"No Babies" for Liberals
Russell Moore of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has posted a very interesting commentary on liberal Protestants and their declining desires for childbearing. I find this intriguing in light of a debate I participated in on the subject over at the mainstream Baptist blog. Several folks were waxing rather ineloquently about how once again Dr. Albert Mohler had gotten something else wrong when he advised that the Bible calls for married men and women not to abstain from childbearing and/or childrearing for the sake of convenience. Despite the solid numbers Mohler presented about population growth, they still attempted to argue that there were already too many people on planet Earth to be calling all married couples to continue conceiving. It is unfortunate that one is not able to read that debate now because the author and moderator for that site under criticism from Evangelicals for his numerous scathing, reckless, and unsubstantiated claims regarding conservative Christians and Biblical truth has elected to hide all of his comments. Yes, ladies and gentlemen censorship is alive and well in liberal Christianity.
Back to the article . . . What I find most interesting about this is that only in America (and to some extent the Western world) do people have an aversion to childbearing. In every other part of the world, especially in African and Asian cultures, childbearing is not only a given, it is a rite of passage for men and women. This became glaringly obvious to me recently as I was speaking with four children from Burundi to whom I teach ESL for JCPS. The oldest girl, Sifa, asked me if I was married and I acknowledged to her that I was. She asked me in rather broken English, "Do you have babies?" When I said no, she got this sad look on her face and asked, "Teacher, no babies?" Sadly, I said back, "No, no babies." This was not only confusing for her, she thought it was downright embarrassing for me. I tried to assure her that we would soon have children, but that the timing was not right. I don't think she understood very well what I was trying to say. The rest of the day, she kept saying, "Teacher, no babies" in almost a criticizing, yet sorrowful tone. This was unprecedented to her for a man my age who is married not to have children.
All this made me reflect on that debate. For so many people around the world, children are a blessing of God and are not to be shunned or taken lightly. Barrenness in the Old and New Testaments was looked upon as cursing from God. Yet in the modern Western world, we have flipped that worldview on its head, making marriage and children curses on us. And this attitude is prevailing throughout society -- an "it's all about me" view that believes that entanglements like commitment and childbearing are things that cramp our style and keep us from doing what we really want to do. This will only lead to a society that looks so far inwardly for pleasure and gratification that it collapses as a result.
Until Christ is Formed in All of Us,