Friday, November 9, 2012

Having Kids is Good. Duh.

Let me reiterate something so that there is clarity.

1.  Having kids is good.  Seriously - if you have 10 and want more, God bless you.

I mean that with all sincerity.  I have no problem with people who have lots of kids and pray that you raise them to be godly.

2.  What I have a problem with is the idea that not having a ton of kids is *fundamentally* ungodly or immoral.  While there may be very selfish, evil reasons one might use birth control, I do not hold that every use would be thereby immoral.

The above should be old hat, well familiar positions to anyone who has read this blog.

Let me put forth a new contention.

3.  To encourage children, not because they are a blessing, but rather so as to ensure that we acquire political or monetary power is... not a biblical reason to enjoin people towards reproduction.  Indeed, instead of encouraging people to serve their children, it treats children as objects which we will use to our own ends.  It's backwards.

So, in conclusion - if you want to have lots of kids - may God bless you greatly!  Do not let anyone's foolish scorn dissuade you!  However, let us not treat children merely as pawns in political games.


WM Cwirla said...

Good post. I totally agree. One could say the same thing about evangelism too. We do it for love of neighbor, not so we can grow the numbers and pay the bills. Children are not a means to an end but a blessing from God who blessed our first parents in Paradise by saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

That same creative blessing that showers down upon fish and birds and all the animals as well as man continues to bless today. It is such a shame that children are seen as a burden or a means to some end.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Exactly! The self-serving evangelism projects -- the "let's get more people because the budget was tight this year" -- these are taking good, wonderful things, and striving after them for utterly selfish and wrong reasons.

Matt Cochran said...

In a representative democracy, our neighbors are served by the existence of virtuous citizens. Likewise, in a congregation, our fellow believers are served by the existence of other believers who are willing to contribute. Accordingly, having/raising children is a service to our neighbors that cannot be separated from political power and church finances.

I do see your point, and I likewise would not turn big families and no birth control into moral absolutes even if 99% of their practical use is immoral. However, I think we need to be careful about casting judgment on those who observe the connection and encourage people to act accordingly. We are not to instrumentalize others, but recognizing ourselves and others as God's means of provision is not the same as instrumentalizing. Recognizing certain mechanics of a blessing does not mean you're seeking the mechanics rather than a blessing.

Put another way, loving the way your daughter giggles doesn't mean you only love her because she's a good giggling machine. It only means you love a person rather than an abstraction.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

I cast no judgment upon anyone -- I simply warn of a trap that I could see folks falling into you. Let a man examine himself to see if this creeps into his thinking.