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Question and Answer

Birth Control

Question:

I am considering joining a local OPC. One of the questions I have had for awhile is what does the Bible say about birth control? What does OPC believe?

Answer:

The Bible says nothing about artificial methods for the reason that there were no artificial methods of birth control in biblical times. "Birth control" could apply to early abortion. Both the Bible and the OPC are dead opposed to abortion.

One form of birth control that should be rejected by Christians is the intra-uterine devices which dislodge a fertilized ovum. In other words, a mere ovum or sperm is not a person. But once conception has taken place, then there exists a living person created in the image of God. It is the OPC view that the life of an unborn child requires the same protections as a child or an adult! So that the use of any device or drug that destroys a living embryo violates the sixth Commandment.

Scripture forbidding abortion is not explicitly given, but murder is forbidden; and unborn children are real people. For these, read Psalm 139:12-16, and Luke 1:39-44.

As to artificial means of preventing conception, we have no help from Scripture. Genesis 38:6-10 is cited as avoiding conception, but the reason that God struck down Onan was for his refusal to raise up seed to his brother who died without an heir. The OPC does not have a declared position on conception prevention (other than abstinence). That doesn't mean that there is no concern over the issue, but, as I said, the Bible doesn't address artificial means of conception prevention because there were none in Bible times.


About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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