288 thoughts on “The Temptress”

      1. As usual, says much more about writer than about anyone else – not an uncommon element of these sorts of things, but lines like “The slit in her skirt reveals momentary sensual glimpses of her thigh with every step.” really push this one into especially grotesque territory.

        1. In some alternative reality, this guy’s writing pornographic fan fiction under the pen name Cherith Cutestory.

  1. Here’s a solution. Mister horny pants needs to grow up and learn to control his hormones. Seriously. Why, in fundy fantasies, does female body automatically = sexual ? I have two beautiful sisters. Believe it or not, I’ve never been attracted to them that way. Shocking, I know. I go to work and collaborate with women in skirts and dresses and shorts and whatever. Guess what I’m not thinking about? It’s called being a grown man. And am I the only one who suspects this writer was typing with one hand?

    1. Not the only one who suspects. Many fundy MoGs preach loudest about which they personally struggle or have a failing.

      Example: JSchaap: preached against sex in the weirdest, most odd way ever before he was discovered…

    2. Maybe if he would repent of thinking of women as objects instead of souls granted their lives and dignity from God, he would better overcome his “lower whatever” and humbly accept that women are co-heirs of Jesus Christ.

    3. Because somewhere along the way the idea that male erections can happen without ANYBODY CONSCIOUSLY CAUSING THEM OR EVEN CAUSING THEM BY FAILING TO PREVENT THEM, DAMN IT, became anathema. That’s all I can think of. Instead of “Yow, sexy–okay, back to my regularly scheduled life–dang it, popped a woody, better sit here for a minute and concentrate on non-sexy things–now back to what I was doing,” it’s nonstop freakouts about SEX-hual SINN-uh. Every single little impulse becomes a reason for angst and blame and sermons and creepy books like the thing in the OP.

      And these preachers think we worldly types are obsessed with sex!

        1. And there’s Smiley the Bear’s frumpy sister Sheila saying “Only you can prevent unwanted male erections.”

    1. When a girl walks in showing any bit of skin
      And a smile comes on your face
      You get tempted by her posterior
      And you shouldn’t because you’re superior
      But deep in your heart you’re under the spell
      Of a foul temptress from deep in Hell
      Oh baby, I implore
      Wear a dress down to the floor
      My MOG tried to warn me
      But he’s equally as horny

      1. Dear Lost Highway:

        It seems not to occur to some that people are ‘distracted’ by any ‘bit of skin’ and posteriors because they’re SUPPOSED to be… I mean seriously — does anyone believe that if members didn’t respond to such stimuli, that nothing would be said about their latent homosexuality?

        Nothing like a ‘double-bind’ that provides low-hanging, easily attainable, guilt-based sermon fodder. Face it–the average fundy pastor is going to spend any time exegeting the passage…So what else have they got?

        Christian Socialist

        1. Exactly! Also without leering at her, paying her creepy compliments or generally being a major jerk.

  2. “Momentary sensual glimpses of her thigh”

    Good grief, the freak who wrote this probably “stumbled” more by WRITING it than the imaginary men who saw the girl in the short dress.

    Sheesh….this makes me want to barf….

    It’s like when I was in fundy college and you couldn’t wear anything with lace because it MADE men think of lingerie.

    You couldn’t wear sleeveless because some men were turned on by shoulders. (No girl at my fundy school had shoulders that good)

    The list goes on. Start taking responsibility for YOURSELF! And please, for the love of all that is normal, stop blaming women for your inability to keep it in your pants….

    It has taken me almost 6 years to get to a place where I am not over analyzing what I put on before I leave the house…

    Praise God for the freedom to finally wear shorts…

    #endrant

        1. I did the best I could. I was by myself so that was a challenge. My back still hurts and I have some Judy Garland CDs I need to sell if anyone is interested.

        2. The “L” was easy. I just strapped some batteries to myself and pretended to be a strap-on. The “G” was a bit more difficult, but Scorpio helped out with that. The “B” was going to be a challenge too, until Scorpio introduced me to his land-lady. The “T” part was pretty easy; I just donned my KISS costume from last halloween. All in all, a pretty exhausting experiment.

    1. Still can’t shake the “shoes with no backs” rule. Shopping at Kmart yesterday, the summer shoes were on sale. I felt so wicked just looking.

      1. UH-OH. I may have just caused a brother reading this to lust by thinking about women’s summer shoes. Or even worse, tempted one to go to Kmart and hang out in the women’s summer shoe aisle….. I think this may possibly lead to women causing men to lust by just talking – or typing!

        1. Seriously? You don’t know Kmart? It’s kind of like Walmart with a K. Only not as good, at least where I’m from. I think most Fundies are ok with Kmart. They do sell women’s denim jumpers and white tennis shoes. But those sandals…..

    2. “… you couldn’t wear anything with lace because it MADE men think of lingerie.”

      Presumably the same men who can’t go into a room with lace curtains or a table runner without having to excuse themselves to the bathroom …

        1. Sorry that was suggested already. It’s late here and neither of my brain cells works after a certain hour…

    3. You couldn’t wear anything with lace?!? Good grief, what is this, be feminine, but don’t be too feminine because that would make men stumble?!? I wonder if purses and Bible covers trimmed with lace made men think of lingerie. And if they saw a table with a lace trimmed tablecloth would they want to make out with the table?!?

      1. Many compounds banned the use of Bible covers because it “hid” poor old King Jimmy. Can’t be ashamed of the Book, now, can we? On the other hand, some places encouraged it as a means to protect it and keep the markers handy so you could write down everything MOG told you to.

        As far as lace goes, well, Jack Hyles himself wrote a book with the word “lace” in the title. So there you have the constant contradiction inherent in Fundystan.

        1. That portrait of King James is actually more butch than most. Google “King James I portraits” and you’ll see what I mean.

        1. The KJV doesn’t even mention shoe laces, it calls them latchets so as not to stumble the menfolk.

        2. It doesn’t make a flipping bit of difference- that’s what’s so infuriating about all the nonsense

        3. Not only is lace mentioned in the KJV, it’s mentioned in the same verse as the word “breast” (well, “breastplate”, but close enough). You see, even the KJV is subtly warning against the use of lace, lest it lead men to Exodus 28:28. The poor men won’t be able to handle the image of lace and breast[plate]. Then the pages of Exodus will be stuck together…

  3. An earnest woman finally decided to go to church to seek this ethereal being called “God” because she felt an intense yearning she could only attribute only to spiritual hunger.

    She sat in her car, crying, hoping she could find hope, love and acceptance.

    Finally, when she heard the beautiful singing about the love of God, so rich and pure, how measureless and strong, she walked into the building. She was at first overwhelmed by the beautiful, clean, and exquisitely appointed lobby.

    A moment later she was approached by a well-dressed couple. They said, “Please, take this shapeless garment and put it over your tight, form-fitting tank top that shows your 32A cleavage. Please don’t trip over it, because it comes right to the floor to cover up your lust-inducing toes. We won’t even discuss how perverted you must be to show the bottom of your kneecaps with those heathen pedal-pushers you’re wearing.”

    Upon hearing those words, the dejected woman walked out the door, never to return. She got in her car, drove away, with AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” playing on her 8-track. It was still playing when they recovered her body from the wreckage. Her car had stalled on the railroad tracks on her way to work at the buffet restaurant that the all the church-goers planned to attend after service.

    1. Well said! I always find it interesting that the fundies treat women as inferior yet whenever we wear something other than a floor length potato sack, we all of a sudden have the power to make every man who sees us fall into sin. Which is it? I have heard stories of more than one young lady being chased away from church because of the clothing issue. It’s sad that the fundies can’t see the forest for the trees. Oh yeah, this article is flipping creepy! What a pervert!

    2. At the fundy church of my youth, a lady walked in one Sunday morning. One of the deacons, the head deacon I think, saw her and said, “You must be a visitor. Our ladies don’t wear pants.”
      She turned around and left.
      What if that was her only attempt to attend a church?

      1. The sermon was against ladies wearing pants the day my sister came to visit. She never came back to that particular church, and I left soon after.

        They were her best pants, and her best blouse…she had really made an effort to look nice.

        1. Damn. I’m sure the lady who went to my old church was dressed nice, too.
          This crap just makes me mad. Preaching against pants? I wonder what verses he used. Probably something about ‘unclean’ things or some such garbage.
          I know a guy who went off in his sermon about the evils of the NIV Bible, and I’m sitting there, with my NIV Bible in my lap. He also slammed Methodists, and next Sunday I went back to my United Methodist Church.
          I wanted to ask him how many minutes a week does he have his congregations’ attention? Why not preach God’s grace instead of going on about which Bible is the ‘right’ one?

        2. It has been many years since the incident with my sister, but I think the preacher was talking about “gray areas”, and we were suddenly talking about pants on women and whether or not we could see movies in a theater.

          I just remember feeling devastated because it had taken me so long to get my sister to church, and then she was slighted from the pulpit for what she was wearing. And, yes, it was a young preacher boy from the church’s Bible “college” (all 8 or so of them) that thankfully died a natural death after a few years. I do have to give the church credit for changing a great deal since those times. Most of the pastors in the church group are from accredited seminaries like Dallas Theological and Western. So, there has been progress of a positive kind.

        3. So much damage done by those people. You and I each have a story. I wonder how many hundreds of others there are.

        1. Amazing. I hope these ‘Christians’ are shown the damage they have done during their lives.

        1. You are SO right. You definitely had to get yourself straightened out, cut your hair, buy ‘decent’ clothes, and THEN ‘come forward’.

    3. Yes, this. Because we wouldn’t want the church to be a place where hurting people can find healing. Oh no. We have to protect the longtime members delicate sensibilities at all costs.

    4. I’d like to come out of lurk mode long enough to add my own version of this story as well, pretty please.
      ——-
      An earnest young Christian of the masculine variety, and very much heterosexual, please and thank you, parks his car in the church parking lot. He prays aloud to God in his car, that that tax collector, er… I mean… That that public school teacher o’er in yonder lobby may see he is an righteous young Christian of the masculine variety, and very much heterosexual, please and thank you.
      He prays for God to bless the upcoming services, and also that Martha, his sister in the Lord, does not bring that poor excuse of a green bean casserole for the potluck meal following the service. He has been acutely aware of his fleshly lapses and spiritual failings during the past few days, and he is earnestly looking forward to the fellowship with the fellow frozen chosen of his flock, the songs sung through false piety, and the questionable preaching of the Word of God.
      Also that green bean casserole tastes disgusting.
      He wants to enter into the upcoming services, not as a spectator, but as a receiver of various overly congratulatory platitudes on the holiness of having the entire scriptures, except Song of Solomon, written out on the design of his necktie.
      Within moments of entering the auditorium, he happens to see a young woman of the church dressed in her sackcloth and ashes. It is to be observed all of the other woman of the church around him are dressed also in sackcloth and ashes. There are no women there that day who are not of the church. He need worry not that he may glance up a momentary sensual glimpse of a woman’s thigh that day, foul temptresses that those women be.
      He steps forward a few feet to his designated pew, his name embossed upon both ends to show that which is his. In his haste to sit down the instant before the pastor stands to begin the service, he brushes against one of the Bibles supplied on the back of the pew in front of him. The fly of his suit pants chances to catch on the corner of the Holy Book in front of him, providing that little tug and stimulation which is required for his raging big one to spring forth quite naturally from its lair.
      “Lord, Father God Almighty, Messiah, Maker of Heaven and Earth,” he cries towards the heavens, rending asunder his clothes in anguish and shame! “You have caused me to stumble!”
      From that day on, he is an atheist, homosexual, Democrat, who cross dresses (for you, Scorpio πŸ˜‰ ).
      This, ladies and persons of the masculine variety who are very much heterosexual, please and thank you, is why we cannot allow the supply of Bibles on the backs of every pew that sits in front of another.
      ——-
      By the way, I’m neither Republican nor Democrat, though I’m registered to the first for purposes of being able to vote in the primaries. I’m actually Independent. Lol!

  4. It doesn’t matter what we wear, our lot in life is to inflame lust in men and turn them from god. We’re bad bad bad.

    The comments here are a huge part of my enjoyment of your blog. Just found you recently and am enjoying it/banging my head on the wall reading it.

    1. Yeah, if it wasn’t for you wimen, us men would never sin. Seriously, I am highly insulted at the idea that men are weak and can be made to sin by women because we can’t control ourselves when we get any small glimpse of the female form. That’s a load of

  5. 24/7 thought process of the author:

    OMG calves.
    OMG thighs.
    OMG fingers.
    OMG hair.
    OMG back
    OMG shoulders
    OMG toes
    OMG eyes
    OMG arms
    OMG ankles.
    OMG ears
    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG cleavage
    OMG elbow.
    OMG knees

    1. I’ve always thought that a pretty woman in a nice pair of eyeglasses looks very sexy.
      Therefore, no woman (or girl over 10) should ever wear glasses. Because of me.
      If you can’t see, too bad. That’s just the price of not making me stumble.
      And don’t tell me to just grow up and get over it. I don’t have to, here at Male Leadership Gospel Baptist Church and School.

        1. Tats?

          (gouges eyes out forgetting that it is my wayward mind, and not my physical eyes, that causes me to stumble. Also, forgetting that I can no longer see to type)

          jklls wookjd. jm m 3kflncvhbcxoqaa3

          HGH.E.Ek

        2. Wrong vowel, BJg. Must I explain EVERYTHING?

      1. I’m far from the first person to note that although “Sharia Law” has become a big Fundy/Right-Wing bugaboo, if they actually knew what Sharia says, they would agree with most of it.

        1. Exactly. Take away the word “Muslim” insert the words “Fundmentalist Chritian” and tell me how many people would notice the difference?

        2. Just repackage “Sharia Law” as “Standards and Convictions” and, as you said, they’ll be cool with most of it.

  6. What always gets me about all of this is that there are no dress standards for men, other than no earrings or necklaces or long hair. Not sexual things. Because women don’t get turned on by men don’tcha know. Only men have lust problems, women never do.

    I remember one Sunday in Fundyville where a man came to watch his kid get baptized. He’d never been there before. He was dressed in tight white shorts and an open shirt and he looked GOOD. He had a hairy chest… but I digress. As I was leaving that morning I passed by him and had some lustful thoughts. Oh my! Shame on me, I’m such a hussy! Because women don’t get turned on by men don’tcha know, only men have lustful thoughts.

    That evening the pastor said when he talked to the man he apologized for how he was dressed, feeling it was inappropriate for church. The pastor gushed, “Oh, what you’re wearing is FINE, we’re just so glad you’re HERE!” I highly doubt that if it had been the boy’s mom and she’d had on a short skirt and low cut blouse he’d have said the same thing to her.

  7. It seems like this kind of stuff would actually do the opposite of what it is purportedly written to do. I mean really, do I have that much power? If I stick out my bare foot and wiggle my toes, can I make a million men stumble? BS. It is only the ones who are creepy and have been raised on this crap, (and are therefore thinking of it ALL the time), that are going to “stumble.” It isn’t the woman, her body, her clothes or her actions that cause the reaction in this kind of a man. It is what he thinks about that does that. Luke 6:45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. And if I might add (gasp) a little here, he acts on whatever he has stored up in his heart and mind as well.

  8. It continues to amaze me that, at a place that preaches and teaches self discipline and guarding of the mind, some men show neither. And, of course, it is not their fault.

  9. My slightly weird brain is reminded of one of Dar-El’s previous posts.
    Two stick figures.
    The larger figure says “Son, if a man looks on a woman lustfully, that is like adultery, and since adultery is a sin of two people, that woman must be at fault for provoking the man to lust. See?”
    The small figure says “Sowhat I’m hearing is that we shouldn’t tell Mom about the gay guy who was checking you out at the store?”

    1. Commercial radio is incredibly crass and lewd–but it has an off switch. Same with cable and its online offshoots. But try getting a fundie preacher to shut up about sex!

        1. Permanently unplugging them would be nice. Or at least disconnecting the loudspeakers and dumping them.

  10. That must be a slow process, because I’ve been seeing women in “britches” for my whole life, and I can still see (although I did get glasses a few years ago).

  11. Can’t understand everything Jacko is saying there, but it’s obviously a case of the “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” fallacy.
    Hyles has evil thoughts, and he looks around and the first thing he sees is some thighs, or a liquor store, or an open-toed shoe, or a Revised Standard Version Bible, so he concludes that his evil thoughts are caused by what he saw.

  12. Churches are full of all manner of vice. They are supposed to be a hospital for the sick, not museums for relics. Not defending immodest attire, but had the immodestly dressed woman not come in, something else would have distracted such a man. If many lost folks are coming to church, then a lot of immodest attire will be seen. A man who has a problem with this needs to grow up.

  13. And then there’s the “modest wedding dress” requirement- no shoulders. Maybe it’s just a matter of personal taste, but I always thought fundy wedding pics lacking in excitement and magic – the word “insipid” comes to mind

    1. Glad I’m not the only one who has thought this. Ugh. They always look so… the same. Same dress, same suit, same flowers, same makeup, same hairdo…

      My wedding, should I ever have one, shall be quirky and fun and I don’t care who flips out, there will be dancing.

        1. When I find my elusive male counterpart and wed him outdoors sans church, sans sermon, sans any insipid solos from Soul-Stirring Songs and Hymns, and with both dancing and alcohol in attendance, I’ll most definitely post pictures. πŸ™‚

  14. Looks like others thought this sounded like porn as well. Since Lady Semp already has brilliant and sobering covered, it looks like I’m, uh, stuck with an excerpt from:

    “The Strange Case of “Dr.” Jack Allen by Mr. Snide”

    …Although he had been restored to his previous form, “Dr.” Jack Allen could still sense that the elixer’s powers had not entirely dissipated. As he entered the auditorium where he was to give his presentation, his eyes fastened on a certain aficianado of the sciences. She was comely, and as she walked a small slit in her skirt revealed thighs that flashed like mackerals gamboling about in the moonlight insensate that they are arousing the interest of the lurking baracuda.

    “Dr.” Jack Allen sensed his lower nature enlarging and expanding, struggling to break free from its prison. Returning to her seat, the seductress demurely crossed her legs exposing her kneecaps– the sight of which drove the good “doctor” nearly mad with desire. He struggled mightily to control his lower self, lest it burst forth and defile him with its very essence.

    With a voice veritably dripping with sensuality, this siren provocatively asked, “What are you going to be demonstrating for us today, “Doctor?”
    “I believe I shall be polishing my shaft…”

      1. HAHAHA!

        In all seriousness though, and I’m not a doctor, but as laughable and as deserving of ridicule as this “guide” is, the author comes across as a man who might genuinely benefit if he were to make an appointment with some sort of mental health professional. Unfortunately, as a Fundamentalist, he would probably never consider that kind of help as an option.

  15. “I’m sorry, honey,” says the cardiologist to the woman in the story above, “We need to get inside your heart immediately and repair a bad valve, however that would require not only me but the entire surgical team seeing some skin. So best of luck to ya…”

      1. Wickedness is always a recent invention. In the 1950s I dare say the preachers looked with longing to the 1920s or the 1890s. Nothing is ever right in one’s current times. And only desolation lies ahead.

        So God has to come back and burn up all the miniskirts to make the earth righteous again, dontcha know! Never were any such thing generations ago, and until God judges wimminz, things will never be right.

        1. With my luck the miniskirts will burn up while I’m at the gym and wearing yoga pants.

        2. Dear God:
          Please don’t burn up the mini skirts. That would devastate me.
          Sincerely,
          BJg

  16. I guess I have to wear a bed sheet over my head and body to church then…

    But then either it’s bad cuz I’m wearing something from an evil bed. Or I’m trying to look like a ghost, so that means I’m occultish.

  17. Must be awful when the poor fundie preacher who’s lately been convicted of his failings in the area of gluttony since his 58-waist polyester trousers no longer fit, walking into the church and smelling all those casseroles from the fellowship hall. Must plunge him right into a battle with lust and weakness.

    Or maybe he just lumbers happily into the sanctuary, determined to cut his rant slightly short for the day and be the first to the buffet table.

  18. After YEARS of propaganda I have a hard time not feeling guilty over my clothing choices. Of course, this might be because I’m still stuck where fingers are used to measure hemlines and I am expected to give demerits for “tight” shirts, etc.
    It’s hard for my mind to accept that there are men who don’t “stumble” or even don’t care what women wear.
    Deprogramming – not as easy as it sounds.

      1. Alas, with my diabetes, wine is out of the question. I drink coffee, black, but it just isn’t the same!

        The best way to deprogram is to program an alternate routine. One does not unlearn, rather one uses new learning to replace and overwrite old learning.

        1. I’d also recommend devalidating things. Guess what? All those questions don’t matter one bit. Get to that place, and so many things just drift away…

        2. A friend, knowing my restricted background, brought me some wine at a graduation party recently. (Wine and beer for adults; plenty of soda for underage attendees, btw.) I sipped it all evening, but would have preferred Diet Coke! Lol

        3. Wine is an acquired taste. Also, not all wine is good wine.
          Rum, on the other hand, is something everyone can appreciate.

    1. BUT THAT”S WHAT JEEZUS SAID……!!!!1!!!

      Or something. Idk, they make their own crap up. Then they shove it wet and dripping into their Savior’s mouth.

  19. That’s it! I’m headed to the front of the church to beg forgiveness from all men everywhere. Right after I pick up my burkas from the cleaners.

    1. Dear Miss TTU Runner-Up:

      I wondered if anyone would pick up on that …

      Methinks the first c. issue differed somewhat.

      Traditionally, that culture was hierarchical and patriarchal. After Jesus’ ministry, believers inhabited the new reality of ‘neither male nor female.’ In eternity, Ga 3:28 distinctions matter even less; there is [for example] no marriage.

      But while they inhabited the new reality, tradition still mattered to believers in some respects even though in Christ, there is no longer male or female. After all, women and men must still live with each other, and live in marriage.

      So the great question of that day was this:

      ‘caught between hierarchical and patriarchal norms where such distinctions mattered plenty in the past age, and the eschaton where these distinctions are not normative at all, how do believers in the interim manage [work out, live with] the tension between the present age [where distinctions do matter, but not ultimately] as we move relentlessly toward the newer day where present distinctions won’t matter at all?

      It is a shame that so much injury has been done because so many have no clue how to formulate questions that recognize culture and honor Scripture. But yes, Miss TTU Runner-Up, the questions differ vastly, and you are entirely correct to note it. Move to the head of the class…

      Christian Socialist

  20. I am probably going to be a distinct minority with this comment. However, while neither my wife nor I consider ourselves fundamentalists anymore (we were raised in fundamentalist churches), we do agree to an extent with the main thrust of this article.

    In our church, most of the ladies do dress modestly. However, there is a young college age girl, very attractive, who wears very short skirts, and often backless tops. I have to exert a lot of willpower to avoid looking (lust has been a lifelong struggle, which I have to renew daily). I am NOT excusing my own sin AT ALL when I DO give in to the temptation; however, I am certain that if this young lady were to dress with longer skirts, showing less skin, my temptation would be drastically curtailed. I’m not saying that this girl is some kind of “evil seductress” or anything like that at all, don’t get me wrong. In fact, she very well may not know the effect she is having on me (and let’s face it, if it’s me, then it’s certainly at least some other men and adolescents as well).

    For that reason, I do think that it’s wise and considerate of women to think about how the way they are dressing is affecting the men around her. For brothers who are “grown-ups”, and don’t struggle with that temptation, I am happy for them; but please, brothers and sisters, remember that we are not all at that point in our walk, and some of us continue to struggle. Please consider helping us out, rather than scolding us for not being “grown-up”. This is NOT a temptation felt solely by fundamentalist men.

    1. Alan, I do kinda agree with you. what you seem to be advocating is sensitivity, respect and common sense. I think it works both ways, for men and women. But you should not turn sensitivity, respect and common sense into a one-size-fits-all set of laws. Which is what many Christians can do, not just “fundies” πŸ™

      1. Thanks, Paul, for your comment. I agree with you about the dangers of the fundamentalist’s (and others’, as you note) bent towards creating a set of one-size-fits-all standards/rules. I am trying to avoid that pitfall of “legalism”, while trying to encourage Christian sisters to try to put themselves in the shoes of Christian men, to try to understand the struggles many of us men have on a daily basis. Of course, that ALSO means that we Christian men need to hear the concerns and struggles of our Sisters, and be willing to adjust our own behavior accordingly…not out of obligation, but out of love.

        1. No argument here, Alan. I’ve had the same problems. There should be some type of a sense of ‘place’ here, but it can’t be demanded. Dressing for church should not be the same as dressing for a night out with friends. But, that’s just my opinion.
          The first rule should be a doctor’s first rule: Do no harm. We don’t want to scare anyone away from church.
          Past that, I have no idea how to proceed. I was raised in a fundy church for 26 years, so I have to question my reaction to situations that ‘should not exist’ in the church. I’m sure I’d come across as judgmental. I know there is a better way or a more preferred way, but I wouldn’t trust myself to say anything.

        2. Please Alan, be a Poe. Is it only Christian women in church that make you lust after them? Give me a break. What about the girls walking down the street, on the beach, on the tv? This “trying to encourage Christian sisters to try to put themselves in the shoes of Christian men” is BS pure and simple. Go see a therapist.

        3. First of all, I don’t know what you mean by “be a Poe”. I never said that it was only Christian women in church. I daily struggle to keep my eyes where they belong, wherever I am, especially in the summer months. For the most part, I am successful, by God’s grace. Honestly, I am having a difficult time understanding the ferocity of your response, referring to my comment as “BS, pure and simple”, and advising me to go see a therapist? Why this hostility? Were my comments really so over-the-top to warrant such a response from you?

        4. Ok, excuse the ferocity. All my life I have been told by men to dress this way or that way, to do this or do that, to not to this or not do that – for them, I wish it was not true but so many of those men where just dirty old men. Put yourself in the shoes of a woman who from the time she was a girl was made to feel like a sexual object. I wish you could understand what it feels like to be made to wear a dress as a little girl and then frowned at if you act like a child and the dress flaps up above your knees for a second. This continues on all your life. So many Christian men use women’s clothing as a barely veiled excuse to be suggestive or to flirt in a heavy handed manner, which we are supposed to just take because “men can’t help themselves.” How would you feel if any older woman you met felt free to examine what you were wearing and comment, either in a negative or positive manner, on it? Say things like, You should wear a longer suit jacket, that one is a little revealing. Or. Those pants make you look provocative, they should be looser.
          My suggestion about the therapist was serious. If you are struggling constantly with other women’s bodies to the point where it is a problem. You need help or maybe you just need to realize that you are human, think, oh isn’t she pretty and move on to more important matters. If you can’t, you need help. That was my point.

        5. Thanks, Miriam! I can see where you’re coming from about the heavy-handedness, the lack of grace/tact/love, the sexual objectification and the self-righteousness. I absolutely agree with you that the culture of many fundy churches lends itself to all these things and more. They are the very reasons why I left fundy circles.

          However, I believe that a concern for sexual purity in deed, word and thought was something that ALL Christians would have. That is my concern; I don’t think it’s something I need to see a therapist for. It’s something I take to Christ each day though, and I’m given the grace each day to fight this temptation, as well others I struggle with. I don’t think that my struggle is so out-of-the-norm that I should see a therapist.

          By the way, what does “be a Poe” mean? πŸ™‚

        6. “Poe. A person who writes a parody of a Fundamentalist that is mistaken for the real thing. Due to Poe’s Law, it is almost impossible to tell if a person is a Poe unless they admit to it.” From Urban Dictionary.

        7. This has been said here before. Constantly being aware of something, even through trying not to think of it, asking forgiveness for thinking of it, vowing not to think of it, etc, is the surest way to be always thinking of it. Don’t think of moist, chewy, dark chocolate brownies.

        8. That’s a good point, and I’ve noticed that phenomenon sometimes. But my experience has been that when I DON’T pray about this struggle (or any other, for that matter), I’m much more likely to find myself giving in instead of fighting the good fight.

          Thanks for the definition! Honestly never heard that one before! I’m being completely genuine here, so I don’t think I’m being a “poe”. πŸ™‚

        9. When there is honest dialogue, each of us can learn. When there is dogmatism, resentment is the best possible outcome.

        10. I hope I haven’t been too dogmatic? I do understand the dangers over-reacting, over-sexualizing, over-legislating. I just hope that you can understand where I’m coming from as well?

          And if I hadn’t been open to honest dialogue, I’d still be a KJV-only, Young Earth Creationist who thought it was always sinful to drink alcohol and listen to rock music! πŸ™‚

        11. You were honest. Honesty with others is good but honesty with ourselves is the best thing, probably also the hardest thing. I think you may be clinging to some Fundy stuff that you aren’t completely aware of. Having said that, it is very true that we all are on a journey. Things aren’t static, things aren’t perfect.

        12. I honestly have to say that I’m not sure what “fundy stuff” I’m clinging to. But that’s OK.

        13. It is hard to be honest and unoffensive at the same time. I don’t want to offend. I guess maybe what I am trying to say is that there are things that are preached and preached against until our instincts are not true. The voice in our heads and hearts can be that of the Fundamentalist training we had and not actually God’s voice, or our conscience. Simple appreciation of physical beauty is not necessarily lust, for example. I am not saying that is what is happening for you. This is just an example.

        14. Sure, I agree that simple appreciation of physical beauty is not necessarily lust. No doubt about that. However, our heart are also deceitful. I’m sure that many a man has “justified” looking at porn, for example, by fooling himself into thinking that he’s just appreciating the woman’s physical beauty.

          But I have certainly known times when I’ve been able to simply recognize that a woman is a knock-out without lusting for her. My sisters-in-law fit this description, for example.

          I’ve actually found that the best practical way that God has given us (at least me) to conquer lust is to actually get to know the woman, to establish a friendship with her. It’s a lot harder in my experience to feel a lust for someone who is your friend than it is to feel a lust for a stranger. Does that make sense?

        15. It is the difference between objectifying and humanizing. It is a very sensible and practical thing to do.

        16. Also understand that on this blog many, many of us have been badly hurt by Fundamentalists and their system and rules and even though we may not ask for it, we need consideration too.

        17. I couldn’t agree more, and I truly hope that nothing I have said has suggested otherwise! πŸ™‚

        18. One doesn’t escape from fundamentalism all at once. It is a long, drawn out process, and like an addiction, it will always try to call you back.

          Your formulary for dealing with “lust” is still fundamentalist. It is understandable. But like every legalistic system, you will find it always fails, always needs more strict adherence to the rules, more “consideration,” more rules to fix the things unfixed — a never-ending parade of misery.

          It can’t be fixed that way. The question might actually be if what you think is “broken” is actually broken at all, or whether you are being diverted from the real issues.

        19. I’m truly confused about what is legalistic about my formula for dealing with lust. I’ve said in my other posts that I am not asking for some “list” of rules. But the law of love informs us that we are to be considerate of one another out of love, not out of legal obligation. This law applies to ALL of us, including me.

          Since my way of dealing with lust, as well as laziness, and other sins, is to confess them, to repent of them and to ask for the Spirit to change me, why is this “fundamentalist”? Isn’t this just “Christian”? I’m afraid you may not have read all my posts, or you’re reading something into them that isn’t there.

        20. Your confusion is noted. But from other things you have said, you also wish others would change (be more considerate) and dress more modestly (by your definitions). You think that sexual purity (something not really easily defined) should be a focus. You are so intent on changing that you cannot accept yourself for who you are right now.

          Legalism is not just lists of rules. Can’t you see that the way others dress isn’t being inconsiderate of you? Your thoughts aren’t the standard. In your view of consideration, extended beyond yourself, we would all have to move to the strictest kind of slavish worrying about what would offend someone, making us incapable of thought or action. Because no matter what you do, someone will take exception to it.

        21. You go too far. You take my comments and take them to the extreme. Is there no place for modesty, HOWEVER defined? IS there no place for sexual purity, HOWEVER defined? Is there no place for asking for consideration? I don’t mind if someone points out to me how I am being inconsiderate; in fact, I hope that I would take it on board and GROW because of it.

          Never said that my thoughts are the standard. And I’m not asking for a slavish kind worrying. If that’s how you’ve interpreted my comments, I’m sorry, but that isn’t at all what I’ve attempted to communicate.

        22. Alan, it isn’t that you have gone there, simply that you are pointed in that general direction. It is where we all wind up if we take the position that somehow others are obliged to accommodate us. It is where countless cults have gone to, it is the result of monastic thinking.

          It isn’t where you are.

          Alan, I don’t know you. But you are human, I take it? We are all very much alike, not nearly as unique as we like to believe. Our temptations and struggles are all common ones. Our motivations are the same. We reason or unreason in the same ways.

          So if I talk as if I know you, I don’t know you. But I know people. So do marketers. They don’t have to measure your foot uniquely to make a shoe that fits or clothes you can wear.

          If I offend you, just think that I am talking about myself. But you might want to remember that we are not that different, not really.

        23. Fair enough. I appreciate most of your thoughts, and agree to a point; my feathers were a little ruffled by what seemed to me to be your assumption of things about me that aren’t true. That kind of assumption is often made by fundamentalists too. So perhaps we both have some “fundamentalist” residue to clean off. πŸ™‚

        24. Get to know me better (my writing shows me pretty good) and you will confirm this in spades. I will be fighting fundamentalism in me till I die.

        25. However, I believe that a concern for sexual purity in deed, word and thought was something that ALL Christians would have.

          And that, perhaps is your problem. As well as the problem of many who misunderstand what Christianity is about.

          You want to be pure? Go to heaven. Stop living. Die.

          Life is messy. There is nothing that is completely “pure.” We live a life of grace, not law. You want “pure”? You are asking for everyone else to bow down to your legalistic notions. We forgive others and we forgive ourselves, never forgetting that we are only sinners.

          It is like the student who is so concerned with passing the test they have no time to study the material. You want the results without the work.

          You should be much more focused on treating others rightly than you are with purity. Go out of your way to be kind, to be helpful, to make things better for others and you won’t have time to be bothered by lust.

          Christianity is not about purity. It is not about sinlessness. It is about life, living, making mistakes, forging relationships, forgiving, and moving forward. It is not a state of being.

          Live with yourself. Christ loved you. He didn’t remove all your personality when He saved you. The struggle is part of who you are. What you make of it is up to you, not them.

        26. Yes, die. Die to self and take up the cross each day. It’s certainly true that we won’t be perfect in this life, but that’s no excuse to evade the pursuit of holiness.

    2. Alan, I hear you, but I really think you are fooling yourself. Not that this is uncommon, since we all want to think that something outside of ourselves causes us to react the way we do.

      If looking at a bare back causes you to lust, then so will looking at a covered one since you can imagine a bare back. In fact, the girls could be clothed in a burlap burqa and you would still find something to lust after.

      The Scripture says our lust is internal, not external. A girl can be completely modest and I will still lust. Her elegance, fresh and simple appearance charms me mightily. I love to see girls in modest white dresses!

      Then, too, some indecent outfits make me turn away in disgust. Clothing is not the issue.

      Let me give you an example. Go to a clothing-optional beach sometime. No really. You will find the lack of clothes is not what turns you on. What attracts me is how a person carries themself, their level of unassuming self confidence around others. And why aren’t these beaches full of wanton, uncontrolled orgies? Because the lack of clothes doesn’t make people go out of control.

      If you think that how others behave (without thinking about you, even!) is going to make your life with lust easier or harder, you are avoiding the real issue. Lust, like any other hunger, is an expression of need. It says something about you, not about what you are hungry for.

      As a diabetic, I have sugar cravings. But it is unfair for me to deny sugar to everyone else because I can’t have it. Even if it wasn’t available, I would still want it. The trick is for me to find out what I am really needing, not what I am fixated on.

      My own lust can be sated by my wife’s attentions, if she is willing. Discord, being too busy, inattention can leave these needs unmet. The church has taught that marital lust is still sinful, that all sex should be “holy.” Nonsense. If your wife were the object of your desires and you her’s and you made sex playful and fun, you likely wouldn’t be bothered so much.

      Sorry for the length of this. But we are all experts at not seeing the real issues.

      1. “If your wife were the object of your desires and you her’s and you made sex playful and fun, you likely wouldn’t be bothered so much.”
        Thank you, this is one of the things I wanted to say but wasn’t sure how to say it

        1. The story above was a good start for a piece of literary erotica. I’d skip the part about being defeated and instead have it lead it to a tryst in the church food pantry where they both volunteered.

      2. Thanks for the thoughtful response. I don’t disagree with much of it, to be honest. But I can only speak for my own experience. When a woman wears less clothing, my eye is more drawn.

        I completely agree that it’s an internal issue, I have no disagreement at all about that. And that internal issue is addressed each day when I take it to Christ. Please don’t think that anything I said was supposed to suggest that I’m blaming my OWN sin on others. I’m really honestly not. Neither am I asking for some rigid dress code; I’m really just, at the end of the day, asking fellow believers (in this area, as well as others) to be considerate of one another.

        1. Alan, no one is going to be able to be considerate enough. Your problem is that you are expecting the wrong things from your spiritual life.

          You don’t want your eye to be drawn? Why not? That isn’t sin. As Dr. Bob Sr used to say, you can’t stop the birds from flying overhead, but you can keep them from nesting in your hair.

          The point of Christianity is not that others be more considerate of you, but that you be more considerate of them. You become what you focus on. Stop worrying about lust and start thinking about the ways you can be kind to those who need you.

        2. Augustine said that long before Bob Sr! πŸ™‚

          But anyway, I think with all due respect that you’re speaking about me in a way that suggests that you know me. But you don’t. How well do you know me to say “no one is going to be able to be considerate enough” or “your problem is that you are expecting the wrong things from your spiritual life”, or “start thinking about the ways you can be kind to those who need you”?

          Have I really displayed some kind of unreasonable behavior that would suggest to you that I have some insatiable thirst for “consideration”? Do you know me well enough to insinuate that I don’t currently think about ways to be kind to those who need me,? Probably not, because you would have know that I have a wife who has been bedridden for several months now, and I think about how to show kindness to her all the time. Additionally, I said in one of my earlier posts that we ALL need to be thinking about how to be considerate of each other; perhaps you overlooked that, however.

          The Christian life IS complex. It’s not “either” this “or” that. It’s “both/and”. It’s both taking Christ’s commands about lust seriously AND thinking about how to love others.

        3. Alan, I’m so sorry to hear about your wife and your struggle.

          I’m an advocate of anyone not making a show of their physical business, but that’s just my personal opinion. I just think it’s tacky. And that’s any place and anyone, not just church and not just women.

          But, I digress. You had courage to come here and open up to us like you have. You’ve obviously had a hard time with this and probably know why. I won’t presume to know you or what’s going on in your head. What Miriam says about us women being objectified is true. We have. And some to the point of abuse. You will find victims of that here. Their stories are sad. So, please understand there will be somewhat of a sensitivity here.

          My encouragement to you is just aversion. You know the one girl bothers you, just avoid her. Don’t look at her. Walk away from her. She will wear what she will wear. Look down, look at your phone, look at the wall, anything. I would do the same thing if a hairy guy walked in in a Speedo (mainly not to throw up).

        4. Thanks Natalie! Appreciate your thoughts. I agree that women in certain fundy cultures have experienced the objectification and abuse, and I hope that nothing I’ve written has been insensitive to that. And I agree, aversion is my typical strategy! πŸ™‚ And while I laughed at your “guy in speedo” example, I’m not sure the temptation to look…would be equal in both situations! LOL! πŸ˜‰

  21. I heard a minister joke about when he was a teenager his pastor father told him that drinking coca cola was ungodly and asked him why an was told because the coke bottle was in the shape of a woman. He said he never thought about that until then.

        1. See! You can’t win. It doesn’t matter if you show it or you hide, if you are a woman you are evil and sensuous.

        2. This “evil” woman only wears slacks/capris because they get tangled up in my walker wheels. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone else except those of the Fundy persuasion.

        3. Yup, I have a certificate, no, a doctorate!-in being contentious.

          It’s why I made for being a very poor Fundy.

        4. I recognize contentiousness because I was constantly being told that is what I was. It was kind of a knee jerk reaction to me, I think lol

  22. You know, my brother was oddly the target of this sort of thing. He’s a rather fit and attractive guy. He posted some pictures of himself shirtless (at a race he runs every year; the shirtlessness was entirely functional) on his Facebook. Women in our church went to their husbands complaining that the pictures made them lust (I don’t go to a fundie church but a lot of our members are former fundies). The husbands went dutifully to the pastor, who went to my brother and told him (kindly, really) that he might not want to post such pictures.

    He took it pretty graciously considering that now he knows that several women in our church have had creepy thoughts about him (I honestly would feel like changing churches; that would freak me out on a visceral level if men in our church were having such problems lusting over me that they felt the need to tell the pastor about it).

    It pissed me off. If I were the pastor, I’d tell the lusters that they needed to evaluate whether they were really lusting and if telling their husbands was in any way edifying to those husbands (I’m not being biased really when I say that none of the other men in our church are nearly as fit or attractive, so said confession could be a pretty huge ego blow to the husbands in question and puts them in immediate competition with some poor dude who was just participating in an athletic event). I’d also tell them that their lust could very well be discontent in their own relationships: when I’ve been in a happy relationship with a guy I cared about, I was never ONCE tempted to lust after somebody else. I could objectively find somebody else attractive, but actual lust was almost always a sign that something was wrong in my relationship.

    I mentioned this whole happening to a friend of mine who had a year-long crush on my brother (she was actually pretty in love with him). She had seen the pictures and had just discreetly scrolled past. She felt, and rightly so, that he could post whatever he wanted on his own page, and it was her responsibility not to look if it caused her problems. She knew there was nothing wrong with the pictures. What was wrong was her own thoughts.

    1. So these women aren’t smart enough or spiritual enough to either stop following him on FB, unfriend him, or get off FB altogether?

      There’s a verse or two about fleeing lusts and temptations and stuff. Why couldn’t the pastor point this out to the women? Better yet, if thine eye offend thee …

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