Summertime is quickly arriving. And with summertime comes the inevitable heat. To many in this world, that shouts “TIME TO WEAR LESS CLOTHES!”
We all know what I mean by that, right? People decide that it’s time to break out the short shorts, the halter-tops, and many times even less than that!
The truly sad thing is that even some Christians, yes, even people YOU know, take the same attitude! Oh, they may not say it, and they may argue about it with you if you point it out, but it is still there. Guys going without shirts, and women getting as close to that as they can, while still saying “Oh, I’m still covered” is NOT what God wants us to do!
In Matthew 5:13, Jesus Christ taught that if we lose our “savor”–that being our Godly influence, we are good for nothing! Does ANYONE doubt that our clothing–or lack thereof–can kill our influence towards others for God? If we wear clothes that advertise alcohol, or “music groups” (rap or otherwise) that spout off profanity and whose songs are filled with talk about sex, or we wear something with some of these “smart-alec” sayings across the front of them, are we influencing the world for Christ? Matt 5:14-16 says that our good influence, shining like a light before men will glorify God! Wearing clothes that advertise un-godly things is the opposite of Glorifying God…Think about it.
I Tim 2:9 says women should adorn themselves in modest apparel. The fact that Paul had to state this PROVES that there is such a thing as IMMODEST apparel. Now, this passage does not mean to wear what is modest in the world’s eyes, your neighbor’s eyes, your friend’s eyes, or even your family’s eyes. It means to wear what is modest in GOD’S eyes! You should not be trying to please men, but GOD!!! You will not be judged by men, but by GOD!! The same passage also says that women should have “shamefacedness” That is a sense of shame, or the ability to blush. Some people do not have that ability to blush! They can wear anything revealing and not feel the least bit embarrassed! They have had their conscience seared by conforming to the world’s standards!
In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve knew they had sinned, and were ashamed of their nakedness, and made coverings with fig leaves. Yet when God was walking through the Garden, they both hid. Adam said – remember, this is AFTER they made coverings for themselves – “I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” So we see that from the beginning, nakedness did not necessarily mean total nudity! Later in the chapter, it even goes on to say that God made them coats of animal skins to clothe them! Here it is important to remember the purpose of clothing: to conceal…it is not to reveal, but to CONCEAL OUR NAKEDNESS!
Galatians 5:19-21:”Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and the such like: of the which I tell you before as I have told you also in times past that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God!”
Catch what that passage says: It says the works of the flesh are manifest, that is they are openly seen, or visible. Another way of saying it is that they are obvious. There are so many, though, that Paul stops listing them and just says “and the such like”, which means “anything even sort of like these.” One of the things he mentions is Lasciviousness. What is lasciviousness? Quite simply put it means to do anything that would sexually arouse someone of the opposite sex. Vine’s Dictionary even lists indecency as a meaning of Lasciviousness. That includes your actions, your words, AND THE WAY YOU DRESS! If this isn’t really getting through, let me point out one other thing this passage shows us! Paul, through inspiration…which means that we can attribute this to God, equates lasciviousness, that is wearing revealing clothing, with MURDER! He equates wearing clothes that would show off your body (causing others to lust) to IDOLATRY! To HERESIES! To ADULTERY! And he says that he said it before and he’ll say it again, those which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of GOD!
Is it worth burning in Hell to wear clothes that show off what no one but your spouse should see? Is it worth losing your soul for eternity to be fashionable? To be trendy? To be like “everyone else”?
Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
One thing that is extremely sad for us as Christians is that many of our brothers and sisters wear that which is inappropriate and immodest! Not only when they are out in the world (with their friends, at school, in public), but also when they come together to worship God! There are people who come in the church building wearing things that are show off their body parts, things cut too low, or too short, or too tight! Some wear immodest clothing in that they are advertising things that are ungodly or have smart-alec sayings on them, or may have obscene pictures on them! Remember, we will give an account of every idle word…that includes what we are telling people with our clothing!
Even the world recognizes immodesty and which clothing can bring about lust (the wearing of such clothing equals being lascivious). The following is from a flyer entitled “Dress standards for visitors” which is given to all visitors to the Twin Rivers Correctional Center in Monroe, Washington.: “CLOTHING NOT ALLOWED: Low Cut (Anything exposing undergarments, cleavage, or back), and Sheer, transparent, or mesh fabric. Any Tight-fitting clothing. Any clothing that refers to obscenity, alcohol, drugs, or sex in any form. Shorts, cut-offs, and halter-tops.” (Emphasis mine) The world acknowledges the fact that these types of clothing are immodest, yet some people EVEN IN OUR OWN CONGREGATIONS wear those types of things WHEN WORSHIPPING GOD! This is not some “minor thing” that can just be brushed off. Remember, God equates it with MURDER! HERESIES! IDOLATRY! ADULTERY! Some may try to say, “well, just what is modest and what isn’t?” If something is not of faith, then it is SIN! If you can’t say 100% that what you’re wearing is truly modest and decent in GOD’S eyes, then it is SIN! Be it revealing clothing, be it clothing with inappropriate messages, IT IS SIN! Whatever you do, in word or in deed, let it all be done in the name of the Lord!
~ Bradley S. Cobb ~