Monday, December 05, 2005

A Picture is worth a thousand words

One of my long-time frustrations with Christianity has been the adherence to censorship. I am not so in tune with that kind of thinking. And it was an article I saw on Yahoo Oddly Enough that brought me back to it. (Beware that some pornographic material lies on the other side of the web address listed in the Yahoo article) The frustration with Christian Censorship is that no matter what "they" try to censor, there is some form of it in the scriptures. It says it may not be good for you, and that I can deal with. But then to say that it doesn't need to be out there and "they" have the right to tell everyone else what to think is just not cool with me. Then something like the calendar in the article comes out and I wonder if this is the "right" way to bring the Bible to life. I guess in a couple of instances it does seem to Eve in the Garden of Eden. But Rahab nude doesn't make much sense and even less Delilah. Yes they were women of the bedroom, but really? Then again, so much of the Sistine Chapel is done in nudes, male and female and I wonder what thanks we really ought to be giving to Augustine who helped instill this modesty into the life of the church. The flip side is the Hedonists who caroused nude for the joy of the Grace that was to come from sinning so well.
Ahh, well, just part of the journey I guess.


At December 07, 2005, Blogger Randy said...

I've been thinking about censorship lately as well. I think many Christians are far too prudish about some things and far too easily offended. I think I once heard Adam Hamilton say in a sermon, "Lost people will act lost." (my apologies to Rev. Hamilton if I'm misquoting him).

My wife and I once started a youth ministry in a poor neighborhood. We started with only two kids from our church, but the group quickly grew to around twenty. The kids that came to our youth group were not Christians. They were not associated with any church. In fact, many of them had a negative opinion about churches. But they came to our youth group because we loved them not in spite of who they were but because of who they were. And we didn't demand that they change instantly. So what if they said words like "shit" and "fuck" -- that was just their native language. My wife and I didn't try to talk like that, but we didn't jump all over them for doing so, even in church. The only thing we didn't allow was taking the name of the Lord in vain at church, but that never became a real issue. We'd just say, "Hey, man, a little respect?" and they happily complied.

A church lady came in one day. We had asked the kids to bring their music, and we listend to their favorite CD's and then talked about the lyrics of the songs and how they reflected the way the kids felt about such things as drugs and suicide and sex, and then we offered a Biblical perspective. The kids loved that kind of real communication. But this church lady, she got so offended that she went to the administrative council and demanded that we close down the youth group. I asked her, "How do you expect us to reach the kids on the street?" She responded, "Just read them the Bible!" And then I asked, "How long do you think they'd listen?" She didn't have an answer, except that if people refused to hear then that was their problem.

My point is this: why should words offend us? Why should ideas offend us? Why should images of the human body offend us? Certainly abuse of women and children and using them as objects is offensive to anyone with any sensibility, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about simple nudity. I'm talking about people speaking in their native language, which may happen to include words that uppity white Americans think are distasteful, but which have their own usage among certain cultures and sub-cultures. They are just words! What's important is the ideas those words are attempting to communicate.

Let those who have ears to hear listen.


Post a Comment

<< Home