Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Walking a fine line

OK. Here's my mind wrenching "I'm trying really hard to justify" dilemma.

Miss California/USA continues to be a news item. Most of what I've read makes me cheer for her boldness in saying "This is what I believe. These are my values." It's American. Free speech. Freedom of religion. All that.

She also is very vocal about her faith in Christ. Again, no problem there.

But here's where I have this uncomfortable feeling that I just can't quite rectify. And I know some will blast me for sounding judgmental toward her, but for the sake of discussion on the issue I'll take that risk. (For the record, I believe she is a sincere believer in Christ.)

It is no secret that she views homosexual marriage an aberration; a moral step down from the ideal of marriage. And she is willing to take the heat for her views. But at the same time is she promoting a form of adultery?

Follow my thinking here. Jesus said that if a man looks at a woman with lust in his heart it is the same as if he had committed adultery with her. I think He was serious.

Let me speak for a moment as a red-blooded man to the men. If our testosterone is still active then flowing then you know that we all have difficulties in this area. So there, walking down the runway in bright lights and before essentially all the world, is drop-dead beautiful Miss California in a bikini. If you saw her, I'm not going to ask you if your first reaction was "Preach it, Sister!". (I'm really tempted to post a pic of her bikini pose just so you can see, but probably I shouldn't. What do you think? You can google it or oogle it for yourself.)

Regardless of the point of the swimsuit competition - and I think the point is obvious - the fact is men are drawn to it for one reason. (I wonder what the wives think as their husbands are riveted to the screen? "Maybe he's wondering about her high heels?")

So here is my dilemma. Where is the line? Is it a Christian witness to publicly display what God has blessed you with knowing that men are not thinking the purest of thoughts? True, you can't control anyone elses thinking or lusts. But can we be agents of temptation, even in the name of gaining a platform to speak? Can we be both evangelists and stumbling blocks at the same time?

Should we walk the line, or is there a place where we draw it instead? If we don't are we sending mixed signals?


TerryKM said...

I'm probably going to be way off course with this, but I think many "Christians" are very mixed up about who God is and who we are as followers of His Son.

A great number of things are attached to the church and it has created its own culture of right and wrong. . .and it seems that the Christians in "church-culture" are no longer looking to the Bible for the ultimate authority on all matters in life.

Now, I'm not saying Ms. California is in this boat. I know nothing about her faith.

But you do bring up a good point. I wonder how she would answer to this. Would we hear from God's Word or would we hear from her "church-culture"?

Andy Lawrenson said...

I think the latest buzz about her is that she is "judgmental", "intolerant", "hypocritical". Apparently from what i heard on the news yesterday someone has dug up some photos of her where she is partially naked.

I always get nervous about celebrities sharing their faith because I once had a super bowl party and the speaker (via DVD) was a pro football player who shared his faith. Fast forward a few months and he's in the news for soliciting prostitutes.

Rick Lawrenson said...

I don't think "celebrities" sharing their faith publicly should be a concern. If you take that to its logical conclusion, then we shouldn't allow anyone to openly share their faith if we fear they may fall.

And it's not about a person's past. It should be about the present. What is my life right now saying about what I profess to be right now.

Back on track. Are we who are Christian sending mixed signals. My guess this is a much bigger issue than one young lady.

Anonymous said...

"Are we who are Christian sending mixed signals?"

In a word: "Yes."

Debs said...

Are we sending mixed signals?
Definitely! No wonder the world doesn't jump on our bandwagon, it is swerving all over the place and they don't know what we really believe. We are an easy target for non-believers.

Should we walk the line? Yes. We are to live above reproach. Isn’t that our daily prayer? We veer off, we sin (this is what the world cannot understand; therefore cannot tolerate) but our GOAL is to stay on the line.

We can perhaps be both evangelists and stumbling blocks at the same time. But stumbling blocks make lousy evangelists.

As the mother of a daughter who has been called drop-dead gorgeous I can answer first hand on this issue. After winning school and local pageants (encouraged to do so by members of our church family!), she won a major competition that included 30 other beautiful young women. Immediately someone remarked, "She can compete in the Miss South Carolina Pageant." We thought of the swimsuit portion and knew that her pageant days were over.
Parading on stage in a swimsuit didn't feel like a Godly thing to do. Walking onto a stage to ‘show-off’ her poise and beauty was uncomfortable enough. There are many ways to gain a platform that do not involve removing one’s clothing.

“For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
—1 Samuel 16:7