Today as I was scrolling through my Facebook, scanning friends posts and shares, I found an interesting article (scroll to bottom for link). While I agree with a basic premise of this article, that expecting mothers and babies should be welcomed and supported by churches and Christians, I am concerned about the misleading use of scripture in this article. For the most part it uses paraphrased interpretations of Biblical accounts to support each point, and includes scripture addresses in parentheses. I don’t mind the format, but I know that most people wouldn’t follow through to look up each scripture cited. I did, and these verses do not support the overall tone of the article, which is that single mothers and prospective mothers are automatically guilt and shame-free, and should not suffer any consequences, but should be dealt blessing at every turn. Mainly the article cites Gen. 38, Gen. 19:30-38, 2 Sam. 11:1-12:25, and Luke 1.
Genesis 38 tells the story of Tamar who, after being wronged by Judah’s sin as Judah does not fulfill his promise to give his son in marriage to her, seduces Judah and then has twins that grow up to be founding members of the tribe of Judah. In the account, there is no record of God’s people heaping blessing on Tamar. Rather, she is about to be burned until Judah finds out the facts and puts a stop to it. The Genesis account does not shy away from the issue of sin and its consequences. While Tamar is ultimately spared and Judah marries her, she is “put away” and Judah does not have a marriage relationship with her. However, nowhere does Genesis 38 say that the people who called Tamar a harlot and brought her before family authority for consequences were sinning. Now that fact does not sound nice. It doesn’t sound like something a nice Christian would do or say. But it is a standing, Biblical fact.
Gen. 19:30-38 is the account of Lot and his daughters. They have fled to the mountains and there is nobody else around, so the daughters decided to get their father drunk and then have sex with him in order to have children and carry on the family line. However, the children these daughters bore are not part of the lineage of Christ as this blog post seems to suggest, but according to scripture founded the Moabite and Ammonite tribes, who throughout the Old Testament were idolaters and enemies of God and his people. The Genesis account is pretty silent on any sin commentary in this situation, but Leviticus 18:6 is pretty clear.
2 Samuel 11-12 tells of David’s adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the fallout from it. David goes to elaborate lengths to cover up the affair and resulting pregnancy, even going so far as to have Bathsheba’s husband killed on the battlefield. In chapter 12 Nathan, God’s prophet shows up and exposes David, denouncing his sins of adultery, lying, and murder. David admits his sin, but Nathan still states that as a consequence, the baby will die, which happens later in the chapter. This is not a consequence from people, but from God even after an admission of sin. Though David and Bathsheba had another son, Solomon, after they married they did not by any means get off scot-free. And as a side note, the blog article also listed this passage as one affirming the idea that ” Some of his (Jesus) ancestors were conceived through prostitution, incest, and adultery”. While Jesus did descend from David, he did not descend from the child born in adultery. Jesus descended from the child born in redeemed wedlock.
The thing about this article that baffles and raises my blood pressure the most however, is its major use of Luke 1 and (as there are no more references to them I can only hope) the other gospel accounts of Mary’s pregnancy. They emphasize her cousin Elizabeth’s acceptance and joy over the news that Mary is pregnant with the Messiah. However, they never mention the reaction of Mary’s community which sums up to “Marry, or we will kill you.” Yeah it’s harsh, no I don’t like it. But I have yet to come across any Biblical passage that condemns it. And most importantly of all, this blog article does not address the fact that Mary’s pregnancy was inherently different from Any Other Pregnancy in the History of the World. While the community may not have known or believed it at the time, Mary had not had sex, particularly didn’t have sex outside of wedlock, and so was not guilty of any sin. The Bible does not hold for any repeat of this situation, so it seems dubious at best to me to compare it with other unlike situations.
The post does make a couple of passes at a balanced view towards the end, mentioning the need for confession of sin, and for a Biblical view of sexual immorality. But rather than addressing the issue of personal sin front on, it tends to side-step and place more responsibility on environments, parents, peers, churches, and other factors that could prove helpful to varying degrees, but are ultimately not at fault for the decisions of an individual. The post wraps up with the emotional argument, that the response of a Christian in a church needs to be purely sunshiny, without any recognition or response to the apparent sin that occurred, of which the baby is evidence.
It is true that I agree mothers, fathers, babies, each should be welcomed and supported by churches and Christians. I do not believe that babies are ever a negative consequence of sin, but often are a chance for confession, healing, and redemption to take place. As a Christian church member I believe that my response must be well-rounded and real towards anyone that is in this situation. To the parent, I will express sorrow that there has been sin in their life, and cannot in good conscience keep them from the reality of consequences they may face. If it were me, I would want a Nathan the prophet in my life to shoot straight with me. However, I will also freely discuss God’s forgiveness and full redemption that he offers. I will definitely rejoice with them over a new little life! To children of single parents, I will love them with my whole heart, and do whatever I can to disciple them and help them through challenges in their lives, some of which will be unique to them. I can’t change those challenges for them, but I have to face them as will they in order to understand and overcome.
I will love each of these people as Christ loved the church. And the way to do that is to start with the truth according to God’s word. Anything less is misguided at best.
Link to the original article: http://chadashby.com/2015/08/19/brothers-and-sisters-unwed-pregnancy-is-not-a-sin/