Know Your Bible

VOL. 5                           July 23, 2006                           NO. 27



    Parents in Southern California are understandably disturbed that videos of their teenage daughters cavorting about in sexually tantalizing clothing have been showing up for sale on the Internet Auction Site E-Bay. That's not exactly how the news media begin their reports on the story, but still it is a pretty fair assessment of the situation.

    Some lecherous entrepreneur carries his camcorder to high school football games, blending in among the band, parents, and middle-aged dads reliving their own gridiron glory vicariously through their sons on the field. Lecherous Entrepreneur, however, is not taping the trombonist or right tackle; his lens is zoomed in on the young girls in miniskirts and belly-bearing tops as they perform gymnastic and dance routines which expose more and more of their desirable flesh. Immoral? Yes. Unjustified? Of course. Exploitative? Obviously. Criminal? Apparently not.

    Prosecutors in Southern California would just love to go after this guy, even more forcefully than the investigative reporters who tracked him down through his Post Office box. The trouble is that there is nothing illegal about videotaping people in public places. He was not peeping through their bathroom windows or hanging out around the locker room. Every detail captured on his camcorder was performed in public before thousands of people.

One family sat down with their cheerleader daughter, and an intrepid reporter, with a copy of the $70 videotape. "You can feel the discomfort in the room and see it on their faces because for the first time they're seeing their child through the eyes of someone else," reports Ana Garcia. Lecherous Entrepreneur has trained his trusty lens "on their mouths, breasts and crotches, freezing shots under their skirts, during kicks and splits."

    But there is a short-circuit in everybody's indignation. Lecherous Entrepreneur did not manipulate the video to make it appear these girls were doing things they were not. He did not digitally place their pure heads upon the borrowed bodies of Vegas Showgirls. These young girls performed every suggestive motion and exposed every inch of flesh caught on tape. Mom says, "I don't want that out on the Internet. This is really upsetting to me." Granted the video brings the viewer up close and more personal with her daughter than a spectator would ordinarily get at the football stadium, but, again, the sights that sicken her are on display every Friday night for any pervert with binoculars or a front row seat. And if $70 a pop can be made, apparently legally, on this kind of smut, rest assured that Lecherous Entrepreneur will have company this a football field near you.

    The moral issue with cheerleading is not the leading of cheers, and in its infancy, cheerleading was a rather wholesome celebration of school spirit and youthful beauty. It has evolved through the incorporation of gymnastics and racy costumes to something that is the epitome of lewdness. The uniform skirt has steadily crept up the leg to the point that it affords little coverage to begin with and practically none when the cheerleader moves even slightly, let alone when she performs flips, splits and tosses. The uniform top has likewise shrunk to the point that it exposes the belly and accentuates the chest, much to the delight of Lecherous Entrepreneur and his satisfied customers. Cheerleading has become something of a misnomer. Few spectators are actually willing to be led in cheers by the young women who spend most of their time performing dangerous gymnastics or often racy dance routines.

    In spite of its roots in school spirit and extracurricular participation, modern cheerleading traffics in immodesty and lewdness which cannot be sustained under the New Testament. The Holy Spirit's desire is that women "adorn themselves in modest apparel...which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works," having long ago warned that a "lovely woman who lacks discretion" is like a swine with a gold ring in its snout (1 Tim. 2:8-10; Prov. 11:22). She should be defined instead by the hidden person of her heart, having the incorruptible beauty of a "gentle and quiet spirit" (1 Pet. 3:4). The indecent bodily movements of the modern cheerleader suggest sexual invitation to the young, weak, or perverted heart (Gal. 5:19-21). The private and more alluring parts of her anatomy are exposed, emphasized and animated in an enticing fashion which only a fool would deny.

    After seeing herself on the E-Bay video, one cheerleader complained, "I won't feel comfortable going out on the football field in my uniform again. You have no clue who is watching you and for what reason." True -- but that is the case with or without acamcorder in the hands of Lecherous Entrepreneur. Is this what it takes to get through to the people -- many of them Christians -- who condone or encourage cheerleading today? 

---J.S. Smith

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School's Out -- Let's Vacation 

    When school lets out it marks the beginning of summer, a time when many start to plan and leave on their long awaited vacations. Vacation time is something that everyone needs. It is good to take some time and relax from the day to day pressures and routines. But it is not a time to relax from serving God! In a Guardian Of Truth article, May 18, 1995, brother Lewis Willis had some very good comments concerning our summer vacation time. The following are some excerpts that I have adapted and condensed from his article. It would do all of us some good to think on his words and ensure that we are doing all we can to serve God, even while we are on vacation.

There Is No Such Thing As A Vacation From God

    It is not uncommon for some members of the church to abandon God in the summertime. Some get too busy with other things to even assemble for worship. Some feel that the church must get along without them until vacation time is over. We must realize that God is always here and therefore a Christian, that seeks to serve God first (Matt 6:33), realizes that there is no such thing as a vacation from God!

There Should Be No Vacation From Worshiping At A Faithful Church

    Some Christians would never think of missing worship on Sunday. However, when on vacation, they frequently take a vacation from worship with a faithful church. Strange planning isn't it? Most are careful to plan their vacation, to select the most beautiful sightseeing, good fishing, camping facilities, and restaurants. These are ESSENTIALS to a good vacation. However, many families never ask, "Is there a faithful church nearby where we can worship?" Doesn't it say something about us when we are more interested in good food and a bed to sleep in rather than finding a faithful place to worship? Did we forget? Was it the last thing on our minds? In either case, it manifests a serious spiritual problem!

    Many think it's alright to attend liberal churches, if there is not a faithful church nearby. Where did we get the idea this is acceptable to God? Brethren, if it is acceptable on vacation, it is acceptable the rest of the time as well! I have heard members say, "If you didn't know it was liberal, you would not notice any difference. There really isn't much difference." They just participated with the Devil in the division of the body of Christ! It is amazing how brethren can overlook the differences in Christ's gospel, simply because they are on vacation. Many members overlook a Bible truth. It goes like this: "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph 5:11). When we attend a denomination (even one that has "Church of Christ" written over the door), we are violating this passage! We are sinning in the sight of God. We are having fellowship with them, and because we are on vacation does not change that fact. We are to prove that the Lord accepts the practice (Eph 5:10; 1 Thess 5:21). Brethren, if you are going to attend liberal churches while you are on vacation, you had better get ready with an answer that God will accept at the judgment (can you think of one?)! If there is no faithful church nearby, may I then suggest that a good thing to do would be to select another vacation destination? Would it not be better to miss seeing some wonder of the world than to miss Heaven?

---Richard Thetford

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