Sexual Bulimia?????? You Can’t be Serious, Dr. Sproul!!!!!!!!!

Every once and a while you get people who subscribe to your blog, and I will often go and read a few posts. This time, someone with the screenname of Julie Anne subscribed to my blog, and so, I clicked on the link to her blog. There were a few posts about the fascism of Sovereign Grace Ministries, which is still working itself out. However, I was most interested in her two posts here and here on his latest Birth Control movie, which I have written about here. She points to this Tweet by R.C. Sproul Jr.:

RC Contraception Tweet

I mean, what can you say! Contraception is like Bulimia and abortion. He goes on to defend this statement with:

Food gives pleasure & energy. The marital act gives pleasure & blessings Bulimia, birth control separate one blessing from the other

Of course, the problem with this is that the rejection of energy in food will kill the body, something God forbids, and abortion kills a child, something God forbids. However, exactly what does not having children do that God has forbidden? The two are not parallel, because, in rejecting the energy in food you are destroying the body, and in killing a live baby you are breaking the sixth commandment.

The whole of this discussion was similarly inane. Someone mentioned that even Albert Mohler, John Piper, and Mark Driscoll disagreed with him, and all he could go back to is the oft refuted argument that no one up until the 1950’s agreed with us. Well, actually, no one in the apostolic or post apostolic period even viewed it as an issue, and, as Noonan has pointed out, when you first started seeing it in church history, it is heavily influenced by Stoic thought. It is much like saying “No one ever denied the Bodily Assumption of Mary in the early church!” Yes, no one denied it, and no one taught it either. It is the same thing with birth control. It is a second century invention based on the popular Stoic philosophy of the day. Also, this is assuming that all of the church fathers expressed their views on the topic. The reality is, there are many early church fathers that have not even been translated into English yet! The fact of the matter is that the number of church fathers who address this topic are few and far in between, and when they do address it, isn’t it interesting that the Stoic worldview seems to be present.

R.C. also Tweeted this:

“Children are a gift from God” means significantly more than “Children are a gift.”

Again, I have no clue where R.C. is getting this from. As the scriptures say:

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Does R.C. seem to think that there is such a thing as a gift that does not come from God? And yet, he does not treat acquiring children in the same way he treats acquiring other gifts! Why the arbitrariness? The mere fact that children are a gift from God proves nothing, unless you are going to be consistent and say that all blessings, such as a large swimming pool must be received, and, if you don’t have one because you don’t have the time to clean it and take care of it, that must mean you don’t view a large swimming pool as a “blessing” but merely an “inconvenience!” Again, such is absurd.

The whole entire discussion was like that. One thing I have come to learn is that, when you are dealing with this movement, you have to expect to get a lot of rhetoric. Rhetoric doesn’t replace good argumentation. All of this is simply to blind people to the fact that the notion that contraception is wrong is simply exegetically indefensible. We saw that Brian Hodge had to run back to the fathers, because I don’t believe he had an exegetical leg to stand on. Now, R.C. Sproul Jr. has to do the same thing. It is amazing how the notion of Sola Scriptura gets thrown under the bus, and Roman Catholic arguments are adopted all because you want to believe something that scripture simply doesn’t teach. This is how unbiblical traditions are propagated in the church, and it is a sad thing to see people do this who claim to believe in Sola Scriptura.

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8 Responses to “Sexual Bulimia?????? You Can’t be Serious, Dr. Sproul!!!!!!!!!”

  1. Shawn Mathis Says:

    This is a good example of losing the Gospel-focus. Paul, in a stunning statement to wake the sleeping hearts of the Corinthians, declared: “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach”!

    When secondary and tertiary issues get blown out of proportion, ministers have to remember their first duty: preach the Gospel. These issues over the lesser parts of the law are a distraction. He can believe what he will about these lesser issues of applying God’s law, but his ministry should be not be characterized as a homeschooling-is-superior-and-patriarchy-will-distinguish-us-from-your-church ministry–that it is and is among many other lesser lights of the church is a sad commentary.

    I am of Sproul Jr.! I am of Scott Brown! I am a homeschooler! I am a patriarchist! I thank God I baptized none of you. Christ did not call me to harp on applications of God’s law while the vast Gospel ignorance of the church multiplies each generation.

    Gorging on minute application of God’s law and spewing it upon the church is not healthy. The Law is important but all law and little Gospel makes Johnny bulimic.

  2. Julie Anne Says:

    Thanks for linking back to my articles. I appreciate what you are doing to expose this ridiculous theology that I believe can be spiritually abusive. Sproul is a pastor – imagine being a woman in his congregation who required hormonal birth control for other medical reasons. Imagine being someone who has suffered with Bulimia. There’s no love or grace in that comment. It was intended to be divisive.

    My daughter (age 26) actually engaged him in the Twitter conversation for the rest of the weekend. He failed to stay on the subject and she attempted to steer him back. He eventually stopped tweeting and sent her a note with his private e-mail address inviting her continue the debate off-line. As her mother, I find it odd that a pastor would want to discuss birth control privately with a single 26-yr old woman. But then again, he was losing the debate publicly.

  3. otrmin Says:

    Shawn,

    No doubt. One of the things that I have often said about this movement is not that they have the wrong idea. I do believe that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God, and I do believe that God’s law should be taken seriously in the development of our ethics. The problem is the oversimplifications of these folks. For example, the reason why man doesn’t have dominion today is not because he needs to have twenty children so he can take dominion; the reason we don’t have dominion today is because we are sinners. We need the gospel to continue transforming hearts and minds, and as the gospel does that more and more in our society, we take back the dominion that we could not have after the fall.

    As you study the Torah, that is one of the interesting things that keep coming up-how the Torah relates to the gospel. The outward ceremonial realities are meant to reflect an internal transformation of the heart. You simply can’t divorce the two. That is what I think the scriptures mean when they say that Christ is the fulfillment of the law. Not that we don’t have to obey the law, but that Christ showed us what that obedience looked like, and gives us his gospel which transforms our hearts so that we desire to do what is right. Simply having children cannot change their heart, nor even the hearts of most of the children that you have. It requires a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.

  4. otrmin Says:

    Julie Anne,

    That is the problem. Making this a black and white issue is not the answer. Yes, there are many people who live lives of selfishness and greed, and not having children is part of that. However, it is the selfishness and greed that is the issue, not the not having of children. As pastor Mathis said, the only solution to the problem of greed and selfishness is the gospel, not making up some rule that not having children is wrong, and then reading it back into the text of scripture.

    First of all, if people didn’t murder the children they have, we wouldn’t be in the fertility crisis we are in. However, if people also looked for ways in which they could serve God and others, they would see that the church *does* have a need for people to serve him by having and raising covenant children, and would do the deep searching necessary to see if that is where God is calling them. The only way they are going to do that is if they have a change of heart.

    That can account for people who have medical issues [they are using contraception to preserve human life, and to serve God in some other way], as well as account for the person who goes to a homeless shelter with his wife after work every day, and ministers to the people there for four hours, making dinner, and sharing the gospel. If they put their time and money into that homeless shelter, and into God and his work, then they still have an eye that is directed towards service to God and to others. Yet, it can also point out that it is wrong for people to live selfish and greedy lives, part of which is not having children.

    To make this issue black and white misses the whole point, and that is why it is so dangerous. It can produce many white washed tombs, without ever producing any true conversions.

  5. Shawn Mathis Says:

    Adam: an application perspective: consider the Larger Catechism Question 99.5:

    That what God forbids, is at no time to be done; what he commands, is always our duty; and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times.

    There is no command forbidding contraceptives. There is a command to be fruitful and multiply. Even if the command be taken as extremely as made out in these circles, it “is not to be done at all times.”

  6. Julie Anne Says:

    It doesn’t end with Sproul, unfortunately. Check this out: http://goo.gl/GF9l8 You can’t make this stuff up.

  7. otrmin Says:

    Shawn,

    As far as Genesis 1:26-28, I have actually written an exegesis on that:

    https://otrmin.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/exegesis-of-genesis-126-28/

    That was back before I learned to use unicode. The fonts I used are still available here:

    http://www.bibleworks.com/downloads/bwfonts.zip

    I have had many people view that exegesis, at least according to what my site stats say. Unfortunately, no responses to it at all. The “Be Fruitful and Multiply” mantra just continues, but the good news is that I have an exegesis I can point people back to when they try to use that verse.

    Also, you are indeed right that certain positive commands are not meant to be done all of the time. For example, no one will argue that we must observe the Sabbath day on Monday. However, there are some positive commands that we must do all of the time. “Love one another” is a clear example of this. It is an issue which would have to be argued, but I see no reason why anyone would refuse to listen to such an argument. The nature of various commands as being iterative, gnomic, or constant is something that is well known within the literature on the semantics of verbs.

  8. otrmin Says:

    Julie Anne,

    If Kevin Swanson did, indeed, make that up, then that is just wrong. Even if he believes that contraception is wrong, he should not be using falsehoods to promote his own position. If you can find what he is referring to, I would be interested in seeing it as well.

    However, again I have to come back to this lack of exegetical and hermeneutical argumentation from these folks. Could we please just go to the text, and argue from the text itself? Why all of the appeal to the church fathers? Why the citation of this alleged incident? Why not just go to the text, and let it say what it needs to say?

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