Spilling the seed Gen 38


#1

I am not quite sure what forum this goes under so this sounded to me like the best. I was talking to my mother a protestant earlier today about Onan. She raised an interesting question. Are we to obey old jewish laws. The old testament I think she was saying. Is Onan's sin an example of an OT law or is it a moral law? Please enlighten me on this.


#2

[quote="billcu1, post:1, topic:311447"]
I am not quite sure what forum this goes under so this sounded to me like the best. I was talking to my mother a protestant earlier today about Onan. She raised an interesting question. Are we to obey old jewish laws. The old testament I think she was saying. Is Onan's sin an example of an OT law or is it a moral law? Please enlighten me on this.

[/quote]

This is immoral, according to the moral law. Spilling the seed, (withdrawing) is immoral because it is essentially separating the unitive act from the procreative act, by making it so that a couple enjoys the marital act without leaving the door open to God for a child.


#3

There are human laws and there's Divine Law. Christ, the Divine Legislator, told us that the Law is fulfilled through Grace. This sin is included in the original Commandments, and Grace tells us very clearly that it is something to be avoided.


#4

At the time of Onan, the only Laws were the Noahide Laws (which only prohibit murder and eating blood - see Genesis 9:3-6) and Circumcision. Since none of them impact Onan's actions, it must be Universal Moral Law.

*note: The apocryphal Book of Jubilees lists additional Naohide Laws that include a prohibition of sexual immorality. While this is possibly a basis for the prohibition in Acts 15, there is no Scriptural indication that such a law had been delivered prior to Onan's time.


#5

The Catholic Church as well as almost all protestant churches taught this as a moral law until 1930. The Episcopalians were the first to change their official stance, they stated there could be a time, inside of a marriage, when contracepting wouldn't be a sin. Somehow this idea has become a general acceptance of contraception in all circumstances. As to my knowledge, the CC and the Orthodox are the only ones still teaching that all contraception is immoral. Most protestant churches either ignore teaching about contraception or teach that we have an obligation to "be responsible", i.e. have as many kids as we can reasonably afford. Scott and Kimberly Hahn cover this subject well in "Rome Sweet Home", they call contraception what it is, not trusting God to give you what you need. I was mortified when I thought of contraception as not trusting God.

As an earlier post pointed out, contraception separates pleasure from fertility/responsibility. This is basically giving only part of myself to my spouse. Contraception is not a new issue, we have evidence of contraception as far back as the Egyptians.

"What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun." -Ecclesiastes 1:9


#6

[quote="SonCatcher, post:4, topic:311447"]
At the time of Onan, the only Laws were the Noahide Laws (which only prohibit murder and eating blood - see Genesis 9:3-6) and Circumcision. Since none of them impact Onan's actions, it must be Universal Moral Law.

*note: The apocryphal Book of Jubilees lists additional Naohide Laws that include a prohibition of sexual immorality. While this is possibly a basis for the prohibition in Acts 15, there is no Scriptural indication that such a law had been delivered prior to Onan's time.

[/quote]

Well I guess a moral law that offends god at one time will offend god at anytime. Since he doesn't change. Every religion I'm familiar with which only really excludes Islam teaches against sexual immorality out side of religious principals. I just wanted to know if this was Jewish law or not.


#7

[quote="R_C, post:3, topic:311447"]
There are human laws and there's Divine Law. Christ, the Divine Legislator, told us that the Law is fulfilled through Grace. This sin is included in the original Commandments, and Grace tells us very clearly that it is something to be avoided.

[/quote]

What do you mean by our Lord's teaching that all law is fulfilled by grace? Can you expound on that? How does Grace tell us that something is to be avoided?


#8

[quote="dshix, post:2, topic:311447"]
This is immoral, according to the moral law. Spilling the seed, (withdrawing) is immoral because it is essentially separating the unitive act from the procreative act, by making it so that a couple enjoys the marital act without leaving the door open to God for a child.

[/quote]

Doesn't NFP close the door to God for a child?


#9

[quote="billcu1, post:8, topic:311447"]
Doesn't NFP close the door to God for a child?

[/quote]

It does not. There is a very lengthy answer, but I will give a shorter one. When using NFP it is ALWAYS possible for a birth to happen, the probability is just VERY much lower. This leaves it open to God to cause the conception of a baby.


#10

[quote="billcu1, post:6, topic:311447"]
Well I guess a moral law that offends god at one time will offend god at anytime. Since he doesn't change. Every religion I'm familiar with which only really excludes Islam teaches against sexual immorality out side of religious principals. I just wanted to know if this was Jewish law or not.

[/quote]

The Law did have provisions on cleansing (due to ritual impurity) after an issuing of seed but that is not equivalent to Onan's crime nor would have he been accountable to it because that law was established hundreds of years later..


#11

[quote="SonCatcher, post:10, topic:311447"]
The Law did have provisions on cleansing (due to ritual impurity) after an issuing of seed but that is not equivalent to Onan's crime nor would have he been accountable to it because that law was established hundreds of years later..

[/quote]

I was unaware that the man's seed made someone ritually unclean, could you give me the source, please?


#12

How does grace tell us? I have no idea :slight_smile: I just know that this is how the Spirit works :shrug:

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! …] Do you not know, brothers–for I am speaking to men who know the law–that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? Therefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the law, by the body of Christ; that you may belong to another, who is risen again from the dead, that we may bring forth fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

For Christ is the end of law for righteousness to every one that believes.

if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

I am no expert and I am sure that other users can expand on this and recommend some good readings, but I believe that grace is somewhat the core of the New Covenant, and that we know we are under grace when “by our works we show our faith”, when “by the fruits you can tell the tree”.

Grace moves us to what is good, to fulfillment of the law, regardless of how imperfect or perfect may the human law be. In fact, all human law falls way short of the divine law - as we see when Christ addresses the teachers of the law or the people and makes some things lighter (ex.“the Sabbath was made for men, not men for the Sabbath”), others tougher (“you have heard “you shall not murder”, but I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother…”).

When we are under grace - merited for us by Christ and received at Baptism and restored in Reconciliation - we have a supernatural prompting to do what is proper of grace, to bring forth the good fruits of the Spirit from which grace flows, to repeat with St. Paul: “I live, or rather, Christ lives in me”. At that point, we won’t brake the law, any law, simply because any evil is contrary to grace…we could go as far as exclaiming with St. Augustine: “love, and do what you will”.


#13

[quote="Newsy, post:11, topic:311447"]
I was unaware that the man's seed made someone ritually unclean, could you give me the source, please?

[/quote]

Leviticus 15:16-18

Possibly also Deuteronomy 23:10-11.


#14

[quote="SonCatcher, post:13, topic:311447"]
Leviticus 15:16-18

Possibly also Deuteronomy 23:10-11.

[/quote]

Thanks for that:thumbsup:, I always struggle finding stuff in Leviticus. let alone remembering it!:shrug:


closed #15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.