I am no Roman Catholic, but I agree with what John Paul II said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live.” The family is the building block of society. If the family abdicates its duty to train up faithful, self-governing young men and women, the state will be happy to fill the gap. As William Penn said, “If men will not be ruled by God, they will be ruled by tyrants.” It is no wonder that the enemy is waging a frontal assault on the family unit: homosexual perversion, abortion, and gender confusion. The demise of the family has led to vice and folly in the nation.
The one and only solution to this predicament is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray for an outpouring of God’s Spirit on our nation, and the world. However, God uses means to accomplish his ends—even some of his really spectacular ends. Christian reproduction is one of those means, ordained by God, to advance the Christian cause. For a number of reasons, Christians have been wont to not think deeply about the power of Christian reproduction. But this is to our hurt, and the world’s.
I’d like to do a thought experiment in order to demonstrate the power of Christian reproduction. In 1780, the population of Delaware was approximately 60,000. Today, the population of the first state is about 970,000. Based on several factors, it seems clear that the majority of Delaware today is not Christian. However, consider if merely 100 married couples living in 1780 were Christians. That’s 200 people out of a population of 60,000—just 0.3%. Furthermore, let’s say these couples raised an average of five children each, training them in the way of Christian discipleship and imparting to them a passion for multi-generational faithfulness and the victory of Christ’s kingdom. Let’s just say that their children (500 people) did the same, and so on. Where would Delaware be today if God blessed the faithful multiplication of Christians via the means of biblical family government?
Assuming, an average of five children from each couple will be committed to Christ, find a godly spouse, and train their children to do the same, the results are astounding. We will take an interval of 40 years for each generation for this thought experiment. So, 40 years after 1780, there would be 500 Christians; in 40 more years, there would be 2,500, and so on.
- 100 x 5 = 500 people in 1820
- 500 x 5 = 2,500 people in 1860
- 2,500 x 5 = 12,500 people in 1900
- 12,500 x 5 = 62,500 people in 1940
- 62,500 x 5 = 312,500 people in 1980
- 312,500 x 5 = 1,562,500 people in 2020
By 2020, the last generation alone would be larger than the entire current population of Delaware. If only the previous generation was still alive, the total Christian population in Delaware would be 1.8 million. By the way, if you think Delaware could not handle a population of that size, then you haven’t visited Kent and Sussex counties. Over half of the current population of Delaware lives in the smallest county (New Castle County).
Obviously this thought experiment does not consider a lot things—migration to other states, infertility, and so on. It is simply an illustration to demonstrate that incredible multiplication is possible, given fairly reasonable average rates. (At least five children per family used to be considered reasonable! However, today, even though the average house is much larger than in bygone generations, families living in those large houses are having less and less children.)
One of the reasons Christians have not multiplied at this rate may be due to a negative outlook on the future. If the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, why bother trying to advance Christ’s kingdom on earth? A pessimistic outlook on the future of Christendom, no doubt aided by some dispensationalists and amillennialists, has certainly influenced Christians in two main ways. First, it has at least implicitly given Christians pause in having more children—”I don’t want to bring more kids into this world!” And second, it has fostered generations of Christians who are not training their children to apply the Bible to all of society—in which case having a majority of Christians in a state might not amount to much socially and politically—believing the end is about to come and there is no need to do such work. Christians may have abandoned the effort precisely because they believe it’s pointless, a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. But we shouldn’t give up, even when things seem dark; we should remember the Reformation motto, “After darkness, light.”
What about today? Is it too late? Consider, again, the example of Delaware (it’s my home state). Today there are 970,000 people in the state. The Pew Research Center notes that 46% of adults in Delaware identify as Protestants. That comes out to about 348,000 people. Many of these 348,000 are nominal Christians only, with no love for Christ or desire to obey God’s Law-Word. Suppose that only 2% of this group is genuinely committed to Christ and desirous to raise up the next generation, applying Scripture to all of life. Two percent of 348,000 is 6,900. Assume that out of this group there are 3,000 Christians couples, who have five children each, and so on:
- 3,000 x 5 = 15,000 in 2040
- 15,000 x 5 = 75,000 in 2080
- 75,000 x 5 = 375,000 in 2120
- 375,000 x 5 = 1,875,000 in 2160
The latest data from the Census Bureau shows that U.S. population growth is running at between 0.7% and 0.9% per year. Given that rate, the population of Delaware will be 3,400,000 in 2160. Therefore, Christian multiplication at a fivefold rate over merely four generations would result in the Christian population being 55% of the total population of the state (1,875,000/3,400,000)! If generation length (time to reproduce) was less than 40 years (which it usually is), someone alive today could still be around to see the Christian generation—their great-great-grandchildren’s generation.
The point of this exercise is not to suggest that God guarantees spiritual reproduction when Christian couples reproduce. (However, it certainly seems to be the general principle, when the parents faithfully apply the Bible to all of life—see Proverbs 20:7, 22:6; Malachi 2:15). Nor is it to say that those who do not have children (or a lot of children) are sub-Christian. Rather, the point is to simply point out that the mandate God gave to Adam and Eve (“be fruitful and multiply”) remains one of the greatest weapons in the arsenal of Christendom in the advance of the kingdom of Christ.
The enemies of Christ, especially those in the political sector, understand this quite well. They know that population control, especially of Christians, is essential to maintain the statist status quo. (And if you don’t think liberals hate the idea of Christians reproducing, just behold how they react to the Duggar family.) A generation of self-governing, gospel-proclaiming, Scripture-applying Christians would mean the peaceful demise of the humanistic, statist strongholds that have been set up in our nation.
In many ways, there has never been a better time for Christians to finally embrace their multi-generational mandate. Much of the unbelieving world is refraining from bearing children (or killing babies in the womb). Vox reports:
The number of births in the US dropped by 2 percent between 2017 and 2018, to 59 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, continuing a general downturn that started with the Great Recession of 2008. It’s the lowest number of births in 32 years.
Additionally, from a technological standpoint, it has never been easier to “communicate” with your future offspring. The Internet is here to stay and it provides an incredible way to leave a “time capsule” for future generations. Every Christian father and mother should create a free web-page (WordPress works!) to share their vision for future faithfulness to Christ. Letters and videos to future generations can easily be created and stored. Of course, none of that is a substitute for the absolutely essential disciple-making of each generation—which is why we ought to pray (and sing), “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands” (Psalm 90:17).
Adoption is another thing to consider. Adoption changes the mathematical equation by taking, as it were, a child from a non-Christian home (the state) and placing them in Christian care. Two for one.
For far too many generations, American Christians, providentially blessed with no serious persecution, have aimed low, simply trying to keep their heads down and make it to heaven. No need to be involved in education or politics. The end of the world has (always) seemed right around the corner, so why be really serious about multi-generational faithfulness and future generations? Well, here we are. Still here. How might we Delawarean Christians now wish there were but 100 faithful Christians back in 1780. Aim high Christians. Aim high and make babies.