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10.25.2005

Classical Covenant Theology


The subject of reading the Book of Romans came up: Romans is called the cathedral of Holy Writ, and to see that you have to see it in relation to all of Scripture (seeing the parts in relation to the whole is a definition of understanding), and, beyond the complete readings of Scripture needed for that Classical Covenant Theology, which is Calvinism, or, Reformed Theology in its 'whole cosmos' presentation, gives you the foundation from eternity, and pillars which reach to celestial heights, and the deep, oceanic background of the complete, epic arc of the plan of redemption.

Classical Covenant Theology is not easy to get the measure of in a quick way, but once you do - assuming one has the ability to 'see' that the Spirit of Truth gives one - you begin to see the whole of redemption. This is the vision the magisterial reformers had in them, and indeed is the vision all of God's elect eventually acquire as the Spirit of Truth enables them and guides them in developing understanding of God's Word and biblical doctrine and themselves and the world and the devil and God Himself and all His Creation...

When you are God-centered and not man-centered the doctrines of Grace (i.e. the TULIP of Calvinism), the five solas, and Classical Covenant Theology can be seen. They reorientate you internally, when seen and accepted, from being man-centered to being God-centered. The carnal man (the flesh man, the 'old man' the man of sin) is vanity, and worldly pride, and self-will and lives to indulge self-righteous indignation and resentment and violence and refuses to recognize anything higher than himself. See this in yourself. See how man-centered doctrine plays to this carnal nature in you (i.e. see how the devil plays to this carnal nature in you). Arminianism (which Roman Catholic doctrine is as well) can be seen as being in trivial conflict with Calvinism, yet it's not trivial when you see the stakes involved in terms of the difference being doctrine that is man-centered and catering to your carnal nature and demands and doctrine that is God-centered and assaulting your carnal nature and refusing its demands. To connect with the Kingdom of God you have to be reoriented internally from getting your 'lifeforce', so to speak, from the devil's kingdom to getting it from above you. This calls for faith and repentence. Faith: recognition of chain-of-command (and the real Commander-in-Chief, King Jesus, Jehovah, the Triune God above you); and repentance: new thinking that constantly is watchful to not go with and indulge the demands and resentments and thinking of the old carnal nature.

The devil's kingdom puts you to sleep. It is a palace of illusion and it provides you a powerful drug to keep you a tame slave (sex, pilgrims, in all its wide array of manifestation...not just in the actual act of sex).

You'll justify anything when under the powerful illusions and drug of the Kingdom of Satan. It's painful to awaken from it. As you awaken you become conscious of being in...a prison. It's a difficult awakening. And you are ignorant and weak. You need the Word of God and you need the Savior. Then you need to get your bearings and become a persevering soldier of the Living God, running your race and building yourself up in the faith, and making for the ultimate destination: glorification and eternal life in the Kingdom of God.

Addendum: If one takes the Word of God seriously and values it as the very Word of God then one has to admit that fornication is hit on over and over and over. A person reading it says, "Come on, Paul, always going on and on against fornication!" Paul knows that sex is the controlling drug, or agent, of the devil's kingdom. If you don't have control of it, it has control of you. Paul is talking about control, afterall. Fornicators won't get into the Kingdom of God, neither will drunkards. But do you think he refers to anybody who has ever gotten drunk? Of course not. The same with fornication. Paul isn't saying anybody who has ever engaged in fornication will not get into the Kingdom of God. He says fornicators will not get into the Kingdom of God. I.e. people who are under the control of their sexual drive and lust rather than having control of it. This is a serious and foundational subject for a Christian. You can't allow yourself to be ignorant of sex and your own sexual nature and lusts, and at the same time you can't allow your sexual drive and lusts to have control of you. You need knowledge of it all, and you need self-command regarding it. Without either you are its victim. You are under its control and that is a main trait of a prisoner in the devil's kingdom. (And sex is more than just the act: it's the very medium and motivation and exchange of the devil's kingdom and is as present in any seeming non-sexual gathering of people as it is in an alcohol-soaked bar or party.) Don't mock when you see Paul mentioning fornication, and don't write it off as quaint and outdated (or as something that it's not possible to follow). It's fundamentally a question of understanding and control. You need to have understanding of sex, and you need to have control of it. Otherwise it will have control of you, and that is what will keep you out of the Kingdom of God regarding fornication. I.e. being under the tyranny of your lusts (rather than having awakened understanding and self-command of your lusts) will just simply mean you are still in the devil's kingdom. By default.

4 Comments:

Blogger c.t. said...

Porn is a double-edged sword for the devil because on the one hand it enables people to get an education in sex and be exposed to all manner of sexual activity and also perversions and fetishes and sexual violence and what not without having to be involved in it first hand or even be close to it (in its environment) to see it first hand; but on the other hand porn also stokes the fires (and imagination) of lust and enables acts - and puts the thought of new acts in mind - that wouldn't occur in its absence.

On balance understanding is more valuable than being sheltered from it all.

Speaking of a foundationally healthy (mentally/emotionally healthy) person.

Actual homosexuals tend to be very immature and undeveloped people. The non-purely-Satanic ones that is.

They're 1% or whatever of any given population, but if you're in the 99% you still need to be exposed to everything and then go through the maturing revolutions of seeing it in yourself and then just having a mature view of it all regarding yourself and other people. That is understanding. It requires not being sheltered from it all though.

Control of sex and lusts is not gained from marriage or any other kind of sexual relationship though. Control has to be developed by provoking your limits and extending your limits, and that means celibacy (no orgasm by any means celibacy). When you practice this starting with a day, three days, 7 days, you will see how much in the control of sexual energy and drive and lusts you are.

(By the way, a single day of celibacy is alot because when you first do it the psychological pressure of knowing you can't experience an orgasm is enough to make a single day a difficult trial.)

Sort of the same thing that happens when a person starts a diet. They are likely to fail that first day and say the hell with it and eat more that particular day than they ever would have if they hadn't started the diet that day.

But when you practical no-orgasm (obviously no-sex, no-masturbation) celibacy you will see how much sexual energy is involved in your thoughts, your emotions, and your physical movements. You have to fast from sex not only physically but in imagination and in negative type emotional behaviour. If you are to develop real control and self-command. This is what not being a fornicator means.

There's more to it beyond that because sex energy when not used promiscuously within you is able to be used for higher functions that are part of your original image of God but that you don't have connection with currently due your general fallen nature and limits.

Enough on sex... I'll get raked over the coals for this comment...

October 25, 2005 at 2:03 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

The comment on sex is great! I wouldn't dream of raking you over the coals about it.

This is what I have been taught. All who are not married are called to this life you describe. No sex, no masturbation, no deliberately entertained thoughts of sex. And avoid images and writing that might be an occasion of sin. Focus your energy on other things and God will transform it.

October 26, 2005 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

But I wasn't 'really' saying just that. (You took it all Roman Catholicish methinks...)

Use influences to get thee understanding of everything to do with sex, see it all in yourself, get above it by developing real understanding of it all.

Then to develop self-command of your sex drive and sexual energy you have to provoke your limits so as to then be able to make the effort to extend your limits.

I'm saying this in regards to not only single people but to married people as well (Paul touches on this regarding married people saying to stay away from coming together for times of prayer and fasting; it's the same thing, he's just touching on the subject).

It's not about being 'good' regarding sex, it's about developing real understanding regarding it and control and self-command. Sexual energy will either be controlled by you or you will be in its control.

Part of this is seeing it all in yourself. You have to shine light on all that resides in darkness within you, so it doesn't control you. If you're aware of everyting inside you (i.e. you confronted everything inside you) and you've developed understanding of it then he can't control you as it can when you are unconscious regarding it and under its influence unknowingly.

Then of course you also need to develop inner command, and for that you have to practice fasting from indulging sexual energy the usual way(s). Not forever (nothing needs to be done forever) but provoke and extending your limits requires some effort and some vows. Some aims, whether one day, three day, ten day, or forty day or one hundred day or three hundred and sixty-five day aims. Whatever you can manage. Start with baby steps and increase your endurance.

The main thing to notice is now sexual energy also gets used promiscously in phyiscal actions (violence, for instance) and in emotional behaviour, and in thoughts and imagination and day dreaming. The point of fasting from orgasms is to be able to observe all the ways sexual energy then controls you physically, emotionally, and mentally.

So if you're fasting for, let's say, seven days from indulging orgasms (provoked any way, alone or with your spouse or any other way) you'll find that your imagination will become very active, so that is something you also make an effort to fast from.

I actually didn't plan on introducing this subject in a complete way (it needs more attention and a fuller description and explanation), I really just tagged it on to the end of the above post and then wrote a quick comment, but suffice to say being in the control of your sexual energy, rather than having understanding and control of it, is a mark of being in bondage to the devil's kingdom. Like it or not.

Part of mortifying the 'old man' is developing understanding and control of sexual energy as it manifests in you physically, emotionally, and mentally (thoughts, imagination, fantasy, etc.)...

October 27, 2005 at 12:02 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

You can't just tell someone "don't masturbate". You have to know why. If you don't have real understanding for what you're doing it's just mechanical and empty nonsense and really usually totally counterproductive.

Christianity is not about being 'good', it's about making contact. The law is about being good, but a Christian - a regenerated human being - is on the new territory of sanctification and grace and real liberty from the law. You don't not do something because you're not suppose to; you don't do something because it's no longer your nature or motivation to do it. That requires a developing, by degree, into new understanding and new inner command.

There is a use for sexual energy when it's not channeled into orgasms or used promiscuously in other areas of your being where it doesn't belong (physical actions, emotions, thoughts). That higher use of sexual energy can't be described, but the Bible does present the subject in non-explicit ways.

October 27, 2005 at 12:12 AM  

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