Friday, April 25, 2008

Children: Blessing or Curse?

When ministers ignore their duty to preach the gospel, they are inevitably swayed by the latest social trends, and the relevancy of their message caters to the lowest common denominator. Consider the following inane rant from Oliver "Buzz" Thomas:
    In the interest of preserving our planet and our species, shouldn't religious organizations be encouraging smaller families? Do our spiritual leaders need additional divine revelation to realize that our current doctrines -- which threaten to take the entire world down with us -- have become ethically and theologically questionable?

    Population growth hits hardest in the poorest nations, and as poverty increases, public health declines. I am quite certain that God is not the author of human misery, but by preaching against birth control at the same time we are preaching against abortion, it seems that we're making God out as cruel, a buffoon, or both.

    I recognize that religious organizations tend to be conservative institutions. Their continued resistance to equal rights for women and gays is a good example. A woman may be president of Harvard or speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, but in the largest religious organization on the planet, women still can't get ordained as parish priests. It's even worse for gays and lesbians.

    All this is to say that religion often comes late to the party -- sometimes kicking and screaming, as did most Southern churches on slavery and civil rights. Only this time, we can't afford it. Not when the fate of the planet might hang in the balance.

    How should people of faith respond to this gathering environmental storm?

    First, we must stop having so many children. Clergy should consider voicing the difficult truth that having more than two children during such a time is selfish. Dare we say sinful? The average American might not listen to his elected representatives, but he darn sure listens to his pastor. Every week. This will be a hard message for pastors to preach and parishioners to hear, but without it we court disaster.
Contrast that sentiment with Psalm 127:3-5: "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!" Christ himself said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:14).

Sorry, Rev. Thomas, but I cannot subscribe to your implication that children are a curse. (And yes, that is exactly what you are implying.) The world needs more children brought up "in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4), not less.


Stan said...

I have never managed to figure this out. Is that which is ethically and theologically correct determined by current social trends? Is religion (any religion, I suppose, but Christianity in particular) supposed to mold their theology and ethics to whatever is the flavor of the day? It would seem to me that if there is a God and if He had a following, they would indeed be "late to the party" ... because they aren't trying to get to the party. They're marching to a different Drummer.

I agree with you about disagreeing with Mr. Thomas and calling children a blessing rather than a curse, but I'm not at all getting the general premise that Mr. Thomas (who, according to the link, was a minister) is suggesting. Religion is determined by current events? Man's current conditions determine what God should consider right or wrong? I'm lost here.

Anonymous said...

It is not just in regard to birth control that Christians are being admonished to follow the latest buzz. Since the earth is "God's Creation" (as well as various other arguments) we are directed that the newest addition to the long, long list of concerns is environmentalism. Granted, only a fool cares nothing about a clean earth, but now we must swallow the "global warming" propaganda in Jesus' name. It seems the church is declared negligent if it's not wrapped-up in every distraction spewed from the post-modern culture.

May the church not be sidetracked by the ever-growing list of issues that pop-culture-facinated Christians mandate for it.

Bill in STL

Rachel R. said...

This doesn't even make sense from a completely secular perspective, if one knows one's facts. In the U.S., we are not reproducing at a rate sufficient to replace ourselves! Who is going to take care of the earth when there are no people left??

Honestly, though, I am perfectly content with people like this not reproducing; that just means we will outnumber them sooner.

John said...

I guess that this is the belief of those so called "pro-choice Christians." Honestly, if we believe children are a curse, why not?

John said...

I've permanently linked this site to my blog, and I've also joined the reformed web ring. Can you give me the code for the smaller web ring box?

Lee Shelton said...

John, if you view the html page source on my blog, the code for the small WebRing box can be found between the <!-- begin webring --> and <!-- end webring --> tags. Hope that helps.

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