Summary: As the world faces a potential
demographic winter of underpopulation, political leaders move to clamp
down on babies, and liberal social commentators use the language of
hatred and fear-mongering to further anti-family campaigns aimed at
proponents of fruitful families, many Christians remain undecided as to
whether or not babies are a blessing or burden in troubled times.
This e-mail explains the controversy. It also points you to resources
that will help you to better communicate to neighbors, relatives,
and friends the practicality and blessing of children in tough economic
After more than fifteen hundred years, Japanese culture is on the
verge of extinction. There are not enough children. And similar fates
may be in store for France, Italy, and elsewhere. These nations and
others are on the brink of a demographic implosion with far-reaching
economic implications — and they know it! There are simply not enough
babies being born to maintain their economies.
But they are not alone. In the United States, the birthrate has been
experiencing a dramatic and steady twelve-year decline. Despite this
fact, last week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi defended her proposal
that an important ingredient of the nation’s $825 billion “economic
stimulus package” would include a taxpayer-subsidized effort to prevent
the birth of more children. Why? She argues that children are bad for
[For a more in-depth look at this international crisis, click here]
Three Key Issues Addressed
Are babies a blessing or a burden? This is a simple question, but one
fraught with tremendous controversy and significant implications for
nations and families.
There are really three issues on the table: First, the demographic
implications of having babies; second, the practical issues concerning
babies and the family during a recessionary economy (or at any time);
and third — and most importantly — the scriptural foundations for a
Christian worldview of the womb.
What May Happen to America and Other Nations Because of the Dramatic
Decrease in Childbirth?
first issue goes right to the heart of the present culture war: Will we
be a self-indulgent nation with little regard for the sanctity of life,
or will we recognize the God-ordained blessing of the biblical
institution of the family with its emphasis on fruitfulness and the
blessing of children?
As a nation, we have chosen the former. Now the question is this:
What are the practical implications of our selfishness and disobedience?
What happens to a country when the Malthusian dream is realized, and
women have fewer and fewer babies?
The ultimate result is a culture-eradicating phenomenon and economic
catastrophe called “Demographic Winter” — where the selfishness of a
generation of families who refused God’s gift of children leads to a
national birthrate that is insufficient to replace its aging population.
Don Feder put it this way:
Demographic Winter is the terminal stage in the suicide of the West
— the culmination of a century of evil ideas and poisonous policies.
Here is how one demographer described the imminent catastrophe that
will result from declining birthrates:
The ongoing global decline in human birthrates is the single most
powerful force affecting the fate of nations and the future of society
in the twenty-first century. —Phillip Longman, The Empty Cradle:
How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity.
This perspective may be a shocker for those raised during the
libertine ‘60s and ‘70s with the message of the Pill and population
control, or for those spoon-fed on a diet of Green theology in the ‘90s.
It is not comfortable to radical feminists who have made the “right” of
a mother to destroy her own child the highest virtue a society can
But the facts are inescapable.
And this is the subject of the documentary,
Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family, one of
the most important and groundbreaking films of the last year, maybe of
the last decade. This is the first significant film to explore the most
overlooked crisis of our generation: the rapid worldwide decline in
The data presented is chilling. Columnist Don Feder summarizes the
important issues raised by the film (i.e., how “demographic winter” will
impact many areas of our lives):
What will happen in the First World as fewer and fewer workers are
called on to provide pensions for more and more retirees? At what
point will the burden become so onerous that young workers will simply
rebel and refuse to support a system that they couldn’t possibly hope
to benefit from? |
How will Russia, which is expected to lose a third of its population
by mid-point of this century, defend its borders? If Russia, which
occupies the largest territory of any nation, dissolves into enclaves
of squabbling ethnic groups, it will destabilize both Europe and Asia.
Due to falling birthrates, at some point in the century, the world’s
population will begin to decline. Then the decline will become rapid.
We could even reach population free-fall. |
Throughout the course of history, there is no instance of economic
growth accompanied by population decline. How can an industrial
society be maintained with fewer and fewer workers and consumers?
This film does not pretend to be a Christian film with a biblical
analysis, but it is so full of carefully-researched data that is
indispensable to this critical culture battle that Christian parents
around the nation need to own it, and watch it, and then watch it again.
What Does Managing a Large Household Look Like in the Real World? Can I
Really Afford Children?
The second major issue pertains to practicality: Assuming that
children really are a blessing and the fruitful womb “is His reward”
(Psalm 127:3), how does that concept work in the real world where
economic resources are scarce and time is at a premium?
Sometimes people pose the question this way: “I can barely manage and
afford a family with one child. How could I possibly handle three or
four, let alone (gasp!) seven?”
But there is another question that needs to be asked: Are there
practical, economic, and spiritual blessings for the family that flow
from an economy of scale?
I believe there are. And these are precisely the types of blessings
and benefits that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have modeled for all of us
in their beautiful new book,
The Duggars: 20 and Counting: Raising One of America’s Largest
Families — How they do it.
From a practical perspective, this book offers definitive answers.
And it is absolutely delightful, transparent, hands on, and full of
humor. After reading it, you will walk away loving your own family more
and will gain great ideas for household management. My wife gobbled it
This is a totally delightful book, easy to follow, and full of
personal stories about their life as well as practical, tangible
information about THEIR family which can be easily adapted into MY
family, or anyone else’s. It is honest, humorous, humble, and
completely in earnest. . . . You will read about their life story,
from Michelle and Jim Bob’s childhood up to right now, their many
businesses, their solution to laundry, education, music, and even food
(Read more of Beall’s review here.)
There is a reason why this family has captured the imagination of
America through their top-ranked television show, 17 Kids and
Counting. They are communicating a Christ-exalting vision of home.
And they are the real deal! A family that loves their children — all
eighteen of them. There is so much negativism in the world, but the
Duggars are using their life as a large family to show the beauty and
practicality of the Christian household to a generation where many
children never even experience the blessing of sitting down with their
whole family for dinner.
What Does the Bible Say about the Blessing of Fruitfulness?
Does this Apply Today?
The final issue is the most important one: What does the Bible say
about having babies?
For Christians, the Bible is our standard for faith and practice.
Everything necessary on the subject of having babies is found in God’s
Holy Word. It is both the starting place and the “final court of appeal”
for prayerful Christians who desire to make wise decisions regarding the
Related issues include: Why are children a blessing? What does it
mean to be fruitful? How does the Bible specifically link low birthrates
to national judgment? Does the Bible promote, condone, or encourage baby
banning? Is it a good idea to have babies in times of economic hardship?
These questions and others are answered in our CD,
Children and the Dominion Mandate, and the book
Be Fruitful and Multiply, both of which are included in this
week’s special offer. If you have ever found yourself wondering how to
respond to such questions, or if you have friends or relatives that
disapprove of the number of children in your family, these indispensable
tools will help you to use Scripture to reason through the many complex
issues which are on the table.
Save 30% on Our New Collection: The Blessing of Children
The Blessings of Children Collection is available now through
February 10, at the special price of $42.70 — a 30% discount. The set
The Duggars: 20 and Counting,
Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family (DVD),
Be Fruitful and Multiply, and
Children and the Dominion Mandate (CD).
This special offer expires February 10, 2009 at Midnight (CST). Order
www.visionforum.com, or call us toll-free at 1-800-440-0022.
View The Blessing of Children Collection.
 Don Feder, “‘Demographic Winter’ Exposes the Century’s
Overlooked Crisis,” March 27, 2008, Human Events