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Switch to Forum Live View What does the bible say about reading/viewing fairytales/mythology?
5 years ago  ::  May 06, 2009 - 10:48PM #1
Theblood777
Posts: 2

Hi all. Just a bit of background, i'm a Christian and try with my whole heart to take the word of God literally. I've recently been criticised for drawing a picture of a fairy by a member of my church, saying that i was promoting a lie. My intentions we're certainly not that, i dont believe in fairies, fairytales or any of the such - i do it for the beauty of art - thats all. For many years i have been drawing pictures for many little children. Have i been sinning the whole time? im devastated about all this and need to explore what the bible says in this issue. I desired a career in art but now im not so sure.


I have heard many views, that fairy tales, mythical stories etc promote an imagination in children in a way they can understand and develop a sense of good and evil on their basic level - thus assisting their future christian faith. Another view is that it is false idolatry and promoting witchcraft. Also i was criticised for my fairy and its lack of suitable clothing, that it cause men to lust. the fairy certainly wasn't naked, but in the art world nudity is very common and necessary to learn to draw the human body to better scale - im so confused.


Is anyone able to offer any bible verses or information to help me with this?


I will continue to pray that God reveals his will for me in this issue. thank you all.

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5 years ago  ::  May 07, 2009 - 10:09PM #2
Ruhi19
Posts: 535

In my opinion, one's relationship with God should be based on love, not on fear.  I believe that the Bible tells us to be in awe of God but not that we should fear Him as in He might harm us.  I believe that many bad things have happened when people use fear to govern their own or others' actions.  Dictators are fond of using fear to control people.  It is obvious that you want to do what is best but you need to determine for yourself what is best.  This is a Biblical idea.  You can find it in Matthew, Romans and Galatians.  That is, you should be persuaded in your own mind about what you believe and not assume that others know more. Matthew says that you should not follow others blindly.  The reason for this is that each person is responsible for his own faith and his own soul.   Other verses which say the same thing but a little differently are:  


And he answering said, 'Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up; let them alone, guides they are - blind of blind; and if blind may guide blind, both into a ditch shall fall.'  NT-Matthew 15:13-14


 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. NT-Romans 14:5 


But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.  NT-Galatians 6:4-5


To do your own research, you might like to download the following:  www.e-sword.net/bibles.html It allows you to choose the Bible of your choice or several Bibles to compare their translations.  Doing this can shed light on the meaning even though the words are translated differently in each Bible.  Using a program such as this one allows you to check these things yourself.  You can search for "fairy", "fairies," "mythology," "naked", etc.  In checking the Bible this way, you will find that it never mentions fairies nor mythology nor art works. 


So you will need to assess your position by less direct methods.  The Bible clearly says that you should worship none but God.  But you are not worshipping fairies nor mythology nor the "gods" presented in mythology according to what you are saying here.  People can't become fairies so I don't think there is any danger there.  Fairies and mythology are part of our cultural history and I don't know of anyone who wants to worship any of the mythological gods.  So I don't think there is anything wrong with drawing or painting fairies or mythological "gods". 


Regarding your art: It is true that much of art focuses on the human body.  It is also true that some of it revolves around the nude body.  Each person, whether Christian or other, needs to assess the teachings of their religion regarding modesty and chastity on their own.  Obviously, the "Christian" you spoke to thinks that most of the body needs to be clothed to ensure modesty even as many Muslims believe.  Other Christians (and some Muslims) are not quite as strict and have a more liberal interpretation about what modesty means (i.e., does the hair need to be covered?).  That notion may not go so far as to include Britney Spears as a modestly dressed individual.  But then, maybe it does.  Even the recent runner-up beauty queen, who appears to consider herself a Christian has a view of modesty which pushes the definition pretty far if she thinks that the latest pictures of herself are modest.  Each person must decide on his/her own what their definition is. 


God did create our bodies and created us "noble".  Does that mean that we display them for others?  Does it matter about our intent? For example, is it okay to just stand there as the model for David must have done?  On the other hand, is it okay to offer a "come hither" look to the artist and those who may see the picture? 


I think, but am not sure, that you may have a great deal of latitude in your art education about whether or not you attend nude sessions to learn about the human body.  What you need to do, in my opinion, is to think about your own definition of modesty based on what you know of the teachings of the Bible.  To draw or paint in your own style, do you need to know how to draw/paint a nude body or will a clothed body do?   Prayer is always valuable in coming to a decision. 


Once you have become more clear in your own mind about your relationship with God and His teachings, you will know whether to stay with the church you are currently with (and curtail your art according to the dictates of the church) or to seek one which reflects your beliefs better.  Ultimately this is your choice. 


Clearly, you had no problem with your art before this "Christian" conveyed to you his displeasure.  I feel that you can continue to be a Christian but perhaps not among the fear-based Christians that you are currently with.  


Another aspect of your beliefs that you might  want to investigate is the idea that the Bible is a book which speaks to us in literal terms.  I believe that there are many places in the Bible that tell us not to take the Bible literally.   In fact, in some places, scripture states explicitly that those who read scripture must understand it spiritually. The Bible uses allegory, allusion and parables to disguise the true meaning of the scripture. 


For example,  Corinthians says that the words of the Bible compare spiritual things with spiritual things.  Spiritual things, of course, are those things which cannot be seen.  How do you express them then if you do not compare them to things which are material?  But those who are not spiritual will not be able to see how those material things relate to spiritual things:


Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. NT-1 Corinthians 2:13-14


Jesus says in Matthew that He speaks in parables so that those who are spiritual will understand because they "hear" what He says even though He speaks in parables.  Those who do not "hear" do not listen to the spiritual intent of the words of Jesus.  They cannot understand what He is saying.   


Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:  For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. NT-Matthew 13:13-17  


So Jesus says things such as that a man must be "born again" and he is misunderstood because the people are taking Him literally ("How can a man be born when he is old?") when Jesus is speaking in spiritual terms (John 3:3-4).  And again:  "I am the living bread" (John 6:51-64).  Here Jesus equates His own self as bread, something which give life to humanity.  But He is not only something that gives life, but is also "living" implying that those who "eat" the life-giving bread of His teachings has spiritual life.  That is, they are no longer "dead" in their spiritual unbelief.  speaking about how those who "eat" His teachings become closer to God.  Their spiritual self is alive if they believe in Jesus as having been sent from God.  Their spirits are no longer "dead" nor buried in the "grave" of unbelief if they accept Jesus as speaking the words of God. 


For this reason and others, I believe that spiritual or symbolic interpretations of the Bible (the repository of those things which are spiritual) are much more important than the literal things in the Bible even when the literal comes to pass.  Both can be true.  The Jews have a saying that a Bible verse can have 70 meanings, each as true as the others.  Whether or not you can recognize these 70 meanings depends, I believe, on how in tune you are with the spiritual teachings of the Bible. 


Take care. 

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5 years ago  ::  May 08, 2009 - 4:01AM #3
Theblood777
Posts: 2

Thank you for responding, you've helped me draw a conclusion. and thank you for directing me to romans chapter 14.


Another way to look at its if regardless of whether its clean or unclean, i shouldn't do it in the chance that my brother might get distressed, which is indeed what has happened. God through paul says that i we're to continue i would no longer be acting in love.


I had further discussions with members of the church and my husband, who said my pictures are a little offensive because of lack of clothing, i never draw with them in anything less then a short top and short skirt - and i figured because a drawing wasn't real it didn't matter. Though i dont feel i am directly sinning by doing these pictures, i just shouldn't share them with others. Verse 22 says "So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God" (NIV).


Purhaps i can still draw my pictures, but dont show them to anyone :) and find other things to draw that would edify god better and not offend. Art isn't meant to offend anyway.


And you are right about that God is about love and its important to not get caught in rules like the pharisees, But i do believe that a healthy fear of God is necessary to a strong faith. I do fear this...  :)


Matthew 7 : 22 - 24


Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.


thanks for your help.


 

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5 years ago  ::  May 13, 2009 - 8:48PM #4
Pastorlisa
Posts: 15

  I would like to point out a few important things about your question:


 1.  In the Ten Commandments, God makes it clear that we are not to make any images of anything that exists in heaven or earth so I think that plainly clears up that particular issue (Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Ex 20:4 )


2.  As far as the question of nudity in "art". Nudity was made to be shared between a man and a woman in the bonds of marriage ONLY. ANY form of nudity or suggestion of nudity is wrong and sinful in the eyes of God. This includes immodest and suggestive dress as well.


3.  You stated that "Purhaps i can still draw my pictures, but dont show them to anyone". You can not hide them from God. Even if no one else knew, God would know and it always be wrong.


4.  You also stated that "But i do believe that a healthy fear of God is necessary to a strong faith." In this you are correct. The person who said that we are not to fear God is teaching out of scripture as we told that the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep His commandments (Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Eccl 12:13)\


 


This does not mean God is not a loving God or that we should not seek a true relationship with our heavenly Father, but we are to keep in mind that it is by HIS ways that we are to live and not our own. And we can not serve Him if we do not serve Him in Truth and the Bible tells us that if we love Him we will keep His obedience not out of a fear of punishment, but because we love Him we will live by His standards because we wish to please Him out of that love.


5.  Lastly, it seems like the real struggle here is that you do not want to give up something that you love. But, do you love that more than God? And how much did He love His own son, yet gave Him for us? Christ loved us so much that he laid down his own life and told us to pick up our crosses and follow him. Satan will use any distraction that he can to confuse you and to try and pull you away from God. But if you cling to Him and to His word then you will find that anything you have to "sacrifice" is nothing in comparison to what He has given unto us.

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5 years ago  ::  May 17, 2009 - 3:51PM #5
world citizen
Posts: 5,543

As far as the question of nudity in "art". Nudity was made to be shared between a man and a woman in the bonds of marriage ONLY. ANY form of nudity or suggestion of nudity is wrong and sinful in the eyes of God. ...  Satan will use any distraction that he can to confuse you and to try and pull you away from God.

I could NEVER believe that the innate talent of Michaelangelo was somehow satanic and not God-given.  How can anyone looking at his sculpture of David, his Pieta in the Vatican, Medici's Tomb, or his masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel not concede that his hand was guided by God?    While I agree that "Nudity was made to be shared between a man and a woman in the bonds of marriage," any mature mind knows the difference between art and human nakedness and between smut and pure artistry.  How many prurient thoughts are conjured up by viewing an artistic rendering of Adam/Eve wearing a fig leaf?  God is the judge of what is in a person's heart AND of what is wrong and sinful in His eyes.  I think that the hands of Michaelangelo were blessed by God.  I also think that it's wrong to deny another person's God-given talent by tossing the "sin" bomb at her/him rather than allow the individual to pursue that talent while using her/his own judgment based on personal interpretation of God's Word.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  May 19, 2009 - 2:31AM #6
Pastorlisa
Posts: 15

I will make two points....


1. As an artist he may have been given a gift, but he clearly abused it.


2. I told you what God's view was, not merely my own.  It is by HIS standards tha we are too live.  And there is only one standard for all for there is no private interpretation of scripture.  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Peter 1:20


It seems to me that you are not seeking an earnest answer and God's way but were merely looking for someone to justify what you wanted to do; however, you should realize that if there was that doubt nagging at you to begin with that should tell you that deep down you know it is wrong.  You can not serve God by going against His will.  And if you were given a gift why not use it to create something proper, something Godly that would glorify Him instead of the world?

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5 years ago  ::  May 19, 2009 - 10:31PM #7
world citizen
Posts: 5,543

I have a few points myself to make...

As an artist he may have been given a gift, but he clearly abused it.

To say that Michaelangelo abused his gift is a judgment better left to God.  The Pieta is one of the most beautiful, magnificent tributes to Christ ever created (imo, of course).

I told you what God's view was, not merely my own.  It is by HIS standards tha we are too live.  And there is only one standard for all for there is no private interpretation of scripture.

You seem to have already given private interpretation, for I can't find reference anywhere in the Bible as to the Lord's views on art or sculpture.  Regarding your view of God's view of nudity, perhaps you could interpret these ...

At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.  And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia.  (Isaiah 20:2,3)

And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.  And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?  (1 Samuel 19:23, 24)

It seems to me that you are not seeking an earnest answer and God's way but were merely looking for someone to justify what you wanted to do...

I believe you have me confused with this thread's author who posed the initial question.  I'm not seeking an answer and definitely NOT looking for anyone's justification in anything.  Matter of fact, I have no artistic leanings whatsoever so your lecture was wasted on me.

... however, you should realize that if there was that doubt nagging at you to begin with that should tell you that deep down you know it is wrong.  You can not serve God by going against His will.  And if you were given a gift why not use it to create something proper, something Godly that would glorify Him instead of the world?

As moderator of this board, in addition to being a contributor, I respectfully suggest that you read the guidelines of this forum.  This is a multifaith discussion board for anyone interested in the Bible.  Its purpose is NOT to teach Jewish or Christian doctrine or to preach personal beliefs.  Sermonizing, irrespective of to whom directed, is inappropriate in this venue and should be expressed only in the Community board of one's religion.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  May 23, 2009 - 7:20PM #8
Pastorlisa
Posts: 15

As far as directing the post towards the wrong person, that was an over sight of mine; rudeness was not required as it was simply an honest mistake.  As far as the rest goes....


To say that Michaelangelo abused his gift is a judgment better left to God.  The Pieta is one of the most beautiful, magnificent tributes to Christ ever created (imo, of course)...You seem to have already given private interpretation, for I can't find reference anywhere in the Bible as to the Lord's views on art or sculpture. 


Then obviously you have not looked, Then Ten Commandments (among other verses) make it quite clear: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  Ex 20:4  That makes it quite clear that we are not to make any images of any thing therefore any such "art" is wrong, end of story.



As moderator of this board, in addition to being a contributor, I respectfully suggest that you read the guidelines of this forum.  This is a multifaith discussion board for anyone interested in the Bible.  Its purpose is NOT to teach Jewish or Christian doctrine or to preach personal beliefs.  Sermonizing, irrespective of to whom directed, is inappropriate in this venue and should be expressed only in the Community board of one's religion.


As far as your the other references, you take them out of context and they do not refer to the same sort of thing, if you do a further study  of it you find that it was a reference to lacking of certain clothing not complete nudity, not in mixed company, and even then in was as an insult.  All of which is completely irrelevant as the commandment makes it clear that any image of any thing, naked or otherwise, is forbidden. 


The Bible says what the Bible says, period.  That has nothing to do with a particular relgion or denomination.  You can not have an honest discussion of the Bible and ignore what it says when you do not like it.  If you do not like what it has to say, that is between you and God, but it still says what it does plain and simple.


Silence me if you wish...but the Truth remains.


He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.


Matt 11:15

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5 years ago  ::  May 23, 2009 - 10:45PM #9
world citizen
Posts: 5,543

As far as directing the post towards the wrong person, that was an over sight of mine; rudeness was not required as it was simply an honest mistake.


You have my apology if you felt I was being rude to you, although I tried to be polite.  I, however, perceived your judgmental preaching as rudeness.

The Ten Commandments (among other verses) make it quite clear: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  Ex 20:4  That makes it quite clear that we are not to make any images of any thing therefore any such "art" is wrong, end of story ...  the commandment makes it clear that any image of any thing, naked or otherwise, is forbidden.

How bare the walls and how spartan any home devoid of artwork, even if only nicknacks or pictures of nature.  How barren a home without photo images of family/friends.  Exodus 20:4 is only "quite clear" by your interpretation when it's taken out of context...

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  (Ex. 20:3)

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  (Ex. 20:4)

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:  for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God...  (Ex. 20:5)

Exodus 20:4 and 20:5 are a continuation of Exodus 20:3, clearly commanding that no one is to make an image that will be idolized (e.g., the golden calf), as only God is to be worshipped.  In 20:5, "them" is directly referring to the graven images or likenesses in 20:4.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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5 years ago  ::  May 27, 2009 - 9:42AM #10
Liriodendron
Posts: 36

I'm pretty sure that the prohibition against making images has to do with images that will be worshiped.


Pastor Lisa, I'd like to see some Bible references about nudity being wrong.

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