Gayer Than the Kiwi Queen of the Fire Island Fruit Festival

Every once in a while you run across something that is a few parsecs beyond the utter frozen limit. What do you do then? Tim Bayly recently posted a video of an offertory performance done at Redeemer Downtown in Manhattan, along with his comments, and I have reposted the video below. You can watch the whole thing, or if you have a medical condition, you can watch 30 seconds of it and still get the drift. If confusion were beans, this would be a 9-layer dip, suitable for Super Bowl parties.

So here it is. Brace yourself.

What is the problem with this? Summed up, it is that this performance is gayer than the kiwi queen at the Fire Island Fruit Festival. This performance is gayer than an HR memo at Google headquarters. How gay was it? It was gayer than an NPR tote bag full of rainbows. It was gayer than a unicorn parade through the Castro District. It was gayer than a lavender sparkly pen.

And to top it all off, we live in an antinomian generation, where the only sins possible are those represented by something like the preceding paragraph. It is not okay to say “gayer than,” but it is beyond okay to be “gayer than.”

It is no sin to watch this video clip and not know what the particular problem is. Human self-deception can occupy the heart like a rabbit warren under a large meadow. The particular problems can be hard to identify and trace. But the general problem is screamingly obvious. If you can look at this clip and not know that there is a grievous problem somewhere, then the self-deception involved is truly profound.

I referred above to the problem of confusion. Scripture obviously refers to blatant sexual sin as abominable, and the term abomination is sometimes lost on us because we think of it as merely some strong form of Bible-ese. But the Bible also talks about this kind of sinning, and the antecedent rationalizations, as inchoate confusion. “Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion” (Lev. 18:23). “And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them” (Lev. 20:12).

In our case, the confusion depends on the fact that, in the Christian world, we have limited the sin to actual genital contact. Stay away from that, and you can be as much of a swish as you want. But this is not what Scripture teaches. Adultery does not begin in the bed; it begins in the heart (Matt. 5:28). Homosex begins, not in the bathhouse, but rather in the kind of cosmos a man imagines himself to live in—provided it is not the cosmos created by the living God. Underneath the passive homosexual act is the sin of wanting to be soft, and underneath that desire to be malakoi (1 Cor. 6:9) is the sin of pride and arrogance.

So the bedrock problem here is pride. And on this, I am not speculating. What are their parades called? We have pride parades, pride days, pride festivals, and pride stickers. Pridey pride pride. This is what it means to glory in your shame. “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Ps. 10:4).

Incidentally, I am aware that some will say that I obviously don’t understand art, or ballet, or culture, or something important to blue state urbanites. That’s as may be, but I understand men who still have their spiritual gonads. And if you can look at that clip and fail to understand why the church is so deeply unattractive to real men, then there is very little hope for you. And speaking of art, if you can look at that clip and fail to understand why real men are so repulsed by the artistic “community,” then there is even less hope.

By the way, for those who think that “style” is morally neutral—shoot, for those who think style is sexually neutral—here is a hypothetical test case. Leave aside all regulative principle considerations (which I do not leave aside, btw), but just leave it aside for the sake of discussion. Why would a trendy Reformed church never perform something like the below for their offertory? I will tell you why. It would trigger half the session, with the other half hiding in a safe space at the nearest community college.

In case you missed it, the Redeemer clip is appalling. It represents, as very few other things could, virtually everything that is wrong with us. “The city of confusion is broken down: Every house is shut up, that no man may come in” (Is. 24:10)

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Doane
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Doane

I saw the glass half full. It was more Trinitarian than The Shack and helped put a visual to Perichoresis .

David Trounce
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David Trounce

I found that it helped more with the peristalsis than with the perichoresis.

Ministry Addict
Member

“So the bedrock problem here is pride. And on this, I am not speculating. What are their parades called? We have pride parades, pride days, pride festivals, and pride stickers. Pridey pride pride.” How true this is, and how rarely it is said. https://swimthedeepend.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/pride-is-everywhere/

bethyada
Member

Link: Then, there is the whole “role-reversal” of pride, where we have somehow redefined it to be a good thing. So we get folks who are proud of their country, proud of their kids, proud of the U.S. Soccer team, proud of their family or last name.

Not so certain he is correct in saying this is the same as pride and therefore incorrect. I suspect that the word “pride” in English is describing a different phenomenon here.

demosthenes1d
Member

Chesterton has a good piece on this phenomenon somewhere. His take away is that being “proud” of something other than yourself is a noble sentiment and that the conflation with the sin of pride is an unfortunate philological development.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Demo, I think the problem is that the kind of pride Chesterton describes–which is healthy and innocent and even kind of endearing in a childlike way–is so easily corrupted by our natures into something unpleasant. When does family pride cross the line into snobbery, and when does pride in one’s clever child become a sense of unholy superiority about one’s genes and one’s mothering skills? I remember reading in a book once that Hungarians are taught that when God created the world, he did Hungary last to make it a beautiful hat on the crown of creation. This is sweet… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Jilly, Good question! The point that Chesterton was making (I think, I haven’t read it in probably 10 years so I’m mostly making this up) is that being “proud” of something or someone else is inherently pointing out that you need that other to bring you glory, it is a repudiation of self-suffiiency and self-completion. It seems that the important thing here is the locus of your feeling. If I say I am proud of my daughter after her stirring performance of one of the Brandenburg Concertos I may be saying “that was absolutely lovely and I appreciate the beauty… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Demo, I remember something in Lewis that makes the same point. If you are so self-sufficient, so impregnable in your self-esteem that the praise of others matters nothing to you, you have a seriously sinful case of pride. I struggle with balancing that against all the spiritual counsel not to care what the world has to say about you. I wonder if the importance of the object (family, country, etc.) to you personally will often dictate whether pride is kept within spiritually healthy bounds. Pride in a baseball card collection seems harmless compared to pride about being pretty or clever.… Read more »

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

Those Gen 6 angels took advantage of our ladies because we were off pussyfooting.

Nicholas Barnes
Guest
Nicholas Barnes

Wow… Just… Wow…

So what does this have to do with worship? And how is this entertaining and not rather a comedic display of the confusion of culture?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

A good question indeed. I adore watching ballet, but not at church.

bethyada
Member

Don’t really watch ballet myself. All that lifting; would it normally be the men lifting women? Or am I unaware of the variety?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Bethyada, I think the lifting here catches one’s eye because it isn’t in the context of a story. You have probably seen men dancers lifting other men and not given it a thought because it fit the action. For example, “West Side Story” uses a heavily balletic choreography. The Sharks and Jets lift their dead, they manhandle one another in the gang scenes, and so on. In something as manly as “Guys and Dolls,” men lift each other during the permanent floating craps game. In “Romeo and Juliet,” Tybalt carries Mercutio. Male on male contact in modern ballet is actually… Read more »

bethyada
Member

those people who think that male ballet dancers are a bunch of fairies prancing about the stage.

I don’t think that. They are often muscular. I enjoyed Billy Elliot and it was the friend who was portrayed effeminately not the dancer.

While the nature of an art can be more masculine or feminine depending on the artform, the expression of it is also important.

Daniel Fisher
Member

Jill, I think this is the problem that some are perceiving. I have seen enough ballets to recognize that, typically when men are interacting with men, it is the context of something natural and which would be readily perceived as masculine. A fight, a duel, a roaring celebration, and the like.

Something sweet, dainty, and gentle as this has a decidedly feminine flavor to it…. this struck me as more akin to the gentle dancing of the swans together in swan lake… and in the performances that I’ve seen, the swans were all female dancers, and for good reason.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Yes, I can see why this was a little weird. But, even if it had been less delicate, I don’t want to watch ballet in church! I adore opera too, but I don’t want to see the tragic duet from “Butterfly” performed on the steps leading up to the altar!

Daniel Fisher
Member

Concur. there are lots of arts I adore… just not in the context of worship. And there are plenty of way to express healthy masculinity through ballet…. but what I saw in the video…. shall I simply say that may not have been the foremost example.

Ginny Yeager
Guest
Ginny Yeager

You spoke too soon. Next week for offertory at Redeemer, some ladies will do the haka.

Ginny Yeager
Guest
Ginny Yeager

I’m seeing the marketing potential now. “Churches, is feminine aggression threatening your ministry with gossip, back-biting and dissension? Let those ladies release their negative energy in epic throw-downs. Join the latest offertory craze of women hakas. This cathartic ceremony will dissipate those bad feelings and have your church in vogue with it’s multi-cultural, gender-equal, anger-management vibe. Possible match-ups include leadership wives versus laymen’s wives, single ladies versus married, health nuts versus trans-fat lovers, crocheters versus knitters–the possibilities are endless. Our Hakas for Her program is only $19.99 for the half-day seminar which includes training in facial expressions, guttural noises and… Read more »

MeMe
Guest

LOL! Well, that is far more appropriate then my suggestion that we just have mud wrestling tournaments in the church parking lot.

JimR
Guest
JimR

I don’t care what happens for the rest of the week, I don’t think I’ll find a funnier comment anywhere. Thanks! BTW: You get the Coffee Spew Award of the Month.

Nate
Guest
Nate

If only the Haka didn’t involve so much man-spreading…

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

What amused me most about that clip was the way the French were clinging to each other in response.

Didn’t exactly present a strong and confident image…

aztomt
Member

Good points Pastor. Of course, the real shame is that this won’t garner ANY attention until someone rightly notices that all the dudes are white. Wearing white. When the charges of racism and lack of diversity fly, then this will get noticed. A better example of diversity would be that haka… Now that might be appropriate in church one day.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

In the OT, the sodomites always insisted on setting themselves up in the temple. So, pretty much everything’s the same.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Dear Pastor Wilson, I realize that as a hard-core blue state urbanite who is more than usually fond of the performing arts, I am not going to understand what is wrong with the mini-ballet on the tape–other than the fact that it absolutely does not belong in church, any more than an operatic aria from Wagner, a tap dance number, or a vignette from “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” belongs in church. I am still recovering from attending a mass, in 1973, when a nun belonging to the school in which I taught appeared on the altar wearing a leotard… Read more »

MeMe
Guest

Maybe he’ll answer you Jilly, but here’s one problem I see. You say, “it absolutely does not belong in church.” In the West we say that about absolutely everything, from our entertainment choices, to our relationships, to what goods we acquire, to how we live our lives. We now compartmentalize our faith to such an extent that so few churches are actually practicing it and so few Christians are actually living it. If it doesn’t “belong in church,” than there’s a good chance it doesn’t belong anywhere else in our lives either. Of course, these days you can enter a… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Well, I understand your point, but there are innocent pleasures which still shouldn’t be part of our church worship. A troupe of trained monkeys playing accordions. The gravedigger scene from Hamlet. A clip of my favorite scene from “Airplane!.” These are all harmless enjoyments that simply don’t belong in church. I understand that we should not over-compartmentalize. I should not be going to the kind of movie that I would hide my head in shame if a priest saw me buying my ticket. But I am concerned about importing entertainment–even highbrow entertainment like classical ballet–into a worship service. I know… Read more »

Lori
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Lori

I completely agree with your thoughts here. I don’t think this was appropriate for a worship service, but I am not on board with the idea that men doing ballet is “gay.” Saying something things are appropriate for worship and some are not is not “compartmentalizing.” It’s just respecting the nature of worship. I like to knit. I think knitting is a completely wholesome and appropriate activity. However, I would not knit during a worship service. That is not because I’m compartmentalizing, but because the sacred, set-apart nature of worship means that many appropriate and even very good things do… Read more »

MeMe
Guest

But we are not speaking of knitting here. We are speaking of young boys who are rejecting what is masculine, what is beautiful and innate to them, in favor of imitating female form and movement. Ballet is not necessarily feminized, but this demonstration clearly is. They are not embracing who they are as boys, they are rejecting that identity in favor of what they perceive to be more valuable,more beautiful. I guess to understand the loss, the tragedy, the psychology going on, you need to see the little guys at the beach being put in sun dresses, being drug to… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If these performers had been little boys, forced to wear sundresses and dragged against their will to girly ballet classes, I would be right with you. But they are classically trained ballet dancers, performing a classically choreographed dance routine. When I look at it, I don’t see men acting girly; I see men doing a routine that takes incredible discipline, athletic skill, and strength. I am not quite sure how you would “man up” great classical ballet without wrecking it, but I really don’t see the necessity. Would we say that girls mustn’t learn karate because it might lead to… Read more »

Rob Steele
Member

My sympathy. My wife was a ballet dancer in an earlier life and taught me to sort of like it. It is very gay, which makes it hard for straight male dancers. I learned enough to spot good technique and those guys look like pros, judging from the thirty seconds I was able to stomach. It’s the idea of including it in worship that nauseates.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I like male ballet just fine – I used to dance myself. And like sex, there’s a gay way to do it – and this was that. There are plenty of gays in the performing arts, and most of them know how to play a straight guy – think Ian Mckellen. These performers weren’t even pretending to be masculine.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Well, I guess they could have portrayed a he-man Jacob wrestling with the angel, but I still wouldn’t want to have it in church.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

generally agree, but this isn’t simply a matter of taste.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

No, there is also a major issue of propriety and decorum.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I am trying to distinguish propriety – should we have dancing, or drums, or polyphony in church – from abomination: should we have men flouncing about like girls? Both present a problem, but the former only contingently.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think I was using propriety more in the Jane Austen sense of rectitude, decency, and conforming to right conduct more than in the modern sense of “the done thing.”

Paul
Guest
Paul

It all boils down a theology of sex. Are men supposed to act like this?
They acting incredibly effeminate.

MeMe
Guest

So, feminism did not cause this, women cannot fight this, and carrying on about yoga pants, Potiphar’s wife, and rebellious women is not going to fix it.

As to those alleged real men with the “spiritual gonads” who now use this as an excuse to avoid the so called “feminized church,” a church run nearly exclusively by men, I call bovine poo on that silliness.

Katecho
Member

MeMe wrote:

So, feminism did not cause this, women cannot fight this …

Who said feminism didn’t cause this? Who said women can’t fight it?

MeMe wrote:

As to those alleged real men with the “spiritual gonads” who now use this as an excuse to avoid the so called “feminized church,” a church run nearly exclusively by men, I call bovine poo on that silliness.

MeMe seems to be assuming that all church ladies are women. A particular church may be run nearly exclusively by feminist men, thus the need for the qualifier real men.

MeMe
Guest

“MeMe seems to be assuming that all church ladies are women. ”

All church ladies are women. A feminist man does not just magically become a church lady.

Nathan Smith
Member

Question: Tim Keller’s church?

stanmccullars
Member
stanmccullars

Yes.

Jeff
Guest

It is the one he started. I understand he’s retired from the pulpit.

John
Member

He retired 7/1/17. This was before his retirement.

Luken
Guest

Still waiting for the “David Danced before God you stuff-shirted presbyterian” comment followed by arguments that Naked dancing for worship is okay if one’s heart is right.

Jon Swerens
Member

Ah yes, the theology as promulgated by the Rt. Rev. Ren McCormack, otherwise known as the Footloose Doctrine.

Scott Barber
Member

Methinks milady doth protest too much

Peter Oliver
Guest
Peter Oliver

I always liked Terry Pratchett’s formulation (from Good Omens): “Gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.”

soylentg
Member

So maybe this display of apostasy in tights is just the natural result of the progression of egalitarianism…

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I’m not actually seeing that connection (unless the women in the congregation had a controlling vote and used it to import ballet dancers). Where I see this coming from is a decline in the proper understanding of corporate worship, an ever increasing demand for entertainment at church, and the idea that you must cater to the tastes of the kind of congregants you want to attract. My mother once attended an abomination known as a Clown Communion. The idea, in so far as I can force myself to attempt to understand it, is that our Lord is like a clown… Read more »

soylentg
Member

From Theopedia: “Egalitarianism, within Christianity, is a movement based on the theological view that not only are all people equal before God in their personhood, but there are no gender-based limitations of what functions or roles each can fulfill in the home, the church, and the society.” In other words: anyone, regardless of what the Bible says, can hold any office and perform any function in the church. If valid, then its a short step to : anyone, regardless of what the Bible says, can be any sex in the church. Or another way of putting it: if women can… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Thank you, I understand now.

But is there anything heretical about the first predicate in the quotation? Isn’t it settled Christian doctrine that all people are equal before God in their personhood?

Tony Allen Dinkins
Guest
Tony Allen Dinkins

Regardless of the content, ( of which I think is confusing and out of place) it is classic bait and switch. The congregation is invited to worship and then relegated to just being spectators. It is pervasive in the church. We are invited to just sit and watch. I’m reading through the Acts of the Apostles now and I can’t find anything like this. It is no wonder that we are impotent believers in America.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Because heaven forbid that a group of adults be expected to spend an hour in church without some kind of entertainment. Am I supposed to just sit there without my coffee, my I-phone, and something enlivening to discuss later over brunch?

Mimi
Guest
Mimi

Hi Dr. Wilson,

I truly appreciate your article and am glad that you’re bringing attention to something that has become so pervasive in the church – androgyny, or to use modern vernacular, the Metrosexual. In my view, it is good old fashioned effeminacy! I was wondering, have you contacted Tim Keller to voice your concerns? Also, have heard of Camille Paglia and Jordan Peterson? They’re both secular professors fighting against this nonsense in academia.

FartProudly
Guest
FartProudly

“Why would a trendy Reformed church never perform something like the below for their offertory?”
FWIW, the haka is a product of a pagan culture.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

The Maoris used to perform it to intimidate their enemies before going into battle. I suppose it would go nicely with chanting the imprecatory Psalms. Not so nicely with “Go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.”

Kat
Guest
Kat

I trained in ballet most of my life (a wonderful discipline) and danced professionally for ten years. I don’t agree with dance in worship but that is an aside. I immediately recognized the dancers and the choreographer (not performing) as leading talents in NYC ballet. I follow many of those dancers on Instagram including the dancer that begins the dance. I was under the impression that he is indeed gay. As my husband said when he saw it, there might be a Trinitarian idea here but you can’t divorce the idea from the embodiment of it. The choreographer Silas Farley… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I appreciated your comment. I realized that I was watching superbly trained dancers, but I didn’t recognize them. Setting aside my dislike for the whole congregation as audience aspect, as well as my misgivings about introducing haute culture into worship services, I wonder if there is something about dance in particular that makes it unsuitable for worship. I don’t think the same routine could have been “fixed” by adding women, or by having only women perform it. Do you think there is something too physical, too intimate, and too sensuous about ballet to ever make it suitable for church?

Daniel Fisher
Member

Jill, for what it is worth, I share your objection to any “performance” in worship (where the congregation becomes an audience). And it is a principled, biblical, theological objection. That said, I have seen individually performed, interpretive dances performed in worship that, while I still objected in principle, I yet appreciated as a pure, innocent, and I thought genuinely artistic expression of simple worship (these that I remember were choreographed to a worship song). But that is in a whole different realm than what I saw in this clip…. I found myself thinking, when the second dancer joined in with… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

As I spent the afternoon cleaning the kitchen and hoping the temperature will dip below 100 today, I found myself wondering if there is any liturgical dance that I would find suitable for church. Certainly darling little children tap dancing to Jesus Loves Me. Maybe a solo artist suitably dressed who avoids anything sensuous. (My mind goes back to the episode I mentioned earlier, when all of us saw a nun we had previously seen only in a habit wear a leotard and dance about the altar. This must have been enormously distracting to the gentlemen in the congregation. It… Read more »

Daniel Fisher
Member

Dancing in worship, as described in the Bible, to my knowledge always refers to the *congregation* dancing. I have been at historically black churches where there is some serious dancing going on, but by the congregation as part of their worship. And this I have no issue with (if still done controlled, with a certain decorum, etc.) It is when it is done also in a way that is clearly for entertainment value that I object. I was at the PCA’s general assembly one year, and someone performed an insrumental piano piece on the orchestra. If I recall, it was… Read more »

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

I just watched this interesting account by a young evangelical woman who attended a Latin Mass last week. She relates that a Catholic Mass “felt like choreography”.

In fact, the Mass could be considered as a form of dance itself. A High Mass in the Old Latin Rite is a very elborately staged affair with the priest(s), servers and congregation all performing scripted moves to musical accompaniment. You could think even of it as a dance in Ent-ish time (and the same is even true of a quick weekday mass).

Jane
Member

I like that idea (a variant of which I first heard from an OPC pastor), but I think there is a very significant and importance distinction between worship *as* a dance, with all the participants involved, and worship that includes sitting there and watching a dance.

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

Jane,

Very true. That is the key difference.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Yes, Jane, as long as no one expects me actually to dance, even if everyone else has been bludgeoned into it. I had a choirmaster with whom I locked horns because he was trying to make us perform our anthems like the nuns in Sister Act. My entire classical voice training had instilled in me the duty to stand still, keep my eyes on the conductor, and not pull funny faces. If there was a more pitiful sight than my middle aged choir trying to rock out to “Shine Jesus Shine,” I’m not sure what it could have been.

Jane
Member

But by “dance” I mean what John means — acting out the rituals, creating a thing of beauty as well as meaning. The standing, sitting, kneeling (in many traditions) at appropriate times for appropriate reason is a low-key sort of “dance” because it is using the body to express something in conjunction with what is happening.

So, no, I’m not talking about the choir doing riser choreography. That’s all well and good in appropriate contexts, but that’s not what I mean by “worship as dance.”

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

One thing I like about many Catholic churches is that the choir is in the gallery, out of sight of the congregation. (it would have saved me from many scoldings for laughing in church.)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

The old Mass was like a masque–beautifully ordered and stately.

Arthur Sido
Guest

I am just an unsophisticated Hoosier and thus don’t understand the nuance of prancing men but I wouldn’t sit through 10 seconds of that “art” being put on display with the approval of the elders. I don’t know if these three fellas are homosexuals or not but if I looked at and/or touched another woman the way these guys are fondling and gazing at each other, my wife would feed me to our pigs, one piece at a time. You can guess which parts she would start with.

Tony
Guest
Tony

If I were a sixteen year old boy watching this, I would blush for shame, and it would rock my faith — it would forever associate the faith, in my mind, with effeminate men prancing about like narcissistic twits. It would not be serious. It would not be a faith for soldiers. It would be a HOBBY for guys who decorate their buttocks with My Little Pony.

Erik Engstrom
Guest

Ignoring the whole “regulative aspect” Doug would you agree you are criticizing effeminate expression in this particular performance and not men dancing, ballet, or these specific three men? I was defending your article on FB and I assume this was your position and I used the following video to compare against (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF9TpPSmaPM) . We live in a time when we are losing so much of our gender specific language I think many Christian don’t know how to understand when we read verses (my paraphrase) such as “effeminate (malakos) will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9) or “be… Read more »

melody
Member
melody

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
“Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me:” – Job 40:6&7
Somehow, it is difficult to believe that is what these men were doing.

melody
Member
melody

I’m trying to imagine the Lord saying to Job: “Now go put on your leotard and tights like a man…”Nope. Can’t do it – and absolutely everyone knows why.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I’m puzzled about how far you would take this. Given that the leotard and tights are the uniform of classical ballet, would you say that it is not acceptable for men to participate in it?

Daniel Fisher
Member

I concur… as another example… anyone who has seen the trepak (Russian dance) from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” performed well should easily recognize that a group of men can dance ballet together in a manner that is decidedly and impressively masculine.

I think this video captures it well – a group of men, dancing together, doing ballet, and “effeminate” would be the last word to come into my mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiiuN9eAy9Y

Jane
Member

Or the Prince’s solo, if it’s well choreographed and well danced.

Daniel Fisher
Member

Erik, I concur… another example for you… anyone who has seen the trepak (Russian dance) from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” performed well should easily recognize that a group of men can dance ballet together in a manner that is decidedly and impressively masculine.

I think this video captures it well – a group of men, dancing together, doing ballet, and “effeminate” would be about the last word to come into my mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiiuN9eAy9Y

Jane
Member

One might object that despite being part of the Nutcracker, that is barely balletic. The Russian Trepak is generally recognized as such. But in a larger sense, yes, men can dance in a classical manner while being clearly masculine.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Like the opening ballet in “West Side Story.”

Jack Williams
Guest
Jack Williams
Erin
Guest
Erin

Looks less “gay” and more “ballet performance” to me.

That said, it is totally incompatible with church.

Hulio
Guest
Hulio

The first video is an “artsy” expression of a story of a young man who convinced a male twosome to make it a threesome. One member of the twosome was convinced quicker than the other, but both chaps acquiesced in the end.

Is this interpretation unreasonable?

Tim
Guest
Tim

The problem in the church extends much beyond a few guys dancing! I read an article recently about an urban Baptist pastor who poisoned his wife to collect her life insurance. What is the problem with this? Summed up, poison is an effeminate way to kill. Anyone can see this. Poison is a women’s weapon of choice. Manly men kill with knives or guns. They face their victims and look them in the eyes. They use their strength. But this pastor didn’t do this. Rather he chose to kill in a weak way. Will men not be men anymore? By… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I see your point, but many of the most notorious male murderers through history used poison. I would question whether poison is naturally a woman’s weapon or whether it simply gives her the means and opportunity plus a very good shot at avoiding detection. If you cook the meals and pour the drinks, you have an entire family at your mercy, all trusting and unsuspecting, and when you say your husband had been complaining for weeks about stomach aches, there’s a good chance you’ll be believed. (And, no, I have never daydreamed about poisoning anyone. But I watch hours of… Read more »

Jane
Member

This has got to be satire. As though there are levels of unmanliness in the way in which a man chooses to kill his wife. Killing your wife with your bare hands using your Gurkha training is the ultimate crescendo of unmanliness; doing it in a less macho way doesn’t even move the needle on how unmanly an act it is.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Jane, I have to disagree with you a little. A dancing teacher/radio announcer I once knew poisoned his wife with arsenic in order to run off with another woman who was improbably named Lolly. This was in Canada in 1966 when adultery still destroyed careers. The jury was particularly annoyed that as the poor woman lay dying in the hospital, the husband brought her poisoned milkshakes every night. Had he pushed her off a cliff, I don’t think there would have been nearly as much animus against him. (He was sentenced to death but it got commuted to life imprisonment.)… Read more »

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

According to George Orwell, this is exactly the most entertaining type of murder: With all this in mind one can construct what would be, from a News of the World reader’s point of view, the ‘perfect’ murder. The murderer should be a little man of the professional class — a dentist or a solicitor, say — living an intensely respectable life somewhere in the suburbs, and preferably in a semi-detached house, which will allow the neighbours to hear suspicious sounds through the wall. He should be either chairman of the local Conservative Party branch, or a leading Nonconformist and strong… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I love that essay, especially the beginning where Orwell sets the stage. Being replete with roast beef and apple tart, lighting one’s pipe, and curling up in front of the fireplace. I can’t really do any of those things but it is exactly how I feel when I settle down with a new murder mystery. I think Crippen is the perfect example of Orwell’s killer. To think that if it hadn’t been for the modern miracle of telegraphy, the captain of the ship on which they were sailing away from danger could not have wired Scotland Yard which sent a… Read more »

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

I cannot blame him too much for his anti-Catholicism. That sort of thing was imbibbed at an early age back when he was growing up in Edwardian England. It was also consistent with his innate dislike of large institutions (the Catholic Church was, in popular English imagination, quite totalitarian). My two favorite essays of his are both biographical accounts of being on inside of large, impersonal institutions that had no care for him as a person. In Shooting an Elephant, he recounts being trapped by the logic of his role as a colonial policeman in Burma. How the Poor Die… Read more »

melody
Member
melody

I found it curious that the three men were wearing white ‘Levi’ style shorts over their tights and leotards. What are they trying to cover up?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Let us just be glad that they wore them!

Arthur Sido
Guest

Tim doubled down on this controversy today on Facebook saying:

“The Church needs artists because without art we cannot reach the world.”

“We need Christian artists because we are never going to reach the world without great Christian art to go with great Christian talk.”

Who knew that the Gospel message was insufficient to reach the world?

http://thesidos.blogspot.com/2017/07/gospel-we-dont-need-no-stinkin-gospel.html

Zrim
Guest
Zrim

You do understand that ballet can only be deemed “gay” insofar as its one thinks it’s “lame,” right, and not because it’s not masculine? Because ballet contains masculinity even if appears feminine? Or maybe you also think all dogs are boys and all cats are girls, in which case you don’t really understand that distinction. But ballet as offeratory is pretty lame. Prideful? Get over yourself for once.

jared
Member

Here’s a non-watered-down version of the musical piece from which this is adapted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at3z6oZgk0k

I feel like this fairly solidifies the effeminate argument…

David Trounce
Guest
David Trounce

Thanks for including the haka. When I was 15 I used to go down to Kings Cross with a group of Moaroi ‘s called The Kings Cross Commandos. There they would line in the streets of Sydney and haka their way through Sweet Chariot. Had I not being a Christian, I would have been terrified. It was awesome to see these great big Maori men and women roar the name of Jesus.

Nix
Guest
Nix

Shhh… No one tell Doug about our “gayer than gay” 32nd president…

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