This summer Pastor Buck at Faith Church is preaching from 1 Corinthians. First, I give him great “thanks” for his diligent coverage of the text and not shying away from the tough parts (wish he was leading a class to expand on it too!). I appreciate his passion, courage and exegesis – even as some of what he says stretches my understanding.
Recently I also caught a small segment of Lisa Ling’s Our America about toddler pageants. One of the toddler moms said something that really got me thinking. Responding to one of Ling’s questions, she said, paraphrasing, that it was okay for her child to participate in these pageants which focus on beauty as that is what our culture does.
So as the culture goes, so do we?
It is right and appropriate to teach our children to focus on external physical beauty because our society does this?
Is it our role as parents to help our children aspire to becoming whatever appears to be currently popular in the media?
1 Corinthians reminds us that just because the society or culture we are in allows something, doesn’t mean we should be doing it.
As someone raised and working in the church, I would almost want to respond with “duh!”, but I can’t.
Our society, through media, Pintrest (I recently joined), stores, our neighborhoods, and everywhere else we look, focuses on consumption. I greatly struggle with this, even with the many scriptural references to economic poverty, sharing wealth, and providing support to the poor. I get sucked into wanting to have more thinking I need it, even when I don’t.
While I was initially shocked at a comment of approving of behavior just because society appears to say it is good, I see others blindly doing the same to various degrees.
Just because society says it is good, is it?
Just because one group shouts loudly, gets the most TV spots, may even back it up with “scientific” evidence or strong convictions, should we buy it as good for us, our kids, our world?
It is not easy to abide by scripture, especially when so many groups interpret it differently. Yet, at least we know that scripture comes from God (one way or another).
God, our Loving Creator, Parent, Guide, Teacher, and Eternal Life Companion, knows what is better for us than the limited, changing and self-serving (even if unknowingly) convictions of society.
I do not doubt that aspects of society are ordained and influenced by God’s Will, yet we need to question it all.
Perhaps parts of the pageant industry for children is good. Parts of the media industry furthers God’s Will.
Christ came to open our eyes, so let us do our best to not choose our paths blindly.