Hey Neanderthals! Keep your lustful eyes off that half-naked Jezebel or God’s gunna…

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With the constant Christian back-and-forth over yoga pants, bikinis, short shorts, mini-skirts, or whatever “decent and respectable” women should or shouldn’t wear, I’d be easy for an onlooker to get the idea that Christians think both a woman’s sexuality and a man’s sexual desires are all evil, all the time.

That men who can’t control their lust are horrible monsters and women who wear form-fitting clothing or show any skin are Jezebel seductresses hell-bent on driving men into lust seem to be a Christian message more important than the one about us ALL being sinners and us ALL needing salvation through Christ.

But sexuality and sexual desire on their own are not evil, nor are they always worthy of condemnation and rebuke. They are expressions of God’s generosity to his creation, and a natural, biological part of our lives. A woman’s attractiveness and her form, whether she is wearing a bikini, jeans, or a business suit, will always be visible to some extent.

So, since us Neanderthal men will always be surrounded by the female form, I say it’s not evil that we sometimes find it attractive (1 Cor. 7:9).

After all, God created us as beings with sexuality (Gen. 1:26–28). To shame that, demand “proper modesty”, or define admiration of beauty as lust is to shame God and His creation.

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Categories: Christianity

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20 replies

  1. You know James. You really get me to thinking sometimes, and I’m not sure whether to thank you or hate you LOL.

    I am actually facing something I have never faced before. Raising a teenage girl in a God centered home. I have a grown daughter, almost 30 now in fact, but that was different, as I believed nothing the way I do now.

    What a pickle it is. One one hand we want her to be more or less traditional in the way she relates to boys and men. For instance, we aren’t too keen on her chasing them around. I kind of like the idea of men being initiators of things like that.

    On the other hand, it’s not reasonable to demand that and then in the next sentence demand she hide her attractiveness from all the men and boys around her.

    Funny story kind of. She wanted to get an extra piercing in her ear a while back. Her mom was just opposed to it totally. She asked my thoughts, thinking I was going to be of the same position since I tend to be a bulldog on modesty. It just didn’t seem like a big deal to me, really. Looks very nice to tell the truth! Yeah, we talked and went with the extra piercing LOL. Now, some folks thought differently. A lady at church, retired pastors wife in fact, had this to say: “Well (clutching her pearls), I guess you are all in the WORLD now.”

    Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you hit the nail on the head with the retired pastor’s wife Wally.

      You and your wife made a decision (on what is arguably not a big deal in the grand scheme of things) and you are firmly in the world for it.

      Isn’t raising your daughter to love God infinitely more important?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed it is James, indeed it is. And she seems to be progressing the right way, despite the heretical earrings!

        Odd, this whole situation. Our other son(her son really, but he’s mine in my heart), as you may have picked up, is in the process of finishing his first year at seminary. I sure didn’t see raising a preacher coming in my life.

        What a testimony to God’s incredible power that He can accomplish this, despite the fact that mom and dad don’t have a clue! He can take the limpest clay and make something wonderful with it.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Two daughters, first getting married in August. Son is married. The girls believe in modesty and beauty, more importantly, they believe in God. Oldest has been criticized because she is “busty” or “well endowed like her mother. We had many a talk I’ve never been given cause to fear. Been PO’d at ignorant people, but life is that way!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It does come down to it, doesn’t it, this condrum with our daughters. We raised two daughters and they are wonderful (just like their mother, me). :D, :D.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beauty is found in many things. Attraction is based on primitive instincts, partly which is that of perfect symmetry. God has infused the universe with the power of atoms that create the fractals called life. The word beauty in many cultures stems from the word meaning orderly our clean. We can not help but be attracted to symmetry as we too are fractals of nature. It’s simply part of the design in everything, only not easily seen due to variables influenced by other fractals. My point is that beauty is made to be admired as our genetics are predisposed to recreate with it. But it is not until lust enters that the beauty becomes corruptible because the word LUST refers to madness and obsession. It doesn’t mean not seeing beauty or appreciating it. It means going to excess that drives normality beyond order to chaos. God gave us desire. This is the motivation to be and to do. It is not evil to appreciate perfection in everything, but becoming a beast helps nothing but creating a hero to vanquish you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello James.

    I’ve been paging through your related posts on the matter, and it makes me curious what your interpretation is of Romans 14:13-23. Thanks for your input 🙂

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    • Hey Seth, thanks for the question.

      I agree that we shouldn’t cause a brother to srumble but this puts too much of the blame for sin on someone alse and cause people who take the idea to extremes to live under daunting legalism.

      On lust, I believe that merely noticing or feeling attracted to another woman (or man’s) body isn’t always lust, regardless of what someone is wearing.

      Feeling that magnetic pull of interest, admiring beauty, even letting your eyes linger longer than they probably should are not the same as imaginatively stripping someone naked and wanting them in bed.

      It’s been a long day, hope thia makes sense.

      James

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      • Sure thing buddy! Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me like you’re reacting to those who you feel take Romans 14 to the extreme, and I agree that emphasizing the sin of those who “cause others to stumble” in such a way as to excuse the sin of the one stumbling is a misuse of the text. If you don’t mind a clarifying question, then: In your interpretation of what Paul is saying, how much responsibility does the believer has when it comes to not causing others to stumble, and what does this look like practically? Maybe some examples would be good. Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Seth,

          I don’t think there are objective practical examples here. However, I think a good one is this.

          A woman wearing a skimpy bikini on the beach causes a man to lust. Is she responsible or is he?

          If it’s her, where should she draw the line? Tight jeans, shorts, Yoga pants?

          Granted, I’m not advocating for “anything goes” but people should be rational with the concept of causing a brother to sin.

          James

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks for the response, brother 🙂 Here are a few questions that come to mind from your last response (I’m not trying to be antagonistic or trap you or anything, brother, I’m just trying to understand your position):

            Is she responsible or is he?

            Would you consider responsibility an either/or thing? Or could both parties be somewhat responsible?

            If it’s her, where should she draw the line? Tight jeans, shorts, Yoga pants?”

            It’s a good question! How would you answer it?

            I’m not saying anyone ever made the case that the one stumbling should be excused.

            To whom, then, are you reacting in your posts on this topic? Do you feel like Christians in general go overboard with their application of Romans 14, and if so in what ways?

            Thanks again for your patience 🙂

            Like

          • Seth,

            Can we take this a bit at a time?

            First. I wouldn’t say you are antagonistic but I don’t get the desire for me to clarify what I thought were easy to understand posts 🙂

            Now, my premise is that too many Christians are defined by what they are against rather than what they are for. I made that point in another post I am quoting below.

            Who lusts? Who is responsible for being modest? What is modest enough? All of those make the case that we are more interested in discussing legalisms rather than what is truly important.

            “Sometimes [as Christians] our stances on issues are stronger than the Bible’s stance on them.

            Look at the comment section of any quasi-religious story or video and you are likely to find a Christian explaining why they are against whatever is being discussed and why it’s wrong in the eyes of God. It seems we mistake taking a stand for Jesus as synonymous with taking a stance against everything we personally don’t like or agree with.

            It’s like we build these soapboxes of self-righteousness and then we climb on them with our bullhorns trying to win everyone else over to our point of view. Try asking someone you know who isn’t a Christian what it means to be a Christian. You might find that their answer has little or nothing to do with following Jesus, but they probably know what things Christians typically view as sinful.

            In building our platform on what we are against we have often neglected to establish a foundation of what we are for.”

            Like

          • I prayed and debated whether I should say anything about this, but I just can’t shake it, so here goes:

            The reason why I’m asking all these questions, to be honest, is because I’m trying to find an excuse not to stop following your blog. I don’t want to stop, because I like 95% of your posts and think you have a good thing going here — however, it’s been three or four times that I’ve been visually caught off-guard by one of your bikini-clad posts, and I really don’t need that, especially from a brother in the Lord.

            Like over 70% of men in the American church, unfortunately, I have a history of pornography addiction — and I praise God every day for the victory He’s given me in this area of my life, and for the distance He has helped me accomplish between myself and those behaviors. Like any addiction, you’re never really “cured” — it’s a daily battle, a daily choice for me to stay true to my wife and my commitment to the Lord in this area. Praise God I don’t have a “hair trigger” anymore — your bikini pictures aren’t going to cause me any relapses or anything, you see worse just walking around these days; and, though I get what you’re saying and think I understand what you’re trying to do, I think the execution is a bit overstated and insensitive, to be brutally honest. Do I need to worry about being on guard when it comes to my brothers and sisters in the Lord on top of the world? If I have the choice, I’d rather not — and so I’m considering leaving your blog.

            Not judging you, brother — if anything, I’m following your message to the letter and taking full responsibility for my own sin… by removing myself from areas of potential temptation. I guess I felt like sharing my perspective, in part, because I know lust is a rampant problem in the church, and in my days of acting out in my addiction I likely would have done so after being blindsided by a picture of yours, reading a Christian blog where I thought I’d be safe and could let my guard down a little bit. I imagine some other of your followers are in this place, and so on their behalf I feel compelled to share my point of view on the matter.

            Thanks for defending the faith, and for fighting the good fight.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Seth,

            I get what you’re saying here and agree with you. I would hate to lose you as a follwer but if that’s what you feel you must do then…

            Anyway, most of this blog is mild, non-controversial, and non-offensive even to the most disciplined Christian.

            That being said, I try to be provocative on occasion to get a conversation going and attract readers who would Normally not visit a Christian blog. In other words, I don’t want to solely preach to the chior.

            Again, do what you feel you must do. I won’t judge.

            Blessings brother,

            James

            Like

        • Hey Seth,

          I’m not saying anyone ever made the case that the one stumbling should be excused.

          Like

  6. James, at this point I am going to have to quit following your blog. Job 31:1

    Liked by 1 person

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