Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I'LL NEVER BE IN A BEAUTY PAGEANT
...they're too biased against 54 year old white males who carry 40 pound spare tires

I admit it, I have the perfect face for radio. I'll never be in a beauty pageant. It's not my calling. 

Not unless they create one where Chris Farley look-a-likes can enter; where wearing Under Armour attire isn't prohibited; and where I can show up in my favorite golf shoes sporting a fine Arturo Fuente Premium Hemingway Short Story, in bermudas.

In all seriousness, I'm not familiar with that world one bit--what they go through, the physical and time demands, the pressures and the politics of it all. For a Christian to be in that arena day in and day out must place many challenging hurdles in their path that I assume they would struggle with in their walk with the Lord.

This brings me to the Miss California media chaos that has been happening for the past three weeks or so. This gal is not only taking dramatic hits from the liberal gay media, but also from some of the hard right Christian conservative community as well. Needless to say, she needs our prayers.

A brother in the Lord asked some very good questions on another blog that I answered this morning. The blogging host gave me permission to reprint those questions and my responses here. I hope they will encourage you in how to pray for and have some compassion for the spotlight that Carrie Prejean finds herself in today. My heart goes out to her.

Here are the questions:
1. Why is the Christian media so quick to proclaim and prop up a poster child as a model of faith? Why does Liberty university have her as a guest?

2. When the christian sub culture rushes to proclaim the next Christian hero and they are exposed as Miss California was, it just gives more cause to non-believers to believe that Christians are all a bunch of hypocrites. This is an offense to the gospel. 
My responses:
Good questions my brother. I would answer them this way:
1. No one I know is holding Miss California up as a model of faith. People are thankful for her bold and costly convictions in support of traditional marriage.

2. Liberty University has championed family values for many years - it is easy to understand why they would want her to come and speak to other young people on marriage being defined as between one man and one woman.

3. Again, the Christian sub-culture didn't rush off and proclaim anyone as a new Christian hero - that's just media hyperbole from some Christian conservatives I know. But many in the Christian and conservative communities have appreciated her words on this one issue. That's all.

4. Christians are hypocritical brother - me and you included. The best of men are men at best. Miss California is not an offense to the gospel and does no harm to the gospel. Unless you have a weak gospel, an impotent Savior, and a pragmatic view of faith. Which I don't think you do... do you? (In times like these it really does help to be a Calvinist.)

The gospel is eternal and strong. It is unshakable and can withstand anyone's failings. The gospel endured Peter denying Christ openly with cursings and swearings; the gospel endured young Timothy's cowardess; the gospel endured Thomas's doubtings; the gospel endured Paul's brazen attitude toward John Mark; the gospel endured Luther's vulgarity; the gospel endured David's murderous actions and adultery; the gospel endured Abraham's lying and incest; the gospel endured Adam and Eve's earth-shattering disobedience in the garden; the gospel endured my sin and yours brother. AND the gospel endures Miss California's issues as well. IOW, we are all great sinners beloved, but praise be to God that He is a greater Savior!

5. Lastly, there are Christians who are models. They are faced with many challenges that you and I will never face. They need our prayers, discipleship, encouragement, loving rebukes and grace-based corrections. They don't need us to publicly becry them, label them, and humiliate them. They need us to be truly Christian towards them.
Does Miss California have some things to own in all of this? Of course she does. But not at the hands of other believers who have made her their new media self-righteous punching bag. My goodness, it's as if we are hearing daily from other believers take pride in loudly declaring in the temple, "thank God I'm not like her - a sinner."

She models swimsuits - oh the horror of it all. She wore a bikini in a pageant - the unpardonable sin. She had breast augmentation done to enhance her appearance - what fall from grace. Listen, are there any women criticizing her who use make up, color their hair, go to a salon to have their hair styled. been to a tanning bed, ever have their teeth whitened, get regular manicures or pedicures, have their eyebrows plucked, shave their legs or underarms, wear bras, etc. to enhance their appearance? Then may I plead with you to show this young gal a bit of compassion and charity. Pray for her. Pray the Lord sends her way some mature, godly, nonlegalistic women who can love and disciple her in the Word of God. Pray for her pastors that they will come along side, encourage her, minister to her, and disciple her.

Grace saves; grace sanctifies; and one day grace will glorify. In the meantime, none of us are to assume the role of Holy Spirit for another. Fulfill the law of Christ. Bear one another's burdens. Love covers a multitude of sins. It doesn't broadcast them or uses them as blogging fodder.

I humbly come to the Christian media and as a brother in need of grace everyday would kindly ask you to cease the public outcry against this gal. By her own confession of Jesus Christ being her Lord and Savior, she is our sister in the Lord - let's all treat her as such.

I'm not trying to be lugubrious, but if people want a punching bag, punch me. I deserve nothing less than to inherit an eternal hell clothed in the rags of my own righteousness; and I am grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ that He saved me from Himself and forgave all my sins, their guilt and penalty; and took the wrath which burned against me and them. So really, if you can't resist - go ahead and punch me. Taking a few shots may just be the very thing I need today to further my own sanctification. But please, I beg you... leave her alone.

His unworthy servant in His unfailing love,
Steve

69 comments:

richardabanes said...

I wonder why no one (i.e., Prejean nastiest and most vicious attackers) are not talking too much about the fact that when Prejean's scandalous photos were taken — she was 17!!!

It sounds like someone else besides Prejean needs to start being held accountable.

As I've posted elsewhere: "Perhaps a little understanding, love, gentleness, sensitivity, compassion, protection, sorrow, and support should be shown toward a girl, who at 17, was convinced to pose for less-than-godly pictures — but that would be too Christlike for some, it seems.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM PREJEAN’S REPRESENTATIVES:

“This was a photo that was taken several years ago, when Carrie first started modeling. In her naivete, an agent convinced her to pose for this photo to submit to a lingerie company, claiming they could make her the next Victoria’s Secret model. She has since learned what a lie that was, and what a mistake it was to have the photo taken.”

“Is there any allowance for the fact that she was a minor when the photo was taken, that would allow you not to post? She was only 17.”

R W S said...

Amen ,Amen Steve. Excellent answers and insight.

Rick Frueh said...

Steve - In the end, this entire incident became less about Miss California as it did about how the Christian community projects redemption... or doesn't.

I respect your willingness to receive verbal attacks without reponding in like kind.

mstravis said...

I understand Miss Prejean being convinced to pose in less-than godly pics in years gone by and can attribute it to a time when she was not walking in right relationship with God but what about now? How godly is it now to bear herself before the world with nearly nothing on? We teach our children to dress modestly, to be an example in godliness and righteousness before the world and this nice Christian lady has now become a role model for them (whether we think so or not). One thing we do need to understand is we can’t doubt her sincerity nor her relationship with God but for us to give a pass now -vs- no pass in years gone by is hypocritical on our part. At a minimum we should attribute where she is now as a moving forward from where she was and a work in progress. As she matures in her walk with God she will cover up. If she doesn’t then she has her reward... notoriety.

Kirby L. Wallace said...

We worship you Lord,
In the Beauty of Holiness,
Clothed in your righteousness,
Cleansed by your blood.

Broken we come,
Humbly before you,
We love and adore you,
For you are The Lord.

Wonderful, merciful saviour,
Precious redeemer and friend.
Who would have thought that a lamb
Could rescue the souls of men.

Almighty Infinite Father,
Faithfully loving your own.
Here in our weakness you find us,
falling before your throne.
Oh, we fall before your throne.

cyd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cyd said...

It seems like a lot of people are running around saying, "unclean, unclean" when it comes to this young woman Carrie Prejean. This seems to be the latest fad in the Christian blogosphere. It's the attitude of "don't come near me, I am holier than you" kind of thing.

Very sad and it's not honoring to the Lord.

@Richard, thank you for doing your homework I appreciate you delivering actual facts about the photos and hearing Carrie's own words from the press release from her own camp. Very helpful and it really puts things in context.

The interesting thing to me is that the people screaming the loudest about how bad the pictures were, were the very ones linking to these photos and spreading them around. Ironic isn't it? As if to say, "This is so awful... did you see it?"

How good to know that "Love covers a multitude of sins."

Regarding women and beautification, Esther had to be in the harem for 12 months before she was ready to be presented to the King (Esther 2:12). When women today want to upgrade their looks (whether it be hair, face or body makes no difference) doesn't necessarily mean they are being worldly.

And regarding implants, I personally think it is fine as long as you don't make it an idol... or two.

Cindy

Persuaded said...

You know, I have no problem with Miss Prejean... none whatsoever. She is who she is, and as far as I know she's never pretended to be anything else. I think anyone who believes that a young woman could get as far as she has in the "beauty" biz *without* doing the things she has done is seriously deluded. The fact that she was an ordinary girl (not in her beauty certainly, but ordinary in her approach to life and faith) and yet at that moment felt compelled to speak up on this issue is what is so compelling to the rest of us. Trying to pretend that she has been some longtime stalwart defender of conservative Christian ideals (whatever those might be, exactly) lessens the impact of her sacrifice, in my opinion.

That said, however I do have a huge problem with how this incident and Miss Prejean's statements have been portrayed in the Christian media. First of all, I did not hear the entirety of her comments until I went out of my way to see the clip on youtube. The first part of her answer was conveniently left out of all of the news reports I heard. In truth, she began by saying that she is happy to live in a country where people have the choice of who they can marry. Miss Prejean went on to say that in her *country*-then she appeared to correct herself by saying in her *family* marriage is between a man and a woman. All in all her statement is much softer and less strident when the actual clip is seen. I think some of the media has left out the first part of her statement because it doesn't line up with the image of a forceful strident woman speaking up boldly for "family values." Personally I have *more* respect for her when I see that she attempted to couch her statement in a milder manner.. and more disgust for her detractors.

This kind of thing dismays me because of the dishonor it brings upon the name of Christ. We prop up "heroes" for ourselves based at least in part on halftruths, and in turn attack these very "heroes" when they don't adhere to our own particular brand of "Godliness." We look foolish and unkind. But more importantly, we don't present the Gospel of Christ accurately with this type of behavior. And what greater responsibility do we have on this earth than presenting Christ as He really is?

Gabriel said...

I am a long time reader of your blog, and longer time listener of your music. I have never left comments before but this time wanted to add how disconcerting it is to think that the words of those who are thought of as mature could damage a a young Christian before she has the to grow.

Welcome her into the fold lovingly and by example teach a younger sister who made an unexpected, if nervous, stand what it means to mature in the admonition of the Lord. I fear she is being taught something different from those of us who should be the most merciful.

Your words and attitude are the most compassionate and Christ like I have read on this matter. Thank you, as always, for writing.

Dave Miller said...

I would say two almost contradictory things about Carrie.

1) The Christian community needs to be accepting and patient with her. I was a youth pastor in a "beach culture" community on the other side of the US.

Teaching modesty to those kids was not easy. Wearing a skimpy bikini is not immodest in that culture (in their eyes).

So, we need to be patient as she grows and learns what it means to follow Christ.

2) On the other hand, someone (friend, family, etc) needs to hold her accountable and tell her that when she wears stuff like that in public, it can have a deleterious effect on hormonal young men (and even us older fogeys).

I am glad people have forgotten some of the things I did and said when I was 21. I am also glad I had some Christians around me to say "grow up!"

SJ Camp said...

RA
Helpful stuff. Thank you.

SJ Camp said...

RWS
Thanks for your encouraging words brother.

Rick
In the end, this entire incident became less about Miss California as it did about how the Christian community projects redemption... or doesn't.

Precisely and profound insight. In your debt.

Steve

SJ Camp said...

mstravis
At a minimum we should attribute where she is now as a moving forward from where she was and a work in progress. As she matures in her walk with God she will cover up.

Fully agree. We are all in process everyday. Thank the Lord for His sanctifying grace.

Well said.
Steve

SJ Camp said...

Kirby
Thank you for your gracious posting of some past lyrics of songs I recorded some years ago. Didn't write all of them, but believe every word.

Grace and peace to you.

SJ Camp said...

Cyd
The example of Esther is a good one. Your comments here and at Carla's have been refreshing to read coming from a woman.

They were absent of the venom and acerbic nature I have read from others. Thank you for keeping them grace-based as if Carrie were going to read them in front of you.

Well done.

littlegal_66 said...

"I'LL NEVER BE IN A BEAUTY PAGEANT...they're too biased against 54 year old white males who carry 40 pound spare tires" And Campi, if someone like....say, Rosie O'Donnell were a judge of said hypothetical pageant, and she asked you your views on gay marriage, she wouldn't like your answer any more than Hilton did Carrie's. :-)

SJ Camp said...

Persuaded
Excellent insight. Speaking and reporting the whole truth of someone's comments and in context is so lacking in journalism today - especially in the blogosphere.

May we all guard what we write and how we write with more care.

Thank you again.

SJ Camp said...

Gabriel
Great comment... you need to post more often!

Thank you for displaying to us all a Christlike heart of one believer to another in this kind of situation.

Steve

SJ Camp said...

Dave
There is the right balance - well said. It is for those closest to her to really speak into her life on the harder realities.

That is why for us a far off should guard our tone about her and encourage others to pray for her. She seems strong in the interview segments I have watched.

I'm a Dad too. Thank you again.

SJ Camp said...

littlegal
say, Rosie O'Donnell were a judge of said hypothetical pageant, and she asked you your views on gay marriage, she wouldn't like your answer any more than Hilton did Carrie's. :-)

Very true. But hopefully there would be a chance to share the gospel as well. Even if only for a minute.

I find it interesting that the left champions free speech; but when the free speech being offered disagrees with their ideology they cry foul.

This is why I support this young woman. She is in the lion's den and still standing on her convictions about marriage and her Christian faith. That is worthy of some respect.

richardabanes said...

MS: How godly is it now to bear herself before the world with nearly nothing on?

RAbanes: What is tragic here is how things like the skimpiness of one's bikini, the presence of tattoos, the style of music one listens to, and similar things now trump far more damaging aspects of life. I wonder how something like a girl in a bikini has been exalted to nearly the unforgivable sin -- when in reality such a judgment is, in itself, just a HIGHLY subjective.

Go back to the early 1960s. Were those swimsuits better? How about the 1950s? Better yet? If so, the problem is that those swimsuits were illegal until those decades. Ever see swimsuits for women from 1890s-1920s? THEY WERE FELL DRESSES! Now what?

Transport yourself back in time to the 1920s and ask this same question of the VERY FIRST 2-piece swimsuit ever seen, which by today's standards would be a tank top and a pair of shorts: "How godly is it now to bear herself before the world with nearly nothing on?"

Even more serious, to me at least, are a whole lot of other questions:

"How godly is it to make accusatory attacks against a young woman who was misled by those who should have known better?"

"How godly is it to make accusatory attacks against a growing Christian who is seeking to be as godly as she knows how to be and actually put truth (as much as she knows) ahead of her own ambition and career possibilities?"

"How godly is it to contribute in the name of Christ to a media frenzy wherein the world is actively seeking to use a sister's unfortunate mistake and errors of youthful judgment/experience to mock Christianity?"

I am seeing precious little love, understanding, compassion, true concern, forgiveness, and Christ-like-ness in far too many watch-bloggers who are using this controversy to just cause more trouble, negativity, darkness, conflict.

Too many posters in cyberspace thrive on such controversy, just like one of the alien beings I remember seeing in the old Star Trek series. It lived on and became more powerful through the negative feelings and hate generated between people and always sought to stir up conflict wherever/whenever possible.

Oh, Lord, help us stop! Whatever wrongs have been done by Prejean, I guarantee you they pale in comparison to what is going on now in response to those wrongs.

I can only praise God that when Jesus met the adulterous woman, there were not some of the bloggers there to hear him say, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone."

I have a terrible feeling that our Lord himself might have been caught in a hail of rocks!

Richard Abanes

Heather said...

Steve, perhaps you should read Paul Proctor's latest column today. It is refeshing to see a man repent and ask our forgiveness when the Lord showed him the truth.Paul has my utmost respect after that confession.

littlegal_66 said...

"But hopefully there would be a chance to share the gospel as well. Even if only for a minute."Exactly...most of us know that if you were afforded the opportunity to share the gospel at that type of venue, even for a brief moment, you would do so without trepidation, and would speak forth boldly. However, as evidenced by the current situation, there would be those in Christendom who would decry even your presence at such an event.

Young Carrie had to know it would most likely cost her the title, and possibly other opportunities for career advancement. Obviously, these factors weren't near as important to her than the opportunity she had been provided to share her convictions on the issue.

"Could I Be Called a Christian" if I had found myself in her circumstances, on national TV, vying for a title that I had prepared and hoped so long for?

Her actions do deserve respect; moreover, the fact that she displayed such courage necessitates our prayers....(the repercussions she has felt and may continue to experience may be far-reaching). She has certainly earned both my respect and prayers.

6blindguys said...

Thank you for addressing such an important topic as the response of Christians to another Christian's failures, whether those failures be perceived or real. Our business is to be representatives of Jesus, not representatives of moralism; we are all fallen and redeemed by grace, and all sin each and every day. The fact that one person's sin is public record (and here I am referring not to Ms. Prejean's past but to any Christian you can think of) does not give us license to bite and stab at each other. Rather, it should impel us to show that person the love of Christ and make sure the Gospel is in front of their eyes so that they may be restored, not to our "acceptance" but to a knowledge of Christ's forgiveness and continuing sanctification.

Kevin in Manila said...

Great post, Steve.

I'm unaware of the the backlash against Carrie Prejean. I'm sure she's not perfect (as you said, none of us are).

Let's keep something else in mind--she never sought any of this. She just plainly answered a question according to her convictions.

We must be cautious about criticizing those who get thrown into the media spotlight--how would we handle the same amount of publicity? To be honest, I'd probably make a complete (insert colorful word) of myself if I had that much air time.

SJ Camp said...

Heather
Steve, perhaps you should read Paul Proctor's latest column today. It is refeshing to see a man repent and ask our forgiveness when the Lord showed him the truth.Paul has my utmost respect after that confession.

I did read that earlier today. I thought he might have jumped the gun a bit. His only source he quoted as MSNBC which as a dramatic leftist agenda as you know. It would have probably been the better part of wisdom to look at several other sources before just reading that one.

IMHO, when I read that story it seemed more like pandering that good journalism.

But if Paul acted rightly out of his own conscience then I support him fully though I may disagree with his conclusions.

Grace and peace,
Steve

SJ Camp said...

kevin
Let's keep something else in mind--she never sought any of this. She just plainly answered a question according to her convictions.

Good point indeed. This was not her planned doing. She answered to the best of her ability a very loaded question that did have an agenda attached to it. Instead of taking the safe politically correct route, she didn't flinch and gave the biblically correct answer.

Thank you...

SJ Camp said...

6blindguys
it should impel us to show that person the love of Christ and make sure the Gospel is in front of their eyes so that they may be restored, not to our "acceptance" but to a knowledge of Christ's forgiveness and continuing sanctification.

There is the heart of the gospel in action. Thank you!

~Mark said...

Y'know, I am always encouraged by hearing the testimonies of Christians brave enough to reveal from just how deep a grave God pulled them. I know that I have been blessed that parts of my own testimony have encouraged other young Christians to keep fighting the good fight and some non-Christian to seek Christ after finding out that no, they aren't incapable of being saved.

Yet I am still not brave enough to share the full depths of my former depravity because I am afraid of how many "Christians" will suddenly say "look how bad he is" rather than "look how bad he was yet God got him to here".

To be honest, it's easier to share with unbelievers that I used to be where they are because they are usually so surprised at the change that they start to (at least seemingly) believe the claims of Christ than to share with many Christians who don't seem to remember that once such were they.

I applaud miss Prejean's courage and I pray God will use this event to draw her ever closer to Him in every way.

Sam said...

Richard Abanes,
You fail to mention the fact that Carrie Prejean lied to the Miss California pageant committee about having never been photographed partially nude. I am more concerned with her lying in Nov 2008 rather than what she did at 17

RA: ""How godly is it to make accusatory attacks against a growing Christian who is seeking to be as godly as she knows how to be and actually put truth (as much as she knows) ahead of her own ambition and career possibilities?"

no, she lied when she signed the contract to pursue her own ambition of being the next Miss California and Miss USA

See:

http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/Carrie_Prejean's_official_state_contract.pdf

page 8, Section 9a. Carrie lied about having posed for the pictures took when she was 17. Yes, I do acknowledge that she made a bad mistake when she was 17 and allowed these pics to be taken. However, she willfully deceived the pageant committe by not acknowledging the existence of such pics when she signed the contract in Nov of 2008. There is also the question of whether Carrie is in violation of the contract that she signed because she has made several public apperances when the contract states that the pageant committe must authorize her public appearances as she is the reigning Miss Calfornia and by signing the contract she is bound to follow it. AND as a professing Christian it is a matter of personal integrity and witness.

Steve Camp,
Persons can certainly bring harm to the cause of the gospel. Whenever a high profile professing Christian is involved in a public scandal, it DOES add to the already main objection of hypocrisy that unbelievers hold to why they are opposed to even going to church much less being witnessed to.

Yes, we should extend Carrie grace but no, lets not make her a spokesperson for the christain community. And the christain community does have the tendency to exalt the next "Christian hero" and ends up looking foolish in the process. The examples of this in the past are numerous.

~Mark said...

I think that the point is she isn't a spokesperson for the Christian community except in the eyes of a few. If we go to the other extreme and turn and devour her, what will that say about us?

We need to speak honestly and humbly on the issue and say "she has like all of us, sinned and we aren't ignoring that, yet in this specific statement she has done well and we don't ignore that either".

If she was preaching false Gospel I'd say that we should SHOUT the true Gospel to dispel confusion, but she didn't even quote chapter or verse in what she said about homosexual pairings.

SJ Camp said...

Mark
I think that the point is she isn't a spokesperson for the Christian community except in the eyes of a few.

That is correct.

No one has elevated her to that position, except her most vocal critics who have created that station for her to try and make their case against her and have done so out of thin air.

I haven't seen one pastor or church denomination ask for her biblical counsel on any family issue. She was asked to come to Liberty to give testimony of her convictions. Far different a scenario.

In reality, she is one believer who has been given a national platform, not by the church or Christian community, but due to her pageant participation where simply standing for traditional marriage she is vilified and made into a target by the liberals, gay community and mainstream media.

This will die out soon, but the real issue is will she be intact? She is being hammered by the left and a few on the right. She didn't ask for this platform or position, but from what I have seen and read, is trying to use it for honorable purposes.

Let's continue to pray for her beloved.

Phillip M. Way said...

Is it asking too much to ask someone who is called upon to defend marriage to DEFEND marriage?

Homosexual marriage is one thing, but so is adultery. Matt 5:27-30. Both destroy marriage and are against God's Law.

The pagent world seems to encourage the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. Can we afford to excuse vanity, immodesty, and lust?

Just asking.....

SJ Camp said...

Sam
I humbly must disagree with you brother. I fail to see how any public scandal does harm to the gospel. It does harm to the ones caught in a scandal, but not to the gospel itself.

Do you have a biblical model or Scriptural foundation for this?

I would truly like to read it and study it for myself. OR, was this just your own opinion absent of biblical support?

Sam, have you seen a copy of the actual documentation that Miss USA contestants have to sign? I haven't. If so, could you direct us there so that we can review it for ourselves. If not, then may I lovingly caution you in making dogmatic statements about things you may not know to be 100% accurate.

May I ask you a brief question here brother? What do you want to see happen from all the criticism being addressed to Carrie? What do you hope to gain from launching more invective against this gal? IOW, what's the purpose of it all?

I would sincerely like to know.

Grace to you,
Steve

richardabanes said...

SAM: You fail to mention the fact that Carrie Prejean lied to the Miss California pageant committee about having never been photographed partially nude. I am more concerned with her lying in Nov 2008 rather than what she did at 17

RA: Brother, with all due respect, my Bible tells me that love "always protects, always trusts, always hopes" (1 Cor. 13).

Do you have the answers to ANY of these questions:

1. What was she thinking when she signed that agreement?
2. Might she have thought that the restriction was only for photos slated for publication?
3. Could she have thought this was for photos taken as an ADULT?
4. Did she actually even read what she signed (it seems plenty of people don't read what they sign as evidenced by the housing market crash and foreclosures)?

Any documented answers? Because the answers to these questions would shed a lot of light on why she signed what she signed. Without concrete, verifiable answers, I would hope you'd err on the side of 1 Cor. 13.

Now, on a separate note, I have another question: Have you ever been involved in the entertainment industry - theater, film, modeling, art, music, voice-overs, pageants, TV, films, etc.?

If not, there is a lot you don't know. I have been there. And I can tell you from personal experience that MANY of those kinds of agreements and contracts go virtually unread by artists/performers because they are approved by manager, agents, and others. Sometimes you trust who you should not trust.

Moreover, in the willingness to continue moving forward in a job, contest, or whatever, you sign -- you just sign -- and don't really think to much about it. It's stupid, but it happens. Again, of course, this is ALL speculation. We have no idea what went on with regard to this issue.
_____________
SAM: no, she lied when she signed the contract to pursue her own ambition of being the next Miss California and Miss USA

RA: See above.

And, TBH, I think you're absolutely ignoring all kinds unbiblical activity going on now from others.

I asked a question: "How godly is it to make accusatory attacks against a growing Christian who is seeking to be as godly as she knows how to be and actually put truth (as much as she knows) ahead of her own ambition and career possibilities?"

What's your answer? Don't answer with another accusation.
______________
SAM: There is also the question of whether Carrie is in violation of the contract that she signed because she has made several public appearances when the contract states that the pageant committee must authorize her public appearances as she is the reigning Miss California

RA: See above comments.

Also, my friend, you have NO IDEA what its like to be caught up in a very public controversy like this with the media screaming for & against you from all sides.

Again I say, far too many Christians are, in their ignorance, showing how quick and eager they are to just attack.

Richard Abanes

Christine said...

May Carrie learn from her mistakes and not repeat them,thankyou for the post Steve.

eric opsahl said...

I’m one of those who are critical and I just don’t get the disconnect for what seems to be painfully obvious to me.

My issue is not with Prejean herself, rather what this whole issue stands for or doesn’t stand for. That is, the issue of modesty.

Leave out the individual which started this because the problem is not limited to her, it has become a problem in the church.

I don’t know you Steve; I’ve read your blog for years and have been encouraged and challenged by your words. All that to say, I’m not your antagonist or enemy when I write: I’m just not getting the reason for what seems like sarcastic one liners aimed at those of us who are critical of the modesty issue.

For instance Steve writes: She models swimsuits - oh the horror of it all. She wore a bikini in a pageant - the unpardonable sin. She had breast augmentation done to enhance her appearance - what fall from grace.

Here is the problem I have, you know that none of us would really say that wearing a bikini is the unpardonable sin. Even though I think you are only using hyperbole to make your point, and do not want to be taken
literally (I assume). That is, in fact, one of the offenses for a Christian Lady.

That’s my disconnect. You have told me the point isn’t about Modesty. I don’t see how to separate the two.

Eric

SJ Camp said...

Philip
I appreciate your thoughtful questions. I will try and answer them for you though I may fall woefully short.

The pagent world seems to encourage the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life.

I would agree in part. Would you also say this about the Olympics? About American Idol? Game shows? Or reality TV? What about college sports? The NFL, NBA or the PGA? Are they all fair game under your question?

None of those things are Christian in nature. We all can agree on that. And depending on ones views - all of them could foster the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Shoot, blogging can do that too! In the end, its not "the thing" that ultimately is the problem, but the condition of all our sinful hearts... right? I mean, its not what goes into the man that defiles him, but what comes out of his depraved heart.

But let's not forget this here y'all, the Lord places believers in those specific arenas for His glory and divine purposes. And yes, in the midst of those vocations, He can bless them financially or with further opportunity for their jobs. And in some special cases allows unique platforms to emerge to give voice to the faith and be a witness of His gospel and truth.

IMOH, the blessing for Carrie was in not winning (she didn't), but in answering one small question that proved the metal of her resolve in that situation about a very controversial issue - i.e. being forthright about marriage from a biblical worldview.

When was the last time any of us saw any contestant from Miss USA used for this kind of purpose? I haven't and it seems obvious to me that the Lord is at work here in the midst of all this controversy.

"The Lord is slow to anger and great in power... and His way is in the whirlwind and the storm..." Nahum 1:3

Can we afford to excuse vanity, immodesty, and lust?

No one is saying that any sin issue should be excused. But at the same time, you're not suggesting that those things should be laid solely at Miss Prejean's doorstep are you?

If you don't like beauty pageants I understand that (I didn't see the pageant. I was watching the NBA). But it seems that Miss Carrie is using her voice within that pageant system for noble purposes. To which I say.. SDG!

I hope this helps a bit brother.

Kirby L. Wallace said...

"How godly is it to make accusatory attacks against a young woman who was misled...

"How godly is it to make accusatory attacks against a growing Christian who is seeking to be as godly as she knows how...

"How godly is it to contribute in the name of Christ to a media frenzy wherein the world is actively seeking to use a sister's unfortunate mistake...

I am seeing precious little love, understanding, compassion, true concern, forgiveness, and Christ-like-ness in far too many watch-bloggers who are using this controversy to just cause more trouble, negativity, darkness, conflict.
Richard:

Dude... Take a breath....

You seem far too obsessed with "watch bloggers". It's to the point that it's a witch-hunt of your own. You pursue them with as much dogged determination as you accuse them of while decrying dogged determination. "Witch hunts and accusations are ungodly - unless I'm doing it..." Uh... what?

How godly is it to...? Depends on what the subject matter is. You have to decide. Is the matter godly or ungodly? Jesus is awaiting your answer, for He has commanded you to judge all things, and to do it right. But simply plugging your ears and going "la la la la la la - I can't hear you..." isn't going to help.

If the accusation is true, then the accusation is godly - because God IS truth, quite apart from anyone's feelings on the matter.

Who loves more? The one who sees the error and attempts to turn them from that way? Or the one who sees the error and remains silent while they drive the bus off the cliff?

Furthermore... a person is NOT my brother or sister in Christ simply because they SAY so. She may be and remain a goat, no matter how pretty a sheep she may appear to be on the outside.
Jesus has told us quite plainly that it is the behaviour that determines whether she is a good tree or a bad tree. (Uhm, that would mean a Christian or an unbeliever).

This fruit didn't quite smell right, although it looked smokin' hot; fo shizzle!...

Her statements so far have been nothing but political revolutionary jargon wrapped in "Christianeese."

If she is a Christian at all she certainly needs a good sound rebuke. If she is no Christian at all then she needs to be left alone entirely.

But she does NOT need to be held up as some vanguard of Christian life and virtue.

We're talking about someone who, for all practical purposes, shook their fist in the face of God and said "Why hast thou made me like this....?", attempted to improve on God's handiwork, and then paraded it around naked in front of millions of people before, finally, giving a pat, canned, politically inebriated answer to a spiritually destitute question.

Christ was NOWHERE represented in ANY of this, and still is not.

And folks expect us to stand by and watch this travesty unfold and do nothing either to venerate God's name or help the young woman?

Go figure....

This isn't a matter of "watch-bloggers" gone wild. This is a matter of men of God standing up and saying ENOUGH OF THIS!

SJ Camp said...

Eric
That’s my disconnect. You have told me the point isn’t about Modesty. I don’t see how to separate the two.

Forgive me my brother. I wasn't saying modesty is not an issue worth discussing here; it just seemed to not be THE issue in light of some of the invectives being tossed to our sister in the Lord Carrie.

Modesty is a good thing for a Christian woman to honor and aspire to. It is good for a woman to keep herself fit for her husband and children. And at the same time to make the goal of her life not simply external beauty, but the beauty that comes from fearing the Lord and honoring His Word.

That is after all, the Prov. 31 woman... is it not?

Can we extend modesty to words as well? May there be a modesty in criticism against this dear gal tempered with Christlike charity and grace.

Amen?

SJ Camp said...

Kirby
If she is no Christian at all then she needs to be left alone entirely.

I beg to disagree with you my brother. If she doesn't know the Lord she needs the gospel of grace to be given to her. "Left alone entirely" would be very unloving.

Let's be careful about making judgments on someone who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord. That is for Him alone to sort out. We are not given the privilege of separating the wheat from the tares... are we? Jesus warned us not to do so.

I have tried in the past and it is an effort in futility my friend. Take her at her confession until her confession is proved otherwise over the long haul.

Thank you for your comment.
Steve

PS - I don't want this thread turning into a battlefield for you and RA to work through your differences. With humility I would ask you to take that elsewhere. Fair enough?

richardabanes said...

I keep hearing this word modesty thrown around as if there is ONE, single, unified, church-ordained, codified, holy, inerrant, verbal-plenary definition of it. Can someone please provide that for me?

The "modesty" (so-called) of today is NOT what it was in 1980, 1950, or 1920, or 1820, or.....well you get my point.

So any of you men have wives who wear pants? Do any of you women wear pants or bear your arms? OH NOES! Shocking! if you lived about X-years ago you'd be arrested for immodesty in that outfit for and jailed.

In fact, I'd venture to say that the swimsuit of any woman reading this blog and the wife of any man reading this blog would have gotten them jailed as recently as 1930. I'd go even further, even some fairly modest street clothes worn by decidedly modest women would have been enough to get them arrested in 1930.

So, I would hope that people stop using some subjective idea of "modesty" as if it were an objective standard, thereby enabling then to judge those things with which they're personally uncomfortable -- otherwise, please give chapter and verse that clearly defines this "modesty."

Getting into the area of actual full-blown nudity is a different issue entirely. But lets not even begin to go there -- unless, of course, we all want to go to various places as missionaries to preach to the natives. Bare breasts anyone? Oh, dear. Now, we have cultural standards determining even a greater and more uncomfortable measure of modesty. (I could go on with even more graphic examples, but I'll stop here.)

My point is simple: Too many Christians are treating a VERY subjective area of disagreement as if they somehow know God's handed-down-from-heaven and ordained objective standard for measuring modesty.

At the very least, we must not be so rigid, strict, confident, and dare I say, arrogant in our condemnations of Prejean for lacking in so-called "modesty" because she wears a two-piece bikini.

How about rejoicing that here is a young woman, who apparently loves Christ, and who, despite some confusing instruction and messages she's been given in her formative years, has shown the courage and willingness to publicly take a stand for truth -- even though she quite probably knew it would not bode well for her.

Some people have NO IDEA the choice that girl made, and what she let go of by answering the way she answered. All they can see is her bikini.....maybe they should adjust where they're looking.

R. Abanes

RA

SJ Camp said...

RA
Very good. Thank you.
Steve

CeyHey Kid said...

At the risk of causing trouble...why is it assumed that this gal is a Christian? Her answer she gave is the same answer a Catholic would give, a Mormon would give, even a Muslim would give. Why because she "says" she is a "Christian" (with no explanation given - even Britney Spears calls herself "Christian") does everyone just go along? Scripture is clear that we are not to judge externally, but with righteous judgment. I have yet to see a single distinction from this gal that separates her from all the other phonies/charlatans who "name" Christ. And a sidenote - where in the world are her parents at!? What a tragedy to lead their daughter into a life of external uselessness.

I must strongly disagree with my pal Steve-O on the fact that there are "Christian" models - seriously?! The claim is so trivial that I am unsure how you could verify such a thing.

Which leads me to what I think will get me in trouble here - what is the criteria we are to use to determine whether someone is a believer or not? Everyone ever born deserves Hell and the only reconciliation to that is faith alone in Christ. Everyone should be considered doomed unless their is a VALID reason to think otherwise. I do not think Ms. Prejean qualifies even remotely. It amuses (saddens) me that people are quick to call people "saved" etc when we have NO idea ultimately. I am interested in what other think on this topic.

CeyHey Kid said...

I should have added at the end that I am a BIG fan of your site Steve and really like your posts on theology you do. It's just that on this issue, I think you are completely missing the boat. You are still da man though!

richardabanes said...

CEY: At the risk of causing trouble...why is it assumed that this gal is a Christian?

RA: Why is it assumed she's not? Or, out another way in reverse, why shouldn't we assume she is? Because she wears a bikini? Because she's young and in some ways clearly unwise? Tell us....I truly am interested.

Shouldn't we, in faithfulness to 1 Cor. 13, assume that she is a Christian -- until we are shown otherwise?

First Corinthians says: "that love "always protects, always trusts, always hopes" (1 Cor. 13). Another translation reads: "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things."

Sounds like good advise to me. And it's form God.

Being discerning and wise is not the same thing as being distrustful and cynical.
_________

CEY: Scripture is clear that we are not to judge externally, but with righteous judgment.

RA: Yes. And that means when we have enough information on which to even make a judgment. You don't have that. You have three basic things:

1. A profession of Christ as Lord;

2. A public stand on gay marriage (despite the cost) that would confirm to some degree a commitment to what she, at this point in her faith, understands as a biblical position;

3. A bikini she wears.

I think 1 Cor. tells us to cut her some slack, no?
_______

CEY: I have yet to see a single distinction from this gal that separates her from all the other phonies/charlatans who "name" Christ.

RA: Did you miss you answer on gay marriage, which cost her a decidedly lucrative career win? That would count, IMHO.
_________

CEY: And a sidenote - where in the world are her parents at!?

RA: That is a good question that should have been asked when she was 17 and posing topless. Now, she is an adult and must make her own way -- mistakes and all. pray for her that she grows, learns, changes, is made stronger. There's a novel idea.
_________
CEY: What a tragedy to lead their daughter into a life of external uselessness.

RA: I hope no one ever says that about your child's chosen occupation. And these pageants are a route to other avenues of career opportunities.

And modeling, thank you very much, is hardly useless. Ever shop out of Sears catalog? Ever scan a magazine for make-up tips and options for your own face (if you're a woman)? Exactly who do you think you're looking at? Models.
__________
CEY: I must strongly disagree with my pal Steve-O on the fact that there are "Christian" models - seriously?! The claim is so trivial that I am unsure how you could verify such a thing.

RA: Sad. See above. That you could make that kind of judgment is....I have no words at the moment.
__________

CEY: Everyone should be considered doomed unless their is a VALID reason to think otherwise.

RA: And apparently expressing a faith in Christ is not longer a good place to start, unfortunately.
_________
CEY: I do not think Ms. Prejean qualifies even remotely. It amuses (saddens) me that people are quick to call people "saved" etc when we have NO idea ultimately.

RA: I'm amazed at how much information on a metaphysical level with regard to soeone's heart and relationship to God can be made by about 8 square inches of fabric around one's privates.
_________
CEY: I am interested in what other think on this topic.

RA: Read above. This whole situation has been very sad to me. How did Christians become so negative, dark, cynical, judgmental, suspicious, quick to condemn, narrow, and unkind? I have no idea.

:-)

RAbanes

dean said...

Steve...

I agree with you overall, but re: your answer #3, would you consider the last-minute decision to shoehorn Ms. Prejean into the dove awards broadcast at the last minute an example of a "Christian sub-culture" trying to proclaim her a new Christian hero?

I don't wish to judge anyone's motives, but I wonder if they would have had her on there if there hadn't been such a media ruckus over her response to Perez Hilton's question?

Am I off base here?

CeyHey Kid said...

Hey RA - thanks for the replies, they were interesting to read. It appears we are pretty much in disagreement across the board. It appears that with you and many others, that if a stance is taken that questions anyone on anything, it's uncharitable.

In response to your comment that there was a profession of Jesus as Lord - when was that ever quoted? Have you seen the church she is a part of? You would have a hard time even knowing Jesus is part of what is going on there. Looks like a cool place for a latte though.

SJ Camp said...

Dean
would you consider the last-minute decision to shoehorn Ms. Prejean into the dove awards broadcast at the last minute an example of a "Christian sub-culture" trying to proclaim her a new Christian hero?

I think you are very insightful. But I don't think it was for the motive of creating a new Christian hero. This wasn't driven by her or her handlers. I think it was a very simple issue - to get better ratings and coverage for future broadcasts for themselves.

She was very hot in the media at that time. The issue was new and they wanted to capitalize on it for their own purposes.

Does that make sense? We all know that this will die down in the near future. But when the dust settles, what will be of Carrie? My concern is for her in all of this. The blogosphere will move to something new again. The Christian blogosphere will be debating or arguing over another trend or theological mooring...

But Carrie will have a life to live. That is why all the invectives by Christians doesn't make sense to me. There is no real purpose to it. Just blowing steam for the sake of "upholding family values" and to warn people of the lascivious dangers of breast augmentation and bikinis.

This young woman needs our prayers and for those who are closest to her (family, friends, church, etc.) she needs to be strengthened in the faith.

I appreciate your comment. Thank you for listening to mine.

Rick Frueh said...

Modesty. The Word tells us to be clothed with humility. Much of the unkind and caustic verbiage within the blogasphere can be considered immodest in their attidtudes. There should be a path, there must be a path, that carries and projects the power of Christ through conduits of humble grace.

Our Great God struck the most powerful blow through what seemed to be the weakest of all instruments...death. Are we so faithless, so void of trust in the power of that same God, that we cannot speak words of conviction camouflaged in grace, like apples of gold in pictures of silver? Must we rely on the intensity and vigor of our words of judgment?

Is not the redemption of the everlasting gospel powerful enough to pierce the darkness or must we curse that same darkness with great skill and devotion to that task? And if God should reveal to us that the words we speak in prayer for such a woman pale in quantity and quality to the words we speak and publish in descriptive elegance concerning her sin, would we blush or expect a reward?

Let us take our eyes off this woman and turn our eyes on Him. What would He, what did He, do with such sinners? And if by God's grace your spirit has been awakened to the pitfalls and stumblingblock of such events and dress, do not fashion that knowledge into a self righteous club with which to bludgeon all who have not as yet seen the error of their ways.

Remember the patience and love with which the Great Shepherd has dealt with you, and follow in those steps. God can be trusted to do what is right. And to those of us who from time to time feel led of the Spirit to speak words of correction, even when strong, may we sift our words through the colender of seasoned grace, always speaking to others as if we were speaking to the one person on earth we love most.

Sam said...

Steve Camp,
In my first post, i provided a link to the document which Carrie signed. She answered "no" to the question that asked her if she had any inappropriate photos taken of her in the past. That, my brother, is an outright lie. And contrary to what Richard Abanes says about blindly signing a contract without reading it, that does not excuse her responsibility to be truthful in her all of her dealings. AND she has failed to follow the terms of making apperances. It is ironic that Richard lauds her for standing up for "truth" while she was anything but truthful when signing that contract. Richard, ever the apologist, wants to make every excuse for Carrie outright lying. No matter how much we try to rationalize our sin, it can never justify it in the eyes of the Lord.

Richard,

1. It doesnt matter what she was thinking when she signed the contract. Her thought process does not justify lying. She knew she had posed for the type of photos that were being asked about it the statement that she signed off on.
2. What she thought was irrelevant. The contract that she signed and lied on made no distinction about photos for publication. The contract asked if she had ever posed for photgraphs in partial nudity. It was black and white. She knew she posed for pics and yet she CHOSE to lie.
3. Again, the contract said have you EVER been photographed in a state of nudity. It didnt say since the age of 18. It was Carrie's responsibility to fully read the contract and be truthful.
4. She is a very bright lady. When we sign a document, we have the responsibility to read what we sign our names to. "Let your yes be yes". If I buy a car and sign a contract and i didnt read that i agreed to a 20% interest rate, then that does not excuse me from my legal obligation when i signed the contract.

A person, much less a christian who is called to a higher standard, does not have to be in the entertainment industry to understand that when we sign something we should be TRUTHFUL and live up to the terms of what we signed our name to. Our integrity is paramount when proclaiming the gospel and representing Christ.

Carrie signed the contract. Again, since Steve Camp missed the first time I posted the link, here it is again:

http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/Carrie_Prejean's_official_state_contract.pdf

She didnt have a manager sign it. AND again, no matter what field we are in, Christians are called to a high standard of honesty and integrity when signing contracts.

I real test of her Biblical integrity and standing on Biblical truth would have been for Carrie to come clean about the pictures, regardless of the consequences. She lied in order to move forward in the contest.

And there are far too many Christians that are willing to justify the sins of others like you are in this case. It is clear that she lied. But you fail to acknowledge that she did and make up all of these scenarios to justify and rationalize her blatant sin. It is not an attack for someone to point out clearly what Carrie did. SHE LIED. That is not an attack. That is the TRUTH.

SJ Camp said...

CeyHey Kid
It appears that with you and many others, that if a stance is taken that questions anyone on anything, it's uncharitable.

I would like to jump in CeyHey and address that a bit if that is cool with you.

I would politely disagree. I think questioning things is good and right. "Test everything, cling to what is good." Amen? But for me, it is the manner in which the questioning is taking place - not the questions themselves. Asking honest inquiry is one thing; holding an inquisition online is something quite different.

She has been called so many nasty names by Christian people; she has been labeled everything from a woman without morals to a nonbeliever. And it has been mean my friend. Just plain mean.

THAT is what I am against in this. Where is the reverence, respect, love, kindness, gentleness. mercy and grace when asking the questions?

One thing I am deeply grateful for, is that the folks around Carrie Prejean must be godly. For she could own half of the Christian blogosphere for slander and libel, and defamation of character. People sit at their keyboards and they think they are immune from this. But people should be careful. You just can't say anything about anybody and think its just a matter of opinion. Malice is a real word carrying real weight.

Again, let's remind ourselves of brother Pink's words again:

"It is devilish to take delight in exposing the faults of fellow-Christians, and stirring up prejudice and bitter feelings against them (Rev. 12:10). God requires that our words should agree with love--as well as with truth. Since Christians are brethren, the last thing they should be guilty of is defaming one another!"

Thanks for letting me tag along on your comment to another one here.

Peace,
Steve

CeyHey Kid said...

Steve - thanks for the reply. Would you characterize my posts as lacking in those things? I don't feel like I was attacking her at all - I did not call her names (though in retrospect, aligning her with phonies/charlatans in the same sentence was could be construed as such). She has shown nothing to date that I would ever want my daughter to emulate. Her "brave statement" when watched in full context was hardly anything bold.

I guess I am just a bit perplexed at your response to this whole affair. It doesn't seem to align with the solid, biblical writing that I normally see on your site. Please do not take that as a personal attack - I just do not see your defense and somewhat endorsement of Ms. Prejean.

dean said...

SJC:
This wasn't driven by her or her handlers. I think it was a very simple issue - to get better ratings and coverage for future broadcasts for themselves.
I wholeheartedly agree with you there. I'm pretty certain the Dove folks approached her... I couldn't imagine a scenario where Ms. Prejean's people would have initiated that. And yes, the timing couldn't have been better for the broadcast.

I think on the national level, it will die down, but as the reigning Miss California (if she is allowed to keep her crown), she'll have a year's worth of opportunities to make appearances and give talks and so we should pray that she continues to grow in her faith and cdonvictions, remains bold and that the Miss California officials do not censor her. Appreciate you, brother...

SJ Camp said...

Dean
I think you are correct. And you're right, if she retains her title she will have one year to have numerous opportunities to speak and share the faith.

Good thought brother. Thank you.
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

richardabanes said...

HI Cey,

You noted; "It appears that with you and many others, that if a stance is taken that questions anyone on anything, it's uncharitable."

I never said that anywhere -- either here or anywhere else in my life. So I'm not at all clear as to why you ever make that leap from what I posted.

I take stands all the time on countless issues, and commend/support fellow believers taking stands against all kinds of things. Goodness, my whole ministry and career has been based on taking stands: i.e., apologetics and discernment.

So, please re-read what I noted. There was no statement whatsoever against people taking a stand for (or against) anything. What I said was.....well, just read it.
___________

CEY: In response to your comment that there was a profession of Jesus as Lord - when was that ever quoted?

RA: Odd question, since the last time I checked, a Christian was someone who professed Jesus as Lord. Does that make them perfect? Hardly. Maybe we need to remember that instead of acting so self-righteous? Just a thought.

RA

SJ Camp said...

CeyHey
I thought your tone here has been good. Didn't mean to imply otherwise.

I heard her on FoxNews confess Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She attributed this to her family upbringing as well. She also was very quick to add that she didn't want to be politically correct, but biblically correct. Very good!

This is not an easy issue is it? But I know if this was my daughter, I would want her to know a few things:

1. I love her
2. I am praying for her to have godly wisdom and biblical integrity
3. To speak with grace though criticized, and truth though ostercized
4. And to guard her testimony while in the media hot seat

All other concerns would be addressed at home. Remember, this is a young woman being lascerated by the biggest and baddest liberals and media hounds in the country. Right now in this moment she needs our prayers and support. Not our angst about pageant attire and breast augmentation.

This seems so obvious to me just as much as i am sure your views seem obvious to you. I understand that.

But I would encourage those who are bent on still lobbing granades her way (not talking about you CeyHey), that for the moment, they consider declaring a cease fire on
her.

I don't think that is too much to ask.

Col. 1:9-14 is a great way to pray fir her.

Thanks brother,
Steve

richardabanes said...

Here's a nice verse for everyone, especially Prejean's cruel attackers:

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
(Ephesians 4:31-32)

How exciting it would be for more Christians to love that one.

Michele Rayburn said...

Someone asked "how do we know that Carrie is a Christian"? And I think they asked what church she goes to.

I saw a clip of her on t.v. talking about her faith, and saying how she would like to hug Perez and tell him that Jesus loves him.

And Carrie's Pastor, Miles McPherson of Rock Church in San Diego, was on the O'Reilly Factor this week. You can do a simple google search to see the video.

I looked at the Church's website at http://therocksandiego.org and it seems to be a Christ-centered, Bible believing Church.

I am impressed by what the majority of the commenters here have said, as they attempt to inject wisdom and grace into this matter.

I understand fully what both sides are saying, among the Christians.

There are those that are merely expressing their opinion with a good attitude.

But for those who are bitter and angry, judgemental and accusatory, legalistic, or self-righteous, I believe that they are guilty of a greater sin.

I heard a female Democrat strategist on t.v. condemn Carrie, calling her a hypocrite for being a Christian, and yet wearing a bikini. And yet this strategist, by nature of the Party she is associated with, defends all kinds of immorality in that Party.

Does this Democrat strategist really care that Carrie wore a bikini? No. She is just seeking to silence Christians from speaking out against immorality.

And some Christians are apparently taking the bait and helping the unsaved world to silence the Christians, all the while seemingly oblivious to the persecution taking place against the kingdom of God.

Steve, be glad that you'll never be in a beauty contest. The way this lady is being treated, nobody should want to be in one. :)

Kirby L. Wallace said...

KW: If she is no Christian at all then she needs to be left alone entirely.

SC: I beg to disagree with you my brother. If she doesn't know the Lord she needs the gospel of grace to be given to her. "Left alone entirely" would be very unloving.I balked at writing that very sentence when I wrote it. I knew it sounded odd and would likely be misunderstood.

What I mean by "left alone" is more along the lines of "hands off". She should never have been taken on as a mouthpiece for Christianity.

I didn't mean that no one should have anything to do with her. I do not intend to brand her with a scarlet letter. And I sincerely hope that there is someone in her inner circle who can present to her "a more perfect way."


SC: Let's be careful about making judgments on someone who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord.As far as I know, she has never once mentioned even so much as the name of Jesus Christ, let alone proclaimed Him to be her Lord. And certainly, we've seen nothing to suggest it, and lots that suggests otherwise.


SC: We are not given the privilege of separating the wheat from the tares... are we? Jesus warned us not to do so.[http://www.uniuslibri.com/UniusLibriIndex.asp?action=uniuslibri&articleid=6]

Skip down to the section entitled "Wheat and Tares". I think you will agree.



SC: PS - I don't want this thread turning into a battlefield for you and RA to work through your differences. With humility I would ask you to take that elsewhere. Fair enough?Understood perfectly. And agreement all around! Thanks.

Kirby

Kirby L. Wallace said...

Steve,

In case you are too busy to go there and read it, here it is, exerpted from that article.

It was an article, ironically, about Christians not engaging in theological debates in front of unbelievers! ;-)


---

Wheat and TaresJesus spoke another parable, and explained it to His disciples:

A man planted wheat in his field. Later, an enemy came and planted a bunch of weeds amongst his plants [to ruin the crop]. When the plants began to grow, the weeds were seen scattered all through wheat. The man’s workers asked him if he would like them to go into the field and pull up the weeds, to which he replied, ‘No, because you may harm the wheat in the process. Let them both grow, and I will separate them at harvest time.”Jesus later explained that this parable was an analogy of believers and unbelievers in this world, and that he would separate evil people from his people at “harvest time” [the end of the world].

In my opinion, the explanation of this, is more than just a statement that God will separate the good from the bad on judgment day. We know that will happen, but there is more than just that in this parable. Part of the parable addresses something that happens before the end... namely, the desire of some good people to uproot the weeds from among the wheat while it is yet growing in the field before harvest. And this, according to the sower, risked damage being done to the wheat in the attempt.

I ask only this. If the wheat and the tares are analogous to Christians and non-Christians – people – then what harm is there by merely putting Christians in one place and non-Christians in another? How does separating good people from bad people cause either any harm? It doesn’t.

However, when you consider that the “good seed that has been sown” in this parable is the word of God, and it is the fruit of the word that is being harvested, then you see that the parable is also an analogy of good doctrine and bad – the good fruit of the Word of God mixed with the bad fruit of someone else’s word. Good and bad doctrine, in the hearts and minds of people. And the process of separating the two we commonly know as argument, debate, philosophy, and the likes.

Separating good and bad doctrine in the minds of people would involve a lot of “intellectual weeding” during which harm may be done to the carefully planted beliefs and understandings that the Holy Spirit has placed in the hearts and minds of some people.

In my opinion, this parable is also a warning against engaging in theological debate outside the church (where the bad seed is coming from), or in the presence of those “newborn babes” in the church. Perhaps nothing does more harm to faith than endless, pointless, futile theological or philosophical argument.

This is something that I learned the hard way.

SJ Camp said...

Kirby
I appreciate this post of yours. However I believe it to be inaccurate.

Jesus Himself explains the parable in verses 36-43 of Matt. 13. There is no doubt He was speaking of the saved and the lost; "the sons of the kingdom" and "the sons of the evil one."

Their end is very different for the sons of the evil one will experience torment forever (the weeping and gnashing of teeth) and the righteous ones will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

Again, this is a parable depicting the separation of the wheat and the tares, the sheep and the goats, the righteous from the unrighteous, the sons of the kingdom from the sons of the evil one. It is a parable pointing to a day of judgment when all will give an account and He will separate the wheat from the tares. It is not for us to do.

There is an alarming and frequent tendency today to make rash and quick eternal pronouncements of salvation or damnation upon the souls of people. This is dangerous ground to be on.

This is what has been happening to this young woman Carrie Prejean by some believers. Without even the shedding of a tear or the least bit of trembling of the voice, some are quick to declare her as a nonbeliever, write her off, and send her on her marry way to eternal perdition. Point of order: I don't believe you are doing that here - it is others I am referring to.

This is shocking that we have become so arrogant that we can say one is saved and another is not. The only time that is even plausible and done so with extreme care and careful examination, is when someone is blatantly proclaiming a different or false gospel denying the words of our Lord and His truth; or is hard of heart and believing that same false gospel rejecting the truth of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. In both cases, they are headed for a Christless eternity.

Otherwise, we must be very slow if not altogether silent upon making judgments on the eternal destiny of someone else's soul.

But again, some are doing that in relation to this woman with absolutely not a care in the world as if they have can see the condition of her heart and know if she is elect or not. Shameful.

Hope this helps a bit on this parable.

Christine said...

Galatians 5:6
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything,nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.

JTW said...

"The gospel is eternal and strong. It is unshakable and can withstand anyone's failings. The gospel endured Peter denying Christ openly with cursings and swearings; the gospel endured young Timothy's cowardess; the gospel endured Thomas's doubtings; the gospel endured Paul's brazen attitude toward John Mark; the gospel endured Luther's vulgarity; the gospel endured David's murderous actions and adultery; the gospel endured Abraham's lying and incest; the gospel endured Adam and Eve's earth-shattering disobedience in the garden; the gospel endured my sin and yours brother. AND the gospel endures Miss California's issues as well. IOW, we are all great sinners beloved, but praise be to God that He is a greater Savior!"
Thanks for that Steve! That was awesome and ministered to me.

donsands said...

"At the very least, we must not be so rigid, strict, confident, and dare I say, arrogant in our condemnations of Prejean for lacking in so-called "modesty" because she wears a two-piece bikini." RA

I had a guy I know say, "She is hot!", when he talked about her in the swimsuit.

I think the swimsuit is immodest. But at the same time I love to go to the pool, and beach.

I think she is my sister in Christ, and so I appreciate her. May the Lord bless her, and help her grwo in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Good post, and good discussion on what the Scriptures say concerning clothing.
Clothes do matter to God.

And it's not so much the clothes, but why we are wearing what we are wearing, methinks.

Steve0 said...

Good word Don

Kirby L. Wallace said...

Steve,

When you say that "Christ Himself explained the parable", you're talking about the passage of scripture that I'm quoting where Christ Himself is explaining the parable.

And, this is not - cannot - be just a parable about good and bad people being judged on judgment day, because there is an element of present action in it.

Clearly, he is talking about the saved and the lost, but, as with almost everything Jesus says, it goes deeper than that. His servants ask him "shall we go in and get them?" And Jesus says, "No... let them both be for now."

This is clearly a warning against doing something about them in the mean-time (ie, before the "end"). And I think we can both agree that Jesus wouldn't approve of us killing them. So "weeding them out" can't mean removing the people. It must refer to something ABOUT the people. An attribute of theirs.

But anyway...

SC: There is an alarming and frequent tendency today to make rash and quick eternal pronouncements of salvation or damnation upon the souls of people. This is dangerous ground to be on. Naturally, everyone reading this would immediately agree. But... then... I wondered.

Can you give me an example, anywhere, of anyone, actually doing this? Offhand, I don't think I've ever heard anyone actually pronounce such a judgment. Or any final judgement, for that matter?

Perhaps you can point me in the right way to an example, so that I can know what you mean by way of example.

B.C.

TW said...

Steve,

I enjoy your site, and I believe in the theology you believe in. I'm just having a hard time understanding the post and comments. When I read JC Ryle, or Tozer, or Spurgeon, they preached against profession without holiness. You asked what harm this does to the gospel, and I would respond with Titus 2:4 "That they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."

I'm frankly shocked that we're not more bothered by this. Should not a Christian above reproach? The very fact that secular sources see the irony of Christian profession while provoking lust (what are breast implants for?) does not seem to me to be above reproach. I'm not trying to be offensive, I just think holiness in life is better than a profession with the mouth. I think that John McArthur said that the gospel doesn't advance on the backs of celebrities and famous people, but on those who are holy and humble before God.

SJ Camp said...

To AllIt saddens me greatly to have to close this thread. Some of the ugliness coming from some of the commenters here is not befitting the Lord and his gospel.

I would urge all here to continue to pray for Carrie Prejean in this situation. I am grateful for you all.

To God be the glory...
Steve