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.


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Heidenreich,

I agree with the post you linked, but your condemnation of NFP twists the use of the term "natural." Probably the Catholics should have their wrists slapped for a failure to define their terms, but NFP is not "unnatural" as contraception is.

NFP is "unnatural" the way that fasting is unnatural. It runs contrary to what our bodies and sense of self-preservation tells us to do. As in all areas of the Christian life, what is good generally, may not be prudent, or desirable now. At any given moment, coitus may not serve the good of the marriage. On any given night, asking God for the blessing of a child nine-months later (which is what coitus does), may not be a request we should be making.

The idea that humans cannot restrain themselves is ridiculous. As a single woman with a boyfriend, I know all about restraint. It hasn't killed me or him yet. Worse your notion, that humans can, but husband and wife are under some bizarre obligation to maximize their child production because they must obey the law "be fruitful and multiply" runs contrary to the freedom we have in the gospel. Only if restraint were impossible or if such disobedience were morally repugnant would NFP be "unnatural". But this cannot be the case because both would run contrary to God's standards for Christians in all other areas of the Christian life. We fast and feast. We study and defer having a paying job. We abstain to prepare for marriage; and sometimes, my Catholic friends tell me, they space their children within marriage, so that mom isn't flat on her back while the couple is moving 3 under 5 across the country. And I as a Lutheran applaud the Roman Catholics for their consistency.

Restraint can be loving. Sometimes its mandated by state in life (I'm single, see above); sometimes its mandated by circumstances (pick your favorite malady). Making love within marriage is also loving. We are given our reason to determine which is better given the whole circumstances.

Can NFP be used to deny the good gifts that children are? Absolutely. Is that permissible? No. But you assume, by calling it sinful, that a Catholic couple who practices it takes that attitude. And I don't know couples of this type. I know a lot of couples who delight to see their families, grow; they just try to wait until mom's body has recovered from the last pregnancy. And sometimes God plans otherwise. And they are open to that decision. Go them.

I applaud the Catholic church for applying correctly the distinction between what is natural according to divine law (although it may require sacrifices of us), and what runs contrary to divine law. Your use of "natural" as "what we feel like doing" muddles the issues.

In Christ,

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

I am sorry I must disagree with you. The unmarried abstain to avoid fornication. NFP is not abstinence for the purpose of fasting and prayer. It is abstinence for the expressed purpose of family planning. As such, it is contraceptive, and the person who uses NFP for contraception has the same motivation as those who use the Pill or a condom. It is the contraceptive intent which is against natural law (not the method chosen. God's created order of nature with regard to procreation finds it's Biblical expression in the command to be fruitful and multiply. It cannot be denied that NFP seeks to hinder this created order by preventing the sexual relations of husband and wife from conceiving life. There is nothing wrong with abstaining as a form of discipline/fasting. But this is not the purpose of "natural family planning.