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LostWanderer

Defining Modesty

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What is our dress standard? I was prompted to question this for a couple of reasons, and a major reason is I read that until 1937, it was illegal for men to be topless. Now, society in general and I think most of the church is okay with it.

 

First, I won’t accept 1Ti 2:9 because of the context, and the greek. Regarding the context: “modesty” is defined in the same verse: not with gold, pearls, etc. It’s not about the amount of skin showing, but about excessiveness. The argument for clothing could go both ways, if we use this verse. First, dressing with too much on (relative to who/what’s around) could be immodest because it draws attention to us (i.e. if you don’t show enough skin at the beach.) However, it could also be argued that showing too much (shorts that are very short at walmart) is immodest. In any regard, that’s not the primary context of this verse. Second, the greek word that people argue from is not translated as modest, but as apparel (of course, I’m not going to argue from what the translators did.) Apparel is the word καταστολη, and the standard argument is that the prefix κατα on στολη means long/cast down/flowing. Perhaps it does in general, I don’t know greek that well. But first, what would that mean? The στολη was already long, so this serves no purpose to the argument that our clothing must be long (and well-covering.) More importantly, though: καταστολη didn’t have the meaning they make it to. Καταστολη was a specific article of clothing, worn over the στολη, and it only came down about to the waist (see Clark’s commentary, I believe he’s the one that addressed this.)

 

Second, causing others to stumble … This is a reasonable argument, but I don’t think it applies. Of course, we’re not to sin and teach others to do the same. We’re also not to tempt another to sin against his conscience by his seeing us do the very thing he thinks is wrong. However, I don’t think this extends to dress standard. For comparison: if I buy a Gallardo Lamborghini and then invite my brother to ride with me, have I tempted him to stumble and am I guilty for doing so? Because, of course – he’s likely to be jealous. Now, if my goal is to incite that – my heart is evil. But, if I’m merely sharing this beautiful creation with him, as I would if I invited him to visit the grand canyon with me during a sunset, I haven’t sinned even though I know he’ll be tempted to covet.

 

Third, Genesis 3 … This is the strongest argument, in my opinion. Adam and Eve ate, and then they knew they were naked and they made themselves loin cloths. So, their initial (now ontological, you might say) reaction was to cover their genitals. However, after making these loin cloths, they still considered themselves naked (the reason they hid from God.) In addition, God clothed them with both tops and bottoms. I don’t see the tops being required as clear-enough, because there are other possibilities still. They covered themselves with fig leaves, and it’s possible (even probable, I imagine) they weren’t very well covered. I’ve seen videos of primitive people who cover their genitals with similar things, and if they bend forward -it’s not a pretty sight (this correlates well with the priests who had to wear relatively long bottoms so the people underneath them wouldn’t look up and see their genitals.) They may have seen themselves as still being in a relative state of nudity; as Saul was naked because he wasn’t in his kingly attire, or Isaiah because he was in his underwear (supposedly.) Also, God’s making tops for them may have related to the curse: now there would be thorns to cut them, etc. In any case, these counter arguments relate ONLY TO WHETHER A TOP IS REQUIRED. I think this verse is very clear that the genitals must be covered (and considering the priests wore long bottoms *in order to* hide the genitals shows that this region is either solely sinful to expose, or especially sinful to expose, in my opinion. I’m not sure which of those two, though) and I think that Rev 3:18 (I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.) implies that full nudity is not merely shameful, but also sinful. However, I acknowledge that it’s an implication and I might be stretching. In closing on this point, I’m not stating that Gen 3 is insufficient to prove tops must be required, but I’m throwing out ideas I’d like to have challenged. Right now, I’m not bold on this section one way or the other – and I’d like to be. Help me to understand it rightly.

 

Note: I’ve seen no justification for men to be allowed topless and not women. I’m fine with whatever the scriptures teach, I’m fine with banning both men and women from being topless, but none of my studying has shown discrepancy to be allowed here. Either both men and women need to cover their chests, or neither do. Some people quote verses about breasts, but they’ve always been non-sequiturs. Or, they’re taken entirely out of context: a woman’s breasts are fondled and they use that to prove they shouldn’t be displayed.

 

Second note: Please do not take our culture into account. That is: don’t tell me that men should be allowed to go topless in our culture but not in a more modest one because it offends the sensibilities of that culture. That may be true, and it may be a correct answer: but it’s not what I’m trying to learn. I’m trying to learn whether the scripture has a minimum standard that applies to all cultures, and what that standard is.

 

I was also going to ask about defining lust, but I realized my post is very long. I hope to address that another time, in another OP.

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I don't see anywhere in the Bible where nudity is condemned except in various places where it is related to the worship at the Temple.

 

I don't care if men or women go topless. I do think the genitals ought to be covered not that it would be sinful to expose them but for sanitary reasons. If someone sat down on a chair naked I wouldn't want to be the first one to sit there next, or even the second one, etc.

 

In terms of the points you made:

(1) 1 Timothy 2:9

Don't be ostentatious with your clothing to the point it eclipses your good works (v. 10). Women are to be silent as well (2:12) but Paul would not demand women to be silent 24 hours a day just like he would not demand them to be clothed 24 hours a day. Being clothed at public worship is expected (Exodus 20:26; 28:42-43; 1 Corinthians 11:5, 6).

(2) Causing others to stumble

a. Joseph was handsome (Genesis 39:6) but even though he was wearing clothes Potiphar's wife still lusted after him (Genesis 39:7, 12). Therefore it is sinful to be handsome/beautiful (?)

b. Delicious food causes some to be gluttons. Gluttony is a sin (Matthew 11:19; cf. Proverbs 23:2).Therefore delicious food is sinful (?)

c. Money causes some to covetous. Being covetous is a sin (Romans 13:9). Therefore having money is sinful (?)

(3) Genesis 3

Thorns and thistles would be painful if a person did not have clothing on (Genesis 3:18).

 

 

We must also take into consideration public bathing. During the exodus led by Moses there were more than a million people that traveled for years in an open barren desert. There were no private bathrooms or bathing facilities except rivers, lakes and small pools of water. In Leviticus 14-17 and 22 and Numbers 19 there are more than twenty commands from God to bathe. Not one of them forbids seeing others of the opposite gender naked.

Can you imagine walking with over a million other people? I have walked places with groups as large as 50 or so and that was for less than 2 hours and it wasn't easy. Now imagine doing it for over 40 years. Eating, sleeping, bathing, etc.

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I don't see anywhere in the Bible where nudity is condemned except in various places where it is related to the worship at the Temple.

 

I don't care if men or women go topless. I do think the genitals ought to be covered not that it would be sinful to expose them but for sanitary reasons. If someone sat down on a chair naked I wouldn't want to be the first one to sit there next, or even the second one, etc.

 

In terms of the points you made:

(1) 1 Timothy 2:9

Don't be ostentatious with your clothing to the point it eclipses your good works (v. 10). Women are to be silent as well (2:12) but Paul would not demand women to be silent 24 hours a day just like he would not demand them to be clothed 24 hours a day. Being clothed at public worship is expected (Exodus 20:26; 28:42-43; 1 Corinthians 11:5, 6).

(2) Causing others to stumble

a. Joseph was handsome (Genesis 39:6) but even though he was wearing clothes Potiphar's wife still lusted after him (Genesis 39:7, 12). Therefore it is sinful to be handsome/beautiful (?)

b. Delicious food causes some to be gluttons. Gluttony is a sin (Matthew 11:19; cf. Proverbs 23:2).Therefore delicious food is sinful (?)

c. Money causes some to covetous. Being covetous is a sin (Romans 13:9). Therefore having money is sinful (?)

(3) Genesis 3

Thorns and thistles would be painful if a person did not have clothing on (Genesis 3:18).

 

 

We must also take into consideration public bathing. During the exodus led by Moses there were more than a million that traveled for years in an open barren desert.There were no private bathrooms or bathing facilities except rivers, lakes and small pools of water. In Leviticus 14-17 and 22 and Numbers 19 there are more than twenty commands from God to bathe and yet not one of them mentions anything about seeing others of the opposite gender naked.

 

 

Wow... You have provided by far the most intelligent response, and I have this thread on 8 forums!

 

Do you know if men and women would have been visible to one another during bathing?

 

Thank you, Faber!

 

Do you mind if I PM you about a second issue?

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Dignity.jpg.751d1ddb937909a967c0c4a8e44ceca8.jpg

 

I was also going to ask about defining lust, but I realized my post is very long. I hope to address that another time, in another OP.

 

I think you should go on and relate lust to the topic. I look forward to you doing so, and I think it would be inappropriate for even men to go topless under certain circumstances as it relates to lust. No doubt even women are subjected to lust.

 

God bless,

Wiliam

 

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[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"custom","height":"386","title":"Dignity.jpg","width":"386","data-attachmentid":44054}[/ATTACH]

 

 

 

I think you should go on and relate lust to the topic. I look forward to you doing so, and I think it would be inappropriate for even men to go topless under certain circumstances as it relates to lust. No doubt even women are subjected to lust.

 

God bless,

Wiliam

 

Yes, I have a problem with christendom putting forth the idea that men are uniquely affected. Men can wear whatever they want, but women have to cover from ankle to neck - that's nonsense.

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Wow... You have provided by far the most intelligent response, and I have this thread on 8 forums!

 

Do you know if men and women would have been visible to one another during bathing?

 

Thank you, Faber!

 

Do you mind if I PM you about a second issue?

 

Yes, you can PM me.

 

In regards to your question I don't know. But I will say that if it was sinful traveling with that many people, for that long and in that environment it is very strange that there is no direct command to avoid doing so.

 

I'll throw this in as well in terms of breastfeeding in public. I've seen it here sometimes (in China) as well as in the Philippines. They didn't "cover up" or do so "properly" whatever that means. My wife and I saw it and thought it was beautiful seeing the baby like that.

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Yes, you can PM me.

 

In regards to your question I don't know. But I will say that if it was sinful traveling with that many people, for that long and in that environment it is very strange that there is no direct command to avoid doing so.

 

I'll throw this in as well. It does bother me some that people are annoyed by women breastfeeding in public. I've seen it here sometimes (in China) as well as a few times in the Philippines. No big deal.

 

 

I'm annoyed that men can take off their shirts for any reason, but women can't feed - which is a very useful function. That's pretty backwards.

 

I'll see about PMing you shortly - or I might just post it (I was going to ask about lust, but the admin wants me to bring it up. lol)

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I'm most annoyed that men can take off their shirts for any reason, but women can't feed - which is a very useful function. That's pretty backwards.

 

I'll see about PMing you shortly - or I might just post it (I was going to ask about lust, but the admin wants me to bring it up. lol)

 

I think in large what is considered proper dress has to do with culture. For example, I doubt Missionaries in Africa require women to dress according to American culture. Further related, about what is fair clothing wise, hair styles etc, I believe Scripture only indicates that men should not dress like women. For example, some cultures dress men in "skirts" and others in "pants" but that there is a clear distinction between dressing like a man or woman. However, I know no Scriptures that condemn Africans because the women may not wear tops etc.

 

Back to the topic.... looking forward to your reply.

 

God bless,

William

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I constantly take off my shirt because I am terrible in the heat of summer. I sweat profusely. I also run and swim without a shirt.

 

I mentioned public bathing earlier but remember David kept looking at Bathsheeba. That would be sinful. We know the results because of it. I'm sure Potiphar's wife kept looking on Joseph as well before she made her move on him.

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I mentioned public bathing earlier but remember David kept looking at Bathsheeba. That would be sinful. We know the results because of it.

 

I think you nailed a point that would make a wonderful topic. For example in Eastern cultures women are dressed from head to toe and do not unveil themselves. They are not as desensitized as we are. For example, I have read of refugee men from such cultures that have gone to public pools and literally masturbated right there in the hot tub because the women were uncovered, something they are not used to seeing day to day. Hope we can understand this maturely.

 

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016...ested-bathers/

 

God bless,

William

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Yes, I agree.

One must also be extremely careful about this because it may lead to rape.

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Yes, I agree.

One must also be extremely careful about this because it may lead to rape.

 

Although I agree that it can, I understand it as a small minority of cases. Supposedly, rape is usually about power.

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[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"custom","height":"386","title":"Dignity.jpg","width":"386","data-attachmentid":44054}[/ATTACH]

 

 

 

I think you should go on and relate lust to the topic. I look forward to you doing so, and I think it would be inappropriate for even men to go topless under certain circumstances as it relates to lust. No doubt even women are subjected to lust.

 

God bless,

Wiliam

 

 

I made my other thread. It's not as well thought out as this one, but I hope it's useful.

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It seems (correct me if I misunderstood) there's agreement here that "modesty" is largely culturally defined.

 

I had multiple reasons for starting this thread. Let me ask about one of those reasons, now.

 

 

First, some background info:

66% of people on debate.org support women also being allowed to go topfree.

There's some indication that our view of naked women is hyper sexualized by our culture, considering how aroused women become by seeing a naked woman (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/ma...%20flow&st=cse) (to be fair, I haven't read all of this; I think I used it in context.)

 

Moving on,

I do portrait photography. I'm disabled, and currently this is the only work I'm able to do. Would it be immoral if I did portraits of topfree women? And you can go into specific situations, if you'd like (i.e. is the portrait cosplay? beauty rather than sexual? breastfeeding? boudoir and assumed only going to her husband? equality-promoting (more below))?

 

On the one hand, if I turn down job offers to do this (which may never come), I'm sinning by not working / not supporting myself. On the other hand, I'm to obey God and let Him provide. So, it comes down to this: is it wrong? If it's questionable, do I take the clearer principle (it's much clearer that I'm supposed to work than it is that it's wrong for a woman to be topfree, therefore: obey what's clearer)? Note: I'm using the example of topfree women, but it applies beyond that: what about swimwear shots? What about fitness or clothing modeling shots, when the waist or cleavage are exposed? And these latter types of offers will come, so I need to have an answer for when they do.

 

On another hand, (related to topfree) I also can't in good conscience accept a shoot with a shirtless man and then decline to shoot a topfree woman. It's gender inequality, and I'd be promoting men's unfair domination over women. Men can take their shirts off when it's too hot, women have to stay partially covered. People say: you're cooler with it on! Yes, if you're in direct sunlight, you might be. I'm often in the shade, and I live in south dakota - it's very windy here. I've never taken my shirt off, because I'm embarassed - but sometimes, I was begging myself to. The heat can get to where I can't bear it and have to go home, get shirtless, or maybe get wet (wet t-shirt!! lol :p) ... In addition, women have the purpose of breast feeding - as Faber mentioned . Thus, would doing such portraits be a moral good, in order to promote women's rights?

 

 

Note: I have a problem with calling any portraits taken with a lot of skin showing as "beauty," because the human body is not beautiful. It's an ugly, lanky, bland thing - but there's something "beautiful" in the bigger scene that can be created... sometimes.

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II'm sure Potiphar's wife kept looking on Joseph as well before she made her move on him.

 

(Genesis 39:7)

 

Edited by LostWanderer

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It seems (correct me if I misunderstood) there's agreement here that "modesty" is largely culturally defined.

 

I wouldn't go that far. I think modesty is defined through a sense of humility, self control, and humbleness that does not stop at our dress attire but is also demonstrated by how we act.

 

First, some background info:

66% of people on debate.org support women also being allowed to go topfree.

 

I think it is motive and intention. Something God sees. I'm used to a kind of rebellious attitude from people against anything Christian. In our society today gender roles have become under attack. It is no wonder to me why men or women start baring more skin in order to emphasize personal or individual sexual identity. The gender roles are blurred, so in order to identify individuality more is bared.

 

On another hand, (related to topfree) I also can't in good conscience accept a shoot with a shirtless man and then decline to shoot a topfree woman. It's gender inequality, and I'd be promoting men's unfair domination over women.

 

I think you are touching upon something much more deeper. It is how we view genders, roles and inequality that is the issue.

 

I for one would object to my daughters or my wife bare chested for an art display.

 

154761360_fetchid44054ampd1500252956.jpg.152c60b7b8abb0dd52743bb2f68fb892.jpg

 

385747683_e54942ca25abc525be7acc8ecf2fdddd.jpgw450ampssl1.jpg.282668647fb22cfa63683cfb15b71574.jpg

 

Personally, I think this does not objectify the model. And when the majority of society bares more in order to distinguish men and women from one another I think the artist here has a positive message. There is more to the artist rendering than what appears on the surface.

 

I'm also attaching a pdf on this subject, one that comes highly recommended:

 

God bless,

William

Worldliness-CJMahaney-Modesty.pdf

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Considering your comments on intention, etc. I wonder: do you think whether it's right or wrong if a woman wears X is based at least largely on the purpose/intention? i.e., will you be much upset if she swims in a bikini? I know you can argue for other types of clothing for the task, but it's a reasonable example.

 

Also, do you object to your female family members being bare chested because of the culture? I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong if that's the case, but I want to know if you were in another culture that got as excited about ankles as we do about breasts, would you tell them to not expose their ankles? (I assume you object because of the likelihood of other men becoming excited.) I ask, because I don't think I could agree. It seems to me that women's breasts are sexualized to this degree because they're taboo, and I don't think the culture's taboo should cause them to suffer on excessively hot / sunny days or have the mess involved with feeding with a blanket; to me, that's unfair (again, if we banned men too - I wouldn't object so much. We sterilized the male body by allowing the taboo of exposing it to be challenged. We can expect the same would happen with women.) But I'm open to hearing more info, as always. :)

 

And do you have any input on the other kinds of shots? Fitness, for example? Sports bra, etc. Not even our culture considers that "nude," and again - I'm supposed to work.

 

I opened the PDF you linked, but I haven't read it yet. Thanks for the data!

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Considering your comments on intention, etc. I wonder: do you think whether it's right or wrong if a woman wears X is based at least largely on the purpose/intention? i.e., will you be much upset if she swims in a bikini? I know you can argue for other types of clothing for the task, but it's a reasonable example.

 

It isn't my place to tell a woman what to wear, however, as the spiritual head of my household I will lead my family in the study of God's word. For example.....

 

Also, do you object to your female family members being bare chested because of the culture?

 

It is a frequent theme in the OT for Israel not to take upon themselves the way of the culture and of heathens. This theme is central in areas involving clothing, tattoos, hair cuts, piercings, worship, etc etc.

 

However, trying to convince a family, from my experience that things are wrong or right because Scripture says so doesn't always work out. Again, it takes self examination and a willingness to please God, glorifying Him in everything we do.

 

I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong if that's the case, but I want to know if you were in another culture that got as excited about ankles as we do about breasts, would you tell them to not expose their ankles?

 

Again, I think it goes deeper than just baring skin. I am not God so I do not know the motive and intentions of female models and the photographer or company that hires them in order to peddle sex appeal or their message.

 

On the topic of a bikini, my daughter for the longest time would not wear them. I questioned her as to why she wanted to wear them and at the age where she could wear them - she identified herself as being socially pressured. It goes back to my initial argument regarding gender roles. She thought this is just the apparel women wear in order to be seen as a woman. She understands being a woman is beyond the clothing and skin.

 

I think what it comes down to is glorifying God. Are our actions truly glorifying God? God knows our hearts, motives and intentions better than we do.

 

God bless,

William

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I think you were replying while I was editing. :(

 

Must have because there are parts I did not initially see.

 

We sterilized the male body by allowing the taboo of exposing it to be challenged. We can expect the same would happen with women.) But I'm open to hearing more info, as always. :)

 

Sterilized or desensitized to a wide audience?

 

I think men can be objectified too. They frequently are.

 

 

And do you have any input on the other kinds of shots? Fitness, for example? Sports bra, etc. Not even our culture considers that "nude," and again - I'm supposed to work.

 

Lets just say that my wife hates walking past Victoria's Secret in the mall. She thinks it objectifies females. Just about every time we walk by it though, I tell her Victoria has no secret. :54:

 

With my daughter, I told her she is a member of the church, and like the church we lead people to what we lead people by. I tried to convey to her, if you are willing to put out and show your body in such a way then expect that kind of male to inquire on you.

 

I feel very fortunate to have my youngest daughter recently marry. She dressed very conservative her first date with her now husband. It was her personal sense of dignity, morality, among an other long list of things that led her husband to propose to her. He said, he knew she was the one on the first date. And she made it clear that sex isn't an option outside of marriage. And she wasn't selling it.

 

As for you, I realize there are different kinds of photographers. If you are trying to say something what is it? I hear you say what you believe is fair and is not fair. However, I learned that some people think nothing is fair when it comes to gender roles. Take for example, me saying that I am the spiritual head of the household. I remember dating before I met my wife and seeing the contention in some women. They literally strive for such position.

 

But I am getting off topic.

 

God bless,

William

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As for you, I realize there are different kinds of photographers. If you are trying to say something what is it? I hear you say what you believe is fair and is not fair. However, I learned that some people think nothing is fair when it comes to gender roles. Take for example, me saying that I am the spiritual head of the household. I remember dating before I met my wife and seeing the contention in some women. They literally strive for such position.

 

But I am getting off topic.

 

God bless,

William

 

Desensitized is possible, I was using them synonymously for the most part.

 

---

 

I'm not trying to say anything with my photography. I'm trying to earn money and get off of welfare, as I'm commanded to do if I'm able to. I also have to consider this to its logical end: if I only shoot portraits with women dressed in a completely modest way, I'll have no clients (the cost of insurance etc. will exceed the income from the very few that exist); people don't dress that way. So, at what point - if any - am I sinning?

 

---

 

I abhor the arguments that lead to denial of gender distinctions. Men are stronger than women, for example - to deny this is absurdity. They're better suited for jobs as carpenters; it's not that no women can do that kind of work, but men are naturally more suited. I heard one SJW Feminazi say that 'breastfeeding isn't natural' and she argued that it was putting an unfair burden on women. Nonsense!

 

However, I don't see the dress issue as a gender issue. Women are attracted to men's bodies (potiphar's wife) and although sure, there's *a difference of degree* in sexual attraction to women's breasts vs men's breasts, I can't create any rules on that. It's like saying a woman is more attracted to man's hand than she is to his neck... So what? Nothing useful follows from that.

 

---

 

I'm still curious what you'd do regarding your family if your culture got highly aroused by .. let's say: hair. Again, I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong to define this rule based on culture, but I'm curious if you're consistent: because I don't see any reason other than culture that you'd make the rule regarding breasts but not hair? Correct me if I'm wrong.

 

 

Thanks again for having this conversation with me!

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I'm not trying to say anything with my photography. I'm trying to earn money and get off of welfare, as I'm commanded to do if I'm able to.

 

What do you think about same sex weddings? Just curious, as a photographer what are your ethical boundaries? I think this is semi-related?

 

I'm still curious what you'd do regarding your family if your culture got highly aroused by .. let's say: hair. Again, I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong to define this rule based on culture, but I'm curious if you're consistent: because I don't see any reason other than culture that you'd make the rule regarding breasts but not hair? Correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Yes, I think you may of missed it when I mentioned that Israel being set apart was instructed to not take upon themselves the way of the culture. The OT central theme that runs through topics such as clothing, hair style to tattoos and piercings emphasizes this point.

 

I wear short hair and no my side burns are not cut in order to demonstrate a cultural significance found from OT passages in Leviticus 19. My wife wears her hair in modesty, and does not shave her hair too short where, especially today, it could carry a message about her gender identity.

 

And, in my writing I was not attempting to convey only breast, but the inward issue from where modesty appeals. An immodest nature or one lacking self control can be seen in things such as jewelry.

 

I live in California, so you could say I have seen it all. Even joggers wearing g-strings etc. I have even seen where men are baring all at cross walks at school intersections.

 

Thanks again for having this conversation with me!

 

Thank you, I think this has been a wonderful topic. I hope you take time to read the PDF too, as it has some very worthwhile information.

 

God bless,

William

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Yes, I think you may of missed it when I mentioned that Israel being set apart was instructed to not take upon themselves the way of the culture. The OT central theme that runs through topics such as clothing, hair style to tattoos and piercings emphasizes this point.

 

I wear short hair and no my side burns are not cut in order to demonstrate a cultural significance found from OT passages in Leviticus 19. My wife wears her hair in modesty, and does not shave her hair too short where, especially today, it could carry a message about her gender identity.

 

And, in my writing I was not attempting to convey only breast, but the inward issue from where modesty appeals. An immodest nature or one lacking self control can be seen in things such as tattoos or even jewelry.

 

 

I'm lost as to how you apply this principle. Some questions:

 

I'm ignorant, so excuse me: tattoos were related to the ceremonial law which no longer applies?

 

The vow of the nazarene - long hair on men, though we know them having long hair is inappropriate. Thus, exceptions apply, and you're speaking of generalities - right?

 

It sounds like you're applying the idea of 1Ti 2 per what I understand its proper reading to be: that is, drawing too much attention to oneself. You're not focusing on how much or how little a person is wearing, but the general appearance of the person and the result that comes from it. Thus, you're applying biblical principles, but applying them in our culture? So, in other cultures: you'd say the woman shouldn't show her hair. (But this seems to go against your comment about taking on the way of the culture, so I'm still confused.)

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I'm lost as to how you apply this principle. Some questions:

 

I'm ignorant, so excuse me: weren't tattoos part of ceremonial law and no longer apply?

 

All Scripture is God breathed and has its place today. Some general principles contained in those laws can still apply to God's people going forward.

 

Notice what Leviticus 19:28 says and does not say: You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD.

 

What the verse does not say is not to make markings or cuts upon yourself until one day when the culture says this is cool, and then it'll be permissible.

 

Israel is to be set apart from other nations, in other words Holy. It was common for people in surrounding cultures to make markings or ink themselves for the dead etc. And it was common to cut their hair and trim their side burns to not only display mourning but also to demonstrate paganism.

 

The question is are there principles that carry forward that still apply?

 

Clearly, there are several. Mutilating and defacing the body desecrates the body God gave.

 

I Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

 

It is a form of self ownership rather than God ownership of the body He gave. It is done as a prideful ostentatious display of self whereas Scripture calls for us to approach this life with humility and modesty in dress.

 

I Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

Philippians 2:3 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

It causes others to stumble.

 

Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

It creates the appearance of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

 

... a good test is to determine whether we can honestly, in good conscience, ask God to bless and use the particular activity for His own good purposes. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). If we say that the Bible does not command against tattoos or body piercings, then does it give us any reason to believe God would have us get tattoos or body piercings?

 

The vow of the nazarene - long hair on men, though we know them having long hair is inappropriate. Thus, exceptions apply, and you're speaking of generalities - right?

 

I do not think long hair is inappropriate. Whether the Nazarene had long or short hair they could distinguish themselves from being motivated to look like a woman. I think the hair style we choose can be compared to our clothing. Men wore skirts (Romans), but they were not wearing them to identify as a woman. Again, the emphasis is not on whether men wear skirts, but the passages of these Scriptures make it clear in the OT that men should not wear clothing to look like women Deuteronomy 22:5. There is a gender distinction. There is also Paul’s comment in 1 Corinthians 11:14, “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him?” The length of Jesus’ hair would have been whatever was culturally appropriate for a man. Jesus’ hair would have looked masculine.

 

It sounds like you're applying the idea of 1Ti 2 per what I understand its proper reading to be: that is, drawing too much attention to oneself. You're not focusing on how much or how little a person is wearing, but the general appearance of the person and the result that comes from it. Thus, you're applying biblical principles, but applying them in our culture? So, in other cultures: you'd say the woman shouldn't show her hair. (But this seems to go against your comment about taking on the way of the culture, so I'm still confused.)

 

In a way yes, but lemme quote from the PDF:

The evidence comes from 1 Timothy 2:9 where Paul urges “that women should adorn

themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and

gold or pearls or costly attire.” Like 1 John 2:15 this is a verse we’re inclined to ignore or

reinterpret to escape its imperative. But we must not snip 1 Timothy 2:9 out of our Bibles.

Rather we must carefully seek to understand how it applies to our lives, our shopping habits,

and the contents of our closets.

 

Now, this chapter is primarily written for women, not only because that’s who 1

Timothy 2:9 addresses, but also because this is a topic of particular concern for women.

George Knight is correct, and a woman’s experience will tend to confirm the relevance and

importance of this topic. However, modesty does have application for men—increasingly so

in our culture. And especially for fathers, whose primary responsibility it is to raise modest

daughters.

 

I write this chapter as the father of three daughters, now grown. I write as a pastor

with a growing concern for the erosion of modesty among Christian women today. I write

because God’s glory is at stake in the way women dress. I write about modesty because God

has first written about it in his eternal Word.

 

So let’s take God to the Gap.

 

The Attitude of the Modest Woman

 

Any biblical discussion of modesty begins by addressing the heart, not the hemline. We

must start with the attitude of the modest woman.

 

This emphasis on the heart is front and center in 1 Timothy 2:9. Note the phrase

“with modesty and self-control.” All respectable apparel is the result of a godly heart, where

modesty and self-control originate. Your wardrobe is a public statement of your personal

and private motivation. And if you profess godliness, you should be concerned with

cultivating these twin virtues, modesty and self-control.

 

Modesty means propriety. It means avoiding clothes and adornment that are

extravagant or sexually enticing. Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It’s a desire to serve

others, particularly men, by not promoting or provoking sensuality.

Immodesty, then, is much more than wearing a short skirt or low-cut top; it’s

the act of drawing undue attention to yourself. It’s pride, on display by what you wear.

 

 

Self-control is, in a word, restraint. Restraint for the purpose of purity; restraint for

the purpose of exalting God and not ourselves. Together, these attitudes of modesty and

self-control should be the hallmark of the godly woman’s dress.

 

In Paul and Timothy’s day, modesty and self-control were foreign to many women

walking through the local marketplace, just as they were to Jenni and are to the majority of

women at the local shopping mall today. And these concepts are certainly foreign to modern

fashion designers, whose goal in clothing design is sensual provocation.

But for godly women, modesty and self-control are to be distinctly present in the

heart. The question is, are they distinctly present in yours?

 

Such an attitude will make all the difference in a woman’s dress, as pastor John

MacArthur has observed:

 

How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and

dressing to be the center of attention? The answer starts in the intent of the

heart. A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she

dresses. Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood?.... Is it to

reveal a humble heart devoted to worshiping God? Or is it to call attention to

herself, and flaunt her…beauty? Or worse, to attempt to allure men sexually?

A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is

dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.ii

 

Any conversation about modesty “starts in the intent of the heart.” So consider for a

moment, what is the intent of your heart in purchasing clothes to wear? Does a humble heart

and a servant’s heart dictate your wardrobe and appearance? Is your shopping informed and

governed by modesty and restraint? Or is your dress motivated by a desire for attention and

approval from others? Does your style reflect a lack of self-control?

 

There’s an inseparable link between your heart and your clothes. Your clothes say

something about your attitude. If they don’t express a heart that is humble, that desires to

please God, that longs to serve others, that’s modest, that exercises self-control, then change

must begin in the heart.

 

For modesty is humility expressed in dress.

 

 

I believe the author asks questions, important questions that should lead a person to identify any incorrect motivation. As to whether women should show their hair in some cultures, that depends on whether they value their own life.

 

God bless,

William

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As to whether women should show their hair in some cultures, that depends on whether they value their own life.

 

 

 

LOL! Unexpected.

 

I'm hoping to read the whole PDF tonight or tomorrow.

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