The Bible On Immodest Apparel
By: Arthur Fairbanks
Immodest apparel is one of the great sins of the day. The god of pride, style and fashion seems to dominate the greater part of the world. This god is probably causing more immorality than any one other god.
After Adam and Eve fell into transgression they became aware of their nakedness. In shame they tried to hide themselves from God, their Creator. To hide their nakedness God gave them coats of skin and thus they were properly clothed. Since then, and throughout all ages, God has given to mankind, and especially His own people, the virtue of proper attire. Nevertheless it is as Jeremiah cried, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall. . ” (Jeremiah 8:12).
The objective of the idol of style and fashion is to arouse the passions of the opposite sex. This leads to much immorality and abominable sins. Dr. Luchtenstein of Tombs Prison in New York, who is able to speak authoritatively on causes of crime, says, “I have seen in 12 years 170,000 prisoners. The crimes of passion are increasing alarmingly and will until the cause is eliminated. The cause is the present style of dress which is, to say the least, very immodest. Short and form fitting dresses with low necks, short sleeves, and such like have a direct bearing on crime incitation no matter how innocent the wearer may be. Someone has said that if every underworld style could be thrown into the deepest hell, much sorrow and lamentation would be
avoided. Dr. Talmadge said, “Thousands of men are in hell, whose damnation is due to improper dress of women, to say nothing of the women who caused it.” Another writer said, “The demons of the street watch little girls and others who are half dressed, and have their passions aroused, then attack them to satisfy their lust.” Parents who dress their little children indecently are partakers of such crimes, for they are encouraging baseful and wicked passion.
In (Isaiah 3:18-24), is a list of many things that women do to appear beautiful, ending with this warning, “… there shall be burning instead of beauty.” Together with many other warnings, every professing Christian should give the most earnest heed to this warning and not be guilty of serving the immoral idol of style and fashion. The apostle Peter admonishes to “abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). Transformation of the heart is not to be only partial, but it must be complete. While we are not saved by modest apparel, it is according to the Word of God, evidence that we are saved from the fashion god. Many heart-rendering quotations could be mentioned on this subject, but to God’s people and all God fearing souls a hint should be sufficient.
While statesman and lawmen see the evil results of worldly fashions, dare we as Christians stand idly by and not take the more earnest heed to such a vital subject which brings with it such death sins? It is easy to ignore the teachings of the Bible and depart from modesty to immodesty because the styles change from time to time. Modernists teach, “if the heart is right all is right.” until finally many sins are tolerated including the wearing of jewelry and fashionable clothings which a regenerated heart can not allow, for it is consecrated to God and separated from worldly and immodest styles. Romans 12:1,2.
God will judge all men according to their works and sins. Also God’s people and all God fearing souls will have to give an account of their stewardship. (John 5:29; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Judgment must begin at the House of God (1 Peter 4:17). Christian mothers, fathers, ministers. teachers, and all, are we doing our part toward stemming the tide-the waves of which threaten to engulf our very loved ones? We must remember that God, according to His Word, will not hold us guiltless. We are responsible to be a light to the world and should be alert watchmen on the walls of Zion. The following Scriptures will judge us now and also on the final judgement. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in MODEST APPAREL. . . not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” (1 Timothy 2:9). “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world . . . ” (1 John 2:15). “as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.” (1 Peter 1:14). “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel.” (1 Peter 3:3). There are other direct commands against fashion, such as immodesty, changes of apparel, and conformity to present modern styles.
Whatever alludes to women’s attire is also applicable to men’s attire. With God there is no respect of persons. Whenever men wear clothes for embellishing, or adorning, seeking the latest in modern styles, this, of course, also displays a spirit of worldliness.
The scripture says, “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.” (Deuteronomy 22:5). Paul wrote to the Ephesians. ” . . have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11). To the Thessalonians Paul wrote: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” God demands holy and righteous living of His people. Furthermore, God’s statutes and ordinances are for our protection and good. He, in His foreknowledge, saw the abominable sins that would result from immodest. Therefore His Word warns to protect against immoral and immodest conduct. Obedience to the Word of God offers great protection-the promise of keeping in the hour of trial. The present styles of dress
and undress cause much impure thinking that many times leads to such hideous sins as kidnappings, rape and murder.
In the spiritual darkness and confusion of today some are beginning to ask the question, “Has the Church any authority to teach against worldliness in dress, and demand nonconformists? Yes, the commission to the Church is: “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. . . .” (Matthew 28:20). “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19).
The Bible teaches against the works of the flesh. In (Galatians 5:19-21). many sins are named and then also this expression is used “and of such like.” This proves that there are also unnamed sins existing that God’s people must take a determined stand against. We are commanded to submit ourselves to ordinances of men, as long as they do not conflict with the Word of God. Necessarily, we conclude that the Church has no less authority and responsibility over its members. In Titus 2 many good virtues are named, teaching all to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and finally saying, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority, let no man despise thee.” (Titus 2:15). We cannot serve two masters. (Luke 16:13). Let us never be ashamed to honor our Lord and Master by dressing modestly and plainly. We should escape the sin and shame that fashionable attire brings with it. Rather than to follow the course of the world, let us shine as lights in this dark world. The Christian is to be an example of righteousness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, HOW GREAT IS THAT DARKNESS! The god of fashion, a great idol of today, has won and is winning many people to serve and worship it. A Christian cannot bow down before this idol’s altar and still be true to God. Christians are required to give their undivided service and allegiance to their
Master. Christians must not remove the ancient landmarks. This applies in all things, including proper attire. It is the Christian’s responsibility to preserve and promote modesty in apparel, and avoid and protect against immodest dress. How sad for the soul who will be found guilty as a partaker of this great sin of today. “What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when He visiteth, what shall I answer Him?” (Job 31:14).