A theologian favored by the controversial Duggar family recently advised a woman to have the "good kind" of body shame when she wrote to him about body image issues.
Sarabeth Caplin at Patheos' "The Friendly Atheist" blog wrote Friday that Christian author John Piper "once advised abused women to endure 'a little smacking'" — and has now suggested there is a Christ-like way to feel ashamed of one's body.
"You said, 'Ever since puberty, I have hated my body.' I wonder if it might be worth considering that there is a good hatred of the body and a bad hatred of the body," Piper wrote in response to a fan on a recent post for his website, Desiring God. "The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27, 'I discipline [pummel] my body' — literally, 'I give my body a black eye' — 'and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.' You don’t beat up on your friend. You beat up on your enemies."
While the theologian admitted that one's corporal body is "in one sense is a friend," he ultimately concluded that it is more often a foe because it can be taken over by devilish temptations.
"There’s another sense in which the body is not a friend," Piper continued. "It has become the base of operations for much enemy activity, and it has become complicit in that attack of the evil one on us."
"Have you ever asked, 'Instead of saying, ‘I should stop hating my body,’" he suggested, "maybe I should say, ‘I should start hating my body in the right way; I should start hating my body because it tempts me to sin?'"
To hate one's body in this correct, Christ-like way "would be a very significant liberation," Piper concluded.