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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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ARE WE A NATION OF SLOBS?

How long has it been since you heard a sermon on modest dress (or immodest dress)?  Someone explained the scarcity of preaching on this subject by noting that preachers who formerly gave lectures on women’s clothing have been compelled to turn to other subjects.  There just isn’t enough material any more!  During “bare” season millions take off their clothes and “get naked” or at least get simi-naked as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer.  Many in society are so casual about a personal dress code that at times it seems as if clothing itself has become optional.  Mark Twain once observed, “Clothes make the man.  Naked people have little or no influence in society.”  But the sad truth about the matter is that nakedness is gaining increasing influence in America as more and more people put on less and less.

A Newsweek article (2/20/95) asked the question, Have we become a nation of slobs?”  Jerry Adler, author of the article, answered his own question by saying, “Let’s just say that the concept of proper attire is hanging by a thread.”  Adler quotes Judith Martin, the “Miss Manners” columnist- “People are pretending that dress has no symbolic significance, but it does.  Adler notes the dramatic change in the way Americans now dress for church- “As for worship, Americans who long ago gave up wearing ties to services are starting to treat socks as optional.”  To buttress his point, he then quotes fashion historian Anne Hollander (author of Sex and Suits), “We have lost the ideal of adult self-respect, and we’re dressing like rebellious children.  When you get to church...you now have the idea that you do not need to express respect in your costume - that if you do, you somehow feel like one of the oppressed.”

Mac Lyon notes, “God does not have a dress code for worship!  Of course He does not.  He assumes the humble, worshipping heart will dictate proper attire and behavior.  A true spirit of awe, reverence and worship dictates dignity and propriety in dress and demeanor.  God does not command us to kneel or stand or bow our heads in prayer either, but doing so manifests a humbleness of heart that honors and respects the sovereign God whom we praise and petition.  So does proper dress” (Gospel Advocate.)  1 Timothy 2:9 confronts a generation of sloppy dressers with these words, “that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation.”  Who can read that and believe God wants a church full of slobs?

Dan Gulley
Smithville Church of Christ