According to the Daily Mail, the model* has no intention of giving up modelling despite her recent declaration of faith. But is it possible to be a Christian and a glamour model?
Technically, there’s no verse against she can’t be a topless modelling. The Bible says we are saved by faith and not by our actions. However, in practise it’s more complicated.
Jesus calls us to turn from our ways, to follow him completely and to be transformed by him. The woman at the well could technically have kept living with the man who wasn’t her husband. She could have left him and moved on to another man. If she did all that and still had faith in Jesus then she would be clothed in his righteousness as a forgiven child of God.
But if she could manage to love God with all her heart, read the word, know Him and still live with a man who wasn’t her husband, I would be amazed. Jesus’ love should transform our minds and our actions.
Romans 12:2 says: “Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Living with a man that isn’t your husband and being divorced multiple times is not the same as glamour modelling. However, being a part of an industry that encourages and thrives on lust is probably not what God would want for our lives. Whether the model believes that is up to her and God.
However, often being a part of something or associating with a particular industry can imply that you endorse it. With that in mind, Christians in all professions need to work out where their conscience lies, and whether they can actively serve God and diligently work for their employer at the same time, or whether their workplace undermines their faith.
The measure of love God has for us in no way rests on the morality of the companies we work for. If Christianity is going to make any difference in the world, then Christians need to be working for profit driven places – as well as places that fit more with a Christian ethos or morality.
At the same time, we can never be a perfect reflection of Jesus. We are going to make mistakes and wrong decisions. But God has time and again proven that he can use the lost and broken for his purposes – Noah got drunk, Moses killed a guy, Paul persecuted Christians. 2 Corinthians 4 tells us we are jars of clay. The real treasure is all Jesus.
One of the great things about being a Christian in a secular working environment is that you will impact the place you work in because of Jesus. By your attitude and diligence in work, by the conversations you have and just by loving the people around you.
But, in order to follow Jesus to the best of our ability and to show the treasure rather than hide it, we need to be responsible about the places we put ourselves in and the things we do.
If we are in places that may lead us or others to sin, then that’s not helpful. We need to guard our hearts and the hearts of others.
In his first letter to the Corinthians Paul tells us to not eat food sacrificed to idols if it causes others to sin. He says: “And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ.”
I’m pretty sure posing naked means someone else is going to look lustfully, which Jesus specifically defines as a sin in Matthew 5:28. Perhaps if model had chosen to be a lingerie model it would be different.
Often the way we interact with culture is to either accept something as good – but not perfect – reject it as bad, or seek to redeem that which is often used for bad but could be good. The charitable sector is good; the porn industry is bad. It cannot be redeemed because God says sex is for a man and a woman within marriage. The purpose and intentions of the pornography industry will never align with God’s.
The action of being topless itself is not the problem, it’s the purpose, place and usage of that image. God would be all for it between a husband and wife, but images in Nuts and Zoo are soft-pornography.
Ultimately there is a line. As Christians, we need to figure out and pray about where we stand on that line.
The question to ask ourselves when making that decision is how can we best navigate the workplace to give glory to God? After all, God is the real boss – not your employer.
*the model’s name had been removed