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|Vol. 15 No. 9 September 2013||
“Also, the women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel” (1 Timothy 2:9). It’s the time of year when many people’s attire, both for men and women, is anything but modest. [These days, all year long, though more so in the warmer months, immodesty is prevalent. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor] Society today pushes the envelope with how little one can wear, and scantily clad individuals are everywhere. Shorts and hemlines are getting shorter and shorter, necklines are plunging further and further, and bare midriffs are growing wider and wider. Such clothing, or the lack of it, certainly gains the attention of the opposite sex, but usually not in ways that are desirable or wholesome. Such is the world in which we live.
As Christians, however, we are not to be conformed to the world, but instead transformed by the will of God (Romans 12:2). The saying “everyone else is doing it” certainly should not be the motivation for choosing the clothing a Christian wears, or doesn’t wear. In the passage quoted above, Paul exhorted women from attracting undue attention to themselves by primarily overdressing, with “elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel.” The same principle applies to underdressing, and the undue attention that it attracts to one, just as much for men as women, especially when the message of wearing immodest clothing becomes sexually provocative. What messages does one send, whether intentional or otherwise, when too much flesh is revealed? Purity is the keyword for Christians, in thought and conduct. One should not be tempted by other Christians, nor be a temptation to anyone, by what one wears. Paul exhorted Timothy, “No one should despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). One should also consider what message is being sent to those outside of Christ by what is worn, or not worn.
When considering what you will wear before others, you should be mindful of more than just whether it is decent or not. We come to worship and honor a holy God. While no one would demand we must always wear three-piece suits or evening gowns in our assemblies, neither should we become too casual. If we can discern at other events that it is appropriate to dress nicely and respectfully, why would we think God is pleased when we develop an attitude of “anything is all right” when coming to assemble before the King of kings and Lord of lords? “‘For I am a great King,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and my name will be feared among the nations’” (Malachi 1:14). The Hebrews writer also reminds us, “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). When we assemble together, we’re not only in fellowship with each other, but with our Lord and Savior. Our apparel should not be gauged simply by style, popularity, looks gained or any other such motive, but our love, respect and fear for God.
The world dresses and lives by a standard based in sin, but we are called to reflect the holiness of God (1 Peter 1:14-16). Wherever we go, whatever we do, we need to remember we are children of God and reflect His image by the image we show others. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Roy J. Hearn (deceased)
In view of the fact that atheistic humanism, godless evolutionist and other forms of infidelity are having a field day, and the columns of nearly every periodical in the country are open to the false arguments of such infidels, it is important that all people, especially children, should be taught the truth about the existence of God. A recent issue of National Geographic magazine devoted a major part of that issue to declaring and depicting godless evolution as a fact. So it is with some cartoon books, and practically every biology book in every school in the land appeals to the minds of those from kindergarten up. Therefore, let parents be encouraged to study these simple lessons with their children, regardless of age, and have regular Bible study at home.
By “cosmos” is meant the world and all the stars, planets and galaxies that appear in the heavens. “Cosmological” is an adjective that defines the type of science that deals with the universe. L.S. Keyser thus defines: “The Cosmological Argument is the argument that the cosmos is an effect produced by a Primal Cause, which, from the nature of the case, must be a Person. Sometimes it is called the argument for causality, or cause and effect” (A System of Natural Theism, 46). Further he says, “The principle is that every effect and event must have an adequate cause. The world is here; we cannot deny its existence… It is also an orderly world, a cosmos, not a chaos, therefore, it could not have come about by chance. The only adequate cause on an orderly world is an ordering intelligence - a personal God” (192-193).
It may be and has been argued that if everything must have a cause, who or what caused God? What caused the what that caused God? To this there would be no end. Keep in mind that “everything must have a cause,” and “every effect must have a cause” are two different ideas altogether. God is not an effect, but the Cause, the First Cause that made possible every effect that may follow in the natural realm. So, God is the uncaused Cause, the Prime Mover. The following story helps to illustrate the principle.
There is the story which dates back to the time when statesman Benjamin Franklin was Ambassador of the United States to France. While living in Paris, Franklin was a member of an elite literary social and scientific club. At certain meetings of this intellectual group, atheistic sentiments were expressed, leaving the impression that only the superstitious and uninformed still believe in God as the Creator of the universe. At the next meeting of the group Benjamin Franklin brought a beautifully designed and executed model of the sun and our entire solar system. The earth and other planets were in proper relationship to the sun and to each other and of appropriate sizes. It was a masterpiece. Upon seeing it, one of the sophisticated members of the club asked, “Who made it?” Dryly, without a trace of a smile, Franklin responded, “No one. It just happened” (B.B. Baxter, I Believe Because… 54).
Once, a caravan was crossing a desert. After camping for the night, one of the travelers remarked to a neighbor: “A camel walked around my tent during the night.” The neighbor responded: “How do you know it was a camel?” Reply, “Nothing but a camel makes a track like these.” When we consider everything in the universe, the atom and its component parts, every blade of grass, petal of every flower, every leaf on the trees, the great mountains, rivers, oceans, yea, every drop of water, all of them constitute the “tracks of God.”
If anyone of us was shipwrecked and cast upon an uncharted island and saw footprints of humans there, we would readily conclude other beings were on the island. Tracks would be the effects; humans would be the cause. If a building were there and no persons to be found, the effect would declare there was a builder – a cause for it. This principle was stated long ago in Hebrews 3:4: “For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.” Psalm 19:1 affirms, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.”
Albert Einstein, great scientist and mathematician, is quoted as having said: “I see at the beginning of the cosmic road – not eternal energy or matter, not ‘inscrutable fate’ not a ‘fortuitous conflux of primordial elements,’ the great Unknown – but Lord God Almighty” (The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe, ed. by John C. Monsma 68).