Thoughts on the Way Home

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Poetry & Pornography


From Ryan Fullerton:

I promise that I will eventually write about something other than sexual immorality. But, I am sure you would forgive a US WW2 soldier if he talked a lot about Germans and so I imagine you could forgive a Pastor if he talked a lot about the enemy of his people, and how that enemy is overcome. It seems to me that one of the missing ingredients in our fight against lust is beauty.

Most Christians know lust is wrong, the problem is they do not know lust is ugly. They see lust as a problem but not as a nasty hag with one too many warts on her puckered upper lip. We are convinced lust is wrong in our minds, but we are not turned off. So what do we do? We should fight the seduction of 'ugly beauties' with the incitements of 'better beauties'.

Isn't that biblical? Why should we put away water that does not satisfy? Because there is better life giving water available. Why should we follow Jesus? Because he is new wine. Why should the troubled Churches of Revelation press on? Because there is a king surrounded by a rainbow, lightning, and a sea of glass seated on his throne in heaven. Something better is what should drive us away from something pathetic. The battle over sin is not ultimately won by merely being convinced we are wrong. It is won through the enticements of living water, red red wine, rainbows, lightning, and glossy glass that reflects the beauty of Holiness in the face of the Lord God Almighty!

So too with beauty. Proverbs 5 says the best defense against the breasts of the adulterous is staying drunk with the breasts of the wife of your youth. So stay joyfully delighted in the home fires and you'll avoid getting burned on the internet. That is a call to fight 'ugly beauties' (even if you think they might look good for a moment) with better beauties.

But wait, your wife does not look like the girl in the magazines? She does not have time to airbrush herself before you get home? That is where the poets come in, brandishing their 'word swords' to help us see the beauty in the wrinkles of commitment, and the grey hairs of devotion. We need words to show us the beauty of committed love and wrinkled hands. Do you doubt that beauty can be seen in the midst of grey hair and dentured teeth? Doubt no more. Why do people spontaneously applaud when they hear that a couple has been married 50 years? They cannot hold back their reaction to beauty. We spontaneously affirm the beauty of covenant bound broken bodies. Won't somebody write a poem, a song, a story to remind us of the glory?

Wouldn't it be glorious, if a Church were so filled with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs that they became intoxicated with the beauty of God and they actually became turned off by sin. Wouldn't it be wonderful if poets and banjo players, song writers and hip hop artists labored by the Holy Spirit to show the beauty of things that do not photograph well (things like a battered body on a bloody cross). Perhaps the Holy Spirit would use that kind of poetry to stab the conscience wide awake and to slay the vile of dragon of pornography once and for all.