Should Christians use birth control?

This article is from Hank Hanegraaff, The Complete Bible Answer Book—Collector’s Edition (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008)
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In light of recent advances in biotechnology it is crucial to consider the issue of birth control through the lens of a biblical worldview.

First, while there is much debate among Christians on the question of whether birth control is appropriate in any form, there is no question that birth control methods designed to destroy or prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg (i.e., embryo) should be avoided at all costs. From the moment of conception, an embryo is a living, growing person made in the image in God (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6; Exodus 20:13). Thus, the “abortion pill” (RU486) must never be used! Similarly, the “morning after pill” and oral contraceptives (i.e., the birth control pill), must not be used because they are not only designed to prevent fertilization but also to prevent uterine implantation if fertilization should occur.

Furthermore, the necessary openness to children that accompanies the sexual union serves to protect against the abuse of sex for mere self-gratification. When birth control methods are employed out of a selfish unwillingness to have children, sex can quickly degenerate into nothing more than what Oxford’s Oliver O’Donovan has aptly described as “a profound form of play.”

Finally, it is imperative that children be viewed as a blessing from above rather than a burden or blight. While birth control may be used for reasons of health or financial stewardship, birth control should never be employed out of purely selfish motives. If we consider a Cadillac more valuable than a child, our priorities are seriously skewed. Such an attitude towards the miracle of life and the blessings of parenthood pains our Father in heaven.

For further study, see Randy Alcorn, Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortion? 7th ed. (Gresham, Ore.: Eternal Perspective Ministries, 1997).


“Then little children were brought to Jesus
for him to place his hands on them and pray for them.
But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'”

Matthew 19:13-15

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