Thoughtless Iconoclasm

March 25, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

This is probably one of the most difficult entries I have posted so far. It speaks to something that Crystal and I have prayed about for more than 6 years because we are photographers. Our heart is in what we shoot. We see people and catch glimpses of their beauty through the lens of our camera. We display the beauty of that moment by digital imagery for everyone to share and enjoy.

When the image is the beauty of the human form, it becomes an issue for some people. I won't pretend that the exploitation of the human body is not way out there, often overbearing in media. I won't pretend that men without mental fortitude and those with lustful minds are not feasting from a sexual purview of women and children. This leaves us with the question, "Is there no place left for art?" Is there no room for the human mind to see a person, clothed or unclothed, without allowing the sin of lust to intrude on the moment?

We have fought a battle for years to explain that our minds need to be soaked in Christ so we can be strong. Our minds should be so wrapped in God that the view of human body is no different for me & you than it is for a nurse, doctor, or mortician to see a body. However, it seems that the era in which we live, there is either a full disrespect of the need for self control or their is a disparaging attitude of prioritized sin. Neither point-of-view carries biblical reasoning in my humble opinion.

For this reason, we have always sought to find God's word before any photo shoot. We don't want our images to harm the conscience of another brother or sister nor do we want to impede on the rights of those who feel the human body is a beautiful work of art by God himself. How do we resolve the balance? We must think of others first (1 Corinthians 10:23-33 ; Romans 14:14-23). It is not easy and it is not something that comes naturally. We must seek God's strength to withstand the desires of our flesh and live out the plan that supports the glorification of Jesus and the expansion of his kingdom.

If that means that I choose to shoot nothing but head shots for the rest of my life, so be it. If that means that I will never shoot a nude model again, then so be it. Will I criticize and judge those in my field who make beautiful, fashionable and artistic imagery? No way! (Romans 14:1-14) The matter is too peppered with personal weaknesses and personal likes/dislikes for me to make everyone pleased. All I can do is follow whatever my father in Heaven has shown me. I will give up whatever, whenever, and however I have to in order to please my savior, Jesus Christ.

PS> I did not have a clue what "iconoclasm" meant so I figured for any others who might be in question, I would share what I learned today:

iconoclasm |noun| 1 the action of attacking or assertively rejecting cherished beliefs and institutions or established values and practices.

2 the rejection or destruction of religious images as heretical; the doctrine of iconoclasts.

~~
twh

March 25: Thoughtless Iconoclasm

1 Corinthians 11:17–12:11

When we learn something new about life and faith, it’s tempting to use our knowledge and freedom to tear down religious constructs and artifices—exposing truth in a way that’s not helpful or edifying. If we’re honest, pushing boundaries and living edgy and unfettered gives us a rush.

Paul warns the Corinthian Christians against this attitude: “All things are permitted, but not all things are profitable. All things are permitted, but not all things build up” (1 Cor 10:23). Paul sets up a contrast, juxtaposing the clauses to set apart what should really be the focus of the Corinthians. Paul stresses that instead of flaunting freedom, we should be focused on what is helpful and constructive for the community.

Seeking the good of the other person should be our first reflex. And it’s not simply limited to the Christian community. Paul states: “Therefore, whether you eat or you drink or whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God. Give no offense both to Jews and to Greeks and to the church of God” (1 Cor 10:31–32). This is a tall order in the internet age; when we don’t see someone face to face, it’s much easier to tear them down.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t challenge ideas when the time is appropriate. However, it does mean we should carefully consider our audience and act in a way that will best communicate the message of the gospel. Whatever the case, we should “please all people in all things, not seeking [our] own benefit, but the benefit of man, in order that they may be saved” (1 Cor 11:33).

How are you seeking the good of those around you? - Rebecca Van Noord


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