Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Papal Condom Nation Pt. 1

I expect you've read and heard of this latest 'flip-flop'.
How the present pope has  conflicted  a previous pope- by presenting a radically different paradigm.
And even conflicted his previous position- by now condoning condom use. 

A pragmatic 'flip-flop'- to aid nominal Catholic nations.
To prevent Catholics from flipping to an alternate authority.
To prevent them from flopping to no authority.

Yes, Catholics with an impaired zeal are now permitted  a latex defense.  A  defense that was not permitted prior to this recent 'illumination'.  For a zeal that led to death.

Prior to this illumination, Rome appealed to a "naturally" contrived paradigm- a wind-blown paradigm (Eph. 4:14).  Rather than appealing to a supernaturally derived paradigm- a God-breathed paradigm (2 Tim. 3:16).
Appealed to a naturally-inferred purpose  of sex. Rather than a supernaturally-conferred purpose of sex.
Appealed to an an exclusive  principle.  Rather than an inclusive principle.
Appealed to an exclusive "procreative principle".  Rather than a principle that included procreation.

And now Rome is appealing to "the lesser evil" principle. While insisting that a  'lesser evil remains intrinsically evil'.
A paradigm that is far less pretty than it appears.  A paradigm that remains evil.
A paradigm that is still quite "natural".  It only looks supernatural.

But let's examine Rome's slightly older  paradigm.  Let's examine the relatively recent papal bull called Humanae Vitae.
A bull which develops this particular principle.  And this particular paradigm.
An alleged aid to illuminate vital human interests. 
A cup of Lumen-Aid so-to-speak.  Prior to the human AIDS complication.

This bull begins by stating its intent---

and attempts to address the recent challenges of the 'birth control pill'---
the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes

It recognizes that there are reasons for people to desire birth control yet insists on---
a teaching which is based on the natural law as illuminated and enriched by divine Revelation.

A "natural law" which is---
necessary for men's eternal salvation. (3)

Rome here (3) provides a biblical reference ("Revelation") to support their "natural law"  paradigm (Matthew 7:21).  This reference suggests quite the opposite, however.  This reference is calling us to do something quite unnatural.  Something that 'natural' man is quite incapable of doing without supernatural assistance (cf. Romans 3:11,12).

Then after prefacing with special pleading and platitudes, Rome attempts to make a case for this "procreative principle" by invoking a God's "loving design" argument.  Attempts to show that since husband and wife often do procreate- that their very purpose must therefore be to procreate ("and rear").  Attempts to show an exclusive purpose of sex (with 'corollary benefits'). A case void of any supernatural revelation.  And void of valid logic.

Again, Rome is quite dogmatic ("constant doctrine") that because man  has the "capability" to procreate- that it is incumbent on man only to have sex in a manner capable of procreation---
each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life. (12)
Yes, quite dogmatic that man "must be willing to cooperate with God" in that regard.  And that man's use of contraception precludes such willingness.  That its use is "repugnant",  "intrinsically wrong" and "unlawful".

Rome goes on to appeal to our natural

   1)   Free Will Sentiment-
         It is also, and above all, an act of the free will
   2)   Parental Sentiment-
         Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents' welfare." (8)

Two appeals that are naturally very appealing- but for brevity sake, we won't get into this secondary stuff.
Rome then goes on to appeal to God's alleged will-

          they must also recognize that an act of mutual love which impairs the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator, through specific laws, has built into it, frustrates His design which constitutes the norm of marriage, and contradicts the will of the Author of life.
OK, let's get into this primary argument.  This unnatural argument.

We find that Rome is rather hypocritical here.
That here Rome would then have to show:

   i)   that subscribing to Rome's Vow Of Celibacy- does not frustrate "God's design".
   ii)   that subscribing to Rome's Rhythm Method of birth control (proscribed in this bull)- does not frustrate "God's design".
For in the above, don't we still have man impairing  his "willingness to cooperate with God" in procreation?   Or  men belaying their "willingness to cooperate" at the very least? Till the rhythm is right?
Is this not special pleading as well?  Are such subscribers truly an 'excluded middle'?  Are not such folks then subscribing to a very different design as well?  A less than exclusive design?

Rome would also have to show that:

   i)   the inability to "transmit life" is not also included in "God's design".
   ii)  the unwillingness to "transmit life" is not also included in "God's design".

For how can a design be "frustrated"... when it was never intended?
And how can we know when procreation actually was intended?

But Rome fails to address such condom conundrums.
And fails to address any supernatural appeals.

Appeals that we will consider in our next post.
Protestant appeals.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Flee from Masturbation?- pt .3

Well… what do we do with this  evidence presented?
Evidence provided by exposition, exhibition, exegesis and lexicons.   
Evidence that may be bolstered by pragmatics... but that’s not my 'rule of faith'.

Strong evidence that what is overwhelmingly translated “sensuality”- should actually be translated “unlicensed conduct”?   
Strong evidence that there is no overwhelming condemnation of the conduct in question-  as often thought.

In fact, it appears that there is overwhelming evidence that such conduct may even be condoned!

Evidence that those who teach, " Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch [yourself]" (Col 2:21 ESV)  are being anti-thetical.  Since God declared these senses "very good". And licensed conduct "very good".
And who would dispute that this particular want  'doesn't meet' Paul's particular description of one  "that perishes with use" (v.22)?
Or who would dispute that this prominent want- was not and is not disparaged by pietistic  "human commands and teachings (v.22)?

A disparaging which has “the appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” (v.23) ?

'Why do we submit to such ascetic regulations' (v.20)?
Regulations from folks who  "prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth" (1Tim 4:3 NET).   
Happy thanksgiving folks.

Well... it is with some trepidation that I would suggest anything more- than what the scriptures actually suggest.   Yet would my lack of condemnation- of what may in fact be “licensed conduct”- be a tacit endorsement of hedonism? 
As Piper repeatedly points out in his Desiring God book, ‘hedonism isn’t actually a bad thing - if it is properly conducted’.  ‘Proper hedonism actually is in your best interest’.  ‘After all, we are constantly being encouraged to enjoy “a land of milk and honey”, aren't we ?'

And as the writer of Proverbs writes, “Eat honey, for it is good!”- Prov. 24:13 NASB
However, “Eat only what you need- lest you have it in excess and vomit it”- Prov. 25:16 NASB. 

Oh, but you argue- "We don't truly need any of that conduct!"
Well... we truly don't need marriage either-  but it's probably in your best interest!

In closing, my interest in writing this series was not to justify what may be my particular conduct (I eat honey nearly every day).  My interest was in re-evaluating these "human commands and teachings" in the light of the lesser commandment (cf.  Gal. 5:14).  To see if such boundary stones were legitimate.  And it is my opinion that the disputed boundary stones- were placed by a surveyor with a skewed moral compass.  A surveyor who did not 'love his neighbor as himself'- nor thank God for "milk and honey".

May this series cause some to reconsider the "license" of the disputed conduct.  
And cause some to redirect their asceticism- to “licensed” conduct which actually has "value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh”.   

Conduct which diminishes the powerful want of “unlicensed” flesh.   
Conduct which reduces coveting of your neighbors wife.
Conduct which reduces adulterous ability. 
Conduct which actually reduces idolatry.

Conduct which actually encourages His children to be faithful and true.

Lest they “be in want and steal [flesh], And [thus] profane the name of my God. (Pro 30:9 NAS)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flee from Masturbation?- pt. 2

So… here we go with some “historical-grammatical analysis” of the aforementioned-disputed-practice.  But, allow me to preface this with an apology to the aforementioned Steve Hays (whom I happen to have tremendous respect and appreciation for)- for a woefully brief analysis.  Yet, an analysis that yielded surprising results.  Results with strong support.

Now, for this analysis, all the major lexicons were consulted for grammar on numerous words.  A standard methodology for determining meaning.

Also for this analysis- many marvelous on-line translations of these words- in numerous historical works at Perseus were examined. The methodology used by the lexicons.

Predictably, lemmas such as πορνείᾳ (Mat 19:9 ), κοίταις (Rom 13:13) and their cognates were examined. 
Yet, as suggested in the previous post- it is my considered opinion that the operative word to be examined is ἀσελγείαις  (3 Macc. 2:26, Wisdom 14:26, Mark 7:22, Rom 13:13, 2 Cor 12:21, Gal 5:19, Eph 4:19, 1 Pet 4:3, 2 Pet 2:2,7,18, Jude 1:4)A vague Greek word that is overwhelmingly translated “sensuality” in Romans 13:13.  A translation that appears to suggest the notion that "sensuality" in and of itself is a bad thing.  
Yet, it is this word in conjunction with another word that is generally glossed as "bed" that carries some bad connotation.  
Not that "bed" in and of itself is a bad thing.  Or that "sensuality in bed" is necessarily a bad thing. 
What appears to be a bad thing is "unrestricted sensuality".  "Sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness" (Eph. 4:19 NASB).  And not necessarily in bed.

I would suggest that a more accurate formal translation of  ἀσελγείαις might be "unlicensed conduct".
And a more accurate dynamic translation of  ἀσελγείαις might be "screwing around".

To support my case lets look at the BDAG lexicon- which is currently considered to be the ‘gold standard’ in lexicons:

1176  ἀσέλγεια
• ἀσέλγεια, ας, ἡ (ἀσελγής; Pla., Isaeus et al.; Polyb. 1, 6, 5; 5, 28, 9 al.; Plut., Alcib. 8, 2 [195]; Lucian, Gall. 32; BGU 1578, 15 [II/III AD]; PMagd 24, 2; PLond V, 1711, 34; Wsd 14:26; 3 Macc 2:26; Jos., Ant. 4, 151; 8, 252; 318; 20, 112; TestJud 23:1; Ar.; Just., A II, 2, 3; Tat.; Mel., P. 50, 364) lack of self-constraint which involves one in conduct that violates all bounds of what is socially acceptable, self-abandonment. In sg. and pl. ἑαυτὸν παραδιδόναι τῇ ἀ. give oneself over to licentiousness Eph 4:19; πορεύεσθαι ἐν ἀσελγείαις live licentiously 1 Pt 4:3; cp. Hm 12, 4, 6. τὴν χάριτα μετατιθέναι εἰς ἀ. pervert favor into licentiousness (i.e. they interpret divine goodness as an opportunity to ignore God and do what they please) Jd 4 (cp. Diod. S. 16, 87, 1, where ἀ. is used of the insolence of a scoffer); πολλοὶ ἐξακολουθήσουσιν ταῖς ἀ. many will follow in their licentious tracks 2 Pt 2:2. Cp. Hv 2, 2, 2. Esp. of sexual excesses (Philo, Mos. 1, 305; Hippol., Ref. 9, 13, 4) w. κοῖται Ro 13:13; w. ἀκαθαρσία (cp. Eph 4:19) and πορνεία 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19, in a long catalogue of vices, like Mk 7:22; Hs 9, 15, 3. ἡ ἐν ἀ. ἀναστροφή indecent conduct 2 Pt 2:7; cp. vs. 18. αἱ ἐπιθυμίαι τῆς ἀ. licentious desires Hv 3, 7, 2 (cp. Polyb. 36, 15, 4 ἀ. περὶ τ. σωματικὰς ἐπιθυμίας).—DELG s.v. ἀσελγής. M-M. TW.

Now it appears to me that BDAG’s interpretation (as well as the interpretations of much older lexicons) of this Greek word- is quite removed from the traditional “sensuality” translation.
That BDAG's “licentious” gloss of this word is considerably more accurate.   

With numerous historical references that support this more accurate gloss. 
Historical references and gloss supported by the more recent Friberg lexicon (with its narrow history window) as well.

A word in our English dictionary- that is derived from its 16th century Latin origin of "license".
A word that might be  better understood as ‘unlicensed conduct’.

Now it appears to me, that such interpretation applies to the conduct in dispute here… is the individual “licensed” to practice such a practice?  Is such conduct truly "indecent"? 

And it appears to me, that the married individual no longer has that operating “license”.  Is no longer “licensed” to practice such a practice.  Is not licensed to “deprive their ‘co-licensed’ spouse- of what rightfully belongs to them by such practice.  Is not “licensed” to violate the boundary stone of Exodus 21:10 (re-enforced in 1 Cor 7:5).   A clear violation of the ‘lesser commandment’ presented in the previous post.

Unless of course…such practice was not in fact “depriving the ‘co-license’ holder.   

And unless of course- such practice were to be in the ‘co-licensed’ spouse’s best interest as well.   If the operative purpose of the practice were to allay immorality.  Were to "constrain" immorality.  For “immorality purposes”- as Paul points out in 1 Cor 7:2.  Which Paul points out to his dull enquirers- 'is the intuitive and instructed purpose for becoming a ‘co-license’ holder in the first place!'

For such purposes then, would not such a constraining practice be virtuous- rather than a violation?  Decent rather than "indecent"?
A practice then in adherence of the ‘lesser commandment’ -rather than a violation of it?

We shall conclude with how such adherence ought to be in our concluding post.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Flee from Masturbation?- pt. 1

A while back, at a prominent Bible blog forum- the question was  essentially asked,  "What is the biblical injunction against masturbation for married people?".  The moderator then essentially advised this inquirer to 'not even consider such selfishness'.  To 'flee from such self- gratification'. To 'flee from such sensuality'.   And to 'fulfill such sensuality with his wife'.

Now let's set aside the implication that this inquirer would not rather fulfill such sensuality with his wife.  The implication that this inquirer was not actually desiring "other gods" before her.    And let's consider the implication that masturbation is always "selfish".  Consider the implication that selfishness is always wrong.  Consider the implication that "self-gratification" is always wrong.   And consider the admonition of 'fleeing'  from this particular sensuality.

Is this particular sensuality actually discouraged in the Bible?

As the above moderator rightly pointed out, with numerous proof-texts- certain sensuality is a good thing.
Yet he failed to provide a proof-text opposed to this particular sensuality.  Because there are none.
A subsequent moderator insisted on removing this from public discussion.  Directing them to a private room.  A room rarely frequented.  For a practice frequently practiced.  Among Christians!
Well, as stated in my original posting here- I am opposed to such privatization.  Opposed to locking this holy discussion in a vacuous vault.  And  opposed to the putting of biblical boundary stones- where there are none.

Now, despite the fact that there are no specific proof-texts on this specific sensuality- the Bible should not be considered silent on this matter either.  Hath He "given us all things pertaining to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3)--- or hath he not?  This does pertain to godliness, does it not? 
Then how might we be directed to godliness on these specific things on which the Scriptures appear to be silent?  In which there are no explicit commandments or examples?
Well... we don't have to look too far here.  It is implicit in that very same verse.   That we might be directed on such implicit things- through the "true knowledge of Him".
Pretty lofty sounding isn't it?  But let's look at what this might mean.  If there is no mystical/hidden meaning here.

I would suggest that such "true knowledge" on this specific thing- may actually be derived from the knowledge of His exhaustive commandments.  And derived from knowledge of His expressive examples.
Knowledge from which we are directed to derive analogous inferences.  If we desire to be analogous to Christ. If we desire to be godly.  If we desire to be holy.

And intuitive and exhaustive (Matt. 22:36-40) among these commandments and examples?

1)  That we ought to love God- as he loves Himself (John 17:23).
2)  And that we ought to love one another- as He loved us(John 15:12).

With a love we are told- that is to be faithful (Deut. 7:9) and true .  As God is faithful and true (John 17:3).

Here I am reminded of  Phillip Schaff's criticism of his favorite church father- Augustine.  Schaff's criticism of  Augustine's deficiency in "nobility".  Augustine's deficiency in "genuine Christian principles".  For his fleeing from his long-suffering, faithful woman.  The mother of his son.
Indeed, fleeing from a love that was faithful and true.  To a misguided idea of chastity. To monasticism. To asceticism.  To celibacy.  To a "heathen degradation of marriage".  The prevailing sentiment of Augustine's ascetic  mentor.    And a sentiment that continues in our present mentors.

A particular sentiment which has long been needful of what Steve Hays calls, a "correction of traditional Catholic misinterpretation through proper historical-grammatical analysis".  I will attempt to present some of this needful corrective in this series.

Attempt to provide some "historical-grammatical analysis" in this series.
Attempt to present some exegesis on related principles- in this series.
And conclude with some nouthetic counseling to this particular thing- in the concluding part.
But for now, some brief exposition of how the above exhaustive commandments might interact with this particular thing.

So... in brief consideration of the foremost commandment- is masturbation loving God as He loves Himself?

Well, in a sense I suppose you could say that God does please Himself.  Is expressing Himself.  For His own selfish interests.  His own self-gratification. His own good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
And why shouldn't He? 
Yet, in a sense you could also say that- He does not play exclusively with Himself. That He inclusively plays with the other members of the Trinity.  With each member eagerly submitting and providing to the other.  With each member completing each other.  While yet being inseparable from each other.

Indeed, if we might dare to suggest some analogy- kinda like inseparable Siamese twins. Yet more and merrier.  A menage a trois- so to speak.  A menage that loves each other perfectly and completely. 

A menage which by analogous inference- faithful and true couples ought to manage as well.  Ought to desire.  Ought to emulate.  Rather than presuming autonomy.

Now, in brief consideration of the lesser commandment- can masturbation assist us to love one another-as He loved us? 

It is my understanding that masturbation can assist us. 
That masturbation may in fact be- a divine instrument. Provided by God- to temporarily mitigate the temptation of Satan (1 Cor. 7:5).  An instrument provided- for temporary relief (1 Cor. 10:13).  Of setting the captive free... temporarily.
Not unlike the divine provision of wet dreams.  An unconscious provision of relief.  Provided by a holy God (Isaiah 29:10)... occasionally.

A divine instrument that dis-unified man is permitted to avail himself of.  And an instrument that dis-unified couples are permitted to avail themselves of. 

When physical separation is their fallen reality. When physically fleeing to their spouse- is not a viable option.  While spiritually fleeing to their spouse- remains an option.
An option preferable to leaving the physical passion 'unfulfilled' (see NET note on 1 Cor. 7:9).  An option preferable to constipation.  An option preferable to getting "burned".

A physical expression that may be used- to exemplify a spiritual truth.  To exemplify and fortify a spiritual inclination.    Not unlike the physical remembrance (Luke 22:19) of the 'body and the blood'.  An example of how He physically loved us- to fortify our feeble faith.

A truly sanctifying practice, that Roman Catholic priests may avail themselves of.   And a sanctifying practice that others, "who become eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:12)- may also avail themselves of.

But only if practiced in faithfulness and truth.  All else is idolatry- Children of God!
Worship of a created thing- rather than worship of the creator.

Little children, guard yourselves from idols- 1 John 5:21.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sexy Evangelism

A recent Christianity Today article is titled Sexy Evangelism. And subtitled, Why our narrative about sex, dating and marriage is a gospel priority.

Indeed, this leading blog (#2 in a recent poll) suggests that Christians should make:
1) their marriage look attractive ("sexy")
2) marriage to Jesus look attractive and
3) marriage "beyond the physical" look attractive
-in order that this attractiveness (sexiness) might win over the pagans.

But do we really need more talk of sex? And where is the gospel in this?

Reminds me of the Children of God cult. A Christian (yes, Christian) cult built through Sexual Evangelism. With their flirty fishing. Whose women were encouraged to evangelize- with sex. Of attracting members- with sex. Of retaining members- with sex. Not just of making the gospel look attractive- but making it feel attractive as well.
Yet, this cult has much to be commended for. For not just saying- but doing. For their sacrifice. For their zeal. But unfortunately, it was zeal without knowledge.
Yet, ex- members of this cult still appear unwilling to take a position on whether this type of evangelism is right or not. Whether this type of evangelism was biblical or not. We will examine a biblical argument for these types of evangelism in this post.

First, an argument may be made that the apostle Paul felt this pragmatism to be entirely permissible and promotable. That we should be "willing to become all things- that we might win some (1 Cor. 9:22)". That Paul became "all" things- in order to win some. Became a Jew to the Jews- and a Gentile to the Gentiles. Yet we also know that Paul was not always right.
In Paul's early evangelistic zeal- he called upon Timothy to conform to an obsolete boundary stone (circumcision in Acts 16). That Timothy might become more attractive bait. This bait did not attract the Jews.
In a later mission Paul also failed to heed the Spirit's warnings (Acts 21:4)- against fishing in Jerusalem. So the Gentiles took away his fishing license for a couple years (Acts 24:27).

Yet, what did Paul historically-grammatically mean by "all"?
Well... about as much as we currently-grammatically mean by "all".
For example- the primary ingredient listed in Kellogg's All Bran cereal is whole wheat. Followed by wheat bran, sugar, wheat flour, whole oats, and well... more stuff that isn't bran.
Or, as this video will show you- that not only did "all" not always mean an exhaustive "all"; it rarely meant an exhaustive"all".
And not even a cursory glance at the New Testament law is needed- to show you that not "all" things are in fact permissible (1 Cor.10:23). That "all" Old testament boundary stones have not in fact- been moved.
And certainly not this sexual stone- as much as COG cult leaders Moses and Maria Berg liked to get their rocks off.

But what about just this CT talk of sex? Is this not an acceptable form of evangelism?
After all, does not an attractive temporal marriage- suggest a much more attractive eternal marriage? Something worth striving for? Something worth fantasizing about?
Well...then you should have little difficulty with COG's Loving Jesus doctrine as well.
Problem is- that this doctrine too can become an idol.
In that Jesus may be worshiped for eternal sex- rather than as eternal Savior.
Not that Jesus may not in fact be- a literal groom. But that He may be worshiped merely for- His literal grooming.
Therein lies the idolatry. Worshiping a created thing- rather than the Creator.

CT ought to see that at best- sex talk is putting the cart before the horse.
You may see the connection- but not without correction.

And unless dead men get- the real gospel into them.
Unless they receive- repent and believe.
They are dreadfully far from an eternal groom.
And dreadfully far from an eternal grooming.

So, come on CT.
And come on COG.
Let's overcome this dreadful blight.
And get our gospel priority right.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Coitus Till Whimis Interruptus

In an interaction that I had with a moderator at the Desiring God blog- I was told that "we are under a New Covenant [now]". That our "hard-heartedness has [now] been removed". Really?
Sure sounds nice- but is this really the case?

Sometimes Christians get lost in platitudes. Failing to recognize that they are still in the forest.
Still carrying a hard heart. Still sinning against God.
R.C. Sproul Sr. is fond of affirming Luther's penitent cry- "simul justus et peccator". Affirming that we may be "saved- yet still a sinner". Something that I believe the Apostle Paul affirms in Romans 7. And something that I believe is affirmed by the Westminster Confession of Faith in this article as well.
In that same article the Larger Westminster Catechism affirms- that we continue to remain under Mosaic 'boundary stones'. That we have not completely escaped the Old Covenant. That much of the Mosaic law remains our taskmaster. That much of Mosaic law continues to be our "rule of obedience". That we still must concede to Mosaic principles. Since these principles reflect God's perfect personality.

Then how can this Desiring God moderator say that, "Jesus doesn't support the concession to hard-heartedness that Moses allowed for"? That we are no longer bound by Mosaic principles? That God's personality has changed?
Did Jesus alter the jot and tittle (Matt. 5:18) of the Law of Moses?
Has Jesus now "abolished" this concession of Moses?
Has "all been accomplished"?
Has "heaven and earth passed away"?
A good debate on this here.

But that moderator also presented against me in that interaction- a platonic view of the Marriage Covenant as well. Presented the view, that 'the Covenant of Marriage remains- even when the Covenant of Marriage is broken'. Presented the view, that the 'freedom from the "enslavement" of marriage' ("1 Cor 7:15")- is merely 'freedom from the obligation to have sex with your spouse '. Freedom from 'conjugal obligations' ("1 Cor. 7:3-5"). That a spouse is a spouse- in or out of the house. Since marriages are now 'made in heaven'.
Sex is an "enslavement"? And marriages are now 'made in heaven'? Since our hearts are now made in Heaven?
And we merely have the 'obligation' to indulge in sex with our spouse- as long as the spouse likes being "enslaved"?
Does this not turn Paul's argument on its head? Are these "duties" merely- 'whims' that 'may' be fulfilled? Mere 'whims' till either party doesn't have the 'whim' anymore? Mere, coitus till whimis interruptus?
Rather, are these not actually "duties" that "must" be fulfilled? Are these not actually marital "rights"? Whether you like being "enslaved" or not?
Indeed, this "duty" is no longer regarded as a "right". As it was in earlier times. Yet, the NET Bible has a pertinent textual note on this "right" here. This note asserts that almost all ancient manuscripts even repeated that contentious "right" to "have" in that verse. Yet for "stylistic reasons"- this "right" is not repeated in our translations today. And appears completely lost to the pagans. Yet some prisons still recognize conjugal "rights".
Now I'm not saying that this Desiring God moderator is a pagan (though he really blew the "repentance" issue in that same article). This moderator is merely following the Piper line. Thinking that he's playing it safe- with Piper's Permanence View of Marriage. Piper's narrow view of what it takes to break the Marriage Covenant.
Indeed, Piper's view- that Jesus semantic range of pornia (Matt. 19:9) is very, very narrow. Yes, Piper's view that Jesus meaning of pornia- is restricted merely to sex "prior to the Marriage Covenant".
Indeed, playing it safe.
Playing with platitudes.
At the risk of being far to narrow.
At the risk of ignoring the wider scope of God's Law.
Yes, at the risk of condemning the injured spouse (Matt. 12:5-7).

Not really knowing the New Covenant.
For we now know only in part- but then we will know fully (1 Cor. 13:12).

Not really knowing that this is a One Way Covenant. A Covenant made entirely by God- and a Covenant played entirely by God (Jer. 31). A Covenant that can, in no way be broken. As "sure as there is day and night" (v. 36).
A Covenant played non-interruptus.
When "a woman will encompass a man" (v.22 NASB).
When we shall be constantly nursed, carried and dandled (Isaiah 66:12).
When our "bones will flourish like the new grass" (v. 14).

My bones do not "flourish like the new grass" yet.
And so much hardness-yet remains in my heart.

Oh how my bones look forward- to that New Covenant.
And oh how my heart will look- toward that New Covenant- Jesus.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sex During Menstruation

And in keeping with the previous posting:
Stop depriving one another of sex during menstruation.
Unless you prefer the old taskmaster. Unless you prefer being kept in custody.

This recent article at Christianity Today- documents what was likely the malady of the unclean woman of Mark 5:25-34.
Obstetric Fistula. A malady affecting millions of women.

In this passage we have a woman- that was constantly bleeding. Constantly menstruating.
Her Jewish husband had likely left her- because she could not fulfill her marital duties.
She had likely suffered a difficult childbirth. The child was likely born dead.

She was unclean. She was an outcast.

There was no need for her to go to the mikvah/ cleansing bath- since her emission never ended.
The public mikvah that observant Jews remain in custody to.- Leviticus 15
The monthly vaginal custody that they remain in custody to. 
For fear of being outcast.

Observant Jews that are being 'kept in custody under the old law-
so that a true faith in a true redeemer/mikvah might be manifested '- Galatians 3:23-25.
The manifestation promised in Genesis 3:15.

A manifestation which is not an 'enmity between the serpents law and the woman's law'.
As the 'people of the book/Jews' appear to read.
But rather, a manifestation of  an "enmity between her seed and the serpent's seed"- Galatians 3:16.

Which couldn't possibly be an animal seed- from a human
An animal sacrifice that couldn't possibly make the human "worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation"- Hebrews 9:10.

But rather- a human seed. A conscionable seed.  A willing seed.  For a human problem.
A redeeming seed- which even Eve appeared to think was her "manchild begotten with the help of the Lord"- Gen. 4:1. (NASB)

An excellent podcast here regarding this at the Reformed Forum.

Dr. Shaw suggests there- that few Jews could fail to see that their animal sacrifices were vastly inadequate.
That their "various washings" were vastly inadequate.
That even the wholly burnt sacrifice was wholly inadequate.

That it should have been obvious- that these ritual washings were merely a tutor to the washing that would be truly cleansing.
That it should have been obvious- that these old sacrifices were merely a tutor to the sacrifice that would be wholly adequate.

Indeed, a tutor to the washing of the God-"manchild begotten with the help of the Lord".
Begotten with the help of the Holy Spirit. 
To wash our body AND our spirit.

Who washes holy- those with faith in His blood.
Yes, even the bloody woman.
And ever continues to wash us wholly.
Yes, even bloody women.

Who took us out of our ritual custody.
Out of our bath of bondage.
Out of our bloody sin.
And out of the bloody mikvah.