Large – $8.00
X-Large – $8.00
3XL – $12.00
I said this was offensive to Christians. How do I know? Because a Christian, by definition, is a follower of Christ. One who truly follows Christ, honors God, as He did (John 8:49) and recognizes that God’s name is holy and reverend. The flippant use of His name has been a serious offense since, from Mount Sinai, he proclaimed “The Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7).
But if this news writer had only manipulated this headline a bit, he would have hit the nail on the head. “My God Snows on the South” would have been very apropos.
God thunders wondrously with his voice;
He does great things that we cannot comprehend.
For to the snow He says, Fall on the earth,
likewise to the downpour, His mighty downpour. (Job 37:5,6)
Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war? (Job 38:22,23)
Since the writing of this post, the editor of the Times has printed an apology for this headline. Thanks to all of those who wrote, called and emailed expressing your honor for the Lord’s name.
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works (I Timothy 2:9,10)
I think the more common way girls dress immodestly today is by wearing clothing that is sexually provocative. The verse tells us that we are to dress “modestly with propriety.” The original Greek word for propriety according to Strong’s Greek Lexicon means with bashfulness. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says it means having a sense of shame. Our wardrobe Consultant is telling us that there are some types of clothing we should be embarrassed to wear. Then He tells us that we should dress with moderation. The original word there means with soundness of mind. It means sensibly or with discretion. The Consultant is giving us some guidelines, but he wants us to use the good sense He has given us to be certain our clothes match our profession of godliness.
Jesus made an amazing statement in Matthew 5:28. He said that when a man looks at a woman to lust for her, he has already committed adultery in his heart. Understanding that adultery is a work of the flesh and those who practice this sin cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven (Gal.5:19-21), the seriousness of this statement cannot be overemphasized. But Jesus was talking about sin that happens in the heart of a guy. What does that have to do with the way a girl dresses? Let’s examine that question.
A few years ago my husband was teaching a class of high school boys at a large summer camp. He asked the guys this question: “What is your most difficult temptation as you try to be like Christ this week?” The unanimous answer was “It’s the way the girls dress.” When asked to elaborate the young men explained that “it’s really hard to concentrate on the devotional talk when a girl comes in and sits down in front of you on the bleachers and you can see her exposed lower back and maybe even her underwear.” They explained that tight clothing, low-cut tops, clothing that sometimes exposes a girl’s middle, and short skirts were all great distractions as they tried to keep their minds focused on God’s Will and avoid the sin of lust.
Sometimes girls who profess godliness may be unaware of the effect of immodest dress on the thinking of guys around them. But that’s why God’s Word instructs older women to teach younger women to be chaste and discreet (Titus 2:3-5). That’s what I’m hoping to do in this chapter. It is simply a proven biological fact that normal men are far more visually oriented than women. To put it bluntly, normal men are naturally excited, both physically and psychologically by a scantily dressed woman. That’s why Jesus’ statement about looking and lusting was addressed to men. Christ was, by implication, commanding guys to guard their eyes in order to maintain purity of thought.
But does that mean women bear no responsibility in helping our brothers (as well as men, in general) abstain from fleshly lusts? Of course not! If you were walking through a room full of nitroglycerin with someone you love, would you light a candle? Christian guys in America today are navigating a treacherous path. There are visual temptations all around…at the beach, the mall, at school and at the movies. Guys who are guarding their thoughts have to learn to look the other way a lot. But fellow disciples should be part of the solution, not part of the problem. If I am really about helping my brothers go to heaven, I will be less concerned about what is fashionable, what makes me look good, or what is comfortable (those things are all selfish wardrobe factors), and more concerned about helping my brother avoid temptation. In this way, my clothing will match! What I am wearing will coordinate perfectly with what I am saying: “I am a Christian and I want to do all I can to avoid anything that wars against my soul or the souls of others” (I Peter 2:11). Friends don’t tempt friends to sin.
And a word of wisdom to the guys: As you make your dating decisions, make it easy on yourself. Choose girls who look the part. If you want to end up marrying a faithful Christian,—someone who will help you go to heaven—then date girls who dress to reflect godliness. In our society, a young woman who consistently dresses modestly is making quite a statement. She is saying “I want to be Christ-like even if it means making unpopular choices.”
Answer: I think, at the very least, it is in very poor judgment and at the most, it’s just the wrong thing to do. The age old, but valid, argument is that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19) and we should do all we can to preserve His temples. The stewardship argument is valid. God has given us these temples to use for His glory and, when we abuse them, and thus shorten the time span of their productivity in service and evangelism, it can’t be a good thing. I think, also, of the focus of our lives when I think about this question. While I know that all of us spend some amount of money on products and/or services that enhance our looks and make us feel better about “the presentation,” it seems to me that spending money on a process that has been proven to vastly increase our chances of developing melanoma is foolish.
According to Dr. Lisa Whiteaker in a recent issue of Christian Woman magazine, the use of tanning beds before the age of 30 has been found to increase the odds of developing melanoma by seventy-five percent. Every time the body tans, according to Whiteaker, the skin has had to mobilize its defenses against ultraviolet radiation in an attempt to protect the skin’s DNA. Abnormalities caused by UV light can lead to skin cancer. Thus, this extra exposure seems to me to be sort of an invitation to a carcinogen. In fact, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has recently placed tanning bed use on its highest cancer risk list. This is a category called “Carcinogenic to Humans.”
Sometimes women mistakenly believe that the benefits of tanned skin outweigh the dangers. While vitamin D is beneficial to the body in many ways, it can easily be obtained in foods and vitamin supplements without the considerable risks of cancer that come with tanning.
The good news: It seems as if the porcelain skin tones are becoming more popular (i.e. Anne Hathaway) and there are better products available for temporary darkening of the outer skin layers (i.e. self tanners and bronzers). Still, we should keep in mind that we are not called to be popular or beautiful… just holy.
Ban the Tan, By Lisa Whiteaker, Christian Woman Magazine, May/June, 2010 issue, Gospel Advocate, Nashville, TN.
My friend, Jennifer Webster, recently said that her 8 year-old daughter asked her dad if he thought it would be wrong to pray that the tooth fairy would bring her ten dollars for her lost tooth. Her dad answered, “I guess it would be alright to pray for that, but that would probably be a good example of praying in vain.” Again…something ventured, nothing gained.
In vain…Jesus said that it’s possible for us to worship in vain. Remember doing something in vain is going through the motions without the desired effect. Hear Jesus:
But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:9)
Just remembering we can go through all the right motions and yet, if our hearts are “out of range,” it’s all for naught can help us to get our mouths and our hearts in the same proximity around His throne. Worship, done right, requires a lot of intellectual effort. That’s the heart part and the hard part. That’s the part that makes me want to teach for doctrine His Will and His Will only. That’s the part that conditions my will for the tough things once I’m out the door of the house of worship. The hard part of worship is what makes resisting temptation outside of worship a little easier. It’s the heart of worship that produces the desired effect.