Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and Matthew Henry opposed contraception


#1

From The Bible and Birth Control by Charles Provan (a Prot., BTW).

Calvin, John (1509 - 1564); Calvinist
Commentary on Gen. 38:80-10 –
Besides, he [Onan; C.P.] not only defrauded his brother of the right due him, but also preferred his semen to putrify on the ground, rather than to beget a son in his brother’s name.
v. 10: The Jews quite immodestly gabble concerning this thing. …The voluntary spilling of semen outside of intercourse between man and woman is a monstrous thing. Deliberately to withdraw from coitus in order that semen may fall on the ground is doubly monstrous. …This impiety is especially condemned, now by the Spirit through Moses’ mouth… If any woman ejects a foetus from her womb by drugs, it is reckoned a crime incapable of expiation and deservedly Onan incurred upon himself the same kind of punishment, infecting the earth by his semen, in order that Tamar might not conceive a future human being as an inhabitant of the earth.

Henry, Matthew (1662 - 1714); Nonconformist
Commentary on Gen. 38: 1 - 11 –
Onan, though he consented to marry the widow, yet to the great abuse of his own body, of the wife that he had married, and of the memory of his brother that was gone, he refused to raise up seed unto his brother, as he was in duty bound. … Note, Those sins that dishonour the body and defile it are very displeasing to God and evidences of vile affections.

Luther, Martin (1483 - 1546); Lutheran
Commentary on Gen 38: 8 - 10 –
… the exceedingly foul deed of Onan, the basest of wretches, follows. …SO WHEN HE WENT IN TO HIS BROTHER’S WIFE, HE SPILLED THE SEMEN ON THE GROUND, LEST HE SHOULD GIVE OFFSPRING TO HIS BROTHER. 10. AND WHAT HE DID WAS DISPLEASIN IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, AND HE SLEW HIM ALSO.

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. ** … He was inflamed with the basest spite and hatred. … Consequently, he deserved to be killed by God. He committed and evil deed. Therefore God punished him. … That worthless fellow refused to exercise [love; C.P.]. He preferred polluting himself with a most disgraceful sin to raising up offspring for his brother.

Therefore Onan, unwilling to perform this obligation, spilled his seed. That was a sin far greater than adultery or incest, and it provoked God to such fierce wrath that He destroyed him immediately.

John Wesley (1703 - 1791); Methodist
Commentary on Gen. 38:7 –
The next brother Onan was, according to the ancient usag, married to the widow, to preserve the name of his deceased brother Er that died childless. This custom of marrying the brother’s widow was afterward made one of the laws of Moses, Deut. 25:5. Onan, though he consented to marry the widow, yet to the great abuse of his own body, of the wife he had married and the memory of his brother that was gone, he refused to raise up seed unto his brother. Those sins that dishonour the body are very displeasing to God, and the evidence of vile affections. Observe, the thing which he did displeased the Lord – And it is to be feared, thousands, especially of single persons, by this very thing, still displease the Lord, and destroy their own souls.


#2

they also opposed the catholic church.


#3

[quote=bengal_fan]they also opposed the catholic church.
[/quote]

Perhaps that is his point. These early Bible-believing Christian reformers, despite their other misgivings, agreed with this moral doctrine of the Church (interpreting Scripture in accord with the Catholic Church),… while most non-Catholic Christian groups today have lost sight of this moral teaching entirely (even though they profess the same Bible-only epistemology of the founders of their denominational traditions).

It is odd for Protestants to say that the Catholic teaching on contraception is wrong or unnecessary because it is not found in Scripture when the very men who founded their denominations would argue otherwise. With individual interpretation of Scripture selective adherence to the truths of the faith can become a problem.

What is a non-conformist (Henry Matthew)–I have neither heard of him nor that designation for a Christian profession.


#4

Look at link jewfaq.org/sex.htm

Even Judaism opposes contraception to a great degree.

Apparently birth control pills (but not condoms) are permitted only after “fulfilling the mitzvah to be fruitful and multiply (which, at a minimum, consists of having two children, one of each gender).”


#5

[quote=AngelicDoctor] . . .
It is odd for Protestants to say that the Catholic teaching on contraception is wrong or unnecessary because it is not found in Scripture when the very men who founded their denominations would argue otherwise. With individual interpretation of Scripture selective adherence to the truths of the faith can become a problem.
. . .QUOTE]
The Protestant Churches in Massachusetts and Connecticut outlawed the sale of contraceptives in the 19th century. Since both states had large Catholic populations in the mid 20th century the laws were always blamed on the Catholic Church, but we had nothing to do with them.

These laws were overturned [in 1950’s if I remember correctly] in Whitney vs Griswold, which was the precedent [right to Privacy] for Roe vs Wade.
[/quote]


#6

He wrote “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” and lived during the 1700’s or 1800’s in the US. I don’t know what a non-conformist is - must have been some Protestant group back then.

And, yes, most definitely part of what I’m saying is that anytime all the Protestant rebels, er… reformers agree with the Catholic church on any given issue then (and all agree with each other!!) then modern Protestants should seriously consider that the given issue might be true. … … Nah, that would impede their ability to interpret everything by their own opinion! hee, hee.


#7

which was the precedent [right to Privacy] for Roe vs Wade.

I think those were called the Comstock laws - not sure. Yeppers, they were PROTESTANT creations - not that I have a problem with the laws, BTW! But it’s a waste of time pointing this out as the fundamental idea in Protestant land is that the truth = my own interpretation of scripture regardless of what 100% of the Protestant reformers thought - yep, I know my bible better than they… and the Catholic church… and anybody else who might be able to tell me what to believe and how to act.
[/quote]


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