Christians and Beauty Pagents
By now, everyone is aware of the situation with Miss California Carrie Prejean in the Miss USA pageant. She spoke against gay marriage and it cost her the pageant. I don’t want to focus on that incident, nor do I want to focus on the media’s coverage of it. What I want to consider is the Christian perspective of beauty pageants.
We’ll start with the most obvious verse: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt 5:28). Now, I’m not stretching it much to say that there is only one reason to watch a beauty pageant. That is to watch beautiful young women prance about in bikinis, showing off their bodies. This is a clear violation of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:28. No one can tell me that they aren’t looking at the young women in the pageant with lustful intent.
A pageant, like Miss USA, creates a serious stumbling block for Christian men. Romans 14:13 tells us never to put a stumbling block in the way of a brother. That is, a fellow Christian. By participating in a pageant like this, self-professed Christian Carrie Prejean putting a stumbling block in the way of her brothers in Christ.
You could always argue that Christians should just do what I do with beauty pageants–not watch them. As someone who struggles with the sin of lust, I can tell you that that may be much easier said than done. Granted, I was on harder stuff than beauty pageants. It took me years to kick the porn habit and I still struggle with it every day. So it may not be a simple matter of looking the other way during a pageant–our hypothetical brother in Christ might not be able to curb temptation.
I’m not arguing for all beauty pageants to be eliminated. But I want my sisters in Christ who might be considering following Miss Prejean’s example to think about the lustful feelings that they will inevitably stir in my brothers in Christ who haven’t yet developed the willpower to look away. Do you want to be responsible for someone else stumbling, sister? Read Romans 14:13-23 and Mark 9:42.