Monday, April 20, 2009
A thought concerning morality...
Here at Sheffield Drive we are about to begin a Tuesday evening class on "Understanding Worldviews." The principle source of material we will be using was written by Francis A. Schaeffer, a "christian" Calvinist philosopher, and James Sire (another denominationalist). We used this material in a class at Tri-Cities School of Preaching and Christian Development (i.e. TCSOP-for further posts) in a class entitled "Understanding Non-Biblical Worldviews." I am endevouring to change the focus a little bit in the class to extend first into the idea of "discovering" our own worldview (as Christians) first. In this regard, Schaeffer and Sire will be used only in the idea of "defining" a worldview and then allowing the Bible to define the Christian worldview. The information that these men put forth in books like How Should We Then Live, The God who is There, The Universe Next Door, etc. is good information if you can "eat the meat" and spit out the "Calvinist-bones."
I said all of that to say this. :-) At Books-A-Million, we have a memoir by Francis Schaeffer's son (Frank) wherein he shows his path away from "conservatism," "fundamentalism," and "Christianity" into non-belief. [this is where the morality part comes into this post] He chronicles his growing up years in the first 25 chapters, but mentions often his days growing up in Switzerland (and Italy on vacations). In the midst of all of this, he speaks in a somewhat bemoaning manner (maybe derision, or maybe just ammusement) at the fact that his parents did not allow smoking, drinking alcohol, premarital sex, or dancing in their L'Abri missionary home. All things which he obviously at this point (30-40+ years later) finds rediculous (esp. dancing).
But yet, in their stance on these things, I find it astounding (and yet profoundly applicable to so many Christians today) that during his growing up years in Switzerland, they never gave a second thought to sending him down to the beach (and often with a young-adult female escort--one of the young women studying or working at L'Abri--to watch over him) to spend his days swimming. He makes is plain repeatedly in this section how much time his very young boy's mind spent on those young women in their bathing suits. Not to mention, their family vacations (during the warmer months) were always spent in Italy on the beach--where he fondly remembers the girls in their bikinis.
My point is this, they see the sin involved in smoking, drinking, permarital sex, and dancing, and yet were utterly oblivious to the concept of modesty as taught in Scripture. I see so many Christians today who are attempting to live the same double-life of separating these things and making some of the "bad" and some of them "okay" as if the Bible has nothing to say about the ones the deem "okay"---or that's just 'your interpretation'!
I know I'm probably rambling on at this point, but here's what I'd like you to get from this post. First, the Bible does speak plainly concerning modesty for those who are willing to honestly investigate (and by implication, immodest mixed swimming, et al). Second, common sense and almost any male ought to be able to look at their growing up years and their adult years and their "view" of women through that time and find the exact same conclusion. Third, the matter of modesty is a matter of personal holiness, and the results of immodesty are as well.
As always, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to post them.