This Quiverfull movement is generally strong in Evangelical homes (although certainly devout Catholics and Mormons will frequently end up bearing many children). I will try to lay the paradox as clearly as I can (please forgive the lack of theological precision in my language and laying out of the question):
- Evangelicals are supposed to believe in original sin
- In the doctrine of original sin, all people are born sinners
- According to evangelical thought, sin necessarily separates humans from God
- If a human is not saved from sin, he or she will be damned to an eternity of torment
- In order to be saved from sin, a person must either a. accept Christ freely (Arminian evangelical) or b. be predestined for salvation (Calvinistic evangelical)
- A parent has no ultimate control over the salvation or damnation of his or her children (influence - yes, control - no).
- Therefore, why would evangelical Christians willingly bring many more souls into the world that are sinners in need of salvation? Is there not a reasonable chance some of them will be lost for eternity?
- Corollary: Shouldn't Evangelicals be leading the way in adopting those children who would likely never hear of Jesus apart from their influence? Besides, adoption is a significant New Testament metaphor for how an Evangelical understands his or her relationship with God the Father - that is nobody except Christ is the natural child of God, but all the saved are God's children by adoption.
I am sure that I am not the first person who has wondered about this, but I have personally never sorted out a satisfactory answer.