"'The Blind Side's' removal from LifeWay’s shelves sends an ominous ...unbiblical message: Christians need not only to be 'not to be of the world,' but also must be sheltered from the world’s realities."

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Chip Van Emmerik's picture

What a ridiculous statement. Refusing to voluntarily place sin before myself is a far cry from being sheltered from the realities of life. Using this author's reasoning, all Christians should go out and try drugs (each of them mind you) and visit a strip club at least once in his life. Every Christian woman should have an abortion somewhere along the way. What an incredible misunderstanding of the holiness of God, to which we are called. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim's picture

Haven't seen "Blind Side" but someone told me it's an inspiring film

 

My take is that it is readily available from other retailers (Amazon for example), so why would a Christian bookstore need to sell it.

 

 

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

1) This movie is not a call to Christ, and not on par with Scripture. If a Christian store doesn't want to carry it, well alrighty then.

2) I'd like to take a look at what is on the shelves and nightstands at home and in the Netflix queue of the people who hollered the loudest. Just sayin'. 

Wayne Wilson's picture

I enjoyed The Blind Side, but thought it had some "problems" from a moral point of view. Most Christian Moms don't teach sexual self-control by threatening to emasculate their college bound boys if they get in trouble.  And I was disappointed in its very hesitant, watered down depiction of a Christian family.  They seemed nominally Christian, and did a good, noble thing. Great.

It's just a movie, and Lifeway is a business that has every right to set standards for what they sell.  They never said Christians should not see this movie. They just had issues with some things in it and decided not to put it in their product line. 

The fact is, The Blind Side, as it is, would probably not have passed Hollywood's own censorship code from the days when it regulated its own moral content.   So why should a Christian business not be at least as careful as secular entertainment companies used to be?  Because it doesn't want to follow cultural trends?  Good for them.

JVDM's picture

I'm reminded of a recent controversy involving the pop music group, P.O.D., because they use the "F" word in one of their songs. Many are outraged because of it...

What did you expect? That is their culture.

Same with the movie - did you expect something better from Hollywood? That is their culture.

It is like getting more worked up that someone now has a stomach ache then when you discovered a month ago that they had stomach cancer.

The problem here isn't the "F" word or the slur or the pulling of the movie. The problem is the cancerous obsession with celebrity and pop-culture: the spirit of this age.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

People often overlook the potential to be influenced. That is, they reduce the situation to two choices: either we're aware of things or we're sheltered from them. But there are at least two other possibilities: aware but not influenced, and aware and influenced (harmed).

It's naive to think that we can watch just anything and not be influenced by it. On the other hand, it's oversimplification to think that because a piece of film/fiction/etc. depicts wicked people behaving wickedly viewers/readers are automatically influenced/harmed​ by it. There's a highly individual element when it comes to what influences whom in what ways.

LifeWay shouldn't be castigated for wanting to be careful about what sort of influence their products have.

Jay's picture

I totally, totally agree with the spirit of CMC's post.  It is critically important that we are aware of the ugly, sin cursed realities of this earth.  Illustrating those ugly realities is a necessary part of living on Earth.  We may recoil or shriek or cover our eyes (and we should at some of the stuff portrayed in The Blind Side), but that is the result of sin and a depraved nature.  The things illustrated in TBS are ugly, but one of the highlights of that movie is Michael Oher deciding to stand up and stand against the gangs and moral ugliness of his past.  That's something that anyone can and should celebrate. 

If we do decide to start 'protecting ourselves from the world's evilness and filth, where do we draw the line?  Do we ban Schindler's List or avoid the Rwanadan Genocides in history class?   What about Christian evils like the Catholic Inquisition?  Do we portray the reality of war in a cleaned up, sanitized version so that it's 'morally safe'?  Or do we deal with the realities as they are?  The better, I think, to portray it as it is and have it turn our stomachs because it is evil.

I like what Eric Metaxas said, in his take on this:

Look, I’m as concerned about cultural messages as anyone. I’m a father. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this — and the wrong way definitely includes the permanent state of umbrage that many Christians seem to exhibit. They seem to have confused being salt and light with being curmudgeons. Here’s a particularly egregious case in point: the recent campaign to remove a great movie, “The Blind Side”, from the shelves of LifeWay Christian Stores. Remember, “The Blind Side” was denounced as Christian propaganda by many liberal critics. It explicitly depicts an affluent white Christian family devoting itself to helping an impoverished black kid because it’s the Christian thing to do. The film’s offense, according to a Florida pastor who started the campaign to have LifeWay stores pull the DVD, is that the movie contains “explicit profanity, God's name in vain, and racial slurs.” It doesn’t seem to matter that the objectionable language is used to depict the palpably unpleasant world from which the young black man, Michael, was rescued by his adoptive family...

For outsiders looking in, the moral of the story is that “there is no pleasing Christians. They always seem to be looking for something to be mad about.”

We complain about the calumnies and caricatures of Christians on the big screen; and then, when an Academy-Award winning film shows us at our very best, we complain that scenes depicting harsh, inner-city reality are too true to life!

We are, in effect, making our participation contingent on all our possible objections being met beforehand. Since there are many people who would be happy if we stayed within our cultural and religious ghettos, it’s difficult to imagine how we Christians can hope to be taken seriously in cultural discussions and debates with this kind of an approach.

Concerns about the language in the film also miss the larger point: what made the Tuohys—the family depicted in the film—such great Christian exemplars wasn’t their non-use of profanity; it was their willingness to reach out and embrace someone in need.

If we Christians can’t get this, then maybe we really should refrain from commenting on culture in the first place.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Wayne Wilson's picture

1)  A moral decision is not inherently "umbrage" or being a "curmudgeon," or being "mad."     

        Maybe it's just a standard or even a preference. 

 

2)  Schindler's List absolutely should be "banned" from school classrooms, not because it is violent, but because it is pornographic..

Jay's picture

Wayne Wilson wrote:

1)  A moral decision is not inherently "umbrage" or being a "curmudgeon," or being "mad."     

        Maybe it's just a standard or even a preference. 

 

2)  Schindler's List absolutely should be "banned" from school classrooms, not because it is violent, but because it is pornographic..

I should have noted that while I'm not in favor of what LifeWay did, I DO strongly believe in introducing people to things that are like that only when they are capable of handling it.  I would not put ​TBS​ on for a roomful of seven year olds, but I would watch it with some twentysomething year old adults in my church (if it came up).

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Wayne Wilson's picture

Jay, I was more curious about at what age you would introduce them to Schindler's List?

Rob Fall's picture

The naked inmates are hardly pornographic.  Immodest mayhap and shouldn't seen by  immature audiences.  But, we are talking about a concentration camp not a strip joint.

Wayne Wilson wrote:

Jay, I was more curious about at what age you would introduce them to Schindler's List?

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Wayne Wilson's picture

Rob, apparently you didn't see the film. 

Alex Guggenheim's picture

As long as Lifeway continues to sell theological obscenity such as the heretical material of Beth Moore, their taking The Blind Side off the shelves is like washing a few grains of sand off of a razor blade before chewing and swallowing it.

Jay's picture

Wayne Wilson wrote:

Jay, I was more curious about at what age you would introduce them to Schindler's List?

It depends on the maturity of the (potential) viewers.  There are 24 year olds that can't handle Captain Planet​, and then there are seventeen year olds that could understand and handle the nudity in SL.

For the record, I *had* to watch SL in high school (I attended a public high school and it was a mandated part of the curricula for World History).  I handled it OK, but if I had the choice I probably would have waited a year or two to watch it, so I would have been 17-18.  But that's just me.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

@ Jay - there are ways to portray what happened without being flagrant, and I would not want  my 17 or 18 year old son seeing SL in any setting. Frankly, with the rampant problems with pornography reported in the church, I wouldn't want any man to watch the movie as it is currently formatted. It is certainly not necessary to watch such material in order to learn about the horrors and atrocities of WWII. I fail to see how such material can be reconciled with Psalm 101:3 or Philippians 4:8 (just to cite two verses). And, lest someone should suggest SL must be acceptable since the Bible portrays horrific scenes, there is a significant difference between written and visual portrayals of an event (as has been discussed elsewhere). It is far different to read that prisoners were stripped naked and forced to run in circles so doctors could pick out the strong and weak vs. watching the scene portrayed.

 

@ Alex - while I may not have expressed the sentiment in such extremes, I agree with the general thought behind your post. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Wayne Wilson's picture

So, Jay, to you it is perfectly acceptable for Christians to watch other people engaged in sexual intercourse as a history lesson.  Now that you have presented the idea that there is nothing inherently wrong with paying people to simulate copulation in an explicit manner, and for women to be stripped naked for a commercial enterprise, I have two questions:

 

1) Where do you draw the line?  If scenes like that are acceptable for some historical reasons, are they acceptable for serious drama...like Shakespeare?  Romantic comedies?  Action movies?  If not, why not? 

 

2) On what biblical basis would you claim for treating actresses this way?  (How well you think you can "handle" something is not the only issue involved.) 

 

By the way, Schindler's List did not add any historical light on the holocaust that other excellent films haven't done already... such as Judgment at Nuremberg.  If Schindler's List did not exist, the world would still know about the holocaust, without moral compromise.  A godly Christian girl in our church recently had the Schindler's List matter thrown at her in her public High School.  She refused to watch it, and asked to be allowed to substitute other films.  I gave her a list of five or six worthy alternatives.  Permission was granted.  Since she is an excellent student, so it was a fine testimony to her moral standards.

Ron Bean's picture

If I want to watch a Christian movie from Hollywood, I'll watch Sgt. York.

Personally, I liked The Blind Side, but it's a stretch to consider something a Christian film that has no mention of Christ.

IMO, when it comes to Christian films, the Kendrick brothers are the major league and Milltown Pride would be Class A Minor League.

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Wayne Wilson's picture

Sgt. York is a great example of serious film-making that does not in any way ignore the reality of sin, nor minimize the tragedy of war, yet is made with good taste.  Gritty war films without a single bad word or defiling sexual images or even sickening levels of blood were common in Old Hollywood.  Spielberg is actually capable of using good taste that way, as he recently demonstrated with War Horse.  It's too bad he didn't bless the world with those sensibilities when he made Schindler's List.  Since he didn't, we don't need to bow to his failure in the slightest. 

Jay's picture

So, Jay, to you it is perfectly acceptable for Christians to watch other people engaged in sexual intercourse as a history lesson.  Now that you have presented the idea that there is nothing inherently wrong with paying people to simulate copulation in an explicit manner, and for women to be stripped naked for a commercial enterprise, I have two questions:

I'm not sure why or how prostitution came into this discussion, but no, I wouldn't advocate watching intimate acts on TV, computer, or whatever for any reason.  I've knocked Mark Driscoll pretty hard on that score on a couple of different occasions on this website if anyone wants to look it up.  

I don't know for sure, but I wonder if the copy of SL that I watched in school was edited.  If it was, then I'd need to reassess my position, especially since some of the people on this site know of better alternatives.  I know there is nudity in the portrayals of the concentration camps, but don't remember watching any explicit sexual activity.  For the record, I saw SL in 1996, so that was a little while ago.

Quote:
1) Where do you draw the line?  If scenes like that are acceptable for some historical reasons, are they acceptable for serious drama...like Shakespeare?  Romantic comedies?  Action movies?  If not, why not?

How do you handle art and literature, Wayne?  I like your book and want to pick up a copy of it eventually - but do we start repainting or covering up Rembrandts and Van Goghs to accomodate things?  BJU has a whole museum of fine art - should they shut it down because of the portraits and things that they have? Do we drape a cloth over Michelangelo's David or other sculptures because they are either partially uncovered or entirely uncovered? 

2) On what biblical basis would you claim for treating actresses this way?  (How well you think you can "handle" something is not the only issue involved.) 

There is NO Scriptural reason to watch, pay for, direct, or endorse in any way either paying actresses for sexual activity or to deliberately exposing one's mind (especially for guys!) to sexual activity outside of the confines of marriage, especially in movies or theater.  Period, end of story.  

By the way, Schindler's List did not add any historical light on the holocaust that other excellent films haven't done already... such as Judgment at Nuremberg.  If Schindler's List did not exist, the world would still know about the holocaust, without moral compromise.  A godly Christian girl in our church recently had the Schindler's List matter thrown at her in her public High School.  She refused to watch it, and asked to be allowed to substitute other films.  I gave her a list of five or six worthy alternatives.  Permission was granted.  Since she is an excellent student, so it was a fine testimony to her moral standards.

Thanks for pointing out alternatives...I'll be happy to use them in place of SL if I ever have the desire or need to watch something about the Holocaust.

Chip - yes, you're right...there is a massive difference between reading and watching the same events.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Ron Bean's picture

Just to clarify, the school version of SL was edited and the gratuitous pornographic scene was removed. Needless to say, said scene is a shocker to the homeschooler who purchases the video for their curriculum. BTW, Hollywood, while capable of stirring emotions, is not known for historical accuracy. (i.e. Pearl Harbor, Red tails, etc.)

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Wayne Wilson's picture

Thanks, Ron, if there is an edited version, that may be a cause for some level of confusion here between Jay and me.  Do you know if all the other nudity not directly related to prison camp regimen was eliminated as well?  

I know Spielberg has been very much against cuts to his "art," and NBC showed it uncut in prime time...the first explicitly pornographic scene on network, broadcast TV.  Of course, that is the open door. 

Interestingly, in an interview Spielberg himself said about the concentration camp nudity: "the worst days came any time I had to have people take their clothes off and be humiliated and reduce themselves down to livestock.  That's what tore me up the most.  It was the worst experience of my life." 
Doesn't this suggest that something wrong is going on here?  That this is going beyond art into exploitation?

 

Jay said:

 

I'm not sure why or how prostitution came into this discussion, but no, I wouldn't advocate watching intimate acts on TV, computer, or whatever for any reason. I've knocked Mark Driscoll pretty hard on that score on a couple of different occasions on this website if anyone wants to look it up.

I didn't mention anything about prostitution. I am describing Schindler's List, and much other typical Hollywood faire patronized by many professing Christians every day in the movies and on cable TV. That you thought of "prostitution" only reveals how far Hollywood has gone.  A favorite movie with Christian women right now is Magic Mike.  It seems shocking, but if Schindler's List is acceptable, there's no rational reason to reject Magic Mike.  I suspect Mark Driscoll would see that as Missional Viewing.

 

Jay also asked:

How do you handle art and literature, Wayne? I like your book and want to pick up a copy of it eventually - but do we start repainting or covering up Rembrandts and Van Goghs to accomodate things? BJU has a whole museum of fine art - should they shut it down because of the portraits and things that they have? Do we drape a cloth over Michelangelo's David or other sculptures because they are either partially uncovered or entirely uncovered?

Nudity in art other than the photographic is a somewhat related question, but is something of a red herring here.  The difference, of course, is that the painted nude or nude statues are representational and not actual persons being used in a degraded fashion. There may be models so misused, but not necessarily.  I would point out, however, that Hollywood movies frequently sexualize statue nudity and paintings, usually for purposes of filthy humor.  That's right, those who claim people uncomfortable with nudity in art are unsophisticated knuckle-draggers who are obsessed with sex --- those same art lovers  themselves see representational nudity with unbridled  sexual interest.  Surprise, surprise.

 

Jay said, wonderfully,

There is NO Scriptural reason to watch, pay for, direct, or endorse in any way either paying actresses for sexual activity or to deliberately exposing one's mind (especially for guys!) to sexual activity outside of the confines of marriage, especially in movies or theater. Period, end of story.

I'm curious here if your clear condemnation of sexual activity would extend to nudity.  You didn't address that.  Is it appropriate for film directors to entice young girls to undress for "art's sake"?   Do you know that virtually all Hollywood nude scenes end up on pornographic sites?  Would you advise a Christian actress that this is just art, like Michelangelo (whose work probably does not end up on porn sites). and she should just accept where her image goes and what it is used for?  Is it good for any performer's soul if they are  stripped and displayed for the amusement of others?

 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jay wrote:
How do you handle art and literature, Wayne?  I like your book and want to pick up a copy of it eventually - but (1) do we start repainting or covering up Rembrandts and Van Goghs to accomodate things?  BJU has a whole museum of fine art - (2) should they shut it down because of the portraits and things that they have? (2) Do we drape a cloth over Michelangelo's David or other sculptures because they are either partially uncovered or entirely uncovered?
Numbers added

1. Yes

2. Yes, if they will not correct the issue

3. Yes

It makes no difference who is involved. All that matters is whether or not it complies with  scripture. I have never understood professing Christians trying to  differentiate between nudity in art and nudity in smut. The point is not the  genre, but the nudity itself. The first mention of nudity after the fall provoked shame in the newly fallen and prompted God to cover them, despite them still being alone in the garden. Perhaps it is the modern Christian who has become descensetized to what was obvious so soon after the fall. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jay's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

Jay wrote:
How do you handle art and literature, Wayne?  I like your book and want to pick up a copy of it eventually - but (1) do we start repainting or covering up Rembrandts and Van Goghs to accomodate things?  BJU has a whole museum of fine art - (2) should they shut it down because of the portraits and things that they have? (3) Do we drape a cloth over Michelangelo's David or other sculptures because they are either partially uncovered or entirely uncovered?
Numbers added

1. Yes

2. Yes, if they will not correct the issue

3. Yes

It makes no difference who is involved. All that matters is whether or not it complies with  scripture. I have never understood professing Christians trying to  differentiate between nudity in art and nudity in smut. The point is not the genre, but the nudity itself. The first mention of nudity after the fall provoked shame in the newly fallen and prompted God to cover them, despite them still being alone in the garden. Perhaps it is the modern Christian who has become descensetized to what was obvious so soon after the fall.

Chip...fair 'nuff.  I will disagree with you on almost all of those points, because I believe strongly that the difference between the art I described in my quote above (and I'll lump in SL here even though I should break it out) is different.  Art that contains nudes or whatever does not generally entice or stir up sexual desire in today's culture; the quote Wayne referred to proves that.  Going to see some fine art  is a totally different monster than looking to cheapen God's gift of marital blessing in order to feed the selfish and wicked desires for irresponsible men (and now women, as the success of the 50 Shades of Grey series demonstrates).  If a man voluntarily exposes himself to that for the purpose of titillation or lust, then he is in sin and needs to avoid it like the plague as a part of 2 Tim. 2:21-23 and Phil. 4:8.  If he thinks that it could cause him to sin, then he needs to follow the advice outlined in Romans 14:23 and avoid it.

I had the opportunity to go to Italy when I was in high school, so I have been able to see some of the works that I've described, and I have seen Michelangelo's David​.  I can say without a shadow of a doubt in my mind that if you've seen it and walked away thinking about conjugal activity, then you've been worshipping Cloacina and need to detox your mind. 

@Wayne, I'll have to get back to you in a bit on your post, but I think you've sidestepped my questions.  What do you do with fine art?

As for this section - that's easy.  Like Chip, I'll number the questions:

I'm curious here if your clear condemnation of sexual activity would extend to nudity.  You didn't address that. 

1. Is it appropriate for film directors to entice young girls to undress for "art's sake"?  

2. Do you know that virtually all Hollywood nude scenes end up on pornographic sites?  

3. Would you advise a Christian actress that this is just art, like Michelangelo (whose work probably does not end up on porn sites). and she should just accept where her image goes and what it is used for?  

4. Is it good for any performer's soul if they are  stripped and displayed for the amusement of others?

1. No

2. No - because I don't watch nude scenes or go trolling on porn sites.  Ask my wife, who checks my browsing history and who was watched me walk out of multiple movies or TV shows in the decade that we've known each other.  I'm also using OpenDNS to block that kind of content so that I couldn't get to it even if I wanted to.  

3. and 4.  No - I don't believe that any Christian actress (or actor) should be willing to be participate in sexual activity anywhere other than in the marital bed, and certainly not for exhibition's sake.  Last I checked Hebrews 13:4 was still in the NT.  That being said, I do understand that many actors and actresses are not saved and are not willing to live by any kind of Biblical teaching.  Exhibiting sexual behavior for the public is not good for their soul, whether they choose to believe the commands of God or not.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Going to see some fine art  is a totally different monster than looking to cheapen God's gift of marital blessing in order to feed the selfish and wicked desires for irresponsible men (and now women...

Jay,

I think this is the crux of your argument. Can you show anywhere in scripture where God differentiates between the two forms of nudity or is this simply a man-made construct?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Wayne Wilson's picture

2. No - because I don't watch nude scenes or go trolling on porn sites.  Ask my wife, who checks my browsing history and who was watched me walk out of multiple movies or TV shows in the decade that we've known each other.  I'm also using OpenDNS to block that kind of content so that I couldn't get to it even if I wanted to.

Brother Joy, my point in the conversation is not to accuse you of anything personally.  I'm trying to deal with the ideas this discussion has brought up.  I'm just trying to find out where you draw the line on what is acceptable in entertainment and what isn't.  You keep using the phrase "sexual activity," which I understand you condemn (and I am happy to hear that), and now I am asking if you consider the exposure of a performer's body as "sexual activity." 

3. and 4.  No - I don't believe that any Christian actress (or actor) should be willing to be participate in sexual activity anywhere other than in the marital bed, and certainly not for exhibition's sake.  Last I checked Hebrews 13:4 was still in the NT.  That being said, I do understand that many actors and actresses are not saved and are not willing to live by any kind of Biblical teaching.  Exhibiting sexual behavior for the public is not good for their soul, whether they choose to believe the commands of God or not.

See?  I was asking about being undressed, and you replied with "sexual activity."  But one of the main points of the discussion above (Schindler's List and all)is about what Hollywood and the art community would call "non-sexual nudity"  and rate PG-13.  I believe Scripture forbids that, as common as it is today, and I wanted your take on that.

My point about pornography is that any kind of nudity in Hollywood films and TV ends up on pornographic websites.  "Non-sexual" nudity is a cause of lust.  Many years ago I worked in a film lab in Hollywood.  One of our jobs was to recondition prints going out to "second run" theaters.  They had to be cleaned up and repaired, which included checking splices.  Almost all nude scenes of any kind, and from nearly every print, would have at least one frame cut out.  That means many, many men with access to those prints would steal the tiny image for their own use.  It only happened with nude scenes, rarely other kinds of immodesty.   These realities convinced me there is no such thing as "non-sexual" nudity  when you involve images of persons.

 

As for representational art (drawing painting, statuary), which are not real persons, I think the issue is much more complex.  I would not forbid it, or paint over it, unless the artist intended it to be sexual, which is sometimes the case.   Some artists seem to think the human body represents some sort of universal condition.  I never got that myself, and I think it reacts by adding another element into a work.  Actually, I have been in some major art museums, and the amount of nudity in classical art is actually quite small.  If Bob Jones has nude paintings and statues around, do they use or encourage nude models in art class?  If not, why not? 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

As for representational art (drawing painting, statuary), which are not real persons, I think the issue is much more complex.

 

Wayne,

Why is the issue more complex. Isn't the representational art representing nudity, which you already said scripture forbids?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jay's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

Going to see some fine art  is a totally different monster than looking to cheapen God's gift of marital blessing in order to feed the selfish and wicked desires for irresponsible men (and now women...

Jay,

I think this is the crux of your argument. Can you show anywhere in scripture where God differentiates between the two forms of nudity or is this simply a man-made construct?

Chip - can you show anywhere in Scripture where God abhors nudity that is NOT in a sexual context?

Yes, it's a man made construct.  So is Calvinism, Dispensationalism and other 'isms' that you and I hold.  So I'm not sure why that necessarily disqualifies it.  To be honest, I don't think we're going to be able to agree on this topic.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Wayne Wilson's picture

Wayne,

Why is the issue more complex. Isn't the representational art representing nudity, which you already said scripture forbids?

Chip, Scripture forbids people from engaging in public nudity.  Since a work of art is not a person, it may not be forbidden. I do think representational art of a real individual would be wrong.  But nudity representing ideas should probably fall  into a grey area.  You can make an inference that it is forbidden, and that is a respectable point of view.  A case where it may be permissible, just as an example, would be those wretched medieval paintings of the damned.  They are always shamefully exposed and in torment.   That doesn't involve real people, it shares a Scriptural view of nudity, and I don't think it is enticing. 

 

Jay, if I may answer this question for Chip,

Chip - can you show anywhere in Scripture where God abhors nudity that is NOT in a sexual context?

In Scripture, nudity after the fall outside of marriage is always considered shameful ---always ---without exception.  Genesis sets the tone, as the Lord covered Adam and Eve, and Canaan was cursed for enjoying his father's nakedness, and not covering it as his noble brothers did.  In fact, Shem and Japheth not only covered Noah, they refused to look at him as they did so.  We have the same concern for exposed flesh in the law forbidding steps on the altar (Exodus 20:26) and the Lord may have invented pants for that same reason: Ex 28:42.   And of course non-sexual nudity incited David to commit an act which destroyed his kingdom.  That in itself is a very powerful warning.  And we have Job's covenant with his eyes.  Otherwise, non-sexual nudity is a sign of judgment and shame. 

 

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

The thing about acting is that there are some acts that one can pretend to commit- theft and murder would be a couple of examples. They aren't actually stealing. No one is getting killed. 

But you can't pretend nudity, and you can't pretend to engage in foreplay and other sexual activities. The actors are actually doing those things. On screen. In front of cameramen, lighting crew, other actors, the director... and then presenting it for sale and the viewing pleasure of thousands, maybe millions of people. Ew.

Even if the nudity is not sexual in nature, and they are depicting the real events that took place, the actors themselves are still walking around naked for hours, possibly days, in front of a bunch of people. I can't in good conscience ask someone to do that so that I can experience the 'reality' of those kinds of tragedies. We certainly don't ask people to actually get beat up, knifed, break bones, etc... so that we can see the reality of violence. Why do we want them to be naked, smooching and fondling people they aren't married to, and in public?

If someone uploaded YouTube videos of themselves in their bedroom with their spouse, we'd call it immoral. But when two people who aren't married to each other do the same for a movie, we call it 'art'.

As far as the OP goes- If a store doesn't want to carry a movie because it isn't consistent with their beliefs or the desires of their customer base, that's their business, literally. It isn't a Christian movie. It might be a nice movie with an nice message based on some really nice people, but that doesn't make it "Christian". Even if the nice people are Christians. 

But whenever someone gets the screaming meemies over stuff like this, with protests and boycotts and 'demands', I wonder what they are feeling guilty about. It's just so over the top.

Wayne Wilson's picture

As the comedian Paul Reiser said, "When you take your clothes off. It's not acting. It's a documentary."

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