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Anne’s sexy survey results

August 17, 2009
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modesty honors beautyYou know Anne, over at FlowerDust.net. You’ve probably already seen this, then, but some of these quotes are haunting.

Anne hosted a short, informal survey last week titled “Do Women Dress Too Sexy?” Over 500 people took the survey, and she breaks down the stats on her post.

The last question, though, was open. She simply asked, “If there was one thing you would want to tell women about dressing modestly, what would it be?” She posted ten of the replies, and they’re sobering. I think I dress fairly modestly – I’m usually in a tshirt and jeans – but some of these have even me thinking about stepping it up a notch. (Emphasis’ mine.)

“I know that women probably roll their eyes a lot when they hear to dress modestly, but seriously, its a huge help. A. Huge. Help. Look, if you are an attractive woman, you are right, you cant control where guys thoughts go. But you dont have to help them get there quicker. A lot of us are really trying, and small skirts or deep cleavage just sets us back, no matter how strong we are.”

“If women knew the devastation that their immodesty could cause a man who is struggling with porn/lust (and his family), I think they might reconsider. ESPECIALLY in church….which ‘should’ be a safe place for men to not have to dart their eyes every 2 seconds.”

“I would tell them about my husband’s former struggles with pornography and fantasy, about how much we underestimate the power we have over helping or hindering our brother’s walks with God, and the marriages of our sisters and how much a glance at another woman’s cleavage is heartbreaking to a wife. I would tell them that while that is not their FAULT, dressing modestly is a way to love and cherish our brothers and sisters in Christ, even when the temptation to get the attention and feeling of being noticed and desired is great (especially in our society). (Maybe that’s two things? I don’t know!)”

“What makes me sad is that most of us Christian girls don’t care about protecting our Christian brother’s purity. True, there are some things a guy can do, such as look away and not look again once he’s seen the girl dressed in skimpy clothes, but we need to do our part in helping them too. Also, I’ve been told by Christian guys who care about this issue that even bra straps, or anthing that looks like bra straps, coming out from under a shirt can cause their minds to go off.”

As has been emphasized by most of these commenters, and Anne, is that none of this absolves a guy of taking responsibility for himself. That said, ladies, we can either help or hinder their efforts. It’s true that not every guy you see is trying to overcome lust, but if one is that should be enough. No?

What do you think? Is this even really a problem in Christian circles? Is it something women should be concerned with? Guys, dare to deny or confirm these ideas for us (anonymous IS an option)?

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. bianca permalink
    August 17, 2009 7:21 pm

    You know, the bra strap thing makes sense. I had a boyfriend in college that disliked that as well. Lust can be a powerful temptation and in these end of days, it’s not just going to be a temptation, but a powerful assault on men that the enemy uses to then degrade women. It’s important to take it seriously.

    And if you think about it aren’t undergarments supposed to be under the clothes? Not seen. Hidden, seamless. They can be cute and colorful, but no one else but you should know. (Or your husband)

    Sooooooo many women in church need to heed this- especially for the younger generations. AND it is HORRIBLE down here at the beach. Sheesh!

  2. Don Reed permalink
    August 17, 2009 7:31 pm

    Yeah, women can do a lot to NOT present a temptation. It’s crazy with what women/girls where at Church sometime. And of course, the main responsibility is the man’s but it would be great if, sometimes, women would think twice about what they are wearing.
    I led a retreat last year on purity and the research that I did, and have come across since, indicates that lust/pornography is a HUGE issue. No, you don’t understand, H-U-G-E. Did you know that the revenue of porn is more than the revenue of the NFL, MLB and the NBA (that would be professional football, baseball and basketball) combined?
    Men have enough problems with keeping their eyes in check with the internet, TV, billboards, magazine ads, etc. it would be nice to have a break at Church…

    • Lex permalink
      August 18, 2009 10:15 am

      @B – “it’s not just going to be a temptation, but a powerful assault on men that the enemy uses to then degrade women.” True that. There are some “feminists” out there with the mindset that being “exotic” is somehow empowering. Never got that.

      @DT – “it would be nice to have a break at Church…” I wonder if women will ever really understand the impact they’re having when they choose to dress immodestly. It’s hard to imagine, personally, but also hard to imagine is that guys shouldn’t get a break from the fight at church!

  3. whitney permalink
    August 18, 2009 10:24 am

    This is a great “survey” that you did. A friend was just telling me about how God really hit her with the issue of modesty over a summer training program and it brought to my mind that even those of us who don’t strive to dress sexy, still need to look at what we have on before we step out of the house. My sweet friend is an adorable woman, cute outfits and in style. I haven’t ever noticed her dressing inappropraitely, so it really means a lot when even she is convinced that modesty is far more than we make it. Scripture tells us not to be a stumbling block for anyone if we can help it. I myself have made the excuse, “well I’m not trying to get that kind of attention so it isn’t my fault”. I’ve learned that even if a top seems fine to me, for a guy who is taller than I am he could have a straight shot down at my chest. I guess we have to start checking every angle. And sometimes it seems too extreme, but when women talk about their husbands addiction to pornography or I see a brother in Christ just glance at a girls chest, I know that the hearts of men and families are worth it. Thank you for, was a woman, being bold enough to call even the “good Christian” girls out on this. If Christ had been a woman, how we would He dress now?

    • Lex permalink
      August 18, 2009 1:05 pm

      @whitney – Thanks for the comment. Some great thoughts there. First, though, it wasn’t my survey. Anne Jackson did all the work on that one; she’s over at http://flowerdust.net. I agree that the comments from wives – for whatever reason – really hit me too!

  4. trashcondor permalink
    June 11, 2010 7:47 am

    I appreciate the sentiment of the survey; but has either the author – or anyone here – considered the bigger picture? Men who suffer from lust do not have an easier time just because everybody around them dresses modestly. They suffer unbidden and regardless of the situation. Indeed, it is true to say that an immodestly dressed girl gives a man merely a target for his lustful attention – in absence of an immodestly dressed girl the lust does not falter or waver or even recede.

    It seems lust is often vilified, or at least misunderstood, but it is also important to accept that it was not in fact created by Satan as a tool to reap mankind. It was created to foster and strengthen the relationship between men and women – and forms part of the undeniable bond between husband and wife. That it – like everything – has shadow sides is not surprising; but to emphasize these darker aspects does not do it, or Him, justice.

    Do you believe that God’s Work serves the greater good? I think sometimes it is hard to tell exactly what this really encompasses, and I also think that it is easy to get distracted by the little things, and thereby lose sight of what is actually happening. Consider, for example, that just a few minutes of seeing an immodestly dressed girl will spur lusty designs in a man’s head. This is not just a macabre guess, but a quantifiable fact – truth be told, these few minutes of ogling are sufficient to cause the physiology of the man to change to such an extent as if he were to jog for half an hour, accompanied by measurable euphoria.

    What does this mean? Physically it means that the man becomes healthier, and lives a longer life. Mentally and spiritually, however, one of two things can happen – his mind and spirit might be buoyed, allowing him to be more creative and concentrate harder and longer throughout the day; or he might suffer from guilt if he was brought up to view a woman’s naked form with shame or disgust.

    I do not believe that what we experience should be taken in vain. On the other hand, I do believe that the most natural response we feel is indicative of the underlying design.

    Are you the one to say “No”, when your well-fitting jeans and attractive shirt help the majority of men to live longer and more fruitful lives?

    • Lex permalink
      June 11, 2010 10:32 am

      That’s an interesting perspective.

      I don’t know if I agree that “in the absence of an immodestly dressed girl the lust does not falter or waver or even recede.” I’m not a man, and not attracted to girls, but lust is not something that women are altogether unfamiliar with. If there were no target for lust, no stimuli, I find it hard to believe that the lust is still there. Are men equally turned on by women in turtle-neck sweaters as bikinis? Dress does have an impact.

      And while the info on men’s health is definitely a perspective I hadn’t heard, I don’t think it’s license to make meat products out of young women. If anything, it sounds like a case for a healthy marriage, but not one for encouraging women to dress immodestly.

      I’m also not sure where the idea that lust was not “created” by Satan comes from. To the extent that Satan isn’t a creative being, fine. But a lot of what God intended for good and for holiness was corrupted when man rebelled and sin entered the world. There is an aspect of our nature that is physically attracted to the opposite sex in order that we might have healthy marriages and “multiply,” as God commanded, but lust – an unhealthy, often insatiable, sometimes uncontrollable, desire – is not Godly. (Similarly most of us have a natural desire to eat several times a day, but gluttony and greed are not God’s intent.)

      Jesus said in His “sermon on the mount” in Matthew that whomever looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart. Does Christ commend adultery? Certainly not.

      If your priority is the physical body, and what effects physical health may have on yourself personally, then anyone would naturally advocate objectifying women as a tool for male vitality. Personally, I find that disgusting.

      If your priority is spiritual, then there are all kinds of physical limitations you confine yourself do. The apostle Paul wrote of this by saying he “dies” daily. Jesus told His disciples to take up our cross. The Christian faith is not about doing whatever makes you feel good and holding a Get Out Of Jail Free card. It’s about loving others more than yourself, and sometimes that means respecting women even if you have to spend a couple dollars on a protein shake because you didn’t get “buoyed” by her short skirt.

      The fact of the survey is that it was taken by a bunch of women AND MEN. And then men, who themselves admit that they struggle with lustful thoughts, are asking women to HELP THEM by dressing modestly. You can’t really argue with that.

      • trashcondor permalink
        June 11, 2010 1:53 pm

        Let me thank you for keeping things civil. My only objective is to instill a sense of appreciation for the dichotomy of the debate. Pointing an accusing finger and reducing the complexity of creation into white and black boxes is, perhaps, one of the greatest sins. Allow me to answer in steps.

        Lust, indeed, does not falter or waver or even recede. This is because lust is not caused by someone. It is. Very similar how there is love in you, even without a husband to love. So there is lust, even without a immodestly dressed girl. Such a girl can become the target of a man’s lust, and in so acts as a vent to abate it for a little while. But in the absence of an immodest girl, even the absence of a modest girl, even in the absence of woman of any description – whether alone or in the company of other men – men feel lust. Neither external nor internal stimuli are a necessary condition for lust.

        Now you, rightly, point out that women too experience lust – as do all creatures – and I hope you experience it in a positive and empowering way. I find it a little disheartening that you feel the need to describe it as an “aspect of our nature that is physically attracted to the opposite sex”. Lust is quite sufficient to describe it. Lust, like love, is not a purely evil or good thing. It is, in fact, just a thing. A neutrum. There are positive sides and there are negative sides. Your love for God might make you sacrifice your own child, your love for somebody might make you a stalker, your love for your country might cause you to kill another human being, and your unrequited love might cause you to commit suicide.

        Lust is as many-faceted; and where on the one hand there is the queasy feeling that somebody is looking at you inappropriately, and rape – on the other hand there is the deep bond that is shared between two people that produces a little baby.

        Lust is every much as Godly as love. Whether you personally approve of lust is not relevant to this, it simply is a fact. And you, too, agree that “there is an aspect of our nature […]”. You seem to insist that it is somehow corrupted and an impure form of God’s intentions. This is, at the very least, a contestable statement; as it conjectures a fallible God. If you go down that road, then you must too accept that love is corrupt, and the words of the Bible are corrupt; as they cannot abide by God’s intentions either.

        “Lust – an unhealthy, often insatiable, sometimes uncontrollable, desire”. Well – I think you are disregarding the first post I made. Lust is very much healthy. Medically there is no arguing with that. Lust being insatiable and sometimes uncontrollable… you imply that these are undesirable traits. They are, however, also traits that are associated (positively) with love.

        Jesus, according to Matthew, said that “You’ve heard it said not to commit adultery. But I tell you, that whomever looks at a woman as if to lust after her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” I agree that this is strong sentiment. But it is only one half of the story, so let me in return offer you the Song of Songs, which praises the positive facets of lust (for both men and women). “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”

        This has little bearing on the discussion, but: personally I find Matthew suspect; and you’ll find when you study theology that he’s the least credible gospel (having only been born after Jesus’ ascension). Regardless of my personal dislike of Matthew, Jesus also advises that in questions on how to act and behave in life, “to be like children”. I take this to mean to be curious, fun loving, innocent, outgoing, and to a certain extent also uncaring (of the difficulties of life).

        Prioritizing either the physical or spiritual body is probably a bit suspect – they are not mutually exclusive; I’d even suggest that for a healthy life (regarding physical, mental and spiritual health) a harmonious balance is encouraged.

        “The Christian faith is not about doing whatever makes you feel good and holding a Get Out Of Jail Free card.” Indeed it is not. But you will also agree that the Christian faith is not about shackling yourself and live a life of toil. One thing that is unanimously agreed upon is that Jesus certainly knew how to throw a good party (well, at least how to liven up someone’s party). “And sometimes that means respecting women”; are you suggesting that a girl in a bikini cannot be respected? And furthermore that it is not viable to both respect, cherish and lust for a woman at the same time? Or even that I, on power of my view on this, cannot respect you?

        “The fact of the survey is that it was taken by a bunch of women AND MEN.” It is also a fact that the bunch in question were largely devout Christians – the type that would frequent a spiritual Christian blog; considering this an extensive, independent and objective study is a stretch. That there are men that admit to struggle with lustful thoughts ask women to help them certainly is nice sentiment. But I can argue with that, my very first point of debate is that lust is independent of external stimuli. Girls dressing modestly will not curb lustful thoughts in men. Even the complete absence of girls does not curb lustful thoughts.

        To be fair, it can be argued that it helps. Or perhaps it just increases the incidence of finger fetishes in men. In either event, the degree of help has minimal impact. Consider, for example, running a similar survey in a strict Islamic society, in which women are forcibly dressed very “modestly”. You will find that there too, are men who will admit to struggling with lustful thoughts.

        Do you wish to end the “lustful thoughts” in men, or actually help those that suffer from it? The first you’ll find unachievable; the later simply involves psychological counseling to teach the afflicted on how to cope with their feelings and internal dialogue.

        Just one last point, that I thought should be mentioned. Some comments make note of the suffering that wives go through when they see their husbands look at other women. I do believe that this is a genuine concern; but this is also something that the women in question should seek to address independently of their husbands struggle with lustful thoughts. Jealousy is, after all, the unattractive sister of lust. It is wrong to argue that “If the husbands are not lusting after other women, then the wives will not be jealous” – after all, the capacity for covetous jealousy is certainly as much a flaw and sinful as the capacity for lust.

      • Dorren Rodriguez permalink
        June 12, 2010 12:27 am

        @trashcondor, you have some interesting arguments. Let me give you a few.

        1 Timothy 2:9-10
        9likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

        Paul (being led by the spirit) looks at a different aspect of this issue other than females provoking men to lust. He tells Timothy, that the women he oversees are to dress themselves modestly. What does he mean by modesty? Yes, he could mean dressing in a way that does not cause others to stumble. But in the context, modest means not dressing in such a way that draws attention unto themselves. “Look at ME. Look at MY hair. Look at MY body. Look how fashionable I am. Look how much money MY husband makes so I can buy such EXPENSIVE clothing. Look at ME.” Elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, and expensive apparel (to my knowledge, seeing that I am a male myself) do not cause men to lust. Rather, they are forms of self-idolatry. Worship. Pride. We live in a culture today where everyone constantly cries out, “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT MEEEEE!!!!!!!” It’s all about us. It’s all about looking good. Feeling good. Drawing praise unto ourselves. And making others jealous of us. Paul commands that women should not engage in self-idolatry, but rather, dress themselves with good works. With modesty. With self control. Women who profess to be Godly should be modest, rather then, “Hey check out my hot curves! “, or, “Look at my new designer jacket.” This doesn’t end with females. ALL are called to bring glory and fame to the name of Jesus Christ. Not to ourselves. It’s not about us. It’s all about Him. Any attempt to draw praise and glory unto ourselves is a form of idolatry.

        Here’s a very sobering example of what happens when we engage in self idolatry.

        Acts 12: 21-23
        “21On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.”

        We are not called to draw attention to ourselves. We are not called to feel good. We are not called to feel sexy. But rather, we are called to die, we are called to humility, we are called to give all glory and honor to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
        In a culture that is constantly jumping up and down screaming, “LOOK AT ME! I’M HOT! I’M SEXY! I’M RICH! I’M FAMOUS! I’M INFLUENTIAL!” we are called to constantly jump up and down and scream, “LOOK AT HIM! HE’S HOLY! HE’S BEAUTIFUL! HE IS GLORIOUS! HE IS ETERNAL! HE IS WORTHY!”

        And I can not disagree with you more on the idea of lust being a neutral quality. Our modern day idea of lust limits it to any sexual feeling or desire. That is not how lust was understood in the bible. THERE IS NOT ONE POSITIVE MENTION OF LUST THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE SCRIPTURES. The fact is, when sexual desires are desired, fueled, and satisfied within the confines of marriage, it is not lust. Lust is an evil thing.

        1 John 2:15-17
        15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

        Colossians 3
        5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

        Let’s take a look at that list. Lust, which you claim is a neutral attribute of humans that can be used for good or evil, is listed with sexual immorality, impurity, evil desires, greed, idolatry, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, and lying. NONE OF THOSE ATTRIBUTES ARE NEUTRAL. THESE THINGS BRING THE WRATH OF GOD. These are the evil manifestations of something neutral called choice. We can chose to do evil, or good. And lust, is listed among the evil manifestations. We are commanded to put lust to death, among all the evil practices which belong to the old self, the old nature.

        1 Peter 4:1-6
        1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

        Every time the word lust is mention, it is evil. Not neutral. IT IS NOT EVEN IMPLIED TO BE NEUTRAL.

        Revelation 22:14-15 (The words of Jesus himself)
        14″Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

        In scripture lust is frequently conjoined with sexual immorality and idolatry. And you know what Jesus calls those who engage in sexual immorality and idolatry? Dogs.

        As for your argument of lust having health benefits for men.
        You know what other things have health benefits? Yoga. Meditation. Beer. Swearing. Abortion. Embryonic Stem Cells.

        I’m pretty sure murder could be a great health benefit. We get stressed out and angry so much, and it severely diminishes our health. What a better way to stay healthy and get rid of stress than by killing people! Even better. What if you are stranded in the wilderness without any sources of food, and the only way you can survive is by killing your friend and eating him. Forget health benefits, it’s the only way you can survive!

        The fact is, just because something can benefit our health does not mean that it is a behavior which God desires for us to engage in. That is simply illogical.

  5. trashcondor permalink
    June 12, 2010 10:55 am

    I think we’ve come to an impasse at this point; since I need to disagree with many points raised – based on my prior presentation. Nonetheless, I do would like to make a few rebuttals, so bear with me.

    To start, let me emphasize that I do not take the words of Timothy, Paul, John, and so forth as the literal words of God. At best they are an interpretation of the guiding spirit, inflected by the ; but they are not a slab of stone chiseled by the Hand of God. An example of this is the furtive believe by early Christians that the Kingdom of God was immediately imminent. So much so that they advised against marriage. Such is a considerable misconception – but it is prominent in the words by those authors and colors their opinions. It is not hard to accept that these men where rather ascetic in their outlook on life.

    The modesty in presentation has conjoined complications. Allow me to illustrate by taking a local example. Here, we had a situation that was, actually, quite the reverse of that described in Anne’s survey results. Instead of men lusting after those with immodest dress – men exhibited a severe lack of arousal by their wives being too conservative. It reached such a severe state that it was raised in the community and the preacher advised the women to behave and dress a little more provocatively for the benefit of their husbands.

    “21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.”

    Here, for example, is a avid demonstration of open slander. Yes, Herod died (as all do eventually), yes, worm-like shapes were seen on his skin. And yes, Christian authors (actually Jews, at the time) did not think twice about using this – appropriately phrased – to their advantage. Herod’s death and the symptoms thereof, including symptoms exhibited throughout his chronicled life, are medically relevant and allow well-founded diagnosis.

    To expand, Herod was not particularly popular with Jews, and he did commit some heinous crimes. But (from a Christian perspective) the most famous one – the baby massacre – he is innocent of. No such massacre took place at the time. Only one source cites this event happening, namely Matthew, and I have previously stated that he suffers significantly from credibility issues. When I say only one source that needs to be put into perspective – there are a great number of histories, reports and chronicles at the time (the Roman’s being very fond of them) and there is no atrocity that is not described in relishing detail in these. But there is absolutely no mention of this baby hunt. Matthew, for all his good intentions, had an agenda that he wanted to push – namely the emphasis on the miraculous nature of Jesus birth – and this clouded his writing considerably. Compare, for example, the other gospels – those by actual companions of Jesus, who walked and toiled by his side – no mention is made of such an atrocity. Matthew slanders Herod’s name.

    To backtrack a bit, focusing on your actual argument that Herod’s immodest garments, and his punishment, are sobering: “21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes […]”. Reading this as an admonishment against immodest clothes is quite a leap. I cannot find anything sobering about it. Compare, from Revelations: “Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders, dressed in white robes, with golden crowns on their heads.” – “and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense” – “Another angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar; he was given a great quantity of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that is before the throne.” – “Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God” – “and seated on the cloud was one like the Son of Man, with a golden crown on his head”.

    In the light of this quite excessive opulence, I do not see what the problem is with Herod’s royal attire. Are you implying that King Solomon – who’s wisdom is praised right next to his opulence, riches and splendor are many-praised – was any less of a well-dressed king than Herod?

    But it does not end there, for the new Jerusalem is described as follows:

    “The angel who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width; and he measured the city with his rod, fifteen hundred miles;h its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, one hundred forty-four cubits by human measurement, which the angel was using. The wall is built of jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass.”

    There is nothing subtle about this place. If there ever was a “Hey! Look at me! I’m awesome!” – this is certainly the zenith.

    “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” – “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips”. – “Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

    I hope you obey the bit about “impurity” – that includes things like eating pork and prawns, and wearing clothes. Well, pretty much all clothes that you can buy in a shop these days, especially when wearing more than one item of clothing. The Bible is quite specific about what make of clothes are deemed acceptable (see Leviticus and Deuteronomy for details).

    Jesus anger, rage and wrath are well documented in the Bible (see His cleansing of the temple as an example). The slandering of many of those in opposition to God’s Will is also common in the Bible; whereas those that commit sins such as coveting other men’s wives are forgiven provided they are sufficiently close to God. And calling people “dogs” qualifies as filthy language in my opinion.

    If you insist that Jesus divine anger, holy rage and righteous wrath are justified and somehow different from those of the ordinary man, then you also concede that His godly lust would also be different.

    “THERE IS NOT ONE POSITIVE MENTION OF LUST THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE SCRIPTURES. The fact is, when sexual desires are desired, fueled, and satisfied within the confines of marriage, it is not lust. Lust is an evil thing.”

    You are generous in your use of emphasis. There is no “fact” that states that sexual desires, in the confines of marriage, are not – in fact – lust. This is your opinion (albeit an opinion shared by many of your brothers and sisters). You wish to apply a screen onto lust – giving it a context in which it is acceptable, and one in which it is not; and you call the one lust, and the other desire within marriage. I may be mistaken, but I vaguely remember the Bible speaking out against such tomfoolery. But I have a few counter examples for you:

    Genisis 29, Jacob lusts for Rachel and works 7 (and then 7 more) years for Laban to gain her hand in marriage. As noble as the act can be interpreted, his desires were clearly sexual, and they were outside the confines of marriage; this is what you deem lust. For years he lusted after Rachel (while still laying with Leah as well) – and the context is entirely positive.

    Now, David and Bathsheba aside; the kings of Israel (including the famed David and Solomon) had many wives, and more consorts and concubines still. These were women selected specifically for their beauty and their ability to arouse whomever they are consort or concubine to. The lust the kings had for these women is certainly not presented sinfully in the bible – I would classify it as perfectly neutral.

    Your argument also disregards my point that the Song of Songs is a praise of lust. I guess you define the problem away.

    “You know what other things have health benefits? Yoga. Meditation. Beer. Swearing. Abortion. Embryonic Stem Cells.”

    I’m not sure if you are indicating that you believe yoga, meditation and beer are negative things. The last three items are easier to group in that regard. I hope you do not think that stretching is somehow sinful, or that the “getting into the zone” (read meditation) practiced by professional athletes is not good in the eyes of God. Or are these, too, somehow different from the sinful forms of meditation and yoga?

    “I’m pretty sure murder could be a great health benefit. We get stressed out and angry so much, and it severely diminishes our health. What a better way to stay healthy and get rid of stress than by killing people!”

    Now try not to get flippant. You are obviously not aware of the tremendous stress it causes to kill somebody, or you willfully disregard it.

    “The fact is, just because something can benefit our health does not mean that it is a behavior which God desires for us to engage in. That is simply illogical.”

    Logic is something I value. That is why I can agree with your statement, but it does not have bearing on the debate: the discussion is whether God wants girls to wear modest clothes. Now; I’m not saying that girls should wear glitter thongs under their see-through mini skirts and push-up bras that match their colored hair. I’m saying that sensible, tastefully attractive and good-looking clothes are perfectly fine in God’s eyes. By excessively obscuring His perfect creation (your body) you do nothing to bring praise to His name.

  6. Dorren Rodriguez permalink
    June 12, 2010 6:57 pm

    @trashconder I essentially agree with your last paragraph, addressing the original argument, which is basically in conjunction with what I said (About females dressing modestly). So I will give you that. I do not, however, agree with most of what was said prior to that. It is clear we are not on the same page on core beliefs. Every single word in the entire bible was directly brought to man’s mind by God to write down. It is itinerant, divine, and authoritative. If they are mere interpretations of what the spirit revealed to them, then they are from man, not spirit. And if they are from man, then the scriptures obviously aren’t perfect. If they aren’t perfect, how can we fully trust them? How do we know what is actually fact and what is opinion? The scriptures are reduced to a mere guessing game of what is truth and not. Then there can’t be ONE interpretation. It becomes subjective to the reader’s opinions and feelings.

    And btw, there are no words of Timothy in scripture. The books of Timothy are letters Paul wrote to Timothy.

    As for the early Church’s believe of the immediate immanency Jesus Christ’s return, I wholeheartedly confirm and share in. We are to live everyday longing for and in the light of His return. As for them advising against marriage, I’m not sure what you are specifically referring to. I can’t find anywhere in scripture a passage advising against the marriage in the light of the immanency of Christ’s return. Paul does, however, list the benefits of being celibate, which are completely logical.

    However, if you are referencing other historical instances and practices of mandatory celibacy, as well as date setting in regards to Christ’s return, APART from scripture, I do not in any way shape or form support or endorse. These were instances of man making fleshly decisions while placing a religious stamp on it.

    As for your reverse situation, I have absolute knowledge of what you are talking about.

    As for my reference to Herod, I was not referencing his “immodest garments”, I was referencing his immodest spirit. He did not die because he wore the wrong thing, He died because he was full of pride and did not give exalt God but rather himself. And many times, thought certainly not all, proper fashion is pursued in the name of self-exaltation. That’s the heart issue. What you wear is a symptom of what’s going on in your heart.

    As for the new Jerusalem, you are right. There is nothing subtle about that place. This IS the zenith of “Look at me! I’m awesome!” We will bow down and worship this awesome and beautiful King. Not ourselves.

    I find it curious that you reference the laws mentioned in Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Those laws were given to a specific people group whom God chose. Israel. God wanted them to be separate from the other nations. We today are exempt from these laws. Besides being gentiles, we are apart the new covenant. But the principle still does apply, which is why we shouldn’t ignore those books. God still wants us to be separate and holy.

    Your examples of Jacob and old testament Kings as excusing lust make absolute no sense. God never excused them for those things. They are never referenced as neutral. They also killed people, lied, stole, cheated, among many other things. If you then assume that because they did these things, we should, you are mistaken. We are never commanded to live according to how Jacob, or the Kings did.

    I’d also like to mention Solomon. You acclaim Solomon for his wealth and riches, and many concubines. Read Ecclesiastes. What does Solomon have to say about all that wealth and riches?

    In conclusion, I’d like to say, these issues are mere surface issues. You have twisted beliefs on your understanding of God, His ways, and His scripture. Beliefs that are called heresy. We’re obviously not coming from the same place, so we cannot debate these surface things. You keep arguing principles that are apart from and conflict with implicit teaching from God in the bible. Of course, you have stated that you don’t believe that it is necessarily from God. I severely disagree with that, and cannot debate viewpoints that are based off that belief. This entire discussion is pointless.

  7. trashcondor permalink
    June 12, 2010 7:15 pm

    @Rodriguez

    Alas, you’re right about us not sharing core tenets. It is only natural that you disagree with mine, and I with yours. And we both think the other is mistaken.

    Just as a closing thought – do you think that, if God were to send you a message this day, a message that disagreed with scripture. Would you be able to recognize it and embrace it? Most authorities on God in Jesus time did not.

  8. Dorren Rodriguez permalink
    June 12, 2010 8:13 pm

    No, trashconder, I would not recognize it nor embrace it. You know why? He never disagrees with something else He has said. The authorities in Jesus time rejected Jesus because their hearts were hard and they were full of themselves. Not because He contradicted scripture. He was a fulfillment of the scriptures. Not a disagreement. The authorities in Jesus time weren’t following scripture. They were following themselves. I do believe God speaks to people in this day. I do believe He reveals new things to us. But He never contradicts Himself. He would not reveal against what He has all ready revealed.

  9. Dorren Rodriguez permalink
    June 12, 2010 8:16 pm

    And I all ready know you know supposed instances where God contradicts Himself. I just believe they are heretical and based on a futile understand of God.

  10. trashcondor permalink
    June 12, 2010 8:50 pm

    It is good then, that you suppose to have answers for supposed contradictions. You sound tired, as if you’ve had this conversation before – and it has not left you unbothered.

    “He never disagrees with something else He has said.” – This is true, provided you have 20-20 hindsight. Jesus demonstrated several times his superior understanding of God by responding to supposed contradictions and infractions with reference to scriptures that are in agreement with His actions. (I do hope He never does decide to change His mind about something, he’d have an obstinate devotee to overcome.) So let me rephrase. What if God sent you a message that appeared to contradict scripture?

    I find it hard to imagine how you can be very literal-minded in context of the Bible, when the Orthodox, Roman-Catholic and Lutheran versions of the Bible do not even agree with each other. Which one then, is the true, untainted and correct Word of God? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you ensure that you understand the message correctly? It is obvious that we may be reading the same passages – but still do not agree on their meaning; even should we both read the text as literally as possible.

    Your conviction in the correctness of your interpretation honors you.

    In my understanding, the only truly relevant truth is to love thy neighbor, that we should do onto others as we would have them do onto us. In doing so, we strive to be as Jesus, and do well in God’s eyes. In context of the original discussion, this means that I encourage girls to wear clothes that they feel comfortable and well in; as I would want to take for myself the right to wear clothes I feel comfortable and well in.

  11. trashcondor permalink
    June 12, 2010 8:52 pm

    Perhaps I should add that I would be amused if some girls told me to dress less provocatively, as I was filling their minds with impure thoughts.

  12. Lex permalink
    June 15, 2010 10:34 am

    I haven’t even begun to read this entire conversation, ’cause I trust you guys had a good talk. :)

    I came back to offer a link. By some coincidence I sat down to catch up on a podcast I really like and the topic – as the pastor goes through the sermon on the mount – is lust.

    http://wolc.com/?podcast=718

    Dorren may be more interested than trashcondor due to what seems to be a fundamental disagreement of faith, but it’s a stinkin’ amazing sermon so I thought I’d share.

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