Thu. Jan 21st, 2021

Immodesty Of Dress
The Dangers Of Immodesty
Article 1
By: Nathaniel A. Urshan

In Hawthorne Nevada, nearly a hundred high school students marched, opposing the latest fad of waitresses and dancers in night spots parading in topless gowns, calling such actions indecent and immoral. Certainly, in these days of dwindling morals and declining ideals, we need more young people willing to stand up for the cause of righteousness. These young people are to be commended for their oppositions to the degrading fads and fashions seeking to get hold upon America, and eating like a degenerating cancer into our society.

I am afraid that nudity will one day prevail, crowned as the goddess of so-called freedom in this country, unless we take a stand against the current trend, as did the Apostle Paul, in opposing the popular deities of his day. Remember how the people were worshipers of the goddess Diana? Paul came along, persuading the people that there were no gods made with hands, and that only the true God of heaven, as revealed in Jesus Christ, was to be worshipped.

The breakdown of modesty is vividly described by Isaiah, the prophet, who saw the day concerning the virgin daughter of Babylon. We read in the forty-seventh chapter of Isaiah, “Thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh.” I daresay we have witnessed this trend in our day. Where will it stop? We are not prepared to say, for we see the avalanche of human, lustful desire sweeping over our land.

With the coming of World War II, we saw mothers leaving homes by the thousands to work in shops and offices. Today, some twenty-five million women are gainfully employed. That is two out of three. It isn’t that such employment is wrong, but it is certainly not conducive to the highest ideal set for godly womanhood, Working in a factory or place of business among men, some of them very ungodly, has, on occasion, led to the breakdown of the home, to some illicit relationships, or to some similar tragedy.

The Apostle Paul set forth the standard for the Christian mother when he wrote, “I will therefore, that the younger women marry, bear children, and guide the house” (I Timothy 5:14). Who can deny that it was when the modern mother left the home to become “Rosie the Riveter,” that we saw a sudden decline of morals in America, and a tremendous rise in the divorce rate. So the first step in the downfall of womanhood, is taking to the millstone and grinding meal – a figurative term indicating woman’s employment in industries.

The second step seen in woman’s downfall is the cutting of her hair. Apostle Paul declared. “If a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her.” In the apostle’s day, for a woman to have short hair identified her with harlots, stripped of her long hair which God has ordained as a source of beauty and attractiveness. What is then left for a woman but to rely upon her physical body to attract the opposite sex? This she has done. This has led us down the path of immorality and degeneracy in America. In fact, Soviet articles and editorials have come to picture the nude woman as the symbol of a decadent America.

In a back issue of Reader’s Digest, it is observed that, after the terror of the French Revolution, all hell broke loose. Women cut their hair first, and then took off their clothes. Is this not what is happening in our day? For Isaiah goes on to show the utter abandonment of modesty by women who make bare the leg and uncover the thigh.

A permanent editor of a Roman Catholic publication states, “With each passing summer, the streets become more and more like open-air burlesque houses, with many of our women and young girls parading around publicly in the shortest of shorts and other indecent attire. ” Continues the editor, “If our modern women continue exposing their bodies, as they do publicly on our streets, on movies, on TV shows, and in various fields of American life, this nation- may soon suffer a fate as tragic as that which befell humanity because of the fall of our first parents. As the women go, so goes the nation.”

King Solomon, warning of the woman who parades in the attire of the harlot, declared, “She hath cast down many wounded. Yea, many strong men have been slain by her.” And then the wisest of men warns, “Let not thine heart decline to her ways, do not astray in her paths. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”

The editor to whom I referred above. notes, “Many women will say they wear the modern fashions because they are more comfortable and the weather is hot. But I’d like to point out, `It’s hot in hell, too, very hot.’ It would seem wise for our women to bear with a little heat and discomfort by being modestly dressed, rather than to make of themselves serious occasion of sin, perhaps leading themselves and other souls into the hot fires of hell for all eternity.”

The Apostle Paul wept as he described those who gloried in their shame. And he goes on to say that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, He urged Christian women to adorn themselves in modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety, as women professing godliness with good works. The Scriptures are not urging a return to Puritanic plainness, and the Christian women need not appear drab and austere. But she is told to dress modestly. Modest attire is that which does not call undue attention to itself. A fine publication asks,
“Where is that thing called modesty today? Is it almost a memory of yesterday?” This individual goes on to observe, “Modesty is no longer considered necessary to the protection of virtue.”

Men need to be warned too. Jesus said. “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” David, of whom it was said that he was a man after God’s own heart, was led into this sin of adultery because of lust. It would appear that the only decent procedure for a respectable man to follow is to look the other way when confronted with indecent attire. These are serious days. The problems which confront us to speak the judgment that one day will befall us. We face the wrath of God that fell upon past civilizations because of decaying morals.

The Apostle Jude, referring to Sodom and Gomorrah, says that these cities, ” . . . giving themselves over ” to fornication and going after strange flesh are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” I’m sorry to say this, but we don’t expect America to wake up until it’s too late. Judgment in the form of an atomic war, or the invasion of an enemy on our soil, may be the means it will take for God to wake us up. Or it may be the coming of the Lord. Many will then be left behind because they refuse to obey the command to be ready. It is in view of our Lord’s coming, that He says, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Although this scripture refers to our being attired with Christ’s righteousness, yet I believe it also relates itself to the Christian walk and behavior.

To the Laodiceans, our Lord spoke, saying, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” Anywhere we look in this great book called God’s Work, we run into the definite fact that Almighty God is opposed to the immodesty that is part of the way of life today.

We are actually shirking our responsibility as ministers if we do not declare these important aspects of a Christian’s relationship to society. Somehow, in our very strange day, the strength of the minister’s voice has been stolen by the strength of powerful congregations who refuse to let the minister declare himself as a voice and an oracle of Almighty God. But, thank God, every once in a while we can hear the voice that will declare the shame of immodesty. We need to bring ourselves up short, and recognize that many are venturing down a pathway that bids fair to invite the judgment of our God upon their lives.

Oh how we need this message today, when Christians seem so unconcerned about their testimony before an unbelieving world. No wonder we have not been able to convert society, for too often Christians dress, look, and act just like the world around them. But, when the Lord comes, I am afraid many may be in for some shocks and surprises. As the Laodiceans, who thought they were Christians, they will find they are spued out into the gaping jaws of the great tribulation. Thus, in the words of the Scripture, we would urge, “Be ye therefore ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.”

I urge you, in the name of our Lord, to consider that these things are of vital importance.

(The above article appeared in an issue of The Pentecostal Herald.)

THE WEARING OF CULOTTES AND PANTSUITS

Article 2

Questions. What is your opinion, Scripturally, on our women wearing culottes and pantsuits?

Another asks: What do you think of the ungodly hairdos, short dresses above the knees (even while standing), and tight dresses?

And a mother writes: I have a daughter whom I have been teaching (as I was taught that in the light of godliness and modest apparel, and according to Deuteronomy 22:5, it is wrong for Pentecostal women and girls to wear slacks, jeans, and peddle-pushers; and that it is also wrong to wear short, tight skirts and dresses. Where we live, it seems that people do not think these things wrong. Can you help me, please?

Answer. First, let me say that no matter what answer I give, it will probably be resented by some. These questioners have asked my opinion. . .what I think. . .and can I help. So if anyone disagrees with me please don’t become disagreeable. And allow me the same privilege of disagreeing with you, I recognize in many such questions a desire to know what is right. Deuteronomy 22:5 reads: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination to the Lord thy God.” There is no use in saying that jeans, slacks, peddle-pushers. etc., are not mannish, even though the designers did fashion them for women. And shorts they are all abomination when worn by either men or women, A womanish man wearing a garment in the likeness of a woman ‘s dress is just as wrong as a mannish woman wearing that which pertains to a man, or is like a man’s trousers. Also, tight, form-fitting, above-the-knee dresses are grossly immodest.

The New Testament, in speaking of God-fearing wives being in subjection to their own husbands, added this: “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel” (I Peter 3:3). And Paul said, “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).

The main admonition of both Peter and Paul was to be. modest in apparel, as women professing holiness. Notice, in particular, the words “putting on of apparel. . .modest apparel. . gold, or pearls, or costly array.” It seems that gold and pearls are the only two words which some people have found in these verses. The word “array” means “clothes; finery.” So the same verse that condemns the wearing of gold or pearls, also speaks against the wearing of “costly” (expensive) clothes.

Fashions have become so immodest, and are designed to expose the body, especially that of the woman. It will be well to remember what is said in the Articles of Faith of the United Pentecostal Church (page 21 of the Manual): “We wholeheartedly disapprove of our people indulging in any activities which are not conducive to good Christianity and godly living, such as theaters, dances, mixed bathing, women cutting their hair, make-up, any apparel that immodestly exposes the body, all worldly sports and amusements, and unwholesome radio programs and music. Furthermore, because of the display of all these evils on television, we disapprove of any of our people having television sets in their homes. We admonish all of our people to refrain from any of these practices in the interest of spiritual progress and the soon coming of the Lord for His church.”

Concerning hairdos, the Scripture does not tell a woman how to fix her hair. It does make it plain that it is wrong for her hair to be cut in any manner (I Corinthians 11:1-15). Her hair is a God-given covering. It is a divine token of her submission and true holiness. So a woman may fix her hair in a way that is most becoming to her, so long as she does not cut it. Pentecostal women have a way of fixing their hair that identifies them as Pentecostal, and which proves that, in a day when so many women have short hair, our women can look nice with long hair.

(The above article appeared in an issue of Gospel Tidings.)

SLACKS – WHY ARE THEY WRONG?

Article 3

By: Sister Maurine Barcus

The Bible declares “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. It
is my firm belief that people who have a difficult time abiding by the
standards of the United Pentecostal Church really do not have an
understanding of why certain things are wrong. We certainly must be
obedient in these matters of dress and appearance until we come to an
understanding of why there is a dress code, etc.

If we are awake spiritually and can understand what is happening in the
world around us today, it will not be hard to grasp the Bible truths
concerning dress and appearance. God has something very definite to
say on the matter � He created us and is interested in the way we look!

The following will deal with only one aspect of our appearance, one
that I feel is very important in some people’s lives – slacks.

GOD’S PLAN FOR WOMANHOOD

God had a very definite plan, in mind when He created man in the very
beginning. Genesis 1:27 states that He created two distinct sexes.

After Adam and Eve sinned and God pronounced judgment on them, their
roles were defined in Genesis 3:16-19. We are born with a knowledge of
these roles. Anyone who has watched small children can see this. A
small boy is much more aggressive and will involve himself in
activities which use his large muscles, whereas a “girl will play with
dolls that are more intricate because she was created to care for the
man and a home and children.

With the advent of the women’s liberation movement and other movements
that are subtly seeking to destroy the home and family, there has come
confusion into many people’s minds as to what is really right. We
cannot “form an opinion as to what is right and what is wrong by what
we read and see happening around us today. The Bible is the ONLY source
of truth. Rejection of God and His Word can cause man to lose the
inborn knowledge of his role and his reasoning ability can become
impaired by sin (Jude 10).

You may wonder what this has to do with pants. In order to understand
why they’re wrong we must first understand God’s plan and the distinct
separation He desires between male and female. If you do not understand
this, all the reasoning in the world will not convince you that they’re
wrong.

WHAT DOES DEUTERONOMY 22:5 REALLY MEAN?

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth to a man, neither shall
a man put on a woman’s garment; for all that do so are abomination unto
the Lord thy God.”

The first argument against the above scripture is that this commandment
was given under the Law and the Law was done away with at the cross; so
therefore, it does not apply to us today because we are no longer
living under the Law but under grace.

When the Law was given, there were two types of Law: ceremonial and
moral. Ceremonial laws were given to the Jews simply to show that they
were to be set apart and different from everyone else. These laws were
done away with after Calvary. (There are several references to this in
the New Testament.)

Moral laws were not done away with at the cross but are still in effect
today. It is just as wrong today to commit murder, lie, steal, commit
adultery, etc., as it was under the law.

Deuteronomy 22 contains both moral and ceremonial laws. Verses 9 and
10 are both ceremonial laws. What classification, then, is verse 5?
The key word in this verse is “abomination”. The word abomination means
“extreme disgust, loathing, hateful, shamefully vile”. When the
scripture states that something is an “abomination to God”, it is
forbidding a gross moral sin.

Examples: Idolatry (Deut. 7:25); human sacrifices (Deut. 12:31);
witchcraft (Deut. 18:10-12).

Why does God put this sin in the same category as idolatry, witchcraft
and murder? Because it destroys His plan and blurs the distinction
between the male and female.

Read Luke 16:15 and Titus 1:16 in connection with Rev. 21:8.

DEFINITION OF WOMEN’S APPAREL

I Timothy states that women should “adorn themselves in modes apparel”
The Greek word for apparel here is KATASTOLE, which means “long robe”.
Many people think that this applied only to the early church because
such was the custom of that day. But God’s Word is forever settled and
does not change with times nor customs. Neither do we need an
understanding of the cultures of Bible times to understand God’s Word
and what is required of us today.

Although styles and fashions undergo constant change, there never has
been, yet, a period of time when it was impossible for a woman to dress
both modestly and fashionably. One thing I know for certain Satan never
changes — he is in constant battle against the Church and many of his
methods haven’t changed either.

Let’s look into this “long robe” thing a little bit further. There is
another Greek word used in Rev. 1:13 which means “a garment touching
the feet”. Since God did not use this word in I Tim. 2:9, it seems,
perhaps, that we might have a little leeway about the matter. Our
skirts should be long enough that the body is truly covered.

THE MOST COMMON ARGUMENTS FOR SLACKS

“Since most women wear them, doesn’t that make them women’s apparel?”

Answer: Deut. 22:5 states that a woman’s apparel should differ from
that of a man. I have heard women say, “How ridiculous! You would never
catch a man wearing a pantsuit, they’re definitely feminine.” But what
is feminine about them. The top is usually feminine (though some are
tailored to look very similar to a man’s suit). But there’s nothing
very feminine about the pants part. You couldn’t say color because many
men are wearing pastel colors today.

“Slacks are more comfortable.”

Answer: Most of our actions everyday are not based on comfort � why
then our dress? We get out of bed every morning, not because it’s the
most comfortable thing to do, but because it is the RIGHT thing to do.
Comfort, sometimes, is nothing more than what we’re used to. I have
trouble with my boys every time the season changes. When the weather
becomes warmer, and I start putting short-sleeved shirts on them, they
tug on the sleeves, trying to get them down to their wrist. And
likewise in the fall, they push their long sleeves up past their
elbows.

“Slacks are more modest than skirts.”

Answer: Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “When choosing between two evils,
choose between immodesty and unwomanliness. When there is a moral
decision that has to be made, first of all, erase from your mind an
alternative that involves wrong. If you think that you have to choose
the lesser of two evils, chances are you haven’t yet considered all the
alternatives. The Bible says that with every temptation, He will make a
way of escape.

A woman that really wants to please the Lord will find a way to be
modest in awkward situations. The alternative that I suggest would be
culottes that are LONG ENOUGH that they will not pull up over the knee
when you bend you leg. The should have the “skirt silhouette” which is
so important — so you can’t tell the difference between them and a
skirt. It’s difficult to get them loose enough so that they do not
show a separation. I have only seen one pair that could have passed for
a skirt! I believe the answer and the best way would be to wear the
kind that has a panel in the front and back.

It’s a real temptation to let culottes become our play clothes. I
really feel that we’re walking on the borderline when we do. Could
there be too much love of the world and not enough of the love of God
in our hearts. Whether you realize it or not, you are rejecting God’s
plan for you and therefore risking the displeasure of God upon your
life. Is there anything worth that?

Also, ask yourself, “Whose opinion says that pants are more modest?”
Our own opinion is not as important as man’s and others around us.
Slacks accentuate the thigh, leg, and hips rather than cover it up.
They are far more revealing than they should be!

BREEDING CONFUSION

It is a mother’s responsibility to train into her daughter modesty and
this would include how to be modest in a skirt. The right kind of
training will erase many problems. A mother who puts her small girl in
pants and then one day decides she is getting too old for them is
breeding confusion in that girl’s mind. Something that is wrong does
not become right part of the time! Small girls are very active and a
good alternative for them would be shorts under their dresses. The
Bible says “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is
old, he will not depart from it”. They need this teaching when they are
young — that God’s people are special and therefore dress special, and
when they grow older, they will not resent it. Mothers need to watch
their own attitudes they leave far more impression than anything we
say!

“I only wear slacks when I’m working around home for convenience.”

Skirts aren’t ALWAYS convenient, but they’re always RIGHT. I believe
the same reasons that make them wrong in one place will also make them
wrong in another. It is also a fact that what you wear affects the way
we feel and act. Besides you never know who is going to drop in
unexpectedly.

Satan is at war against God’s plan and laws and tries to blur the
distinction between the sexes. This is evident everywhere. We had a
young person come to our door selling magazine subscriptions. After
talking with this young person for fifteen minutes, my husband, myself
and another visitor had not determined whether it was a boy or a girl.
I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences. Let’s be careful that we do
not become apathetic to the world we live in and what is happening.
It’s the devil’s business to blind people’s eyes and make them sleep,
especially the Church. Jesus is coming soon and there is NOTHING worth
missing the Rapture over!

(The original publisher of the above material is unknown.)

STRANGE APPAREL

Article 4

By: Rev. Lloyd E. Peterson

“And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, that I
will punish the princes, and the kings, children, and all such as are
clothed with strange apparel.” Zephaniah 1:8.

We have never seen a day when there was so much “strange apparel”? God
forbid that Holy Ghost filled Pentecostal people should have to be
punished of God because we looked at the people around us and adopted
such apparel, as the children of Israel adopted the idols of the people
in Canaan when God had brought them out of Egypt.

A few short years ago we would not have believed that people would wear
such clothes as we see on the streets, in the markets, and in the
churches today. Surely it is a sign of the soon coming of Jesus to take
vengeance on them that believe not.

For many centuries the standard of Christendom was a gown for ladies
that covered all the limbs – long sleeves (to the wrist) , long skirts
(to the ankle), a collar that was up around the neck, and garments that
fit loosely and were of such material as could not have been seen
through. This is the type dress that the author’s Swedish Lutheran
grandmother wore every day of her life. (A side note: she never cut her
hair or had a permanent wave or wore make up.)

Since the invention of the moving picture and its twin sister TV. The
attire of women has undergone a tremendous change, First the sleeve was
shortened, then the hem-line raised, the clothes became tight fitting
and bright colored. The neck-line was lowered and the material became
so sheer and flimsy that the undergarments could be seen through the
dress. (Some of our younger Pentecostal girls do not remember these
changes because they have never seen the really old fashioned modest
apparel). Then came the beach pajama which was the forerunner of
slacks, pedal-pushers, shorts and finally the bikini and,. God forbid,
“hot pants.”

Strange apparel?

But there is more–in fact so much more that we could not prepare a
complete list. Wigs and streaked hair, large purple and pink goggles,
ladles suits (just like men’s) and pant dressed, cigarettes, even
cigars and pipes for ladies.

Our fashion designers have completely lost control. They would like to
reverse the trend and put some clothes back on the women but the women
will have no part of it. The man in the Bible who was among the tombs,
cried and cut himself and could not be bound with chains was possessed
of a legion of demons and he was naked; When the devils were cast out
by Jesus, the people found him sitting and clothed and in his right
mind! The womanhood of America today surely are possessed to go about
in such states of undress as they do.

Pentecostals, “Awake to righteousness and sin not-” When a person
awakens he looks around to see what kind of day it is, who is up and
about-and if he had been asleep or unconscious for a long time he would
take a long look and ask many questions. We were awakened from sin when
the Holy Ghost came in. Take a long look over the centuries. Our Bible
says “modest apparel.” Why even young men today are wearing immodest
apparel: shorts, T-shirts, Bermuda shorts and how about checkered and
striped pants. Loud colored shirts, tight trousers? Are long side bums
and long hair on boys and men modest? Where did all these things come
from? Could it be Hollywood?

Pentecostal ladies, perhaps the day has come when you must make your
own apparel in order to have something modest. Have you considered
what will really be modest, graceful and Godly? When trying on a dress,
do you kneel, as in prayer and see how it looks? Do you raise your arms
as in real worship to Jesus and then remember the hemline, is going to
raise several inches? When sitting down – and crossing the legs, have
you done this in front of a mirror so you know what your pastor is
looking at as he tries to minister God’s Word? Of course all real
Pentecostals believe in shouting, dancing in the Spirit and at times
God even blesses us and we lay prostrate before Him! Are we then, at
all times, considered as modest and decent in apparel?

The world in its mad convulsion of death is trying everything in all
realms and so they have reached back into the past and presented to us
one thing in fashion at least that to this preacher seems to be a
blessing to Pentecost in disguise. This thing is the so-called
“maxidress.” If taken in the right spirit, surely it can be the answer
to our modesty in clothes for the ladies. The Catholic Church only in
the past short years began to let long skirts go for their nuns and
they still must wear them on some occasions. The Amish People have
never let them go over the centuries.

These views are presented humbly to provoke thought among our people.
We are holiness people or we are surely not God’s people for “without
holiness no man shall see the Lord.”

If we take the look across the years, surely any other apparel: midi,
mini, or micro, slacks, pedal pushers, shorts or bikinis have only come
into existence in this century, and many of them in the last few years.

Women are a type of the soul and the soul of mankind now is vain and
not modest. They are also a type of the church and the churches for the
most part today are vain, proud and independent of God’s will and
purpose.

Pentecostal ladies, let’s show the world some real modesty for Jesus
own sake. You are a type of His bride! Will the bride wear “strange
apparel?”

(The above article appeared in an issue of Gospel Tidings.)

THE STYLES OF DRESS

Article 5

By: David F. Gray

QUESTION —

Our styles are so different today from Bible times — how can we really
know how we should dress? Does the Bible give specific guidelines as to
how a Christian should dress?

ANSWER —

There are six main lines of teaching in the Bible on the subject of
Christian’s dress. In brief they are:

(I) VANITY –God is concerned that we not be vain in our dress. The
divine admonition is, “…that women adorn themselves in modest
apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or
gold, or pearls, or costly array.” 1 Tim. 2:9.

God hates pride. Pride is a lie. It makes the flesh which is nothing to
be something. Pride results in a two-fold curse: First, man loses his
spiritual perspective and fails to see his utter need to depend upon
God for everything. Thus he begins to live to himself and as a result
cuts himself off from God. Second, man becomes self-righteous and is
lifted up.

Therefore, any clothes which vaunts the ego, whether jewels and plumes,
snazzy jet-set styles, or hip-styles Hippie attire, is contrary to
Scripture.

(2) CONFUSING THE SEXES. — God is concerned that we don’t dress so as
to appear like the opposite sex. God reveals His feelings about this in
Deut. 22:5: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man,
neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are
abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

Some argue that in Bible days both men and women wore long robes. True,
yet the injunction was made. There was, you see, a clear distinction in
the styles. They were not to try and become, appear, or feel like the
opposite sex. There are several reasons for this: First, it confuses
the distinction God ordained between the sexes (not just physically,
but emotionally). Also, it can be temptation for homosexuality which
God hates and forbids. Lastly, it gives occasion for rape, adultery,
theft, etc.; in short, fraud.

Today, both men and women wear pants. The motive for women wearing
pants is rebellion (now called “women’s liberation”), and to confuse
the sexes.

To wear unisex pants or dress, or for men to dress feminine, or for
women to dress masculine, is loathsome to God.

(3) IMMODESTY. — God wants our bodies to be covered.

When God made man in the beginning he was covered with the glory of
God’s shekineh (Psalm 8:5. Crowned: literally, encircled or compassed
about). When sin came, Adam and Eve saw that they were naked (literally
“stripped”. Gen. 3:7), so God slew animals and clothed them (Gen.
3:21). His plan is for our bodies to be covered.

One of the signs of insanity and demon possession is that the victim
wants to tear his clothes off (Luke 8:27). Our generation manifests the
diabolical influences at work in our society by the frenzied plunge to
nudity being displayed everywhere. But when Jesus healed the naked
demoniac he immediately clothed himself (Luke 8:35).

Immodesty, particularly in women, kindles the lustful base nature in
men by goading, teasing, enticing them to sin. The man may be guilty,
but the woman is not blameless. This is how David fell into sin (II
Sam. 11:2). This must never be the case in God’s church, where women
(and men, too) are commanded to dress in “modest apparel” (I Tim. 2:9).

(4) IDENTIFYING WITH THE UNGODLY. God is concerned about our
identification about whether we are identified with His Church, or
whether our dress identifies us with the pagans and the ungodly.

Isaiah Chapter 2 and 3 are devoted to dealing with Israel, which had
taken on the ways of the Philistines and the heathen from the east”
whose land was “full of idols” (Isa. 2:6-8). Israelitish women had
adopted the dress and the ways of these heathen: “… the daughters of
Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes,
walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet.”
(Isa, 3:16). In the following verses the Lord spelled out the articles
of dress which they had copied from the idolatrous heathen, and
pronounced His judgment upon them.

God does not want us identifying with the godly! This principle is
largely lost sight of by many. It’s not whether a beard or hip-style
pants is bad, but who and what it identifies the wearer with. The old
saying, “Birds of a feather flock together”, certainly is applicable
here. When the Apostles were “let go, they went to their own company.”
Which company is your company? What company do you identify with, dress
like, fit into; the ungodly, or God’s church?

A hippie was once asked what he believed and stood for. Pointing to
his beard, long hair, and weird dress, he said, “I wear my hair and
beard this way, and dress this way so that everybody will know where I
stand, that I am against the establishment; I am an anarchist and a
revolutionary, I’m against the pigs, I am for pot, for freedom of sex.
My dress, my beard, and my life-style ought to tell you that.”

If a man doesn’t want sheep to think him a wolf, he shouldn’t walk
among the flock on hands and knees with a wolfskin on. If a Christian
wore a beard in the l8OO’s he would not appear to be a hobo, thug,
anarchist, or sinner, since most men wore beards.

But today if a Christian grows a beard, his spirituality and motives
are immediately in question. Why? The answer is quite simple. A person
doesn’t decide to change his appearance so drastically without reason.
His dress identifies him with the wrong crowd.

The little maid told Peter, “Thy speech betrayeth thee”. So does your
dress. It betrays which crowd you want to be identified with. Any
Christian who dresses to appear like a sinful group identifies with
them and is under the same condemnation Israel was under in Isaiah 3.

The Apostle Peter’s Pentecostal message was not only Acts 2:38, but it
was also, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation”. (Acts 2:40).
Are you saving yourselves from this rebellious generation when you copy
them and identify with them? Where does your dress fit in best? Does
your dress fit in with the company of godly, Holy Ghost filled saints,
or with “Jesus freaks” (hippies on a “Jesus trip” whose lives are not
transformed in harmony with the Word)?

Holy Ghost people dress according to Christian custom, we are told in I
Cor. 11:16. Does your dress say, “I belong to this word”? or does it
say, “I am separate from the world, I belong to God. I am not ashamed
of my company, the people of God”. Your dress identifies you with
either the godly or the ungodly.

(5) COSTLINESS. God is concerned that we do not waste money on our
apparel. “Costly array” is condemned in I Tim. 2:9 just as immodesty
is. This is the basic reason why “adornments” of gold, pearls, and
other costly ornaments are condemned.

While this principle is akin to the first one (vanity), it has also a
very important additional involvement.

We are stewards of all we possess. That is, God has entrusted us with
what money and goods we have to use for His glory. We are not to
consider these things ours to do with as we like. Rather, God says,
“Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand
hills…for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof”. (Psalm
50:10,12). “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of
hosts.” (Hag. 2:8).

To take these things then, and use them to buy costly ornaments to
adorn our flesh is a gross misuse of our stewardship. They are
entrusted to us to advance the Kingdom of God. Say, how many souls that
could be in heaven will not be there because you bought a car twice as
expensive as necessary or purchased jewels or costly clothing to wear
instead of investing the money in the business of winning souls?

What right have we to “consume upon our own lusts” that which God has
entrusted to us to use for His glory when a world of souls is dying
that was so dearly purchased with the precious blood of Jesus?

(6) TYPOLOGY. God is concerned that we do not violate the types
(symbolical meanings) of Scripture.

To the unlearned in God’s Word, symbolism may mean nothing, but the
Bible makes it very clear that God is concerned that all types be
executed perfectly.

For example: When Moses violated the type by striking the rock twice
instead of striking it once and speaking to it once, God refused to
permit him to enter the promised land. And Moses did not even know it
was a type! God had intended it to symbolize Christ, smitten once for
all on Calvary, and now is but to be spoken to in prayer, and the water
of life will spring forth to quench the thirst of our souls. But that
type was broken by Moses, and Moses suffered his greatest loss.

The plain commandments of I Cor. 11 dealing with the hair of both men
and women have to do with this principle. Man is a type of Christ,
woman of the Church. Long hair is symbolical of subjection. For a man
to have long hair is to symbolize that Christ is not the head of the
Church. For women to cut their hair is to teach (by typology) that the
Church need not be subject to Christ.

If to keep long hair is more important to a man than the Body of
Christ, it becomes an idol. An idol is anything between God and man
that is held in more esteem than God who is worshipped. Thus
disobedience to the commands of I Cor. 11 becomes idolatry. “For
rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity
and idolatry.” (I Sam. 15:23).

Keeping these six divine guiding principles in mind will keep us in the
will of God and answer questions relative to our dress today just as
they did in Bible Times.

(The original publisher of this material is unknown.)

THE STANDARDS OF HOLINESS IN DRESS AND HAIR

Article 6

By: Rev. David F. Gray

QUESTION —

The standard of holiness in dress and hair in our church is different
than a neighboring church. My pastor is more strict than the other
pastor, and insists that we obey him and the standard of holiness he
preaches. I can’t see why we have to be different than the other
church. If they can dress differently and be saved, why can’t we?

ANSWER —

I can understand you confusion. I hope the day will come when we all
can speak with one voice on these matters and have a unified standard
all over our fellowship. Frankly, however, it seems to me that the day
is still far off when everyone sees eye-to-eye on every point.

But let us not magnify these differences. For the most part they are
minor. We stand united on the major, important things relative to
dress: We all believe in long, uncut hair for our girls and women;
short, cut hair for boys and men. We believe in modest apparel for both
sexes, the women’s dress covering their knees and upper arms with no
sheers or “see-throughs” and no tight skirts; and the men with no tight
pants, effeminate styles, or long sideburns.

Having said this, let me now stress the value of convictions, and the
solid ground a pastor is on when he teaches and preaches additional
convictions to his people, whether other ministers do or not.

God has little use for namby-pamby, spineless, follow the crowd
weaklings, whether in the pulpit or in the pew. The men of deep
personal conviction. When a minister compromises his convictions for
expediency’s sake, because of threats that his saints will leave him
unless he does, or to follow the lead of another minister who is
getting a crowd, he is then in deep trouble.

First he loses his self-respect, knowing he has sold out. Then, even
those worldly-minded members of his congregation who want to compromise
lose respect for him, although they might have been the very ones that
urged him to do so. The holiness minded saints are bewildered and
ashamed. Worst of all his ministry loses its power and anointing. He
becomes a hireling, and Satan has his number. The downhill slide never
stops once the momentum has begun “Ichabod”, the glory has departed is
eventually written over the church door I am sure you do not want this
to happen. Therefore you should be glad that your pastor is a strong
man, a man of conviction and spirituality.

Here is a Scripture we should never forget: “Obey (that is, outwardly
conform to your pastor’s teaching in full obedience) them that have the
rule over you (God has not given the neighboring pastor the oversight
of your soul, but He has given it to you pastor), and submit yourselves
(this is an inward attitude void of resentment or secret desires to
disobey or rebel) for they watch for your souls (your pastor is
burdened for you, that you will be saved), as they that must give
account (never forget that God will call your pastor to account for the
convictions He has given him to preach), that they may do it with joy,
and not with grief (a disobedient or rebellious saint is a grief to his
pastor, and it will turn to be a grief to that saint when the pastor
gives account of his disobedience to God) for that is uprofitable for
you.” Hebrews 13:17.

Finally, suppose the neighboring pastor is wrong and your pastor is
right? The chances are that the strictest one is closer to the will of
God and God’s true standard of holiness than the more lenient one. It
is always safe to adhere to the strictest standard you can. Take it
from God when your pastor preaches it–he does not do it because he
enjoys it, but because he wants you to make it into heaven.

You are not responsible to obey the pastor of a neighboring church.
But you are responsible to obey your own pastor. The old saying, “The
grass is greener on the other side of the fence”, is not always true.
The blessing of God will come into your heart only when you stop
looking across the fence, pray through, obey your pastor with gladness,
and rejoice that your pastor is a man with deep and God-given
convictions. By submitting to his leadership you will make it through
to heaven.

(The above article appeared in an issue of Gospel Tidings.)

WATCH OUT FOR THE THORNS

Article 7

By: M.J. WOLFF

“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you: in both which I
STIR up your pure minds by way of remembrance.” — II Peter 3:1

Please bear with me as I share a few things which I feel the Lord has
placed upon my heart. I thank God for the ministers and members of the
churches in the Illinois District who over the years have esteemed the
standards of righteousness and holiness in the church of the Living
God. With faith in God and respect for His Word, the people of God have
walked humbly with God, avoiding EXTREME positions on issues, have
manifested “their love for the Lord through both a desire and a
determination to OBEY the Bible.

I trust what I have to say will be received in the spirit in which it
is written. My concern for true righteousness and holiness moves me to
call attention to all other persons with like concern to consider the
subject with me. God Bless You! In the light of the fact: “An ounce of
prevention is worth a pound of cure”, consider this admonition!

Watch Out for the Thorns!

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke all contain warnings about “thorns”
choking the word. (Matt. 13;22, Mark 4:18,19, Luke 8:14) A careful
reading and study of these scriptures mentioned will reveal certain
positives concerning the “thorns”:

(1) “…the care is of this world…”
(Matt., Mark, & Luke)

(2) “.,.the deceitfulness of riches…”
(Matt., Mark, & Luke)

(3) “…the lusts of other things…”
(Mark)

(4) “…The pleasures of this life…”
(Luke)

(1) The CARES of this World

Every spirit-filled Christian must constantly be on guard against not
only the well-known sins and wrongdoings of this life, such as the
‘works of the flesh’, named in Galations 5:19,20,21. There are also
THORNS mentioned above which may seem harmless and innocent… But
wherein we are WARNED: “THE THORNS COULD CHOKE THE WORD AND LEAVE THE
PERSON FRUITLESS.”

The Bible speaks of `cares’ plural – more than one thing could apply,
but let me name just one… Fashions: What is fashionable may or may
not be right for a Christian. The fashions of this world are designed
by men and women of this world who are UNGODLY, unregenerate lost men
and women who do not regard Almighty God; neither do they believe His
Word, the Bible! Do you know of one designer of fashions who does?

The scripture teaches: “Blessed is the man who walketh not in the
counsel of the ungodly.” Psalms 1:1 Here is where the conflict comes:
The WORLD sets the FASHIONS…the CHRISTIAN sets the EXAMPLE!

If the enemy of our soul’s salvation cannot get us to forsake the House
of God and the paths of righteousness one way He always tries another.
Hence, the warning in this instant of the possibility of “thorns”
choking the word until an Individual would become fruitless (useless).
In times past one would need only to talk to the women about clothes
and fashions, etc., however, in this day and age when the word ‘unisex’
has become so prominent in our society and in which the WORLD, the
FLESH, and the DEVIL have combined efforts to cross the SEXES in
disobedience and disbelief in the Word of God, it is necessary to
address both men and women on the subject of the “rights and wrongs” of
FASHIONS. Be sure to follow the right counsel…the Word of God!

To be fashionable is one of the cares of this world. Benjamin Franklin
is attributed to have said, “some people fear less of hell than they do
to be out of fashion”. Such feelings as this have resulted in the fact
that millions of people have become “slaves to fashion”. This is
understandable among people who do not know God …BUT WHAT ABOUT TRUE
CHRISTIANS?

Pant-suits and Casual Clothes

Bear with me as I express this concern about women and PANTSUITS and
men and CASUALCLOTHES…Space is limited and there is much more to be
said on the subject, of course. I will try in future columns to write
an admonition of other related matters, etc.: I do not wish to argue
and will only exhort everyone to believe and obey the Bible, God’s
Word.

In Matthew 4:4, Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by
every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”. This should
settle every question as to what is right and what is wrong for the
Christian! The Bible is the “Supreme Court” of Christian Faith!

IT IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG FOR WOMEN TO WEAR PANTSUITS IN THIS DAY AND
TIME, IN OUR SOCIETY AND CULTURE.

Why is it wrong? The answer is in the Bible: Deuteronomy 22:5, “The
woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a
man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto
the Lord thy God.” The word here is plain, clear, simple and should be
sufficient for the child of God who loves the Lord and His Word.
Certain things to remember are:

(1) Fashion designers who do not believe God or His Word design and
suggest the pant-suit fashion. (Pant-suits may be women’s clothing but
they do pertain to men’s clothing that is, they do belong, or relate,
or refer to men’s clothing.)

(2) Satanic influence in this society is promoting and pushing the
unisex idea of not just crossing the sex but making it equal and like
in rebellion against God’s word. God created and made man…male He
created and made woman…female…They are not alike…male and female
created He them. (Genesis 1:27.)

(3) A question to woman…If the whole world did not accept pantsuits
as a fashion…would you wear them regardless? It is generally
accepted now to be a fashion of the world…worldly.

(4) To dress in a pant-suit makes one in this society look like a man,
because she is dressed like a man, because of this many women start to
act like men…It is unlady-like… The THORN is choking the word and
the result is unfruitfulness…The testimony is marred! If it makes no
difference then it would be all right for men to wear mini-skirts,
which idea is both absurd and ridiculous!

Casual-Clothes

To the men let me express these thoughts concerning the wearing of
casual-clothes. I write because of my zeal for the pulpit and my
minister brethren. We have schooled and trained ourselves to respect
the pulpit. Here the true man of God tries to hide behind the cross. We
do not want to attract attention to ourselves, rather to exalt Christ
and bring all eyes to focus and concentrate on the preached word. For
such reasons I appeal to the minister to regard the pulpit by the
clothes he wears in preaching; Avoid the casual-clothes, if ever you
are dead serious it is in declaring, “What thus saith the Lord.” I am
saying look the part, not only declare it! Casual wear and gaudy
clothes are not conducive to serious thoughts or deeds. In my opinion,
we could do better to leave sport clothes and too bright colors not
only out of the pulpit but also off the platform. Ministers, we preach
by example as well as by word. Let us not give even the slightest hint
or suggestion that we are casual, careless, or dilatory when it comes
to the preaching of the wonderful word of life and salvation!

The definition of the word `casual’ “happening by chance, accident,
occasional”. Please don’t misunderstand me concerning these thoughts. I
like the casual clothes as designed for men. They are all right in the
proper place and time, etc. Correct sports clothes and colors may be
all right in their place and right occasions…I believe we as
ministers give a better example by observing certain discipline in
manner and conduct by sacrificing certain rights and privileges that
may be rightfully ours. The Bible says: “All things are lawful for me,
but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all
things edify not.” When it comes to clothes modesty is the most
important factor to be considered by both men and women.

I plan to write further admonition concerning “thorns that choke out
the word” God willing. Thanks for your prayerful understanding.

(The original publisher of this material is unknown.)

WEARING OF LOUD FASHIONS

Article 8

By: Rev. Clyde J. Haney

QUESTION —

Aren’t current fashions for men of bright shirts (even pink), loud ties
and prominent patterned suits a little out of line for our preachers of
the Gospel?

ANSWER —

This question has caused much concern on the part of both laymen and
ministers. However, as far as the scriptures dealing directly with such
practices, we have none. There are some general principles that have
been practiced by men of God through the history of the Christian
church which have always been, stay close to the conservative line of
dress for the ministry. My personal opinion is that the ministry of the
Gospel will not be able to improve on conservative suits and white
shirts, in color or style.

I recall sitting in a congregation at a funeral when the minister
walked in. The gentlemen sitting next to me was not a Christian but a
man I knew to be of good taste in regard to dress. His remark was this,
“Isn’t that a great suit for a minister to wear?” In my estimation the
clothes were not the best of taste for a man of the cloth. I have to
confess I have seen some of our own ministers go much further out in
styles and loud colors.

The ministry should always dress clean and neat but there is a certain
dignity and temperance in all things that will stand the ministry in
well with the situations he will deal with. May God help us as
ministers to be, “clothed with humility for God resisteth the proud and
giveth grace to the humble.”

(The above article appeared in an issue of the Gospel Tidings.)

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