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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
E. L. Bynum
From The Plains Baptist Challenger, March 2013
There is no doubt that our nation is on a tragic trajectory downward. Our entire civilization is under an intensified attack by Satan and his cohorts. Our way of life is constantly under assault by the devious ways of the devil. We should be alarmed and astounded by the relentless efforts to destroy our morals and standards as taught in the Bible. We well know that this is a part of the falling away predicted in the last days.
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:13) This does not mean that Christians are to just sit down and let the evil trends happen without a fight. If we do just that, it will mean that we are willing to let the forces of evil to claim our churches, our family, our children and grandchildren. Do we just give up all thought of fighting back to reclaim our nation and civilization? We are to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). We must not lay our armor down and give in to the forces of evil, but follow the Word of God which says, "Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13)
Temptation on Parade
Almost everywhere a man looks, there is temptation to lust and commit adultery in his heart. "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart' (Matthew 5:28) Television makes it almost impossible to watch without that kind of temptation. At our house, we do not watch any of the later movies or TV productions, for they are almost all guaranteed to promote sinful lusts.
So we watch the news broadcasts on the Fox Network and occasionally, one of the other networks. What we see are usually some older men reporters and young female reporters. The men will usually be tastefully dressed, but the women will be situated where you can see their short skirts that reveal their thighs with plenty of shapely skin showing. The dresses will be low cut which gives a view of their breasts and at least their cleavage.
These women are used as bait to get men to watch their shows. This is ungodly and a reproach on womanhood. It is ungodly for women to submit to such abuse, but the money and prestige lure them into this degradation. They are usually graduates of some university class in journalism, and have been trained to show their bodies rather than their brains. Even conservative women have largely joined the parade of shame.
You may say, sell your TV and turn to other things. We go to walk in the mall which is a short distance from our house. We go when it is cold or windy, and we try to go before the mall opens for shoppers. The entire circle of our mall is approximately one mile. You pass by the show windows of dozens of stores and look at the mannequins on display and not one of them may be dressed in a decent dress that comes down to the knees. They are nearly all fitted with tight fitting clothing that reveals the thighs and part of the breasts. If they are dressed in pants, they are tight showing the form of every part of their bodies.
When the mall opens, in comes a flood of people indecently dressed. If you see a decently dressed woman in the mall, it is somewhat of a rarity. When a woman looks for a dress in a store, it is all but impossible to find a dress that meets a code of decency and the Bible standard. Even Christian women are lured into buying this trashy clothing by the stores through their advertising in the windows, the newspapers and other slick advertising.
It has been said that the clothing styles come from Hollywood, and Hollywood gets them from New York, and New York gets them Paris and Paris gets them from hell. It is very certain that the standards do not come from God.
You see indecent clothing everywhere—on the street, in the school, and nearly all the time in some churches. Bible-believing churches have visitors who come into the services improperly dressed. Of course they should be welcomed in to hear the gospel and truth of God's Word, but if they come for a while, they should be taught by example and word how to dress.
You can say what you want about pants on women. Personally I do not think that pants on women are pleasing to God. I really will not get into this argument at this time; suffice to say that the clothing on men and women are to be different. On balance I must say that there is very little or no difference between the pants of men and women, except they are a lot tighter and form-fitting on the woman.
The Bible plainly declares, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel ..." (1 Tim. 1 2:9) It should be apparent to all that the modern dress do not conform to this scripture.
The Delinquent Husbands and Fathers
Why do husbands and fathers allow their wives and daughters to dress this way? Do they really want men to lust after their wife and their daughters? They know how the mind of a man works, for they have nave experienced it themselves. I have observed men on benches at and other places watching the women pass by. We may safely say that they are not looking at the face of the women, but other parts of their bodies.
Over the years, while teaching and preaching, I have encouraged men to take their wives and buy them a new dress that is attractive and modest. There is nothing wrong with a woman dressing attractively and yet modestly. I want my wife to dress attractively and be feminine. A woman does not have to spend a lot of money to dress attractively, and this is important curing these trying financial times.
Men should encourage their wives to dress modestly, and to demand that their daughters dress likewise. You, may think that I am too hard on daughters, but you wait until they get into severe moral trouble, and then you grieve after it is too late.
Although as a whole men tend to dress more modestly than women, this is not true of some men, who dress immodestly. Men should not dress in a manner that is indecent and shows too much of the flesh.
Much more could be said about this situation—in fact a book could be written about this, and some have already written books on this subject. We will close this article with the following article written by another man:
By Pastor Tim Failure
I Timothy 2:9-10
You have perhaps noticed a tragic "dressing down" in our society as a whole: go to the local Wal-Mart and notice the sloppy, crass and often vulgar way people dress in public these days. It is seen in boys trying to hold their pants up while showing as much of their underwear as they can, and in women wearing tops showing their bra straps and as much of their bare back and shoulders as possible. This world has lost all sense of modesty and decency.
It is what is expected of a world without the moral guidance of the law of God, but it should not be expected of the church. In particular, a godly lady should carry herself with grace, dignity, class, self-respect, and should be diligent to dress modestly and with Christian distinction, yet we pastors are in a never-ending battle to keep the standards high.
Why does godly modesty always have to be an issue, and why do some young ladies always push the envelope?
For the Sake of the Gospel
Both the apostles Paul (I Tim. 2:9-10) and Peter (I Pet. 3:1-4) make the point that a godly woman should be modest, discreet and chaste in their dress. A godly woman should never wear anything that is sexy, suggestive or seductive in public. Some take these verses to teach that a woman should also not wear makeup, get their hair styled or wear jewelry. Personally, I believe the Scripture is saying that your outward adornment should not be what attracts others to you; it should be the inward adornment of a "meek and quiet spirit." Modesty does not have to be the enemy of fashion. You can be beautiful, stylish and fashionable ... and still be modest.
In Titus 2:1-10, Paul gives a long list of actions the Christian should display in his life to "adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. "To adorn something is to make it look good or attractive to others. As a woman adorns herself stylishly to enhance her natural beauty, so we are the adornment of the gospel. Our lives should make the gospel attractive to the world. But when you appear before this world claiming to be a Christian without a transformed life, they have to ask "what good is the gospel?" If you dress and carry yourself seductively or carelessly, what kind of advertisement are you for the gospel?
For the Sake of Your Brother
Jesus put every man with godly intentions in a very precarious situation in Matthew 5:27¬28, when he declared that lust in the heart is mental adultery. It does not matter how you rationalize it or who glamorizes it. It does not matter what Hollywood says or what makes Jay Leno laugh. Lust is mental adultery, a wicked sin against God, and it will be judged.
"For this is a heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction ..." (Job 31:11-12).
"Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife ... shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:27-29).
There may be a man reading this that is running around on his wife and you haven't got caught yet; or you have not cheated yet, but you think about it often. Perhaps there is some flirt where you work and you like to flirt back: she calls you "Sweetie" and you call her "Honey." Lust is a wicked sin that will lead you into paths of sin that will destroy everything you hold dear.
But the other side of the coin is that God also holds us accountable when we cause others to sin. "Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones" (Luke 17:12). Woe to the person who causes another to stumble.
In every church there are ladies who are decisively modest and distinctly feminine; ladies who dress seductively and suggestively on purpose; and ladies who simply have not been taught the biblical principles of godly modesty. Some are seductive and careless and have such wicked hearts—the Bible talks about such women in Proverbs 6-7. But many of our ladies do not want to be an offense. They don't want to be seductive and sexy for other men. They want to be discreet and chaste, but may not be aware that their dress doesn't always say that.
There are certain clothing articles that a woman can wear, which are like -magnets to a man's eyes. It is the kind of dress that entices a man to take a second look and has the greatest potential of planting impure thoughts in his mind. Dresses or skirts with slits that run up the leg; garments that hug the contour of the buttocks or breasts; tight shirts or blouses; halter tops, sashes or belts around the rib cage; unbuttoned blouses, exposed cleavage or any upper body garment tops with large arm holes open enough to see into the garments, low ride skirts or pants that barely hang on the hip bone; see through clothing of any kind; anything that reveals part of the leg above the knee; pants that shape the contour of a woman’s body, and anything that reveals a bare midriff or back.
You do not have to have the same dress standard that I do (I personally believe that it is wrong for a woman to wear pants) but godly modesty should be a grave concern for all Christian ladies. For the sake of the gospel, your testimony and your brother, you should be ever diligent to dress and carry yourself in a manner that screams you are a godly lady. I believe that modesty is as much an issue of the heart as it is of dress. If a kind rebuke offends you, then you desperately need a move of the grace of God in your heart. It will do you no good to change your wardrobe if God does not change your heart.
I challenge ever, pastor to hold a high standard in your church. Let the evangelicals dress down for church and call us legalists for refusing to adopt their “come-as-you-are; leave-as-you-came” mindset. Teach your young ladies how and why, they must display godliness in their dress. And I challenge all ladies with a godly concern to pray to cultivate a sensitive conscience before God, seek the wise counsel of your husband, pastor or older spiritual lady, and to determine that you will show the world, by your dress, that you are different.