I know NFP has a lot of threads, but there are different angles and it only sends other threads off topic…
But I’m sorry guys, I still don’t see the difference between NFP and ABC, both are preventing pregnancies (or hoping to). Some people on other threads have made it sound like ABC turns it into “just” sex, but when an NFP instructor is almost talking about “putting it in the diary” (for non fertile times) that’s even worse! You can’t schedule sex. That definitely takes the loving relationship that is supposed to happen out of “making love” and turns it into sex.
If it really is about trusting God, then maybe NFP is wrong too? What about those people who it’s dangerous to get pregnant…they will never have children so NFP in that case is never going to be procreative? Whys this right and ABC wrong? Yes I know you should be “open” and trust in God but if it is really about Gods will, why do people who are in danger avoid pregnancy with NFP, surely God would not allow it to happen unless it’s his will? I feel as though on one hand your saying trust God, but on the other your not trusting him completely.
But I can’t see anyone recommending to a woman in danger to “trust God” and forgo NFP, ABC etc. (and nor should they!) but needless to say, by using NFP your saying sorry God I don’t trust you, I’m going to abstain from sex to make sure I don’t get pregnant.
The difference is that contraception seeks to remove the procreative nature from an act that is taking place. NFP for the purpose of avoiding seeks to abstain from an act. People who use NFP DO trust God…they trust that sex actually achieves it purpose (procreation) and so they avoid that act when they are in a situation where another child is not a good idea.
ETA: While we are indeed supposed to trust God, God also expects us to be responsible for our actions. We have been given an intellect by God, and He wants us to use it.
NFP still gives God the opportunity to create a life. Each and every sexual act should be open to life, whether or not the woman is ovulating or not.
ABC does not give God the opportunity to create life. ABC can actually and allow fertilization (conception) to occur and then the baby is unable to attach to the uterine wall and is aborted. ABC is abortifacient, NFP is not.
As for the woman whom it is dangerous to carry a pregnancy: all pregnancies are dangerous. Getting in a car and driving to work is dangerous. We are to have faith that no matter the outcome, God is in charge and His will is being served. If there is a serious medical reason for the woman not to become pregnant, then this should be discussed with a doctor and she and her husband would have to make the best decision (NFP vs abstaining) for their family.
But if God allows us to be responsible, why can’t we be responsible and use ABC…abc doesn’t say that sex doesn’t achieve it’s purpose of procreation, it just prevents it. The same way abstaining prevents it?
Because Artificial Birth Control does 2 things: It prevents the couple from being open to life, and there is also the risk of it causing a fertilized embryo to be expelled from the mother thereby killing it and causing abortion.
Because we aren’t abusing the sexual act by abstaining, yet we DO abuse it (use it contrary to its purpose) when we engage in that act while working to remove its procreative nature. Using contraception is a lie…it is telling the other person you accept ALL of them AND are open to the gift of life, yet you are simultaneously closing that act to the gift of life by seeking to remove its procreative nature.
During my last cycle we were trying to avoid the ovulation date, but by choosing to have sex, we agreed that we were open to life. I ovulated 4 days later than I thought because God had different plans. I am now pregnant with # 3. Were we surprised? Absolutely! It was un-expected. But it is also a blessing and a chance that we took every time we have sex because we realize that sex is not just about us…it’s about a sacramental commitment we made to one another of which God is a part too.
Because the couple is presenting everything in their power to present. Natural infertility cycles is God’s domain, not ours…HE made those. Contraception, on the other hand, removes something from a sex act that is taking place.
But NFP is used by people who don’t want children, the intent is to not get pregnant, therefore NFP is not open to pregnancy from an intent perspective. The lie is thinking NFP is open to procreation, when it’s used for the exact opposite! The real way to be completely open to procreation is completely naturally, no NFP, no abc etc…
Both have the same end in the case of a couple desiring to postpone or space children. The Church does not teach that this is immoral.
They are entirely different means from a moral standpoint of achieving a neutral end.
Just as obtaining money to support one’s family as an end is morally neutral, but the means you choose of (a) robbing a store or (b) working are entirely different morally.
I might also add that NFP is not an action and not a thing at all. It is information. That information can be used to make decisions about engaging in or refraining from the marital embrace, depending upon whether one is desiring to avoid or achieve pregnancy at that given time. The information is used for both types of decision making, but the decision is always whether or not to engage in marital intercourse, something we are free to do or not do at any time.
None of these things has to do with the immorality of contraception.
That is also not the basis of the immorality of contraception.
Each act of intercourse must be objectively unitive and procreative. It does not have to result in procreation. But each time you engage in the act it must be a completed, unaltered act of sexual intercourse. Contraception is wrong for the same reason masturbation, adultery, pornography, same-sex acts, and all the other sexual acts that are wrong under the sixth commandment.
Each time you come together in the act of renewing the marriage covenant, it must be as God designed it.
You can choose to come together or choose not to (abstain) but you cannot choose to alter (sterilize) that instance of intercourse.
Contraception is an action you are taking that you have no right to take. You are not the author of your sexuality, God is. God gave us the commandments. We are not to come together sexually unless we do so as he designed it-- a completed act of vaginal intercourse, unaltered by our own actions for the purpose of rendering that embrace sterile. (Note I am not saying “you” as in you the poster, I am using the 2nd person grammatically).
That is not why contraception is wrong. Athough many people say you have to be “open to life”, that is imprecise. What the Church teaches is that each act of intercourse must be ordered to unity and procreation per se.
Yes, correct, you are abstaining from the act. That is not morally wrong. I am doing that right now.
Simultaneously engaging in and mutiliating the act is wrong.
Sorry I see what you are saying, but I don’t agree with it. I would rather have planned pregnancies (I have to for medical reasons), than unexpected children. Regardless of biological processes, the intent is still to avoid children.
And there is nothing immoral with that intent if founded on objectively just reasons.
NFP isn’t a thing. NFP is information.
The action itself is the decision to engage in or not engage in the sex act. You can choose to engage or not engage. That is where the decision point is. Once you decide to engage in the act, you may not alter it.
The misunderstanding is the idea of being somehow nebulously “open to life” instead of looking at each act of intercourse. Whenever a couple using NFP come together, they have taken no action at all to alter their marital embrace. They engage fully in the act of intercourse, that is all God asks of us. If we cannot engage fully, God asks us not to use our sexual faculties at that time. God tells us it is wrong to use our sexual faculties while taking an action to alter the act.
If the intent is to 100% avoid children, then one should 100% avoid intercourse. Engaging in intercourse when you are not open to life is telling God that you are going to use the sexuality that He designed as You see fit. It is shutting Him out of your marriage which is right where you need Him the most.
Clearly this is something you are struggling with (or you would not have posted here). I would suggest praying about it, talking to your pastor or to faithful friends who are obedient to Church teachings. We all struggle with some area of the Church’s teachings, and most likely we try to reconcile them to what is convenient for us. But God never told us that it would be easy or convenient.
As 1ke pointed out in posts 12 and 14, the intent of ABSTINENCE is to avoid children (for whatever time frame). NFP is information a couple can use to either 1) engage in an act, which would naturally yield in SOME chance of conception, or 2) abstain from an act, which would naturally yield in nothing happening sexually, and therefore no chance of conception.
Say if a great chef gave you a precious recipe and instructions for making a cake because he wanted to gift you with a beautiful feast.
You then get the ingredients out but leave out the eggs or the flour or the milk when baking. You’ve gone through the process but in the end you don’t have a real cake. You’ve subverted the cake making process for convenience or taste or some other reason… and ended up with anything but a cake. Would the chef be happy with you calling that finished product His cake?
If you believed in the chefs wonderful gift and didn’t want to compromise it in any way, so decided to leave all the ingredients in the cupboard for a day when you could give your whole heart to the baking… that’s not foiling the cake making process. That’s putting it off until the time is best for an uncompromising outcome and the gift of cake that the chef wanted you to have.