The Historic Protestant View of Contraception

Q: I am one of your friends from St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. A Baptist coworker and I were in a discussion about artificial contraception. My question is: Didn’t all Protestant denominations also condemn artificial contraception as immoral prior to about 1930? Was there some sort of Protestant conference or council around that time at which Protestant leaders changed their position to allow for artificial contraception?

A:You are correct. At the 1930 Lambeth conference the Anglican church approved the use of contraception in some circumstances; this was quickly broadened to all circumstances and infected all other Protestant denominations. Today none of them maintain the historic Christian faith on this point.

Catholic Answers carries a Protestant book called The Bible and Birth Control by Charles Provan, and the back half of it is a catalogue of quotes from Protestant sources prior to 1930 documenting that they too shared the historic Christian position on the evil of artificial birth control — until 1930, that is. Among those condemning contraception are Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, and Ulrich Zwingli, and dozens of others.

You can order a copy of the book by calling 1-619-541-1131 between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Pacific Standard Time.

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