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What Would Jesus Wear In A Skin Is In Society?

Did you hear about the six year old girl who became lost in a department store? As they paged her mother, the little girl was asked why she hadn't held on to her mother's skirt. Her answer was revealing. She said, "I couldn't reach it." Have you noticed that America is now a society where skin is in? Actually, it would be more accurate to say that skin is out. Mini-skirts and short-shorts and low cut jeans and push-up bras and plunging neck-lines and shirts and blouses that stop at mid-belly are leaving many Americans over-exposed! "Bare" season is right around the corner again. As the sun comes out and temperatures go up, millions of people will take off their clothes and "get naked" or at least semi naked. Not surprisingly, God has directly addressed the subject of how Christians ought to dress in a society where skin is in — "In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing" (1 Timothy 2:9). The principle would apply to men, too, of course. Study this passage and its context carefully and you will see that God is concerned about how we dress and how we look when we go to church and elsewhere. While men are to "lift up holy hands" (verse 8), women are directed to "adorn" or arrange or decorate themselves appropriately and properly as befitting worship to the living God!. The Greek word translated "apparel" is katastole, (kat-a tol-ay) and means "clothing or a costume." Accept it or not, this verse teaches that part of God's concern about a woman's preparation to come before Him in worship involves the kind of clothing she chooses to wear and the way she looks on the outside! This text teaches that a woman's clothing (and men's, too) ought to be modest, proper, moderate, decent and appropriate. The inescapable implication is that we can dress and arrange ourselves in ways that are immodest and indecent and inappropriate, causing serious and sensual and even sinful distractions in worship and elsewhere, or we can dress modestly with propriety and moderation in a way that becomes our high calling as Christians.

The following story by Dave Oakley challenges our thinking. "Whoa! Stop right there You are not planning on wearing that skirt to church, are you?" a father asked his teen daughter. "Oh, Daddy," she answered, "they won't let us wear them to school " The father asked, "Why? What's wrong with it?" She said, "Uh. . . .it's too short It wouldn't pass dress code: " The dad said, "Wait a minute You mean you plan to go to church in a skirt too short to be allowed in school?" Sadly, public schools and even prisons seem more concerned about proper attire and modesty than some churches and Christians. Summer is coming in and clothes will be coming off. Christians ought to remember apparel can be "modest" (1 Timothy 2:9), or a person can be "dressed like a prostitute" (Proverbs 7:10). What would Jesus wear in a skin-is-in society? How should we dress? Think about it.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ