Swimming–“Mixed Swimming”


GUEST ARTICLE

Mixes Swimming

Mixed Swimming

Religious Hypocrisy

Pharisees practiced certain monstrous sins, but salved their stricken conscience by practicing their wicked deeds with a religious facade, i.e., the non-support of their parents by declaring their property and wealth as “Corban” (it is a gift, by whatsoever those mightest be profited by me; and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free – Matt. 15:5-6).

With characteristic Pharisaic insincerity, this “religious man” could say all his means with which he could be expected to support his needy parents were devoted to God by an inviolable vow. Consequently, he was not expected to support his parents and could hide his blatant sin behind a religious vow (Mark 7:9-13). He could clearly break God’s Law, yet appear Godly!

Religion which is the fruit of a depraved, carnal heart is fully capable of heinous sin, directly contradicting the clear spirit and letter of the Law of God. Our Lord publicly described these inconsistencies and hypocrisies, both to warn true believers, and to rebuke Pharisees and Scribes, calling them to repentance: “all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: ‘for they say and do not,’ (Matt. 23:3). It is worthy of note to observe the descriptive terms our Lord used to characterize such religious’ hypocrisies: “Woe unto you,” “hypocrites” (Matt. 23:13), “ye blind guides” (Matt 23:16), “ye fools and blind” (Matt. 23:19), “ye are like unto whited sepulchers” (Matt. 23:27), “even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matt. 23:28).

It is incumbent upon all of us who name the name of Christ to recognize it is not our religious habits and customs or the culture around us that are the standard of right and wrong, but the clear commands of the Word of God.

Presumptuous Sin

There are those so bold in their rejection of Christ and love of their sin that they will not mince words like the Pharisees. This is the soul who exclaims, “I know it is wrong, but I will do it anyway and no one will stop me!” This is rightly called presumption: “the sin with the high hand,” for which there was no sacrifice, no propitiation, only judgment (Num. 15:30-31).

David, recognizing the capacity of his lower nature, though he was a regenerated soul, cried out, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression” (Psalm 19:13). Peter describes these brazen, audacious sinners who, though they are religious teachers, as actually being lost men: “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities,” (2 Pet. 2:10).

We learn from David that even a regenerate soul is capable of presumptuous sin and consequently, we ought to have a healthy, well-informed fear of our innate depravity. Most presumptuous sin is committed by those described by Peter; unregenerate blasphemers; rebellious, self-willed and dissolute. Paul’s nickname for these souls is: “they are the enemies of the cross of Christ” (Phil. 3:18).

However, one does not have to be a drinker or philanderer to live so wickedly as the lives of the Pharisees would attest. Their sin was cloaked under religious hypocrisy whereas the presumptuous sinner sins with a “whore’s forehead” (Jer. 3:3) – one so jaded in sin they are incapable of blushing.

Contradictory Concepts

An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms are combined, i.e., “good Devil,” “beautiful sin.” Certain practices in modern Christianity come to mind as oxymorons, i.e., “Christian rock music,” “women’s pants,” and “mixed swimming.” [The author must mean “Christian” mixed swimming.]  These transparently contradictory concepts ought to be apparent to any sincere believer with the wisdom of a twelve year old. However, we are so capable even as believers, of being desensitized to the repugnance and abomination of sin, we can be a party to it, or allow it with very little compunction of conscience.

It was this proclivity of even regenerate souls to adapt to monstrous sin that motivated God to command Israel to separate from Canaanites: “ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars . . .” (Judges 2:2). “They shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you . . .” (Judges 2:3).

Process of Desensitization

The principle elements in compromising with sin and sinful culture until desensitization occurs are three: shock, accommodation and emulation. At first, a Biblically enlightened conscience will be shocked when exposed to terrible sin or sinful practices. Failing to follow God’s admonition to “Flee youthful lusts” (2 Tim. 2:22), a healthy believer with a normal lower nature will find creative and imaginative means of accommodating what at first shocked and troubled his conscience. Finally, after accommodating sin long enough, he will find ample justification to emulate the wickedness, and ends up committing those acts himself.

This has happened to God’s people down through the millennia, and is happening to us in our age and culture as well in the lives of those who have allowed it.

Mixed Swimming: An Example of Desensitization

Mixed swimming might more honestly and more appropriate be termed “mixed nudity.” How else can we be consistent and morally honest with our Biblical heritage of holiness? Popularity of and acceptance of mixed swimming notwithstanding, it is wicked, morally indefensible and behavior that ought not to be named among true believers.

Many nineteenth century believers were aflame with missionary zeal and a God-given desire to live holy lives. May I say they would be scandalized in the extreme were they to see contemporary believers shamelessly cavorting around in modern swim wear, unblushingly exposing major portions of their body for all who wish to see. Are they prudish and Victorian, and are we more enlightened as we recreate in various degrees of nakedness? May I submit we have become desensitized to sin and have adopted the ways of the heathen! Moody, Spurgeon and their contemporaries would be justified in crying out against our shameless nakedness.

Defining Acceptability: the Occasion or the Principle?

To put this in perspective, imagine dear Brother, if your wife and/or your physically mature daughter are in the privacy of their bedrooms, clad only in the most intimate of foundation garments. Would you invite them in this condition of dress to meet your male friends? If you would invite them, would they allow themselves to be viewed by masculine eyes in such a scantily clad condition?

Hopefully, you are offended and horrified by even the thought of such a suggestion. And, hopefully, your wife and daughter would be similarly scandalized at such a compromise of their privacy and modesty.  Or, would you sir, cavort around the living room in your underwear as your wife is hosting a ladies’ tea?  Hopefully, these outrageous illustrations would reveal you still have a Biblical sense of modesty, decency and shamefacedness.

Sadly, many believers would only be ashamed at the type of garment in a wrong setting, not at the exposure of their nakedness. The same woman who would rather die than expose herself to the eyes of men while in her foundation garments, will then thoughtlessly and shamelessly expose herself simply because she is wearing what is called swim wear. Dearly beloved, the sin and scandal is not in wearing inappropriate garments on wrong social occasions, but in the nakedness itself!

Nakedness is Shameful

Scripture is universal in its condemnation of nakedness as being “shameful” (Exo. 32:25; Rev. 3:18, 16:15)! Even priests were cautioned about their clothing and carriage so no one could view their thighs. And, because God is clear that “the eyes of man are never satisfied” (Prov. 27:20), we recognize it is our vision that is the primary gateway of beginning sexual arousal. Job affirmed this principle: “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” (Job 31:1). The man who says that the nakedness of women does not bother him is either not physically developed, a pervert, a liar or dead! Pornographers understand the unquenchable sexual desire in carnal men and flagrantly utilize this weakness of men’s lower nature against them to enrich themselves.

Lustful Gazing: a Pervasive Reality

The only difference in a man visiting a pornographic web site and pornographic store as opposed to viewing scantily clad women in swim wear is in the latter case, he does not have to purchase his viewing. Hopefully, women in swim wear will at least cover some areas of their bodies. However, this is small consolation to them as they are still sufficiently naked as to be the object of lustful gazing from any man who wishes to titillate his depraved fantasies.

Defrauding

Dear Sister, of what eternal value is it for you to exhibit your varying stages of nakedness to the prying and lustful eyes of men, though you can legitimately say your swim wear is “socially acceptable?” Are you not in fact defrauding men, whether your nakedness is socially acceptable or not?

In the realm of human sexuality, a woman defrauds a man by unlawfully raising his sexual expectations or desires, without at the same time providing a righteous means of lawfully fulfilling those desires. God forbids all defrauding, “thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor” (Lev. 19:13), and specifically, He forbids defrauding in human sexuality, “that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such . . .” (I Thess. 4:6). In other words, she may only act and dress that way in front of her husband, not some other man!

Degradation of Nakedness

I have learned in over three decades of working with young women, that they are fully cognizant of what they are doing when they dress and act in provocative, alluring, coquettish ways. The woman of this world, in a pathetic, degraded yearning for male attention and acceptance, finds her security in focusing on fleshly externals: “whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and or wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel . . .” (I Pet. 3:13). However, the believing woman focuses on internal character qualities in a quest to please the Lord. Such qualities may be of little or no interest to a lost man, but a Godly man will take approving interest of such character development: “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (I Pet. 3:4).

Dear feminine heart, you will undoubtedly have many men looking at you as you expose your shame and nakedness in swim wear, but what have you accomplished? You have demonstrated a worldly heart by focusing on externals rather than God-pleasing internal character development. You are defrauding men by making yourself an object of unmitigated male lust. Therefore, you are degrading and demeaning yourself in principle, the same way a prostitute does. She does it for financial remuneration through a shameful physical act, whereas your “quid pro quo” (something for something) is the lurid and lascivious male attention you receive even though an actual physical act is not consummated.

You may comfort yourself, dear Sister, in the social acceptability of “mixed swimming” just as the Pharisees did for their covert sins, but they found out a Holy God was not impressed, and He categorically denounced them. You will give an account to the Lord Jesus at the judgment, not to the Gallup Poll, fashion designers or dissolute “beach bums” who have been gazing upon your body.

Husbands/Fathers, Protect Your Wife and Daughter!

Dear Brother, what kind of man would allow the lewd and wicked eyes of lustful men to fantasize about the bodies of their wife and/or daughter? Swim wear is usually the most flagrant exposure of a woman’s body, but she can also be immodest and defrauding in much of what is considered acceptable fashions of the day. Since nakedness is Biblically shameful, a wise and Godly man will insist his wife/daughter be dressed according to three principles: long, loose and layered.

Clothing should be sufficiently long to cover their bodies, not teasingly, provocatively short or revealing. Their clothing should not be form-fitting. Many women may say they are covered, but the type of cloth or style of fashion is so clinging that it accentuates and calls attention to her sexuality instead of covering it. Layering of clothing prevents any revelation of body parts that should only be viewed by her husband, not some other man.

For a Godly woman, modesty is always in style, regardless of what the fad and fashions of the world may dictate. Her heart is seeking the Lord, not the lurid stares of base and wicked men for some distorted sense of security and worth it brings to her ego.

Modesty is Also Appropriate for Men

Brothers in Christ, we may mince words and practice the wicked insincerity of Pharisees and somehow justify our presence in swim wear if we choose; many are doing so to their satisfaction. However, multitudes of younger and older women have confided that sculpted, virile men in varying degrees of nakedness have been a temptation and stumbling block to them. Her temptation in looking at a partially clad man may not be as compelling and controlling as it is for a man’s surging lower nature in looking at a woman, but it is still defrauding! But beyond what you may do to women as they view your nakedness, what are you doing to yourself in that environment?

Do Not Just Avoid an Act of Sin: Avoid the Steps to its Commission

Pharisees were quick to affirm, “thou shalt not commit adultery” (Matt. 5:27). However, as they demonstrated in so many areas of their lives, they may have observed the letter of the Law, but were very diligent in finding creative ways to circumvent the spirit of the Law.

The physical act of adultery is preceded by temptation, specifically the temptation of sight and subsequent evil fantasy, hence the warning of Prov. 6:26, “Lust not after her beauty in thine heart . . .” Note the inward fantasy of depravity. That even righteous men are capable of such base behavior is clearly illustrated by David, “he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and inquired after the woman . . . and David sent . . . and took her . . . and he lay with her” (2 Sam. 11:2-4).

Note please the progression. Nakedness was seen. This initiated evil fantasy, which was followed by the act. A Pharisee would say sin only occurred in the act of adultery. However, our Lord speaks with asseveration in Matt. 5:28, “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” A Pharisee may try to be cleverly insincere to cloak his goals, but a Holy God casts this all aside and calls it sin!

I challenge you dear Brother, before a thrice holy God, as you are in the company of developed women in the varying stages of nakedness their swim wear displays, and as you gaze upon their bodies, try telling the Lord your innermost thoughts and imaginations are pure and without lust. The fact is, you have committed adultery in your heart, and given the right circumstances, you may be only a few steps away from the actual act of physical adultery, because the lustful desire in a heart can lead to the sinful act.

Pharisaic argumentation resulted in a religious facade, but with wicked hearts and lives. Using such wretched insincerity today, we could identify outwardly with the cause of Christ, and at the same time participate in such transparently carnal activity as mixed swimming with no stricken conscience.

Sober Reflection Needed

For those desiring to participate in mixed swimming, were you in a government run directly by God, you would be in deep trouble. . . .  However, we are in a free country, and you may as a thoughtless lemming, follow multitudes in donning their “colored underwear,” otherwise known as “swim wear,” and indulge your insatiable lust to your heart’s content. But would you at least be honest about your lust and sin and stop trying to justify your behavior under the guise of social acceptability. Cleverly disguising your motives does you a disservice. Honest, open sinners are closer to repentance than those who are creatively justifying their carnal lusts.

 

Ronald Williams, Hephzibah House

508 School St., Winona Lake. IN 46590

http://www.hephzibahhouse.org/literature.html

 

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