Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Limit-One Comment Post

Alright - While there has been passion and vigor on many posts in the past, it has raised a question or two with me.

As this is a sensitive topic, it will be a limit-one comment post - and that comment is to be a direct reply to the question here. There will be no flaming and the like. Just a simple answer will suffice. Comments violating this will be deleted.

Here it goes.

1. If "Be fruitful and multiply" is a hard standing command that applies to all today - how can chastity and virginity (in the "remain unmarried sense") be approved by God?

2. I'm guessing the answer will be that it is only to the married. Then, the question becomes this. I know many who are upset with my take on contraception also hold to the perpetual virginity of Mary. This seems to put Mary in a bind, for then she was refusing to engage in what was God's command for the wedded. How is this reconciled?

I seriously want to know how these ideas are reconciled (i.e. - that marriage is for the production of children and that Mary was married yet, according to pious tradition, remained a virgin, thus contradicting the command to be fruitful and multiply) - and again - one comment, to this question. No one will jump you here for what you say.

(As commented below)

I would not that I am not making a trap, or a set up - I'm not going to jump up and down and say, "A ha, then you must support contraception". I myself am not going to respond to any answers that someone gives.

Rather this - I see two things can can be viewed as contradictory.

1 - The command to be fruitful and multiply with the praise of chastity. How do these two reconcile.

2 - The command for those who are to be married to be fruitful and multiply with the idea that some hold that Mary is Semper Virgo, thus not attempting to multiply even in the bonds of marriage.

I'm not going to do a "neener, neener, neener" - I am just wondering how those ideas are reconciled.

If you would like to share your ways of reconciling them, please do so.

8 comments:

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

I don't think they can be reconciled. I don't accept either premise, because you're right, "Be fruitful and multiply" is not really the First Commandment, as some have made it out to be.

If using some form of contraception is sinful because it stands in the way of this command, then it would also be sinful to, how shall we say?, fail to "try" as often as biologically possible to conceive. What's that? You were too tired last night? Sinner!

But it's not as simple as a hard standing command for all the married of child-bearing age, as you've wisely identified. I hate the way the word "legalism" is tossed around these days willy nilly, but it may apply if one sets up hard and fast laws about contraception where God has not.

Bror Erickson said...

Spot on Eric, who knew we would ever agree?
One has to wonder why Be fruitful and multiply did not make the Decalogue, we could have used in place of one of those covets.
But no, I don't think the two can be reconciled. There are plenty of good reasons for married couples to use or not use contraception. But making a command where there is none is not the Lutheran thing to do.

Anonymous said...

This document here:
http://www.ecrevolution.com/pdfs/0018curtis.pdf (this includes quotes from Luther, Chemnitz, etc. Including Chemnitz on the Ten Commandments and how this issue fits in there).

And this interview/discussion here:
http://www.issuesetc.org/podcast/168021809H1p.mp3

Here's Luther:
http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/2010/10/give-us-this-day-our-daily-bread.html

http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/2010/09/luther-on-psalm-127.html

Chuck Awesome

Anonymous said...

I do not wish to debate again but I think we need some further clarity on the issue at hand. What ideas do you want reconciled? There are multiple questions and assumptions to respond to based on the way you have worded this.

To me what you have presented runs something like: My opponents will say the answer to question 1 applies to married couples, many against birth control hold to the perpetual virginity of Mary, these arguments are incompatible (which is the answer I think you are looking to understand), therefore anyone holding to the perpetual virginity of Mary also needs to be in favor of contraception or they are being illogical. And therefore the arguments against contraception are also all illogical.

Clarity. That is what I look for with my one post.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

CAAF - Queries of clarification on the initial post don't count as your one post limit - feel free to respond.

Also, I would not that I am not making a trap, or a set up - I'm not going to jump up and down and say, "A ha, then you must support contraception". I myself am not going to respond to any answers that someone gives.

Rather this - I see two things can can be viewed as contradictory.

1 - The command to be fruitful and multiply with the praise of chastity. How do these two reconcile.

2 - The command for those who are to be married to be fruitful and multiply with the idea that some hold that Mary is Semper Virgo, thus not attempting to multiply even in the bonds of marriage.

I'm not going to do a "neener, neener, neener" - I am just wondering how those ideas are reconciled.

If you would like to share your ways of reconciling them, please do so.

Phillip said...

It's finals time and I have six of them in the next six days, so I'm going to cop out and not spend an hour writing a response. So instead, for those ready for high academic rigor, I recommend Dr. Russell Hittinger's A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory. (I'm not smart enough to do italics here like Fr. Brown does.) It deals quite a bit with contraception and argues why the old method of explaining why it is bad is far superior to the new method. Many of the comments here are working only with the new method.

Warning: It's a long read, but the last half of the book where he makes fun of bad natural law theory is hilarious.

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

FYI, my full answer, which was not allowed in this space, is at my blog: http://latifhakigaba.blogspot.com/2010/12/marriage-virginity-gods-command.html

William Weedon said...

1 Corinthians 7:37.