Today I finished the background reading for those two articles I mentioned before and started on another topic for the third article.
On the porn front
Over the course of these three days, I had an epiphany and, as is my custom, I investigated it. I realised that I won’t lust after a woman if I ever saw one nude in the flesh or as they say in Dutch in lewende lijwe. Why? Because I do my best not to lust after women now and in that situation, my impulse will be the same. Of course, I would look and admire just like one would an artwork for woman is the artwork of the Master Artist, but the brutish desire that characterised me in the past and still control most men today won’t overtake me.
What lead me to this epiphany was Figure Sculpture in Wax and Plaster. In the book there are sculptures of nude women. My first reaction was not an erection, but to run, close the book, avert my eyes. But then I remembered what Frank, my accountability partner, said: it’s your intentions that makes something sinful. So, I inspected read the text (context) and inspected the sculptures. And no arousal, lust, or sexual desire overtook me.
Beauty, Nudity and Lust
This piqued my interest so I googled the Christian stance on nudity in art specifically sculpture. There are two views. One says that men should shy away from nude art because nudity=sex and nudity incites lust, while the other says that there is such a thing as non-sexual nudity, nudity doesn’t incite lust unless the artist and/or the viewer want(s) it to. My own personal view coincides with the latter.
You see if a man wants to lust he will regardless of the woman’s state of dress or undress. And nudists all agree that a nude female is not sexy in a non-sexual context, but that’s because they choose not to see her that way. The same can be said for the way how women see men. But, I draw the line with photographs.
I’ve been reading My Chains Are Gone. (Please do yourself a favour and read the articles.) The authors advance the view that the male response to female nudity is not always sexual, that we are not created to respond sexually to nudity but that we were programmed to do so by society, and that a male can appreciate female beauty without a hint of lust because she is as God intended for her to be. They also say that God’s ideal for sex (in marriage) is for it to be relational not visual and that these beliefs fly in the face of the “porno-prude” view which are just two sides of the same coin one setting you up to fall for the other. They say that this truth will help us in overcome our struggle with pornography.
At this moment, I am still sifting through what their arguments checking to see how they match up to my belief structure. I will be honest here and say that I agree with much of what they said, but I also believe that we as Christians should “avoid the appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22 KJV) and for the sake of our brothers and sisters who do not have as deep an understanding as we do, submit to their level of understanding in practice (1 Corinthians 10).
And it’s true that when I look at people, male and female, I tend to draw their shapes in my mind. And when a woman is beautiful or a man handsome, I acknowledge it to God. We are His handiwork after all. I cannot help it if God gave me an eye for recognising beauty–as He gave to each one of us.
This is where I stand. If I believe falsely, God will prove me wrong as my experience with Him shows.
I contacted the authors of My Chains Are Gone and asked whether they are subtly condoning nudism. I am still waiting for their reply.
Over the past three days, I read some pastors’ advice on how to recover from porn addiction. There thesis is this: to overcome porn addiction, you need a paradigm shift. Our society and religious establishments The “porno-prude” view feeds a man’s desire to lust after women.
Somewhat groggy from the lack of sleep, I took my time to get done as did my mom and sis on Monday morning. We made it to work on time though. For some reason I just couldn’t seem to focus at work. But I did make some progress with the background reading for two of the articles I have to write this month. I also worked out what I was going to say in one of the two articles.
I worried about the youth leadership team. They didn’t respond to the e-mails I sent. And those who did not serve with me last year are on the outskirts. I was very worried.
Sunday morning saw me attend the last day of youth leader training. I found it informative but not as informative as the Saturday. We even got certificates to say that we completed the training. After the training, my sister and I went to my university to print a document.
It was so hot that afternoon that I just couldn’t focus and read for my thesis. I was super-tired. So, at 4 o’ clock, I closed my eyes and slept till about 7:30 pm. Then I put in a solid amount of work.
I tried to sleep that night, but I just couldn’t. It was way too hot and I was wide awake. So, I just layed in my bed. Eventually I fell asleep.