Modesty in Art Appreciation: CENSORED

Okay.  For the most part I purposely avoid the "hot button" topics around these joyful parts.  But, not today . . . 

Having recently posted regarding a field trip to the art museum, I felt it appropriate to share how we deal with an important issue to many parents, nudity in art.  Don't shut down on me . . . I'm going somewhere with this.

Should we shy away from studying the arts with our children because of a seemingly consistent presence of nudity, prolifically displayed in some art?  

Many Christians would argue saying yes, the possibility of encountering nudity demands we not study art and sighting scriptures like, 
1 Thessalonians 5:22 "Abstain from all appearance of evil."

I would agree, up to a point . . . however (you saw that one coming, didn't you?); I do not believe we can be so emphatic about our personal belief system as to push them so strictly in judgement over an entire form of expression that can, and has been used to glorify God.

Here is my take, for what it's worth:

  • We live in the world, we are called not to be "of the world".  The same rational that would denote I should refuse the benefits of an art education to my children because of what I might potentially encounter; could also rationalize my need to therefore NEVER LEAVE MY HOME for the same reason.  We cannot fear the world, but must be lights for Christ Jesus set upon a hill for all to see; rather than being constantly afraid of what we will see.

  • When we choose to live boldly in the world, as Christ calls us to do, by faith we make the earth, which He created to be good to become our classroom setting.  It is much more character building to my children for them to see the talents and abilities that are given to men, by God, and the limitless possibilities that open up to us as His servants when we choose to use them for His glory rather than our own.

  • My children must learn how to put into practice the self-discipline that scripture teaches: training their own eyes, mind, hands, and hearts; every tool given of God to praise Him and not to use toward fleshly pursuits.  Warning my children, through God's Holy Living Word, what the world, the enemy and our very own flesh use to be the stumbling blocks to faith, this is my job.  We train our own eyes away from that which is NOT OF GOD! (a.k.a. nudity in art, immodest clothing on women & men in public, commercials on television, potential internet dangers, pictures in the magazine rack at the grocery store. . . shall I go on?)
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

Matthew 5:14
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid."

Whew!  I feel better.  I am officially folding up my, as my hubby calls it, "portable" soapbox making way for normal discussion again.  

Discuss among yourself, I'll give you a topic: Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal was neither new, nor a deal! Discuss.

Joyfully Home Educating,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Thank you for the art! via Flickr:
Vatican City, Rome, Italy by: tiffanybstone
Russell, John - Girl with Cherries - Louvre by: Lynn (Gracie's Mom)
Monet by: sipazigaltumu
Starry Night close up-moonlight by:maureen lunn

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