Wednesday, August 18, 2010


1 Timothy 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

4 ὅτι πᾶν κτίσμα θεοῦ καλὸν καὶ οὐδὲν ἀπόβλητον μετὰ εὐχαριστίας λαμβανόμενον· 5  ἁγιάζεται γὰρ διὰ λόγου θεοῦ καὶ ἐντεύξεως.

It's hard to pick single passages to blog about because this book is so full of wisdom.  Here Paul is instructing Timothy about food and marriage.  Even though we have the record of Peter's vision before he took the gospel to Cornelius, apparently there was still need for instruction on this matter.  It would be unthinkable for a Jew to eat pork, but Paul is again opening up the door for it.

Paul is also commenting upon marriage.  Apparently there was a Gnostic influence at the time as there is today.  Folks thought that it was more sanctified not to be married.  I'm here to tell you that they were wrong and Paul was right.  Marriage is just better.  The marriage bed is meant to be enjoyed and not just for procreation.  This is not something that everyone can easily accept, but it is biblical.

God created things for our enjoyment.  The problem is that we pervert good things and turn them into gods.  Our culture has made a god out of sex.  We also have made a god out of food and rather than dealing with it we just try to manage it with various diets.  Here Paul tells us to enjoy what god made.  Enjoy His good creation.  That means things like appreciating the beauty of a sunset, an ocean view, or the wildflowers on the side of the highway.  It means enjoying good food and drink in moderation.  It means enjoying the gift of sex in the context of the marriage bed (which biblically is one man and one woman).  God gave us our senses to enjoy His creation.

Of course, let's be sure to remember the source of all this enjoyment.  Everything is for His glory.  That includes our senses.  πᾶν κτίσμα θεοῦ καλὸν.  Let's enjoy that!


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

The inclusion of the Song of Songs in the canon of scripture was no mistake, and it is not merely an allegory, but on the practical level is God's original of "The Joy of Sex." Who needs pictures, when we have God's Book, and He's provided both the instructions and the equipment?

In the main I agree with you, but I think you're a little too hard on celibacy. The Orthodox view is not that marriage is superior and celibacy inferior, but that each has its place in the life of a Christian, and according to the call of each, some are called to be married, and some single. I am not even close to the idea of monasticism here, which is what Luther and others have justly criticised in its Western European form.

Remember, Paul writes, "Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion." (1 Corinthians 7:5-9 NIV)

Jason said...

I certainly think that celibacy has its place for those who are called to it. However, I think that few are truly called to it. Some may end up with it, but chances are they still would prefer to be married and enjoying the marriage bed.

I look at Song of Songs as a both/and. I think it is certainly a hot love poem. But I also think that it has an allegorical aspect regarding Christ and the church.