R.C. Sproul, Jr. on Birth Control

I love it when a blog post lands in my lap like this one from  R. C. Sproul Jr. (not like I really need any help finding new material, this spiritual abuse business is pretty backlogged).

A little background from wikipedia:

After working with Ligonier Ministries for some years, Sproul founded Highlands Ministries (formerly Highlands Study Center) in Bristol, Virginia, in 1996, which he still heads. In the same year, he planted Saint Peter Presbyterian Church in Bristol and until 2001 served as its senior pastor and then until 2010 as its Associate Pastor of Education. He is also a teaching elder of Heritage Presbyterian Church (Centerville, TN). Sproul serves as executive editor of Every Thought Captive, a bimonthly magazine published by Highlands Ministries. 2009-2010, he worked as a teacher for Veritas Press, which specializes in Christian educational texts.

In 2010, Sproul was appointed a Teaching Fellow and Assistant Professor of theology, philosophy, and apologetics at Ligonier Academy in both the Bible college and D.Min. programs. He has spoken at a number of conferences and is a vocal supporter of homeschooling, traditional family roles, Biblical patriarchy and limited government.

DING< DING< DING< DING:  key words:  biblical patriarchy and limited government.  These are key words which jive with the Reconstructionist teachings.  Please be sure to look up my previous posts on Reconstructionists.


He has a blog at Ligonier Ministries.  Ok, check out what this man-o’-gawd tweeted just an hour ago:

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 7.45.39 AM Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 7.45.55 AM

Here’s the deal.  This guy is a pastor, teacher, author of numerous books (he also has been defrocked for spiritual abuse, but I’ll let you look that up, you should be able to find it quickly with a Google search).

Imagine being in this guy’s church and you have medical condition where a doctor says getting pregnant could jeopardize your health.  How would a comment like this coming from the pulpit make you feel?  Would it make you feel like you were in sin if you took any form of birth control?  Maybe so . . . .   And the sad thing is, I think he believes it is a sin.

You see, it doesn’t matter what the mom’s medical state is, it is a sin to waste that beloved seed which could become a human being, especially when in his mind women are supposed to be popping out as many babies as their bodies will allow them to pop out.  After all,  these babies will become Christians who must take over the world.  This is classic full-quiver mentality,  part of Reconstructionism.

One thing about Reconstructionists I’ve noticed.  They don’t call themselves Reconstructionists.  Their churches aren’t labeled as Reconstructionist.  They know it, but don’t say it.   I find that weird.  Well, I’ll help them out:  R.C. Sproul, Jr., is a Reconstructionist promoting his Reconstructionist agenda with this kind of tweet.  As soon as I hit publish, I will respond to his tweet.  I can only sit on my hands for so long.

Calgon . . .. take me away . . . . . . .

48 comments on “R.C. Sproul, Jr. on Birth Control

  1. Birth control is “proof” that women are having S E X. The same care-free, consequence-free sex men get to have. And we can’t have that!

    You may be reminded of a private school that got busted a few months ago because they were singling out any pregnant students and humiliating them publicly and/or expelling them. No action whatsoever was being taken against the father, if the father went to the same school. These girls weren’t being punished for being pregnant – they were being punished because the had S E X.


  2. Sad to say, but this is where the Protestant wing of the prolife movement is going. The Catholic wing has argued for decades that birth control and abortion are of the same thread. Also birth control supposedly interferes with God’s will for your life.


  3. Moses – I had not made the connection until you just said it, but I think you’re right. If you take a look at RC’s tweets, a large number of them are about abortion.


  4. I’ve been mulling over fertility, natural abortion and when a little life begins. Recently, I started researching how to incubate chicken eggs. We have all the necessary parts… a rooster and a flock of hens… so I thought it would be educational for me and the whole family to attempt to hatch some baby chicks! In the process, I learned that incubating eggs can be distressing with lots of dead, maimed or half-formed chicks. I even learned a new word. To “cull” a chick means to kill it after birth due to a disabilaty or disease. I don’t know if any arguments can be formed by comparing a chicken’s life to a human’s life, but it sure has given me a lot to think about. Just because an egg is fertilized does not mean it will grow a chick. The conditions for the fertilized egg must be exact. I see a lot of parallels between birth control and gathering a fertilized chicken egg from the nest so the hen won’t hatch it. God’s intention/direction in fertility, whether avian or human, isn’t 100% certain.

    Is Sproul Jr regaining credibility after his identity theft and spiritual abuse disciplinary de-frocking? eesh.


  5. A very famous, now dead comedian, George Carlin once said about eggs, in regards to abortion, “if it’s a chicken egg, it’s an omelet, if it’s a human egg, it’s abortion.”

    Seriously, tho, we, as Christians know that life begins at conception. One of the biblical references for this is in regards to John the Baptist leaping for joy in the womb of Marys cousin Elizabeth when in the presence of Jesus in the womb of Mary.

    What is “life”? Life is spirit and soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Without the spirit in the body, you are dead (James 2:26).

    The body is “dust”, or dirt. Spiritually speaking, the seed is your spirit. Carnally speaking, the seed is the sperm that fertilizes the egg. Both the sperm and the egg are from the body, which is dirt. The sperm is dirt, and the egg is dirt.

    Each of those two things are not life. They are just dirt.

    Genesis 2:27, God breathed Adams spirit into his dirt body, and Adam became a living (spirit and soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23, James 2:26)) soul.

    What am I getting at? Birth control is not a sin.

    But what about Onan in the OT that spilled his seed? That has nothing to do with sin, or birth control. It was that Jesus was prophesied to come from the family line of Judah, and Satan was trying to thwart that event from taking place, just like Satan used Peter to defend Jesus from getting to the cross by cutting off the ear of a soldier. But Jesus had to get to that cross. Spiritual vs. Carnal.

    That is my take on it, that birth control is not a sin. But the Catholics do run with it, as if it were a sin, as do some protestant church’s.


  6. I am that young woman sitting in a church who is hurt every time she hears a statement like this. Childbearing would be incredibly difficult for my body and possibly life-threatening. There are at least 10 different reasons why I should not bear biological children, none pleasant. Little Sproul has no idea how incredibly painful his comments are to those of us whom God has created with different abilities. If Sproul is taking a stance against hormonal birth control, then he needs to say so clearly. There are plenty of scientific studies that back up the harmful effects of hormonal birth control. But there are other effective methods of birth control available to us. Little Sproul is a coward for refusing to debate his “truths”. Julie Anne, thank you for standing up for us and fighting these battles. You are making a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mandy – I’m so sorry, Mandy, that you’ve had to listen to this kind of thing. These legalists are black/white thinking. There are no exceptions. Again, it’s about the law and no grace. Law has become their god.

    BTW, I actually got some responses back from RC Sproul on my tweet. After my reading lesson with my little guy, I’ll post them in addition to a comment he posted on another blog (in response to the tweet).


  8. Did you notice that one of the people questioning Sproul, Kenny Kerr had to drop Mohler and Piper to support his POV as though God is a respecter of persons.

    Also, notice they’re a bunch of males.


  9. Yes, I did notice that, opinemine. It’s the same thing as I noticed yesterday on Twitter – a bunch of men were hot on the complementarian topic trying to sell it – saying stuff like – women like it this way. I wanted to ask: “Why are you tweeting this stuff? Did your wife tell you to tweet this or are YOU trying to convince us that all women like this “complementarian” thing that you guys are promoting?”

    FTR, I’m still trying to figure this complementarian thing out, but the way they come across makes me want to run far from it. It reminds me of “my way or the highway” attitude – as if I’m not going to choose to submit to complementarian roles, I’m not a “real” Christian. It’s feeling and sounding pretty legalistic to me.


  10. Thank you, kbonikowsky for your comment. As far as your last question? He’s going to have to try a little harder to gain credibility from me (as if he wanted it – lol).


  11. Unbelievable–this talk about birth control. I thought we settled that some 50+ years ago. I’m NOT talking about abortion. I’m talking about doing whatever the dr. might recommend if the couple wants to limit their family to a certain number of children by responsibly considering their finances, future educational needs, the mom’s physical health and limitations, etc. What are these men thinking about? The complementarian thing is crazy enough. Maybe they need to constantly have a new tangent to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “Sexual bulimia”??? That’s really, really disgusting. Am I the only one who thinks that’s a creepy mental image for him to have been considering?


  13. Yet another non-Biblical issue that these men like to control. While it only affects their “quiver,” it affects women’s bodies and minds. And, “sexual bulimia” is just such a poor choice of words. Disgusting.


  14. Kathi, I’ve found something by doing a Google search which is quite interesting. It will put it all together. Google is a blogger’s best friend. Haha. I’ll try to post it tonight. It all makes sense now.


  15. My views on birth control have changed drastically over the years. If Sproul wants to practice this between himself and his spouse that’s his business. But I’m tired of views like his being flung at the rest of us in this inflammatory way. I think this is a private issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh, brother, here’s another area that I have to confess that I bought into in the past (like the child discipline/spanking issue), although, like BeenThere, my views have changed quite a bit, and I don’t think I really viewed it as being sinful. I remember, when I had just one child, hearing a couple talking on the Focus on the Family radio broadcast about how they decided to stop using birth control and “just trust the Lord” to give them however many children He wanted to give them. I thought, “Wow, what a cool concept.” I talked to my husband about us stopping with the birth control, and he was fine with it. I guess we thought we were super spiritual or something because we were going to “just trust the Lord” with the size of our family. I have to admit that we kind of looked down on other couples in our church who practiced birth control. We thought they just didn’t have much faith, or were just selfish. Ugh, that sounds so awful, but that’s what we thought. We DON’T think that way anymore! All that to say that I understand why some people don’t want to use birth control, but I think it is a matter of personal preference. It’s a decision that each couple needs to make together and it’s nobody’s else’s business, especially obnoxious Bible teachers’!

    I do want to tell you a really neat story, though, in regard to our decision to not use birth control after our first child. I had four healthy babies, then a miscarriage, then another healthy baby, then three more miscarriages. When I was pregnant that last time, I had an ultrasound to verify that the baby had died, and the doctor noticed that there was something abnormal about my one ovary. He arranged for me to have surgery the very next day. They found that I had ovarian cancer, and removed all the plumbing plus some other things (I’ll never have to worry about appendicitis, thanks to that!) If you know anything about ovarian cancer, you’ll know that it is extremely hard to detect and is rarely diagnosed until it’s too late. Well, my cancer was only Stage I and had not spread at all. I did undergo chemotherapy, just in case, but it probably wasn’t really necessary. That was in 1999, and I’ve been cancer-free ever since. So, anyway, I just thank God that we had made the choice we did to not use birth control because if I hadn’t been pregnant and miscarrying, who knows when the cancer would’ve been detected? I’d probably not be alive today to tell you my long-winded story. 🙂


  17. Julie Anne – I think you’re becoming the queen of Google searches! 😉 Keep up the good work!

    I seemed to remember years ago that James Dobson spoke against using/taking birth control. I looked up Focus on the Family’s position:


    It seems to have slightly changed a little on the use of oral contraception. It all depends on what the main drug is in which prescription. They seem to have left oral contraception up to the individual and their moral mind.


  18. Marge – How wonderful that your cancer was caught at just the right time! You have a great story to tell!

    As far as having faith that God will give you babies if He wants, isn’t that what the Duggars believe? And, her last two pregnancies ended with a miscarriage and a very scary early delivery. When a woman gets to the point of age being a risk factor, how is that even glorifying to God to put her and the baby in danger of their lives?

    God does tell us that children are a blessing. And, that I believe, because all human life is evidence of his creation. However, God doesn’t command that couples MUSt have children. Here’s what I think is what makes God incredible – he allows us the chance to make choices. And, couples should have the choice to have children or not.


  19. Marge – Your story is incredible. I can see why it is so special to you and woohoo that you’ve been cancer free!

    Re: looking down on others for using birth control – – JA raises her guilty hand here – oh my – I used to be one of those. I don’t think that I voiced it all too often, but I thought it and that was wrong. Ugh. I think going through this stuff has changed me so much.


  20. If you carry this asinine analogy to its logical conclusion, bulimia being over indulging and then purging, what is the opposite of bulimia? Jr. might be stating that he prefers sexual obesity by his “full quiver” ideology. Just as with eating, self control seems to be the ideal that God intended in procreation.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Good point, wallflower! You should post that on RJSJr’s Twitter page. I wish these ministers would stay out of couples’ bedrooms. They have no business going there.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Why do Christians not believe that God gifted mankind with the intelligence and the capabilities needed to develop the ability to prevent pregnancy, and thereby preserve the health of mothers and help us to avoid overpopulating the planet which could result in it becoming uninhabitable. Or perhaps that is the apocalypse, the event that ends human life on earth.


  23. “Birth Control, like Abortion, is Sexual Bulimia.”

    Now THAT is a truly stupid statement.

    “Bulimia” in what sense? The Late Roman Empire kind where when you couldn’t stuff yourself any further at a banquet you went outside and puked it all up so you could go back and eat even more? Given attitudes on female sexual morality among the Truly Reformed and Quiverfulls, I suspect that was the unstated implication.

    P.S. Problem with “defrocked for spiritual abuse”; what now prevents him from moving next door and Planting a new Church where he re-frocks himself by decree as Founder, Anointed, and Head Apostle? Like Ted Haggard did after he got caught with a male prostitute?


  24. P.P.S. Last weekend at an SF con, I bought a copy of an underground comix version of “Malleus Malefacarium”, the infamous witch-hunters’ handbook of the Burning Times. Given the original 1487 author’s known obsession on certain types of female sex, low opinion of women, and Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory (witchcraft sub-type), I wonder how much of the book will be familiar to the followers of this blog, Wartburg Watch, etc.


  25. Wow, controversial posts!!!!!! But yes, R.C. Sproul Jr. is a reconstructionalsits. He also believes homeschooling is a mandate per his book.


  26. Of particular interest to you Julie Anne may be that R.C. Sproul Jr. was defrocked along with several of his elders by his Presbyterian denomination for spiritual abuse some years ago. The abused published documents and letters on the web. Sound familiar? It was a horrible, sordid affair. Sadly, another group picked up Mr. Sproul and let him continue. He also has very close ties to Vision Forum, a very controlling group in Texas. Worth looking into.




  27. Unworthy – Thanks for those links. I actually discovered about RC’s defrocking after visiting a Reconstructionist church in OR over a decade ago (they would never call themselves that, but they are). It was through that research that I saw their connections with Sproul Sr, and I found the story of Sproul Jr.’s defrocking. I have also read the personal account of a current abuse situation at his current church which he apparently has not handled well. I’m not sure he has learned his lesson the first time around.

    Interestingly, RC has been debating my daughter on Twitter about his rude Twitter comment over the weekend and it’s been interesting to see how he communicates. He’s putting it out there for the whole world to see. Gotta love social media for that. 🙂

    And Vision Forum – – yea, that’s a whole ‘nuther can of nasty worms.


  28. Pingback: Sexual Bulimia?????? You Can’t be Serious, Dr. Sproul!!!!!!!!! « Old Testament Studies Blog

  29. Dear everyone,

    This is my first visit to this blog but the topic is quite interesting to me and I’ve pondered it frequently and I hope you might find my perspective helpful. Full disclosure: I’m Roman Catholic and I am very proud of my Church’s understanding of the matter. I think its very beautiful theologically, but I’ll just share a philosophical thought I find persuasive.

    But first, I’d like to encourage everyone here – especially those of you who are married – to consider a modern method of natural family planning. You can read about some of these methods here: http://www.1flesh.org/the-solution/

    Talking about Birth Control is obviously complex. I won’t go into it all here because it would take forever, but I would like to talk about the pill and the subtle message it sends to our culture. When used for contraceptive purposes (as opposed to therapeutic purposes) the pill is profoundly anti-woman. I realize that is a very controversial statement, but here is why I say it: The Birth Control pill trains women to think that their bodies are inherently defective and in need of fixing. When a woman goes to her doctor requesting a pill, she does so as a perfectly healthy woman. She implies, “Doctor, my body is doing everything that it is supposed to do. Could you give me a pill to mess it up?” And the doctor does.

    In other words, Birth Control treats pregnancy and fertility as if they are things that are wrong with women and not things that are right with women. A natural method like the one I linked above doesn’t try to avoid pregnancy by subverting feminine biology. Rather, it seeks to understand feminine biology in a deeper way and couples can then work together and collaborate in their family planning. In this way, natural methods can be very good for marriage in that they demand collaboration.

    I hope you will visit the link above from 1flesh.org and consider this. I really believe it can help our culture appreciate sexuality in a new and deeper way.


  30. Andrew,

    Welcome! I am a former Catholic and before marriage, my then fiancé took 6 months of classes on NFP through the Couple to Couple league. I plan on sharing my story as it relates to the “full quiver” movement.

    For those couples who are committed and diligent in learning this method, it can be a very good method of birth control, both in achieving pregnancy and spacing of babies. It is not the same as the old school rhythm method which is not reliable at all.

    I’ll check out your link soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I, being a male, have no problem with the link that Andrew provided. However, the Catholic Church stance on “the pill” is that it is a moral sin. That is what I have a problem with. It isn’t a sin. Andrew states: “I am very proud of my Church’s understanding of the matter. I think its very beautiful theologically…”. Theologians have decided that it is a sin. If it ain’t in the Law of Moses, it isn’t a sin in the first place. Therefore, I do have a problem with the Catholic Church understanding of the matter, as well as R.C Sproul’s understanding.


  32. Julie Anne –

    I look forward to hearing your experience with the Couple to Couple league. While I’m unabashadly pro NFP, I have problems with people who aren’t willing to admit that there are some serious challenges in using the method. NFP has a lot of challenges other methods don’t have, but it also has a lot of benefits that other methods don’t have. Hearing stories from people like you can help me stay abreast of these things to help couples know what they’re in for. I look forward to reading your story! (And thank you 1000 times for stating the difference between the modern methods of NFP and the “old school rythym method.” Conflating methods is one of my pet peeves)


  33. Andrew, I think NFP helped me to realize how magnificent God made our bodies. Farmers have always watched the weather signs when raising their crops. We all keep track of seasons and know when we should grab a jacket or when it is warm enough to wear shorts. A woman’s body is similar with “seasons” and signs to look for. Once I was taught these signs, it really clicked for me.


  34. Ed, For over 30 years I have been told by powers that be that the pill is an abortifacient in that it prevents a fertilized egg from implanting on the uterine wall. How would you respond to that?


  35. Julie Anne, that is an easy one for me. It simply isn’t true. You cannot abort something that wasn’t, for one. But for a more detailed look, your body is nothing but dirt. And anything coming from the body is just that, dirt. The Bible calls it dust. Same thing. An egg by itself is dirt. Sperm, by itself is dirt. Life is:
    1. Spirit
    2. Soul
    3. Body

    1 Thessalonians 5:23 mentions those three words.

    Genesis 2:7 states that Adam became a “living” soul. Life requires a body. Life does not begin until the spirit is deposited into a body, and that happens at conception.

    James 2:26, For as the body without the spirit is dead…(Faith without works is dead).

    Women have eggs in them from birth. Not all eggs are babies, unborn or born. Sperm is not babies, unborn or born. They are both just dirt, as the body is nothing but dirt. It is the spirit that makes it a life. And when the spirit is implanted at the time of fertilization, then life begins, and then it would be considered killing a baby.

    Preventing a fertilization is not a sin. Many bring up the fact from the Genesis account of Onan who spilled his seed. SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING, Jesus was coming from the family line of Judah, and Satan did not want that to take place. In the end, Onans widow played a prostitute who Judah slept with, and so the family line of Judah continued, and out popped Jesus many years later, from the line of Judah.

    However, we must keep in mind, sin is the transgression of the law of Moses (1 John 3:4), and that law does not begin in Genesis. It begins in Exodus 20, and ending in Deuteronomy.

    This issue needs to be raised in the law of Moses for it to be a sin. It isn’t. Pharisees add laws that God didn’t.

    Ed Chapman


  36. Julie Anne,
    I found an article here: http://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Feb/17/short-condensation-does-birth-control-pill-cause-a/

    In it, it discusses what you were talking about. About a 1/4 of the way down, under the heading, “What Does This Mean”, it states the following:

    “Typically, the new person attempts to implant at six days after conception. If implantation is unsuccessful, the child is flushed out of the womb in a miscarriage. When the miscarriage is the result of an environment created by a foreign device or chemical, it is in fact an abortion. This is true even if the mother does not intend it, and is not aware of it happening.”

    I noticed the word “miscarriage”. My adopted grandmother had several miscarriages before my adopted mom was born, without even being on the pill. But then again, my grandmother was born in 1919. Based on the word miscarriage, and the article itself, then a living baby died in the womb.

    Even Job talks about this:
    Job 3:10-19

    King James Version (KJV)

    10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.

    11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?

    12 Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?

    13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest,

    14 With kings and counsellors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves;

    15 Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver:

    16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.

    17 There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.

    18 There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor.

    19 The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.

    Job 10:18
    Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!


  37. Ed said: “And when the spirit is implanted at the time of fertilization, then life begins, and then it would be considered killing a baby. ”

    Ok I can hear the response now. If the spirit is (using your word) implanted at the time of fertilization, but the birth control pills make the uterine walls
    hostile for implantation of the fertilized egg, isn’t that causing an abortion?


  38. Ed: Isn’t this validating what I was talking about? ” When the miscarriage is the result of an environment created by a foreign device or chemical, it is in fact an abortion.”

    So BC pills can cause abortion?

    Disclaimer: brain is fried from watching 11 hrs of volleyball, so I very easily may be missing something.


  39. In the article I provided, it is still not a full consensus that this is what is actually happening in the first place. Some doctors state that it is, others deny it. Not only that, if it were 100% true, then ALL Christians would be on board with this as being abortion, including myself. My point is that miscarriages, would be defined as an abortion, too, by the body rejecting the fertilized egg. Will we charge the mother for killing a baby due to having a defective body? Of course not. This would be a hot topic for all Christians if it were true, but it isn’t a proven fact. The statistics in the article point to only about 3 per cent of all pregnancies that take place while being on birth control. There are miscarriages that happen without birth control. But to say that it is the fault of birth control is not enough to convince me, when there isn’t a full consensus on it yet. Trust me, this would be a hot topic on Fox News in light of Sandra Fluke’s testimony before congress. Did you notice that the protestants pretty much stayed out of the debate about it? It was mostly a Catholic thing.

    Ed Chapman


  40. I’m going to have to read more of this tomorrow. Btw, the medical community refers to the word abortion all the time with regard to miscarriages. I about flipped when a Navy corpsman at the hospital told me my HCG levels were decreasing which confirmed I was having a “spontaneous abortion.” Not only did the news that my baby had died stun me, the use of the word “abortion” in that context seemed cold and heartless. Now I understand it is medical terminology.


  41. Ouch, I think that the medical field could come up with a different terminology than that. One of my ex-girl friends from years back was pregnant with twins. One died in the womb, and the other was born prematurely.


  42. Pingback: Kevin Swanson Spews Nonsense from His Mouth to Further His Agenda | Spiritual Sounding Board

  43. If people professing to be believers actually believed that God is greater than they allow Him to be, they would have fewer questions and live more by faith.


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