Biblical View- is preventing a pregnancy the same as preventing a soul from existing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 10-15-2007, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's pretty much it.

Biblically speaking, if you use a condom or the pill or abstain from sex for the sole purpose of NOT getting pregnant, is that denying that would-be eternal soul a chance to exist?

So can we, as people, prevent souls from existing?

Or is that making God too small somehow?


*For the sake of this thread, please let's not get into the "God can over-ride any birth control and planning" line of thought, because that is the exception and not the rule. For the most part, birth control and abstaining work in preventing pregnancy.


I am asking this, personally, because I would like to hear other how other people of faith deal with this issue. DH and I have personally always just let nature take it's course. But now I am in a place where I would like to be more Spirit-led in this decision, instead of just doing it by the natural man alone. But that makes me a little nervous about all of the children that could have been in this home that now possibly won't be- if that makes sense.
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#2 of 17 Old 10-15-2007, 05:42 PM
 
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Are you asking Christians only/specifically?




The Jewish perspective is that the souls exist, and they come down again and again and again (Jews are into reincarnation ). So the question isn't the soul's existence; it already exists. The question is if that particular soul will come down into the baby you, in particular, are carrying.
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#3 of 17 Old 10-15-2007, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm, I *love* hearing from the Jewish perspective, since that is the roots of Christianity. (We are learning about the Biblical Holy Days and are really like everything that has to do with Judiasm! We even went to a Messianic church for a while.)

Is the reincarnation belief mentioned in the Torah, or is it oral tradition or what exactly?

That is really interesting perspective.

I guess I am asking everyone how they view what the Bible says about it, no matter what their religion. Just because I am a Christian, it wouldn't help too much to hear the Buddist view on it, yk? Then again, maybe it would be really interesting.
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#4 of 17 Old 10-15-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post
(Jews are into reincarnation )
I did not know that. Where is that in the Torah? :

(OK.....someone else asked this too. )

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#5 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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No. I think that the soul will be born when it is meant to be born. We believe that children are a blessing- you can deny yourself (not specific) the blessing or accept it. God can choose at any time to offer the blessing, or may not.

To my husband I am wife, to my kids I am mother, but for myself I am just me.
we're : with and : and
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#6 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 03:39 AM
 
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To clarify, it is basic to Judaism that the Torah cannot be understood without the explanations of the Talmud.
It's in the Talmud.
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#7 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 11:04 AM
 
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I think barrier forms of bc and charting to abstain are acceptable, but personally, I am against all other forms. Barrier methods prevent the egg from ever being fertilized.... so there is never a baby. However, with the pill and IUD, the egg can still be fertilized.... I consider the moment of concepetion the beginning of life. Since the pill and IUDs can "prevent pregnancy" by not letting the embryo implant, I'm agaist using them. I feel at the moment of conception a baby does exsist and has been given a soul.

Psalm 139:13-16 and He knew us even in the womb Jeremiah 1:5

Like you said, if God wills there to be a baby, there will be a baby. So no amount of careful planning will prevent a baby from being concieved. However, I feel in the case of abortion, women do choose to go against God's will and not recieve the baby. (Please don't flame me, this is just how I see it.)
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#8 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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It is my understanding that the soul is not created until the baby is created - at conception when the sperm meets the egg. So, barrier methods prevent a soul/baby (usually ). As a previous person said though, hormonal methods can *sometimes* (not always) cause a fertilized egg to die because it cannot implant properly into the uterus. In this case, I do believe that you are preventing a soul from living on this earth, because the soul was created at conception, and then died because it could not implant. I do strongly believe that Christians should pray about and seek God's will before planning their family size on their own. Just my two cents
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#9 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 07:23 PM
 
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For me personally, I wouldn't use any form of birth control that would prevent a n egg from being implanted. I did use the pill and the morning after pill before, but that was before I knew that they actually prevented an fertilized egg from implanting. Right now, I'm just not comfortable with that. FWIW, I do believe that life begins at conception, as the Bible does say they He knew us even in the womb.

For other Christians, I wouldn't want to tell them what to do, nor should anyone. Each one should go before the Lord concerning their plans for their family. I think it's okay for others to give advice on birth control and religious issues, but it's never okay to flat out tell someone what to do or shun or demean them because of their choices, as some churches do.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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#10 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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I don't think it prevents it from existing... maybe from incarnating? After all, people in the Bible kept saying John the Baptist (or was it Jesus they said it about?) was Elijah...that's reincarnation.
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#11 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 07:28 PM
 
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No, I don't believe it does.
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#12 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 07:28 PM
 
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That's interesting. I believe it's an idea more abstract than humans can understand. How's that for a nonanswer?

Personally, my husband and I have been convicted not to prevent pregnancy under normal circumstances. In abnormal circumstances, like we had a very sick child in the NICU and my fertility returned early because it was not breastfeeding, we would consider using NFP /barrier method- in that specific case, it would be to ensure my milk supply stayed adequate for the sick baby. But as a rule we don't believe in preventing pregnancy. Now. We did prevent before I got pg, but we learned a lot during that pregnancy
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#13 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting answers. Thank you.

I would just hate to prevent anyone from existing, you know?
That just feels so 'heavy.' I tend to put too much pressure on myself and I think I am doing it in the area too.
For me, it is really trying to be perfect vs. trusting in God's love and grace.
There can be such a Christian ideal in some circles, like HSing all ten little ones that were all born in the water and nursed for five years each, while making their own dresses and grinding their own wheat by hand and milking their own goat... but how much of that all is IN the Bible and how much of it is just man's outward ideal, yk?

I can't give a really good answer why, but I just don't think people can prevent souls from existing. I think that just somehow constains God, and He is too big for that. I think we need to follow His leading thru the Holy Spirit, whether He says yes or no. I don't think He would have given us things like fertility signals, and made a limited time a woman could get pregnant each month, if He didn't want us to have some say.

I think if DH and I only have five, like we do, we were meant from the beginning of time to only have five (as long as we are praying and trying to seek His will).

I used to think all birth control, NFP-type things included, was a sin. But I really think God showed me (that for our family now) it's not. For me, it is a real act of faith to trust Him that He is showing me this, and to actually use birth control (and act under His grace and love and freedom), than to stay where I was and not do anything to prevent a pregnancy (and act out of a sense of having to be perfect and follow all the right rules).

I think it's great to have a dozen stairstep children out of love, but not because one feels like they have to live up to some ideal, you know?

Can you tell I have some baggage here?
We were very legalistic in SO many ways, this is a big step for me.
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#14 of 17 Old 10-16-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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I guess if you believe that God creates a soul for every body (i.e., each time a baby is conceived there is a new soul created), then yes, I would say if you prevent a pregnancy or end a pregnancy you are, in fact, preventing a soul from existing. Which would then mean, in my line of reasoning, that God is *not* all-powerful (at least in this regard) because you as a human can thwart God's plan to bring a new soul into the world. That would then justify why a Christian would be anti-bc and anti-abortion because as a Christian, you want to be obedient and humble yourself to God's will not "do your own thing".

So I guess, OP, you'd have to ask yourself what you believe about souls--freshly created for each new baby or reincarnation? And then, I think you could go from there. Reincarnation, however, is not a Biblical/Christian concept so . . . I guess there's a contradiction of sorts there. I personally believe souls are immortal and so I as a human cannot cause a soul to not exist. Also, to me, a soul is energy neither created or destroyed so . . . it always exists. I'm not sure whether I believe God can destroy a soul. FWIW, I grew up as a Christian but I'm far from a Christian now re: my beliefs.

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Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#15 of 17 Old 10-18-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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For me, and FTR I am Christian and QF, I believe that each child is given a unique sole specific for that child. And that each and every child is completely and totally unique. So every child lost before birth is waiting in Heaven with Jesus, as my son Zephaniah is. I do not believe that since Zeph was lost at 4 months that his sole is waiting around for another body to fill.

So I guess, since I believe that by preventing a pregnancy I could be preventing a unique blessing from entering my life, that yes, it would be preventing a soul from existing. However, since the soul was NOT in existance it is not a loss exactly, just a loss of a thought? I don't believe the souls are just waiting around to be 'placed'. It is a totally different story if you are talking about BC that prevents AFTER conception. Because, I believe life begins at conception.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#16 of 17 Old 10-18-2007, 03:20 AM
 
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Our belief is that the soul and body are a single unit, like the right and left half of the body, so the soul is not sent to enter a new body, but a human being is soul + body. The two are only temporarily separated at death. In that case, conceiving a new human being would mean bringing about both a new body and a new soul, not providing a home for a soul already existing. Choosing not to conceive is not seen as a problem in terms of keeping someone from coming into existence. You can't do harm to someone who does not exist yet, if you see what I mean.
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#17 of 17 Old 10-19-2007, 12:41 AM
 
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No, I don't think it is.

I think that souls are eternal- that is how I view the Holy Spirit, I guess, that it's not just God that's the Alpha and the Omega, but also each unique soul that was created has been somewhere in the universe since forever.

I think you could make the argument that birth control was denying a soul a body, or an opportunity on Earth, but that is not the same thing as not existing at all, yk?

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
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