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LostWanderer

Conscience

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What does it mean for our soul when no matter which choice we make on a matter, our conscience isn't clear?

 

... If even not choosing (being inactive) offends our conscience?

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Hi LW, since you've given us no specifics, I can only answer in the general sense. If your conscience isn't clear, and an immediate decision is not required on your part, then it seems to me that patience and prayer are the way to go until you have a better understanding of the matter from God (even if waiting is somehow offensive to you as well).

 

Yours and His,

David

quote-of-two-evils-choose-neither-charles-spurgeon-28-4-0429.jpg.f199939ab8e7329496e37236a9adfbcc.jpg

 

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I'm not sure if this will help, but it's great advice that, if followed, will always keep you out of hot water, especially where your immortal "soul" is concerned anyway :RpS_smile:

Be obedient even when you do not know where obedience may lead you. -- Sinclair B. Ferguson

 

--David

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David,

 

I'll give specifics, but I'm hesitant to do so because I expect this thread to become a debate about the specifics instead of the principle of obeying conscience. No offense, but most Christians are ignorant on the topic - it's one I posted about earlier: modesty (I posted about it on ... 8? forums. The responses in most places were pathetic.)

 

I'm disabled, and either I do photography or I do nothing. It's a sin for me to not work (clear command), so I must do photography if I'm able to.

----------

However, the concept of modesty gets in the way. My conscience (not scripture) makes me ask: should I shoot pictures if the person (male or female, makes little difference to me) isn't wearing long, heavy, loose fitting clothing that reveals nothing but the hands and face? This would eliminate every customer, no one dresses this way except muslims, some IFB girls, and amish. Thus, it leaves me not working and not providing for myself.

 

You'll probably be inclined to respond by telling me that my standard is absurd, and I agree. My conscience gets in the way even though I think this view is nearly indefensible (I was in an IFB church; they misused scripture to drill this concept.)

----------

It gets even more tricky here: what about doing fitness shots: shirtless men? Okay, that's more revealing, but when is "more" enough to say it's wrong? I don't believe this is wrong, either - but again, my conscience gets in the way and tells me I shouldn't do this. Again, though - I'm required to work.

 

To make matters even more complicated, my conscience also tells me that I should stand up for women's rights and support the same freedom for them - especially because they have the added function of feeding their babies... It was 105f one day in my city last month, can you imagine covering a baby for it to feed?... It's illegal to leave dogs in hot vehicles! .. How much more should we say "poor baby?".. Of course, it's for womens' benefit also: they shouldn't have to suffer in the heat; if there's shade and wind, and it's too hot to stay outside, taking off more clothing allows you to continue your task instead of going home to your A/C (if you live in a first world country... what are others supposed to do?)

 

More relevantly, perhaps: I believe it's wrong to discriminate. Either I shoot neither gender topless, or I shoot both (another difficulty!)

 

This one will really inflame people: it's a VERY offensive concept to many, if not most christians, in our country. So, here's another point where it may move to changing my view of modesty rather than dealing with the conscience issue... I'm willing to listen to scripture, but the conscience issue should also be addressed: what happens when another situation comes along and I'm stuck in the middle? This isn't rare, for me.

 

Note: this goes beyond business. Conversations happen where the idea of modesty comes up; if I'm silent, I let the typical church view dominate people in an unhealthy way, and I'm not okay with that. If I speak up, then the possibility of giving wrong advice sears my conscience.

 

.......

 

So, regarding your last post about being obedient - what *is* obedience for me? Do I follow the clearest command which tells me to work, or do I sit on the side and let everyone else provide for my needs?

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Hi again LW, first off, where matters of conscience are concerned, you should take the time to resolve the matter in your heart and mind before you act against what your conscience is telling you.

 

That said, this thought comes to mind. Now I realize that this is FAR more difficult to do than it is to talk about, but is there anyway you could choose to do a different kind of photography? For instance, I doubt you'd run into matters of conscience if you did tabletop and/or architectural photography :RpS_smile: There's the wedding photography business too, of course, but along with your disability being a possible problem for that, I suspect that you are not insane enough to go in that direction (however, people are normally dressed from head to toe at weddings, and if you have a personality that can survive the insanity, the $$ is great).

 

Whoops, gotta go. I'll be back (Dv).

 

--David

 

 

 

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Hi again LW, first off, where matters of conscience are concerned, you should take the time to resolve the matter in your heart and mind before you act against what your conscience is telling you.

 

That said, this thought comes to mind. Now I realize that this is FAR more difficult to do than it is to talk about, but is there anyway you could choose to do a different kind of photography? For instance, I doubt you'd run into matters of conscience if you did tabletop and/or architectural photography :RpS_smile: There's the wedding photography business too, of course, but along with your disability being a possible problem for that, I suspect that you are not insane enough to go in that direction (however, people are normally dressed from head to toe at weddings, and if you have a personality that can survive the insanity, the $$ is great).

 

Whoops, gotta go. I'll be back (Dv).

 

--David

 

 

 

 

Negative on doing a different kind of photography.

DSLRs nearly killed the market - everyone has a camera. Just look at the prices of stock photography on shutterstock, etc.

 

As for weddings - that would be far worse. Can't discriminate - so I have to shoot gay weddings too - and that's not happening. But I'm curious about your head to toe comment, because a lot of wedding dresses are more revealing than girls' standard clothing. That's pretty normal around here, I believe.

In any case, it'll go great when I remind the bride: "you must not wear a dress that shows anything below the collar bone!" And if that's not in our contract, she can sue me for bailing at the last moment when she doesn't follow that rule. Even if she doesn't sue me, no one would hire me after she complains - and rightfully so.

 

In addition, I don't believe that's what scripture teaches about dress - so, I'd object to doing this on the grounds that it'll make myself and the faith look legalistic and unreasonable.

 

----

 

I find the concept of conscience frequently difficult to apply. For example, in my school work (I'm working toward another field, but my school will take ~9 years) I'm required to take general studies (the u.s. education system is a joke) and part of that includes a class on health, which talks about sexuality. It's not pornographic, but it has pictures of anatomy. Should I refuse to take this class, because I feel uncomfortable and have some doubt whether it's acceptable for me to look at that?

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As for weddings - that would be far worse. Can't discriminate - so I have to shoot gay weddings too - and that's not happening. But I'm curious about your head to toe comment, because a lot of wedding dresses are more revealing than girls' standard clothing. That's pretty normal around here, I believe.

 

Ah yes, I forgot how the industry has changed. And I also forgot about the low-cut tops that are common on many wedding bodices (which is silly since the beautiful dress that my wife wore at our wedding was anything but neck high).

 

I figured changing the kind of photography you do probably wasn't possible, but I thought I'd ask.

 

I used to do photography for a living as well, but it was in the old days, prior to DSLR's and Photoshop. Back then it took a pro with a light meter to even get consistently decent exposures, and retouching was done with dyes and pencils and knives. I got out of the business at the right time, as I'm pretty certain I would not be able to work under the conditions that commercial photographers, like you, are faced with today.

 

One of the two people the Lord used most directly to lead me to Him was one of my principle models. She did a number of national ads, but when an art director asked her to pose in a way that would have made her "appear" as if she was topless, she refused as a matter of conscience. If memory serves, they changed their minds and allowed her to appear in the shot (which was of the back of her shoulder, upper arm, and neck) wearing a towel, but that was the last shoot they hired her for (so you are not the first person I've run into in the industry that's faced a crisis of conscience).

 

There's still more that I wanted to talk to you about, but I've gotta run again.

 

I'll be back (Dv)

 

--David

Edited by David Lee

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Ah yes, I forgot how the industry has changed. And I also forgot about the low-cut tops that are common on many wedding bodices (which is silly since the beautiful dress that my wife wore at our wedding was anything but neck high).

 

I figured changing the kind of photography you do probably wasn't possible, but I thought I'd ask.

 

I used to do photography for a living as well, but it was in the old days, prior to DSLR's and Photoshop. Back then it took a pro with a light meter to even get consistently decent exposures, and retouching was done with dyes and pencils and knives. I got out of the business at the right time, as I'm pretty certain I would not be able to work under the conditions that commercial photographers, like you, are faced with today.

 

One of the two people the Lord used most directly to lead me to Him was one of my principle models. She did a number of national ads, but when an art director asked her to pose in a way that would have made her "appear" as if she was topless, she refused as a matter of conscience. If memory serves, they changed their minds and allowed her to appear in the shot (which was of the back of her shoulder, upper arm, and neck) wearing a towel, but that was the last shoot they hired her for (so you are not the first person I've run into in the industry that's faced a crisis of conscience).

 

There's still more that I wanted to talk to you about, but I've gotta run again.

 

I'll be back (Dv)

 

--David

 

It's very interesting that you did photography! I'd like to hear / see more. :)

 

Yeah, at this point I'm just going by my best judgement of scripture. No choice I have leaves my conscience clear... :\ ... I was asked once to shoot portraits where the girl would be wearing a semi-transparent bottom. I told her no, that topless is as far as I'll go; and I'm willing to do that primarily because I think discrimination is wrong. I mentioned in my other thread: men couldn't show their nipples in public until 1937. Via exposure, it became "rated G." Now almost no one is really bothered by a man's chest. Yay for patriarchy *sigh.*

Edited by LostWanderer

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