Evangelicals Show Strong Support for Contraceptive Use


Leaders of some Evangelical groups surprised many by announcing their intentions earlier this month to work to seek common ground on pregnancy prevention.  But the announcement is much less surprising given support expressed by both evangelical leaders and their followers for contraception.

In a recently released survey, a majority of church leaders, as well as nearly 90 percent of their congregations, approve of the use of birth control — both barrier and hormonal.

From the Christian Post:

Surveyed leaders in the most recent poll said the purpose of sex is not limited to procreation but it extends to the consummation and expression of love within marriage.

“Our leaders indicate that contraception can be utilized if all biblical purposes of sex are upheld and that it may actually aid in keeping the balance,” Anderson noted.

The survey comes weeks after the NAE released a “Theology of Sex” resource to help inspire discussions about sex within the church and as part of an effort to reduce abortions in the country. The resource lists four reasons for sex, including “one-flesh union” to consummate marriage, procreation, expression of love to one’s spouse, and enjoyment and pleasure.

Though overwhelmingly open to various forms of contraception, some leaders gave approval with caution.

While giving his OK, George Brushaber, president emeritus of Bethel University, noted that contraception should be used “with proper biblical and medical guidance.”

As one Minneapolis preacher stated, “Just because something is a gift from the Lord, it does not mean that it is wrong to be a steward of when or whether one will come into possession of it.”

Most interestingly, many seem to think that birth control can be thwarted if God decides it is time for you to have a child anyway.

Nevertheless, God is in control whether a married couple uses birth control or not.

“The hands of the almighty are not tied by birth control,” he has argued. “A couple will have children precisely at the time God wants, whether they use birth control or not.”

Perhaps that explains the vehement opposition to abortion following failure of birth control.

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  • crowepps

    Perhaps that explains the vehement opposition to abortion following failure of birth control.

    I don’t think so — if the ‘hands of the Almighty are not tied by birth control’, how could they be tied by abortion?

  • educated-rants

    The pharmecutical lobby should jump all over this. Imagine what their deep pockets would do for a new family planning initiative: sex education (abstinence-only has to be hurting their bottom line), improved accessibility to a wide variety of birth control, etc.

     

    Which begs the question who, then are politicians pandering to??

  • queeniec

    …is that some denominations’ official stance on abortion is not that it is evil.  There are some Evangelical churches where, even though some of the members of the congregation may vehemently oppose abortion, it is accepted the woman’s choice.  In the Methodist church, for example, the wording goes something like “though we do not want to encourage abortion, we understand that this is a personal choice and will not judge or ostracize a woman for making this decision.”  Does this mean there are strongly pro-life Methodist ministers and congregations?  I’m sure, but I really wish the pro-choice side of some religious groups would speak out more.

  • squirrely-girl

    I think that the mere idea that abortions are still occurring DESPITE the intense efforts of the “prayers” and “sidewalk counselors”/harassers should cause some of the PL movement to sincerely question God’s commitment or concern to answering their prayers… 

    … or question their own rational commitment, “concern,” and contributions to the problem. If they were REALLY concerned about helping to end the issues that create a need or desire for abortion, you think they’d do more than just “pray.” That whole, “God helps those who help themselves” thing I think. Sadly, some people have taken this to mean killing, threatening, legislating, and shaming. I call these people crazy… both figuratively and literally. Actually, more medically/psychologically. These people have issues with control… or more appropriately, a lack of power. 

    …truth is, I think, like most issues religions tend to take interest in, abortion (and related constructs such as pregnancy, childbirth, and mothering) represents an innate sex difference. And like any innate sex difference, it can be exploited by authoritarian/sexist/misogynistic men to take a moral “high ground” or power position over women and reinforce traditional church roles. A reinterpretation/manipulation of “Original sin” perhaps (?)

    …but the search for and/or creation of data to support a (moral) belief at the specific exclusion of data to contradict is just profound evidence of poor reasoning skills; scientific, moral, or otherwise. That an individual or group is not to apply sound reason and logic to ANY and ALL of life’s problems, is a profound failure of most organized religion to use God’s greatest gift… the seat of higher reasoning… the true morality… the human brain. I remember once hearing insanity described as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Get a clue already!

    … oh yah, the idea that birth control is still supposed to be used within their rather narrowly defined marriage is not lost on me. So are “non-believers” encouraged or supported in their use of birth control? Teens? Unmarried couples? Or are these the people that still support doctors and pharmacists not writing or filling prescriptions for birth control except for those that fit their moral and social ideal? 

  • progo35

    Stop deleting my comments…

     

    This is the second time, including a comment I made on bullying and sexual violence, that a comment of mine has been deleted. Please stop doing that.

    Thank you.

     

  • beth-saunders

    We apologize – please see this post for more information about technical issues we experienced today.

  • progo35

    Okay, thanks for explaining.

  • progo35

    What I wrote was that evangelicals, along with many Christians, feel that contraceptive use is preferable to sex without it, although abstinence is Biblically prescribed. And, yes, all the Christians I know believe that if God really wants a conception to occur, it will, regardless of contraceptives used. @Crowepps- Abortion is not the same thing because it takes the life of someone and because it stops what God has already started.

  • crowepps

    If God really wants a pregnancy to continue, it will, regardless of abortion.  Or are you saying God ISN’T all-powerful?