Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sex Objects

Its no secret that in our youth group, sex has been a significant topic of conversation over the past several weeks. It all started when a bunch of young men with integrity came forward and said they want purity in a world bent on impurity. Of course this issue for me has been somewhat of a hot button issue as I constantly teach on God's view of sexuality as a junior high youth pastor. I feel as if I am fighting an uphill battle and this article is one example of that. But this time is different. I am not the only one upset and it has raised a few questions...

Sexualization, or making someone into a sex object, is not some new concept that Abercrombie and Fitch just came up with. There was actually a legitimate study done in 2007 to highlight the problem. What has everyone all worked up right now is the recent marketing of "push up" bras to children as young as 7 years old. I wish I could have gotten on camera or in this article to speak my mind about this, but I couldn't, so my blog will have to do.

The first problem people seem to be having with A&F marketing push up bras to 7 year old girls was that these girls are way to young to be seen as "sexy." We shouldn't promote them as being "sex objects," right? People legitimately have a point that 7 year olds should not be seen as sex objects. But here's what ticks me off: What age does a girl have to turn when it then becomes ok to view her as a sex object?!? Are you kidding me people? So when girls grow up, then it's ok for them to switch from being a person to an object, reducing their value to sex.

Secondly the article sites that this has problems with how men view young girls. The signals they send by dressing as a sex object, tell men it is ok to view them as such. Again, I think their right on with this! But I'll come back to the same objection I had before. So its ok for men to see sexually mature women as objects instead? If you've watched the news lately you'll notice a significant amount of crime is sex related and the problem is not the age of victim, it with the mindset of the offender.

Lastly I'm gonna stand on my soapbox here and say this: people are not sex objects. It doesn't matter the age of the ones in question, God designed us as a person not an object. Sex is a healthy part of the marriage design and not meant to build self esteem or attract others to us. I recently mentioned to a parent I felt uncomfortable with the pictures I saw pop up on facebook of her daughter on their spring break. Her swimsuit was anything but modest and would cause any guy to see her sexually. When I told that parent how I felt, I was met with a "well she can pull it off," or in other words she has the body to do it. Just because we can use sex appeal to sell bra's to 7 year olds or promote self esteem in teenagers, does not mean we should. The damage being done here is unbelievably huge both in how we say a girl is supposed to consider herself and how others are to regard her.  We're all effected and need to stand up for the truth of God's design - God created us as people, not objects. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If they see Him, they'll believe Him

So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, "What are we going to do since this man does many signs?" If we let Him continue in this way, everyone will believe in Him! Then the Romans will come and remove both our place and our nation.  John 11:47-48

As I read these words this morning, I did a mental double take at what was being implied here. Step back for a second and look at this situation with some perspective. The Pharisees have seen Jesus do 7 signs to this point in John, the 7th one being the raising of Lazarus. He raised a man from the dead. This was not some cheap parlor trick and many people who saw it believed in Jesus because of it. Enter the "concern" of the chief priests and Pharisees: what are we going to do with this Jesus?

Their first concern is rather fascinating. If too many people keep seeing Jesus perform signs then they'll believe in Him. So they are worried that people will follow Jesus if they see Him. My thought was this: if what your doing is "right," why are you concerned about people following Jesus? I mean won't people see right though Jesus if He is truly fake? I have to imagine that at this point these men knew Jesus was the real deal even though they didn't understand how He could be the Messiah talked about in Scripture.

Now their real concern is unveiled. If Jesus continues on about this whole Messiah bit, then the Romans will have to do something about it. That means kissing their authority and possibly their nation goodbye. I mean the Romans at least let the chief priests and Pharisees operate with some authority within a Roman-controlled Jewish state. All of that would disappear. Bottom line is they didn't want to give up their authority to Jesus.

Thinking to myself I see how easy it is to fall in line with their thinking. If Jesus is exposed before my life, His power being displayed and His work speaking for itself, then that means it is no longer I who get to be in control. There is no question of His authenticity here, rather a defense of personal power and authority. Wow - isn't this what we see so frequently in life? I don't want Jesus to take authority over me because I like being in authority over me (and others), so I've got to keep Him out. Ironically they decided that one man must die to save the whole nation... And so He did - just not in the way they intended.