I am a non-Catholic (non-Christian for that matter) who recently married a Catholic. I attended with my then-fiancée the natural family planning course, and was curious about the Biblical justification for the Catholic ban on contraception. Reading some of the verses cited at ScriptureCatholic.com I encountered the same justification: contraception is an act of negating God’s will. In other words, when God wills us to have children, we will have them; when God doesn’t, we won’t. We should see fit to trust God in this matter and not take the issue into our own hands, so to speak.
At the family planning session, it was also pointed out that contraception is an act of what we might call negative-faith. True faith in God precludes contraception, because it’s saying to God, “I don’t have faith that you’ll do what’s best for us.”
I may be oversimplifying the argument, but that’s what I took away from it.
When I heard this, I immediately thought, “If that is a lack of faith and a rejection of God’s will to use contraception, why do Catholics make use of medical services?” When sick, Catholics pray; Catholics ask for healing and intercession; Catholics say, “Thy will be done” — and then go to the doctor. If it’s God’s will you will be healed, you will be healed. If it is not God’s will, then you should humbly accept it as such. Further, going to the doctor is a clear lack of faith in God’s power.
Now, I’m not really advocating this — I’m playing devil’s advocate, so to speak. But I assure you all, such nonsensical arguments against the medical profession have been made. I grew up in a Protestant sect where they were made, and I know of people who died because of rejecting medical treatment (i.e., for appendicitis) because it was a lack of faith and a rejection of God’s will.
So my question is this: how can these two positions be justified? If it’s a lack of faith in God’s plans for your life to use contraception, it’s just as much a lack of faith in God’s plans in your life to make use of medical services (including medicine). If we should accept God’s will regarding the number of children in our family, shouldn’t we accept his will regarding the health of our bodies? After all, the Bible clearly states that our bodies are temples of God — our bodies are God’s possession, not ours.