Gospel Gazette Online

Vol. 12 No. 6 June 2010

Page 15


One Day at a Time

By Ed Benesh

Ed Benesh

“Be thou faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). When many of us read this passage we are left with a picture that spans the entirety of our lives and, with reason, it can be a frightening proposition. What about tomorrow or the next day? “How can I guarantee I will make it through and be rock solid in my faith? What if something happens? What if I, God forbid, fall prey to my own desires for things that are spiritually harmful?”

Just as if you can only live one day at a time, you can only be faithful one day at a time. Fear and anxiety about tomorrow is fruitless and wastes the time you have today to make a better tomorrow. The walk of faith is like laying block. If I just sit and look at the plans and say, “Boy that is a lot of bricks, I don’t know how I will ever do it,” then I probably never will. On the other hand, if I just took each day and laid a nice straight, solid row of bricks, then soon the house will stand.

You can only live a day at a time. What will you do in this day to be more faithful and secure that faithful future, realizing worry is counterproductive?


Mini Skirt Gets Attention the World Over

Michael S. Hatley

Michael HatleyIn 2005, the Century Amusement Park in China offered half price admission to any woman over the age of 18 who would come to the park wearing a skirt shorter than 14.8 inches (The Epoch Times, July 7, 2005). Obviously, the purpose was to entice more men to come to the park and pay full admission price in order to enjoy the “scenery.” In 2000, the Director of Education in Swaziland, Africa banned miniskirts in school there in order to reduce fornication, and stated “If you are exposing your thighs some people may get attracted to that and make advances” (BBC News, July 19, 2000). In 2005, the vice chancellor of Bombay University in India banned women students from wearing miniskirts, shorts and tight tops in order to reduce rape. He made this statement to reporters, “An attire should be such that it should not be offensive or cause distraction to fellow students and lecturers” (Press Trust of India, June 23, 2005). Authorities in Malaysia’s conservative Terengganu have planned to ban non-Muslim women from wearing miniskirts or figure-hugging dresses to work as part of a drive against indecency. (CNN.com “Malaysia plans mini-skirt ban” story).

Immodesty Acceptable in U.S.

In the U.S., however, our culture conditions us from a very young age to accept sexually provocative clothing as being normal and even respectable. The heroines of numerous Disney cartoon movies wear clothing that does not meet God’s standard of modesty, but because Aerial, Belle, Pocahontas and Jasmineare so positive in most all other ways, and since they are held up as role models, our children probably don’t realize that the clothing worn by those characters is not in accordance with God’s Word. Satan has such a hold on fashion in America that immodesty is absolutely everywhere. We see it in movies, on television, on billboards, on the internet, in magazines and in books. Those are just the images we see. In real life, we see it at ball games, the grocery store, Wal-Mart, and it is routinely practiced in our children’s schools.

Modesty Rarely Taught in the Church

In the church of Christ, we do not get very much teaching on the subject of modesty. Generally, when we do hear a sermon on this topic, the message is vague, the gist being, “be sure you dress modestly so that you don’t make anyone lust,” but no specifics are given as to what clothing is and is not modest. Since most of us have already justified in our own minds the clothing we wear, we can hear one of these vague, non-specific sermons on the subject, and it never occurs to us that maybe some of our clothing is immodest.

Biblical Principles Governing Dress

Consider three principles that govern every aspect of a faithful Christian’s life, including the way we dress. (1) Matthew 18:7, “Woe unto the world because of offences, for it must needs be that offences come, but woe unto that man by whom the offence cometh.” When our clothing provides the temptation for another to lust, then woe to us. (2) In Titus 2:5, we read a list of things that the older women are to teach younger women, “to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” Older Christian ladies are supposed to teach our younger ladies to be chaste. A part of chastity is staying far away from adultery, fornication, lust, and being certain that the clothing we wear does not lead someone else to lust. (3) Romans 14:13, “Let us not therefore judge one another anymore, but, judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” Our clothing can be a stumblingblock to a brother in two ways. One, it can provide the temptation for him to sin and, two, his faith can be weakened by seeing our unfaithfulness to God.

How Can We Know If We Have Crossed The Line?

How can we know that our clothing is not the cause of another’s sin, is chaste and is not a stumblingblock to brethren? Men in China, a nation where most people are Buddhists or Maoists; men in Swaziland, Africa, predominantly Protestants; men in Bombay, India, where the majority are Hindus; and men in Terengganu, Malaysia, mostly Muslim, all agree that a woman in a mini skirt steers a man’s minds toward sex. Why do men all over the world, regardless of their culture, regardless of their religion, agree on this point? Because it is God’s design that the mere sight of some parts of the body be sexually stimulating to our spouse. God states in both Exodus 28:42 and in Isaiah 47:2-3 that to have our thighs uncovered is to expose our nakedness.

In Genesis 3:21, we read of the clothing God made for Adam and Eve. In the King James Version, this clothing is called “coats.” Look at the definition of the original Hebrew word there, and you will find that the clothing God made was a long shirt-like garments that covered the shoulders and reached all the way to the knees. Because we know God would never have made clothing that He considered immodest, we can know based on the example in Genesis 3:21 that if our clothing today covers our shoulders and reaches all the way to our knees (same standard for men and women), then we will be modest in God’s eyes. Clothing that uncovers the shoulders, the back, the belly, clothing that is low cut in front, clothing that uncovers any part of the body between the neck and the knees is described in advertisements with words such as “sensuous,” “sultry” and “sexy.”

Importance

The reason modesty is important is that we are going to stand before Jesus Himself, having dressed according to the principles in God’s Word, or we will stand before Him having dressed in clothing that men all over the world and the clothing manufacturers themselves plainly state encourages lust.

Teaching on Modesty Is Easy to Ignore

Some in the church will read this article and easily ignore it because they use the actions of others to justify their own behavior. When standing before Christ, however, the actions of fellow Christians (including elders, deacons, preachers and their families) will have no bearing on the judgment we receive. Our actions will be judged by the Word of God, not by the activities of any man.

Spiritual Benefits

By changing our clothing from immodest to modest, we can become salt that preserves morality. By changing our clothing form immodest to modest, we will become, to those who are lost, peculiar. Yet, that is a wonderful thing, because, that is exactly what Christians are supposed to be (Titus 2:14). By changing our clothing from immodest to modest, we will stop encouraging those around us to sin, and instead, our Christian light can shine, and we will be an encouragement to our brethren because of the positive example we set before them.


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