Question to a Methodist Neighbor

[font=Arial]This exchange stems from a question he posed regarding just war and abortion. I think he was attempting to defend his Methodist beliefs.[/font]
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[font=Arial]My questions are in black text his replies are in blue.[/font]
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[font=Arial]I would like to point out that before 1930 every recognized Protestant denomination on earth stood against contraceptives and abortion on biblical grounds. The Anglican church of England caved in to the demands of its congregation and allowed for contraception and abortion. In just over 50 years since then, every recognized Protestant denomination on earth has flip-flopped on the subject and now allows contraception and some degree of abortion.[/font][font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]History is not the best example here. Before 1930, many Protestant denominations supported some pretty outrageous racist positions also. It is shooting fish in a barrel to be critical of what churches have done in the past; all have made regrettable errors and taken some outrageous and immoral stands, and the Catholic church that gave us the Inquisition and the Crusades and sold indulgences, dares NOT cast the first stone here![/font]

[font=Arial]I would not say that anyone has flip-flopped on anything, but would characterize it as applying Reason (yeah, fundies hate that) with the judgment, intellect, and discernment that God gave us, combined with prayerful consideration, to modern problems that didn’t exist in Old Testament times. In the time of Genesis and Exodus, it was important that God’s people should “be fruitful and multiply.” This was beneficial in a culture that was nomadic and agrarian, and where life expectancy was half what it is now. They also placed a high value on sons, for their work output. A big family could support itself better than a small one. Over-population was not a problem then, but it is a huge problem now.[/font]

[font=Arial]Over-population is a huge problem now. In our largely urban and inter-dependant culture, where we depend on trade and currency and specialization of labor, a large family is a burden to the poor, and the total population is growing faster than our ability to feed it and provide basic health services.[/font]

[font=Arial]Protestant denominations that support contraception do so because we believe God has given us the responsibility of stewardship for our planet. With current technology, we already have more people being born than we can care for, and we see it as incompatible with God’s will to breed irresponsibly and without planning.[/font]

[font=Arial]Some denominations would say that you are violating God’s will, as stated in the Bible, when you receive blood in a medical setting. You would be guilty of a heinous sin, simply because of your diabetes.[/font]

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tparsons:

Overpopulation is a myth. Poverty and famine is a function of bad governments, the US alone in it’s production capacity of food can feed an entire hemisphere. He bought into a line of thinking to justify using contraception.

As for the CC and the atrocities done by Catholics throughout history as a diversion to justify abortion and contraception is not a valid reason. The issue of its morality still remains.

Only the CC has the intestinal fortitude to protect the dignity of the marital act in its proper place and original design, all others have caved in.

You’ve done a good thing by bringging it up to him, do more research and follow up with him and tell him you’ve thought about his responses but you’re not convinced. Theology of the Body would be a good source and check out Janet Smith’s “Contraception: Why not?” the cd’s are free but I don’t know the web site. It’s so good, I suggest you find one and pass it on to him.

God bless your apostolate with your buddy.

in XT.

[quote=tparsons][font=Arial]This exchange stems from a question he posed regarding just war and abortion. I think he was attempting to defend his Methodist beliefs.[/font]
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[font=Arial]My questions are in black text his replies are in blue.[/font]
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[font=Arial]I would like to point out that before 1930 every recognized Protestant denomination on earth stood against contraceptives and abortion on biblical grounds. The Anglican church of England caved in to the demands of its congregation and allowed for contraception and abortion. In just over 50 years since then, every recognized Protestant denomination on earth has flip-flopped on the subject and now allows contraception and some degree of abortion.[/font][font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]History is not the best example here. Before 1930, many Protestant denominations supported some pretty outrageous racist positions also. It is shooting fish in a barrel to be critical of what churches have done in the past; all have made regrettable errors and taken some outrageous and immoral stands, and the Catholic church that gave us the Inquisition and the Crusades and sold indulgences, dares NOT cast the first stone here![/font]

He’s just sidestepping the real issue here. Just because people have made mistakes in the past and/or sinned doesn’t mean that they ought to toss out God’s law.

[font=Arial]I would not say that anyone has flip-flopped on anything, but would characterize it as applying Reason (yeah, fundies hate that) with the judgment, intellect, and discernment that God gave us, combined with prayerful consideration, to modern problems that didn’t exist in Old Testament times. In the time of Genesis and Exodus, it was important that God’s people should “be fruitful and multiply.” This was beneficial in a culture that was nomadic and agrarian, and where life expectancy was half what it is now. They also placed a high value on sons, for their work output. A big family could support itself better than a small one. Over-population was not a problem then, but it is a huge problem now.[/font]

[font=Arial]Over-population is a huge problem now. In our largely urban and inter-dependant culture, where we depend on trade and currency and specialization of labor, a large family is a burden to the poor, and the total population is growing faster than our ability to feed it and provide basic health services.[/font]

It doesn’t matter how big families used to be or why. Hardly a good excuse for violating God’s law. Contraception and abortion are wrong because they are intrinsically evil. Besides, the world isn’t over populated. He can’t prove that it is.

[font=Arial]Protestant denominations that support contraception do so because we believe God has given us the responsibility of stewardship for our planet. With current technology, we already have more people being born than we can care for, and we see it as incompatible with God’s will to breed irresponsibly and without planning.[/font]

Stewardship doesn’t negate doing as God has commanded us to do. As to the over popluation claims, once again, they are simply false. Make him prove his point–he won’t be able to.

[font=Arial]Some denominations would say that you are violating God’s will, as stated in the Bible, when you receive blood in a medical setting. You would be guilty of a heinous sin, simply because of your diabetes.[/font]

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Once again, totally unrelated to the topic and a mere sidestepping of the real issues. The real issue is selfishness. People want to have lots of conveniences and not have the bother of caring for more than one or two children. That is the reality of the situation here.

I think the other posters have answered your main questions well, but I would also challenge him on the Crusades and Inquisition. There’s no need to be ashamed of the Crusades, and the Inquisition looks much better when viewed objectively.

Also, the Church as a whole did not “sell” indulgences. Some individuals may have corrupted the granting of indulgences, but that does not mean that the abuses were approved by the Church as a whole.

Go to catholic.com and look up information on these topics.

In addition to all the good advice so far (yay Sherlock, you and I appear to be of the same mind re The Crusades and the Inquisition), you might gently point out to your friend that his POV is really limiting God. Imagine, the God who created the world being so “short-sighted” as to have His WRITTEN WORD only applicable to those “nomadic” people, and FAILING to foresee all the “unique” problems of THIS era. SURE. . . .

You really have to wonder at the mental gymnastics of the “modern” crowd. . .

The morality regarding the destruction of a human embryo is constant irreregardless of the constantly changing social conditions throughout history.

If it was immoral to kill an embryo back when large families were more common - it wasn’t because of the social setting. It was because it is wrong to kill human life - period.

Jesus was, at one time, a human blastocyst, a human zygote, a human embryo, a human fetus, and a human infant.
This methodist neighbor of yours was, at one time, all of these things also.
If someone gave him the chance to live - then doesn’t every human being deserve this chance as well?

Jesus chose to become all of these parts of our human condition, and we need to recognize this act in the humanity of EVERY human life - born and unborn.

As has been said before…the overpopulation claim is completely false.
Russia is trying to bribe young families into having more babies with cash and housing incentives.
Germany gives a cash reward to couples for every baby they have and supply them with a state sponsored at-home nurse for the first 2 weeks.
Italy is mulling over what incentives they will offer for couples to have more babies.
China will soon suffer for their one child only policy, as a generation of single males comes to age. These young men will find wives to be in short supply - and they are already being referred to as spoiled “little emperors” because they were raised without siblings. Meanwhile many Chinese girls who managed to escape abortion are being adopted into the US and Europe.

The world is beginning to realize there is no future without babies.

I did the math, every person in the world, if given a 2 foot by 2 foot space to stand in, can all fit in Rhode Island.

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