Thursday, July 20, 2017

On Modesty and Dead Horses

Ah, we have dug up the corpse of the modesty horse from the backyard once again. Grab your bats, everyone.
But it's not really beating a dead horse; more like a zombie horse; some battles need re-fought, and some need re-focused. In all the back-and-forth, we may hope and trust that God is honing the effectiveness of His Church.
Like most issues, the modesty issue really boils down to whether or not we are seeking God wholeheartedly. If we are, we can grow in wisdom. If we are not, then we will dig into one side or the other and stay there.
Blamers gonna blame. Legalists gonna legal. Libertines gonna liber.
For the girl who wants to feel justified in dressing in ways that are worldly and reminiscent of the Proverbs 7 woman, articles like the recent viral wonderpost provide the perfect ammunition to cast blame on the men around her. 
For the guy who wants to feel justified in ogling his sisters in Christ, any given call to modesty for girls is the perfect ammunition to cast blame on the women around him.
So the real question is- have we removed the log from our own eye? 
Am I arguing for "modesty" because I'm unwilling to repent of my own sin, or maybe because I am desperate to uphold man-made standards and too proud to lend an honest ear to a critique? 
Am I arguing against "modesty" because I want to be free to dress the way that makes me feel beautiful, rather than the way that best honors Christ and serves others?
We are all responsible for how we dress- for how it represents Christ, and for how it affects others. We should be dressing for Christ and for others, not for self. This would obviously include having some sort of standard for decency (and I believe that that goes for both guys and girls-…/magic-mike-and-male-mode…). (1 Cor. 13:4-8)
We are also all responsible for how we think. Guys, if we don't take our lustful thoughts captive, our poor sisters could walk around in burkhas and we would find that their eyes were enticing. "Girl, the bridge of your nose is causing me to stumble." (Matt. 5:28)
And girls, it's also unfair to tell guys to keep their eyes under control while posting drool-stained fangirl comments about the screenshot of Mr. Hotness, coming in HD December 2017. I'm just sayin', all that drool ain't good for your keyboard.
Somewhere out there on the war-torn battleground of sexuality and decency is wisdom. 
The devil would be happy to convince us that God doesn't care, and to render us as Christians just as naked and licentious as the world. "You shall not surely die."
The devil would also be happy to see us fenced up in a bunker of our own traditions and legalisms, so focused on this or any other peripheral issue that the Christ that we claim to serve fades into the background. "Hath God said?"
And the devil would probably also be happy to divide us into the two above camps and keep us busy fighting between ourselves and representing a divided Christ to the world around us.
We all know (or should know) that some attire is not fit for the public eye. If we are humble enough, we should be able to discuss one another's standards, learn from each other, discover how best to love and consider each other, embrace liberty in Christ, and seek wisdom.
It's not "girls, wear what you want." It's not "guys, think what you want." We're Christians. The whole point of this thing is that for every one of us the command is crystal clear- "do what Jesus wants."
So let's humble ourselves and seek God together.

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