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)