Yesterday I talked about immodest Christians, namely how their “Christian” label is just lipstick on a pig whenever they dress immodestly in public. I also said that the catalysts for change are Christian conversion and holiness. However, individual change isn’t enough. Christian families, churches, and businesses have their own part to play. Group accountability is vital.
Christian ridicule of celebs like Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber is hypocritical as long as parents prostitute their own sons and daughters to the world. [Miley is pretty when she doesn’t dress cheaply.] Too many ‘Christian’ parents let their children see immodesty as normal instead of worldly. They let them read wrong magazines, watch wrong TV shows and movies, and visit wrong websites. They also let their children buy immodest clothing, makeup, and jewelry in stores. Too many ‘Christian’ parents let live rather than set biblical boundaries. Some are themselves immodest!
The same is true of Christian churches and businesses. Too many pastors, staff, and employers say nothing when they see immodest ‘Christians’ in their midst. Some are themselves immodest. Christian customers should not buy or wear immodest clothing and excessive jewelry from stores. Christian retailers should not sell these things either.
This doesn’t mean individuals, churches, and organizations should create rules. They rarely work. Modesty is not legalism. In accordance with the Holy Spirit there must be room for change, a concept that unbelievers cannot understand or accept. The burqa on Muslim women is ridiculous, as are Amish rules on jewelry and the design, fabric, color, and length of clothing. Unfortunately, these adherents have bought into the lie that such rules are really “liberation.”
Yet Muslims and the Amish are modest, both men and women. When an unbelieving world tries to change them, they become immodest and ugly. Of course “the name of God is blasphemed among” unbelievers because of Christian conduct (Romans 2:24)! Devout Muslims and Amish obey. Many Christians don’t. Only “well doing,” in this case modest appearance and behavior, can “silence the ignorance of foolish [people]” (1 Peter 2:15).
Still, some basic rules are in order. They apply to everyone regardless of age, gender, and weight. When in public, people should not wear tight-fitting clothes or items that come above the knee. Women should not show cleavage or wear excessive makeup and jewelry.
Sinners reveal themselves physically because their souls are naked spiritually. Believers desire to be clothed physically because their souls are clothed in the righteousness of Christ (Isaiah 61:10, Zechariah 3:5, 2 Corinthians 5:2-4, Revelation 3:5, 18, 7:9, 19:14). Clothing is glory. Nakedness is shame.
Yet too many Christians turn the glory of God into shame when they immodestly dress like the world. Christians should save revealing glimpses of their bodies for their spouses, just like the bride of Christ should save its glory for the Lamb. Otherwise, we are guilty of spiritual adultery and prostitution. This was the nature of Israel’s sin (Ezekiel 16).
Modesty is virtue, not vice. It is beautiful and pure. As witnesses of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world, in our homes, churches, and businesses let’s get it right!