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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Freedom Run Wild & Abundant Pleasures...mmm...YES, PLEASE!

On Sunday mornings under the Big Top we have been examining the Paradoxes of the Christian Life. God wants to give us all manner of graces but the way we access such grace is the opposite of what we'd expect (or want !!). Last Sunday's Paradox: Freedom through Slavery and this Sunday's will be Abundance through Monogamy

I ran across some of G.K. Chesterton's writings on the subject in his classic work Orthodoxy. Chesterton, like C.S. Lewis after him, had a wonderful way of putting things, especially big biblical truths. He beautifully summarizes both how total sold-out-ness (slavery) to the rule and order of a good God leads to freedom and how monogamy leads to the most abundant of pleasures.
The more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.
Chesterton goes on to use the example of sex:
I could never mix in the common murmur of that rising generation against monogamy, because no restriction on sex seemed so odd and unexpected as sex itself...Keeping to one woman is a small price to pay so much as seeing one woman. To complain that I could only be married once was like complaining that I had only been born once. It was incommensurable with the terrible excitement of which one was talking. It showed, not an exaggerated sensibility to sex, but a curious insensibility to it. A man is a fool who complains he cannot enter Eden by five gates at once. Polygamy is a lack of the realization of sex; it is like a man plucking five pears in mere absence of mind.
One of the great difficulties of the Christian life is warding off the deception that the only way you are truly going to get personal freedom and get abundance of pleasure is to go out and get it yourself (e.g., making more $ to have more personal choices, climbing the ladder to get more personal time off, etc. and seeking multiple partners, multiple purchases, multiple social circles, multiple "good time activities" as primary means to personal pleasure).

Accordingly, I pray Chesterton helps you today: Submission to God's rule allows freedom to run wild & monogamy in marriage keeps us ever-sensitive and enjoying the truly strange and mysterious (and quite pleasurable!) gift of sex. 

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