Quiverfull on NPR? Yup! (HT: StandFirm)
But I must say there is a quote that really disturbed me: "'We'll be able to take over both halls of Congress, we'll be able to reclaim sinful cities like San Francisco for the faithful, and we'll be able to wage very effective massive boycotts against companies that are going against God's will.'"
I don't know - since when did this become the ultimate goal for Christian families? What about sharing the gospel? What about caring for widows and orphans? What about the poor, the sick, the oppressed?
Wait, let's back up. Is "quiverfull" a term you are familiar with? It is sort of "jargon" in many Christian circles...but not even all Christians would know what it refers to, I guess. The term "Quiverfull" refers to a verse in Psalm 127 that describes children like the arrows in a mighty warrior's quiver. The idea being that a mighty warrior would have LOTS not just one or two. (Of course, a really good archer might only need one or two to get the job done...but that is a different debate.) So, the Quiverfull Movement is one that encourages Christian families to see children as a blessing and to accept as many "as the Lord sends" - using no birth control of any sort.
Apparently, it has lately been the zinger topic in some liberal circles...you know, easy to "zing" with negative labels and attitudes, and generally writing it off as "nutty", without taking the time to really get to know some of the families who make up the Quiverfull Movement. (Do a google search and see how many negative articles come up on the first two pages.)
I did a lot of reading about the quiverfull movement (also called QF for short) around the time my husband and I decided we were not "done" (even though one of us had surgery to be "done"...which we then had "undone"). I read lots of the books, websites and such and was mostly convinced that this movement was on to something. Of course, this wasn't a huge leap for me. Since I was little, I've thought it odd that people who believe in a good, omnicient, omnipotent God would not trust him more with the size of their families. But there were some aspects to the basic ideas that I couldn't settle in my mind and some influences within the movement that I thought were going so far as to have missed the gospel in the search for "godliness".
Really, I found it hard to come to terms with the movement's emphasis that EVERYONE should be quiverfull (at least every Christian) and if they weren't they were sinning against God. All I'm going to say about that right now is that it strikes me as quite a legalistic approach to Scripture. (And having read the blogs and forums of some of these groups, it wasn't only a legalistic seeming...there was some pretty extreme legalism going on inside the group on all manner of issues.) There almost seemed to be an unspoken contest going on to determine who trusts God more, me or thee. However, legalism can be found in any group (Christian or not, religious or not...shoot, have you ever noticed the legalism in the Green movement...there it is "who is greener, me or thee".)
The quote from the NPR piece displays the attitude prevalent in the QF movement that I think is the most troublesome. There is quite an emphasis on gaining power through political positions in order to "Christianize" the country. (The QF is not the only Christian group today that holds to the belief that Chrisitans should be out to Christianize by conquest...it is also not the first Christian group to desire political influence and power...seems like I remember a Roman church that held political power for quite a few years - but that is a much larger topic!) And this is where I think it veers beyond, or rather, doesn't reach, the Gospel.
Christ eschewed political power as a means of evangelism, instead he chose and instructed us to evangelize by one-on-one interaction. Not only that, He also told us that "true religion" is the care of widows and orphans. This should be what we are filling our quivers with- children who love God and love their fellow human beings. Children who see the frailty and grief around them and want to present Christ to a dying world. And also, children who delight in God's gift of creation!
And while I have criticism for the QF movement, I also think that Christians in America can learn a LOT from the ideas of the quiverfull movement about getting our perspectives toward children and famlies in line with God's perspective. Why do we stop at one or two...because it is culturally acceptable? Because of finances? Our lack of patience? Or because we've invested time in prayer and thought and believe that is the Lord's will for our family? Which definitely sounds more like a people who believe in a God who loves them and their children.
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