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'.
Really?
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.