As the Pope warned, widespread use of the Pill has led to "serious consequences" including marital infidelity and rampant sexual immorality.In reality, the Pill allowed a near-total abandonment of Christian sexual morality in the larger culture.Even where the ability to conceive and bear children may be absent, the will to receive children must be present.To demand sexual pleasure without openness to children is to violate a sacred trust.Affirming that human life must be recognized and protected from the moment of conception, evangelicals increasingly recognized Intrauterine Devices [IUDs] as abortifacients, and rejected any birth control with any abortifacient design or result.This conviction is now casting a cloud over the Pill as well.For many evangelical Christians, birth control has been an issue of concern only for Catholics.When Pope Paul VI released his famous encyclical outlawing artificial birth control, Humanae Vitae, most evangelicals responded with disregard - perhaps thankful that evangelicals had no pope who could hand down a similar edict.
Evangelicals will find themselves in surprising agreement with much of the encyclical's argument.
Thus, in an ironic turn, American evangelicals are rethinking birth control even as a majority of the nation's Roman Catholics indicate a rejection of their Church's teaching.
How should evangelicals think about the birth control question?
The effective separation of sex from procreation may be one of the most important defining marks of our age–and one of the most ominous.
This awareness is spreading among American evangelicals, and it threatens to set loose a firestorm.
The evangelical conscience was awakened in the late 1970s, when the murderous reality of abortion could not be denied.