Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Legalism and Lutheranism…

Some occasional perspective is in order. I think we all need to be aware of who Confessional Lutheran Bloggers are, in general. Correct me if I’m completely off base, but it seems Confessional Lutherans are the conservative of Lutherans. And by our nature, the bloggers of the Confessional Lutherans are the nerdy and/or those with views that may, at times, seem legalistic.

This is where we eat the meat and spit out the bones. I’m rising to the blogging defense of Reb. Mary, and the other Concordian Sisters of Perpetual Partrusion . As a side note, I’ve never met any of them. My defense of them is how I perceive them, and they’ll probably correct me where I’m wrong.

People who have big families get a lot of flak, discrimination, and dare I say persecution. It starts from the liberals, you know, those who are concerned about carbon footprints and the perception that “those” people must certainly rely on government support. And, after time, those who are conservative and well meaning offer their “concern” about the wellbeing of mother and the next potential child. The proper response when you look at your neighbor in society is to exercise this ancient eastern art called nun-ja. Nun-ja business. A great deal of the CSPP blog is in response to the hate they get in society in general. And fellow Gen-Xers, who doesn’t engage in similar sounding defensive venting, and similar dry/sarcastic humor? And fellow humans, who doesn’t whine?

I personally know people who are very legalistic in their stance on contraception. Further, there are blogs and web-sites that are legalistic regarding contraception. The CSPP are *nothing* like that. I have a freak platelet disease called ITP. The scary thing for me is I generally feel perfectly fine when it acts up. I could feel absolutely wonderful and I could be dying. (Platelet count was just fine in my physical in August, by the way.) In October 2000, I was told to wait for five years of normal platelet counts that had not been sustained by drugs before getting pregnant or I could die and/or loose the baby. My friends told me that I wasn’t trusting in God because I was on oral contraception. I'm sure you all know of what they said to me and have all heard such things. God gave me modern medicine that could determine my health and make some suggestions on how to live a long happy life and have babies. I had even gone to their very legalistic church once where some guy said that he could discern whether or not women were on the pill by looking at them and he would openly confront them. Of course, he didn’t know I was on the pill because I was sitting with my friends who would *never* be tight with a woman on the pill.

One of these friends had four miscarriages in a year’s time. She was expressing her great sorrow and I listened. She and her husband were told to abstain from children until the doctor could find out and treat what was wrong, but her church was telling her to keep trying against the doctor’s suggestion. I pointed out that trying like that was like walking into a wall successively while the door is three feet away. You wouldn’t tell someone to keep walking into the wall. You trust your doctor to respect your values in such situations.

Anyway, so, the CSPP are not legalistic, and they’re pointing out, in a Gen-X-ey manner that they’re also the victims of legalism imposed by secular society and do not get the loving support they should from the church body. So, what’s the deal with always talking about not using contraception?

Here’s the overall problem. There are two issues that pastors do not touch from the pulpit: Gluttony and Contraception. Why? People take such topics the wrong way. They say, “Are you judging me?” The CSPP are talking about a taboo subject in Christian circles. It would be very uncommon to find a married woman among Boomers and younger who has not engaged in contraception of some kind. There are some issues that became prevalent with the sexual revolution that we must start to revisit.

Christians have a lot of explaining to do in the topic of Abortion. Our hands are stained with the blood of innocents. And, all too often, the most pro-life congregation rejects unwed parents who repent of their sins and vow to take responsibility with the help of the Holy Spirit. I shudder to think of youth who see the rejection faced by repentant sinners. Are we causing others to go down the path to abortion? We should all be ashamed of ourselves. When someone says, “Christians are hypocrites,” it is so easy to say, “Join the club,” instead of listening to the reason behind the statement. Everyone knows what an unwed mother’s been doing. And all too often we do not offer the grace of God to these women. And even if the father is known, we are all too often harder on the mother.

Now, with all of this, why is it wrong to discuss openly and in a loving manner contraception? If we are truly pro-life, believe that life begins at conception, and modern medicine points out that there is a chemical in The Pill that causes abortions, why can’t we specifically talk about hormonal contraception?

In Sacrament rites, I Cor. 11 is quoted, “A man ought to examine himself…” Why is it wrong for someone to hold up the mirror and talk about hormonal contraception? We cannot approach the alter and say, “God, this area in my life is closed to re-examination.” Rather, we can join the discussion, examine all of our actions in light of scripture and the confessions and approach God when we sin and say, “Father forgive me, for I have sinned.”

Am I saying the avoidance of pregnancy is always sinful? No. I’m saying it we need to re-examine all areas of our lives, and contraception is one of these areas. The CSPP are engaged in this discussion, and from the looks of it, have all had their journeys. Once you get past what obviously makes them Gen-X, enjoy their discussion. I’m sure they’re fun people and they offer love and support to those around them with Christ’s grace and mercy. We must not be caught in the trap, “Well, what do the CSPP think of me?” Who cares? We need to be concerned with our own sinful state before God and not what the CSPP think.


  • At 12:39 PM , Blogger Rebekah said...

    Wow, a person who gets it! :D

  • At 1:41 PM , Blogger Reb. Mary said...

    Liz, you sound like a pretty fun person, yourself :)

  • At 2:20 PM , Blogger Gauntlets said...

    LOL! Liz, you're alright. And right. We CSPP don't generally think of anyone not screaming for sandwiches in our kitchens. ;)

  • At 6:54 PM , Blogger Dizziness said...

    Well said. Thank you for your thoughtful post.


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