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    Are Breast Implants a Sin?

    Are Breast Implants a Sin?

    It all started with this quote from Ingrid Schlueter yesterday:  "Breast-enhancement surgery for purposes of engendering male lust is no way to represent Jesus Christ."

    I was reading my RSS feeds yesterday and saw an article entitled "Carrie Prejean, Sexting, and a Lost Generation".  Interesting title, I thought.  Then I read the quote.  It was interesting and provacative.  So I twittered it.

    It ignited a firestorm on a couple of Christian discernment blogs.  And, as usual, Ingrid and her supporter Ken Silva, took me to task.

    Here's my original tweet:

    "Breast-enhancement surgery for purposes of engendering male lust is no way to represent Jesus Christ." Ingrid speaks.

    Ingrid responded on her blog, saying that my tweet was "snarky".  Um, all I did was post a quote (along with a link to her blog).  Here was her response:

    So does Mr. Rhoades feel that surgical breast enhancement for the purpose of male is a good way to represent Jesus Christ? I’m interested in that line of thought. Does he have a wife? Does she know what her husband is saying on Twitter? Is she OK with that tweet? Do the “ministry” guys who follow Mr. Rhoades also follow the breast enhancement ministry line of thought? Just asking.

    So, I guess I'll just answer:

    First of all, I do have a wife.  Thanks for asking.  Her name is Dawn.  She read the comment and laughed.  She suggested that some people have too much time on their hands.  She does read my tweets.

    As for the ministry guys that follow Mr. Rhoades (I guess that would be me), I guess you've all been put into the 'pro-breast ministry' camp.  If you want to change affiliation, unfollow immediately (I guess).

    Let me say, first of all, that I am pro-breast.

    But to be honest, I've never taken the time to think about the potential sinfulness of breast implants.

    So... how did we get from a simple accurate quote put in a tweet, to me being 'pro-breast ministry'?  That's a leap that I doubt anyone could explain.

    But seriously... there are two camps here:

    1.  Carrie Prejean:  Quoted as saying:  "I think it's a personal decision. I don't see anywhere in the Bible where it says you shouldn't get breast implants."

    2.  Ingrid Schlueter:  Quoted as saying:  "For the sake of Carrie’s soul, somebody needs to explain the rudiments of the biblical gospel to her."

    Let me say:  I have no reason not to believe that both these ladies are my sisters in Christ.  Both have professed Christ as their Savior.  Yet both have extremely different views.  Both profess to love Jesus, but both live out that love in desperately different ways.

    About the original quote from Ingrid.  It may surprise her that I actually AGREE with her statement.  IF breast enlargement surgery is done for the purpose of getting men to lust after you, it is definitely no way to represent Jesus.  My problem with the quote is two-fold:

    1.  I do not believe that all women who get breast enhancement do so for the express purpose of making men lust after them.

    2.  I do not believe that all men are sexually aroused by breasts that have been augmented in some way.

    Does the Bible forbid breast implants?  Of course not.  Does it promote them?  Of course not.

    And I'm fine with that.  Why make a big deal out of something like that?

    The issue of sin and past lifestyle decisions comes into play here as well.  Prejean definitely does have a past.  She's done some things that she'd rather not have everyone know about.  When you're a Christian in the spotlight, those are never great things to have lying around in your closet.  When they are exposed, it is ugly.  But you can always count on a great group of Christians ready to beat you with sticks:

    “Nothing is private,” complained Carrie in a TV interview last week. No, Carrie, not even privates are private.  For the sake of Carrie’s soul, somebody needs to explain the rudiments of the biblical gospel to her. (Family values are not the gospel.) Her mentor can move on from there to help her understand biblical modesty and decency. Christ has been mocked and shamed, not because Carrie stood up for traditional marriage, but because she did so in a barely-there bikini.

    Christ is mocked and shamed every time we sin.  But thankfully, we have a Savior who forgives.

    What do YOU think?

    Todd

    PS -- I also thought it was interesting that the term "Sexting" was used in the title of Ingrid's post.  Not sure why she used that other than to grab our attention.  The article had nothing to do with, or even mention 'sexting'. 

    Also, Ken Silva reminds me that if the men won't speak up, then God will raise up women (like Ingrid) to speak to us:  Ken posted:  "I’m wondering where the men are in the Christian blogosphere, for if they won’t speak the Lord will use women." 

    Ken also writes:  And I also wonder, is Rhoades now prepared to defend Prejean’s “need” to have her body surgically altered in order to better serve Jesus by winning so-called “beauty contests,” and/or to more alluringly model skimpy outfits and underwear?  My answer:  WHAT?  I don't understand how you got to that line of thinking!  I'll just answer the question in this way:  I really have no concern (nor is it any of my business) how large (or small) Carrie Prejean's breasts are.  I simply don't care.

     

    Comments

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    1. Leonard on Wed, November 18, 2009

      Todd, this is kind of funny to me.  I guess as your wife says… too much time on their hands.  I agree there are a ton of reasons here to do a surgery like this.  We are told in Romans that whatever is not of faith is sin.  I would apply that here. 

      Obviously no one should do anything for the purpose of making someone else lust or sin in any way.  But when we do things that are in step with the culture we need to make sure we act in a great conscience with God the Holy Spirit. 

      This could include video games, movies, playing cards, boob jobs, the car we drive and the way we go about living our lives.  This is, I think what Paul meant in Galatians when he said… walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.

      So do I think it is a sin?  Not always.

    2. Joel on Wed, November 18, 2009

      I read this yesterday and couldn’t figure out why they were mad at you.  Somebody should invent a “snarky” font for twitter, that way we would know when you are being snarky.  I thought you were simply pointing me to an interesting view of a pop-culture event. 

      I thought it was weird when she started calling you out for tweeting her own quote.

    3. Gary Humble on Wed, November 18, 2009

      Todd, the only thing that I would really feel the need to respond to here is if you were the one considering breast implants smile

      As for everything else, I’m with you.  I think my wife would feel better if i was simply not concerned with Carrie’s breast implants.

    4. Brian Proffit on Wed, November 18, 2009

      So now I have to make a stand as either pro-breast or anti-breast?  Since I relied on breasts for life (as did most of us, I would guess), it would be rather odd to be anti-breast!

      Since all you did was quote Ingrid, her response makes me wonder: Does she think it’s wrong to have an implant in your breast, but okay to have a chip on your shoulder?

    5. emergent pillage on Wed, November 18, 2009

      I note, first off, that the phrasing of your tweet did give the impression of sarcasm. Granting the difficulties of discerning tone in writing, I accept that it was not your intention, but the use of “X speaks” is a signal for sarcasm.

      On that note, I think Schlueter’s reference to “Pro-family leaders (primarily male)...” is a needlessly sarcastic comment as well.

      Second, her primary focus is not enhancements themselves, but having them for the reason of cause men to experience lust. In that sense, it is closely related to things like clothing—we know that there is a difference between dressing in a decent way that is still attractive, and dressing in a provocative way to create lust.

      I’m also curious about where you think Schlueter in her article was “beating (Prejean) with sticks”. Saying she wasn’t ready to be put forward by pro-life groups is hardly that. Saying she needs to be taught a bit better isn’t that, either. Saying she goofed and needs to get out of the spotlight for while is probably a mercy.

    6. CS on Wed, November 18, 2009

      There are really several pieces to this discussion over Prejean.  Let’s start with the primary.

      With regards to cosmetic surgery, I believe it’s a matter of intent.  Getting implants because you had something like cancer and wanted to look, “normal,” once more?  Fine by me.  Getting implants because you choose to engage in competitions where you walk around almost naked as a part of your evaluation?  Yeah, I can actually see where that would be sinful.

      With regards to Prejean’s past, including the tape(s?) of what she did, I would want to know more about her journey of faith around that time.  Was she a Christian at the time she sent those tapes out?  If not, that’s the former sinful life and being born again clears that out pretty well.  If she was a Christian, what was her purpose and intent in doing that?  Has she repented of her sins?  Is there going to be more that we will discover in coming months of other things she engaged in while claiming Jesus as her Lord and Savior?

      Overall, I believe that Prejean should not be a spokeswoman for Christianity in light of her current problems and her choice of beauty pageant career.  Let’s get all that sorted out first.


      CS

    7. Todd Rhoades on Wed, November 18, 2009

      Emergent Pillage:

      Granted, I made up the ‘beating people with sticks line’; but I think, metaphorically, it works when someone says something like this:

      “For the sake of Carrie’s soul, somebody needs to explain the rudiments of the biblical gospel to her.”

      Doesn’t that statement imply that Prejean is on her way to hell?  Or did I just read into that?  When someone says, ‘for the sake of her soul’, that’s kind of the way I took it.

      Maybe I should have used ‘dooms your soul to hell’ rather than ‘beat her with a stick’.

      Either way…

      Todd

    8. Mike Henderson on Wed, November 18, 2009

      So where does braces, makeup, and hair coloring come in at?  My guess is most women take advantage of these things to enhance their looks.  Breast implants seem to be in the same category. Yes, if it enhances a woman’s physical attractiveness that can lead to lust.  But if we go overboard I guess women can,t even get their teeth whitened either. Some man might notice!

    9. Art on Wed, November 18, 2009

      Todd:  “Let me say, first of all, that I am pro-breast.”

      LOL!  I just about spit my lunch all over my laptop screen!

    10. Peter Hamm on Wed, November 18, 2009

      I also totally and completely agree with the original Ingrid post—“Breast-enhancement surgery for purposes of engendering male lust is no way to represent Jesus Christ.”—as Todd mentions.

      And I will leave it at that.

    11. RL on Wed, November 18, 2009

      Pro-breast/anti-implant?- you guys are missing the point.  Most women do not have a clue as to the effect their apparel (or lack thereof) has on a man.  Was there a medical necessity for her to have this surgery? no.  What was the reason? to fill out the bikini and evening gown portion of upcoming pageants. Why? to catch the judges EYES.

      Prov 31:30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

      Coming from a guy who has to fight daily to remain pure in this sex-saturated society, I don’t need the extra temptation to lust.  Carrie is not showing any discernment in the area of modesty.  God created the man and woman to cleave together.  It wasn’t meant to be a competition as the ‘beauty’ pageants so flagrantly do.  Treating something as sacred as another human being, made in the image of God, as an object for our visual pleasure is both demeaning and dishonoring. 

      1Ti 2:9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control…..

      Leave your ‘opinions’ outside the door and check out what God has to say on the matter of modesty from His Word.

    12. Cabinet Furniture on Wed, November 18, 2009

      Well if talking about religious terms, God created human himself, didnt he and he knows how to create one, if he has given a girl smaller breasts i am sure he has a Point there to it, Doesnt he know that?

    13. Q. on Wed, November 18, 2009

      1 Timothy 2:9 is a great one to reference.  Though the problem is that everyone has a different idea of what ‘respectable apparel’ and ‘modesty’ mean.  RL-my heart goes out to you brother for your struggles.  I’m not 100% comfortable with how ‘beauty pageants’ elevate just about everything BUT beauty either my brother.

      Since this is the second issue in one week that deals (to some degree) with this angle (the other was the “Can a Christian wear a bikini”) I would like to respectfully look at this issue in a different way.  The issue I have is that an area of the Christian culture stereotypes men as these fragile things about to collapse into sin at the first sign of something someone else might find attractive(not that there aren’t people like that)...at the risk of sounding like someone who looks for an opportunity to get upset…it’s very unfortunate to me and my spouse that we have this incomplete idea permeating through much of the Christan culture.  On the initial subject of Prejean, I definitely agree that doing anything for a sinful reason isn’t good (duh) but I also feel like we can make judgement calls for other people that are going to (on average) be incorrect.  Prejean herself aside, there are people that struggle with visual stimulation and much like people who struggle with alcohol, learning to avoid triggers and places where these struggles will be magnified is important. 

      That being said, I feel like there is a HUGE misunderstanding that all Christian men are helplessly captive to lust and cannot control themselves either…  I looked at Shaunti Feldhan’s book “For Women Only”.  It was supposed to be this book on the inner lives of men, I WAS SHOCKED about how far off it was for us and the people we know.  Then I read some on-line reviews and saw how much damage it had unintentionally done.  Basically the book makes some dangerous assertions (one being something to the effect of ‘men immediately picture every woman they meet naked…’ I read so many reviews of how people were now uncomfortable around their pastors and fathers now that they know they are just picturing them naked.  There were more (and as a disclaimer-I’m sure there are people that struggle to that degree but to make it out to be like that is EVERYONE is more than a bit dangerous) but this isn’t about the book (just referencing this area of the Christian sub-culture).

      The truth is that people of all types deal with sexual sin and there is no gender preference and I’m not sure trying to institute a dress code (or a “body modification code” in the case of this article) is the answer.  I’m sure it’s unintended but this Christian sub-culture I’m referring to has a had quite a bit of harmful influence.  I was recently counseling someone and they confided in me that they struggled with pornography, they said something to the effect that it was part of the curse of being a man.  When I shared with him that it’s understood that at least 65% of women struggle with online pornography too (the number changes but that was the last time I checked) and basically he was very encouraged by that, he thought he was alone.  He thought this was some secret man-sin (as if sin has EVER had a gender-preference).  I think that the truth will set us free.  We can’t keep treating men like they are all these stumbling-machines that are all terminally unique and hopeless.  I think we would do better to look at these issues more completely.

    14. Richard on Wed, November 18, 2009

      Too serious…cannot hold it in…must ask…what about Titus?

    15. Steven Crutchfield on Wed, November 18, 2009

      can we even say “breast”?
      sorry…needed a laugh after all the seriousness…

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