the Empathy List #63: Naked & Ashamed
What the Evangelical Church Never Taught Me, Part 3
Hey friend, Liz here.
What does God think of your body?
In my youth group days, I would’ve told you that God probably liked me best when I was wearing a turtleneck. And God liked me even more when I donned my ski gear. (Bring on the puffy jackets, sang the heavenly hosts!)
If God really was a spirit—an invisible personality, outside of time, not burdened by sleep or hunger—then surely my fleshy self was an affront to God.Or, more accurately, my body must certainly be an embarrassment to everyone else, which is why I often endeavored to hide any hint of a bra strap by ritualistically safety pinning them to my t-shirts. (Never mind those impossible-to-hide hills in the center of my chest…)
My belief that my body was bad dominated my theology. It wasn’t only a side effect of the problematic purity culture to which I signed away my sex and dating life.
My spirituality reached into gnostic asceticism, an ancient distortion of Jesus’s teachings, which asserts that the body cannot be trusted.