this mandate.

[1] LCMS Sanctity of Human Life Committee, “Response to Resolution 6-10: Guidance on Contraceptive Methods” n.d., http://www.lcms.org/page.aspx?pid=864 (Accessed February 20, 2012), 3; Maureen Condic, “A Biological Definition of the Human Embryo,” chapter 11 in Persons, Moral Worth, and Embryos: A Critical Analysis of Pro-Choice Arguments, ed. Stephan Napier (Springer Science+Business Media, 2011).

[2] 2 LCMS Sanctity of Human Life Committee, “Response to Resolution 6-10”; Walter I. Larimore and Joseph B. Stanford, “Postfertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and Their Relationship to Informed Consent” Arch Fam Med 9 (February 2000): 126-133 www.polycarp.org/larimore_stanford.pdf; Donna J. Harrison and James G. Mitroka, “Defining Reality: The Potential Role of Pharmacists in Assessing the Impact of Progesterone Receptor Modulators and Misoprostol in Reproductive Health,” The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 45 (January 2011), http://www.theannals.com/content/45/1/115.full.pdf+html.


The HHS Birth Control Mandate and Abortifacients

I have great respect and admiration for our synodical president Rev. Matthew Harrison's bold defense of our religious liberties.  It is my prayer that Pastor Harrison will now be just as bold and fearless in the further communications I hope he will address to the pastors and churches of the Missouri Synod about the abortifacient nature of all hormonal, chemical, and IUD methods of birth control.

Education on this abortifacient issue was the very purpose of the 2004 synodical resolution to which the LCM Sanctity of Human Life Committee published its 2009 report "Resolution 6-10: Guidance on Contraceptive Methods"  - a report issued when Rev. Harrison was director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care.

Res. 6-10 as passed in synod convention called on the Board for Human Care Ministries to “review the various birth control products” and clarify which act sometimes or all the time as “abortifacients” – products that may destroy an embryo or prevent its implantation in the uterine wall. The resolution, adopted 955-52, noted that some products are mislabeled as contraceptives. Delegates asked that the board make this information available to pastors and members of LCMS congregations. The Board for Human Care Ministries charged the Sanctity of Human Life Committee with this task. This is a unique opportunity to draw attention to this report according to its intended purpose, and I fervently pray that this opportunity is not missed.

I ask you to join me in both urging President Harrison, and praying to our Heavenly Father, that in an effort to lead this ongoing discussion, President Harrison will now make further official statements to encourage the pastors and churches of our beloved synod to take this wonderful opportunity to collectively educate their congregations with the Sanctity of Human Life Committee's report on abortifacients, so that the full extent of the pro-life issue not remain hidden beneath the important religious liberty discussion which makes this such a unique opportunity.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

6 Reasons Why Contraception is Sinful


I believe this is very well written. I would only add to his natural law argument that NFP is also contrary to nature, as it requires abstaining from sexual relations at the very point that God has designed the human body (both male and female) to most desire the coming together of husband and wife - the fertile period of the woman.