Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Birth Control, or lack thereof

I got irritated the other day. I was reading a book to my kids about Christianity coming to people in a stone age tribe, and there were some interesting, mostly wonderful, changes that started to take place. Now, as I understand it, these things took place without prompting by the westerners there as missionaries. They were simply telling them the good stories about who God is and what the Bible says. And in the process, the Danis (the tribespeople) started to do things like clean themselves, and make nicer houses for their wives, and clean up the pig droppings. In fact, they started being so much nicer to their wives, taking care of them when they were sick, living with them, that the women started getting pregnant. Great! No, because at least some of them had nursing babies who were then supposedly left without a source of nutrition.
Now here's what bugs me. You take the good news of the Creator who loves them, became one of them, died for them, rose again, to a people who had long forgotten what their ancestors knew of God, and in the middle of the fruit being born by the living Word of God in their lives, you have to go and Westernize them and try to fit them into our culture.
Even in America, many women tandem nurse - nursing through a pregnancy and feeding both the toddler and the newborn. Not only that, but if God made the body ready to receive another baby, who is to say that it's not time for another baby? Why must we impose our "children are a burden, not a blessing" mentality on these people?
The truth is that God designed our bodies perfectly. He did not make us with a flawed system that will continue to make an unwanted byproduct (children) if we follow our baser instincts and mate in a loving relationship. He made us to do what we do, perfectly. Reproduction is not an on the job hazard to be avoided and dealt with. The two are meant to go together.
How do I know? Well, for starters, if it was a system that needed alteration, then it has needed it from the beginning. And because He is a good God, He would have given us a good way to do it. And none of the ways we have to "fix" what isn't broken are really that great. The list of side effects from the chemical and surgical treatments are long, abortion has many, many issues, abstinance and barriers are not without their own problems - God made us to want each other. And for women, we are most attracted to our husbands (yes, I said husband, not partner) when we are most fertile. By design.
Secondly, He never told us how or even for that matter, to control our fertility. The closest things we come to it are - telling the Hebrews to come together after ceremonial cleansing which amounts to the most fertile time, and the story of Onan who wanted to have the fun but not make the babies and was relieved of his life for his selfishness.
Anyway, I know there are many more people who violently disagree with me than agree, and that's okay. But it's a blog, so I get to spout - I wish that we could take just the Bible and not our culture when we reach out to people who don't know God - our culture has things about it that ought not be adopted by others.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Broken Glass

This was a week with a lot of broken glass in my house. I had a lamp that was in my grandparents' house when I was little. I remember it, and remember being fascinated by it. It had a hollow amber sphere of glass that lit up. Who knew how it would shatter! There were several dishes also, and a jar of applesauce (full). And as I was cleaning up one of those messes, I was wondering - why is glass so nasty to clean up? I mean, it is everywhere. It goes around corners. It can leap tall chairs in a single bound. It seems like you can't get it up. Even when you think you got it all, you didn't.
But then some dots connected in me somewhere about pain. Pain in relationships is never simple. Breakups, desertions, betrayals, divorces, relationship wounds - they're like broken glass. They aren't simple. You don't just pick up the two neatly broken pieces. It's never that easy. There are shards and slivers lingering, hiding, waiting to make you bleed when you bump into them in the most unsuspecting way.
Broken glass is a good picture of the way that sort of thing feels, I think.