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July 25/31, 2006

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Q/A Topics:
Christians and Lawsuits?

READER QUESTION:
What is the biblical response to lawsuits?? I was told that it is not biblical for a believer to take an unbeliever to court? Two believers in court?? Help.

VW ANSWER:
Jesus speaks of trying to resolve a dispute before one gets taken to court. (Mt5:25) Of the woman trying to get justice (Lk18:3)

Paul speaks of Christians suing each other in 1Co6:1-7, chiding the Corinth church for taking their personal problems before the unsaved, chiding: Isn't there anybody in the group that can act as an arbitor? (vs5)

On the other hand, when he was standing trial, Paul appeals to Caesar. (Ac25:10-12)

In 1Co6 Paul is speaking of Believers suing each other. Whereas in his own appeal, he is dealing with unbelievers. But in reading Jesus' words, it would seem obvious that a Believer would take care as to what sort of cause one would get worked up over. If it's minor little disagreements and personality issues, the better Christian way might be to go ahead and suffer the wrong. But when it is a major issue (like the Jews wanted to have Paul killed, for no reason, except that they hated him), Paul demonstrates from his own life that a Believer can use the legal system. After all, the "authorities that exist are ordained by God" (Rom13:1) And if you read through the O.T. Law, and other places in the O.T., a whole bunch of types of situations are listed, for those who take various matters to court. In the O.T. the 'court' system was to appear before the priests, since Israel was a theocracy. And when kings came into existence, well....there is that famous case of the two women with the live and dead babies, for whom Solomon threatened to slice the live baby and divide it between the two of them. (1Ki3:16-27)

So, the concept of courts and lawsuits is a legitimate method of obtaining redress.

But I think Jesus' teachings suggests a -care- in how one goes about it. A neighbor's dog pooping on one's lawn might not be an issue to go to court over; but damage to one's property, where the perpetrator is refusing to make good, might be. ...for two examples... On the other hand, if a dog's activities have 'killed' some (expensive) plants, and the matter is well-documented, and the dog's owner refuses to redirect the animal's activities, nor make good....well...there are the 'courts' for big matters, and there are also the "small-claims" courts. That's why they exist.

I mean, the entire 9th commandment (Ex20:16) is about "testify a witness". That terminology is legaleze....for what one does in a court of law. People typically think it simply means "don't lie". Yes, it means that. But its wording is specifically applicable to court. Thus, if courts exist, and people are witnessing in court...is it not obvious that there are also prosecutors and defendants. Somebody is bringing a 'charge' (suing), and somebody is replying (defending) to those charges.

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Christians and modeling?

READER QUESTION:
What is your view on Christians doing modeling? Also, if this is okay, then what about a 13 year old?

VW ANSWER:
Well....since there is no Scripture addressing "modeling", I think we need to view it with an understanding of 'what' modeling is, and what it requires. Perhaps a lot of questions need to be answered:

Is this a "professional" deal? If a person gets hired, are they 'required' to do -any- and -all- jobs that come along? Or do they have the option to pick-n-choose? What is required to be selected? Of what does the 'audition' consist?

The fact that there might be 'legitimate' modeling is pretty obvious, because there is clothing that is promoted by the designers that can only be seen properly when worn; other goods and services are advertised for which they need models to help promote those things.

But what is modeling today...typically? For the most part is it not about 'sex'? If they are not parading nearly-naked, the poses are just as suggestive. And if it is modeling for video/TV, the 'moves' are typically sexually suggestive alluring moves. You ask about 13yr old....these 'moves' are being done by 5-6 yr olds! Hardly anything is done anymore where the female breasts aren't being shoved out, or the hips wiggled...and for the male, the hips not only wiggle, but they do lots of thrusting movements. It's all 'sexual'. And today's sex is with anybody and everybody. It is lasciviousness, promoting lust of all sorts. It is so prevalent that hardly anybody knows how to 'move' without the sexual over/under-tones. Do I need to provide chapter:verse on this?

Or, if there isn't movement or poses... this past week I've been collecting my neighbors' mail for them while they're on vacation, and have seen the covers of some catalogues and magazines; occasionally some come to my mailbox.... the close-up shots... the makeup 'just-so' with the look of 'invitation' in the facial expression. In the 50s and 60s I think they used to talk about "bedroom eyes" Again....it's about sex.

Now....I suspect, if a person can find a 'clean' agency to work with, there are the 'clean' gigs out there. On our local TV there are 'good' instances of modeling for things like building supply, auto sales, and such things....where people just simply stand straight, 'walk' around, motion with their hands, smile, and talk cheerily, etc. Or like the local "money tree" commercials where the two put on these caterpillar costumes... Nothing wrong with that, is there.

But I'll just share my own experience with music. Even in classical music. If one wants to be a "professional", professional, by definition, means that you are -there- to perform....'whatever' the director decides to pick. Years ago I did it. But if I were to get a hankering now to get back into it....as a Christian I really could not....because there are times that music is selected where I, as a Christian, can no longer perform certain things....like the catholic mass, and such things. For a pops concert how could I sing the selection from "Porgie and Bess"... "it ain't necessarily so....the things that you're libel to read in the Bible....it ain't necessarily so..." See what I mean? I never did opera....but when most of opera is about love triangles and other such filth....how can a Christian work in opera?

I would approach modeling the same, I should think. If the agency is one that can be trusted to do only 'clean' stuff.... But if the Christian becomes required to bare the body, and put the body in suggestive poses....to entice others to lust.... Well, if it is sin to "look" at a woman TO LUST (Mt5:28), what is posing one's own body to 'entice' others to lust? Is that not 10 times worse?

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Christians and Cheerleading?

READER QUESTION:
What is your view on Christians and cheerleading. Even at a Christian school?

VW ANSWER:
Would not the discussion and arguments for this follow along the same lines as your question about modeling?

Would not the answer be found in understanding 'what' the cheerleaders do? And what they are wearing? Just because it is in a "Christian" school, if they are dressing and acting like the world's cheerleaders....the label "Christian" would not make it right, would it? Not knowing what -your- school is doing...I've seen some things on TV....the news 'sports' segments....where school sports is featured, including the "Christian" schools. You know how they will show some segement of the competition...and the cameras will also often pan past the cheerleaders. Around here, I haven't seen how the Christian schools seem all that different from the world's schools in that department....or if they are somewhat "toned down", that they are -yet- where a Christian young lady should be...displaying herself to the world for them to lust after her.

That's just my observation.

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