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The Curse of Sterility

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 @ 9:29 AM
The Curse of Sterility Dr. John Neihof President of Wesley Biblical Seminary - Guest Blogger MORE

After his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt toured Europe. His speech to the people of France is legendary. What does it suggest to a nation that has voluntarily chosen and celebrated sterility as its preference for marriage and family? 

Finally, even more important than ability to work, even more important than ability to fight at need, is it to remember that chief of blessings for any nations is that it shall leave its seed to inherit the land. It was the crown of blessings in Biblical times and it is the crown of blessings now. The greatest of all curses is the curse of sterility, and the severest of all condemnations should be that visited upon willful sterility. The first essential in any civilization is that the man and women shall be father and mother of healthy children so that the [human] race shall increase and not decrease. If that is not so, if through no fault of the society there is failure to increase, it is a great misfortune. If the failure is due to the deliberate and willful fault, then it is not merely a misfortune, it is one of those crimes of ease and self-indulgence, of shrinking from pain and effort and risk, which in the long run Nature punishes more heavily than any other. If we of the great republics, if we, the free people who claim to have emancipated ourselves from the thralldom of wrong and error, bring down on our heads the curse that comes upon the willfully barren, then it will be an idle waste of breath to prattle of our achievements, to boast of all that we have done." (Theodore Roosevelt, a speech at The University of Paris—The Sorbonne—“Citizenship In A Republic, April 23, 1910). 

When I first read these words from our former president, I felt like someone had kicked the wind out of me. Roosevelt was describing the United States of America, the nation over which he had once presided as president. He described the curse of “willful barrenness,” and one hundred years later, “willful barrenness” is the norm for the nation. Selective abortion is the law of the land. Same-sex marriage is the law of the land. Involuntary barrenness, the historical curse for any family or nation, has been redefined as a voluntary state of bliss and blessing. And Roosevelt seems to have prophesied this sinful and sorry state of affairs. 

Recently, I was attending a Bible study of the Revelation. From the outset, the teacher set the ground rules. He approached the Revelation as a pastoral epistle from an elder statesman of the Church of Jesus Christ to the flock of God. He told us to leave our charts and timelines behind. We were not attempting to unlock an eschatological calendar, rather we were seeking to understand the heart of the pastor, John the Revelator, for the Church of Jesus Christ. 

When the teacher reached the description of the destruction of Babylon in Revelation 18, I was astonished with the timeliness of the truth he exposed. 

Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth’ (Revelation 18:21-24 NKJV). 

Suddenly, I saw it. The end of marriage characterized God’s judgment and destruction of sinful Babylon, the world system that rebels against God’s order and design. The end of marriage is the voluntarily and self-imposed embrace of the curse of sterility. Welcome to Babylon. 

We often say that God will punish our nation for our sins. True. However, His judgment is already upon us. Sterility is judgment. It is not so much that God will punish us with some future grave punishment for our abandonment of His design. We have embraced divorce. We have embraced cohabitation. We have embraced illegitimacy. We have embraced the auto-erotic sterility of pornography. We have embraced same-sex marriage. We have embraced sterility socially, biologically, and spiritually. Our nation has abandoned the virtuous blessing of reproduction. We have welcomed God’s judgment! 

Abortion, same-sex marriage, transgender... The curse of sterility is a self-imposed curse we have embraced, and called it good. Ours is a self-imposed curse against nature. Surely, we shall unnaturally manipulate the natural, and declare it good. Nevertheless, our sterility shall haunt us.

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