More on CWOB: Some Replies
Christopher's take on CWOB notes we cannot directly argue from the Eschaton to our present existence and practices without some provisos given that we are not in direct correlation with the Eschaton in our present existence. For instance, something is awry in the inference we after all will be fully one with one another in the Eschaton, [thus] we’re free to be so now in every way, including sexually. According to what one might call the Eschatolgical Proviso, the Eschaton is "now and not yet"--and the not yet implies limits and the possibility of myriad forms of abuse. With regard to the practice of the Eucharist, "having not yet arrived" at the point where universal salvation would even be a possibility means
not unbounded practices, but commitment, discipline, and discipleship in the meantime because salvation must still work Himself out in us over time (stabilitas). This commitment, discipline, and discipleship are found explicitly in Baptism, in which God first commits to us, we are brought into God’s own life, and we respond with promises....
It seems Derek shares Christopher's point of view on the relationship between Baptism and Communion. In his piece for the Daily Episcopalian, he compares CWOB to a fling with God:
Coming from this perspective, Communion without Baptism misreads the logic of the liturgy. It demands intimacy without commitment, relationship without responsibility. To apply this same logic to another sphere of human relationship, this is the logic of the one night stand—the logic of the “meaningless” fling. Is this the relationship that we wish to have with the God who knows us each by name and who calls that name in the night, yearning for our return to the Triune embrace?
And on the face of it, this looks to be a sufficient rationale for refusing CWOB.
However, while it is without doubt true that one cannot simply infer whatever is practiced at the Eschaton may be practiced here below, the case for CWOB does not require that false premise.
Surely we are not obligated--or even permitted--to "immanentize" all aspects of the Eschaton already here below. But that is consistent with our being obligated to immanentize some aspects of the Eschaton here below. Indeed, if we are truly to act from being "in between" or "already but not yet", then the Eschaton must be immanent already in at least some respects.
For instance, we are commanded to celebrate the Eucharist, and in so doing we "immanentize" the Eschaton--partially, to be sure, but nevertheless there it is as celebrated. [Presuming the anamnesis properly conceived goes temporally in two directions, as with Advent].
And furthermore the union of the saved models charity as conformity to the inner life of the Triune God--and that conformity we are obligated to model here below. For instance, calls to justice here below by the church may acquire justification from the example of the eschatological charity of the saved. Indeed, that seems an obvious OT and NT trope in prophetic and apocalyptic writing.
Here the "meaningless sex" trope both Derek and Christopher employ comes to the fore. But note that nowhere does Scripture imply eschatolgical union among the saved is sexual in nature; nor need Scripture be taken to imply sexual union here below should be modelled after the eschatolgical union of the saved. It seems some special argument would be required to show that it licenses sexual promiscuity here below.
Rather, it seems that as marriage is to be modelled after the eschatological union of Christ and the church, permission for sexual activity here below follows from--wait--eschatological considerations: not considerations about the union of the saved among themselves, but rather of the union between the saved and Christ. Scripture seems to inform the yearning of sexual practice here below for meaning by limiting it with ties to a specific eschatological union with Christ. That is, perhaps contrary to what Christopher and Derek might expect (?), permission for sexual activity follows from an immanentizing of eschatological considerations. Thus, that particular counterexample is blocked.
[To belabor the point, there are at least two different types of union to consider at the Eschaton: (1)union among the saved; (2)union between the saved and Christ. the worry about moving from the Eschaton to the present licensing promiscuity ellides these unions, erasing the distinction.]