If you owned a company that sold Bible Study material would you sell a book with the word “Vagina” in it? LifeWay a company that sells Bible Study materials and books (disclosure: I am a fan of what they sell and have used a number of there resources) has decided not to carry a new book by author and blogger Rachael Held Evens. She presumes that it may have something to do with what she describes as the “vagina controversy”. She uses the word in her book. Evans received advice from her editor that she should remove the word “vagina” from A Year of Biblical Womanhood, to better accommodate Christian bookstores. It is consistent with some of the other decisions but non the less controversial decisions that LifeWay has made recently. For instance some questioned their decision not to carry the move “The Blind Side”, because of complaints from a pastor and the Souther Baptist Convention. It is also inconstant with their carrying of Mark Driscoll’s book “Real Marriage”, which also uses the word.
So is LifeWay guilty of being inconsistent with upon holding it’s standards, or is the decision based on the context of the use of the word? Not having read her book I can’t say if I think her use is inappropriate or not. LifeWay still carries other books by Evens, so it can’t be based on an objection to her teachings as a whole. She wrote in a recent blog that she has heard unofficially from a LifeWay offcial that it may in deed have to do with something other than “vaginagate”.
It raises an interesting question about censorship. I’m curious what you think about LifeWays decision. But the BIGGER QUESTION I have is: Do you censor what you put in your heart, soul, mind and body? You know that the friends you choose have a big influence on you, what books you read influence you, the movies and TV shows you watch influence you, what you view on the internet influences you and what we eat has an effect on us. So are you good at censoring out what you know is not beneficial for you?
Romans 12:1 say “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Offering our bodies (heart, soul, mind & strength) demands that we make good choices with what knowingly allow to influence us.
What about you?
1. When is the last time you said “No” to watching a movie because you thought it wise to censor the content from your heart and mind?
2. Is it sometimes appropriate (some would say valuable and essential) to use objectionable content in honest teaching? For instance author Eric Metaxas pointed out that the objectionable language in the move “The Blind Side” helped to realistically depict the “unpleasant world” from which Ohr was rescued from.
Just Saying: I’m not a fan of Rachael Held Evens. I disagree with a number of her blog post teachings. But I think would be beneficial and honest for LifeWay to explain why they carry some of her books but not rejected this one. My guess is that her sometimes “out side box” of conservative evangelical teaching has made her suspect in the view of LifeWay.
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