Recently, I noticed something on my Facebook feed that startled me. I had heard of Jamaican reggae singer known professionally as Dexta Daps but had no idea who he was. I am far past the world of contemporary entertainment – and my clubbing and wild partying, drinking and smoking days are long behind me. I know entertainment and fun are important elements of our lives and I have no problem with entertainment in general. I love good music, dance and other forms of entertainment, but for me, the caveat is that it has to be decent. I subscribe to the biblical admonitions – so, my philosophy is to do everything decently and in order; to be modest and to avoid carnality, unbridled lust and anything that could be considered indecent.
What has alarmed me is how far entertainment has fallen into the category of lewd and indecent. I am frankly amazed that the raw displays of simulated sex on stage is not considered a violation of our laws against indecency. The public displays shown from the concert were extremely lewd. I have stated on several occasions that I do not see where this type of behavior will improve the broken society that we live in. I do not see where there is redeeming value from these activities. This rise of carnality is contrasted with the scripture Romans 8:6-11, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So, then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
The recent carnival was another example of public indecency but it appears that this type of behavior is condoned and encouraged. We make no connection to indecency and teen pregnancies or other social casualties. I believe there is a direct and obvious connection.
Whether we realize it or not, what we are seeing is a rise and sanctioning of hedonism. The dictionary definition of hedonism is the “pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence”. Hedonism is the philosophy and ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life. When sensual self-indulgence becomes the predominant philosophy, the casualties will mount – in the same way that unbridled lust for pleasure results in drug addiction and ultimately destruction and death for those who decide to chase a high on cocaine, alcohol or methamphetamine. Pleasure and fun have to be contextualized. Jesus said that he came that our joy might be full. Fun does not have to be indecent or damaging. True fun means no one is harmed in the process.
It is hard to imagine a positive outcome of women in thongs and dresses that expose their private parts being positive. Sadly, these women are not even embarrassed and willingly participating. I wonder what they say to their children and family members. I realize that I may be a voice crying in the wilderness and I may be personally ridiculed or attacked for my views but surely someone else out there is seeing what I am seeing and is alarmed. If not, I shudder to think of where we will be in a few years. Will we begin to see live sex on stage as a form of entertainment? Do not expect me to ever agree that this type of behavior is acceptable. I will not agree or acquiesce to such indulgences. Whatever the world decides to do, I cannot change, but I am reminded of the words in the book of Romans that say, “Do not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.”
I trust that we as a society do not conform to this type of behavior but rather be transformed by renewing our minds to the principles that lead to life. The concert and carnival were two of the examples of this rise in indecency but it is certainly not limited to those two events. The clothes women are wearing today I can only categorize as nasty and indecent. I have seen women wearing things that expose their breasts and even vagina in public. When I was growing up, there was something called private parts. Today, it seems that nothing is private and everything is public. Just recently, I started deleting or blocking images from my timelines because so many of the images are of naked and indecent women. I am just checking my Facebook account and the first thing that pops up is a woman exposing her body parts.
I cannot make choices for anyone but as a voice in the wilderness, in the midst of a decaying culture, I say let’s return to what is good, lovely, pure, decent and what edifies and brings life.
• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.