Sunday, April 21, 2019

Clothing, Modesty, and the Resurrection

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Until the last few years, people knew that men and women are different. Not only do we have distinct biological differences that are important medically and in other ways, but it is the way God designed life. We are also psychologically different. It is indeed unfortunate that I have to state what was formerly obvious.


Modesty is not the usual subject for Easter, but it traces back to Genesis and into the gospel message.
Credit: Flickr / Mike Baird (CC by 2.0)
The University of Notre Dame was a religious school last I knew, and as such, claimed to uphold certain standards. Apparently modesty is not so important. One of the differences between men and women is that us menfolk are visually stimulated. Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. discussed a problem at the university where a mother wrote a column in the student newspaper about leggings. I highly recommend his March 29, 2018 The Briefing podcast that can be heard online, downloaded, or you can read the transcript.

One of the various names for this piece of hosiery for women is yoga pants, which shows that they are intended for athletic purposes. It has become fashionable to wear them in the workplace, for casual activities — and apparently even to religious services. People have described leggings as looking like they were "painted on". I've seen them and agree with that description. They are not mentioned in the company dress code where I work, but other items of modesty are addressed such as strapless tops. Ironic, I think.

Christianity and other religious emphasize modesty among both men and women, but especially for women because of the aforementioned visual stimulation of men. I have seen atheopaths (who compulsively oppose almost anything that the Bible upholds) say that immature men are the problem, so the "freedom" of women should not be at issue. Such an argument is both ignorant and risible.

Years ago, there was a controversy about thongs on beaches. I was puzzled. As a child, I used to wear what we called thongs (sometimes called sandals), but I grew to dislike them. Today, that unpleasant bit of footwear are known as flip-flops.

Nowadays, a thong is a skimpy bit of apparel that is like fabric spaghetti splitting the buttocks, then brought up between the thighs and attached to a waistband. (Many jurisdictions consider them to be indecent and they are outlawed.) I remember a television show, perhaps it was Phil Donahue, where a woman with a snide attitude was given the microphone and said, "What's the big deal? Everybody's got a butt!" Sure, princess, but everybody doesn't necessarily want to look at yours in a public place — or see those other parts that are normally kept private.

It seems that some people are too selfish to be considerate of others, even at the point of being visually provocative. This strikes me as narcissistic as well as selfish.

As Dr. Mohler points out in his analysis, the Bible tells us that we keep private parts private. Certain areas of the body are to be presented between a husband and wife, not paraded for the prurient desires of strangers.

In a silly 1958 short story called "Do Unto Others" by Mark Clifton, some prissy Earth women took a notion that the buck naked octopus-like inhabitants of Capella IV needed to be clothed. Let's assume for a moment that such critters exist. While forcing modesty on space aliens may seem well-intentioned, it is also pointless because they are not children of Adam and Eve. You'll see what I mean in a moment.

People may ask why we wear clothes in the first place. I mean, aside from cold weather and such. Clothing goes back to Genesis. After Adam and sinned, they felt the need to cover themselves (Gen. 3:7). God said, "Ain't no way", and covered them with the skins of animals (Gen. 3:21). This was the first covering for sin, and blood was shed.

You'll have to do some research on the theology involved, but animal sacrifices in the Old Testament were a temporary covering for sin and foreshadowed the coming of Jesus Christ. Bloodshed is necessary to cover sin. God the Son, our Creator, took on human form, died on a cross for the remission of our sins. He bodily arose on the third day, defeating death and doing away with the animal sacrifices.

Our clothing and modesty are reminders of not only respect for each other, but of sin covering. Jesus Christ attained the victory over sin and death. Most professing Christians celebrate Easter, and we have a great reason to do so. Sins are no longer covered. Instead, Christians are forgiven and we are children of the living God.