About this Blog

After banging my head in frustration over the obsession everyone around me had with procreation, I went online to find a community of people who were more like me. I have met some fascinating people along the way, but I have also found that many in the childfree community are quite hostile toward Christianity and a Christian world view. I understand that, unfortunately, many of my Christian sisters and brothers have given them a lot of ammunition (undoubtedly, I have been guilty of this at times too). Not wanting to be perceived as "trolling" for expressing my Christian perspective on other people's forums and blogs, I use my own blog to share my musings on childfree life while at the same time expressing my faith.

My intention is to show support to childfree people, both Christian and non-Christian, but from my own Christian perspective. Questions and constructive comments are welcome; negativity and intolerance are not.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. -Matthew 5:11-12

To repeat what I say in the introduction of my blog, many of us Christians give the world ammunition to hate us. From misguided misinterpretations of the Bible (I didn’t realize until I was a senior in high school that there is NO verse in the Bible prohibiting the consumption of alcohol), to judgment and unforgiveness toward someone who sins, to angry and violent diatribes against anyone who believes differently, I have seen it all and hung my head in shame… especially in the instances where I am guilty myself. Fortunately for all of us, God’s gracious heart is big enough to accept all of us, no matter what faults we have.

And there is a certain trickiness to following God, especially when it comes to interpreting the Bible and determining how to act upon our interpretation. We try to take pieces of the Bible in their proper context and struggle with whether or not some parts of the Bible apply to modern life. On top of that, I do think that it is an important (but sticky!) business to distinguish which biblical messages are a description of the way things were versus a prescription for how things should be. (I must credit the pastor-author Paul Smith for that phrase.)

While there are many things about modern life that the writers of the Bible could not comprehend, many of us Christians believe that we should focus on relevant, consistent themes throughout the Bible ("love your neighbor", "care for the orphans", etc.) and use those themes to guide our approach to modern issues. And of course, the modern issue that seems to cause the greatest rift among the church and the childfree is reproduction and birth control.

As a Protestant, I don’t answer to the Roman Catholic church, so I completely divorce myself from any of the official Catholic teachings about reproduction and birth control. (This is not to show contempt to my Catholic sisters and brothers; it is a respectful disagreement. I acknowledge that those in service - priests, nuns, etc. - do not have children, and many Catholics do practice one form or another of family planning, but that is probably a discussion for another post.) Although there are some Protestants who range from hesitant to resistant to birth control, I would claim that as a whole - based on my own personal experiences in many churches in several parts of the world - the Protestant church does not generally have a problem with people using birth control. And when I talk about “the church,” I mean the people - not an organized body of leadership that lords over the masses or some man who gets some inflammatory work published.

I have found no prohibition of birth control in the Bible. In fact, the apostle Paul supports husbands and wives making a joint decision to refrain from sex for a specified time (I Cor. 7:5), which allows for birth control by means of abstinence. In my mind, it seems that if the Bible condones the only form of family planning that would have been available at that time, I cannot conclude that God would prohibit other forms of family planning that would be available in the future. (I would also point out that there is no verse in the Bible that specifically addresses abortion either, but I need to leave that topic alone for now.)

…behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. -Luke 10:3

The painful spot I am in is that even though my own Christian cohorts have no objection to birth control, and even though most of my own Christian cohorts have no issue with my childfree status, being around church-folk does not give me any relief from the idolatry of pronatalism. Some look down on me for disliking children. At best, many think I’m strange; at worst, some do think I’m evil.

But when I go to the childfree community, I’m not fully accepted there either. Even when comments are not directed at me personally, it is hard to bear the rants against “fundies,” “born agains,” “anti-choicers,” and “religious nuts”; the mockery of people who “found Jesus”; or the equal-opportunity critics who disparage anyone “stupid” or “primitive” or “ignorant” or “unenlightened” enough to believe in a spiritual realm. Churched or childfree, there is every bit as much judgment and intolerance against those who have the audacity to believe differently. (And this is not to say that all or even most people in the childfree community hate religion. I have just run into it more often there than elsewhere lately.)

So here I stand, one foot in each of two cultures, neither culture willing to accept the things that I find most critical in my life. And what I hold to be greatest is derided not only by people I respect and with whom I hoped to identify, but by the secular culture in general. Still, I cannot help but feel that Jesus is nearby, looking on with compassion and saying, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness of is stronger than human strength. Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God.
-I Corinthians 1:18-29


  1. I know exactly how you feel. I'm in a similar boat. I don't feel I fit in completely with the religious or those without a specific religion. I think there are many people who are between both extremes in all types of situations.

  2. Same here, which is probably why I only moderately "hang out" with either the CF or the Christian crowd.
    I was member of a very tolerant church (never gave me a hard time about having a BF vs getting married to him) but rarely attended the services because everything was overly kid-centered IMO. I moved away some months ago and didn't join a church in my new town although there's one just round the corner, because I don't want to be surrounded by families (probably large, too) again. I feel like we just don't have anything in common besides our faith, and I can totally live my faith on my own.
    As for the CF, I've often come across the idea that believers are just another kind of brainwashed people blindly following what they have been told. A bit as if "you have kids, because that's what one does" was similar to "you believe in God, because that's what one does".
    In the meantime, we CF Christians have it hard not only because we go against the social current, but also because we are afraid (until we do some research like what you're posting on this blog) that being CF is somehow going against God's will.
    (Not to mention I was born in a Catholic family but decided to follow the Protestant line of faith, exercising my *gasp* freedom of choice on that matter too)

  3. Angie & Barb, thank you so much for your support. It's great to have met people like you!