I received this article in my email this morning and thought it worth posting to go along with my Godly Apparel subject.
MODESTY IS STILL IN THE BIBLE: Updated December 7, 2006 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org)
There was a time, just a few years ago, when preaching against worldly dress was heard from fundamentalist and independent Baptist pulpits across the land, but that is no longer the case. All too often, any kind of preaching about clothing has become an oddity, an embarrassment. The resistance of the rock & roll culture to such preaching is so pervasive that many pastors have decided to ignore matters of dress.To do so, though, is to ignore the fact that clothing is a language.
George Harrison of the Beatles, who rebelled against the way his father wanted him to act and dress, testified: "Going in for flash clothes, or at least trying to be a bit different was part of the rebelling. I never cared for authority" (Hunter Davies, The Beatles, p. 39). The designer who invented the mini-skirt admitted that her aim was to entice men and promote licentiousness. Vivienne Westwood, who helped create the rock punk look, said, "I think fashion is the strongest form of communication there is. Š It's only interesting to me if it's subversive: that's the only reason I'm in fashion, to destroy the word 'conformity'" (Jon Savage, Time Travel: Pop, Media and Sexuality 1976-96, p. 119).
In the book How to Marry the Man of Your Choice by Margaret Kent (New York: Warner Books, 1987), the secular author instructs women how to use clothing to "manipulate men." She recommends body hugging skirts and revealing blouses: "Don't let the power of clothing pass you by, for it can be a major asset in attracting men. Stir his sexual imagination without satisfying his curiosity about your body. To avoid being a nerd, wear clothing that follows the natural form of your body" (pp. 29, 32, 33). The author observes that "shirt-type blouses with buttons on the front" send a signal of "easy access" (p. 35).
As for pants on women, the author states that "jeans are likely to get a positive response because they are snug and outline the body; they also represent casualness" (p. 36). (My thanks to John Shrader for the quotes from this book.)This reminds us that pants on women are wrong not only because they are unisex garments, but because they are inherently immodest. Secular advertisements leave no doubt about what part of the body is emphasized by women's jeans. A woman in pants is either gross or sexually appealing, depending upon her figure. A woman in pants is never as modest and feminine as she can be in a proper dress.
Another clothing style that is immodest is SLIT SKIRTS AND DRESSES which are so popular in the female fashion industry today. The obvious purpose for this fashion is to tease men with the flashing effect that is created by the movement of her legs. It is strangely enticing. Even if the slit is below the knee the effect is very sensual. A few months ago we asked a group of young Bible college men if they were tempted sexually by slit skirts, and every one of them admitted that they are. This should speak volumes to Christian women and young ladies to avoid this immodest fashion.
Hair styles are also statements. Long hair on men and short hair on women are not merely harmless fashions but are statements of rebellion against God's created order (1 Corinthians 11:14,15). The androgynous unisex image was not innocent. It was created by rock musicians who consciously intended to overthrow tradition. One of the rock songs of the 1960s called upon young men to grow their hair long and "let your freak flag show." David Lee Roth of Van Halen testified: "[My long hair] is a flag. It's Tarzan. I'll always be anti-establishment" (cited by John Makujina, Measuring the Music, p. 73). Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys sported long hair and popularized the "surfer cut" in the early 1960s. Commenting on the significance of this hair length, Wilson's biographer observes: "The 'surfer cut,' as it came to be known, was a radical thing to behold in 1962. Few parents would permit their sons to sport the look" (Jon Stebbins, Dennis Wilson: The Real Beach Boy, p. 24).
Dennis Wilson was a rebel and his appearance was merely a reflection of this. Paul McCartney of the Beatles mockingly acknowledges their role in overthrowing sexual distinctions: "There they were in America, all getting house-trained for adulthood with their indisputable principle of life: short hair equals men; long hair equals women. Well, we got rid of that small convention for them. And a few others, too" (Barbara Ehrenreich, "Beatlemania: Girls Just Wanted to Have Fun," cited by Lisa Lewis, The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, p. 102).
The clothing industry is controlled by unsaved people who are in open rebellion to the laws of God. A large percentage of the clothing designers are homosexuals. They do everything they can to flaunt sexuality. A secular article by David Seel, "The World According to Abercrombie and Fitch," in Critique, 2000, observes: "Successful brands in America don't sell products. They sell lifestyles." Abercrombie and Fitch's catalog depicts "photos of semi-nude college-age models, often in various hetero- or homo-erotic poses." The advertisements glorify drinking and sexual "freedom." As a result, Abercrombie and Fitch reaped $815 million in sales of overpriced, over-hyped garments from a gullible, licentious generation of young people in 1998.
If ever there were a time for preachers to warn their people about clothing issues, it is today. Standards of morality are not to be left to the pew or the home. It is the obligation of the preacher to set forth these things. Has God not given clear standards and guidelines?
We know that holiness is a matter of the heart, but is it not a matter of the body as well? Every man knows that it is. What man has ever lusted after a woman's heart! The way women dress doubtless affects men's hearts. How, then, can we ignore this part of Scripture and refuse to preach it boldly and uncompromisingly? That is what the New Evangelical does. He has determined that there are some things he will not preach. Separation is one of them.
But the Bible speaks as much about moral separation as it does about ecclesiastical separation. The faithful fundamentalist cannot ignore either one.Let's make a clear difference between ourselves and the world. Let's stand in the old paths. Those who are giving up high, plain standards of holiness in dress and are moving closer and closer to the fashions of the world should remember that the world is moving farther and farther from God's Word.
An excellent book on this subject is David Kidd's The Fall and Rise of Christian Standards: Thinking Biblically About Dress and Appearance .