March 10, 2010

Moral Reflections on America and the Nations, and Answers to Your Calls

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Muslim Massacre of Christians in Nigeria

43 Comments
  1. Modesty in dress is a very touchy topic. Almost always, it is addressed to what women wear or rather don’t wear enough of.

    Do you think that Messiah went bare chested? Our “culture”, and I use that word loosely, thinks nothing of men taking off their shirts. Do you think that our Father in heaven really approves of same sex locker room nakedness? Where do your ideas about this come from? The scripture? Or more probably you have just grown up accepting what is the “norm.” I never knew anyone that didn’t feel uncomfortable at first time being naked in the locker room. Does this “feeling” come from YHWH speaking to our consciences?

    Have you ever realized that YHWH clothed Adam and Eve from the elbow to the knee? And they were husband and wife. And nobody else was around. And He told them to be fruitful and multiply. Is it possible that YHWH only wants us to show our nakedness in very limited circumstances?

    YHWH commanded the priests to wear “breeches” under their robes. The alter was not supposed to be elevated. There were only men in the area of the alter. Why so careful to be sure another man would not see their brother’s nakedness from the knee up?

    Even though the Muslims go to the extreme in covering their women, does that mean that we should recoil from truly modest dress for believing men and women? Do you really think that Messiah would don a swimsuit and ask Mary, Martha, and Lazarus to do the same and meet Him at the beach? Do you really think He would approve of His mother wearing a “modest” one-piece swimsuit? Is there really such thing as a biblically modest swimsuit?

    Are there things that the scripture asks us to wear or do to be truly modest, holy, and righteous? Are we ignorant, deceived, or rebellious?

    Shalom

  2. I agree.

    It is so hard to find affordable modest clothing that many women must make them themselves. There are for example, nicely made skirts and dresses in catalogues, but not everyone can afford the $60.00 price tag. There are some good finds, however, in thrift or second-hand shops, etc. Fortunately, it’s not too hard if you have a sewing machine. I personally don’t follow patterns or do much measuring myself; I just fold the fabric to make sure both sides are equal. But to each her own.

    I have always found the “leering look” of males disturbing. When a man is righteously trying to follow God’s law, he does not look “with adultery in his eyes” at a woman, and it is an admirable trait for a man to conduct himself in that way.

    I do think that the moderate elements of society are beginning to tire of the extremes (and sexual seductiveness) in fashion, though. Unfortunately, some high-profile people do not have modesty in their hearts and they wind up dragging down the culture as a result.

  3. As far as swimming goes, mine goes to below the knee and the top is a roomy lycra shirt, tucked in, which does not cling. I sewed on “dolphin” patches so it looks appropriate for the pool, and it is in shades of blue, also, and the staff at the university where I swim has never had a problem with it.

  4. It’s a problem when Americans who see themselves as patriots can’t take any criticism of America. This is a form of denial of the problems we have. How can we fix our problems if there is a denial of them by moral people?

    There is huge pressure these days to accept the “gay agenda.” The entertainment industry has made it their cause celebre. Movie after movie, show after show, the message is sent: you’re an ignorant, Bible-thumping, self-righteous moron if you don’t accept homosexuality. Pornography is even “winked at” nowadays. Reading Playboy has become viewed as innocuous as beer and football; even as “red-blooded American,” as I once heard it described.

    But when people who uphold the Bible can’t take any criticism of America from people in other countries, without bristling with indignation, they (unwittingly perhaps) become part of the problem of a national paralysis which cannot seek solutions to this dilemma.

    We have to be more pro-active in our moral stance, not in an ugly way for sure, with compassionate outreach, but without watering down the moral standards of the Holy Scriptures just to avoid confrontation.

    When American spends huge amounts of money (billions) on pornography each year and it winds up getting exported around the world, other more fundamentalist countries have every right to say, “Whoa — who are you to judge us?” In other words, take out the beam from your own eye first.

    And that’s not going to be easy! We are literally fighting for the minds and hearts of our children these days. Let’s drop the denial already.

  5. What is to be our adornment? This seems to be the question. If one goes to the area hit by the Sunami what will believers wear? If to Siberia?

  6. I think that in principle, we (both sexes) should dress so as not to “incite lust.” I am in no way blaming a rape victim here. (Rape has more to do with problems surrounding power issues than sex anyway)….and of course, is a sign of spiritual illness.

    We have to remember that dress is a two-sided coin, in you will.

    For every woman who dresses (and acts) like a “whore,” inciting the worst kind of male attention, there are dozens of “whoremongers,” and they are just as culpable for falling into it. American society refers to clubs where lusts are incited as “Gentlemen’s Clubs.” What a euphemism, actually lauding men!! Men must “flee the temptation,” not rush to it.

    This doesn’t absolve women from responsibility, of course. But sadly, many women who get into that type of display have missing-father-figure issues, and at the heart of it, are still looking for the concentrated attention they should have had from their Dads. As they come to know their true Father in Heaven, who loves them more than anyone on earth ever will; as they find the deep love of God satisfying to their souls, they change in their evaluation of men in general. Many a woman has to come to the “end of men,” that is, in realizing that they all have ‘feet of clay,’ and are not to be made into a God!! Unfortunately, the popular culture elevates “romantic love” to a degree that is actually idolatrous. People seek to possess and be possessed by each other, and seek to find all that they need in another human. This is, of course, impossible, so that they wind up bitterly disappointed. But I’ve gotten off the track just a bit….

    People in public – men and women – should not dress in ways which are “seductive” to the opposite sex — that is immodest, and I think that is the principle of what is in Scripture. Of course, in extreme conditions, things may happen to one’s clothing which leave one partially covered…and it could happen that time could pass before this could be fixed.

    Some sects define their members based on certain articles or styles of dress. This reminds me of the animal-kingdom habit which, for example, birds have, of recognizing their flock members by the particular colors and styles of feathers.

    Any deviation of this style (in sects) is interpreted immediately as a change in attitude toward the whole of the sect. Personally, I like the principle of modesty as a guide, and not being told what length my hair should be, or how long my hem should be. Modesty and common-sense, and being careful not to inadvertently draw attention to oneself in a way that could be found to be seductive is I think the intent — which survives the passage of time.

  7. We need to have more of the talents of artists and musicians to bring into the popular culture, the ideals of Jesus. And the ideas of chastity, of the sanctity of marriage, and very much of looking at marriage seriously, and not jumping into sex (which is far too common on “first dates” now) and deliberating over the choice of a mate, or not even marrying at all. There should never be a rush into marriage. Something that is for a lifetime should be carefully and prayerfully thought through.

    If the “silver screen” can glamourize something so heinous as blood-drinking vampirism and actually incite normally rational, moral young women to romanticize a vampire, as in the Twilight series….! This medium is extremely potent.

    And we should focus on building up Christ, holding him up as was the brazen serpent in the desert of Sinai for the healing of the nation…we must uphold the ideals of the Holy Scriptures up in the consciousness of the world, thereby transforming it. Film after film, art after art (all the arts), holding up the ideals and the teachings of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), giving our all for the glory of God.

    Of course, I’m not blind to the fact that so much stems from the home environment, too, which is another subject under the general heading of “moral depravity.” But what people watch on television and hear on their radios and such is so influential, and we are getting deluged with pro-homosexual propaganda, we need to…again…hold up the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus); hold up the moral guidance of the Tanakh (Old Testament) through these very mediums: film, music, poetry, painting, i.e., the arts.

    If you’re an artist and you’ve been gifted with talent, give it back to God who gave it, for His glory and the good of the world, that people may see your good works and give praise and honor to your Father, who is in Heaven.

  8. Jabez H.,

    Are you sugesting that clothing is optional depending on the location or time of year? Is there no way to cover our upper legs and arrms and everything in between in Hawii?

  9. I am not, but, the scriptures seem to deliniate between public nudity and private, married relations. Certainly we cannot discount that Eva was made from Adam for given reasons. What then draws a couple together as one is not to be somehow discredited because of publicly flaunted or ignorant of scripture sin. Lust outside of marriage then is upheld as the wrong emphasis, not attraction of man and woman to become one.

    Consider Florence and its and Rome’s frescoes, where the expressions of Biblical themes involved artistic nudity, where is the line to be drawn on what is expressive of God’s creation, and what is not, hence, the allusion to our adornment, its modesty, etc. Such expression as a whole era of art, how would that be different than the lust of the eyes, for example?

  10. And, cultural relevance of what is lustful is a consideration. Among certain Aftrican cultures bare breasts were not even thought of as erotic at all, and aroused no one. Thighs however, were another matter. Considering the climate that is understandable. This was also of consideration of the mention of Siberia. Bundling up and down according to climate then can be culturally normative, or not, without lust becoming a part of the relational equation. Levt. 18 talks of contact relations and what is forbidden and not more than eye content.

    Our adornment then, in addition to Paul’s admonitions for simplicity among women in churches in his day, is about the heart and its own outlook, in addition to what is. One can lust in heart or not at all in the face of what part of the world they are in. It is the urban cultures which generally have sensationalized the body, not the island cultures of greater simplicity by climate over time. As for Hawaii, it certainly is not the simple place it was prior to becoming influenced by commercial enterprise hundreds of years ago.

  11. One question too, which has been scrutinized over the centuries is what constitutes purity of heart? I doubt it has much to do with degrees of outward adornment, unless a definition is accomplished by negative example.

  12. Jabez H.,

    Might it be that the “art” of which you speak is idolatry? Idols. Creation worship instead of true “Biblical Themes.” I have read that the statue of Peter in the Vatican was originally known to be Jupiter.

    It is interesting that the Hebrew culture was the one picked by our Creator. It might be that their version of modesty either was, or became from divine contact, the best approximation of Biblical modesty.

    That the cultures in Africa or America fell from the modest dress described in scripture has no bearing on what ought to be. There have always been ways to cover oneself properly no matter the climate, barring extreme poverty and persecution. But even then there are those that still did the best they could.

    The church has become a fashion show of the latest immodest dress. Both the lack of coverage and the flamboyant are to be found there. Neither are modest.

    Can we remain friends with the world and still be the friends of Yahweh? Does He really like the naked “art” in Rome? If aprons were enough, would He not have let the first couple continue to dress themselves according to their new found, sinful ideas?

  13. BT(L?), I Peter 3:2-6 addresses the private of a wife’s adornment coming into the public, and the standards of heart and faith involved. When one is engaged with the Holy Spirit in heart, as in vs. 4-6, there is a relationship with Him in the mix.

    The art I referred to, of sacred reference, depicts something which is not idolatry, but creation, and story, the characters named of Biblical reference, and, also draws out contemplation from a soul so linked to faith. Perhaps some idolatry is in the eyes of the beholder, and other depictions of non-Biblical reference may be idolatry. Idolatry is foremost a condition of heart, and its devotion, and secondarily found in inanimate objectification.

    As for being friends with the world, and what that might look like, I think the letters of John, Jude, and James discern how that has influenced the challenges of teaching the faith, and the gatherings in his Name.

  14. In an unfallen world Eva and Adam were naked and unashamed, in our fallen state God indeed dressed them after they knew shame, and sent them away from the blessed garden.

  15. Jabez H.,

    Are these ” characters named of Biblical reference” fully clothed? Do you think Michelangelo’s “David” is appropriate? He is depicted naked and uncircumcised.

    Yahweh designed the “Word” to depict not naked statues. He has Holy Days that enact his story.

    Naked art seems to be a contrivance of fallen man, not worship in “Spirit and Truth.” Idolatry in art comes out of the heart of the man producing the art as well as from the heart of the beholder.

    “To the pure all things are pure” does not mean that adultery, murder or idolatry is pure. Though the idol may be beautiful, the idol is still an abomination.

  16. I discussed themed frescoes, not statues as applying to the creation and story, nor the glorification of sin.

  17. where it lodges and is cultivated. The pure at heart will see God, does this apply to the frescoes mentioned, and/or a scriptural view of woman, and, as such, as incomplete without marriage?

  18. How do others view chapel ceiling frescoes here? They appear along with the spread of Christianity throughout Europe and the Near East over time.

  19. Perhaps another point of view can be achieved by reviewing scientific, and other creative/creation evidence inquiry too–as was developed over time in relationship to the existence of special and general revelation. Do we accept the short creation and thousands of year age of the earth in light of dinosaur bones, or a long creation view of the earth? Some of the answers to this and the above seem nonessential to maintaining a Biblical faith and connection. Some may be a matter of the heart trusting the Father in the light of different yet faith filled views.

    Does scripture say the earth is flat or round, or both>and when are such matters dividing of a faith alliance, and when not?

  20. Jabez H.,

    Do you have a solid stand to make or is it just all “Who knows, can’t we just ge along.” History is not scripture. Science is not scripture, Art is not scripture. Base your life on what you want, but as for me and my house we will trust scripture to tell us the truth.

  21. BIG TEX, The word is always preferred. Obviously some of it is emphatic, clear and obvious in intention and instruction, and some is to be individually and collectively interpreted in the context of when, how, and where one and others live as believers withthe invisible God, their households, and others.

    However, as Galileo Galilei determined in the 16th and 17th centuries, as the “Father of Modern Science”, and a believer at odds with his church: truth is truth, in spite of whatever interpretations of scripture are accepted as so at a given juncture of Christ in community or ecclesia. His telescope improvements and resulting observances and research determined that, as with Copernicanism, the world was not flat, and the solar system revolved around the Sun, not the earth (contrary to what were the accepted scriptural interpretations of the church opinion of the era). For this difference he was rejected, ostrasized, and suffered deeply under house arrest by the Roman inquisition for his understanding of truth. And it was over truth, and the nobility of his spark of life and love directly related to his faith, that he, like Christ was depised and rejected of men.

    Your statement seems to turn on your own standard, as to what you wrote as to either or. There are many other perspectives, on truth as it is and as it was, which come under the pale of scripture which are not black and white. I started the whole discussion with these realities in mind.

    We are not talking of the Ten Commandments, which have few nuances, but of modesty, adornment, purity of heart, and what is and is not related sin. Sin is not the denominator of to clothe or not to, and when and where, but love–as God determined love to be defined, blessed, and inclusive, where so. I’d suggest a read of C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves to understand that this is not just about all getting along at all, but about how one defines what is borne along with a resident Holiness, by the Spirit, in a life of devotion.

    Were not the expressions on the chapels of old’s ceilings about real devotion, and hearts so related, long before the Protestant Reformation? Were not those so expressing their faith by frescoe devoted to their understanding of truth in scripture, so depicted? When Luther took a wife, who once was a Nun, many thought that was blasphemy to the then current standards of clergy and scriptural standards implied of scripture at that juncture in church history.

    As for me and my household, we will trust the Lord for the old and the new of scripture (Mt. 13:52), because, like it or not, it is reinterpreted outside of the obvious essentials of faith for every generation.

  22. For example, in Jewish culture the Song of Songs is used to instruct those to be married, about marital love, by the elder to the younger. Here are some words of related scripture.

    SS 1:13 My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh
    resting between my breasts.

    SS 1:14 My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
    from the vineyards of En Gedi.

    SS 1:15 How beautiful you are, my darling!
    Oh, how beautiful!
    Your eyes are doves.

    SS 1:16 How handsome you are, my lover!
    Oh, how charming!
    And our bed is verdant.

    Scripture then does not mence descriptive words, which, to be considered godly in context of marital blessing, need be qualified about God’s own blessing on love and devotion in its considered context. A read of the Song of Songs too is quite stretched when only spiritualized as to meaning and intention. In my household this too is founded of scripture.

  23. We do not always make stands, sometimes, with blessing we lay down with our appointed blessing.

    SS 2:16 My lover is mine and I am
    his; he browses among the lilies.

    SS 2:17 Until the day breaks
    and the shadows flee,
    turn, my lover,
    and be like a gazelle
    or like a young stag
    on the rugged hills.

    SS 3:1 All night long on my bed
    I looked for the one my heart loves

    Lewis wrote that God invented all the four loves, one leading and completing each of the others, by appointment and special revelation to each soul trusting our Lord.

  24. Jebez H.,

    I have read Lewis. I agree that love in the marriage bed is beautiful, but I protest the notion that human bodies should be seen in public whether in the flesh or in the “arts.”

    Why can we not say that our brothers in the past were pure in heart but scripturally wrong in application. Why can we not say the same to our modern brothers and sisters as to their dress.

    If we are rendered mute because of someone else’s “pure heart” then let everything go because I’m sure that some have adulterated and worse thinking their hearts were pure. And who are we to say one way or the other.

    Since we cannot judge the heart of any man, including our own deceitfully wicked one, let us judge righteously by keeping the standards of scripture applicable form start to finish. Let Adam right down to the end bow to the truth as to how much flesh should be shown.

    Yahweh showed us His desire when He clothed Adam and Eve. There is no loin cloth that can be said to be modest if theirs was not.

  25. I would just like to say that art in itself is not idol-making. Idol-making begins in the heart, when one believes and attributes to the creation something which isn’t there — when one would “bow down to” the created object and try to imbue it with a spiritual life. At that point, evil spirits could be invited to reside, perhaps, in that object; this I really don’t know. But I have known people who believe that certain objects in their homes are “magical,” and such.

    I don’t think that artists by and large are deceived by their own work. They know that in the process of crafting something, whether it be a song or a landscape, they are bringing their talents to the making of it and they aren’t “taken in” by it. They see the “nuts and bolts” of it, if you will. That doesn’t mean, though, that the creative process isn’t thrilling. But someone seeing the finished work might attribute more to the work than the artist intended. This is why I wrote, essentially, do it for the glory of God, not the “glory” of the artist, which is common today. The “star”-making machinery of Hollywood, for example, has people wanting to be famous for their own glory. And the art world, too, is full of people wanting the same thing. That is a form of idolatry; even being a “fan” to the point of exalting another person excessively is a kind of idolatry.

    But art itself is actually a very natural process; many people are given talents in the arts and it’s important for an artist today to be able to navigate those waters in a way that does not compromise the call to holiness, which is certainly paramount.

    “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17, KJV. Talents in the arts really are gifts; but what one does with a gift….that is where one can seriously err…OR…do the right thing. The cantor where I worship has such a beautiful voice, but she has given her talent back to the Creator and because of her deep love of the Lord, listening to her is actually a transcendent experience. This is, I think, a good example of a gift given back to God.

  26. This ties in, I think, with the subject of the moral climate in America, because people can use their talents to actually bring down the culture, or lead people into a wrong path… I have said many times over the years to friends, “I don’t believe artists have carte blanche to do whatever they want.” Artists are just as much constrained to be accountable as anyone else for how they influence others.

  27. Lewis also wrote fantasy based stories, including the Chronicles of Narnia. These have also been illustrated various ways, without their art and character references being labeled idols. Clearly some of the actions, characters, and their ways and means are scriptural, and some are not–as to depicting a related godly or evil influence upon said characters.

    European and Near Eastern Chapels, in a particular era of their design, do contain some nude characterizations of Biblical stories. Yet, in observing these frescoes, one has to ask if such lead to an awe of the scriptures, or a feeling of offense. I asked earlier how others, in addition to Big Tex (likely not his name, but a self characterization), felt about these. My own take has been to have my heart and mind soar to awe of God and his interactions with flawed human beings, even so much as having taken on human form for the most noble of purposes. When our Lord hung on His Cross, can we look upon him as He was, not meeting a modesty standard accordingly, or the acceptance of His critics and enemies, and find a pure value in that case? How did his state of being and dress at that juncture purchase our acceptance in the beloved? How would His depiction then be a Holy use of his bodily vessel, when underclad?

  28. You’re right. Holiness is holiness. This is why Adam and Eve could be naked yet unashamed. No reason to feel shame; no sin.

  29. So, no one saw Yeshua on the cross? My point has always been that it is not as simple, in a cultural context and society which is less constant than those of the Tenach or New Testament, to pin down a tight rule on what is and is not modesty. I Peter 3 seems to cover much inwardly and outwardly.

    All seem to agree here that real public nudity is not blessed nor to be pursued, yet too, that truth can be discovered which challenges our own assumptions in other areas of communication and its exposure so to speak. Certainly the Lord’s traditional image on the cross is challenging of our assumptions on modesty.

  30. Jabez H.,

    Messiah was shamed by being hung on the cross. It was forced upon Him. To bring this up as an argument about modesty is absurd. He is not on the cross any more, but sitting on the right hand of Yahweh.

    Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    The depictions of Him on the cross are images. It is forbidden on two counts: 1) it is of a male. 2) it is supposedly of Yahweh

    De 4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:
    16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

    We are not to worship Messiah on the cross, but we are to worship Yahweh in spirit and in truth. These images of Him are against the truth quoted above.

    The argument that different cultures have been good or that their expressions of “modest” dress must be taken as any kind of proof is contrary to Scripture. The have FALLEN to these levels. Sinful man’s ideas are not the ideal.

    C.S. Lewis was a man. He did not author scripture. He was probably one of the most intelligent men of the century, but he was wrong about some things.

    The traditional image of Messiah on the cross has been rejected by many protestant groups. Messiah is not on the cross any more. He died once for all. He is not always dying as the “Catholic” version of Him on the cross symbolizes.

  31. Seems like I’m the one that got this topic started, so if you all do not mind I’ll jump in again.

    The crucifix has been preached against by Anabaptists, Baptists, Puritans, Pentecostals, etc. as a form of idolatry. Of course, the Catholic church maintains that their statues are “icons” not idols and that they are not worshiped. But it all depends on your definition of worship.

    It seems that the scripture specifies not to make images to worship them, but does that make it good to make a statue of Jupiter bring it into our house and not worship it. The visible church under the rulership of Popes and other Catholic leaders was brought to do all manner of pagan idolatry. The doctrine of the “ever dying Christ” is more paganism and superstition represented by the crucifix. Protestants have generally used an empty cross to symbolize their faith.

    But this is a bit off topic, other than to show that the naked man on the cross is no good reason to accept nudity in public. Marital nudity is obviously good in private. Surely, culture to blame for all manner of undressed people throughout the ages and the world today.

    Jabez wrote:

    “My point has always been that it is not as simple, in a cultural context and society which is less constant than those of the Tenach or New Testament, to pin down a tight rule on what is and is not modesty.”

    It is not too difficult to find the answers in scripture. (Difficult in a cultural context, yes, but in the light of scripture alone it is clear.) If we are always looking at “culture” to determine truth we will be much misled. The shifting sand of “culture” contributes greatly to the mind set that “Man is the measure of all things.” We become fools when we compare ourselves to one another instead of looking into the perfect law of liberty.

    There is a counterfeit liberty that would excuse exposed thighs on man or woman. It would excuse the bare breasts of either sex also. This counterfeit liberty often disguises itself in the garb of modern scholarship and intellect. It hides behind the mask of nonjudgmentalism and liberal theology. It is the outcome of man rebelling in the garden. He forsook the tree of life for the opportunity to be his own boss.

    We are called to be workers in YHWH’s vineyard, so to speak. Culture does not matter there. Pleasing the master that called us DOES. We can stand by idly and watch the culture’s naked bodies pass by, all the while not knowing which is acceptable and which is not, or we can humbly accept YHWH’s word to be true.

    Shalom

  32. Well, yes and no. I referred to the long earth six “days” creation theory and short earth days creation theory as contrasting, yet both representing Biblical world views too for a reason. Truth relates that there are Dinosaur bones which stretch the short day creation ideal by the long day result. There seems to be no mention of Dinosaurs in the Bible, unless placed on the 5th day as inclusive. Personally, I prefer the short day, and have read how scientifically visibile geology evidence accounts for apparent contradictions with this and other perspectives on the age of the earth. And the Day of the Lord in scripture is also alike interpreted as to being a 24 hour period, or a kind of era ahead which unfolds. We really do not have enough information at this point to know.

    What seems to be the qualifier on exposure vs. modestry (covering up) is not whether or not a thigh is shown by the wearing of a nonbikini style woman’s swimsuit, but by what Paul stated in fact about appointed seasons and placements too on Mars Hill. Moslem culture totally covers up, even the face, and justifies it. Does this set right while meeting very strict standards, or does it rattle the sense of freedom, where there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus?

    Women competing in the swim races of the Olympics wear the latest fabric torso covering swimsuits to achieve an extra nonfriction surface level to increase their ability to compete (where a 1/100th of a second can make or break a winning swim lap). Shall we forbid a Christian competitor the edge of such a suit and its provision? Lust, like trust, is both extended and exhibited, where the stimulation to feel such is, like anger, a matter of the heart first and foremost. In these times a full suit, vs. a bikini style suit may be considered moderate. Its intenntion is to permit swiming and sunning, yet not expose private body parts or emphases.

    Like the short and long day earth creation religiously sound theories, recognition of room for both the knee to neck coverage and non bikini coverage for the beach can be within the boundaries of current cutural modesty. Otherwise the Ten Commandments would rise to eleven.

  33. PS I did not refer to the crucifix but Jesus on the cross as to his holiness when less than modestly clad. Certainly, as such, he took on sin for us. But, the vision of him being there in a moment of appointed time is not offensive, where it pleased God to so send Him–for this action was a pure action of holy love. Yes, He endured shame, which the Father honored by the affirmation of the Resurrection. If ever there was a paradox as to the issues involved which we have discussed here, the Cross of Messiah depicts this.

  34. Maybe a believer should not participate in an event that places them in an unscriptural situation. What is wrong with choosing, like Moses, to “suffer” biblical modesty instead of enjoying the pleasures (Olympic medals) of sin for a season.

  35. We have to recognize sincere differences for life application among contributors here. This matter of conviction does not detract from their faith, or devotion to the grace and peace of the Gospel.

  36. Jabez,

    Eric Liddel (remember “Chariots of Fire”) refused to run on Sunday because he thought it was wrong to work on Sabbath. He may have been wrong about what day Sabbath was, but His heart to do what was right in spite of his culture was very commendable. What if an Olympian swimmer was to be disqualified for wearing a truly modest suit or get a slower time to the glory of YHWH?

    In the US there is a philosophy that the church should be “culture current.” It is the exact opposite of what the scripture teaches. We are to be in the world but not of it. If we cannot live by YHWH’s ideas and be an Olympian then so be it. Choose who you will serve.

    Shalom

  37. Jabez,

    You wrote:
    “Whatever you do, do it unto the Lord.”

    Can we do prostitution to the “Lord”? Should we dress like prostitutes to the “Lord”? Maybe so, but it would be the wrong lord.

    Shalom

  38. Bo, I don’t follow what your last two posts drift toward as not stemming from the flow of the rest of the discussion here. No one here has advocated going totally with cultural preferences, prostitution, or any human sensuality or seduction advocacy for/to the Lord. In fact that has been not entertained here. You have completely taken what I and others have stated out of a delicate interchange context developed of the blog. Your post is flippant, at best, and inappropriate as to the boundaried discussions all others seem to have honored. Personal choice within the balance of scripture have been examined by other posters. That there are different godly perspectives has been the case.

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