(Warning: Sexuality explicit language)
Elle Dowd is an ELCA seminarian at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) and is also part of the leadership of Decolonize Lutheranism (read about this group here). She recently wrote a blog called “Jesus and Black Lace Lingerie” where we are told:
“…I was at a casting call, auditioning for the chance to model a body-positive line of bras and underwear. The church has a reputation for prudishness about anything having to do with things like desire, bodies, or sex. And so me, a seminarian, a pastor-in-training, showing up ready to strip down to my skivvies for a photoshoot seems to a lot of people like a glaring (or at least interesting) contradiction.”
She then goes into a strange discourse about God having a body, experiences He had with his body (using intentionally provocative words and descriptions of Christ’s birth), and experience she has had with her body. Then she writes:
“Learning about a shockingly embodied God empowered me to reconnect to my own body in a variety of ways through therapy, yoga, running, dancing, sex...Talk about the ways in which sex has been a powerful way not only to reclaim my body and reconnect to my sexuality, but to heal from spiritual abuse perpetuated by the church? It seems unheard of.”
After reading Elle Dowd's blog I believe a main message she is trying to communicate is that we should celebrate our bodies. Unfortunately, that seems to mean “in whatever fashion you want, sinful or not.” And that leads us back to her lingerie photo shoot. The ELCA seminarian writes:
“I felt my black lacy, cheeky shorts rub against my skin underneath my jeans as I sat on that futon and talked with the designer and the photographer about being a faith leader. Then I took off my t-shirt and took some photos in my bra, feeling free and brave, knowing that if anyone found this scandalous, at least I was in good company with my Scandalous, Incarnate God.” (read here)
Elle's blog has been the subject of some conversations with a number of ELCA leaders on Twitter recently. Here are some of the more shocking answers to questions posted by ELCA Deacon Tara L Ulrich, that were inspired by Elle Dowd's blog (notice that Elle retweeted each one):
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11