Last week a friend asked me about Catholic teaching about birth control. A Catholic had told him, “The pope doesn’t play the game so he doesn’t get to make the rules.” A new poll is out showing that (at least) 7/10 Catholics agree.
If I wanted to agree with only some of the Church’s teaching, I could have stayed in Protestant seminary and coasted as an evangelical, admiring some Catholic things while questioning the dogmas I didn’t get. Catholics believe Jesus gave the apostles the authority to define dogma for the Church and it was passed down through apostolic succession. (Read “What is the Biblical support for Apostolic Succession” for more info). Protestants don’t believe that’s the way Jesus set it up. Therefore it’s up to each Protestant pastor and domination to determine how they feel about issues like birth control, and each will say that they are simply being “Biblical” or dealing with an “open-handed issue.” (Interesting note: Protestants denominations were unanimously against birth control until 1930 when the Episcopalians allowed it in some circumstances.)
7/10 US Catholics are acting like Protestants. They’re saying, “my interpretation of scripture/’what God is like’ is better than the apostolic church.” And when you throw out the authority of the Church, then what else are you throwing out? Well, we certainly can have no confidence that the Eucharist is more than just bad wine. The implications for disagreeing with Church dogma is far, far greater than many realize.
There’s lots of good reasons for not using birth control besides employing the “The Church says it so shutup” that I just did. If you haven’t heard of Natural Family Planning, you should check it out. If you haven’t spent an hour on 1 Flesh’s site, you should.