Cinderella Theology (via Michael Lawrence)
1. Michael quotes from the feminist Naomi Wolfe to make his case that men's ideas of beauty are culturally determined. Noami Wolfe, like many feminists, is going to downplay any biological or innate distinctions between men and women. Before Michael lectures men about accepting worldly ideas on beauty, maybe he should chastise himself for taking a page on gender relations from a woman who adheres to an extremely worldly and diabolical philosophy that is anti-male. And maybe Christian men need to be asking themselves just why religious pundits are cozying up to the feminists in the first place. Whose side are these religious pundits really on?
2. Arguing that beauty is "culturally-determined" is also unscientific. While we disagree with some researchers' speculations about evolution, what they have to say about innate responses among the sexes cannot be so easily dismissed. Religious pundits are hypocritical when they claim God hardwires men and women to be different in the matter of sex roles and yet ignore that same hardwiring when they want to go on an crusade against male sexuality. And no, don't blame it on "the Fall." That's too easy an explanation, a case of Argumentum ad Ignorantiam that crops up too many times in theological discussions. If we want to blame men's weight preferences in women on our "sinful nature," do we get to do the same with womens' height preferences in men?
3. Michael has a difficult time separating physical beauty from spiritual beauty. Here's a real zinger from him:
I also think that the standard of God's beauty should affect your sense of physical attraction as well. Have you ever witnessed a beautiful girl (by the world's standards) get drunk or commit a lewd act? It's not pretty. On the other hand, Peter speaks of the unfading visible beauty of women whose character is gentle and quiet (1 Peter 3:3-5). Paul speaks of Christ making his bride, the church, visibly beautiful as he makes her holy (Ephesians 5:25-27). Do you have eyes to see the physical beauty that God is creating in the Christian women around you as He conforms them to the image of Christ? Rather than fixating on finding a replica of some plastic image you've seen in a movie or magazine, open your eyes to the beautiful images of God all around you. [emphasis mine]Note Michael's question: "Do you have eyes to see the physical beauty that God is creating in the Christian women around you as He conforms them to the image of Christ?" Hmmm. Let me get this straight: God is creating physical beauty in Christian women??? I must have missed something here because the Bible tells us the "outward man is decaying" (2 Cor. 4:16)--but Michael now wants us to believe that godliness is doing something for Christian women in the physical sense that the Atkin's diet could never do. Maybe Micheal needs look up the word physical.
4. Maybe Michael thinks that religiosity has the same affect on a man as drinking too many beers: it makes the homely girls look more attractive. But religiosity don't lessen sexual inhibitions the way alcohol does; if anything, it does the opposite. I suspect that if the church makes Christian men guilty about looking at extremely attractive women, less attractive women will most certainly be put in the "spiritual sisters in Christ"/platonic-church-buddies category.
5. Did Michael ever think about Isaiah 53:2? It tells us that Jesus Christ was not a handsome man. None of this politically correct "beauty in the eye beholder" nonsense. It admits that in his earthly form, he didn't measure up in the looks category. I suppose many Israelite women would have turned him down for a date. But that's okay. Our Saviour didn't come on this earth to please women, but to do his Father's will. I say this to make this point: If the Bible admits that Jesus the man was unattractive in spite of his spiritual perfection, then there is no reason to expect Christian men to lie to themselves about Christian women. Many religious women are physically unattractive--and will remain so no matter how charitable assessment we would like to make of their persons.
6. Did Michael ever consider the Song of Songs? I don't see much talk there about the woman's ability to memorize scriptures or how great she is with small children. The terms of attractiveness are measured in body parts. Michael wants us to conform to the Bible's standard of physical attractiveness, and yet when we look at the closest thing to such an idea, it contrasts with Michael's politically correct criteria of every Christian lady being a princess.
7. Michael, like so many others, needs to distinguish between sexual response and sexual desire. I have written about this before. A man can have a sexual response: Eyes immediately notice a young woman. But that is not desire. My eyes may initially be drawn to a lush chocolate cake in a store window, but it doesn't mean I am going to stare all day long at it or buy it. Now sexual response doesn't need desire, but sexual desire needs sexual response. You can't expect someone to go crazy over a piece of cold liver with the same enthusiasm as a piece of chocolate cake. Likewise, we cannot condemn a man for being shallow simply because he doesn't find Christian single women attractive (just as we cannot condemn a man for desiring another man's wife simply because he noticed her beauty). Also, even with married men, they may love and desire their wives, but time takes it toll on their libido (lower levels of testosterone, health issues, etc.). In short, Christianity makes men holy, not visually impaired.
8. Michael is begging the question by portraying cultural standards of beauty as being sinful. I don't see many white Evangelicals insisting on more interracial marriages. Maybe there are some. That is fine, but I suspect most people are going to allow cultural conditioning to shape their choice of mates regardless of the politically correct bombast coming from the church pulpits. Yes, men need to give the main emphasis to spiritual qualities and personality in a prospective mate. Yes, they need to look at the total person and not just automatically assume they are entitled to a blond bombshell. However, when the choice is between two women of comparable spirituality, we can easily guess who is going to get asked out--the prettier one. And if a woman is homely looking, she may not be asked out at all.
9. Single men owe women nothing in terms of finding them attractive. As I recently stated at the Boundless Line blog:
A leftist social-gospel would push for an equality of material goods. The social gospel of the Marriage Mandate Movement is that men are supposed to find all spiritual woman equally attractive in terms of looks. Nonsense. Looks or money--some people have it and some people don't. You are no more entitled to the attention of the opposite sex than you are in having the same income as rich people. Marriage, like the suburban lifestyle, is not necessary to live a joyful Christian life. Period.I'll go one further and say this: As a man, I am not entitled to a supermodel wife, but I am not entitled to an average looking or ugly looking wife, either. I am not entitled to women at all. I am not entitled to the wealth or health that I have either. I am entitled to go to hell, but God in his mercy sent his only Son to save me. I think the same rule applies to what women think they are entitled to.
10. There is too much writing about the shallowness of men, even to the point of attacking male sexuality, while ignoring the shallowness of women. People need to take note of this last point. Christian men are waking up to the gynocentrist (woman-centered) messages coming from our so-called "conservative" "Christian" leaders about marriage, family, relationships, and sex. For too long, the spin doctors have been playing to the distaff pew-warmers and tickling their ears with the message they want to hear, and not with the truth. Specifically, Michael Lawrence and others in the Marriage Mandate Movement are pushing a "Cinderella Theology." Christian women are led to believe that despite their personal choices, flaws, shortcomings, sins, etc., they are entitled to be treated like an Esther, Rachel, or Rebekah and the men are obligated to pursue them and jump through hoops for them. Needless to say, it's time for men to stand up against this nonsense.