Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Opus 43, Discernment Watch: Christian Pornography

I am not a consumer when it comes to pornography.  I will admit that in my life I have looked at a few fold-outs and such but the inbuilt guilt complex usually kicks in before long.  On the internet I have gotten a few clicks toward what I later realized would become serious stuff, but usually a few screens in I wake up to where I am going and back out.  Or my guilt buzzer gets so loud that I can’t deny what I am looking at any longer and I hit the cancel button.  It is not because I am a paragon of virtue but more like someone reminded me recently, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”

But there is a form of pornography that is widely consumed in Christian circles and is openly praise by devout believers.  Years ago when Jim Dobson was on a presidential committee looking into the problem of pornography he wrote about the problem and why it was a problem.  I am writing from a long memory here but one of the problems with pornography is the expectation factor.  This was above and beyond the moral issue of lust.  Pornography sets up a false image of what is possible.  For the husband who is being sucked in it gives an artificial picture of idealized physical perfection that becomes the standard that his wife is compared to.  No human being can measure up and it sets up a stress that begins to destroy the marriage.

There is a form of pornography that has penetrated Christian homes which would never dream of bringing in smut.  Our children are encouraged to indulge.  We have it in print and video.  This pornography is found in a genre of literature that is best represented by the writings of Jane Austen.  I am referring to such books as Pride and Prejudice.  I have not read her works but my wife and daughter really enjoy her.

I picture Mr. Darcy, if I have the right name.  I have the picture of a man riding out of the mist on a glorious horse.  He gracefully swings down from the saddle, dressed in those beautiful clothes of the era, his ruggedly handsome face topped by wind tussled hair and he stands stammering before the beauty of the innocent and pure damsel facing him.  This is Christian pornography.  It sets up “an artificial picture of idealized physical perfection that becomes the standard,” if I may quote myself paraphrasing Jim Dobson.

Does my wife expect me to measure up to that?  I know I get tired of hearing about these men.  Let reality intervene.  First of all, after riding a galloping horse for any distance the rider is hot and sweaty, not to mention smelling like a horse.  His hair, which for a man his age would be much thinner, is plastered to his head by sweat and mud.  His clothes represent the wages of entire village for a full year.  He has servants to clean them and dress him, not to mention care for his horse.

Which brings up the lifestyle of these people.  If you watch carefully you will see the servants.  They stay in the background.  They know their place.  The main characters never do a lick of work.  They get up and change their clothes.  After breakfast they change their clothes.  For lunch they change their clothes.  They sit and drink tea and change their clothes.  For a little work they may change their clothes and go into the garden to clip a few roses, of course with a servant to hold the basket.  And then they change their clothes.  I hate to tell you but if America were at this social stage, out of 300,000,000 people there might be 100,000 who lived like this.  I hate to break it to you but we would be the servants, not the served.

The stammering I can understand.  Leave aside that he has been a soldier who has stood up to cannon fire and violent death.  Leave aside that he probably has a girl in every town.  I know what it is to stand speechless before an innocent and pure damsel.  That part is okay.  At least it is real.

We have millions of Christian women who have this false idea of manliness before their eyes on a regular basis.  Young girls think all worthy men know how to ride horses and don’t sweat.  We imprint the glories of the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”  Then we expect them to go out and be humble, non-materialistic servants of Jesus Christ.

I don’t know what you call it, but for want of a better term I will label it Christian Pornography.

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.