BreakPoint: 1.77 Kids Aren’t Enough

The Consequences of a Shrinking Population

America is shrinking. I don’t mean we’re getting shorter, I mean that we aren’t having enough babies. Here’s why that’s bad news.

An old Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson portrays an average American couple welcoming visitors to their home. In the corner of the living room sits a little boy watching TV and next to him, is half of another little boy. “Come on in!” exclaim the couple, “Have you met Russel and Bill, our 1.5 children?”

Larson’s attempt to make fun of the American average, unfortunately, wasn’t that far off. In fact, America’s fertility rate may be hitting a historic low.

Lyman Stone, an economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, writes at Medium about what he’s calling “the great baby bust of 2017.”

The latest official estimate—taken from two-year-old data—puts the U.S. fertility rate at 1.84. In other words, the average American woman will have just under two children in her lifetime. This is well below the replacement rate, or the average number of children necessary to keep a country’s population from declining.

But as Stone argues, this estimate is already hopelessly out-of-date. Using monthly birth data from 2016 and 2017, he suggests the birth rate in America has plummeted to somewhere near 1.77 births on average. His graph of American fertility since 2008 looks like a double diamond ski slope.

Millennials—who right now are in their prime childbearing years—are the ones mainly driving this downhill trend. Not only are they getting married at lower rates than their parents did, but they’re having fewer children total. Many struggle to find stable work, are too focused on their careers, and find themselves saddled with college debt. Others just don’t like kids,  or vastly overestimate the cost of raising them, or just think the world is overpopulated—a myth now thoroughly debunked, by the way.

Whatever the reason, young adults are choosing to keep their nests mostly empty. And this is bad news for our economy, our culture, and our future as a nation.

As Weekly Standard digital editor Jonathan Last writes in his book, “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting,” countries where citizens aren’t having enough babies can look forward to long-term economic stagnation and social deterioration. “There is no economy that has managed to knock out gangbuster growth with a declining population,” he told The Atlantic, recently.

Journalist Philip Longman explains that “As governments raise taxes on a dwindling working-age population to cover the growing burdens of supporting the elderly, young couples may conclude they are even less able to afford children…” This creates a vicious cycle of childlessness, overwork, and despair, as seen in graying, shrinking countries like Japan, or in Europe, where some governments actually pay couples to get pregnant.

Also, children, because they are tomorrow’s labor force and consumers, are also the economic engines of the future. And on an individual level, the regret of having fewer children is verifiable. According to a Pew poll in 2014, a whopping 40 percent of mothers nearing the end of their childbearing years say they have fewer kids than they would have liked.

But that’s not all: a declining population also hurts us in ways that are harder to quantify in dollars and cents.

Babies, in a unique way, tend to make adults care about the future that’s beyond their own lifetimes. They’re often the reason people save, invest, make sacrifices, and most importantly defer gratification. When children become scarce, people are less apt to do these things and therefore they stop thinking about a future that’s beyond themselves.

And tomorrow on BreakPoint, my colleague Eric Metaxas will offer a glimpse into what that kind of future will look like, if the birth dearth continues. Please tune in.

 

1.77 Kids Aren’t Enough: The Consequences of a Shrinking Population

John points out some sobering statistics that affect the future of our children and grandchildren. For more information on the shrinking population, check out the links in our Resources section.

 

Resources

The Rebirth of America's Pro-Natalist Movement
  • Emma Green | The Atlantic | December 6, 2017
The Great Baby Bust of 2017
  • Lyman Stone | Medium.com | November 29, 2017
We haven’t prepared for the aging monster
  • Robert J. Samuelson | Washington Post | December 6, 2017

Comment Policy: Commenters are welcome to argue all points of view, but they are asked to do it civilly and respectfully. Comments that call names, insult other people or groups, use profanity or obscenity, repeat the same points over and over, or make personal remarks about other commenters will be deleted. After multiple infractions, commenters may be banned.

  • Just One Voice

    This is bound to get a reaction from a few people on here.

    My two cents? Scary! This kind of article only confirms what I see day in and day out.

    Thinking of Psalm 112 right now, especially verse 7 and surrounding.

    http://biblehub.com/esv/psalms/112.htm

    • gladys1071

      Why is it scary? what is so scary about people making the choice that is best for their lives? not everyone is cut out to be parent, and being a parent is a huge responsibility, just like marriage should not be taken lightly.

      • ALF56

        What is scary is not the individual decision, but the cumulative effect of a graying society. The good news is that there is a practical solution-expanded immigration. There’s plenty of room, plenty of opportunity, and plenty of willing participants. !

      • Just One Voice

        Yeah, basically what ALF56 said. The effects & consequences of that choice are scary.

        • gladys1071

          yeah well life is scary, does not give us the right to dictate or try to control other people and try to compel or guilt them to make a choice they don’t want to make.

          This life is not a bed a roses and that should be taken into consideration when having children, do you really want to bring children into this world?

          • Just One Voice

            Whoooaaa, slow down please. I feel like we’re on the amtrak train that derailed near Seattle.

            When did I say or even suggest we have the right to dictate, control, compel or guilt people into making choices? Also, when did I say life is a bed of roses? Please tell me if you can!

            Didn’t think so. Please take back your implied accusations. I think we agree more than we disagree here. I was simply stating the RESULTS are a bit scary & seeking to answer your questions. I even complimented you on the referenced article. But maybe I should take that back too.

          • gladys1071

            fair enough, i apologize for the accusation, though i was not accusing you per say.

            I was just venting frustration on these pro-natalist articles that keep being posted here.

          • Just One Voice

            Thanks, and I forgive you. I stand corrected too. You were not accusing me. Putting words in my mouth is more like it, perhaps.

      • Just One Voice

        And now I can point you to BP’s more recent article “Dying Alone” to help explain “why is it scary?” Again, it really boils down to those far-distant, down-stream effects of a said choice.

  • Johnk

    How much has Decades of Abortion impacted this #? The lost of 58 MILLION Babies, since abortion was legalized some 45 years ago, has to be significant!

    • fred2

      I’ve asked the same thing.

  • Although conservative Christians have more children on average than their secular counterparts, most Christians have been influenced by secular cultural norms when it comes to having children. Some Christians even believe it’s valid to decide not to have children! One such person told me once that because the Bible doesn’t command us to have children, it’s our choice. It is? As if people in the ancient world needed to be commanded to have children. I blame this somewhat on church leaders who don’t preach fecundity. They should! Children are a blessing, a gift from God. Why would we want fewer of those!

    • urbanvrwcmom

      At the church I attended before the one I currently belong to, it wasn’t very family-friendly. Many of the couples there, (including the pastor and his wife) wanted no children. One member even said that “kids cramp your life!”. As time went on, couples began having children. Needless to say, the pastor resigned and the church folded not long after. I suspect that his dislike of children could be the reason for his departure. It’s a blessing seeing all those babies and children scurrying about at church! I’m sure that my previous pastor and his wife, won’t be very comfortable at this church.

    • gladys1071

      Why should people have children if they don’t want to? Children are not plants, they require attention and need to be properly raised by parents that actually are committed to raising them.

      Or do you just believe in people just conceiving and giving birth without any thought whatsoever to the child being brought into the world.

      I am a Christian , i have been married 20 years, and chose not to have children. I want no part in being a parent , i don’t have the inclination or personality to raise children.

      Their is more to life and serving God then just having children.

    • Phoenix1977

      “Children are a blessing, a gift from God.”
      Come and meet my neighbor’s children. They are not a gift; they are a curse. And not only for their parents but for every single person living in our apartment building. They terrorize 51 families and there are only 2 of them!
      If they are such a gift please show me the receipt so they can be sent back!

      • fred2

        @Phoenix1977 You were once a child, too. And had bratty moments like your neighbors’ kids.

        It amazes me how child-hating liberals act like they were born fully grown from pods.

        • Phoenix1977

          “You were once a child, too. And had bratty moments like your neighbors’ kids.”
          I was a child once, indeed. And I definitely had my “bratty moments”, sure. And my parents made sure those moments never ever repeated themselves. If I misbehaved I would be punished for it (never physically, though) and my parents were very creative in their punishments. Like I said, they never got physical with me or my brother but each and every moment we were punished for some wrong doing is still etched in my memory. It was always very clear which two people in our little family were in charge and let me tell you, those were not my brother and me. If we had behaved like my neighbor’s kids they would have shipped us off to military school. Out entire building is waiting in terror this Christmas because my neighbor is 8 months pregnant with the third. We just hope it won’t be another little demon spawn from hell!

      • Robert Coss

        Phoenix1977 that is hilarious!
        It sounds like a mission field to me. Love them or leave them Jesus called us to make disciples. The Apostle John who took Jesus up on this saw Jesus do many marvelous things, but in the end said he had no greater joy than to see his children waling in the truth. 3 John.

  • Mark

    I’m a millenial with 2 kids and I think it would be nice to have another, but at the present time, would really struggle to afford another kid. I live in the Bay Area where housing prices are sky-high, and as a result, my wife and I both have to work in order to make ends meet. The kids go to daycare, and at the end of the day, financially it all works out (barely). In a perfect world, one of us would rather stay home with the kids, but then we wouldn’t make the rent, and the place we’re renting is actually below-market (and forget buying). It’s not so simple as moving to another state, either, as we are here because of the ministry we’re involved in. We’ve done the math. Having a third would be great, but would put us in a financial bind that wouldn’t be good either.

    The point I’m trying to make is that there are forces beyond unwillingness that make it hard to have kids. The prevailing culture values productivity and work and increasing one’s lifestyle over the long-term goals of preserving a healthy society.

    • Just One Voice

      That makes two of us 🙂 Feel like you described my wife and I’s situation down to the letter!

    • Scott

      Hang in there! I know how difficult it is…. If it would help I could share a few stories about my wife and I’s early struggles. God does provide though and life does get a little easier.

      You are absolutely right about our culture’s values. The theme song to The Apprentice about summed it up.

  • Kathleen Robinson Krane

    Wait, this is a Christian website, right? So we believe that we are supposed to pick up our cross and follow Him. Jesus is the ultimate example of self-sacrifice. What is a better way to make loving sacrifices of your time, your money and your heart than to have children? (Not saying anything against Mark – Bay Area probably needs all the ministry it can get.)

  • gladys1071

    everyone dies alone, Jesus died alone, Jesus had no children either, we
    need to stop worshipping fertility and babies, God is we should worship,
    not children, not family, not money.

    Humans are not going to go extinct anytime soon.

    • Scott

      “Jesus had no children either, we need to stop worshipping fertility and babies, God is we should worship, not children, not family, not money.”

      This sounds angry? No one here is worshipping fertility and babies, we are merely honoring our savior’s love for them. God loves His creation… people most of all. Children, although they are conceived between a man and a woman, are made by God. The Bible makes it very clear that we need to love as Jesus did. No one is telling you that you must have children, as you should not tell us how to love them.

      Jesus loves children and so should we…

      Matthew 18:1-3 “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

      Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

      Matthew 13:19-15 “Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.”

      • gladys1071

        I am not angry, i am tired of the fear mongering about not having children that is all.

        • Scott

          “I am not angry”

          Fair enough. : – )

          The point of this article is not fear mongering. John Stonestreet is pointing out some very real consequences to a disturbing trend in our culture.

          When you say things like “Children are not plants, they require attention and need to be properly raised by parents that actually are committed to raising them.” I think we can all agree with you. Decisions like marriage and having children shouldn’t be taken lightly. Especially today, where American culture values lifestyle and monetary gain over raising a family. In his article John points to this and other reasons for our declining fertility rate. All this is to say that given the current cultural climate, Christians should be doing all they can to encourage those who desire to have children… as the Bible does. What if Adam and Eve had no children… Noah and Naamah? Wouldn’t you rather we encourage Christians to be parents? This article isn’t a personal attack on you, instead it is intended to illustrate the consequences of a declining fertility rate in order to promote a change many Christians believe would honor God.

          After all God (our father) loves his people more than anything… Shouldn’t we support His love for them by promoting and encouraging family?

          • gladys1071

            Actually no i would NOT encourage anyone to become a parents, Christians or not. I support anyone’s decision to become parents sure if that is what they desire. I don’t believe in encouraging or discouraging to become parents.

            Since i consider having children a huge responsibility, i don’t think it should be undertaken lightly, I think it should be very seriously thought out. I know most people do not think about becoming parents, they just become it by “accident”, and that to me is the greater tragedy. Children being born out of “accidents” and not being properly raised or cared for.

          • Scott

            Well… by your definition I am one of those “accidents,” and tragedy or not, here I am.

          • gladys1071

            so you believe people should mindlessly reproduce without any thought? you think that is a good idea? without any thought to the quality of life they will have?

          • Scott

            Hi gladys1071, I hope you had a merry Christmas! : – )

            Sorry, I’m not sure how you translated “you believe people should mindlessly reproduce without any thought” from: “Christians should be doing all they can to encourage those who desire (children) to have children” or “After all God (our father) loves his people more than anything… Shouldn’t we support His love for them by promoting and encouraging family?” Much goes unsaid in my statements so I will list some of the principles I assumed when making them.

            These are a few of the things I would encourage/support regarding marriage and children: I would encourage abstinence before marriage, I would encourage ONLY married couples (1 man and 1 woman) to have children, I also believe that separating the gratification of our sexual desires from having children is sinful (Jesus supports this as well). Further I would encourage/support couples to plan for having children, but I do not believe this is a Biblical principal. God is in control and He works all things to His glory. The best laid human plans simply cannot be compared with His glorious works… God is constantly taking something broken and making it new.

            
Below is a separate but related thought and is a response to your comment:

            “I know most people do not think about becoming parents, they just become it by “accident”, and that to me is the greater tragedy. Children being born out of “accidents” and not being properly raised or cared for.”

            When I said “Well… by your definition I am one of those “accidents,” and tragedy or not, here I am,” it meant that my mother was pregnant with me before her and my father were married. Neither were Christian, neither gave much thought to having children before satisfying their sexual desires and I couldn’t be happier that my mother decided not to kill me in her womb. To be clear, I would not encourage people to have children under those circumstances. That is why in encourage abstinence before marriage… But if two people cannot control their sexual desires, and God creates a life from their sin, then what do you think God wants them to do?.. I believe Jesus tells us (and there is plenty of scripture supporting this) that they should honor God and the life He created (through marriage and family) rather than “honoring” their sexual sin by killing God’s creation. 

Despite their circumstances (poor, underprepared, and undereducated), my parents decided to keep me… and I’m alive and praising God for it.

          • gladys1071

            So if i understand you correctly, you believe it is sinful for a married couple to have sex using contraception? You don’t believe married couples should enjoy sex for its own sake? are you catholic?

            Jesus said nothing about sex being sinful just for its sake.

            I always find how Christians are so hung up on sex, what is it that so bothers so many about sex being for pleasure, about not having children? what is it?

            Why do Christians like to saddle people with all kinds of rules and regulations that Jesus never did?

            This sex is for procreation ONLY ship left a long time ago, many Christians practice using contraception like NFP or other devices to avoid pregnancy and still enjoy sex.

          • Scott

            “are you Catholic?”

            No. : – )

            “Jesus said nothing about sex being sinful just for its sake.”

            Mark 7:20-23 “And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

            “I always find how Christians are so hung up on sex, what is it that so bothers so many about sex being for pleasure, about not having children? what is it?”

            It’s not that Christians are hung up on sex… it’s just that no where in the Bible does it say that it is okay to have sex for the sake of pleasure alone. Every time the Bible mentions sex outside of marriage, it is considered sin. It is not a stretch to say that God intended the pleasure of sex as a reward for creating life. What I don’t understand is why this is such a contested idea? Is the allure of sex so powerful that we must have it no matter the cost?.. If what I say does not hold up to the scrutiny of scripture, then I will gladly take it back.

            Everyone wants to experience the euphoric physical pleasure sex can provide. What most people don’t want is to get out of their comfort zone, take on responsibility, or suffer a perceived inconvenience. We often forget is that through these kinds of trials, God builds our character. If we let God lead us through them, we come out the other side much better off.

            “Why do Christians like to saddle people with all kinds of rules and regulations that Jesus never did?”

            I personally am not trying to “saddle” you with anything. I am merely stating my position based on what I’ve read in the Bible and supporting that position with scripture:

            “This sex is for procreation ONLY ship left a long time ago”

            According to who?.. Our culture?.. The world?.. Maybe, but you would have a hard time finding scripture to back that up.

            1 John 2:15-16 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.”

            Romans 13:13-14 “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

          • gladys1071

            So again you did not answer my question, you consider sex between married couples using contraception or NFP as sinful too? are you calling married sex sexual immorality too?

            You do know the bible is silent on contraception and just so you know King David had many wives and concubines and he was called ” a man after God’s own heart”

            tell me anywhere where it says anywhere in the bible that married sex for the sake of pleasure is sinful or when Jesus said that or Paul? You will not find it.

            Yes Christians are hung up on sex my charge stands, I find that is the only issue that Christians harp on more than any other issue. Their are other sins like the love of money, not helping the poor, violence, etc… I don’t hear much about that in church.

            That is why i am slowly turning away from Christianity as a religion, this constant pre-occupation with what people do in their bedrooms. I say what people do in their bedrooms is between them and God.

            The other issue is the constant inserting themselves in politics in an effort to control and have power over other people’s lives ( such as gays, abortion, contraception) ALL related to sex.

            Christianity has become a religion obsessed with other people’s sex lives.

          • Scott

            “So again you did not answer my question, you consider sex between married couples using contraception or NFP as sinful too? are you calling married sex sexual immorality too?”

            I fear you have made me your enemy because I believe differently than you. We began this conversation talking about children and now you are asking me about sexual morality. I would only point you towards scripture and encourage you to read it daily… asking you to let the Holy Spirit guide your heart. This is what I do, then I try to place His word before my own desires. God is the authority, not me.

            “and just so you know King David had many wives and concubines and he was called ‘a man after God’s own heart'”

            Jesus said: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh.”

            Does this not speak against King David’s sexual practice?

            “That is why i am slowly turning away from Christianity as a religion, this constant pre-occupation with what people do in their bedrooms.”

            This is your choice, but why do you let issues surrounding sex and sexuality affect your emotions so much? Shouldn’t seeking God’s face through scripture and growing our relationship with Him be the Christian’s central focus? What you do in the bedroom does not affect me. So when you ask me what I believe to be moral or not, am required to give you an answer? If my answer is not what you want to hear, will you make me your enemy?.. or would you truly value my opinion, even if it is different than your own? I read God’s word daily and if someone asks me a question, I try and point them to Him. It is the kindest thing I can do because He provides eternal salvation… not me. Someone may hate me for what I say, or reject me for what I believe, but I cannot change God’s word in scripture. Nor would I want to.

            “I say what people do in their bedrooms is between them and God.”

            Yes!.. So seek His answers found in scripture. I will let Him be your authority by not answering your questions. I’m fairly sure you do not want to hear my answers anyway. : – )

            “The other issue is the constant inserting themselves in politics in an effort to control and have power over other people’s lives (such as gays, abortion, contraception) ALL related to sex.”

            Of the three you list, abortion is the only issue I would advocated against politically… and only because it involves the death of an innocent human being. As long as the other two aren’t being forced upon me, I wouldn’t force my views on anyone concerning them… and the key word being force.

            Also, the American sexual revolution that happened in the 1960s changed our cultural mindset about sex, but God didn’t change His. His moral laws have been the same since long before Adam and Eve.

          • gladys1071

            “Also, the American sexual revolution that happened in the 1960s changed our cultural mindset about sex, but God didn’t change His. His moral laws have been the same since long before Adam and Eve”

            i am glad that sex is no longer a taboo subject, and the sexual revolution helped to bring sex out into the open, something that is natural the God created should not be taboo and nobody should be ashamed of it for liking it desiring and enjoying it, organized religion created by man has made sex taboo and something dirty and sinful when it is not.

            That is all i will say about this subject.

          • gladys1071

            “I have already given you some. The Bible mostly speaks against the “sex for the sake of pleasure” part of your question (as in Romans 13). I am also pretty sure you are not asking me because you value my opinion… so i believe that no matter how many verses I quote or what I say, you will not accept it… and the important part is that I’m not forcing acceptance on you. I also do not place a certain value or judgement over you because you believe differently. If you do not like what I say, you may reject it”

            fair enough on your statement, i will disagree with you that the bible speaks against sex for the sake of pleasure as sinful, i think human beings have made that up as man made religious rules to control people. During the time the bible was written many scientific discoveries had not been discovered like how the sex drive is controlled by hormones mostly that God created in us. Also how certain mental illnesses are chemical imbalances in the brain not demonic possesion as it was probably assumed in those days. Or that women were basically considered property of the man all through the Old Testatment and during Jesus time

            People were superstitious back when the bible was written and many normal functions of our bodies was considered sinful when they are not, that is why when i read the bible i read in context to the time it was written, many beliefs of that time do not pertain to today, such as sexual pleasure being sinful and dirty and evil, when it is NOT.

            Not all things written in the bible apply to us today, the only two that i consider still valid teachings for today are the following:

            ” beware the love of money and Love your neighbor as yourself”

            I believe Greed and the lack of love for one another is what grieves God the most, not whether people enjoy sex and have children or don’t have children.

          • Scott

            “fair enough on your statement, i will disagree with you that the bible speaks against sex for the sake of pleasure as sinful,”

            Okay : – ), this is something I believe we will both find out at the end of our lives on earth.

            There is one thing I noticed that I would like to clarify though. I believe sex for the sake of pleasure ONLY is sinful. Pleasure in sex is good and is God’s plan. Sex is not dirty and sinful… I will agree. But changing God’s meaning for it by trying to control it to suit our own earthly desire is. I just wanted to make that distinction if I failed to do so before.

            “i think human beings have made that up as man made religious rules to control people. During the time the bible was written many scientific discoveries had not been discovered like how the sex drive is controlled by hormones mostly that God created in us. Also how certain mental illnesses are chemical imbalances in the brain not demonic possesion as it was probably assumed in those days.”

            As for all of this, I do not know where you are getting your information, but might I suggest a couple of books for you to read? They can at the very least offer you an alternative perspective. I do not think you want to hear my opinion so I will offer other’s whom you may consider more credible than my own.

            Regarding modern science and Christianity: The Language of God by Francis Collins. Francis lead the Human Genome Project and his team was instrumental in sequencing human DNA. He was an atheist who converted to Christianity (like myself). His book is a good starting point.

            Regarding love (and sex): The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. Lewis has incredible intellect and is very good at applying logic to his thought process. He also was a converted atheist and I do not believe he had children… so you have that in common. : – )

            Also worth mentioning: The Reason for God by Timothy Keller, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace and Miracles by Eric Metaxas. If what you said is true and you are considering turning away from the Christian faith, then I believe these books can be helpful in gaining a greater understanding of Christian ideology while strengthening your faith.

            “People were superstitious back when the bible was written and many normal functions of our bodies was considered sinful when they are not, that is why when i read the bible i read in context to the time it was written, many beliefs of that time do not pertain to today, such as sexual pleasure being sinful and dirty and evil, when it is NOT.”

            Again… I agree that sexual pleasure in not sinful. See my distinction above. God made our moral laws and His laws do not bend to our whims. Only He gave them meaning and only He can change them.

            “Not all things written in the bible apply to us today, the only two that i consider still valid teachings for today are the following: beware the love of money and Love your neighbor as yourself”

            These two apply yes… But they are NOT the only ones. I can only encourage you to read ALL of what Jesus says in the New Testament.

            “I believe Greed and the lack of love for one another is what grieves God the most, not whether people enjoy sex and have children or don’t have children.”

            This is what Jesus says God loves the most:

            Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

            These are my favorite words in the Bible. They apply no matter what the date on the calendar says… to love someone you have to know them though. And the only way we can know God is through His Son, who is found in the New Testament. We must read His word in the Bible.

          • gladys1071

            What i reject is all of the man made rules and regulations that human beings have added to being a Christian. I believe Christianity has become a religion of bondage not of freedom, so i believe in having a relationship with God (personal relationship) NOT in church or organized religion.

            “Okay : – ), this is something I believe we will both find out at the end of our lives on earth”

            I think we will both find out that God is not so hung up on sex and not as bothered by it as we are, we are the ones that are all uptight about it and want to control others.

            I do agree with you though the greatest commandment given is ” love your neighbor at yourself”

          • Scott

            “What i reject is all of the man made rules and regulations that human beings have added to being a Christian.”

            Yes… to this I agree. But I would caution all who think they know God without reading His word. I trust those who have devoted their lives to understanding scripture before I would trust the opinions of those who don’t place the greatest of God’s commands before their own ideas:

            This is what Jesus says God loves the most:

            Matthew 22:36-38 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment…”

            When Jesus says “This is the first and greatest Commandment” it means it is what we have to learn how to do first. Before all other commandments.

            Matthew 22:39-40 “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

            This is the second and it hinges on the first. We must orient ourselves to the first commandment… seeking God’s face through His word and learning how to love ourselves according to Him. We must do this before we can possibly know how to love our neighbors. All the rest follow these… but none can be done correctly without the first.

          • Scott

            “People were superstitious back when the bible was written and many normal functions of our bodies was considered sinful when they are not, that is why when i read the bible i read in context to the time it was written, many beliefs of that time do not pertain to today, such as sexual pleasure being sinful and dirty and evil, when it is NOT.”

            Again… I agree that sexual pleasure in not sinful. See my distinction above. God made our moral laws and His laws do not bend to our whims. Only He gave them meaning and only He can change them.

            “Not all things written in the bible apply to us today, the only two that i consider still valid teachings for today are the following: beware the love of money and Love your neighbor as yourself”

            These two apply yes… But they are NOT the only ones. I can only encourage you to read ALL of what Jesus says in the New Testament.

            “I believe Greed and the lack of love for one another is what grieves God the most, not whether people enjoy sex and have children or don’t have children.”

            This is what Jesus says God loves the most:

            Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

            These are my favorite words in the Bible. They apply no matter what the date on the calendar says… to love someone you have to know them though. And the only way we can know God is through His Son, who is found in the New Testament. We must read His word in the Bible.

  • Seek Wisdom

    One problem with this idea: It dismisses the sovereignty of the trinitarion God.