by Kevin Rutherford


A fundamental principle of morality that some members of the church of Christ don’t seem to understand is that of modesty.  When Adam and Eve made their fig leaf clothing God didn’t think it was good enough.  He made them tunics of animal skin (Genesis 3:7, 21).  The tunic mentioned here refers to a garment that covers the body from shoulders to knees.  Doesn’t this indicate that God wants men and women to wear clothing that covers them from the shoulders to the knees?  That is God’s standard of morality.  It ought to be the standard for every member of the church of Christ.

Wearing clothing that does not properly cover the body is a SIN!!!  It is a sin that will cause members of the church of Christ to fall from grace.  It is a sin for which members of the church of Christ will spend eternity in hell.  It is a sin of rebellion against God’s law (Galatians 6:7, 8).  It is a sin of lewdness (Galatians 5:19).  It is a sin of failing to exercise self-control (Galatians 5:23).  It is a sin of failing to be modest (1 Peter 3:3, 4).  It is a sin of failing to be chaste (1 Peter 3:2).  It is the sin of failing to be discreet (Titus 2:5).  It is a sin of arrogance (James 4:6).

Let us make some specific applications of what we have just discussed so that no one will misunderstand what I am saying.  Men need to be covered from shoulders to knees.  Muscle shirts, no shirts, short shorts, swimming attire, tight clothing, transparent clothing, and such like are immodest.  Women need to be covered from shoulders to knees.  Formal-dresses that only come up to the arm pits, half-tops, hip-huggers, mini skirts, mini-dresses, tight clothing, short shorts, swimming attire, transparent clothing, and such like are immodest.

It never ceases to amaze me that there are so many times when some people in the world understand moral issues better than Christians do.  It ought to be the other way around, but it is nothing new.  Even the world knew better than to engage in the fornication practiced by one of the members of the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 5:lff).  While many in the world don’t care about modest clothing some do.  I read an article recently in a non-Christian publication that spoke of this very subject.  I want to quote a few things from that article that I think some Christians need to hear.

“Every time I happen to shop the mall, I am completely shell-shocked by the dress habits of the kids, guys too….but mostly the girls.  I see girls who are way too young to have jobs to pay for their own clothes, parading down the mall wearing, well, uh, very little clothes.”  The author goes on to describe what these kids are wearing then says, “Not too many years ago, only ladies of the street dressed like that.”

This author also goes on to speak of the common nature of sexual assault upon these young girls.  The author specifically points out she is not excusing those boys or men who sexually assault these girls, but she uses a good illustration when she says, “….if I walk down the street with a clear plastic bag full of money, I’m betting that eventually someone will try to relieve me of the bag...” The writer later says, “Folks, wake up.  Our kids are hurling themselves toward disaster at a terrific rate.”

While I don’t know what the author’s religious background may be, I can tell you that she was writing for a publication that is not a religious publication. What this shows me is that there are some in the world who have more sense than some members of the church of Christ when it comes to modest clothing.

Please understand that I am not trying to be overly critical and bitter.  I am simply writing out of great concern for the souls of my brothers and sisters in Christ.  This is a serious matter that each of us must contemplate.  We must not wear immoral clothing and we must not allow our children to wear it.  Do your best to help your children understand that they are much more important than the shape of their bodies.  Help your children to realize they can get hurt by showing off their bodies.  Encourage them to believe that chaste and modest behavior is the godly way, the best way, the saving way, and the safe way.