Swimsuits to Burkhas: Christianity Today
May 2nd, 2009 by David Dansker
And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
Controversy and position switching are in the wake of the Miss California story that erupted out of the Miss USA pageant. Some have been accused of giving Christian heroine status to a woman whose immodesty overshadowed her moral convictions as she competed in a bathing suit contest. Because this drama is indicative of a spiritual battle that rages behind the vial of the flesh, it is no surprise that the salient points of the story would be artfully slighted in clever distraction. Observations can be made on the polarization of good and evil presented on the national stage along with an assessment of the end times in terms of spiritual warfare, without it constituting an endorsement of epidermal proselytizing.
The points to be draw from the story are: (1) a young Christian woman, obviously immature in the faith, refused to renounce, by acquiescence, God’s design for mankind when she was put to the test of enormous pressure and certain forfeiture of all she had, to that moment, successfully competed for; (2) the jackboot of the homosexual lobby is a temporal front for Satan’s spiritual attack on God’s word, and design for humanity; (3) the main point, upon which this drama played, that the degree of degradation in these last days is such that Satan boasts openly of his power over the kingdoms of this world on national television, causes a nation to tremble before his hoards as they steal their heritage, and is in hot pursuit of any who will not bow to him in worship.
In this story, the young Christian protagonist is not a heroine, and the homosexual antagonists is not the devil. They are merely the unlikely fleshly tablets in which the spiritual warfare played out in this particular skirmish. At the outset, Satan spied an opportunity to crush a young Christian, and then, as accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10), ridicule Christ by it. After the tempter failed in this, he thought he had still won a victory by robbing the Christian of an earthly crown, but he lost that battle in that the crown incorruptible received more attention than it otherwise would have had he not attacked the woman (a familiar theme).
Astute reporters chronicled the event in this light. There would exist, no doubt, in an audience of several million who watched the drama many carnal Christians. Some would even see the battle as an opportunity to have a heroine in the flesh. Perhaps it was some of these that at first admired the young Christian’s courage, but later retracted there statements after being chided that there was too much flesh displayed. These may have been reproved by an article in Christianity Today where, aside from its misnomer, if the sum total of its Christian fidelity were cast into lead bars it couldn’t sink a paper cup in rough waters. It is a secular magazine for outward Christian appearances, and as such makes many compromises with the world.
In following the magazine’s cover, Katelyn Beaty took many to task for exhibiting a double standard where they heralded Miss California Carrie Prejean for her courage under fire without also criticizing the scarcity of her uniform. Beaty’s article “The Other Miss California Controversy” is a typical pulp-like offering on the drama. It side-steps the spiritual dimension of homosexuality and its hostility towards Christ, uses only the euphemisms that are demanded by the homosexual lobby to describe the conflict (i.e. “gay” and “same-sex marriage” in place of the words ‘homosexual’ and ‘abomination’), and reduces God’s commands to merely “biblical sexual ethics.”1 And under this crushing moral weight; no less than Christian pastors are crumbling.
In one ‘about face’ example, Larry DeBruyn, pastor, Discernment Ministries, led his retreat with a portion of Beaty’s article as an epigraph to his own article wherein he recants his former admiration for Prejeans’s courage on account of the flesh involved. He claims he was led to reflect that it was too much of hers, but as that means he was led by his own in the first case, and then persuaded by the superficiality of a fleshly tabloid in the second, it is probably the flesh that’s still eating pastor DeBruyn.
In his article “Miss USA Controversy – A Pastor Responds,” DeBruyn sends up lots of scripture verse on nakedness and lust, and even meanders around in the Old Testament, but even when he finds himself in Leviticus, chapter eighteen, he can’t seem to find the verse: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Lev 18:22). Granted, that wasn’t the focus of his article, but he did ramble as far as Mecca for moral support to condemn Prejean when he speculated that:
The prevalence of nudity and semi-nudity in our culture may help explain-there is no excuse for terrorism-why fundamentalist Muslims, whose women dress in burkhas (i.e., loose garments with veiled holes for the eyes), detest the west (See “Women in Burkas: A Lesson for Christians”).2
To raise as a sceptre of righteousness what fronts for Muslim purity as a standard to be appealed to in judging the Church is more than shallow; it is reprehensible. The explanation for why fundamentalist Muslims hate the west is Christianity. If there be any ancillary animosities held by women in burkhas it is that they are forced to smother under burlap bags while other women lie on beaches in Malibu. Those so easily turned on their good opinion like DeBruyn as on the edge of a dime must ask themselves what is the mint of their coinage. Are they tokens to be spent in God’s economy, or are they slotted only for prevailing public opinion?
The mature in the faith know that this age of grace is fast coming to an end. We must be discerning, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”(Eph 6:12). The young men need prayer so that they may be established, and slip not by cleaver diversion, and bend not when compassed about. They that be with us are more than they that be with them. When once a servant of a man of God feared how they should make out against the hordes of the enemy, Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the servant’s eyes. “And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (2Ki 6:17). Lord, open your servants’ eyes.
1. Katelyn Beaty, “The Other Miss California Controversy,” Christianity Today blog for women, April 23, 2009. http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2009/04/the_other_miss_california_cont.html
2. Larry DeBruyn, “Miss USA Controversy – A Pastor Responds,” Slice of Laodicea, April 24, 2009. Extracted in “The Naked Slippery Slope,” Herescope, April 27, 2009. Quotations taken from Extract. http://herescope.blogspot.com/2009/04/naked-slippery-slope.html