In the beginning of time, when God created the world, the world was uninhabited by man except for two persons, Adam and Eve. In order to populate the planet with people, God commanded Adam and Eve to be "fruitful and multiply" in order to fill the earth with people. It has been a long time now since that initial command was given to Adam and Eve, and the world is now filled with lots of people. Every continent of the world, except for Antartica, teems with millions of people, including even islands in the sea. Some countries have huge populations such as India and China, and in China, regulations are in place to control and prevent overpopulation, with government mandated birth control programs. The question may thus be asked, "Is population control through birth control part of the Creator plan or does it go against the Creator?" To answer such a question, we need look no further than the Bible itself and the laws of nature to find our answer.
The Creator's Birth Control Program
Many people do not realize it, but our Creator does have a birth control program to prevent overpopulation once the world becomes populated. This program is a multi-faceted program that ensures that overpopulation does not occur, and that the Earth can support all of her inhabitants. The Creator's birth and population control program from the Bible and nature consists of:
- A decreased life span for man. Man's lifespan was decreased from 900+ years to 70-120 years(Genesis 6: 3; Psalm 90: 10; Isaiah 66: 20). The shorter life span of man reduces the total number of people on the planet at any one time.
- Strict sex laws. Prohibitions against incestuous relationships (Leviticus 18), extramaritial afffairs (Leviticus 20: 10-12), and pre-maritial sex (Deuteronomy 22: 20-29), limited the number and type of homes which could legally produce children. It should be noted however that children produced outside of "legitimacy" were still entitled to legal rights, care, support, and protection by parents, under common law, as seen in the concubine relationships of ancient societies (Genesis 25: 6; 2 Chronicles 11: 21-23).
- Female infertility. Women who were naturally incapable of bearing children were called "barren" (Isaiah 54:1).
- Male infertility. Men who were unable to reproduce were called "eunuchs" (Matthew 19: 12).
- Limited fertility. A woman's natural reproductive cycle limits fertility to only a few days within the month(1). In addition, pregnancy risk is reduced in mothers who are nursing(2).
- Menopause. Women lose the ability to bear children at menopause, due to inability to ovulate(3).
- Male senile infertility. Men have reduced ability to father children in old age due to decreased numbers of viable sperm, and impotence (4).
- Abstinence. Avoiding sexual contact during periods of fasting and religious exercises (Exodus 19: 14-16; 1 Corinthians 7: 5).
- Celibacy. Abstaining from sexual relationships for religious or other reasons (Matthew 19: 12; 1 Corinthians 7: 1,7-8).
- Withdrawal or other method in which the sperm does not enter the woman to cause conception (Leviticus 15: 16-18).
Birth/population control methods in the Bible condemned by the Creator
- Child sacrifices (Leviticus 18: 21).
- Ethnic cleansings for the purpose of destroying or reducing the population of certain races or ethnic groups because there are "too many of them" (Exodus 1: 9-10).
- Infanticide/massacres (Exodus 1: 15-21).
- Refusing to reproduce in cases where reproduction is mandated (Genesis 38: 7-10).
Modern birth control methods
- Birth control pills
- Intrauterine devices
- Hormone implants
- "Morning after" pills
From the above examples, one can see that God's birth control program is a way for Him to manage the Earth's population, so that we can all benefit from the Earth's resources. The problem therefore is not that one practices birth control, as birth control is built into the very laws of God and nature, but lies with the method used. Make sure that the method you use is in keeping with the will of our Creator, and the call He has for your life. The practice of birth control is a personal, intimate decision between yourself and God, and is thus not subject to the whims and fancy, and dictates of others. He will guide you to choose a method that is humane, just, and righteous, and that does not go against His will.
(1) Tortura, Gerard, and Grabowski, Sandra Reynolds. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1993, p. 957.
(2) Ibid. p.990
(3) Lauersen, Niels M.D. and Whitney, Steven. It's Your Body: A Woman's Guide to Gynecology. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1983, p. 118.
(4) Tortura, Gerard, and Grabowski, Sandra Reynolds. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1993, p. 959.