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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

06 October 2005

Tubes Tied

Q: Is it a sin to get your tubes tied? If so, where in the Bible did you find that?

A: Some would say yes, absolutely and under any circumstances. However, they seem to be reading an awful lot into Scripture. Yes, God wants us to “be fruitful and multiply, (Genesis 1:28)” but He’s also granted a lot of discretion and discernment. I think that the question is not, “Should I get my tubes tied (or, for men, get a vasectomy)?” but, “Why do I want to do this?”

If selfish motivations outweigh all else, then there could be a problem. If you’re absolutely sure that you’d not be a good parent, or if genetic tests indicate an almost certain chance of major problems, or if your health is not good, these may be good reasons to consider voluntary sterilization. However, if the concerns are over free time and disposable income and the like, then I think that another evaluation is in order.

For more on birth control, please refer to this previous column, which further discusses selfishness and selflessness in the decision-making process.

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.


Blogger Bob Waters said...

A very sensible answer, which takes into account our obligation to be silent where Scripture is silent.

09 October, 2005 00:23  
Blogger Kobra said...

I wouldn't be a good father because I'm completely selfish. ;-D


09 October, 2005 18:26  
Blogger Mrs. T. Swede said...

My cousin has four children, the oldest of whom is 4 years old. She and her husband don't make enough money to care for the four they have, so they decided that she would get her tubes tied to prevent another pregnancy. She had two babies last year: one in January and the other in December. Are you saying that what she did was wrong?

10 October, 2005 07:28  
Blogger Xrysostom said...

Not at all. If you read the previous post along with this one, I left it a matter of conscience and judgment based upon knowledge of Scripture, relationship with God, and the circumstances of life. It hardly sounds selfish and self-centered to want to be able to feed, clothe, and raise four children.

10 October, 2005 12:06  

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