Vasectomy pt 2: Worms and Romans

Well, the can is open… worms are everywhere.  Ugh. Nasty  Worms… 🙂

I have my reasons for all my views, not just this issue of Vasectomy.  My views are based on intense study of scripture, and a lot have actually changed after delving in to scripture.  Am I always right?  No.  I can admit that.  But I also do not simply latch onto a view because it sounds good to me or someone told me it has to be this way.  I have to research it, I have to pray, I have to perform exegesis and study it.   For instance, when I professed my faith in the Maranatha CanRC in Surrey years ago, I was tested by the consistory (the elders) prior to the occasion.

I will never forget that day.  One of the questions was asked by Teresa’s late Opa Kuntz…”What do you believe concerning women holding office in the church?” Being me, even back then, I stated that I could not blindly accept as true something  the minister told me once in one sentence during a pre-confession class a few months ago. I grew up in a church that was not opposed to women in office and if the truth be known I did not know what I believed. I told them that I would delve into the topic and research it in its historical and biblical contexts and get back to them.  Opa Kuntz had a smile on his face (thankfully) and the rest of the consistory was looking at the minister with a kind of “what do we do” face, while the minister looked at me with a sort of amused smirk.  He certainly knew me very well. I was sweating bullets as I knew what they wanted to hear, but I would not simply say that without research. Anyway, I was granted the right to profess my faith even without presenting my findings!  So you can see where I am coming from.  Anything I post, I have researched…but I admit that I am not always right.

As far as this topic of vasectomy goes, there were a number of responses to what I wrote…well over 100.  There were those who completely agreed with me, those who were even more conservative and “archaic” than me with regard to birth control, and those who thought single men could have vasectomies…but most of you fell in the middle.

The funny thing here, and I find it funny because I intentionally did not mention it in the first post, is that out of all these responses, emails and private messages, only 2 people mentioned Romans 14.  And that was what I was looking for.   These topics set us off, because, well, they are hot button issues! Some people believe they are sins, others do not.  Much like the there is no absolute clear commandment regarding vasectomy.  I can make inferences and logical deductions and use scripture to support my view, and so can others to support their own views.  And that is why it is so hard to make a blanket statement concerning this issue of vasectomy.  Simply speaking of gray areas, or saying there is no difference between vasectomy and a condom, or that it is your choice, or we should prayerfully consider our birth control choices is fine, you can make those arguments…but in the end, as Christians we need to see scripture as the final authority in everything.  And that is where we really need to make our arguments from in a debate with another Christian.  We certainly need to consider Romans 14 in this debate.

Personally I believe that Christian men should only have a vasectomy in extreme cases where pregnancy or childbirth will be so detrimental that it would be best to prevent conception.  And when I said this, people got angry.  People got upset.  Why is that?  Why did you get so upset?  I am just a blogger for one thing, and for another I was simply giving my view of it.  What if I said Christians should not eat medium rare steaks?  That is how I eat them, but the Bible clearly states that people should not consume blood…and there is certainly blood in a medium rare steak.  Am I sinning?  No.  Not according to Romans 14.

Sadly we as emotional creatures get upset when we have a belief that is comfortably resting in its enclosure, and then along comes some guy who rattles the cage and shakes up that belief. In Romans 14 Paul tells us to be careful not to condemn other Christians who have the opposite views of us.  I have a view of vasectomy that many of you do not also hold, and some of you have condemned me for this view. But that is ok, I forgive you. 🙂 I also have to be careful not to condemn others who do not hold my view! The conclusion that we come too regarding vasectomy must be right with our conscience’s, done in fervent prayer, done according to Biblical reasoning. In everything we must seek God’s glory and the good of our neighbour. I have no right to condemn someone else for disagreeing with me on this issue and neither do you….no matter how much we think we are right.  And I am thinking that I am right 😉

I will poke the cage one more time if I may.  I do not need answers … Is fertility a gift of God?  If your answer is “yes,” then ask yourself, “How will I respond to Jesus when I face him and he asks me for an account of what I did with this gift fertility?” I would rather not say that I buried it in the dirt…but that is just me.

I am still doing research on the history of birth control in the church.  So stay tuned for that!

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”[b]

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.[c]

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  1. I learned some years ago that just because my opinion is different than someone else’s it doesn’t mean I have to convince them mine is right and theirs’ wrong…and I don’t have to apologize for mine….Diane

  2. doulanic says:

    Well written Ryan. You’re very right – we need to respect each other’s differences. There is no need to condemn anyone — at all times, we must remember to respond in love and gentleness, remembering that God-fearing people do make decisions prayerfully, and at the end of the day, unless it’s blatantly disregarding God’s laws and Will, it’s between them and God.

    Is fertility a gift from God? Absolutely. Along with everything else. Fertility needs to be used wisely as a gift from God, along with alcohol, food, holidays, money, work, homes, vehicles. It comes down to godly stewardship of everything God gives us to use. And ultimately? Everything belongs to God. It’s not ours. And everything is for the GLORY OF GOD.

  3. Darren says:

    I’ve always believed that you cannot talk about Romans 14 without also discussing other passages such as:

    Galatians 6:1-10: “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5 for each one should carry his own load.
    6 Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.
    7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature[a] will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers”

    We must certainly be respectful and understand not everyone will agree with our own view. However, we are also called to ‘restore him (each other) gently’ and to ensure we do not sow to please our own nature, but to please the Spirit. Sometimes this means we may need to condemn a brother (or sister), and we must keep each other accountable.
    Romans 14 can, and has, been used to excuse our actions, and must be kept in context with the whole gospel.

    • Darren, I agree with what you have said here. I also agree that this has been taken out of context on many an occasion, just like a lot of other passages. What we need to remember is that we have been set free in Christ. However in our freedom we may not sin. We are free to choose within the bounds of his holy law. Things that are not explicitly stated or implied in his law are those things which we must apply Romans 14 to. If someone has been caught in a pornpgraphy addiction for instance, we can not apply Romans 14. The porn addict cannot say it is not a sin for him, that he is stronger in the faith than we are. While there is no command that we are not to watch pornography, it can be deduced from what Jesus told us about adultery and lust. When it comes to vasectomy, I am convinced in my own mind about it, and I believe that the bible gives enough evidence to support my view…but some pastors, elders and other laypeople disagree with me, and they are able to support their view with scripture as well. It is in these cases that we must apply Romans 14…

  4. James Kanis says:

    Luther was huge on Christian freedom. It’s what the Church was freed from in the Reformation. I once heard someone say, “If it’s commanded in the Bible, do it. If it’s condemned in the Bible, don’t do it. Everything else falls in the realm of Christian liberty.”

  5. Garrett says:

    I believe that we are called to Worship our Lord in the way that He set out, I believe we are also called to live the way He has commanded, I also believe that we are to use what he has given us to His glory and honour. I do not believe we have been given Christian freedom to make our life more comfortable or to use it as an excuse behind selfishness or laziness. After reading this post and comments a red flag was raised in my mind……how close are we getting to a relativism in our Christianity? The scripture does speak about things, sometimes we have to search the scriptures more deeply to find the guide in regards to certain things, but the answer is there. God has the ultimate say in all matters not our Christian liberty. Be very careful brothers and sisters in Christ, if we start using this for some very important issues such as birth control, or how we worship or honour the LORDs day we will be seeing more and more denominations coming up showing the world that the Christian family is very divided, not unified in Love. We are not called to look for loop holes we are called to live for HIS glory!!!
    Just a friendly caution,
    and if you are wondering, yes I am one of those who were even more conservative and “archaic” than Ryan

    • Garrett, yes you are one of those “more conservative and archaic”…but really we do not disagree very much at all. With seemingly the entire christian world against what I have to say on this topic, I had to wonder if perhaps this is a Romans 14 issue, which is the only thing I can think of, unless I am right and 98% of the christian world is wrong…but I am not Martin Luther am I? Although with what I am discovering in my study and research on the reasons behind this paradigm shift in family values, family panning and so on, I wonder how far more archaic I might be than you once I am done the series on Birth control and the church. Perhaps when I am done this series I may even be nailing my theses to our church doors…In all things…Soli Deo Gloria

      • Garrett says:

        I think that we have to be careful as what we put in the Romans 14 category. And one key thing to keep in mind is what you have often said and even just now repeated Soli Deo Gloria. We have to ask ourselves if our choices are glorifying to God, and if we are honest with ourselves the answer a lot of times would be no. As we understand the scriptures more and more as the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom, we must conform more to the will of God. As Paul said be imitators of me even as I am of Christ.
        As for the 98% keep in mind only 70 years ago they would have all been viewed as wrong! Has God changed, has the Scriptures changed – NO! `the same yesterday and today and forever`!

  6. Blake Law says:

    Here’s a deduction from Scripture: Jesus healed a man with a withered hand (Mark 3, Matthew 11, Luke 6). Jesus looked upon a man with a non-working appendage and made it whole. It would seem to me that a vasectomy entails taking a perfectly working, healthy system of the male body and ruining it. It is precisely the opposite of Christ’s example and that alone should be enough to teach the Christian man that such a procedure is the invention of demons.