Starting at 50:28:
Paul told Timothy to flee youthful lust. Timothy was a young man. He said flee youthful lust. You live in one of the most lustful and exposed ages in history, not because men have gotten worse, it’s just the opportunities have gotten greater. Internet, media, everything. So, you’re bombarded by every sort of image and every sort of lustful thing. Young men, if you want to have a passionate love-relationship with your wife, guard your eyes. Because here’s what’s going to happen-the world put- does any of you remember Cindy Crawford? The famous supermodel Cindy Crawford? Okay. I was listening to her one time I was on, I think it was CNN or something, I don’t know where it was. I think it was an airport. And she said a statement that I thought was remarkable- she said what everyone needs to understand is Cindy Crawford doesn’t look like Cindy Crawford. And her poll point was after they take a picture of me they do all kinds of things. They make my legs longer. If I’m bent this way, and that little roll of fat they take it out. You see, here’s the problem, young man, you fill your mind with a bunch of images of something that’s not even real. Not even those girls look like that. And then you marry and you enslave your wife. Do you see that, you see how it can mess with your head? You didn’t marry a beautiful woman, you didn’t do this because our whole view of beauty is just absolutely twisted and perverted. I hate it because it kills women. It kills them dead. That’s why one of the reasons why you want to protect your eyes, because the more you protect your eyes now from looking at media and looking at other human beings, the more you will be able to passionately love one woman.
This was posted at least as early as March 4th, 2011 (see here).
Here we have a passionate brother in the Lord succumbing to the temptation to exaggerate the danger of a problem to pander to feminist sensibilities. Obviously Paul Washer didn’t literally mean that when men consume sexual imagery, it enslaves women, or causes women to die. What he meant is that you will conceive an unnaturally high standard of what a beautiful woman is, and then you’ll be unable to passionately love your wife since she could never meet your standard.
I.) When you blow a problem out of proportion, you always leave yourself wide open to saying things that make no sense. Paul Washer is proposing that a Christian man’s standard of beauty could be so high that he could not “passionately love one woman”, but he would desire to marry in spite of that. Why would such a man even propose marriage if he felt no passion in the first place?
II.) Maybe Paul Washer thinks that a Christian man will marry an unattractive woman and have delusional expectations that she will become unnaturally beautiful later on. Again, this is a fake problem. It’s not real. Even the people who read Doug Wilson’s books aren’t that brainwashed, and he literally does teach that.
III.) Even your average Christian male porn-addict knows better than Paul Washer about manufactured beauty. Supermodel bodies are not fake. They may be rare, but they are not fake. So he heard Cindy Crawford talk about how her photographers alter the appearance of her skin and shape. Big deal. I guarantee you that at the height of Crawford’s career, that editing was minimal if not absent altogether in her best work. Men are also well-aware that women beautify their faces with makeup. That’s technically fake beauty, but I doubt Washer would say that “kills women”.
IV.) I will grant that a man who has no passionate feelings towards a woman should not marry that woman IF passionate feelings = sexual arousal. But again, this is where a Christian man addicted to porn would have greater insight into this issue. The industry is over-flowing with pornography produced by complete amateurs. Their ugliness and bodily flaws are on full-display, and yet men devour it regularly. They are quite capable of passionately loving such women, even though they could click away to look at women who are far more beautiful by comparison.
V.) Paul Washer did say he was speaking off the top of his head just prior to the quote above. While that’s not how you want to approach such a complex subject, that’s not why he was wrong to say what he did. We have a cloistered preacher who learned about photo editing once, ran wild with it, started bemoaning fake problems that don’t exist, and used all of that to warn young men to guard their eyes. This is a classic example of why you really need to just stick to what the Bible says. It’s often far more simple and straightforward:
Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24 to preserve you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26 for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
but a married woman hunts down a precious life.
27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
none who touches her will go unpunished.