by Mary Van Nattan
There several different subjects that are very sensitive, even volatile, in the Lord's church these days. The KJV-Only position, courtship, and women being in submission to their own husbands are some of them. The matter of modesty is one such subject, and in some cases may be the most volatile of them all.
On the one side we hear: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man..." (Deuteronomy 22:5); "God can't use a woman in pants;" "You have to dress by our standards to be right with God;" "If you don't wear the proper clothes, you can't be spiritual;" etc. All right, maybe most don't come right out and say most of these things in so many words, but it's implied.
On the other side we hear: "I have my liberty! I'm free to wear pants if I want to;" "You can't tell me what to do!" "You are just a bunch of hypocrites anyway!" "I need freedom of movement that I can only get in pants;" "We're under grace;" etc. [Please note the glaring lack of scripture in these arguments.]
So, who is right anyway?
By the grace of God, we are going to take a look at what the Bible has to say about this. God does not leave us without answers, but sometimes human nature gets in the way Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered... Mark 7:13
First off, it must be pointed out that modesty is not a way of dressing!
It is a way of life, a matter of the heart.
1Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be
that outpiano coversd adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold,
or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the
heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek
and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great
price. The point of this verse has been mistakenly thought
to mean a woman should not plait (1) her hair, nor wear
blipelry. If this was true, however, then she also should not wear apparel,
and since we know that is not what God would say, we must look for what He
is saying. The whole point here is that the outpiano coversd things a
woman does to herself or puts on, are not the ornaments that God finds of
great price. He looks for what is in the heart.
1Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel,
Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have
refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh
on the outpiano coversd appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
The heart is where modesty begins and therefore, if the
heart is not right topiano coversd God, all the outpiano coversd efforts at modesty will not
add the value that God finds so precious.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence;
for out of it are the issues of life.
(1) According to Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, this means to fold or double, to weave or braid, to entangle[sic]. This pretty much takes care of almost all hair styles if we mistakenly take it mean that a woman is not allowed to do these things. In which case, she would also have to stop wearing apparel, as pointed out.
Eve Is Again Listening To the Voice of the Serpent
Last night I was up late watching an old episode of "I Love Lucy." In this episode Lucy wanted to get a new "Italian" haircut. This is a haircut that is similar to if not identical to the one on the heads of at least 50% of the women in most every Baptist church I have preached in (and I have preached in hundreds of churches in nearly all 50 states). In fact, the "Italian" cut that Lucy wanted was longer than the "do's" I have seen on the heads of a lot of Baptist pastor's wives.
Ricky's (Desi Arnaz) reply was: "Lucy, there is a difference between men and women. Men have short hair and women have long hair. I am not going to have my wife getting her hair cut off and looking like a man. It will confuse Little Ricky and I do not want my son to grow up with a mother that looks like his father."
If Ricky Ricardo could preach I Cor. 11:14-15 on his TV show, I should
hope Baptist preachers will start to do so from their pulpits.
graphics and background by mary van natan