To be a Peasent and Pure or to be Cultered and Damned?  

Posted by Daniel in ,

As some of you are very aware since you went, I went to the fine arts museum last week, (I think it was last week...) and we saw many, many naked or semi-naked statues and paintings. For me at least they did not provide a stumbling block, but they were disturbing in a way. It made me wonder, is there a real problem with these pictures? Any Christian and even most unbelievers would immediately say that porn is bad, or at least shouldn't be set up in a public place. Are these really any different from porn? If they aren't, then why do we have them up for public display, or go to a place that shows them? Most people would say that viewing art is good, and it helps us grow academically and such, but is it worth being "cultured" and yet damning ourselves? I know if that is the choice I would rather be but a mere peasant, and yet be pure. I don't really know the answers, or haven't decided yet at least lol, thoughts?

Striving to serve the Lord in all I do,
Daniel

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12 comments

You know what Daniel, I myself do not know how to answer a question as you posted. There is often a controversy between all of this, and some people as you mentioned view it as fine, whereas others do catagorize it with porn. I mean, many of the artist during the time period of the 1400's-1700's were very bold and detailed with their paintings. Just looking at Michelangelo, a quite famous artist, and his painting of David. That is quite open, or others who have painted naked drawings. I do not know where to put my stand point, is it all porn and evil, and is there a difference between the paintings of naked or semi-naked people and porn? Some of the paintings my brothers are not allow to view, and some of them they choose not to look at. I don't find them disturbing, but a bit interesting and rather odd, and how our culture is very open, and when you mention, "Oh, I saw some naked or semi-naked statues/paintings!", some people don't make a fuss, but when you say, "I came across porn!" It's totally different. So, what's the answer...? I'm sorry to say, but I don't know myself, and I would love to know. The American culture is becoming more and more open to this and shockingly allowing more and more naked pictures. We're becoming more like the European culture. Besides the point, I'm confused about this as well.

August 12, 2009 at 5:01 PM

And I would say, the human body is beautiful, because God made it, and it is. So no one can take me up on that lol, but is it proper outside the "bedroom"?

August 12, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Yes, and as I was thinking about this, I believe viewing naked art is far more beautiful than porno magazine covers, however. Nevertheless, what is the difference? Well, your question sure has been pondering within my mind! :) I'll pray about it, and ask a few other people what they think...

August 12, 2009 at 5:38 PM

I would say the question shouldn't be if it should be categorized with porn or not but whether it is profitable or edifying. I kinda don't think that looking at naked drawings and statues is edifying.
Just my thoughts. :)
~Bethany~

August 13, 2009 at 6:24 PM

I believe that the fine arts pictures of nudes or semi-nudes are just glorified pornography.Thanks for the post it is nice to see someone bringing up the question.

~Marci~

August 13, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Every artist paints from a worldview—presuppositions that reveal how he views God, man, and the world around him. So my question is: what can you determine an artist believes about man and where his worth and value is found through nude paintings? It appears to me that man is reduced to nothing more than mere flesh—part of nature. The beauty is removed. I believe a Christian can not and should not paint in such a way. As to viewing such paintings, I agree with Bethany, it is not edifying. (Phil. 4:8) If we’re studying a painting in school that includes nude people, my mom takes a strip of paper or something and covers them. :)

August 15, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Vanessa,
The painting of Michelangelo's David I believe is a very unbiblical picture--with a glorified view of the body of man. Reminds me of the Greeks. :P

August 15, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Lol, reminds me of practically every culture with art which isn't based on the Bible.

August 15, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Sadly, our culture is following the trend of paganism and is becoming farther and farther from the values, morals, and ultimately, the Biblical principles that our founding fathers fought and died for! How much longer will we stand by and watch our society continue is corruption? What can we do to change this?

I would have enjoyed going with ya'll to the museum, but now I'm kind of glad I didn't....

August 15, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Yes Daniel, every culture or society that is not based on Scripture will make man god. But I'm reminded of the Greeks especially because they strongly idolized strength and beauty (shown in their Olympics and pretty much everything else they did).

Michelangelo's David is a good picture of humanism as it presents an idea that man is great and powerful. It's sad though that he turned a well known Bible character into a piece of humanistic art.

August 15, 2009 at 6:06 PM

It's a good question... I think the crux of the debate is what you said here:

"Most people would say that viewing art is good, and it helps us grow academically and such, but is it worth being "cultured" and yet damning ourselves?"

The simple answer to that is no. It is never justifiable to sacrifice our souls on the altar of culture.

That being said, in your or my specific case, does going to an art museum damn you? I believe you expressed that for you it was not a stumbling block, so I would venture to answer my latter question with a "no" as well.

If going to an art museum and walking past (rather than lingering over) art that portrays nude bodies is causing you or a brother to stumble, I see no harm in visiting an art museum that contains plenty of other art to righteously look at and enjoy.

I personally can go in clean conscience before God and man to the museum, as it does not cause me or a brother/sister to stumble. Again, I am not lingering over them, I am walking past them, just like I would a store poster at the mall (which are created to entice and seduce, vs. art at the museum, regardless of how we view it, their intent was not to induce lust (to my knowledge). If ever the situation arises that it caused a weaker brother to stumble, than I would consider it my privilege and duty to stay far way, to honor that friend. But I think it's a case by case basis and you have to be lead by the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:12-21

August 17, 2009 at 5:32 PM

So sorry! :-0 That fifth paragraph should have read:

If going to an art museum and walking past (rather than lingering over) art that portrays nude bodies is NOT causing you or a brother to stumble.. (etc.)

heh... such a difference one word makes. ;)

August 17, 2009 at 5:54 PM

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