Can’t a pastor's wife be sexy?

Posted by ntendeni
ntendeni
I am a 4th year Bachelor of Journalism student from Rhodes University. I have do
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on Tuesday, 31 July 2012
in Digital Blogs
Is it inappropriate for a pastor’s wife to dress sexy for her bachelorette party? There is no chapter in the bible about bachelorette parties, in the same way there is no chapter about pornography, but there are values talked about in the bible that judgers base their judgement on.

Meagan Good, of Think Like A Man fame, surprised people when she revealed she was going to marry a Seventh Day Adventist pastor Devon Franklin. She topped it off by revealing she was going to even stay celibate until her wedding night. Bloggers applauded her for such a rare decision in Hollywood while some asked if a sultry actress like her is morally fit to be a pastor’s wife or if she knows the responsibilities that come with being a pastor’s wife.

She might not have realised on May 25 how much she was pleasing her critics and some judgemental church folks when she seduced a female and male audience at her bachelorette party in Las Vegas, with the Pussycat Dolls. She is accused  of not knowing her duties as a pastor’s wife for the sexy dance she did at the party. As part of her response, Good shared a church banner from her WhoSay account that read “Jesus. Relationship. Not Religion.” She defended her sexy moves a day after the party by posting a note on her Facebook page:

Let’s get something straight … I wasn’t half naked last night … I was actually very covered up, not showing anymore than I show when I dress up to go to events .,,and let’s get something else straight .. I’m an actress ., there will be many things narrow minded people deem unholy or not 1st lady like … But this is not so..it’s about your relationship with God and your personal convictions …If you see footage, you will see I was covered up having fun dancing and enjoying myself with my friends and family and absolutely not doing a striptease …smh people are ridiculous .. Can’t a girl enjoy her bachelorette party in peace?

On the day of the party, Meagan sensed that some religious folks were going to be judgemental but probably never thought it was not going to be so harsh she would still be making interviews defending herself about the night now two months after the party. She said on the day she was going to be a Bachelorette for the last time in Vegas:

I’m actually not going to undress. I’m going to be a Pussycat Doll, the OVERLY dressed Pussycat Doll. I am only going to be doingsome burlesque dancing, but I WON'T be doing any stripping of clothes. Las Vegas will just see just a bit!I don’t know how some church folk are going to be, but at the end of the day it’s between me and God and my husband.

Divisions in understanding the bible

For Meagan and those who saw nothing wrong with her last single night with the Pussycat Dolls, their main scripture of choice was Matthew 7: 1 which says, “"Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (New International Version 1984).

Those who were judgemental were sticking to verses in the bible that talked about dressing modestly and being covered. But, even those verses are problematic because some say that they are relative in time. The bible talks about women not having to shave their hair, braid, wear jewellery and having to always keep their heads covered, rules that many Christians break.

Some Christians say that this is relative in time since today people no longer have to cover their heads but how do we choose what is relative in time and what is not? If braiding, women speaking in the church and wearing jewellery is relative in time, could we say the same about gays? What about wearing a bikini to the beach? Is it a sin or relative in time? What about shorts in summer? Who decides what is relative in time and what values must be preserved?

Meagan’s situation was important in reminding us how divided Christians are in terms of their understanding of the bible and how, like the division between Freedom of Expression and a Right to Privacy and Dignity, it is common for Christians to avoid certain scriptures in favour of others that fit their lifestyles.

Meagan might have been hurt but this incident was a good case study that exposes divisions in the church and must make Christians realise that there are still some unclear issues to deal with.

Religious leaders versus surveillance

While the rise of social media has been beneficial to pastors, religious leaders and church members, the amount of surveillance has made it difficult to enjoy human imperfections without being scrutinised by the public. There was time in history when religious leaders were not questioned and when they enjoyed living in the comfort of privacy. It was assumed that they were the ultimate choices from God, some forms of demi-gods, who were immune to downfall.

With the rise of free speech and the phrase “I am entitled to my own opinion”, pastors live under the microscope. The belief that pastors are demi-gods has been replaced with the desire to expose them as false prophets and to reveal their mistakes to prove that they are flawed people like us. The media watches and comments on their moves and everyone can start a social media group against any other leader on the planet without any hindrances. Social media has given average Joe a platform for criticising and pointing out what is wrong and arguing under the privilege of freedom of speech.

Time will tell if the sensitive Meagan will watch her steps next time before she does something in public. Whether she appears more modest in fear of being criticised or not, she has learnt her lesson and her responses show that she was hurt by the judgement. 

Related links:

Bride-to-be Meagan Good: ‘I’m going to be the overly dressed Pussycat Doll’: http://www.whosay.com/meagangood/photos/179103

Meagan GoodSpeaks On Judgemental Religious Folks & Burlesque Backlash: http://necolebitchie.com/2012/07/30/meagan-good-speaks-on-judgemental-religious-folks-burlesque-backlash/

Meagan Good’s Christianity Questioned After Saucy ‘Vegas Party (Video): http://www.eurweb.com/2012/06/meagan-goods-christianity-questioned-after-saucy-vegas-party-video/

Meagan good addresses criticism about bachelorette party not being first lady like/: http://365voice.com/meagan-good-addresses-criticism-about-bachelorette-party-not-being-first-lady-like/
 

Devon-franklin-meagan-good-talk-celibacy-respond-to-striptease-video-devon-to-appear-on-oprahs-super-soul-sunday/:
http://ugospel.com/devon-franklin-meagan-good-talk-celibacy-respond-to-striptease-video-devon-to-appear-on-oprahs-super-soul-sunday/
 

I am a 4th year Bachelor of Journalism student from Rhodes University. I have done print writing, radio, digital media and broadcast communication before but I thought that it would be a great idea if I just specialised on new media this last year of my degree. I have always found religion an interesting topic especially in this present time where freedom of speech and a right to choose religion are used to justify deviation away from traditional beliefs. The rise of social media means that people are freer than ever to expose, criticise, point out or scrutinise traditional religious practices. This would not be as easy if we were still living in an era where one had to get permission from legacy media and had to be a professional before getting a voice on television, radio or print. I am excited not only to write about how social media is being used as a tool to spread traditional religious beliefs, but is also being used for counter-action by non-conformists.

Comments

Muscadecipio
Muscadecipio
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Muscadecipio Tuesday, 31 July 2012

You gotta remember the context

ntendeni. Interesting post, but there is a context missing. The 7th Day Adventist Church is far from representative of Christianity as a whole. If anything, they are an especially conservative expression of the Christian faith.

I had to deal with this yself as am a liberal and sometime outspoken non-conformist believer, and one of my best friends became a Minister in the 7th Day Adventist Assembly last year.

Within the context of the expression of faith she has chosen to live in Meagan's behaviour is going to be controversial. She had to have know that going in, and her defense is tainted with a healthy dose of narcissism.

There are other expressions of the Christian faith that will see what she did as OK. As for verse slinging, that is always the last resort of affronted Christianity.

I want to disagree with you on your conclusion. It is not the understanding of the scriptures that divides Christians, but rather a lack of tolerance and a desire to promote their own point of view, at the expense of all others. In this, that type of Christian is no different to atheists or politicians. That is a very human trait. What these Christians do wrong, is to think they can do this using Holy Scriptures as the whipping stick.

As Terry Pratchett wrote " the company of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred, to the company of those who believe they have already found it"

Maybe Meagan should have chosen another husband, or another party.

ntendeni
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ntendeni Sunday, 05 August 2012

thanks

Thanks so much for your insightful comment. I have to admit that I usually deal with having to write for a secular audience being a radical Christian myself. I try to write as "neutral" as I can but at the end I always question if I am as radical about my Christianity as I would like to be yet. I think that cases like Meagan's are questionable because, like others are saying, she should have known what being a pastor's wife was and all the responsibilities before marrying him but those criticisms are always confronted with " do not judge" to a point where sometimes I struggle with trying to understand the difference between judging and correction as a fellow christian. Sometimes we are afraid to question because we think we are judging. I come from a church where we could not turn a blind eye on her party and she would be confronted by church members as not knowing the duties that come with being a pastor's wife. I think what I am trying to say is "I do not know yet what to make of it because I am still struggling between judging and correction"

Muscadecipio
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Muscadecipio Tuesday, 07 August 2012

Judging

ntendeni

I pastored in a township church for some months in 2004 and it was sad to see that the level of judging was always higher than the level of correcting. By chance this was brought to my mind again today as one of the members of that church had a flat tire on his bicycle; and I was able to help him with a repair. In exchange he brought the blessed news that Mteto Mbuli, who was my translator and as close as a brother to me in 2004, is well and Pastoring a church in Worcester.

The problem is not a new one I think as the apostle Paul refers to that kind of thinking in 2 Corinthians; and I was reading recently about the Methodist church in England in the 1800's where there was also has a whole lot of the judging/correcting debate.

Maybe the difference is like a cold and the 'flu. The symptoms are the same but the one is more dangerous. Probably any time you feel you have a right to correct, you are judging. Also, any time it is easy to point the finger. Correction is (for me)always done reluctantly when all else has failed. In the township, the conflict between culture, Christianity and common practice makes this sticky. Is it wrong for a Christian to honour his ancestors? Should he be chastised if he does? Is it right for a couple to have sex if they are Christians if lobola has been agreed but not yet paid, usually because of economic reasons?

It would be nice to think we were all straight-down-the-line Christians, but theology is often humans thinking about God, from which we then extrapolate rules we think God wants. Maybe God is a lot more tolerant of us, than we are of each other.

ntendeni
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ntendeni Thursday, 09 August 2012

Still a big debate

I believe that it will always be an argument between judging and correcting but from a seminar I attended a few weeks ago, I learnt that judging is done without love, done to embarrass someone and to make them feel bad. When one judges, they are condemning the other and making themselves feel great.
What I learnt is that if one is corrected in private with love and understanding, it is not judging. People feel judged when they feel like the aim is to get them embarrassed. Another way to correct without sounding like one is judging is to start with statements like: "I understand what you are going through, I have been there."
If it does not include love and if the point is to embarrass and belittle, it is surely judging.

ntendeni
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ntendeni Thursday, 09 August 2012

The case of Meagan

I believe that Meagan felt judged because people were using the Bachelorette party to disqualify her from being fit for being a pastor's wife. I hope she leaves it and moves on, she is married now and must enjoy. She must be careful next time and do things in private if getting public opinion hurts her this much.

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