Friday, September 21, 2012

Discussion with a Romanist on contraception

As an admin at the Abolish Human Abortion Facebook page, I have access to the various PMs people send to the page. A Roman Catholic reader wrote in last week and I figured I'd pick up the conversation.

RC David:
Hi, just wondering if you guys are consistently prolife on the issue of artificial contraception?

May I ask you to specify what you are getting at?
Here is an article that will answer at least part of your question.

This too:

I'll be happy to answer any more specific questions you have.

A//A Admin

RC David:
I meant to ask if you opposed artificial contraception or not. Are things like condoms and the contraceptive pill ok? Is it ok to separate the unitive part of sex from the genitive?

Oh, OK. Thanks for specifying.

Here, I forgot this was also part of our FAQ:

Let me know if that is not clear enough.

AHA Admin

RC David:
Clear enough thanks. I think that perhaps a change in policy might be a good idea.

Oh? We welcome any suggestions. Can't guarantee that we'll accept it, but we will certainly take it under consideration.


RC David:
Pope Paul VI in 1968 wrote a letter called "Humanae Vitae" that made a few predictions, including the rise of abortion. It's worth a read for folks interested in the issue. Pope John Paul II spoke at length too, but he was a lot (A LOT!!!) more verbose about the same issues and the links between poor anthropology and contraception and abortion.

Yes, I am familiar with Humanæ Vitæ. Trying to make a necessary connection between a culture that thinks condoms are OK and a culture that thinks it's OK to murder babies has never made a lot of sense to me. The Bible never makes that connection.


RC David:
How do you read Gen 38:10?
Make that verses 8-10

The important part of the passage I've put between **

8Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” 9Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground **in order not to give offspring to his brother**. 10But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD; so He took his life also.

It displeased God because Onan didn't want to fulfill his obligation to his brother. He performed the external duty (Judah had told him to lie with his brother's wife) but didn't fulfill his actual responsibility.

RC David:
Does it matter that no mention is made of this bring a law is found in Scripture and its first mention comes much later (and then the only punishment is a social disgrace, and nothing capital or corporal)?
I think it is important not to want to read into a passage things that aren't there.
Onan contracepts and this displeased God.
That is there.
It's what he does (not what he doesn't) do that the passage says is bad.

God is certainly free to carry out the death penalty on anyone He chooses. Perhaps He wanted to make a really obvious example of the first violator of this law about bro-in-law offspring.

Where is contraception mentioned? It doesn't even say that he performed coitus. He may simply have done it himself in a way of mocking his sister in law.

RC David:
And masturbation isn't contraceptive???
However you cut it, there was a sex act artificially closed to life.
Have you considered the other sexual sins of the bible? They all have 2 things in common.....
The act is contraceptive and/or the act robs the spouse of some due dignity.
Eg bestiality: no life
Adultery: cheats on spouse
Necromancy: no life
Sex in menses: no life
Etc etc
Look at Onan in that light.

Masturbation is a different class of action, actually. It doesn't prevent conception any more than doing something like cooking does. If I'm cooking, I can't conceive a child b/c conception requires coitus. But that doesn't make it contraceptive.

But sure, I agree with that - it was a sex act artificially closed to life.

The other pattern that is explicitly and strongly laid out is that sinful sexual acts occur outside of lifelong committed marriage. The Bible says that specifically but never says anything about whether you can use a condom.

RC David:
Can a husband marry and copulate with a prepubescent girl?
No, because the union violates nature
Why? Because the nature of the act is for life
Not Genital friction

Well, hold on. No, a man can't marry and copulate with a prepubescent girl because it's against the law.
Is that law just? Yes, b/c marriage is supposed to be undertaken by people who love each other and understand the commitment. This is what the Bible says.
the Bible doesn't say anything about "violates nature".

The nature of the act is ALSO for pleasure and marital oneness. Why insist on the one factor as you are? Give me a biblical reason, not a reason that relies for its foundation on the Roman church.

RC David:
The Bible is repeat with examples of children being a blessing in marriage and barrenness being a curse. The sexual sins it condemns in all cases are either against union or against life.

I find it interesting that you don't want to know what the Church says but wriggle around what the Bible says about Onan. Calvin and Luther thought that Onan's sin was contraceptive too. It's not a "Roman opinion".

\\The Bible is repeat (sic) with examples of children being a blessing in marriage and barrenness being a curse.\\

This is true. Condoms don't make you barren, though.

\\The sexual sins it condemns in all cases are either against union or against life.\\

I'd like to see one that's against life, rather than against marriage as I mentioned.

It's not that I don't want to know what the Roman church teaches. I already know. I've studied Roman theology in some detail and talked with many, many knowledgeable Roman Catholics. It's your opinion that I "wriggle" around Onan, but you haven't demonstrated such.
Calvin and Luther were mistaken at numerous points, so it's unsurprising. The point is that the Scripture, taken by itself, leads the reader to the conclusion that Onan's sin was his unwillingness to help his brother and sis in law and fulfill his responsibility, and his desire to perform the external obedience but harbor hate in his heart.
It doesn't say anything about condom usage. That comes from Rome, not the Scripture.


RC David:
Bestiality: against life
Sodomy: against life
Necromancy: against life

Masturbation (your take of Onan): against life
How many examples did you need before you'll take God's word for it?
Interesting take onCalvin and Luther. Did I mention that all of Christendom thought the same about Onan until around the 1930s?
Be careful throwing them out. You end up necessarily defending the premise that truth cannot be known, which gives modernists an out to deny the resurrection.

All those things are against lifelong committed marriage. That's what I said earlier.

\\Did I mention that all of Christendom thought the same about Onan until around the 1930s?\\

You have now.
Why would that be an important matter to mention?
How do you know "all of Christendom" thought that? Do you have some sort of survey data?

RC David:
Bestiality is against a lifelong commitment to marriage???
Look at any old commentary
How is a single 20 something who commits bestiality sinning against a lifelong commitment to marriage?
He isn't. He's sinning agains nature, because God ordained sex for life.
That's what makes it a sin.

\\Bestiality is against a lifelong commitment to marriage?\\

Sure! It's a sex act not with one's spouse.

\\How is a single 20 something who commits bestiality sinning against a lifelong commitment to marriage?\\

I think you might have missed the point - I was saying that the Bible explicitly says that sex acts outside marriage are sinful. Sex with animals would be a sex act outside marriage.

\\God ordained sex for life.\\

But you have merely asserted this, not demonstrated it.
Rather, God ordained sex for life/reproduction, yes, and also marital pleasure, intimacy, and oneness.
It is far more accurate to say that God ordained sex for *marriage*, but that wouldn't go along with the conclusion that you're committed to defend because you care more about what the Roman church says than what the Bible says.


RC David:
You can stop the ad hominem whenever you are ready. I'll ignore them in the mean time.
I haven't denied that God ordained sex for unity. You would know that I defend this position because you told me you are familiar with Humanae Vitae and that you have studied Catholic theology. Are you hoping I hadn't? Or was your study only cursory?
The Catholic (and hence Biblical) position is that sex is both (and simultaneously) unitive and genitive.
Unitive sex cannot be selfish (see your pal Onan again). It must be a true and full self giving. That is why God describes our union with Him I'm heaven as a marriage.
Go wont hold anything of Himself back in heaven. Marriage is not meant to hold anything bak here.
That means we give each other all of us: including our fertility. (again, see your pal Onan).
Separating the unitive fro the genitive is the basis for all sexual sin and the doorway to the selfish sin of abortion

I don't think you know what "ad hominem" means. You need to repent for your allegiance to the Roman church over Jesus.
Now, saying "your pal Onan" - that's just foolish talk. You're clearly too emotional - again I see your love for Romanism over any love for Jesus - to deal with this topic rationally. I'm done.



RC David:
Ad = against
Hominem = the man

In cricket we say you played the man, not the ball. In this discussion, you tried to criticise me, not my argument.

While you're on getting folks to repent, you may wish to repent from your allegiance to the man made anti-biblical doctrine of sola scriptura.

I'm not done. I will be here for as long as you need help.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Answering attacks - Bringers of the Light, Part 2

Continuing with Bringers of the Light from last time:

10. BotL contends:
God cannot be used to justify your arguments unless you either a) prove conclusively without a shadow of a doubt that God exists
OK, well, proving conclusively without a reasonable doubt has been done.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt? Proof is not the same as persuasion, and in fact the Bible tells us not merely to prepare for, but to expect, wide unbelief in the God of the Bible. So if you're looking for an explanation as to why so many people don't believe in the God of the Bible, the Bible's own explanation (ie, humanity is sinful and rebellious, suppressing the truth and their knowledge that God exists, in unrighteousness) certainly accounts for all the facts.

admit that your viewpoint is based purely on your religious convictions and not facts as you so often claim..."I believe abortion is wrong because I believe in God's divine plan" is not even remotely close to "I believe abortion is wrong because the facts say so"
a) This has already been addressed here and here.
b) BotL needs to argue, not assert, that the facts are not indeed on our side.
c) The facts are expressly laid out in Scripture, since BotL asked. There is literally no higher standard of truth, no more reliable witness, no more trustworthy informant, than the omniscient God Who never lies. Anything He says is the most certain of fact. And He has said that He brings good out of evil of all kinds. It doesn't matter whether BotL believes it.
d) The facts of the matter are actually pretty plain. When one male and one female mammal engage in conjugal relations, any life form that results is always the exact same species and is always just that - a life form. It is not a rock, nor a liquid, nor a computer screen. Not all products of conceptions are viable - ie, not all will go on to be born or survive delivery - but when two humans engage in conjugal relations, a human baby is the result of any conception.
The question to be debated is: What are our obligations, given this fact? What ought we do? On this question, empirical data can make no statement. Convictions about morality are necessary to know how to proceed, and those depend on different kinds of supporting argumentation. BotL has not, honestly, shown that he has thought through this issue with sufficient sophistication to realise this fact.
BotL is committing a category error and would need a way to bridge the IS/OUGHT gap before saying this kind of thing.