[#] Rooster: Contraception (1)

Brian Mattson has a great post about the matter of the morality of contraception in his blog from a few days ago, and don't stop reading after you get through his initial comments about the Gen 38 – he answers a question put to him directly by an insightful reader about other arguments he might find compelling with excellent detail.

There is the question, however, if that's the end of the story – is that all there is to think about for married people seeking to live daily growing closer to the image of Christ. I think that Mattson makes an excellent point about there being no direct command about this in Scripture, and we are left to decide this issue inside the bounds of marriage and the bounds which Scripture provides.

The one issue Mattson does not treat in his comments is the matter of imago dei – a critical matter in understanding the foundation of how we treat other human beings. For example, it is clear in Gen 9 that the reason man ought not to murder man is that all men are in God's image. Moreover, we must consider the exhortations of Christ about marriage – underscoring the cleaving together of man and wife – and Paul's exhortation about marriage – that the wife should submit to the husband as the church submits to Christ (selflessly, sacrificially), and the husband is therefore tasked to love the wife (selflessly, sacrificially) as Christ loved the church.

In those precepts, the question seems to be "ought sex to be only for pleasure?" – but I think this is a reductive question. The matter is not merely "either procreation or pleasure" (because anyone can testify that most children are created in an act of pleasure, and God willing it is married pleasure), but does practicing sex in a manner inside marriage which intends to eliminate the procreative aspect objectify one's spouse and reduce the act to a selfish, rather than selfless, act?

This is a very complicated question because the answers that come forward at this point can very much sound like the answers the pro-abortion crowd uses for its moral calculus in talking about reproductive freedom -- and those answers are wrong. I'll leave you to think about this for the day and come back tomorrow with what I think is part of the answer for married couples seeking to do God's will in their sexual relationship.