In part 1, we saw how this fallen world deserves nothing but death and dead [barren] wombs, and that God is abundantly merciful in not only withholding judgment but also in giving life to our offspring. For that reason, abortion is a rejection of God’s mercy.
THOU SHALT DRESS COOL
Not only does understanding womb in this way strengthen the pro-life case, but it also expands what we should mean when we say, “pro-life.” You see, pro-life should not simply be anti-murder, for the Christian. One is not pro-life simply because he does not want people killing other people. One is pro-life when he embraces the life that God has mercifully provided in a fruitful womb.
I have to praise Catholics for having a much fuller understanding of how God’s mercy looks in history than most Protestants. I recently went to a Catholic wedding and was impressed that embracing that life was actually part of the wedding vows. And, really, it is impossible to immerse oneself in the Bible without changing one’s perspective on fruitfulness. One is constantly confronted with the yearning of God’s people for offspring and for statements like, “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! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate” (Psalms 127:3-5).
Unfortunately, even among Christians, our culture turns things upside down and views fruitfulness as a curse. All one has to do is to bring up the Duggar family in a conversation. While I do not agree completely with their view of contraception, I see no room for criticizing people for doing exactly what God’s people are commanded to do. It is not surprising that unbelievers hate this; it means the Church is going to outnumber them. But when believers criticize the Duggars, it is like saying, “Those people are just way too honest. They value truth way too much.” These people are raising dozens of happy children to be faithful Christians, and all Evangelicals can say is, “Those kids dress weird.” When exactly did God command Christians to dress cool?
DASH THEM AGAINST THE ROCKS
Back to contraception, in my opinion it is potentially a blessing. (Although most forms of chemical contraception should not be used because many of them will make the uterus unable to sustain the egg if it happens to be fertilized, which sometimes happens, thus killing a human being.) I think there are times when wisdom needs to be used in family planning. Most importantly, because at some point pregnancy and labor may become detrimental to a woman’s health. Additionally, not all of us have the wealth or wisdom to properly raise nineteen kids like the Duggars. We still must have faith that God can provide much more than we expect, and we should definitely not let our desire for an early retirement make us reject the gift of children.
What is evil, however, is our culture’s contraceptive outlook on life. Our culture views children as a burden and, therefore, despises the mercy of God. Those who make their womb barren are choosing the curse. When God brings judgment on a people their fruitfulness as well as their offspring are destroyed. So abortion, for instance, is a self-inflicted judgment (a judgment we want others to avoid). When someone says, “God is going to judge this nation for killing the unborn,” the Biblical response is, “Yes, but the judgment has already started. What is greater judgment than your children being killed?” That sounds a little radical, but the Bible is radical. “O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed. . . . Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!” (Psalms 137:8-9). “Ephraim must lead his children out to slaughter. Give them, O LORD– what will you give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts” (Hosea 9:13-14). When a person decides they are going to not have children, they are choosing to wipe their own name off the face of the earth.
American Christians, often out of ignorance, choose to err on the side of barrenness. They do not realize that when the Duggar’s say, “Children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward” they are not just quoting a Bible verse (Psalm 127:3). They are using shorthand for a truth that runs throughout the Scriptures, which takes too long to explain to those who do not have ears to hear.
In part 3, I will discuss what exactly that truth is that Christians who embrace fruitfulness understand.