When You Paint the Barn

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Last night I posted a contribution to the discussion that Toby Sumpter kicked off, and there is already a need for a quick follow-up. I said that reasonable Christians ought not to be discussing this, and someone asked if I thought there was no such thing as responsible discussion on the topic. I said this:

“There is a good discussion to be had on the topic of how to apply the apostles’ requirements for women and their dress. And you are having that discussion. Go, fight, win. But there is no discussion to be had on whether to apply the apostles’ instructions. In other words, a robust Q&A about Toby’s posts is completely in order. Outrage and dismay simply disqualify those who exhibit it.”

Serious Christians read their Bibles, and they take to heart the warnings that are found there. And it is of course the case that the worldliness I was discussing in yesterday’s post can be found thick on the ground in respectable country clubs, and not just in espresso bars in Portland. The point is that thoughtful Christians have always considered the temptation to worldliness to be a formidable concern. They do not dismiss it with a wave of the hand. And of course the temptation to worldliness exists whatever subculture you might inhabit.

That said, it is much easier to identify when the person concerned is attempting to be unique, outlandish, or preposterous. When a woman is consumed with a desire to be the most beautiful one at the president’s reception, the worldliness is certainly there, but it is located down in the compartment of heart motives. But when a woman wears a dog collar, neon hair, and a tattoo that says “demon spawn,” this is a declaration of desperate and overt loyalty to worldliness—a world that is about to devour her. This accounts for the wide disparity we see between the beautiful women in magazines with exotic hair colors (having the kind of beauty that would require a lot more than that to wreck), and the actual results that you see at the mall or grocery store.

And juxtapose something else as well. Here are two scriptural citations with the observations following, and you should readily see that the convictions and commitments represented belong to two distinct worlds entirely.

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:3–4, ESV).

likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” (1 Timothy 2:9–10, ESV).

“I know women of all ages who wear tattoos, who cut their hair, who dye their hair, who pierce their noses, their lips, and their bellybuttons. They do it for a whole host of different reasons, some meaningful, some not so much. I think it’s safe to say that most of these women are not trying to send a message, but are simply having some legitimate fun with color and creativity and individuality, just because they can (and as believing Christians, they certainly can).”

Notice that no attempt is made even to try to make personal adornment a matter of personal obedience. The need for “creativity and individuality” is not a mandate we can find in the New Testament—but we do find mandates on personal adornment. Right? How does the exhortation to do your own thing, paint your own colors, be your own me, make your own individual statement do anything but demonstrate that the exhortations are exegetically derived from a false set of scriptures?

Whatever subculture a Christian woman finds herself in, she has a responsibility to adorn herself in obedience. There are many legitimate questions, and some difficult ones, for women who are making this attempt. But it is no help at all to solicit counsel, advice and input from those who are not making the attempt at all, and who believe that expressions of support for making the attempt are legalistic and abusive.

Try to imagine a woman with a neon butch cut, asking her roommates this question: “But does this say modesty and self-control? Because if it doesn’t line up with a gentle and quiet spirit, I am not having anything to do with it.” Heh.

So I am not one who believes that Scripture bans women from using make-up, highlights, hair dye, or jewelry. Not at all. But I believe that every Christian woman needs to be using the mirror of the Word right alongside her regular mirror. Worldliness can seep in at every crack, as the apostles of the Lord Jesus repeatedly warned you.

But there is a world of difference, pun intended, between a woman who is actively trying to get the guys to gawk, and a woman who sees her responsibility to be attractive without attracting the wrong kind of attention. And a woman in the latter category certainly has the liberty to say, as a friend of ours once said, “When the barn needs painting, you paint the barn.”

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Alice Kauffman Arneson
Alice Kauffman Arneson
4 years ago

… just don’t paint it neon pink.

holmegm
holmegm
4 years ago

Well, yeah. Would you paint a barn neon pink?

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  holmegm

I probably would. I would want to make it pretty for the little lambs and ponies. If lambs actually live in a barn, which I am not sure about. Perhaps that is why no one has asked me to help them redecorate their barn.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
4 years ago

I’m an old fart but I could and did imagine that neon butch cut play, and it worked.

The young gal (in a college dorm, in my experiment) stood out from the sea of neon around her for the calm peace & joy in her demeanor, which shone far brighter than the hairs in the flock.

So it can happen.
Which makes your point to focus on loyalty to God even more weighty, in my book.

fp
fp
4 years ago

I know women of all ages who wear tattoos, who cut their hair, who dye their hair, who pierce their noses, their lips, and their bellybuttons…I think it’s safe to say that most of these women are not trying to send a message, but are simply having some legitimate fun with color and creativity and individuality, just because they can (and as believing Christians, they certainly can).

How are these women “having fun with individuality” when everyone else on Hawthorne Blvd. is sporting tats and piercings?

Just because they can doesn’t mean they should.

ME
ME
4 years ago

Wait…why are we painting the barn?

Susan Gail
Susan Gail
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

EXACTLY!

Anne Viktor
Anne Viktor
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

Perhaps it’s the same reason folks don’t dress in potato sacks. I think it’s called “moderation”. We are in the world but not of the world, so let’s look like the respectable, modest-and-yet-still-pretty set. Personally, I put some makeup on because I would like to LOOK less tired than I FEEL. Otherwise it just looks as if all the vivacity drained from my face and is pooling around my ankles (hello, 7-months-pregnant!) And that is only when I have the energy to put it on. :) Judge, if you must, but remember to be gracious in your judgement, if only… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Anne Viktor

Yet men rarely run into that same need for some reason? I don’t blame women for wanting to wear makeup, die their hair, put on gold jewelry, etc. It’s a product of the expectations of a distorted society. But those are expectations that are great to combat. Not that men can’t move in the same direction. If you are wearing a $200 watch when one for 1/10th the price tells time just as well, or spending more money on a fitted suit than the average Indian family lives off of in a year, it’s worth asking whether the demands of… Read more »

Anne Viktor
Anne Viktor
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Geez, Jonathan, maybe while we’re burning all of our makeup on the altar of piety, we can do the same with all of our worldly possessions, too. Except for the potato sacks. Gotta keep warm in the winter. :)

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“Yet men rarely run into that same need for some reason?”

Yes. Because men and women are different. It’s a feature, not a bug.

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

Because the barn needs to be “adorned in respectable apparel”, in the barns case, paint!????

fp
fp
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

To keep the wood from weathering?

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  fp

LOL! Perhaps.

ME
ME
4 years ago

Actually I am completely puzzled by Wilson’s final paragraph, “But there is a world of difference, pun intended, between a woman who is actively trying to get the guys to gawk, and a woman who sees her responsibility to be attractive without attracting the wrong kind of attention. And a woman in the latter category certainly has the liberty to say, as a friend of ours once said, “When the barn needs painting, you paint the barn.” So a woman is not supposed to get the “guys to gawk,” but she still has a “responsibility to be attractive,” but while… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

I don’t understand this either. And while I think everyone has a responsibility to be clean and neat–if their circumstances make that possible–I don’t think women in general have a responsibility to be attractive to men in general. To a husband, sure, but it’s not my purpose in life to give the guys at the supermarket something decorative to look at. There was a time when women were admired for aging gracefully. There was a time when Christians emphasized the inner beauty of a virtuous woman. But if I have a duty to be attractive to strange men while, of… Read more »

Valerie (Kyriosity)
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Perhaps one litmus test is whether both men and women find her attractive—whether both can see loveliness in her appearance. If she’s attracting men’s ogles and women’s outrage, she’s doing it wrong.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

There seems to be a rather striking difference between how Scripture and judgment is applied to what are seen as “liberal trends”, and the justifications that will always be made for anything that we know happens regularly in conservative White culture. If you recognize that distinction, then the logic games Pastor Wilson plays to determine who to judge and who to excuse make a lot more sense. Remember this rubric: 1: If it’s something political liberals or people associated with them do, it is sinful on its face, we know sin when we see it, we can judge accordingly without… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, you completely missed boat on this discussion. It doesn’t matter which church you attend, it doesn’t matter if you are man or woman, it doesn’t matter if you are young or old, it doesn’t matter if you are black, white, or yellow, dressing inappropriately as a Christian is wrong, having neon hair color is wrong and is following the world instead of following Christ. If God blessed you with extra bucks, it doesn’t matter if you have a fancy watch or fancy clothes even if those clothes cost more than an Indian family uses in a year. If you… Read more »

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I think Jonathan makes a good point, NOT the part about “logic games Pastor Wilson plays,” but the part about how our own perceptions of sin can be very subjective. So,neon hair, tattered jeans,and trailer stamps are actually trappings of the lower classes in America, ways we display status. More well off people,display status with overpriced watches,fancy cars, or perhaps Trump’s gold plated everything. Those things are all “external adornment,” wordly I-dentity, so to speak. As a culture however, most of us perceive neon hair as more “pagan,” while the fancy watches or sports cars or whatever,are perceived as virtuous… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

What is a trailer stamp? I think there has also been a tendency in the last 50 years or so for the affluent to copy the choices of what they see as the working class. For example, jeans, overalls, heavy boots, clogs, and denim shirts. I am not sure that most people see Rolexes as indicative of virtue, but I think there is a national tendency to admire people with money. Not because they are good but because they are rich.

Dave
Dave
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Jilly that was supposed to be tramp stamp as in tramp stamp tattoo.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Thank you!

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

If God blessed you with extra bucks, it doesn’t matter if you have a fancy watch or fancy clothes even if those clothes cost more than an Indian family uses in a year….. If you dress as the pagans dress and speak as the pagans speak, you are effectively hiding your lamp under a bushel rather than being a light to the world. Again, it doesn’t matter what church you attend, Christians are called to a Godly lifestyle rather than to neon hair, tattered jeans, trailer stamps and so on. No, that’s explicitly contrary to God’s word. It’s almost incredible… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, thank you for the Bible lesson, but you missed my point and that in scripture also. Tattered jeans points to those men and women wearing jeans with holes deliberately cut in them strategically as demanded by our fashion models. It does not point to someone who has one pair of paints and comes to church in them because that is all they have to wear. You missed the point on wealth also. God gives some wealth, some middle class and some poverty. Give glory to God in all situations. The Bible tells us that to those whom much is… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

It’s a Muslim principle to weigh good deeds on a scale, and pray the good ones outweigh the bad. Our God asks us to strive to do the right thing in all circumstances. You are correct that to whom much is given, much is required, but what we strive for is to do the right thing with all of our wealth, not just a subset of it. That’s why “we can afford it” or “I’ve already given enough this year” are rarely the most important factors in how we choose to purchase luxuries. And I was able to ditch the… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Glad to hear your beard is long enough. There is no Islamic weighing of deeds in my comments. That is all from you. It is good that you clarified your thoughts saying that not all fun purchases are sinful. Who decides what is luxury? Remember the outrage when Jesus’s feet were anointed with expensive perfume that could have been used for the poor. Judas made the comment and was exposed to Jesus because Judas wasn’t concerned with the poor. Scripture mentions Judas but there were probably others just as outraged at that expensive act. God gives some poverty and some… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Yes, a woman sacrificed an expensive item to anoint Jesus for burial. And yes, a hypocrite who cared nothing for the poor condemned it. The irrelevance of that incident to what we are discussing leads to confusion as to what point you hoped to make of it, but it verifies my suggestion that vague circumstantial claims would be put forth as reasons to ignore clear commands. Meanwhile, you have continued to ignore every clear command and statement by the rich I wrote down. Outside of the condescending, “Thanks for the Bible lesson”, you haven’t showed HOW we should grapple with… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, you really miss the scriptural points about tithing or giving and hound everyone not giving the way you see fit or those having items you consider luxury items. God apppointed a percentage that we are to tithe. We are to give gifts, but those gifts are not to be forced upon us by someone telling us that buying a $200 watch is wrong when a less expensive one will tell time incorrectly. Gifts are from the heart not because we are shamed into it. Tithing and giving is for us not for God. You miss the Bible’s financial points.… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I have never, ever heard a serious theologian who stated that a 10% tithe to the poor fulfills the Christian’s obligation. Nor do I know a church that requires that in its teachings. Perhaps you could quote me the Scripture that suggests that? I already quoted you numerous Scriptures that say differently, and you keep ignoring them. I predicted exactly this at the beginning – you would ignore every command I quoted and instead toss out random circumstantial claims that had nothing to do with Christ’s teachings on the matter, Christian discipleship, or anything remotely like what we’re talking about.… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

My problem with this comes from my reluctance to recommend to other people what I do not do myself. By American standards, my lifestyle is far from affluent. But a poor person in a developing nation would see my life as one of unimaginable wealth and luxury. The rich man buys a Rolex which he doesn’t really need; I buy theatre tickets and books that I don’t really need. What I pay for air conditioning would support any number of orphans. If I’m saying he shouldn’t have his Lamborghini, then I have to agree to give up my much more… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I absolutely agree that we shouldn’t be judging people. This is about determining right and wrong actions for ourselves and for the community, not about determining good and bad people. If buying a Rolex is a misuse of God’s resources, it remains that no matter how much money you make or how much you give. No one says, “I can fool around with the secretary because I’m incredibly chaste in the rest of my life” or “I may sacrifice to idols on December 31st but that’s okay because I give to missionaries the rest of the year.” Anyone, everyone, may… Read more »

George Calvas
George Calvas
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Thanks Brother for taking a righteous stand for Jesus Christ.

It is unbelievable after reading 10-20 comments the ignorance of so-called Christians. They could care less about living holy and raising the bar to show the world how Jesus Christ actually changed their lives. The world is not interested in your stupid BELIEFS. What they need to see are YOUR CHANGED LIVES!

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”

Valerie (Kyriosity)
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

I think the difference is between what the attraction is to. In her appearance, a Christian woman should draw people to honor the God who made her lovely, not entice people to dishonor Him with lust or envy,* and not hog attention only to herself.

*Of course the lust and envy are on the shoulders of the lustful and envious, and no woman is responsible to make sure nobody’s responding sinfully to her appearance. But she is responsible for making sure she’s not trying for that effect.

holmegm
holmegm
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

The fact that something so simple is so hard to understand is probably what should be concerning.

Physiocrat
Physiocrat
4 years ago

Doug just seems to be advocating an Aristotelian Golden Mean with regards female attire; I imagine he’d say the same about men but the rules would apply differently. To make this clearer it would be fun (or wind a lot of people up) and instructive, especially to those not getting it, to see a photo post of all three (tart, demure and paint the barn) of the attire in different social situations – work, black tie dinner etc.

mintap
mintap
4 years ago

What about the mandate to subdue and take dominion over creation? Isn’t human hair part of creation?

Valerie (Kyriosity)
4 years ago
Reply to  mintap

Yes. But not all fiddling is dominion-taking. I think what we’re talking about here is the difference between dominion and destruction. It takes discernment (more than I often have) to draw the line between them, but not a whole lot of imagination to grasp that there is a distinction.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago

Even if we grant that we should take dominion over our looks as part of creation, I would think Christian teachings about vanity and prudent use of resources should influence some of our efforts at improving on nature. If I am obsessed with trying to look ten years younger, there is something wrong with my values.

mintap
mintap
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

For most people, sure, but what if someone is called to the arts where they probably should have a greater focus on stewardship of their creativity? Doing art for God’s glory may not always appear like prudent use of resources or lack of obsession to someone else (who may be, for example, called to running a business). And is it possible for the self, especially with performance art, to be the medium an artist could work with?

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  mintap

Performing artists and models have to focus on their looks more than the rest of us! I was referring to the temptation to make appearance the most important thing in life.

I am way too old and too stodgy to answer your last question. While trying valiantly to keep an open mind, there are things I don’t really get. But I speak as one who is still trying to understand why Christo wraps bridges and puts pink floating fabric around islands.

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

“Performing artists and models have to focus on their looks more than the rest of us!”

But why? Who enforces, demands, pays for that? We do with our entertainment appetites. It’s a bit like porn,we’re quick to blame the industry,the porn stars, but seldom think that such things would not exist at all if we weren’t consuming them.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

That’s true. Sometimes there is a practical reason–female ballet and musical theatre dancers have to be thin so male dancers can lift them, and they need so much agility that they have to keep their bodies toned. Movie lighting is harsh, and even if you are not especially pretty, you have to have clear skin and good teeth. You’re right that the industry gives the public exactly what it thinks the public wants. There are times when the public discovers a taste for kooky and offbeat looks, but generally speaking, the public wants an idealized version of the girl next… Read more »

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

“It is heartless, competitive, unhealthy, and short-lived.”

LOL! My youngest, almost 18 now, is a skateboarder. Last night she face planted and actually broke a chunk off the curb so we spent the night in the ER. I think I’ve been saying those same words to her since the day she was born. Listen up kid, life need not be “heartless, competitive, unhealthy, and short-lived.” :)

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

Oh gosh, your heart must be in your mouth all the time. I hope you have good dental insurance!

I will always remember the day my daughter fell off her horse when she rode with an equestrian drill team. I was over the fence in a flash–the worst possible thing I could have done because it spooks the horses.

Why couldn’t she have wanted to be a dental hygienist? Or a teacher? Or a court reporter? Why this?

mintap
mintap
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

Can a performance artist or model be doing such work, aiming for excellence in it, to the glory of God?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  mintap

I think it depends, of course, on whether the work DOES bring glory to God. I’ve heard some people hold the position that any profession can bring glory to God as long as you do it as well as you can. Of course, no one actually believes that – if you’re working as a prostitute or an “exotic dancer” or an abortion doctor or a terrorist or running a Nigerian call center for email scams, no one believes that doing it well is glorious to God. Of course, what is the hard line that separates those professions from, say, an… Read more »

mintap
mintap
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yeah, great points. But I think there is a lot of opportunitiy to be a witness working in and under systems that are corrupt and, not just for drawing attention to God, but also for seeking peace and prosperity (Jer. 29:7). If we take too purist of a position, we’d have to boycott all businesses and advocate revolutions in all governments. The world this side of heaven is fallen; we can still shine a light in it. And lets not forget the professions of ministry that can cause just as much if not much more damage to glorifying God, like… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  mintap

I agree that all systems are corrupted and there are no perfect workplaces. In fact, I’ve purposely chosen worse-off workplaces in the hopes of being a light. But we have to choose roles where, if we do our job well, it contributes POSITIVELY. If your job is to draw people into a casino, then it’s almost impossible to be doing what your employer wants you to succeed at without contributing to the destruction of people’s lives. If you promote a product that you know people don’t really need, that only contributes to commercialism and materialism, then the better you do… Read more »

mintap
mintap
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Is the role in every job to aim towards perfectly fulfilling our boss’s expectations? I don’t necessarily grant that. Sometimes challenging the boss’s expectations may be a better goal. And often there are multiple expectations, and better ones can be emphasized.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

What’s wrong with being a Disney advertiser? It’s the Happiest Place on Earth!

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Disney is the vehicle by which Satan enters the world

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

LOL! There is some truth there. Princesses for example,what an incredible,amazing example they provide us when they come from the old fairytales. These are gals full of grace and strength often under dire circumstances. Disney princesses are completely unrecognizable, these shallow, superficial creatures I just want to throw off a bridge.

As far as I’m concerned Disney should be evicted from the planet for that crime alone.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

Belle’s not superficial; she can see beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior, and she has contempt for the handsome but boorish Gaston. Anna shows her sister Elsa that sisterly love can thaw a frozen heart, and that you can’t escape the pain of your past by freezing your feelings. Mulan poses as a male soldier to spare her grandfather from gong to war, and manages to defeat an army. Pocohontas teaches the white man to respect the forest. Yes I think that Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty were a little dopy, but they were pretty faithful to the original fairly… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

You forgot Ariel, who gave away her greatest talent in order to change her body to please a man she knew nothing about and had fallen in love with merely from seeing his face. Again, look at the Disney product lines. Some of the more recent movies have some borderline redeeming characteristics, but Disney’s marketers making the products don’t focus on those redeeming characteristics, and there’s no evidence that kids are actually picking up anything positive from those additions to the storyline. When Disney markets its consumer products to the kids, it ramps up everything superficial and appearance-based about the… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’m going to have more to say later because I am still reading a slew of articles but–You don’t like the plotline of Little Mermaid? Blame Hans Christian Andersen. His version is a lot darker. Okay, we could have had Ariel come to the surface, look around, meet Prince Erik and ask him if he knows any good colleges for girls with no SAT scores who want to design satellite tracking systems for NASA. Then she could have counseled the witch on making better life decisions, got her voice back, and promised Prince Erik that she would consider getting married… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I don’t transfer Disney’s blame to Hans Christian Anderson because I would hardly know who he was if not for Disney. The promoter of a story can’t blame the originator if they’ve chosen to be the promoter. I see the room for some of the other things your saying, but I disagree strongly with the “we’re just giving them what they want” mentality. Like I said before, my greatest issue with Disney is the degree to which they’ve materialized and commercialized all of it. Even if girls were playing at being princesses, if they were pulling old clothes out of… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I hated getting dirty, and I did not want to play with my brother’s toys. This is pretty much girl nature, although there are plenty of girls who don’t feel this way and what of it? I was walking around a lot of dirty kids today and I suddenly realized I’m pretty sure this claim is completely untrue. Little girls where I live don’t mind getting dirty at all. Then I realized that they are not only outside most Disney influence, but only a generation removed from village life…where everyone gets dirty as a matter of course. And farm girls… Read more »

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The youngest is fine, stitches and a black eye,but healing fast. Thanks for asking. She’ll be the death of me.

I’ve written a lot about fairy tales and Disney. Here’s a post that might help explain some of it.

https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/sanitized-truth-and-fairy-tales/

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Does he ride the spinning teacups?

Seriously, Jonathan’s list sandwiched Disney in between items like running casinos and operating payday loans. I get that people think Disney is too gay-friendly, but then they’re going to think all the entertainment industry is too gay friendly. So why call out Disney for special opprobrium? What is particularly evil about Disney but not about Universal which also markets to children?

I think their ticked prices are wicked. But my daughter and her friends have found Disney to be a generous and fair employer.

ashv
ashv
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Universal Studios, and its parent companies NBC and Comcast, don’t have the same undeservedly positive image that Disney does. (In fact I’ve never heard of anybody with a positive opinion of Comcast.)

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I’ll admit that I knew the Disney throw-in would be red meat to a certain crowd. But I had very concrete reasons for including them. Disney, more successfully than any other company I’m aware of, is having a damaging effect on the moral development of our children by ultra-monetizing childhood. We’re completely enveloped in a world where children’s play is commercialized, branded, and exploited for profit. It’s hard to remember that within living memory, most children’s games were made or created, not bought, and no company had its trademark cemented into the minds of three-year-olds. Now Disney’s princess products are… Read more »

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean
mintap
mintap
4 years ago

Good point! We don’t want destruction.

But sometimes deconstruction is called for, especially of sin patterns (maybe such as idolatry of conformity/fitting in?) But in such cases discernment, mind of Christ, guidance of the Holy Spirit, and appeals to scripture are important. Deconstructing the foundations should be avoided, as that leads to destruction.

Valerie (Kyriosity)
4 years ago
Reply to  mintap

I was thinking in terms of creation, including our bodies and the stuff growing out of our scalps—we want to take dominion over it, improve on it, bring God greater glory out of it, but not destroy it. I think you mean the same thing by “the foundations,” yes?

mintap
mintap
4 years ago

Oh yeah, good point again. Stewardship of hair probably involves not as many chemical products.

Valerie (Kyriosity)
4 years ago
Reply to  mintap

Not quite what I had in mind, though of course we should be very careful about using dihydrogen monoxide on our locks!

Melody
Melody
4 years ago

I know a number of “Christian” women who color their hair outside the normal spectrum. My observation is that this is a reflection of the attitude of their hearts – and everyone who knows them knows it. Generally, no one says anything about it because they don’t want to incur the ‘how dare you imply I’m not spiritual’ wrath. I teach in a public high school. We have one of the tightest dress codes in California. We are toward the bottom end of the economic spectrum and are 80% Hispanic. Everyone wants to send their kids to our school. We… Read more »

Valerie (Kyriosity)
4 years ago
Reply to  Melody

I think your scare quotes around Christian are pushing things too far. Hair color alone is not an accurate meter of a soul’s standing before God, and neither Doug nor Toby is arguing so.

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
4 years ago

I think all this is ridiculous. Little girls putting a little color in their hair is a very girly (in a good way) thing to do and is fun and silly. People reading more into than that are hilarious (in a bad way).

Dave
Dave
4 years ago

Christian, there is a huge difference between little girls playing dress up at home and girls in school, college or even older having neon colored hair, attractively torn jeans, wishbones through their noses and such. They are pursuing the ways of the world and not the ways of scripture.

Of course, the same applies to guys also.

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I think that these posts written by older men probably without young girls do not understand the “language” that the hair color communicates these days. It is true that 10 or 20 years ago, brightly colored hair meant rebellion, punk rock, etc. But now, it means something more like unicorns, my little pony, and star dust. In other words, the meaning of the action has changed. It no longer means what people are saying it means. It is a fun and feminine thing little girls are doing these days. Nothing is wrong with it.

ME
ME
4 years ago

Well, if it is a fun and feminine thing little girls are doing,a la my little pony, then one wonders why grown women might be still be playing with star dust and ponies?

Than of course we have the new unicorn frappe at Starbucks, an appalling concoction indeed, but yet another overpriced, worldy thing having to do with status, stardust and ponies.

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

It is ok for women to like ponies. That is a feminine thing. Women drinking the unicorn starbucks is fine. I just wish they would sell beer along with it.

mintap
mintap
4 years ago

Some Starbucks do, but get the beer (or food coloring) at a better business.

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
4 years ago
Reply to  mintap

None in my city. You must live in Europe.

ME
ME
4 years ago

LOL! Okay, it is the feminine thing to like ponies, but no one should be drinking that unicorn frappe. If it is not a good idea to dye your hair unnatural colors, you certainly should not be ingesting them.

Dave
Dave
4 years ago

Christian, we are not talking about little girls.

We are talking about school age girls and grown women who do not understand scripture and about men and women who also do not understand obedience to scripture. Do you follow the ways of the world or do you follow Christ? That is the question.

Yes, today neon hair is still following the ways of the world. It is not my little pony or star dust. The language is understood quite well.

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, you are not getting what I am saying. I know what you are talking about. School age girls are not communicating what you think. They are communicating rainbows and sparkles and cuteness. Wilson long ago gave me the understanding that things like this are about communication. A nose ring is biblical (Ez 16:12). It meant something then that until recently in our society it did not mean in ours. For a while nose rings meant rebellion and punk rock. I don’t think they really mean that any more. Same with hair color on girls. For a long time, hair… Read more »

mintap
mintap
4 years ago

And when should Christians be leading the way in communication, taking over (redeeming for Christ’s glory) the forms and meanings communicated? Do you use symbols of Pagan fertility/rape during Resurrection day? Or have such forms been redeemed to point to new life, the new life that Christ brings? Can Christians do the same with these other details of communication (hair color, clothing, etc.)?

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
4 years ago
Reply to  mintap

Exactly. A bunch of old men yelling at 10 year old girls with pink streaks in their hair is silly. How about we take joy in women being women and liking pink and colors and fun? Christians are supposed to be the joyful ones remember?

If it was still a symbol of punk rock, I would totally get it. It is not. Everyone in this chain needs to drop it.

mintap
mintap
4 years ago

Who are you calling old men?

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
4 years ago
Reply to  mintap

Me. And everyone else on this page.

Dave
Dave
4 years ago

Christian, you are still off base and you don’t get it. It is all about communicating a particular point and neon hair still says what it did centuries ago. The discussion still isn’t about 10 year old girls. You missed that part in these threads. The question still remains: Are you following the ways of the world or are you following Christ? It is not holier than thou or self righteous to ask the question that scripture brings up over and over and over. You missed that point also; however, it is a focal point of why American Christians are… Read more »

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Language is contextual. As Christians we should not use the s-word but it is fine to say excrement. We should not use the f-word but it is fine to say sex. We should not call a woman the b-word but it is fine to say that she is a bit prickly. All those words mean more or less the same as their equivalent. But the coarseness of the former words is the problem. The usage of the f-word, s-word, b-word, etc all indicate a lawlessness and an element of being outside the culture (angry and rebellious). As Christians, to determine… Read more »

ME
ME
4 years ago

Just so long as we don’t try to make Salvation itself dependent on what words we use or what color our hair is. There are people in the world who do just that, people who seem to believe that our very Salvation is all about outward appearances.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Good comment. As Christians we should not use the s-word but it is fine to say excrement. We should not use the f-word but it is fine to say sex. We should not call a woman the b-word but it is fine to say that she is a bit prickly. All those words mean more or less the same as their equivalent. But the coarseness of the former words is the problem. Even that is relative. I was quite shocked when I found that in other countries, even other sub-cultures in our own country, at least the first two of… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

That is a nice way of saying that the Australians, Brits, and many Canadians have filthy mouths on them! I came from a Canadian workplace to an American one, and the first couple of weeks were spent watching my language. (This is a surprising factoid about Canadians who are considered to be refined and even mealy-mouthed.) C.S. Lewis makes a useful distinction. There is nothing morally wrong with the merely vulgar and coarse. The wrongness in using them depends on whether we are knowingly upsetting others. There is wrongness in using words for lascivious purposes. And, of course, there is… Read more »

mintap
mintap
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Sometimes (especially for someone who may struggle with the temptation to fit in amongst social circles of traditional appearance, who may make an idol out of fitting in there) the ways of the world in such a case could be the strict policy on appearance. Is that a possibility?

mintap
mintap
4 years ago

It is not the outward appearance, but the inward motive that matters. There could be bad motives for such an outward appearance, right?

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Melody

It’s always possible that they just want to have fun with their hair!

I personally favor a fairly traditional look. I think schools and offices have the right to impose dress codes. I think that it’s easier to take school and work seriously when you’re not dressed for a day at the beach. But I can’t draw a straight line between unconventional appearance and problematic spirituality especially in any individual case. I can’t tell whether a woman has pink streaks because she is rebellious or because she thinks they will brighten up her looks.

mintap
mintap
4 years ago
Reply to  Melody

Why? Maybe because not that many people are gifted in and called by God to glorify him through the arts and their freedom of expression. That doesn’t mean no one is. So I would say schools that limit freedom of expression, while great for most, are not necessarily meant for everyone.

Bro. Steve
Bro. Steve
4 years ago

This is so far down that ain’t nobody goan see it. But here goes.

Lotsa luck getting feminist-influenced Christian women to think obedience is anything other than a term of the most gross and indefensible injustice. It is dhimmi to them.

Three generations after Betty Friedan, multitudes of Christian women hear it rumored that the NT assigns roles for the sexes and instantly go supernova over it.

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  Bro. Steve

That’s a valid point. While I disagree with Wilson’s last paragraph, I am keenly aware of how the culture seeks to repress the feminine. So to even to say women wish to be pleasing to look at, gets one accused of either objectifying or enabling objectification. To suggest that women could possibly desire male attention, first as if little girls just wanting to delight earthly fathers, or later as women wanting to be pleasing to husbands, these things are all perceived as sins, bad, shameful in the feminist world. To suggest that perhaps God made us delightfully feminine on purpose… Read more »

bethyada
4 years ago

At what point in this discussion do I confess that I have had short hair, long hair, straight hair, curly hair, dark hair, blond hair, pink hair and blue hair?

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Shocking!

Valerie (Kyriosity)
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Toby used to have pink hair, too.

bethyada
4 years ago

I was serious. You are?

Is this a reaction to his reasons at the time?

Valerie (Kyriosity)
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Yep. Serious. Not sure exactly about your second question.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

He mentions his pink-haired past in one of his own blog posts.

I’ve been tempted to wonder that myself. I guess if I don’t want him reading pink-haired girls’ hearts, I’ll have to set that aside, though.

libertyinmo
libertyinmo
4 years ago

I’m not quite sure why it’s ok to cover the gray, but not to put a pink stripe in ones hair or ok to decide one would rather be a blond than a brunette, but pink is out. Doing any of it shows a dissatisfaction with the way God created us.

Nick E
Nick E
4 years ago

I guess I’m confused by this post and I think there are some obvious questions that it either ignores or dismisses without answering thoroughly. I promise that these aren’t “gotcha” style questions and are in fact genuine things I don’t understand about Pastor Wilson’s stance. 1. Am I wrong in assuming that clothing our culture considers inappropriate is entirely subjective and has next to nothing to do with a particular bible passage? Some cultures are ok with women baring their breasts for instance. In our culture tunics/dresses are considered feminine whereas in Jesus’ day men didn’t wear pants (this was… Read more »

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
4 years ago

My daughter is now a fine, grown-up, adult human being with a job. She graduated from a Christian high school and community college never having had an unplanned pregnancy, a need for drug intervention, or an arrest record. She attends church regularly and I am very proud of her. When she was still a nursing baby, my wife asked me, “So, should we talk about ear piercing?” I replied, “I don’t see any need for a long discussion. As far as I am concerned, when she turns 18 she can have as many holes in her body as she wants.”… Read more »

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Love your comment. Very sweet. I am inclined to believe the same about our heavenly Father, so you done good.

Melody
Melody
4 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

You sound like my husband…a truly Godly man.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
4 years ago
Reply to  Melody

High praise indeed, Melody. The glory goes to God.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

I like you, Capndweeb.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Thank you, Jilly. I like you too.

Melody
Melody
4 years ago

So either the Bible guides believers in modes of dress or it doesn’t. Which is it? If pink, green, purple, etc. hair is appropriate for Christian women, then why not strapless dresses on Sunday morning? Or 10 ear piercings with chains; or a bikini on Sunday morning, just for fun afterall? God doesn’t care how we dress – he cares about the condition of our hearts – and a person’s appearance has no bearing whatsoever on it. If Pastor Wilson decided to start preaching in his skivvies (only) who’s to make a comment? What the heck, he can sip a… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Melody

I think tying pink hair to issues of sexuality and potentially lust is unwarranted. They’re obviously different questions. Piercings is a interesting one. What is socially acceptable? Why is it okay to pierce your ears, and not, say, your nose or your lip? My wife comes from an extremely conservative Christian tradition in a conservative non-white culture. Due to their particular cultural norms, the fact that she was up to six piercings at one point did not make her appear particularly non-conservative at all. No chains, but I’ve seen conservative Indian women, for example, wear chains between piercings in the… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’ll draw cultural lines and stand by them. Barbarians poke holes in themselves, civilized people do not. The more the holes, the more barbaric.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

I hope that comment was tongue in cheek, because the Romans pierced, as did all other civilizations I’m familiar with. And I’d make a decent bet my wife’s people were piercing AND worshipping Christ in their grand civilization while yours were still running around illiterate in the woods.

Don’t forget, even Abraham gave Rebekah a nose ring.

JohnM
JohnM
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It’s a barbaric practice, I don’t care that the people I hold dearest do it. Quantity does matter, if you’ve got to do it at all (you don’t) at least minimize it, and don’t be blatantly exhibitionist about it. But when did poking a hole in your hide start to make any kind of sense? I guess it makes about as much sense as drying vegetation then setting fire to it and sticking it in your mouth. Don’t do that either. Maybe no connection with the subject at hand, just associational thinking on my part – things that make me… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

I don’t think you know what barbaric means then. You seem to be using the word to describe something that has nothing particular to do with barbarians, people sympathetic to barbarians, people acting like barbarians, or people with any particular barbaric, cruel, primitive, or unsophisticated motivations or background at all.

Maybe it was just another way of saying that you don’t like the practice (I personally don’t care for it either – unlike Shakespeare and King Charles I, I’m not pierced and never have been), but it’s not barbaric.

JohnM
JohnM
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I don’t like it. When it involves blatantly obvious facial or body decoration it is exhibitionist, degenerate, grotesque, and yes befitting a barbarian. Simple ear piercings at least benefit by comparison, by being relatively more discreet, but they do not really make good sense either, and I do not commend the practice.

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say we don’t like something ,but labeling it sin is where it gets problematic and very subjective.

This whole discussion reminds me of the Apostle Paul who has just finished a dissertation against mandatory circumcision,when he decides to take Timothy with him and promptly declares he must be circumcised. Culture,social dictates,fitting in, apparently these things all matter, too.

Clay Crouch
Clay Crouch
4 years ago
Reply to  ME

I couldn’t agree more. That is a healthy and respectful way to read, interpret, and apply the scriptures to our lives.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

Is it the piercing itself that bothers you? Pierced eyebrows and lips made me feel queasy, but I am fine with pierced years. I’m in a weird position here. I don’t agree with you intellectually, and I don’t care if people have piercings. But, on a personal level, there is something kind of creepy and atavistic about it that bothers me.

Valerie (Kyriosity)
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Piercing ears is much less barbaric than wearing clip-ons. Those things HURT. ????

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago

Don’t I remember that! They started to hurt within about the first 20 minutes, and then the throbbing increased at hourly intervals throughout the day.

One thing I love about where I live is that ladies don’t wear stockings to church. Even wearing fancy dresses women go bare legged. Is that true, do you think, in other parts of the US or is it special dispensation due to our climate?

Valerie (Kyriosity)
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Haha! Somehow I knew that would resonate with you!

I don’t wear nylons when it’s too hot. Yuck!

ME
ME
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Ha! I love stockings, but they are out of fashion, even hard to find these days. 3 of my kids don’t even know what they are, that’s how unpopular they are. And it’s cold here! We wear leggings and tights or nothing at all.

JohnM
JohnM
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

“…there is something kind of creepy and atavistic about it..”

Yes, there is, isn’t there? Creepy. Atavistic.

I’d say more, but gotta go now. Maybe later.

Dave
Dave
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan, what was piercing a sign of in old Israel? We really aren’t concerned with the cultures that put bones through their noses or other various parts here. I have been to countries where the nose rings and piercings were connected with chains and jewels and it does not present a Christian lifestyle. I have been to areas where people cut themselves to show humililty to Christ, but that is more demonic rather than Christian. We are concerned with a Christian life here not one copying a pagan one — aren’t we?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Dave

When Abraham gives Rebekah a nose ring, there is no clear description of what it is a “sign” of, but it appears to have something to do with the promise of marriage. I know other cultures where even today, a nose ring is a sign of a married woman, so it’s definitely possible that that was also true there. In fact, in Ezekiel 16:11, God places a “ring on your nose and earrings on your ears”, which seems to suggest a marriage relationship. So piercings may indeed suggest a married woman. There is one mention that a slave’s ear was… Read more »

Clay Crouch
Clay Crouch
4 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

That’s a cultural view not a scriptural one. It’s harmful to conflate them.

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Melody

I can’t quite make the connection between the bikini and the pink hair. A bikini is wrong in church because it is too informal to convey any reverence, it reveals too much skin, it will probably make the pastor forget his sermon while he tries to figure out what to do, and it could force men to be dealing with personal sexual temptation in a place where they least expected it. Green or pink hair doesn’t have that effect–I’m assuming we’re not talking full-on Mohawk. It might momentarily distract other worshipers but they’ll get used to it. It doesn’t suggest… Read more »

Melody
Melody
4 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

How do you decide where to draw the line? Who gets to decide where to draw the line? Is there no need for a line? There is a woman in my church who is in her mid-forties. She dressed like a teenager (very figure revealing clothing – and she could pull it off) for a number of years but nobody said anything because she had a lovely and genuine heart for the Lord and she was happily married. He style was truly a distraction to men sexually and a distraction to women because they knew it was a distraction to… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
4 years ago
Reply to  Melody

I see the hair and the very revealing clothing as not quite the same thing. Clothes that cause men to lust in the middle of a church service are immodest. It was right for someone to warn her, and it was right for her to take the warning to heart. My days of being alluring are long gone, but I would have appreciated someone warning me if I was causing people to stumble. But unnaturally streaked hair doesn’t–I think–endanger anyone’s chastity when they see it on someone else. We can intensely dislike the look, but I don’t think we can… Read more »