Saturday, June 2, 2007

Since I promised. . .

How about a talk on "Perpetual Virginity"? (I'm waiting for a meeting, so I will write) There are many places I agree with Luther - in fact, more so than most Lutherans today. I even agree with Luther that Poligamy is preferable to divorce (how about that for a sign of your being of a common mind with Marty?). However, I must disagree with Martin on the idea of Mary's Perpetual virginity.

I think St. Mary was a decent person. I think she lived fairly well - I won't go into any adoration, but I'm going to assume that she was at least a decent Jewish girl. She was married - therefore - she had sex with her husband. Period. There is no idea anywhere that it is right or proper to withold yourself from your spouse (except for times of purification in the OT or prayer in the NT) -- therefore, as a good spouse she would be with Joseph - and don't give me this "Joseph was an old pious man" stuff -- Joseph was healthy enough to drag them to Egpyt, and Zechariah was having kids when he was pretty old too.

Now, given my previous post about frivolous theological speculation, why would I even write on this? Well, I think in America as theologians we have a hard time dealing with Sex. We live in an oversexed society - one that has become so rapidly since the 1960s. And as a result, some of us are tempted to over-react - to deal with sex less and less and less.

Sex is not evil. It was instructed prior to the fall (go forth and multiply). Now, like all blessings of God - including speech, our neighbors, life - we abuse it and use it wickedly - but in and of itself sex is not evil - nor should we treat it as though it is. Paul advises one to remain chaste if one may - but that's referring to not getting married - not binding yourself to another and having to deal with their concerns - not just sex. The single guy asks a rhetorical question - marraige really is about more than just sex, right?

Moreover - marriage is not a bad thing (see, I've got wedding bells on the brain). We say that God joins the two together - let not man separate them. That includes, especially, the two people in the marriage. Sex (or lack there of) certainly is never to be used as a weapon or tool or persuasion in marraige - we would all advise against that. Holding one's self aloof for psuedo-spiritual reasons is physically separating and sunndering a marraige. And that's just wrong.

In Jospeh and Mary we get an example of a good, Christian marraige. We see an image of a husband who is devoted to his wife, who even when he thinks he will have to divorce loves her so that he plans to do so quietly. We see a wife who is humble and sumbits, who shows great love. I would assume that this same love spills over into her love and service to Joseph - I would assume that she is a good wife to him in all the common aspects of wivery that there are. Why in the world would we wish to even think that Mary's personal piety would trump her office of wife is beyond me.

We should be able to posit Joseph and Mary as good examples for our folks preparing for marriage - devotion to each other - patience prior to marriage (for Joseph does not "know" Mary until Jesus comes along) self-sacrifice and love. This we see in Scripture. If instead we choose to hold to a custom and legend with no merit in Scripture, we make Joseph an old doddard and Mary an image of feminine chastity that 98% of women will never be asked anything to be like. What good does this do anyone?

2 comments:

Jimmy Kuehn said...

hello test

Jimmy Kuehn said...

Eric!

I occasionally take the time to view your other blog and noticed you started this one. Thanks for posting your sermons. I enjoy reading them.

I dig the theology. Having to defend my faith from my heathen Catholic wife...just kidding honey don't beat me...., I've been doing my homework.

www.jamesology.com