Overstating One's Case

February 20, 2006

Here is an excellent column by Bruce Gourley that has been reprinted at Ethics Daily. He deals with recent comments by Albert Mohler claiming it is a sin for Christian couples to remain childless. Here are a few highlights:

Albert Mohler continues to demonstrate that he is not content to let the Bible be the Bible.

... Responding to a childless woman's comment about choosing to "focus those motherly feelings elsewhere," Mohler declared that the "worldview [of intentional childlessness] is sick…. Christians must recognize that this rebellion against parenthood represents nothing less than an absolute revolt against God's design."

Come again, Al?

... This new revelation would certainly be a surprise to the Apostle Paul, who declared in no uncertain terms that celibacy is preferable to marriage and family in regards to focusing on serving God. Obviously Paul was in "absolute revolt" and "moral rebellion" against God when in 1 Corinthians 7 he wrote, "he who does not marry does even better" than he who does marry.

Mohler seems truly convinced that without the added assistance of his self-appointed theological revelations that tell the Bible what it should say, the written Word of God is weak, wimpy, defenseless and vulnerable to the horrors of anyone (read, "liberals") in the world reading it and daring to interpret it for himself or herself.

Mohler is certainly not the only religious fundamentalist who claims to know what the Bible should say, rather than what it actually does say.

... Frankly, this new revelation sounds like thinly veiled Mormon theology, in which large families are a sign of godliness and child-bearing and raising are part of the salvation equation.

At the very least, Mohler's revelation is in the tradition of the New Testament Pharisees who substituted their opinions in the place of Scripture and condemned anyone who disobeyed their proscriptions.

In the end, one cannot help but wonder: does Albert Mohler truly believe the Bible listens when he speaks?
Amen! This is a great reminder that we should not overstate our case. It is fine for Mohler to believe that Christian couples should have children. It is even okay for him to say that he believes this. However, it is wrong for him to claim that the Bible supports his belief and it is a sin to not have children. To do so dishonors God by twisting the Word. We should let our yes be yes, our no be no, and our opinions be our opinions.