Advocating Abstinence and/or Contraception: Sacred Compromise or Scandalous Capitulation?

Marvelous post from Trevin Wax today.  Here’s a portion.

The idea of “both chastity and contraception” is not a “sacred compromise.” It is a scandalous capitulation to the unfettered sexual mores of 21st century American society.

This idea does not maintain the “ideal” of chastity in singleness alongside the “compromise” of contraception. Instead, it devalues the struggle to remain chaste while legitimizing sexual expression among Christian singles as something unavoidable. It trades the sumptuous feast of covenanted sexual expression for a mess of pragmatic pottage.

Let’s apply this line of reasoning to other illicit sexual activity. Imagine that survey results come in showing that one in four evangelical men admit to having extramarital flings. Young evangelicals perplexed by this state of affairs (no pun intended) gather to discuss an appropriate response:

Well, centuries of absolutism regarding marital fidelity sure haven’t stopped men from cheating on their wives! It’s a shame some of these affairs produce unwanted children. It’s also devastating when the wife and kids find out about dad’s indiscretion. We don’t want anyone plagued with guilt and shame, now do we?


Here’s an idea! Let’s maintain the ideal of marital faithfulness while offering some information to these husbands about how to do their side business a little more discreetly. Let’s educate these men (not affirm them, mind you) on using contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Let’s encourage them (not push them, of course!) to learn new ways to maximize the moments with their mistresses without causing pain and heartache for the family. 

The sense of revulsion you feel when reading this imaginary scenario is probably rooted in your God-given, biblically informed, gospel-sanctified idealism regarding the exclusive nature of the marriage bed. And as Christians who believe in the good gift of sexual expression within the beautiful confines of the marriage covenant, we ought to be repulsed by any proposal that cheapens, threatens, or denigrates that ideal.

Encouraging contraception among Christian singles is one such proposal.

Read the whole thing here.

One thought on “Advocating Abstinence and/or Contraception: Sacred Compromise or Scandalous Capitulation?

  1. I’m sorry, but I completely disagree. And I’ll give a counter example that illustrates why. God hates divorce. He doesn’t want us to divorce. But at the same time he provided a method for getting one under mosaic law. Abstinence is the true and Biblical way to stay pure and avoid unwanted pregnancy, but it is absolutely stupid to keep kids in the dark about how to avoid a life altering mistake resulting from teen pregnancy. They’re screwing up by having sex before marriage, but there’s no reason to force kids, through ignorance, to have that one screw up ruin the course of their lives.

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