Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nuisance Lust

Douglas Wilson has a post that reminds me a lot of the Theology of the Body debate. The interesting thing is he is a protestant and likely has never heard of Theology of the Body or the controversy around how Christopher West is teaching it. He seems to take West's side.
Your lusts are the hornet's nest, and God's law is the stick that whacks it. This is done so that we will turn to Christ, but for some reason we think that after we have turned to Christ, we can grow in sanctification by whittling some extra sticks of our own for whacking the remainders of that hornet's nest. But whacking that nest always gets the same results, whether the rules are God's or yours. And it gets the same results even if your rules are good and wise -- especially if they are good and wise.
Now there is obviously a delicate balance here, because the point is not to drop the rules so that you can go watch images that are corrosive to your soul. The point is not to grant yourself a looser set of permissions so that you can entertain yourself with porn lite. This is not "go ahead and sin" counsel. The point is to grant yourself a looser set of permissions so that you can walk away from it, for the right reasons, and without leaving your heart back in front of the computer keyboard, wishing the better half of you hadn't turned the dern thing off.
Again, I do think rules have their place. Sometimes you really have to "turn the dern thing off."  He says that does not work. I think it does but not completely. What is needed is an aversion to pornography that is stronger than the attraction. That cannot come from rules. The rules and your desire to break them tell you that you need a more complete conversion in this area. One more quote:
John Owen once said that a man should not think he makes any progress in godliness who walks not daily over the bellies of his lusts. I am not arguing against this; I am arguing for it. What I am trying to communicate to you is that a vampire needs to have a stake driven through the heart. Stop pelting him with your homemade nerf balls.
Here he seems to be advocating the Catholic practice or penance and mortification of the flesh. I am sure he does not mean that but that is exactly what is needed. We need to deny our flesh, take up out cross and follow Jesus. Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Mary is a model of purity and a bearer of many sorrows. They go together. If we are afraid of a little pain then our flesh really does hold sway over our choices.

No comments:

Post a Comment