Should Christians ‘be fruitful and multiply’?
Yes, according to Daniel Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary:
“There is a scriptural mandate for it, and you have admonitions in the psalms that speak of the blessedness of God providing many children to a husband and wife. And there’s a general tenor throughout scripture that children are a blessing and a heritage from the Lord. So, should Christians be fruitful and multiply? I say absolutely. …”
No, according to a church committee of Australia’s Anglican Church:
“A church committee has asked the General Synod of Australia’s Anglican Church to adopt a statement calling for citizens to have fewer children, recommending that the government cut childbirth incentives to new parents and instead offer incentives for parents to have fewer children. The country is on track for overpopulation, the church warned, which could break the eighth commandment by stealing resources from future generations.”
Read how other Christian leaders have responded to the question in an article from Christianity Today:
Response: I am with Daniel Akin on this issue. I believe the world would be a better place with more Christians and not less. I believe that marriage, children, and families are still the basic building blocks of a strong society and culture. Churches need to encourage young families and support them in the midst of a culture that no longer values children as it once did.
In fact, Western civilization hangs upon this issue. In America children are still valued but in many European countries they have stopped having children for economic and selfish reasons. It has become such a problem and issue in some parts of Europe that some are beginning to refer to it as ‘cultural suicide’.
Some question whether Western European cultures could disappear and be replaced in one generation by an immigrant Muslim culture since the birth rate is below replacement levels in a number of different countries including Italy.
Some are even beginning to wonder if the Vatican will be a Christian island in the midst of a Muslim dominated Italy in 30 years or so.
Since many Europeans have chosen to stop having kids in order to have a better lifestyle for themselves, there are concerns that the continent at the very least will be a very different place in 30 or 40 years.
This question is far more important and has very different ramifications depending on the area of the world we are talking about.
Folks in China are forced to have only one child per couple even if they would rather have more. While Christians in some parts of Africa and India might well consider limiting the number of children that they have considering overpopulation and the meager resources available in the area. While those in Europe and America not so much. In fact in Europe maybe more rather than less should be the goal.