The Christian film company Pure Flix has released a series of “Sharable Parables” on YouTube. They’re bite-sized films meant to teach some lesson. But because this is a Christian company, those lessons aren’t necessarily positive ones.
Like this one about respecting your body.
In it, you see a teenage girl getting ready to go out with one of her friends while watching a sermon online (as all kids do). She’s texting about what makeup to wear, deciding between clothes, etc. Nothing all that surprising. Her friend asks if she left a vape at her house — the girl finds it under her bed (your guess as to how it ended up there). A boy texts to ask if she’s coming over after school since his parents aren’t home.
The pastor eventually says something that catches the girl’s attention: “You are not your own… Did you catch that? Listen: You are not your own. You’re not your own. That means that your body belongs to Christ.”
Suddenly, the girl comes downstairs dressed in a way that shows off no part of her body. She doesn’t respond to the boy’s text. She tosses the vape in the garbage.The message is clear: She now has self-worth because she’s not one of those slutty slut sluts who might fool around with a boy or dress in a way that she enjoys. (The rest of her friends? Hell-bound, obviously.)
The whole idea that you should “honor God” with your body — by not using it as you wish, even when your health isn’t in danger — is the sort of harmful attitude that we’ve seen play out with purity culture and abstinence-only sex education. It teaches women that wearing makeup, or revealing any part of your body, or enjoying sex has nothing to do with confidence and self-expression and everything to do with how conservative Christians will perceive you.
We can have a healthy debate about the decisions the girl makes in this video. Even if this wasn’t scripted, her decisions aren’t necessarily wrong or bad, as long as she’s happy with them. But it’s disturbing that this video suggests someone who makes different decisions — like wearing a shirt that shows off her midriff — is heading down some horrific path.
If the only argument against doing something is “It’ll make God angry,” you need better justification.