books

Essential Christianity, Vol. 1: Genesis

This is our study guide for our 10-week study of Genesis. It’s available in paperback from Amazon.com.

Our study of Genesis is broken into 10 sessions. Each session has questions for further reflection and study, and the study guide has several pages for taking notes.

Table of Contents

1: The Word of God

2: Creation

3: Innocence

4: The Fall

5: The Flood

6: The Races of Mankind

7: The Tower of Babel

8: Abraham

9: Jacob

10: Joseph

 

GMWA 25 – Islamic happenings, British Christmas, Archeogenetics, & more

Good Morning White America! In this episode Adam and Mary talk Christmas movies and holiday preparations, Hans and Anna talk food and health, Skeleton King briefs us on the Muslim happenings around Europe yesterday, the Hate Bird throws a poetry party, Hengest returns with part four of his series on archeogenetics, Lord Bully Pulpit treats us to Christmas in Dickens’ jolly old England, Wayne Smythe cross-checks us with the latest news in the NHL, and Blake K. brings us back to the meaning of Christmas.

Thanks for listening! Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and share it with everyone you know!

27:20 – Food & Health, with Hans and Anna Gygax

34:06 – News for Tues, Dec. 20, with Skeleton King

46:32 – Standard Poetry Party, with the Hate Bird

50:04 – Archeogenetics, with Hengest

56:01 – Advent and Christmas in the United Kingdom, with Lord Bully Pulpit

1:00:56 – High Time Preference Hockey, with Wayne Smythe

1:05:41 – Thoughts for the Eighth Day, with Blake K.

1:09:20 – Funny stuff with Adam and Mary

Subscribe on iTunes at: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/am-gr…ast/id1124195733

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Download new episodes on TRS at radio.therightstuff.biz or Soundcloud at @adamgray-577846681

Read Adam Grey’s articles at www.FaithandHeritage.com/author/adam-grey

News jingles created by Mansardian and used per Creative Commons license, available at www.freesound.org/people/mansardian/sounds/61322/

Link: Christian Hangout #21
www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1N2ldrV4…&feature=youtu.be

Link: Fiber Fix (24.99 for a kit)
fiberfixnow.com/thevideo
www.youtube.com/watch?v=niQr5Nh4vzk

Link: Ernest Saves Christmas
www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvhrQL33uGU

Link: Walt Disney — Santa’s Workshop 1932
www.youtube.com/watch?v=stePHVVBbDg

Breaking Bad: The Power of Man Fully Alive

A while back, my wife and I watched the pilot episode of “Breaking Bad,” the 2008-2013 TV show about Walter White, a weak-kneed, pushover high school chemistry teacher who turns into a meth-producing drug dealer and murderer.  My wife and I are Christians, and have no interest in drugs or the sick world of criminals; thus the reason why the show came and went and never entered our home for almost a decade.  I should also say that two years ago I watched the pilot episode on my own, and then the second episode, but chose to end my viewing there because in the second episode the show simply got too gory and lost what I thought made the pilot episode so great.  A year later, I finally got around to asking my wife to watch the pilot episode as well, because I wanted her to see someone depict something I talk about a lot with her: a man who decides to fully live.

What made the pilot episode so great, and what they abandoned in the second episode, was the story of a man who had spent much of his life getting pushed around by life.  In the first half of the pilot episode, we see a plaque on the wall Walter received from doing research that led to a Nobel Prize in 1985.  That was almost 20 years before the time in Walter’s life that the show picks up.  So what did Walter do for those 20 years?  We don’t know much, except that he got married to Skyler, a woman at least 10 years younger than him, who aspires to be a writer and dutifully manages the household finances.  They had a son, Walter Jr., who is now a high schooler, has slight mental problems and is physically handicapped.

The last two decades have not led to financial security for the Whites.  They bought a home in the Albuquerque suburbs that has a deficient hot water heater.  Coupons adorn their fridge.  Walter’s wife Skyler sells some of their household goods on eBay to earn extra cash.  She is so emotionally invested in it that it seems reasonable to conclude that they really need the cash, she prides herself on being helpful to her husband, and she is a competitive person.  Walter’s vehicle looks nice enough, but everything else in their life indicates that they have to pinch pennies to make ends meet.

Walter’s life as a full-time high school chemistry teacher — replete with students who clearly don’t care about what he is passionate about — and working an after-school job as a car wash cashier/detailer for an understaffed, overbearing foreign owner, indicates that the last 20 years of Walter’s life have been a steady decline into apathy, mediocrity, subservience to others, and the crushing of his spirit.

His relationship with his wife indicates this as well.  In the morning, she serves him breakfast with bacon.  Not real bacon that feels good, tastes good, and matches most American mens’ images of what a real man eats, but veggie bacon.  She insists on it because it is healthier, he is sick, and he is getting older.  In a way, Skyler is acting out of love.  She doesn’t want Walter to die of heart disease or some other preventable disease brought on by an unhealthy diet.  She still wants him to be able to eat bacon (of some sort).  And at the supermarket, you’ll find that non-pork bacon such as turkey bacon is usually cheaper than pork bacon, so again she’s taking pride in looking out for the household.  She is being a supportive wife.  The trouble is that she takes pride in doing things that she thinks are helpful (which they are in a real sense) but which take a larger toll on Walter’s will to live — his morale — his sense of manhood.

We see another example later in the episode when Walter arrives home after a terrible day at both his regular job and his part-time job.  At breakfast Skyler had questioned him about when he’d get home, and pushed him to stand up to his foreign boss and leave the car wash at 5 p.m.  Any other day it would have been simply a wife telling her husband what to do, which is pretty soul-crushing to a man.  But as we see when he arrives home harried and frazzled, on this day she has prepared a surprise party for him.  His house is full of guests and relations who have had to wait an extra long time for him to get home from his part-time job, at which he again had to stay longer than usual.  She didn’t want to inconvenience the guests, or be embarrassed by Walter’s uncontrollable tardiness (which is on account of his being a dutiful pushover).  While ostensibly welcoming him as the returning hero, she whispers her complaint about his tardiness into his ear: a discouragement, a nitpick, a chastisement, an indication of who is really the boss in their relationship.  She provides a good life for him, she thinks.  He just has to follow her rules.

It gets worse later when they are in bed.  It is the night of his 50th birthday.  Hitting the 50 year mark is a milestone for anyone, let alone a man who has experienced such a humiliating stretch of years as Walter.  Skyler clearly went to great lengths to organize his surprise party.  But just as she put the needs of her guests ahead of him — why chastise the guest of honor if he is truly the person valued? — on his birthday night she put the needs of herself and her household ahead of Walter.  In no sense did she put him first, even though Skyler did put his needs somewhere on her list of to-do’s.  In bed, we see her trying to sell something on eBay.  She sits upright next to Walter and, while she engages in commerce, she ticks off the Walter box off her list by manually stimulating him.  This is humiliating.  A boy can do this on his own.  Why does a 50-year old married man need a hand job from his wife?  Are her lady parts not working?  Hardly.  She is simply too preoccupied to notice that she is not giving him what he deserves and wants.  And while he minds, he doesn’t object.  The fact that he minds is apparent from his inability to get or maintain an erection.  He is not turned on by her overt sexual behavior because she is not connecting to him.  She is treating him and his sexual needs like a chore that needs doing.  Just as she wouldn’t emotionally invest in taking out the trash, or put on makeup or lingerie to pay the bills, she won’t get off the computer or even look at Walter in order to sexually gratify him.  And so she can’t.  On top of the inherent problems of the situation, she then proceeds to discuss the day’s business with him, while vainly attempting to sexually please him.  As usual, when discussing business with him, she is the one in charge and he is the one who gets pushed around.  Then when she discovers that he is not erect, she blames him.  “What is going on down there?”  She puts the blame on him and his body, not on herself.  Whose birthday is it anyway?  Who is supposed to be the recipient of pleasure?  Apparently Skyler.  After ordering him to relax and focus on getting pleasured — which to some extent does happen — Skyler reverts to her real focus, which is the eBay sale.  The climax of the bed scene is her success in selling something on eBay, not pleasing Walter.

Skyler’s brother Hank, who is a DEA officer, acts like the alpha male/frat boy jock at Walter’s birthday party.  He throws his arm around Walter, takes Walter’s beer out of Walter’s hand, jokes about Walter’s huge brain and offers a toast — while drinking Walter’s beer.  He then flips on the local TV news so he can see a news report about a drug bust that he made.  Everybody focuses on Hank.  At Walter’s party.

At his car wash part-time job, Walter works for a foreigner of Arabic or Greek origin.  The owner might be nice enough, but he does not truly value Walter’s boundaries, which Walter had previously (and probably repeatedly) laid out.  Instead, he treats this 50 year-old, Nobel Prize-winning researcher, father, and husband like a 16 year-old high school brat.  He orders him around to perform menial tasks, even lower than the already low task of working a probably minimum-wage job as a cashier.  The owner’s foreign origin compounds the humiliation.  It is like servitude to a master who utterly does not understand, or care to understand, oneself.

After all this, we see the pivotal event in Walter’s life.  It clarifies everything for him.

Walter finds out that he is going to die.  He has inoperable lung cancer.  At best, he would have a few years to live.

In conjunction with the information Walter gained from Hank at his birthday party, and subsequent information he gains from a ride-along with Hank on another drug bust, Walter makes the greatest decision of his life.

He decides to take control of his life using the gifts and talents at his disposal.  He casts aside the societal, legal, and moral restraints to which he had hitherto submitted.  He curses out his foreign boss, makes fun of his foreign appearance, and quits his job.  He physically assaults and intimidates a large, young man who made fun of Walter, Jr. at a clothing store.  He blackmails a former student, who now deals meth, into partnering with Walter to make a lot of money producing and selling high-quality meth.  And at the end of the episode, we see things radically changed in bed.  When Skyler starts to explain how she doesn’t like the way Walter has been acting over the past few weeks, Walter turns to her in bed, begins to kiss and caress her, and then physically makes it clear to her that he has regained his manhood.  I love the last line of the episode, in which Skyler, shocked and pleased, gasps, “Walter! Is that you?”

Yes, Skyler, that is Walter.  Walter was there all along.  Walter never left.  He just hid.  He just allowed himself to go so far below the surface of his true nature, for so long, that most people never would have had any idea that Walter was anything other than a wimp and a loser.

Walter summed up the change in one conversation with Jesse, his former student-turned-meth dealer.  Jesse reasonably asks for an explanation as to why his former chemistry teacher has embarked on a life of serious crime.  Walter doesn’t offer a lengthy explanation, nor a philosophical one.  He stands there silent for a while as Jesse questions him, and then simply tells Jesse “I am awake.”

That is true.  Walter was asleep.  Slumbering below the surface of the cog in the machinery of everyday life — at work, at his other job, in bed, with his kid — Walter was itching to get out.  Dying, in fact, not from cancer, but from not getting out.  From suppressing his true nature.

That could be anybody’s story.  In this case, it took a medical death sentence to stimulate Walter into making a decision.  Though we should be clear — the lung cancer and short life expectancy did not cause Walter to act.  Walter simply could have acquiesced to his terminal cancer in the same way he had acquiesced to every other force imposing itself on him.

Walter acted because he wanted to.  He valued something else above the supposed rewards of acquiescence to Skyler, society, his job, his foreign boss, his life.  He decided and acted because he wanted something that was worth the cost of going after it.  That also could be anybody’s story.  We can all be there and do that.

In Walter’s case, he breaks bad.  That is, he makes the monumental decision to change his life by means of producing and dealing drugs, and all that goes with it.  The second episode depicted that lifestyle, and since it is inherently repulsive to me, I turned it off and do not have any interest in going back.  The show’s creator made a choice to focus on Walter as a drug dealer.  He intentionally made Walter descend into a criminal life, and Walter deformed himself in the process.  Walter becomes less relatable and likeable throughout the show’s five seasons.  I have no interest in seeing depravity.  I have enough of my own to deal with, and thankfully it doesn’t involve dead bodies.

But what we can all take away from that pilot episode, which shows a character arc that is complete in itself and can be used as a model for others in real life, is how a man can change his life simply by virtue of making the decision to do so, and sticking with it, no matter the cost.  We don’t have to embrace vice in order to radically change our lives.  That was simply the direction that the show’s creator wanted to go in.  It’s also what the networks want to show, because they love to degrade Americans by holding up evil characters for us to emulate.  Disregard that nonsense.  Take away the key principle: if the cost is high but the prize is worth more, we can change our lives.  We have the force to do so in our souls.  Man can do amazing things that seem impossible.  The only thing that separates us from doing the seemingly impossible is the will to do it, stick with it, and not quit when the going gets hard.  It will get hard.  Taking out the trash can be hard.  Driving to work can be hard.  Sitting still in church or at school can be hard.  But we do these things all the time.  Why not stick it out through things that are really worth it to us, as opposed to only doing those things that society expects of us and rewards us for doing?  Why value what others think and want over and above what we ourselves want?  We don’t have to disrespect or disregard others‘ needs and feelings in order to do what we want.  But we may need to knock the needs and feelings of other down a notch or two on our list of priorities, and hoist ours up a few notches, in order to make a more even-handed assessment of everyday situations.  If you’re like me, who tends to fall into the party line and do what comes easy — that is, what is socially acceptable and rewarded — our problem is not thinking too little of others, it’s thinking too much of them and too little of ourselves.  We don’t have to become drug-dealing murderers in order to fix that situation.

What do you want badly enough that you’ll pay any price, suffer any repercussions, to make it happen?

Children’s book “Walls and Fences” now available in paperback & on Kindle

Looking for a way to explain President Donald Trump’s proposed wall on the Mexican border to your kids and grandchildren?

Want an easy explanation of national borders, self-defense, and property rights for the little ones in your life?

Mary Grey’s book, “Walls and Fences,” featuring the beautiful illustrations of Ford Henry, is a great way to make these implicitly pro-white concepts understandable for the little people in your life.

Featuring references to the Bible, the Great Wall of China, modern Israel, and their own neighborhoods, “Walls and Fences” will open the eyes of the kids (and adults) who enjoy it.

Now for sale on CreateSpace and Amazon.com as a full color paperback book and for sale on Kindle.

GMWA 21 – Lutheranism and the Jews, News, Hockey, Christmas in Germany, Love and Marriage

In this episode Adam and Mary talk about love and loyalty between man and wife, Blake K. talks with Adam about the Lutheran church in Germany and its relationship with Jews and the Gospel, news broadcaster Skeleton King presents the day’s top news, Wayne Smythe talks NHL hockey, Lord Bully Pulpit introduces us to German celebrations of Advent and Christmas, and Blake K. discusses how to read the Bible.

Thanks for listening! Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and share it with everyone you know!

21:03 – Lutheranism and the Jews, with Blake K. and Adam

42:42 – News for Tues, Dec. 6, with Skeleton King

56:01 – High Time Preference Hockey, with Wayne Smythe

1:00:14 – Advent and Christmas in Germany, with Lord Bully Pulpit

1:05:28 – Thoughts for the Eighth Day, with Blake K.

GMWA 20 – Dr. Illusion, the Alt Right, Polish Christmas, White History, Hockey & Hacksaw Ridge

In this episode Adam and Mary talk about the beginning of December, Dr. Karl Radl brings us This Week in White History, Nikephoros Phokas talks NHL hockey, Andy Jackson has a Weekly White Pill on Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge,” Lord Bully Pulpit introduces us to Polish celebrations of Advent and Christmas, and Dr. Illusion chats with Adam about happenings at Ohio State, Gatlinburg, and the future of the Alt Right.

Thanks for listening! Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and share it with everyone you know!

37:42 – Weekly White Pill – Hacksaw Ridge, with Andy Jackson

43:22 – News for Thurs, Dec. 1

59:00 – This Week in White History, with Dr. Karl Radl

1:06:16 – Hockey Report, with Nikephoros Phokas

1:08:14 – Advent and Christmas in Poland, with Lord Bully Pulpit

1:12:03 – Interview with Dr. Illusion on Ohio State, Gatlinburg, the future of the Alt Right

2:00:40 – Funny stuff, with Adam and Mary

 

Dissent — or Die Less Than a Man

Dissent is power, for with conformity comes powerlessness.  Powerlessness to act or speak, or even think, for oneself in order to get more or different results from life than society thinks appropriate.  With dissent comes the opportunity to have something of one’s own that is different or better than what society thinks appropriate.  Though people would deny it at first, the truth is that even this opportunity is not the greatest benefit of dissent.  The greatest benefit of dissent is that it enables the soul to open itself up to risks that qualify the person for nobility, honor, greatness, and true manhood.

The greatest element of life is this opportunity to be more than simply a material being chasing after its daily rations from one’s master – whether that master be another slave, a business, a political establishment, or society at large.  The greatest part of life as a man is to ascend to the heights to which Jesus has told us we are capable of attaining.  The elements of the divine that intermingle with the ordinary course of our lives can be celebrated, separated, integrated, elevated so as to empower us to be more like God in His communicable attributes of truth, power, love, holiness, patience, peace, and so on.

Every hero and great leader has surpassed the ordinary in favor of the extraordinary.  I need not deny myself the ordinary necessities of life in order to do this.  However, one must go beyond these.  If they had been enough for a man God would have left Adam alone in the garden with his land to till and animals to shepherd.  Instead, Adam required communion with the Divine and fellowship with a person after his heart.  He needed someone to fight for, to woo, to embrace, to weep for.  And from their union came sons and daughters, grandchildren and posterity without number, with whom Adam could share his love, his wisdom, his wealth, his presence.  People for whom to sacrifice, to labor, to give; with whom to rejoice, to love, to laugh, to live.

Man requires a higher purpose than a paycheck.  And not even the love of another may satisfy his soul.  He is born not to loaf, but to risk harm and win rewards.  The truest measure of a man is his willingness to risk harm to himself and what he possesses in the service of a truly worthy cause greater than himself.  Without this willingness to risk, he is a mere accountant, hoarder, slug, or dilettante.  Whether he have much or nothing at all, his unwillingness to serve a God larger than him, expressed through work in one of God’s particular vocations such as war or ministry, indicates that the being is not a man at all but a mere compilation of atoms embarked on an utterly meaningless lifespan, doomed to an eternal inferno.

Dissent enables a man to avoid the broad road, the trap into which most of mankind has stuck their feet, only to discover that it has no ‘off’ button or release switch.  Dissent restores power to a man’s mind and tongue, the beginning point for any revolution and the cradle of all great achievements.  Dissent takes power back from the mob – that nary-do-well pack of bandits to whom we unconsciously bear allegiance from the womb – and flips the bird to the media, political and financial establishments, and cultural institutions that have degraded us and derided us into a state of infantile submission to the faceless, nameless, automaton society.

In order for a man to dissent, he must agree to society’s terms.  Not all of them, for sure.  But he must recognize that the terms by which society puts its members to death for dissent are, in fact, real.  They are serious.  Society means business, and it intends to keep its business running smoothly.  After all, it has monopolistic control over the fate of men, and that is not a power to lightly give away.  Society – both in the mob and in the persons of the corporations and individuals who guide the mob on its way – cherishes, relishes, and thinks its power of social ostracism inseparable from its existence.  It cannot fathom the thought of not enjoying, and exercising at its whim, capital punishment against the name and person of a man who dissents from its charted course.  Be it exclusion from polite society, ordinary social groups like churches and community organizations, or even the family dinner table, society will punish its wayward members upon pains of social death.  It will bar him from employment, smear his reputation in personal and professional circles, politically turn him into a football suitable for kicking, and make the scapegoat wander into the desert to bear the guilt of the sins which he, by the act of his dissension from the group norm, has brought upon himself.  And society will lay its hands on his neck and slay him in an act of self-righteous pseudo-atonement, making the dissenter pay the price for his sin in the name of their god, while his blood cries out to Heaven for vengeance.

The mob that makes up visible society is a harlot, but its shepherds are truly the beast that rides upon the harlot.  They are the ones that manipulate and distract these puppets into submission to a plainly insane and wicked world, which they cannot recognize for lack of vision and spirit.  They have vanquished their spirits and blinded their eyes through lifetimes of submission to their shepherds’ decrees.  Woe to those who imitate their ways, for swift is the fall and long is the drop to those who think they can dip their toes in the pools of demons without getting their whole bodies wet.

The power of social influence is profound.  It shapes the way we think and speak even alone, behind locked doors, in the darkest hours of the night.  Did not the disciples thus fear the power of the Jewish conspiracy?

To break out of its chains one must be willing to suffer social punishment.  In order to do that one must despise the judge, the jury, and the executioners – which in this case are one and the same: society.  This does not mean to hate them, for Christ teaches us not to hate our enemies but instead to pray for them and do them good.  But it does require us to first recognize, and openly state when appropriate, the moral inferiority of our enemies and our enemies’ god.  It requires us to assert our moral supremacy and the supremacy, and sole sovereignty, of our God.

Which brings us to the most important and critical requirement of dissent: love for God.  One must truly love something in order to suffer for it.  Whether the love of money for which we labor, the love of a woman or family for which we labor, or the love of God for whom we suffer ridicule, it is love which comes first in the chain of events.  Without love, all one has to look forward to is punishment and suffering, and that is not enough incentive to dissent even for a willing martyr.  Yes, we must disdain their lies and condemn their cruelty.  But without the reverse – love of truth and the righteousness that comes from and subsists in God – our spiritual bellies will go forever hungry.  Devoid of poison, yes; full of real food, no.  It is not just the excision of the tumor that makes the cancer patient healthy; it is the renewal of his life-giving, vital systems.  Like Christ said, new wine for new wine bottles.  So the dissenter must have the fresh, new wine of the Spirit – truth — in his new wine bottle in order to sustain him during the long desert march of social punishment.

Can anything else sustain him during his suffering?  Can his suffering be avoided?  In a better, more enlightened age, yes.  The system itself, the society and its leaders, would be different.  There have been such ages in the past, and there well may be more to come in the future.  But this present age is a new and real dark age, an age darker than that our enemies allege we foisted upon the world.  I need not write about this age, for its folly and its iniquity is all too easily observed.

Christ said to count the cost of discipleship before beginning.  He was and still is right.  We must consider what we will have to sacrifice in order to prove ourselves faithful to Him and worthy of the crown of eternal life.  He has already paid the full price for our salvation; yet it is ours to forfeit by treason to Him, our one and only Heavenly King.

Let us not begin to build a tower and then leave it half completed.  Let us not be foolish like the king who assayed to go against another, but found that he had half the numbers of his opponent on the field of battle.  Let us consider the cost and strike a bargain with those too strong for us, before launching out on a career, a lifetime, an eternity, of dissent with this present society.  But let us not question for a second our decision to launch out.  Timing is one thing; acting is the other.  Let the cost not dissuade the open-eyed as to the necessity, and opportunity, of dissent.  Our souls await it; our hopes lie upon it; our God demands it as the price of admission to His Kingdom.  So let us go.  Amen.

GMWA 19 – Advent, New Testament, History, Hockey and News

Today Lord Bully Pulpit introduces us to Advent traditions in France, Blake K. explains why the New Testament is considered a historically reliable document, Wayne Smythe catches us up on the latest happenings in the NHL, Dr. Karl Radl brings us This Week in White History, and of course we cover the news about the happenings at Ohio State, Cuba, and the Trump transition.

Thanks for listening! Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and share it with everyone you know!

28:37 – Advent in France, with Lord Bully Pulpit

33:48 – News for Tues, Nov. 29

52:19 – This Week in White History, with Dr. Karl Radl

1:04:23 – Thoughts for the Eighth Day, with Blake K.

1:10:33 – High Time Preference Hockey, with Wayne Smythe

1:13:40 – Funny stuff, with Adam and Mary

 

The Human Body is the Handiwork of God

Yesterday I overheard something that is stuck in my head.  As I worked out this morning, I tried to shove it aside and think of something else, because it is particularly foul.  A divorced man said something not tremendously dirty, but offensive and degrading, about his son’s mother, within my hearing.

Why did it strike me as wrong?  Why did it get stuck in my head?

He did not use a curse word.  He simply described her body in a way that was degrading to her, and to the human body in general.

The fact that he said it to his son compounded his guilt.  Teaching children evil is a separate wrong that needs no explanation in light of Christ’s warning to the Pharisees that they would suffer a dishonorable doom for misleading the weak and uneducated.

This morning after my shower it struck me why his comment had been offensive to me.  I was drinking my protein shake after lifting weights, and thanking the Lord for the drink, asking Him to glorify Himself in His temple, my body.

It hit me: I was disgusted by the man’s comment because he was demeaning a human body which God had created to be His temple, in His image.

The fact that this woman and man are not believers bears no significance.  A gardening pot may be used for growing a plant, or it may be used as an ashtray, but regardless it was designed for a purpose and bears a certain imprint on it.  With that imprint comes a dignity that makes people think it ridiculous for pots to be used for ends to which it was not created, for example as hats, pistol targets, or on the opposite extreme, objects of worship.

The body is not to be worshipped, but neither is it to be demeaned.  That is why torture, prostitution, health-destroying habits, pornography, and suicide are all impermissible by the law of God and the laws of nature.  The body is meant to be stewarded, enjoyed, shared for the benefit of others (such as in the life-saving work of first responders and the armed forces), and above all utilized in the worship and service of God.

I celebrate the body because it is the handiwork of God.  God did not trap souls in bodies, as the Manicheans or other Gnostics would have us believe.  God did not intend our bodies for objects of worship, either.  What low, mundane idols we would make.  But God made our bodies both glorious and humble, capable of beauty and strength, as well as necessarily unclean and weak at points, such as during elimination, illness, and injury.

The good news is that God has made our bodies, and human beings in general, far above the rest of His creation, and yet infinitely short of the perfection that He embodies.  We are middlemen, vicegerents, stewards.  By His grace through faith in Christ, He also has made His elect into saints, priests, and kings.  Thanks be to God!