The Fluffy Christmas Christians

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

God gives many gifts in life. At this time in the year, we seem to be even more apt to discussing what gifts we most enjoy. With Thanksgiving almost a month behind us, and Christmas getting closer and closer on the calendar, gifts seem to be on the mind.

What am I getting for my grandma? Do I have a note written for that friend? 

It wouldn't be unusual for someone to ask you, "So what did you get for Christmas?"

How might this play out in conversation?

"I got an awesome new iPhone! It's the 10s!"
"Your parents really go all out, don't they?!"

"My best friend was so sweet and picked out a perfect new necklace for me. She knows me so well!"
"That is sweet. It's so great to get practical gifts that we can use all year round!"

"Well, I don't mean to brag, but I got all new appliances! Our house has been getting so worn and old looking lately, and these new appliances just spruce everything up."
"What a worthwhile investment! Think of how much more you'll be able to entertain now."

"The kids have just been begging, so we decided to get out of our comfort zones and adopt a cute little kitten from the animal shelter!"
"Pets make such a great gift for kids; they love them to death, and have to learn some responsibility!"

"Well, this year we had an unexpected surprise. We just found out that we're expecting again!"
"WHAT. You literally already have four kids; you two really need to be responsible!"
"Haven't you heard of birth control?"
"You're getting way too old to have kids; have any more and it would just be cruel. They'll probably end up with Down's Syndrome because of your advanced maternal age!"
"You know, I have a great OBGYN... After this one is born, shoot me a text and I'll get you his number. He tied my tubes a few years back, and it's the best decision we've ever made."
"What?! Why?"
"Sweetie, your mom might not have ever had this conversation with you, but you don't have to keep having kids till every room in your house is full!"

New iPhone: wow that's literally the coolest thing I've ever seen!
Expensive appliances: so worthwhile, and great to show off!

New baby: WHAT?

I know I'm not imagining these things. People think of the latest gadgets, and appliances, and even necklaces and pets as more worth one's money and time than a living human being, created in the image of God.

I'm not condemning iPhones, appliances, necklaces, or pets; I personally have most of those. However, you have to admit that there's something very off when we are knock-your-socks-off excited for things that have no eternal value, but then flustered at the idea of another human being coming into existence.

The Problem Under the Trendy Caution Tape

"Cassidy, you're not married, you don't have an kids, and you've never been pregnant; you have no reason what so ever to be pushing inappropriate conversations like this! It's none of your business."

It's kind of funny, in a not-so-giggly kind of way, how many people (most of whom are Christians) would like to avoid me or discredit me in some way because I value even a second-old embryo as much as I value anyone else.

The Bible does not list your iPhone as a gift; of course, we know it is. Phones give us lots of opportunities to communicate, and hopefully that communication is giving us more opportunities to share Jesus.

What's bazaar is the fact that something that the Word of God does call a blessing, many see as a total burden if they don't like His timing.

Speaking in the context of a home being built and protected by the Lord, the Psalmist says it clearly: “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3).

Oh Cassidy, not that verse again!

We live in a day and age where nearly every person sees children as a choice. In other words, if it's convenient for you and your spouse at this particular time in your life--financially, emotionally, physically, health-wise, based on what your doctor says, if your mother-in-law thinks it's a good idea--then you can, if you really want to, have kids. I challenge you: walk up to someone in the grocery store this week and ask them their thoughts on kids--are they a gift or a burden? You might be surprised how many people are convinced of the latter.

Even leading Christians have adopted this mentality. I am protestant, but have often admired my Catholic friend's unflinching stand against anything that could end the life of a child in the womb. Then the other day I saw a quote from one of the leading individuals in Catholicism who said the gist of:

"Yes, we should be fruitful and multiply, but we shouldn't be multiplying like rabbits!"


Protect life, see it as valuable, but don't go all out in this whole "be fruitful and multiply" thing. That's seriously old fashioned and extreme. The Bible's an old book; realize that we've got to reinterpret sometimes.

Most solid Christians I know with any kind of protestant background would never, ever, ever say that last phrase aloud.

However, are we saying it in our hearts?

Are we saying that the Word of God is wrong if it inconveniences us?

"Cassidy, you have to look at this from a more parent-minded perspective! Every child costs a ton of money. Hospital bills, toys, a crib, insurance, formula, clothes, and many other things. Not to mention the lack of sleep, physical labor, emotional drain, the way you can damage your body in pregnancy, and the overwhelming responsibility of taking care of a living, breathing child, and for eighteen plus years! You have no idea!!"

I'm not implying for a moment that pregnancy or parenthood are easy things. From what I've heard, they are hard, and are supposed to be. Think about your life; the things that are easiest often (but not always) sanctify us the least.

If kids were easy to raise, how much do you think you would realize your desperate need for Jesus? Probably not very much in your role as a parent.

Our world is full of billboards, magazine articles, and books on how to stop more kids from coming into the world. A majority of well-meaning Christian pastors make sure to mention during pre-marital counseling, "Don't forget to talk about birth control. It's really important that you're on the same page about when you're having kids."

Does that say something about Christians of today?

I think so. Somehow, even while fully agreeing it is God who has created every life (Psalm 100:3, 139:13-16), we quietly whisper: "Don't worry, He's sovereign, so we can use birth control as much as we'd like since His purpose will prevail anyway."

Yep, God is on the throne no matter how much we refuse to bow to the Word, but I really think we should be cautious about saying we really love Jesus if we're not willing to obey everything the Word says.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions. Is He still God? Absolutely and entirely.

However, using His character as an excuse for our own lack thereof isn't very stable ground to stand on.

If you really believe God is sovereign, why do we need birth control?

If you actually believe God is the creator of every life and that He alone has the say of when a life begins and ends, why are we still using birth control in the church of today?

If you actually mean it that you love Jesus, do you love all His creations, regardless of the convenience or inconvenience to you?

If you truly believe that your God has purpose and meaning with the way He plans your love story, then how can you not believe that He also has plans and purposes in the way He builds your family?

Questions of this nature whirl around in my head often. What kind of Christians are we becoming if we believe it's irresponsible to allow God to give baby number eight, while we throw giant baby showers for a first time mom?

Feel free to disagree with me as a person (most do when it comes to this conversation). However, I challenge you. Stop saying you believe God plans and creates each life, if you don't welcome them with open arms.

Why do people see anti-birth control views as radical, ridiculous and unnecessary? This is why.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhh! Don't ask that question.

I'm saying it out in the open anyway.

If God is truly the Giver of life, who are we as human beings to stand in His way? Who am I as a human being to say in the face of my perfect God that He may not give me children unless it's in my timing and my quantity?

You probably clicked the link to this post thinking you'd read a cute article on Christmas with a few reflective thoughts. Sorry.

Yet I cannot really apologize. Lives are being ended every day. And no matter how many Christians (Christians!) tell me to shut up on this topic, I cannot. I cannot while even one more child dies at the use of a synthetic hormone, or device.

We aren't living like women of the Word if we see life as something that is for us to decide yay or nay on.

Why is it that I would speak up on something that "doesn't involve me?"

Because. I don't want to be a fluffy Christian, tossed about by whatever anyone says. "Oh they're a popular Christian with a well known ministry, and they say birth control is fine, so it must be." Might want to check your hermeneutics if you live off of that phraseology.

I have been made aware that lives are ended by birth control, thus I have a responsibility to respond and do something in light of what I know. So do you.

This Christmas, I hope you do get to unwrap some nice gifts you can use practically, but let's not forget that our God has called us to be advocates. He wants to give us His love for kids; He made sure His Word describes people as made in His image, and a gift from Him. Do I live that way?

Jesus came as a baby, vulnerable, and small. He is God; He did not have to come as a baby! He could have chosen to show up in all His splendor and glory, but instead, our Emmanuel came as an infant. God with us. God among us.

Our Prince of Peace came to us, little enough to fit into a manger. This Wonderful Counselor is also the Creator of the world, and the Giver of every life. Surely He who paints the skies and puts the wings to a thousand butterflies knows also when to give life and when not to. Do we trust and believe that?