“What If You Disagree with the Catholic Church About Birth Control?”

I have a friend who is a devout Catholic. She is torn about birth control in her marriage. Her priest has told her it is a mortal sin to use birth control. The few scripture references she was given, I had a rebuttal to, but I am looking for a way to help her through this crisis. This is really beginning to affect her marriage, since she and her husband do not want any more children. I would appreciate any guidance you could give us.

Dear ______,

Well, your friend has a choice to make. The position of the Catholic Church is that birth control is sin. There are many other people who are completely committed to the Bible and to a biblical world view who see freedom to use birth control in the context of submitting to Christ and actively seeking to know His personal will for them. (We mean here contraception, preventing an egg from being fertilized so no new human being comes into existence.)

Your friend will have to choose either the church’s position or her own conscience after spending time in prayer (and, may I suggest, fasting) about this issue. I say this very gently and respectfully: there are lots of people (my husband and I included) who no longer accept the Catholic Church’s authority, understanding that we can go directly to Christ for instruction and direction (1 Tim. 2:5). Your friend needs to ask herself if she can live with that. I suggest that’s it’s not enough to reject the church’s authority simply to pursue whatever we want and think will make us happy (been there, done that–it doesn’t work!); the only wise course of action is to pursue what will bring glory to God through our obedience to His word and Spirit.

I send this with a prayer for heavenly wisdom (James 3) for your friend, and for you as you help her walk this out.

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries