Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Modesty: A Taboo Topic

Eric Carpenter has been running a series of "question" posts, and the latest one is a personal favorite: Why Is Modesty a Dirty Word in the Church?. Eric makes some solid points on this topic and believe me it is one that people get incensed over. Often it is the alleged adult population in the church that is the most likely to have a fit about it. I don't think most young women really want to dress like hookers or try to enjoy themselves at the beach while 90% naked but that is what society tells then to do and too many parents are cowards when it comes to bucking the culture. Eric's post gets to the heart of the matter (pun intended) namely having a heart for God rather than a heart that is concerned with worldly acceptance.

Here is my comment in response:
A couple of thoughts.
I have seen the burqa argument as well. It is kind of like the "what about Hitler?" or "What if someone was breaking into your house to hurt your wife and children?" responses I get to non-violence. They aren't legitimate questions but extreme responses designed to shut down conversation as if there is no third option between a young woman dressed in the equivalent of underwear on a beach or wearing a head to toe burqa. It is intellectually lazy and dishonest. 
Second, Christians in America hate the perception that they are being told what to do. This is compounded by a tiny majority in our culture that says that any whim, no matter how destructive, must be indulged by the individual, must be celebrated by everyone and ideally be paid for by the government. 
Third, modesty goes way beyond wearing non-revealing clothing but while that is true and needs to be talked about, modesty is also not less than this. I have been told that you can have a modest heart and wear whatever you want and be OK which is baloney. Certainly someone can wear modest clothing and have an immodest or rebellious heart but one cannot dress immodestly. whether that means scanty clothing or prideful, expensive clothing, and somehow have a pure, modest heart. 
I think ultimately modesty is such a taboo subject because it makes people uncomfortable and uncomfortable people stop donating to the local church or go elsewhere. In a religious setting like ours that is so driven by money and keeping the doors open and the staff paid, many "leaders" are terrified of their own flock.
Those comments seem kind of harsh but sometimes that is what the church needs to here. In fact I think that way too much of what we get in the church is so painfully muzzled in the attempt to not offend anyone that we often are far more willing to put forth a comfy lie rather than risk proclaiming an uncomfortable truth.

Give Eric's post a read and leave a comment. Perhaps you have some other thoughts on why modesty is such a dirty word in the church or perhaps you think we are all wet and that modesty is not a big deal. Either way, it is a topic that needs to be talked about.

1 comment:

Aussie John said...


I can only applaud yours and Eric's stance.