Lucia's Blog: CONTENDING FOR MODESTY - PART TWO
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, September 25, 2015

CONTENDING FOR MODESTY - PART TWO

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah."  
(Joshua 24:15)



Any disciple of Jesus can see that we have a serious problem today with the way most people dress in public.  In our first study of modesty, we addressed several issues governing how the child of God ought to dress (cover oneself) so as to honor our Lord.  In this second study, we are going to consider some of the underlying causes and motivations of immodesty.  We are standing at a great crossroads. We need to understand which road to take but also why.  Let's take a few moments more to meditate on the perennial issue of modesty.


III.   THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Joshua's command to the nation of Israel is combined with a professed commitment to serving the LORD.  It should be a reminder to us as Christians.  Since the beginning, God's people have lived in the land of the "Amorites."  We, like the Israelites, are challenged to live in a foreign land, a land that "lieth in wickedness," yet without becoming like the foreigners (those living in darkness).  As professing Christians, we must be willing to swim against the stream and not behave as the world does but rather behave in a manner worthy of our Lord and our calling. This ground rule must apply to all issues of modesty.  

All children of Light, are called to live, not just to a higher standard but to the highest standard. Christianity is not a subculture but a counterculture, whose aim is to walk worthy of the Lord and please Him in all respects, bearing good fruit in good works and increasing in the knowledge of God (His Word).  (Colossians 1:10).

The Apostle Paul admonished the Corinthian brethren saying,
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."  (I Cor. 6:19-20)

  • The Impact of the Media
"I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes."  (Psalm 101:3)

Many of today's preachers were "raised on TV."  In one way or another we have all been influenced by Hollywood whether we had TV or not.  The apostle Peter states:

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,  but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy."  (I Peter 13-16)

The mind is where all of the lust of "the old man" originates.  Sadly, although many know very well that Christians must crucify the works of the flesh, they hold tenaciously to the idea that television and movie watching are totally neutral, and that Hollywood produces entertainment that can be rated as  "Christian liberty."  Hollywood is not neutral at all!!   Hollywood indeed utilized its liberty in the early days and found out that what sells is nakedness and nothing else.  Someone once said,

"As early as 1914, when Mack Sennett recognized the box-office appeal of parading bathing beauties on the silver screen, the cinema began to carry on a passionate love affair with the swimsuit.  Film stars watched their careers take off like rockets on the strength of publicity shorts showing them in swimsuits."

Hollywood's role in undressing our people cannot be overstated.  Today with the new technology of moving pictures, Hollywood is constantly bombarding our eyes with seductive images, enticing or luring the eager eyes and minds of our culture with varying degrees of public nudity.  Did you know that during the Depression, the cinema was an inexpensive form of entertainment that drew multitudes into the theaters?  Nearly all could afford to go to the movies.  They offered an escape from the overwhelming and pressing difficulties of that time.  Therefore, Hollywood emerged as a principle force in the fashion industry.  Moreover, their connection with the swimsuit business was exceedingly profitable for both.  

"The basic concept, from Jantzen's point of view was, 'I'll sell your movie star, if you sell my bathing suit.'  There was no end to the ingenuity of the linkups between the manufacturer and local movie theaters and retail stores. The Hollywood connection lent mass-produced suits an enticing cachet of glamor and high style that translated into hefty sales figures."

So, there was no limit to the ways that Hollywood exploited the human body for profit.  After all, the body could now be minimally and skimpily clothed (covered), erotically packaged, projecting and promoting dazzling, larger-than-life images for all to see.

"[The] erotic bather was being promulgated by swim-wear manufacturers, beauty-pageant promoters, and the Hollywood glamour machine.  Submerged chorus lines and splashy synchronized swimming became one of the soft-core pornographies of that decade and the next... Hollywood realized that though movies could talk, few conversations equaled the unutterable sex appeal of cinema flesh."  

Certainly, Hollywood became a primary source of worldly style ideas.  Sadly, this has eluded some leaders in the church.  The media's impact in selling nakedness in our culture is enormous.  Cinema and television have flamboyantly eclipsed the power that the Bible once exerted over the minds of men. What was once just abstract fantasy (in the obscured, darkened minds of men) became the new reality for our culture.  Their gods of fashion spoke to them through images on the large and small screens, laying hold on the collective imagination like no other media phenomenon has ever done in history.   These gods of fashion have overwhelmingly influenced our women, especially the young, since the 1950s.   It is indeed a culture that bows to the voice of Hollywood and not to the Word of God.  The media, especially television, transformed the minds and hearts of our young people.  Why?  
  • Because of its powerful and seductive images.  
  • Because idolatry subtly and forcefully transfigured from silent images of stone and precious metals into living images, icons, that bared more and more flesh.  
Alas, our culture bowed at the altar, surrendered and followed suit.  Many pulpits have simply acquiesced.  

One example of Hollywood's most shameful and astounding influence over the minds of our culture is not just the seducing of women to strip naked but the seduction of MEN!  Paul tells us that Eve was deceived first and that Adam followed her with his eyes wide open.  Like Adam, our men have followed the "Eve" of Hollywood into public nakedness.  This following disclosure should humble every male reader.

During the 30s "the upper torso became the new focus of concern, and male swimmers who bared their chests in public not only forfeited respectability but faced the penalty of arrest as well... the 'nude look; in swimsuits made a mockery of the laws.  Apparel Arts in 1932 reported that 'many of the bathers of this year... swam shirtless, wearing only a pair of Trunks.'"

Swimwear designers "fashionably" pressured men to go topless, offering them two-piece swimwear. This "Depression Suit," as it was called, had a removable shirt that could be tucked in, buttoned or attached to the torso, upper body, with a zipper.  This was no small challenge, battle or contest in the war for modesty. 

"For nearly three decades, a battle of decency, decision, and decree were fought at the water's edge.  In the fourth decade, women's bathing attire changed little in terms of decency, but men's bare chests became the new field of battle... Hollywood's men went topless in the  1930s (though airbrushed into the 1950s to avoid the brutality of body hair), and the nation-wide trend, expressing physique while suggesting sensuality, followed with alacrity."

Strictly speaking, when Hollywood and swimwear designers pressured men into the strip show, they eagerly threw away their tops along with their manhood.  Why?  Merely because they followed their heart's desires rather than the revealed Word of God.  It is what they wanted and chose to follow.

Therefore, the guilt for this decaying and perverted (wicked) culture and its condition must not be laid only at the feet of women, as it frequently is.  The problem lies squarely with the men in many of our pulpits and homes.  With the near disintegration and cessation of manhood among Christians in our culture, our men have become feminized flesh-worshipers who do not lead but are led.  To their shame, they have chosen to follow their silver-screen icons into nudity rather than the purity of Christ.  Had they followed the God of righteousness and holiness and allowed the Word of God to instruct their eyes and hearts, this present lascivious culture would not and could not exist.  Men of God, take heed and start bearing good fruit, good works for the glory of God.  Otherwise, great judgment is coming!

Yet, anyone who dares to speak against public nakedness is often and quickly denounced and labeled “legalist,” "Pharisee" or worst of all "fundamentalist."  In modern times women are leading the men deeper into the swamp of indecency.  How pathetic that so many of our pulpits and youth groups today are governed by the desires of the women and children of our congregations and not by the Word of God, His Law.  Listen to what the prophet Isaiah had to say about this in his day,

"For it is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of Jehovah; that say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits, get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us."  (Isaiah 30:9-11)
"As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they that lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths."  (Isaiah 3:12)

The "liberty" that is preached today leads me to the following questions:

  1. Does not the Word of God condemn adultery?
  2. In the Law of Moses, what were the duties imposed by the seventh commandment?  They were required to be chaste in body, mind, affections, words, and behavior.  They were to preserve chastity in themselves and others.  They were to be watchful over the eyes and all the senses, keeping chaste company, modest in apparel... shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations.
  3. What are the other sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?  Adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy and all unnatural lusts.  Of course, that would include all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes and affections, corrupt or filthy communications, immodest apparel... unchaste company, lascivious songs, books, pictures, dances, stage plays and all other acts of uncleanness.
  4. That being said, how would a Christian's understanding of Scripture line up with modern Christianity's retreats to the beach or similar settings?  
  5. When we expose ourselves to one another in clothes designed for sexual attraction, are we honestly preserving chastity in our body, mind, and affections, both our own and those of others?  
  6. Do we at all cost avoid provoking others to sin?  
  7. Are we encouraging watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses?

Today's “modern” Christians just don't want these worldly practices condemned for what they are. Yet, what many Christian men commonly wear to retreats was considered indecent exposure only sixty or more years ago!   YES, the laws of our nation declared that public swimming in trunks without a shirt was nudity.  What stuns me is to see the standard practice of many Christians who simply take their children to the beach (an erotic environment), leading them in baring their bodies to one another.  Is this how we parents ought to bring them up in the Lord?  Take heed my brethren!

This present generation has slavishly bowed to the discipling of Hollywood's effeminate, air-brushed men, nurturing and encouraging itself at swimming pools and beach movies.  Shame on us!  

The “Baby-boomer” generation grew up with movies that portrayed young bodies in swimsuits. They watched Elvis Presley in Hawaii on the beach with “bathing beauties” or Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon on beach blankets having a great time while completely shameless about their state of undress.  Unfortunately, that same generation still behaves like teenagers when it comes to the flesh.  And many of them are filling a significant number of our pulpits today.  It is not surprising to me to hear this issue addressed as "a matter of indifference" since the minds of these men have been shaped and molded by Hollywood's dark world view and the images of naked men and women since the days when they were children.  No wonder our churches are in decay!  Our pulpits are filled with men who are very much desensitized to nakedness.  They proclaim with conviction, that this nakedness is "our liberty in Christ"!

Hollywood has continuously and increasingly seduced generation after generation into nakedness, worldliness, and wickedness, with its explicit portrayal of fornication. My question is:  What man or woman has not been saturated with the sensual images of bodies dressed in immoral swimwear?  Such images are seared permanently into the minds of both men and women through television commercials, magazine ads, billboards, and a significant number of media.  Additionally, these seductive images have encouraged and enticed their lustful hearts into a total surrender to pornography.

Alas, many of our pulpits remain enshrouded by deathly silence.  Or what is worse, some pulpits cheerfully declare that Jesus shed His blood on the cross to purchase us this "liberty."  These people need to repent for being "conformed to this world" and instead be "transformed" by the renewing of their mind.  Men of God, let this sink deep into your hearts!

On that great day of Judgment, all will see the extent of damage that the media has done to today's leaders.

  • "Glorify God in Your Body"  Vs. "Glorify Your Body"

Fashion retailers explicitly use “sex-appeal” in their advertisements.  They promote controversy as their marketing strategy.  Controversy and popularity go hand in hand, especially, with a "fashion-lovin' public."   The fashion industry has complete power and influence over the buying public; from crib to coffin.  Fashion designers are revered as seers, knowing all about how we ought to adorn ourselves.  Our naive young people advertise their products free of charge, for the pleasure as well as the privilege of being seen wearing their logos.  We are indeed "slaves to fashion."  Image is king.  In many ways, we are just trying, at all cost, to fit in with that which is popular.  It is like a treadmill that is moving faster and faster, gathering up younger fans as it moves.

There was a time when diamonds were a woman's best friend along with clothes and cosmetics. Today the roles have changed since cosmetic surgery has taken its place at center stage.  Not just among showgirls but also businesswomen, homemakers, and teenagers as well.  There seems to be a widespread discontent as well as a competition (keeping up with the Joneses) in our society.  Our people can only find satisfaction when they can create a brighter, lighter, tighter and sexier self.  Take for example what a young professional woman (the participant of a TV fashion makeover show) said:

"In this dress, I feel like a present; I'm going to walk into the party and I won't be ignored."  

Now, for the Christian woman, dealing with the demands and expectations of a world that is obsessed with fashion, it can be an intense battle since our culture's lure is to "glorify your body."  The Word of God calls us to "glorify God in your body."  

We must stop glorifying our bodies by immodesty, impurity, and indecency in the way we dress.  It is always too much, too little and too tight.  

"Too much" is flamboyant or ostentatious (dressing like a hooker).  Her immodesty consists in what she is offering to do later.  Her clothing speaks that language and delivers that message.

"Too little" means cleavage, the vast exposure of thigh and midriff or something else.  It is made worse by short skirts worn by girls who do not sit “like a lady.”  They expose themselves “fore and aft.”

"Too tight" is the most popular mode of disobedience.  The whole world is invited to gaze at the topographical evidence of where her undergarments start and stop along with other things that I don't want to mention.  The most pathetic thing is that Christians (men and women) in worship are dressed in a manner that would have gotten them thrown out of a bar sixty or more years ago.  Ah, Christian liberty!

Speaking of "too tight," ankle-buster high heels have but one purpose, to alter a woman's posture, accentuating her backside and chest.  Modest heels make a woman look like a lady with good posture.  While high heels make a woman look like a baited hook.

It is vital to teach our sons and daughters about the dangers of self-deception.  Our hearts are deceptive.

Brethren let us be honest:  if the world loves you, you must be of the world.  Let us commit ourselves with all of our mind, heart, and soul to the divine standards of God's Word.  Let us sanctify our bodies that we may glorify our God.  Let us show the world and the church the difference between a life of light and a life of darkness.  Let us not abuse our "liberties" of dress.  They are not from the heart of God but rather the heart of Satan.  Do not shame your Lord!

It is our "true liberty" in Christ to clothe with robes that picture the church, His bride, that He purchased with His blood.  We are free from the bondage of Satan (who whispers that a woman or man may show his nakedness).  Let us stand fast in the liberty by which Christ made us free, not be entangled with the yoke of bondage.  (Galatians 5:1)

  • Modesty Begins at Home

Our men must teach their wives and daughters the proper principles of modesty and decency.  Fathers and husbands are responsible for what the women in their homes wear.  It is up to us parents to set the guidelines and standards for our children.  If we do not want the hassle of raising our children well before God's eyes, then repent!  Period!  All Christians need to study this subject carefully and pray fervently for wisdom.   As parents, we have all the tools that we need to raise a godly generation for the glory of God.  We have the obligation and the authority to train, instruct and discipline our children as well as model Christ in our way of living before them. (Deut. 6:4-9; Eph. 6:4).  Likewise, children have an obligation to obey and honor their parents (Eph. 6:1-3).

God promises blessing to all children who are obedient to their parents.  Therefore, all parents ought to be strongly motivated to train, teach and discipline their children.  Sadly, we live in a culture where parents give-in to their children's desires rather than instructing and training them.  They spend a lot of time and energy negotiating with their children, often lowering their standards in the process.  Indeed, many parents have been seduced by self-esteem propaganda (e.g., "my son is student of the month.....") and the liberal concept that a family should be a mini-democracy.  As a result of this, we now have a child-centered family relationship that has more in common with anarchy than with the Biblical order. The children are more influenced by peer oriented counsel than mature counsel.

What is even worse is the muted work of discipline, especially "spanking."  This lack of discipline (God ordained) is connected to the confusing and contradictory counsel from psychologists, therapists, and other professionals.  As if their counsel were better than God's.  Don't be deceived. God's counsel on discipline is unmistakable: 

"He that spareth his rod hateth his son; But he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."  (Prov. 13:24)

As mothers, we have an enormous responsibility to protect and train our daughters in the principles of chastity and modesty. We are our daughters' example.  As they are growing up into young ladies, they are watching us.  They are trying to find out how to become godly.  If my daughters see me dressing provocatively in clothes that reveal or accentuate what should be very private, or perhaps, putting on clothes that are skin tight or low cut to attract the attention of men,  then they are likely to follow my example.  Let's be good examples to them and not stumbling blocks.  Our little girls want to be just like their mothers!   What an honor!   Please, let's make sure we are pointing them to Christ: 
"Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ."  (I Corinthians 11:1)

Dads are not off the hook!  Dads, do you know your daughters are watching and listening to you also?  If their hero, Daddy, is attracted to sensuality in other women, they will likely become this kind of woman.  Our sons also learn this type of behavior.  They notice what kind of movies, books, entertainment, magazines and so on that their dads enjoy.  These boys are observing what their fathers value most in women, and this is critical because eventually they will be affected by whether or not Dad respects, protects or is faithful and honors their mother.

Although the world does not have, or care about having, a fixed standard for modesty. Parents do.  It is crucial for parents to set rules with principles behind them.  The father is to take the active role of protecting his children.  This is an important God-given role to him.  The father must understand that the way his children dress around others sends messages about him as the head of their household. He must be aware of how young men and women think when they see immodesty. The father and mother must be united on the importance of modest attire in their children.  As parents, it is vital to be in the same team on this subject.

Joshua declared before all the people, "but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."  For Joshua to serve the LORD faithfully was a family affair.  His was a right side view of family. Therefore, parents must stand together that they may teach respect for God's holiness in every aspect of their life, even when it is not welcome.  As parents, we must model and enforce Biblical and ethical morals steadfastly in our homes, that we may protect our children from all worldly influences. We must set standards of thought and conduct that will help our children to be anchored both spiritually and socially as they mature.

  • Double Mindedness

As those who claim to love the Lord, we must show our discernment and obedience in the way we dress or cover our bodies.  We must not put our reputation and integrity at risk.  The Word of God is crystal clear about those who are "double-minded."  The Lord warns us that they are "unstable" in all their ways, receiving nothing from Him.  (James 1:7-8).  What is worse, they are (the double minded man) a distraction and a stumbling block for many.  Moreover, the Bible warns us that if a man looks at a woman with lust in his heart, he commits adultery in his heart (Matt. 5:28).  Do not be deceived!  Why?  Because temptation and lust form a deadly alliance.  James said,

"But each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed.  Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth death.  Be not deceived, my beloved brethren."  (James 1:14-16)
  • Willing to Err
Some who claim to be men of God have not been regenerated, transformed according to the Spirit of Christ.  They fight persistently to clothe fleshly pleasures, desires in the robes of their faith.  These men are not able to lead because they themselves are led and influenced by the desires of their women and their "youth group."  Others, are sincere but fight fierce battles in other areas, so that they simply have not reflected on, nor have they studied, this subject.  Finally, there are those who have indeed considered and examined the issue of nakedness and modesty over the years but have concluded that this is a matter of  "Christian liberty."  My question is:  Why this dichotomy among the men of God?   The truth is that there are a significant number of men in the body of Christ who are quiet and desperate since they struggle with impure thoughts.  It is evident that an alarming number of men are playing a game that they can't possibly win. 

"Stolen waters are sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.  But he knoweth not that the dead are there; That her guests are in the depths of Sheol."  (Proverbs 9:17-18)

Adam did not get away with it when he blamed Eve for his failure.  Likewise, men ought not to blame the indecent way some women dress for their voyeur habits of wrongdoing.  The Bible is clear: it is fundamentally a matter of discernment, self-control, and self-discipline. (Mark 9:47; Rom. 12:2; I Thess. 4:3-8; Titus 2:6).  
  • A wise man will do his best to avoid situations that invite his heart to impure thoughts and lust. (Luke 9:23; I Cor. 6:18).  
  • His faith is unshakable, and he knows that the power is in the Word of God to help him against temptation. (I Cor. 10:13; Eph.3:20; Phil. 4:13).  
  • He can overcome temptation because he fears God and does not want to sin against Him. (Psalm 51:4; 2 Cor. 5:9-11; 7:1; 1 Thess. 4:2-5).  
  • He is aware of the tragic consequences of disobeying his Creator and not taking heed to His discipline.  (Heb. 12:9-11; James 1:13-15).  
  • He heartily guards his integrity because he knows that lust is not a private matter (Pro. 22:1; Eccl. 7:1a).  
  • He is considerate of others.  (Eph. 5:3; 1 Thess. 4:6, 5:22).
Men of God, why not follow the statement that Job made, as a badge? Job made this statement against any accusation of hypocrisy as a way of defense:  

"I made a covenant with mine eyes; How then should I look upon a virgin?"  (Job 31:1)

Job understood well  God's nature, His righteousness.  Therefore, men of God, why not develop a strong safeguard against ever having to seek defense?  Let these words sink deep into your hearts!

  • "If You Love Me..."

God expects and demands that His children live under His moral authority (His rules and moral standards).  He has always been concerned with modesty and nakedness.  

"Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not uncovered thereon."  (Exodus 20:26).  

It is interesting, that one's "nakedness" could be easily exposed even when he had clothes on. The Levitical priests had to avoid going up steps where their private parts could be seen by those below. Later they were instructed to wear linen trousers that covered their nakedness from the waist to the knees.  Modesty is evident in God's coverings for Adam and Eve; in the holy garments of the high priests (Ex.28:2) and the regulations that governed the dress and conduct of the priesthood (Ex. 20:26, 28:42).  It is seen in the Law of Christ that contains important, necessary instructions on modesty for women and men (I Tim. 2:9-10; Luke 17:1-2; Matt. 5:28).

Modesty is an enduring moral principle rather than one's preference or opinion.  Yet why is it, that so many Christians wring their hands and grind their teeth when it comes to modesty?  As Christians, we must examine our standard of dress carefully for the sake of  Christ's cause.  When the Law of Christ is written in our hearts (2 Cor. 3:2-3), it is not a burdensome task at all.  It is not wise nor good to follow the crowd and bow down to the trendy and changeable gods of our culture.  Why is it that the church seems to lack the heart of obedience to draw guidelines?  It is undeniable that immodesty like "leaven," will increasingly have its way. (I Cor. 5:6; 2 Tim. 3:1-5).  So, why be negligent and complacent and give the devil opportunity?  (Eph. 4:27).  Why turn away willfully from God's blessings? (Matt. 5:3-12; Psalm 1).

Jesus has commanded us to be "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world."  (Matt. 5:11,13-14).  Therefore, it is our responsibility, duty, purpose, and blessing to obey Him and serve Him.  If we love Him, let us then obey His commands (John 14:15).  Modesty is the command of Scripture. The chief desire of those who have tasted of God's grace, and whose hearts have been regenerated is to honor the Lord's lordship, bringing Him glory by keeping His commands.

"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him...  He that loveth me not keepeth not my words: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me." (John 14:21, 24

The principal motives for everything we do or say must be to glorify our God and love Christ, and that includes the way we dress or cover our God-given bodies.


CONCLUSION

There is definitely a moral decay in our culture today:  in our government, schools, entertainment, modesty, sensuality, gender and especially in the home, etc.  We cannot deny it.  When the church that the Lord purchased with His blood is no longer “counter-culture,” it tragically loses its relevancy.  The church can be relevant only when it stands for the culture of Christ, believes it to be right, opposing at all cost the ways of sin and lawlessness.   When the church willingly engages in all the tactics of the world, compromising all righteousness, Satan sits on his throne being the winner. As Christians, we must shine our light so that others may see the difference between a life of righteousness and a life of lawlessness.  We must be followers in word and deed, and glorify God by our good works.

I believe that Satan has won in drawing many Christians into the sin of uncleanness by the embellishment and spangling of beautiful clothes, more than he ever could have won without them. I ponder the question of what was the attire of the married woman of Proverbs 7.  She was not a harlot, but the Scriptures speak of her dressing like one.  Her motives were to entice men with her attire. Surely her attire was not as captivating and tempting as are the garments of many professing Christians today!  So why is it, Christian, that you dress the way you do?  Examine your heart!!

However, some women are perhaps just a little naive, and they dress in a way that's provocative or sensual without any sinful intention.  It is said, that just as men have the sinful tendency to lust after women; likewise, many women have the same tendency to lust after being lusted after. Still, remember the old saying,  "Don't advertise what is not for sale!"  

Today, we have a significant number of feminists in our culture, crying out, "it is my body, and I'll do what I want."  We also have many modern Christians who cry out the same, "it's my liberty, and I'll do what I want."  Nevertheless, the Word of God declares:  

"Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body."  ( I Cor. 6:19-20)

Christian, you are not your own.  Your whole body and soul belong to the Lord since He purchased you and paid a cruel price for your body:  His own broken one.  Therefore, you are His property, and your body belongs to Him.   Don't forget that!  Reflect upon how you adorn His blood-bought property and cover your nakedness

"And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me."  (I Cor. 11:24; Matt. 26:26)

Our outward appearance communicates a message of love for Christ and our neighbor.  Why not examine your heart and reflect upon your conduct?  Why not ask yourself:

  • Do others who meet me ever act surprised when they find out that I am a Christian, because of what I regard as important to me? They see my affection for a worldly subculture of dress!
  • Does the way I dress and behave communicate a message of chastity and modesty or would others assume I am trying to look just like the world?  
Remember that everything matters.  Every bit of it!  And the foundation for all of this is found in the words of our Lord:   

"And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40)

It is all about loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength as well as loving your neighbor as yourself. One way that I can express such love for Jesus our Lord is by honestly representing Him well. It is our duty to our God to be prepared to act like godly men and women.   What that means is that we must be careful to appear holy before a world of darkness. Our lives as Christians must be open Bibles, that represent Christ and saves souls. But we must be careful not to become stumbling blocks by the way we dress and behave.  Take heed!

I leave you with these questions to reflect upon so that you may be stirred up or provoked to love and good works: 

  • If Jesus should return today, what would He think of the clothes you wear?   
  • Would you wear the same clothes that you usually wear in public if Jesus was with you in person?   
  • Are your clothes causing others to sin by lusting after your body?  
  • Do you dress like the world just because it is popular and is what our culture dictates?   
  • Are you aware, brother or sister, that when you go in public wearing tight and revealing clothing, or shirtless, you are provoking others to sin, and you are not representing Christ well?  
  • Are you fiercely guarding your reputation before your God and those around you?  
  • Don't you know, we are commanded by our Lord to guard His reputation as well as our own? 
  • Don't you know, that you are clothed with Christ, "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ."  (Galatians 3:27)  
  • Are you aware at all, that the way you dress, speak and behave, represents the purity of Christ, whether it be honestly or dishonestly?   
  • Do you want to leave doubts about your chastity and modesty? 
  • Do you want to appear as contradicting or blaspheming the WORD of God?  

The same questions need to be faced concerning wedding gowns.  Delicate sisters, who would never dare to appear in public showing so much skin and nakedness as the typical wedding gowns uncover, give themselves permission to do so, even in a sacred setting.  Please, guard your influence carefully and go the second mile to avoid the possibility of leading someone astray.

To be a true follower of Christ demands maturity of character and virtue. (Col. 1:9-12; 2 Peter 1:5-11).  The Gospel is ultimately about pleasing and obeying God.  It is the life that gives testimony of God's righteousness, holiness, love, and sufficiency.

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."  (Eph. 5:15-17)
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."   (Matt. 5:16)

One day, we all are going to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, "so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil."  (2 Cor. 5:10-11)

May we never cause the Word of God to be reviled among the unbelievers by the way we live and behave, that is counter to what is described in the Word of God.  May we repent of our worldliness and ungodliness of heart.  May we live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.  May we also adorn the doctrine of Christ in all things.  (Titus 2:10-14).  May we live a life that is consistent with the WORD of God, lest we give the unbelievers an opportunity to slander God because of our hypocrisy.  May we never deny God's precious Truths by clinging to the forms and fashions of this present evil world and its sinful nakedness.  May we always glorify our God in our bodies which are His, returning to modesty, the modesty that Christ teaches.

Luci