“On and off again” youth pastor Bryce Brewer racked up nearly 100k shares, 66k reactions, and 35k comments after posting a message on Facebook apologizing for the great sin of ever prohibiting teenage girls from wearing bikinis at church events, along with giving them the “ridiculous ultimatum of having to wear one-piece swimsuits only.”
In an act of sheer confusion and bible butchery, demonstrating the more time “off” from being a pastor the better, he likewise apologized for “laying the weight of purity on a girls swimsuit while she was swimming, and not on the boy’s responsibility to not be gross” as well as “deeming a young women’s body as something that ‘needs to be covered.’
He makes the big deal about the travails and hardships of girls finding a one-piece bathing suit, apologizing that he caused the teen girls to go “frantically searching for an appropriate one-piece” and “desperately trying to search for a swimsuit” an act which he dejectedly noted, as he accompanied his soon to be step-daughter in her search “was hard and it sucked.”
We note here that there are many modest/ modest-ish two pieces available, but we’re going with the typical understanding as he is describing, which seems to be a bikini of undefined body coverage.
He ultimately concludes that while he’s still against teenage girls showing having their “breasts and buns” visible, he’s all for them showing a little tummy and cleavage – though in the case of a bikini, it’s going to be more than a little. He encourages them to “wear a swimsuit that lets you have fun,” irrespective of the design or material present, and that he’s sorry “any girl felt sexualized by being told not to bare so much skin.”
Of course, there are arguments why teens might not want to have mixed swimming in the first place, especially with bikini’s, as to why should the fact that one is near a large body of water give an excuse to traipse around in what amounts to the same coverage as shorts, bras, and panties, just made of a different material, and sometimes not even then?
What’s the functional difference between that and the teens all stripping down to their underwear on a hot summer day while group camping, or playing sports, or in a sweltering building, other than our secular society has deemed places where sand and water are combined as socially acceptable for Christians to get half-naked and take one’s clothes off?
When it comes to these issues, the answer is not that men and women don’t have to concern themselves with being modest and should have the freedom to wear whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want, but that you teach both sexes to be modest, and both sexes that sanctification in Christ would insist that they cease objectifying each other and pursue self-control.
It’s a complimentary, equally applicable teaching.
Dismissing the boys as uncontrollable, disgusting lust-bots that bear the full weight of the burden is not the answer, nor is absolving the girls of every all responsibility to obey the Lord by presenting themselves as vessels of mercy and modesty. It’s not an either/ or, but rather a both/and.
Women who Christ has saved don’t balk at instructions for personal modesty, nor do they get upset and chilled hearing that the Lord’s design for men includes a different relationship to the physical than most of them will experience. Rather, they celebrate the Lord’s gift of sexuality for the menfolk, praising Him for intentional composition and the way the men’s design will one day contribute to a happy and healthy marriage, even if occasionally the attention now may be unwanted or uncomfortable.
Likewise, men whom Christ has saved do not squander and abuse their good gift of God’s design for them by failing to mortify that which rises up and seeks to infiltrate their thought life and action. They don’t balk at instructions and commands from the Lord to be constantly, consistently checking themselves and orienting themselves towards a higher love for the womenfolk. They view their sexuality not as a cross to bear, but rather a gift to celebrate, and one that ought to be used to put the women at ease, if occasionally they fail and do so imperfectly.
For Pastor Brewer, the fact that he doesn’t understand that by his statements he’s abandoned the men to shame, and the women to shamelessness, is disqualifying and demonstrates that he is not qualified to teach, much less write public blog posts that will be read by millions.
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