Quoting Quiverfull: Who Is Ultimately In Control of Conception?

Quoting Quiverfull: Who Is Ultimately In Control of Conception? November 16, 2012
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and aks our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully. 

From Nancy Campbell, Nov. 12, 2012, Above Rubies


(I alluded to the following in a response to my last post, “The Power of a Baby” but would like to add a little more).

Not every conception happens in ideal circumstances. Perhaps a great majority. But, who is ultimately in control of conception? God Himself. He is the giver of life. No life can come except from God for only God has life in Himself.

Do you remember the story of Jephthah in Judges 11? He was the son of a harlot. When his half-brothers grew up, they thrust him out of the home and said, “Thou shalt not inherit in our father’s house.” He had to leave his home and land and live in another country. But, who eventually became the leader of Israel? Was it these homeborn brothers? No! It was the outcast and “bastard,” Jephthah!What about Moses? He was born at a time when Pharaoh demanded every male child to be killed. What a scary time to conceive. But, God spared him and he became one of the greatest leaders in the history.I have a dear friend who conceived a child through rape. God gave her grace, as a new Christian, to embrace and keep her baby. This baby has grown into a beautiful young woman who loves God and serves Him with all her heart. And this is not an isolated testimony.A newly conceived baby is a separate human being to the mother and no human being has the right to destroy another human being. No matter what the situation, God will always care for both the mother and the baby. God has mighty purposes for every child that is conceived no matter how difficult the situation.We can trust God because He sees the bigger picture.

Love from Nancy

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • I would generally agree with this as long as it is not used a guilt trip to pressure women into trying to have as many babies as possible.

    When I was expecting one of my older children, I had a beautiful poster of a pregnant lady that had the caption, “No child is an accident to God.” I haven’t seen that picture in 20 years but still think of it. Each of my children is precious, each has dignity, no matter what. Each one was supposed to be here, I remind myself during the challenging times. It has been worth it.

  • Sarah

    As far as it goes, I agree with what’s said *in this quote*. I do believe every person ever conceived was known about by God before time began. However, this is not proof that we can’t use birth control. The most we can say from this is that God took birth control into account and allowed it to happen both in general and in specific situations. It has no bearing on the morality or immorality of trying to keep from getting pregnant in the first place.

  • Karen

    “No matter what the situation, God will always care for both the mother and the baby.” Tell that to Savita Halappanavar, the young woman who just died horribly, in terrible pain, in Ireland for lack of assistance with a miscarriage. Tell me your god is loving, because I don’t believe it ( or IN it, for that matter).

  • “… no human being has the right to destroy another human being.” I hear this thought a lot from the anti-abortion crowd, but they always mean no woman has the right to destroy a gestating fetus. But if they really mean what they say, shouldn’t it work the other way around also? Shouldn’t it also mean that no fetus has the right to destroy a woman? Because sometimes they do, more often than these dogmatic moralizers credit. Sometimes a pregnancy (to say nothing of the post-birth raising of the child) does destroy a woman–physically, emotionally, spiritually. If no one has the right to destroy another, why are they so determined to give a fetus that right?

  • Ali

    I agree with the above and this comment also. Keeping an unplanned baby isn’t the same as planning for as many children possible.

  • Andrea

    A newly conceived baby is a separate human being to the mother

    That is literally false; the developing embryo is not separate, it is attached to the mother. Maybe it’s a sloppy attempt at saying the embryo is a different human being, which is true as far as it goes, but given the well-documented anti-choice tendency to minimize, ignore or deny women’s bodily experience of pregnancy, I’m not inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt.

  • Anonymus

    You can read those Bible texts to support either view. Look at Moses born at a time when all male children were to be killed. You could say that regardless of what humans are doing, if God really wants someone to be born, he’ll find a way for that to happen. Surely God knew what the situation was like down on earth when Moses was born and God took human actions, past and future, into account when deciding which family to give Moses to.

    God can see the future and knows whether or not the woman will ultimately decide to keep the child and so if God wanted to, God could ensure that a specific soul, like the soul of Jesus or Moses, would be given to a specific family that would be sure to raise the child and not kill it. Ultimately, God is in control. If it’s vitally important for God’s plans that a certain baby be born, then God has the means to ensure that will happen. Do we think that we can really screw up God’s plans? Can a single grain of sand screw up my plans even if it wants to? No. If God wants something to happen, God will make that clear. Otherwise, we have to decide what best to do on our own and maybe we make a decision that we thinks is best but turns out not to be, or maybe we make a decision that looks to others to be a wrong one but it turns out okay in the end.

  • Anonymus

    (I am the same anonymus as above, hit post to soon.)

    I don’t think that God necessarily feels the need to intervene in every situation, but I think for an important case, like Jesus surviving Herod’s killing of infants, or Moses being born and not be killed, God wouldn’t let them die before they’d done what they needed to do. I don’t think Jesus and Moses were average humans, and special cases probably get special treatment.

    Many embryos die of natural causes before they’re very far along. Presumably, if God felt a particular soul, like the soul of Jesus, was important enough to God’s overarching plans for the world, God could ensure that the embryo would survive. We don’t spend a lot of time wondering “What if Mary had miscarried?” because it makes sense that Jesus’ mission in life was important enough that God wouldn’t let a miscarriage happen in Jesus’ case. And it doesn’t make so much sense to worry about abortion either.

  • Saraquill

    I rather believe that G-d has more important things to do than monitor the fertility of every woman of childbearing age.

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone else noticed these stories always have a “happily ever after”? Moses was born at a challenging time but …, Jephthah was born a bastard but…, I know a person who was conceived during rape but …

    Well Nancy Campbell, I do foster care and I know the kids who don’t get a happily ever after. I have cared for a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, I have cared for a child who was removed from a violent situation but later beaten to death by her mother on an access visit, I have cared for a child who was sexually abused and I have cared for many who were just neglected by their parents. Most, if not all, of these children were not wanted by their parents. They were just a consequence of having sex. They were a nuisance to their parents, in the effort of raising them and the cost and the children knew it. I have known children who have said “I wish I had never been born” and really meant it. I am currently working with a boy who has eight younger siblings who said “Mum & Dad knew they were useless parents when they couldn’t cope with me. Why didn’t they stop at just destroying one life, instead of having eight more kids to screw up?” He was 11 at the time. He has told me that he would love to end it all – just kill himself – but then there would be nobody to protect the younger kids.

    I am not using these kids lives to suggest we should have compulsory birth control or forced steralizations. I do want Nancy Campbell and others like her to take off their blinkers and see that reality is not always pretty.

  • seculargal

    “God is in control of conception” is the assertion Nancy Campbell is making here, right? Really? She cannot possibly know what she’s talking about. First of all, I don’t believe in a God that deals in personally guiding such things as cell division, implantation, miscarriage, birth etc. That being said, I certainly do NOT believe in a God that INTENDS rape, incest & forced pregnancy.

    Here’s a gem of a story I learned from a friend of a family who endured and still endures the suffering that rape & incest cause. In New England, there was a case of a girl who at 10 years of age was repeatedly molested & raped by her uncle (her mother’s brother). She, like many girls of that age, had already begun to menstruate & was impregnated by her pedophile uncle. The pregnancy was discovered after she revealed the abuse to her mother. The uncle was sent to prison for a VERY long time – he may never get out. But this girl, was also sentenced. The doctors who treated her at the age of 10, recommended to her mother to terminate this little girl’s pregnancy (she was still in the 1st trimester). They told this woman that her little girl’s body would have a very difficult time carrying the baby to full term and could pose significant risks to the health of both the 10 year old and the fetus she was carrying. The pedophile’s sister, this little girl’s mother, made the decision that God wanted this baby to be born. The little girl carried this child, turned 11 years old & as predicted went into preterm labor. The baby was a preemie & survived. The 11 year old also survived, thankfully. However, the infant was born with Severe physical & development disabilities. He will never walk, talk, feed himself, use the bathroom by himself, go to a regular school, be healthy, ride a bike, get married, etc. So, I ask, why did this happen? Was it God? Or was it a disgusting pedophile raping his 10 year old niece & the decision her mother made regarding her pregnancy? I do not know how this rape survivor is doing now, I can only hope that she received the treatment she needed to continue to survive this ordeal. But I cannot imagine having to watch the child I was forced to conceive & give birth to suffer for his entire life because it was “God’s will”.

  • Odd that Nancy uses the story of Jephthah in order to make this argument, when Jephthah is the one who made a vow that whatever came through the door of his house first when he returned victorious from battle would be sacrificed. It so happened that the first to come out to welcome him was his daughter, and he sacrificed her. Not exactly a heart-warming story. But hey, since the daughter evidently was beyond babyhood, perhaps her life no longer mattered, as far as Nancy was concerned??

  • persephone

    ^this. Heartily agree.

    I think Nancy Campbell’s statement is linked to the attitude behind many people who join HDOs, not just fundamentalist churches. There is a need within them to know that someone, someone important, especially God, cares so much for them that every moment of their lives is monitored and even controlled by him.

  • Karen

    I do agree with Nancy on the rape issue – children’s lives should not be cut short because of the way they were conceived, as horrendous as it is. However, conception through rape is such a difficult issue that I couldn’t even begin to tell another woman how to handle it. I know what I would do, but I’m not sure I could tell someone else what to do.
    I’m not sure what all this has to do with conception, though. Yes, these babies were concieved in ways other than the ideal, but if she’s trying to argue against contraception, it’s not a very good argument. It would be better used against abortion (which is NOT the same as contraception) but it’s still not a good argument. The example she used doesn’t actually prove her thesis (God controls conception) at all.

  • madame

    I agree with Karen. “I do agree with Nancy on the rape issue – children’s lives should not be cut short because of the way they were conceived, as horrendous as it is. However, conception through rape is such a difficult issue that I couldn’t even begin to tell another woman how to handle it. I know what I would do, but I’m not sure I could tell someone else what to do.”
    I don’t know what I would say to someone facing this horrendous situation. There is a huge difference between an unplanned pregnancy and a forced pregnancy. And no, I don’t see a good God behind a rape pregnancy. A merciful God would cause that embrio to not implant, or to die under some other natural causes early on in the pregnancy. After all, the unborn baby would be better off in heaven anyway, and the mother could get along with living without having to face such a hard decision after being the victim of such a violation.

  • madame

    How awful…
    Poor girl and poor child.