What to do? Is it ok to use artificial methods of contraception? That can be a difficult question to answer honestly and objectively looking at both sides of the issue. Many love the convenience of artificial birth control and therefore neglect to objectively evaluate the pros and cons of artificial birth control for fear of what they might find. Today, this author will try to remedy this situation by looking at the reasons why we shouldn’t be using artificial contraception.
At first I avoided the issue of an authoritative Church because I knew what the Catholic Church taught on the subject of contraceptive use. And in this way I could claim ignorance of Her authority, I never took the time to find out why she taught as She did. I was fooling myself that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. For we Catholics know that to use contraception is against the teachings of the Church on moral grounds. God joined the aspect of unity between two married people with the aspect of procreation in a single act of marital love. What God has joined together let no man separate.
Then, one day I took the bull by the horns and looked at why the Catholic Church taught what She did on the issue. I could deny it no longer and told my wife that I no longer believed in artificial contraceptive use.
There are many Scriptural reasons why using contraception is wrong, the main verse demonstrating the misuse of the mans seed making the sex act infertile (spilling it on the ground as seen in Genesis 38:9-10) was the withdrawal method and in doing so the man was killed for it. Now some will tell you that Onan was killed because 1)he did not produce offspring for his deceased brother and that’s why God killed him. And others will tell you that it was because 2)he did not do as Jacob, his father, had told him to do. But that is simply not the case.
First let us look at the passage in question:
said to Onan ( ’s
son), Go into your brother's wife(Tamar) and do what it is right for a
husband's brother to do; make her your wife and get offspring for your
brother. But Onan, seeing that the
offspring would not be his, went in to his brother's wife, but let his seed go
on to the earth, so that he might not get offspring for his brother. And what he did was evil in the eyes of the Lord,
so that he put him to death, like his brother. (Gen 38:8-10) Judah
What we see here is a brothers duty to produce an offspring with the wife of a dead brother, this duty is called the levirate law. Both in Gen 38:8-10, the Onan incident, and in Deuteronomy (hereafter Deut) 25:7-10 we find someone refusing to give offspring to their dead brothers wife. And yet one is killed the other is not. The difference in methods on how these men refused to give offspring will determine the reason for the difference in penalty. The man in Deut. simply did not take the woman and therefore avoided giving offspring while Onan did take her and spilled his seed to avoid giving offspring. The spilling of seed is the difference in the act and explains the difference in penalty. Death instead of humiliation.
In fact any misuse of the mans seed is extremely condemned by God. We find that any spilling of the seed in any unsuitable receptacle (ie inhospitable to the propagation of life) brings about the penalty of death. The penalty for a man to lie with a man as with a woman is death and yet nowhere in Scripture do we see such a penalty for two women. Levitical Law tells us that the wasting of seed with non-regenerative sexual acts warrants death, even the wasting of animal seed warrants death(Lev 18:22-23; 20:13). That’s why there is no such death penalty anywhere in Scripture for the sexual pleasure of two women…because there is no wasted seed.
This idea of wasting seed to be sinful can be seen in mountains of Christian writings from the very beginnings of Christianity itself. But today I’d like to ask a simple question. Since the use of contraception was condemned as going against God’s law by Christians for over 2000 years, why would we now believe that God changed His mind on the subject? Since we know that God doesn’t change when reading Malachi 9:6 “For I am the Lord, and I change not”. What was a truth of God revealed to man 2000 years ago will remain the same today.