Thank you for the reminder, Pastor Schuermann.
(You can read his entire article here.)
Thank you for the reminder, Pastor Schuermann.
(You can read his entire article here.)
One of the aspects of barrenness that is so awkward is the fact that the “success” of your marital relations (more modernly called your “sex life”) with your spouse is often scrutinized by those around you, either privately in their own minds, or quite publicly to your face. The joining of two fleshes into one in the bonds of holy matrimony used to be treated with such modesty and respect. No one would dare ask you whether you’re “doing it” right or if you’ve tried such-and-such a method. But the sexual revolution changed all that, and in numerous Christian publications we read that the act is a beautiful, natural part of marriage and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We should celebrate our gift of sexuality and teach the children in our Church all they need to know to be prepared for utilizing this gift. But is this what the Bible says? When we blush at the questions about what’s wrong with our reproductive organs, is that for a good reason, or are we just prudes?
Linda Bartlett, former national president of Lutherans for Life, has just published The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity, which exposes the myths that our generation, as well as our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, have been taught to believe about what children should know to be prepared for marriage, the marital act, and procreation.
Bartlett begins by giving the necessary history of how the Church, during the mid-20th century, put too much trust in “experts” instead of the inspired Word of God and willingly traded in our biblical understanding of manhood, womanhood, procreation, parenting, and purity for a more “scientific” approach to teaching children about the intimacies of marriage. Falsified, inaccurate, and even perverted studies on the “sexuality” of the human male and female conducted by Alfred Kinsey were presented to universities, medical associations, and church bodies as facts which could not be ignored by enlightened academics. Christianized versions of the sexual revolution’s message were then (and still are) passed down to schools and parents to share with children.
Are just what are some of these myths?
The Church was naive in its promotion of sex education in the parochial schools, Bartlett points out, but not malicious. We were deceived into believing that we are “sexual from birth,” and this brainwashing had the complete opposite effect on our Church members as what was intended. It cleared the way for the acceptance of fornication, homosexuality, birth control, and even abortion as a normal part of life for those who are simply expressing their sexuality – being who they thought they were created to be.
But that’s not how we were created, Bartlett reminds us. The solution to the mess we are in now is our Baptism. This is where we received our true identities as children of the Heavenly Father, not sexual beings created to express our sexuality, but holy beings, created to live holy (not sexual) lives. “It is important,” Bartlett says, “for the Body of Christ to see each member as fully human as opposed to sexual and, therefore, an instrument for God’s purpose and glory whether a child or adult, single or married, in this circumstance or that,” (pg. 108).
Because Bartlett presents such shocking evidence of our deception, she presents her case in the form of a patient dialogue between herself and her readers, including over 100 questions and then answering almost every objection one could think of to the notion that there is anything wrong with the way the Church has been educating her children. Her love and concern for her Church family flow through each section as she gently reminds us all that, “Even well-intentioned sex education in the Church leans the wrong way if built on the wrong foundation,” (pg. 129).
If you have children, if you teach children, if you are related to children, or if you once were a child, this book is for you.
Case in point, religion according to Lady Gaga instructs us to embrace and celebrate people as they are today – to tolerate and accept their feelings and actions – because they’re simply born that way. “I’m beautiful in my own way,” she sings. “I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way. Don’t hide yourself in regret. Just love yourself, and you’re set.” She expounds, “Oh, there ain’t no other way.”
If this were true, then a government which loves its citizens would provide a hotel room rather than a jail cell for the man in his forties who desires to bed preteen girls. After all, he was simply born that way.
If everyone is “on the right track, baby,” then we would not limit abortion to just babies in the womb. We would cease such unloving discrimination by age and, instead, allow adults to abort other adults who don’t fit into their own life plan.
If “loving yourself” is all that’s required to be set in life, then paying taxes to support the livelihood of policemen and firemen and soldiers and other civil servants would be bogus.
If we are to avoid hiding ourselves “in regret” for our in-born passions, then racists and terrorists and sociopaths should be hired to run our daycare facilities, schools, and businesses.
If “there ain’t no other way” than loving yourself, then parents should not be bothered with loving and protecting their children. They should create as many embryos through IVF as they want and do with them whatever they want. The important thing is to see their own desires answered and their own dreams fulfilled, not those of their kids.
Lady Gaga, in her effort to trumpet and memorialize and idolize the very passions with which we are all born, endorses the very opposite of love, for true love doesn’t tolerate and accept and serve the self. True love denies the self and its passions and dies for the good of their children.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13 [ESV]).”
Sometimes, the greatest act of love we barren mothers can perform for our children is to suffer the absence of them rather than create them to die.
“Fecundiphobia: The Growing Fear of Children and Fertile Women” by Mollie Hemingway
“…the fact is that, as far as the media are concerned, abortion is a sacrament. And keeping the womb empty at all costs during all, or nearly all, of one’s fertile years is the sine qua non of modern American womanhood. Woe to the woman who ‘chooses’ otherwise.”
We were greeted by this bumper sticker in Yellowstone last week.
As Pastor McGuire once said to a morning Bible class I attended in Dallas a few years ago, you can’t take these people seriously. If they were really concerned about over population, they would kill themselves.
But they don’t.
Instead, they go right on living, driving navy blue pick-up trucks, consuming natural resources, sticking non-biodegradable plastics onto their bumpers with toxic glue, urinating birth control hormones into public water sources, and stomping carbon footprints deep into the grass-green earth, all the while encouraging everyone driving behind them to contracept and abort children for the sake of
We are such a silly, selfish people.
Please, read this article by Matthew Hennessey in First Things. He holds the mirror before us all.
P.S. Whenever I highlight an article such as this one, I do not mean to add to the pain of my brothers and sisters in Christ who repent of their use of IVF or their act of abortion. Christ died for those regrets and reconciles us to the Father. I am trying to call out those who justify the creation and subsequent termination of “the least of these” as an act of compassion.
Question Submitted: Someone I know is currently in the stage of their pregnancy where she can undergo elective genetic testing and stated to me that they would consider abortion if the child is not perfect to protect the quality of life of their other children. This person does not believe in Christ. What do I do? For now I pray and hold my breath for the results of this testing.
Yes, pray! This may seem like a small thing, but it is the best possible thing to do in these situations. Scripture continually reminds us of the power of our prayers:
“The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.” Proverbs 15:29
“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working”. James 5:16
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.” 1 Peter 3:21
Pray that the Law would convict this woman of her sinful intentions and move her to accept this gift from God regardless of health or ability. Pray for the soul of this child and others like him/her, that our Lord would have mercy on them. And pray for courage and the opportunity to speak the truth in love to this woman.
She has confided in you her fears. She’s afraid of life changing dramatically, both for her born children and herself. Talk to her about this. Ask questions. Is the fear motivated by the fact that life is so very perfect and prosperous right now she can’t stand the thought of anything ruining that? Or is the excuse about not wanting to disrupt her other children’s lives just a front for her real fears? Is there other stress in her life that makes her feel that she couldn’t take on one more challenge? It’s an old cliche, but it’s true: People don’t care how much you know (or what you believe) until they know how much you care. Show her your sincere concern about her family and all her children and she just might be willing to listen to what you have to say.
The fact that Christ is missing from her life explains her way of thinking right now. If I had no certainty of eternal peace after death, and I believed that this world was all there was, I’d run from any sort of hardship (or in this case, even the possibility of hardship), too. My focus would be on living the easy life now, the life focused on me and those closest to me and making sure that we were happy as much as possible. Consider her viewpoint when talking to her.
The answer to how to approach non-Christian friends about abortion was addressed in a previous post, and the same suggestions would apply here. Ask this woman some straightforward questions. What is it that she is carrying in her womb? Does she not see this unborn child as one of her children already? If one of her born children was suddenly disabled would she want to end his/her life so as not to upset their lifestyle? Does someone’s health or abilities change their value as a human being? If the child is perfectly fine and is born into their family and raised with love, would she be comfortable telling him/her later on that she had considered abortion? Why not?
Question Submitted: I’m happily married. My husband and I want children, but we haven’t been blessed with any. I want to take comfort in the fact that God gives and withholds the gift of children as you say, but I can’t. God gave me the gift of a child years ago before I met my husband, and I aborted it. I murdered God’s gift, and now I’m left childless. I’m barren at my own hand. I don’t deserve to be comforted.
Dear one, I don’t deserve to be comforted, either, yet God comforts me, anyway. Hear God’s comfort for you from one of His called and ordained servants of the Word:
Rev. Tony Oliphant
Both Kristi and my husband drew my attention to yesterday’s USA Today article by Kirsten Powers.
In my husband’s own words:
“I don’t know if you’ve been following the trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell (and maybe you shouldn’t because it’s really horrifying, the stuff of nightmares), but it’s truly appalling how there has been basically no reporting on it from the media. [Here] is a very good column on this (purposeful?) failure of the media in USA Today.”
Thank you, Ms. Powers, for calling out the media’s silence.
Gina Kolata of The New York Times wrote in a recent article recounting Edwards’ controversial career that, according to the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies, the “technique [of IVF] has resulted in the births of five million babies…”
Not once in her article does Ms. Kolata attempt to tally the deaths that have resulted from Edwards’ awarded technique.
If we consider Edwards’ many failed attempts in the early 1970s to bring an IVF child to full health and vitality outside of the womb; all of the failed attempts at implantation made since then by the medical community at large; all of the children discarded and killed because of their sex, chromosomal abnormalities, perceived lack of vitality, or perceived genetic flaws; all of the children selectively terminated and sacrificed for the vitality of a perceived stronger brother or sister in the womb; and our current, dismal 29.4% success rate of implantation in IVF today, the exponential number of dead children to date is hard to even fathom.
Maybe that is why Ms. Kolata, the infertility industry, the CDC, and so much of the rest of the world choose to simply ignore them.
When will we as a culture start acknowledging the death that results from IVF? Do these children who have died not also deserve our attention and respect?