A Biblical Look at Sperm Donation
Rev. Robert Fleischmann National Director, Christian Life Resources
- A common method of sperm retrieval (masturbation with the assistance of pornography) involves a violation of the sixth commandment (Matthew 5:28; Colossians 3:5; Exodus 20:14).
- Many ethical and practical issues are the same here as with surrogate parenting. A review of surrogate parenting material would be appropriate.
- Sperm banks raise valid social and legal concerns re: paternal rights, the rights of children to know their parents, transmission of diseases, and a checkered past of mismanagement resulting in mistaken insemination of sperm.
I reject the argument that sperm banks presume for humans the authority of God. The role of God in the life-giving process extends far beyond the comparatively minuscule tasks of mixing sperm and egg together. The statistical information on the thousands of sperm that never can penetrate the egg’s shell alone suggests that God has never deserted his lifegiving functions. While some have allowed technology to suggest that God’s miracles are explainable, even agnostic medical pioneers in these fields develop a growing sense of awe and respect over the complexity and miraculous nature of the procreative process.
God’s prerogative to author and terminate life is not subordinate to our activities (Deuteronomy 32:39). The virgin Mary was an example in which God did not wait for sexual relations to begin life (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:34). People use a wide variety of fertility techniques and birth control devices and nevertheless are still subject to the will of God as to when life begins and ends (Job 17:11; Psalm 20:4; Psalm 33:10; Proverbs 16:9). Medical advances represent blessings for us to manage. When we exercise that management with the proper motives and understanding of God’s will there is no usurping of God’s authority (Job 22:21; James 4:710). When, however, we have the attitude that God made a mistake with us in making us infertile, or that life is trivial and subordinate to our own desires, we cross that line (Job 2:10; Hebrews 11:6; Philippians 4:1113).
It is not wrong to desire the blessing of children as we also desire the blessing of a nice home, good job, a friendly and Christ-centered church, good friends, etc (1 Samuel 1:120). While we pursue these other blessings we carefully watch our steps so that we do not violate the principles of God in the process. So also should we carefully watch our steps when seeking the blessing of children. We should ask ourselves: Are my motives God-pleasing? Will the techniques pursued compromise God’s value in human life? In the end, will this effort be done to give God the full glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)?
May 4, 2018