Posted on August 26th, 2013
Lutheran theology joins human sexuality to procreation. Holsten Fagerberg, in A New Look at the Lutheran Confessions (1529-1537), reflects on the Reformers’ view of the creative power of God’s Word:
God’s Word is a creative Word. When God expresses His will in the Word, something always happens. The confessional writers discovered a paradigm of this mode of operation in the Biblical account of creation. When God said (Gen. 1:11) that the earth should “put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed,” His words not only had immediate consequences, but as a further result fields bear their harvests and trees their fruit every year.
Now note how he immediately continues, and connects the Word which continues to bring forth fruit with human fruitfulness:
So also with human fertility, which is based on the mandatum of Gen. 1:28 and is permanently manifested in the attraction of the sexes to each other. What God commanded once upon a time in the moment of creation continues to be realized in the sexual instincts of men and women, in the appetitus which is the natural prerequisite of marriage.
What the contraceptive mindset has done is separate mandatum from appetitus. Human desire is disconnected with God’s purpose for that desire. Thus it is not difficult to see why our Lutheran forbears condemned contraception – and why we should too.