I was teaching our youth this past week about man. During our discussion I touched on the cultural mandate and discussed how much of our culture (even evangelical culture) says you can get married and decide whether or not you want to have kids, but God has created us to be fruitful and multiply. It was a portion of our talk, but I wanted the youth to keep hearing that we’re commanded to be fruitful and multiply.
Afterwards, one of the adult leaders pulled me aside and asked if we could get together to talk about the idea of being fruitful and multiplying. He’s heard this teaching in our church before, but expressed (calmly) his disagreement that the mandate still applies. I asked if he was saying that there is no command for married couples to have children (i.e. if they want to have kids that’s great, if they don’t want to, that’s also great). He said he agreed with that statement. He thought it was something for people at the beginning of time or after the flood, but it was a reach to apply to us today.
I asked him when he felt the command was fulfilled/stopped? Was it only for Adam & Noah? Was it for his sons? Did it stop after Jesus somehow? He didn’t have an answer, but said he would think about it.
I’m realizing that I’ve taken the command for granted because it seems clear throughout Scripture that this how God has created man (be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, have dominion over it…). But I’m also realizing my weakness in being able to teach on it clearly to those who have been taught it does not apply.
Does anyone have any resources that have been helpful regarding this issue? Helpful ways they’ve instructed others on this topic? Not sure how to go back and talk to someone who just claims it doesn’t apply anymore besides asking him to show how/when the command stopped being a command. Maybe that’s enough? Thanks