Monday, June 22, 2009
Change We Can Believe In: Contraception and Protestantism
All major Protestant denominations before 1930 believed that using contraception was immoral, and their conclusion was based on their interpretation of Scripture Alone. (Genesis 38)
How and why did their interpretations change after 1930? What gives these Protestant denominations the authority to change the earlier and correct interpretation of this passage of Scripture?
Fact. Martin Luther's Lectures on Genesis 38 interprets the sin of Onan as equivalent to a contraceptive act, which was viewed by Luther as a disgraceful sin:
"Onan must have been a malicious and incorrigible scoundrel. This is a most disgraceful sin. It is far more atrocious than incest and adultery. We call it unchastity, yes, a Sodomitic sin. For Onan goes in to her; that is, he lies with her and copulates, and when it comes to the point of insemination, spills the semen, lest the woman conceive. Surely at such a time the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed. Accordingly, it was a most disgraceful crime to produce semen and excite the woman, and to frustrate her at that very moment."
Why do those Protestants today that hail Luther as a great Christian, and a great leader, now reject his interpretation of this passage, and now say that it does not refer to contraception at all?