Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Dear Paige,
Hi! My name is Betty and I'm responding to your letter on behalf of Melody who, due to her busy schedule and family responsibilities, is not able to personally respond to all the mail addressed to her. It really blesses all of us to know that God is using Melody's book to inspire people into a closer walk with Himself. Thanks so much for taking the time to share a little bit about yourself and how God is working in your life. Your words of encouragement were used by the Lord to minister back to us. We really appreciate it when people like you take the time to write and share their heart.
Regarding birth control, there is no doubt that we wholeheartedly support every Christian family to have children. It’s inconceivable to me that someone who professes Christianity would prevent having a family for totally selfish reasons. We have received many letters over the years asking about birth control and we answer each one on a personal level. Melody has sent out a letter which is still very much her opinion on the subject which I will recapitulate for you.
"This is an important issue facing Christian couples today, wondering whether God is releasing them to use some form of birth control, and if so, what method. As the Bible is unclear on the subject, we feel this is a decision each couple needs to come to individually between themselves and God, since we don't know you personally nor what the Lord is trying to work into your lives.
It seems the central issue for Christians in using birth control is whether doing so is not "trusting the Lord." We don't feel it is unscriptural or shows a lack of trust in God's sovereignty to employ a safe, non-abortive form of birth-control within a marriage. God tells us to "Be fruitful and multiply"
(Gen. 1:28) and we believe it is His will for marriage to be blessed with children in most cases. The Bible also reminds us that children are a gift from God
-- a reward, and "happy is the man who has his quiver full of them" (Psalm
127:3,5). As we can see from the great number of couples desparately eager to
adopt, there is a deep desire within most people to have a family.
However, God does not tell us in the Bible how many children we should have in our lifetime or exactly when we should have them. We believe that God in His wisdom will instruct each one of us individually in these matters, with our ultimate best in mind, as we diligently seek Him in prayer as to when we should start our family and how big it should be. It's important for you to seek the Lord and be obedient to whatever He speaks to you and your spouse as the Word tells us: "The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God... and whatever is not from faith is sin" (Rom. 14:22). Whatever your conviction, you should act on it, but it's also important to respect those whom God is leading otherwise.
If you do feel the Lord is releasing you and your spouse to use some form of birth control, we encourage you to investigate each method thoroughly to find out how it works. Some methods actually cause abortions by not allowing an already fertilized egg to implant itself in the womb. We'd like to briefly mention several methods that have that capacity.
For example the Intra-uterine Device (IUD) is a very common form of birth-control, but not many really understand how it works, or that it causes very early abortions. What it does is create a hostile environment in the woman's womb
-- an environment where it is virtually impossible for the already fertilized egg to implant itself in the wall of the uterus. In other words, the IUD does not prevent conception (pregnancy) from occurring -- it merely makes it impossible for that pregnancy to continue. The already fertilized egg, when unable to implant itself in the uterus, is flushed out with the woman's normal monthly menstrual cycle. When using an IUD, a woman could be aborting a fertilized egg every month without even being aware of it. We have always strongly opposed the use of any "morning after" pill or injection.
There has been some controversy over the safety of using birth control pills, as there is concern that the chemicals they are composed of could cause a woman to abort an already fertilized egg. We also wanted to point out a quote that's found in the literature included with almost all (perhaps all) of the pills available today: "Although the primary mechanism of action is inhibition of ovulation, alterations in the genital tract, including changes in the cervical mucus (which increases the difficulty of sperm penetration) and the endometrium (which reduces the likelihood of implantation), may also contribute to contraceptive effectiveness." The "inhibition of ovulation" is keeping your body from releasing an egg, which is the general explanation given for how the pill works. The "alterations in the...endometrium (which reduce the likelihood of implantation)" means the pill changes the lining of your uterus to actually make it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant, which is abortion in its earliest stages. The makers of the pill are acknowledging here that this may be an additional "safeguard" against pregnancy. There doesn't seem to be a way to prove or disprove whether this happens, as the embryo would be flushed out during the menstrual cycle without the woman knowing she'd aborted it.
Most doctors will assure women the pill is not abortive, but we just haven't found any evidence to support this kind of a blanket statement. It may be many are uninformed; it may also be in some cases their definitions of "abortion"
may differ from what we believe is true. From the understanding we have based on the information we've gathered, there does seem to be very real possibility that the pill (any pill) could be abortive, and for this reason we don't feel we can recommend the pill as a form of birth control.
There are other forms of birth control that do not have the possibility of being abortive, which we would encourage you to consider using, if you feel a release from the Lord to use birth control. The diaphragm and condom both seek to make fertilization impossible by physically preventing the sperm from having access to the egg. Another form of birth control is periodically abstaining from intercourse during the time the woman is particularly fertile each month. Some believe this is the "only" scriptural form of birth control available, but we do not agree with this view. The goal of preventing a pregnancy is the same, so without using a method which could abort or possibly harm the baby, we believe it is up to each couple on how to accomplish this.
As we said before, this is something you and your spouse must both take before the Lord. You need to come to a mutual agreement so you both feel a peace about your decision before God. We trust He will speak to you as you come to Him with an open heart on this matter." Again, we do not recommend the use of birth control pills in general at this time. However, we feel that the Lord is a little more flexible about other types of birth control methods as long as there is not possibility of an already fertilized egg being aborted."

I am sure that Melody has not changed her basic stand on this. If you have additional questions and comments, please feel free to let me know.
In His grip,

Betty Daffin
Last Days Ministries

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