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Let Him In By Winans Phase 2: Why It Is Not Gospel Music But Blasphemy

Posted by Job on March 4, 2012

As concerning Christian music and other things concerning worship, I am not a traditional fundamentalist. I disagree with the position of John Calvin and other leaders of the Protestant Reformation, which is that songs, music and dance were primarily related to the tabernacle and temple in the Old Testament religion of the Hebrews, those things were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and therefore the only permissible form of worship is hymns sung a capella (without music). Yet, that position is actually superior to the common claim that the only permissible mode of worship is that which dominated western culture in the 18th and early 19th century, a cultural/ethnocentric position because it is an indisputable fact of history that the early church – the ancient predominantly middle/near eastern one recorded in the New Testament – did not worship after the manner of Europeans that came along over 1500 years later. So, Christian country, Christian classical and opera music, Christian rock, Christian rap, gospel music (both contemporary and traditional) and the many other varieties under the sun by members of Body of Christ that is indwelt by and serves as a tabernacle for the Spirit of Christ are permissible, so long as it – along with everything else in Christianity – is governed by God’s revelation as preserved in the Bible.

The mere fact that the music is being performed by Christians does not make it acceptable to God, and neither does the intent of the performers or the effect that playing the music has on the regenerate (i.e. causing vigorous worship) or the unregenerate (i.e. helping them understand the gospel and lead them to conversion). The music is also not sanctified by the message (i.e. the lyrics) or the venue (i.e. being performed at a church or in a Christian concert). Moreover, the purpose of the music is to worship God, not to entertain people. Again, merely because it was made to entertain, inspire or aid Christians does not make it Christian music. If it was made to evangelize the lost to cause them to become Christians, then it is not Christian music. If it was made for people, then it is “people music.” Only if it is made for Christ does it become Christian music. And as with everything else, Jesus Christ did leave us in His Bible guidelines for what are acceptable.

Without going into a “theology of worship” discussion, two scripture texts that can be used as guidelines for choosing which music to listen to, include in worship, or (if per chance you are one who creates Christian music) compose are Romans 12:1-2 and Hebrews 12:28-29. The former reads “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Now this does not mean that Christians are commanded to reject popular or other music forms created or embraced by the world as worldly, or to create a distinctively Christian music form.

Christianity is not a religion of rules and rituals, but a religion of the heart. Thus, if your heart is not right, then your music will not be right either. So, rather than being some rule that would enjoin worldly musicians from making worldly music and from worldly listeners from hearing it – which appears to be the position of some of my fundamentalist friends – the message of Romans 12:1-2 is to not be worldly. Worldly musicians will make worldly music. Worldly listeners will listen to worldly music. The reason is that those people are of the flesh and will live accordingly. But Godly people will make and listen to Godly music because they are of God’s Spirit and will live according to God’s Spirit. No rules, regulations, rituals, customs, traditions etc. will made a worldly person Holy Spirit-filled and Holy Spirit-led in worship or anything else. And of course, such vain external trappings of false religion (John 7:24) should not keep true believers in bondage. So, if you are worldly, the world is what an artist will be thinking about, striving to emulate and please, when he makes his music. Further, if you are a worldly listener, you will not want music that reminds you of God and His attributes, but rather music that reminds you of the world that is your first love. But if you are Godly, then your desire to know and please God – your first love – will be reflected in the music that you make and/or listen to.

Now for the second text, Hebrews 12:28-29, which is not only an explicit command to guide worship, but tells us why this command or rule exists. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Note that “we may serve”, as the King James Version translators rendered it, is the Greek word latreuō, which can means “to perform sacred services, to offer gifts, to worship God in the observance of the rites instituted for his worship.” This definition fits the context, which is why other good translations use “worship” or “praise”. The English Standard Version renders Hebrews 12:28 with this very issue in mind (arguably making it more of an interpretation/commentary than a mere translation!) with “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”

So make no mistake, this text commands us to worship God in an acceptable manner, and that the only acceptable manner is reverence. Again, reverence is not a rule, ritual or tradition, but a matter of the heart. The Old Testament bears this out. God gave Israel a specific, detailed collection of rules and rituals to follow concerning the manner in which He would be worshiped. What happened? They didn’t follow it. Why? Because their hearts were not right. They did not love God, they did not have a desire to know or serve God, so they did not consistently keep the religious forms that God gave them for any length of time. This was so as a general rule anyway. The remnant, the elect chosen and preserved by God, DID worship God to the best of their ability. So, even from the Old Testament we know that rules banning rock guitars, hip-hop drumbeats, or everything but hymns without musical accompaniment are vanities in a heart that is hardened. Just as a worldly heart will lust after the world, and irreverent heart will never know reverence in its cold, dead and depraved condition.

By contrast, a regenerate heart will revere God. Why? Again, Hebrews 12:28 tells us. Be not deceived: it is not mere mutable emotion that waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon, but something far more permanent. 1. Born again Christians are grateful to God for our permanent kingdom that cannot be shaken; that we will spend an eternity with Jesus Christ in New Jerusalem (commonly called heaven). This fact serves as a powerful hope, inspiration and driving force that remains constant no matter our circumstances or emotional state. 2. Our God is a consuming fire! Born again Christians do not erect false idols of nonexistent deities that will not punish the wicked. Instead, we love the truth – that God will punish and destroy the wicked – because this truth confirms God’s holiness and power, and we love God because He is holy and powerful! A safe god, a god that we can transgress and disrespect without consequence, or one who only punishes us for crimes committed against His creation (i.e. only sending murderers, thieves and rapists to hell for what they have done TO PEOPLE) and not for offenses done against God’s holiness is no God at all. Scripture makes it clear from beginning to end that God is One who demands and is holiness. God does have the whole world in His Hands after the manner of the children’s nursery rhyme, but make no mistake: God is no child’s toy, or anyone’s toy for that matter. The elect is indeed safe in the arms of Jesus Christ, as an old hymn asserts, but this same Jesus Christ – the same One who drove the thieves out of the temple with a whip and will one day return riding a white horse and carrying a two edged sword with which to horribly punish the wicked – isn’t safe! For those who reject this and deny that our God is a consuming fire, they should instead be confronted with the reality that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31, plus a rather well known sermon)!

It is not merely a “we must worship God in this manner or God will send fire down from heaven and consume us” sort of fear, though Christians should certainly remember Nadab and Abihu, Uzzah, and Ananias and Sapphira when that very sort of thing did happen if only for the typology. Instead, it is simply a truth that God has disclosed His Divine Nature to us in the Bible, and those that are regenerate and hence truly love God will respond to God’s self revelation by acting in accordance to that revelation, not against it. Again, this is something that will not happen by way of adherence to ritual, or creating rules based on human comprehension of the facts of scripture, but as the elect are carried along by God’s Holy Spirit. Similar to salvation (consider what Jesus Christ told His disciples when they were astonished after the rich young ruler incident) with man, it is impossible to achieve worship that is spiritual and reverent, for man is only capable of worldly irreverent worship that mocks, hates and rejects God. But with God, it is possible to attain reverent spiritual worship that is liberated from the rusted shackles of carnality, and it is indeed achieved. This is done because it is God’s will to receive reverent spiritual worship that is pleasing to Him, and God’s will is most certainly done.

In conclusion, I will provide the example – a negative one – which motivated this entry: Let Him In By Winans Phase 2. It is simply one of the most egregious ones that I have encountered. For those who are uninitiated as concerning the R&B music genre, this song is – not emulates but is – a “slow jam”, meaning a romantic song. The purpose of the “slow jam” is to create a mindset – or mental atmosphere – of emotional and physical intimacy, including – but not limited to – sexual intercourse. (Of course, not a few artists in this genre make such songs solely and entirely for the purpose of promoting sexual intercourse, and take it as a compliment when their fans inform them that their music was played on their prom nights, wedding nights, when their children were conceived, etc.) And keep in mind: when such intimacy is not available or attainable, the purpose of the music is to remind people of such intimacy, or cause them to desire for or aspire to it! Make no mistake, that is the primary reason why such music exists, it is the primary reason why it is so popular with the artists who make it – as many of the artists are lovers of sensuality – and it is also why the music is so commercially successful.

And “Let Him In” by Winans Phase 2 is a song after this genre and spirit. The musical accompaniment is entirely sensual. So is the way that the song is sung. But that is not the main problem.Consider this: the “Let Him In” title of the song – and it is also a refrain, repetitively sung in a soft, sensual manner! – is an evangelistic plea to convert to Christianity. (It is based on the very common misapplication of Revelation 3:20, but the issue here is not the free will salvation theology advocated by the song, but the song’s irreverent form.)  Again, based on the musical and lyrical style, the purpose of it was to emulate an R&B “love song” (when in truth most “love songs” should be renamed “amorous songs” as they are far more often concerned with physical attraction and emotional infatuation than actual, Biblical love). Further, “let him in” is a widely known euphemism that has the purpose of requesting sexual intercourse. Make no mistake, as a large number of R&B (and rap/hip-hop) songs have a very similar musical and vocal sound and use the same “let him in” phrase according to its common meaning, how is it possible for one very familiar with the genre to listen to that song without making that association? Of course, it is possible to suppress it, and undoubtedly the professed Christians who listen to this very popular song do so. But had this song been reverent in the first place, it would not have been necessary. It is not the duty of the listener to suppress what the song would have certainly meant were it in a different genre, the genre that this song was intended to sound like. Instead, it is the duty of the Christian performer not to make a song that sounds very much like an entreaty for the listener to consent to Jesus Christ performing a sex act on him (or her)!

That sounded strong to you? Well, consider the lyrics to this song. Now they deny that the song is carnal on one hand, but the song elsewhere says – concerns Jesus Christ – “He’s making love to my heart.” Which by the way … A REFERENCE TO APPEARS FOUR TIMES! (I want to point out: THIS SONG IS BEING SUNG BY MEN. It would still be blasphemy were it sung by women, but I just wanted to point that out.) Some other lyrics from this homosexual love ballad – excuse me, gospel song: “Sweet as can be”, “I love the way he talks to me”, “Oooh I’m so happy.” Also, one of the “He’s making love to my heart” references asks the listener to “let him make love to your heart.” Again (and I do not intend this to be Mark Driscoll vulgar here): “let him in” in is colloquial context is a request to allow a man to have intercourse with you made by some intermediary. A common application is when a man is dating a woman, wants to have intercourse with her, but she is reluctant. So, the man gets a mutual friend of theirs to go to this reluctant woman on his behalf and tell her “Come on. He’s your boyfriend. You know you like him. You know you want him. You have been dating how long? Three months? What are you waiting for? How much longer are you going to wait? Come on, let him in!” When you read the lyrics, it honestly appears as if the meaning of the “let him in” phrase was not something that they were unaware, or some horrible accidental coincidence, but instead something that they directly, purposefully incorporated into the song, as the entire song itself is concerned with sexuality! The song explicitly says, in multiple occasions – “Jesus Christ is making love with my heart, let Jesus Christ make love with your heart!” And then it makes use of Revelation 3:20 (which is directly referenced in with “I’m here to let you know he’s knocking at your door to let him in”!) to make the connotation of the euphemism direct and complete. The song purposefully, directly associates – indeed depicts – Christian conversion and Christian living with sexual encounters with Jesus Christ in the same way that Paul associated the Christian’s life with an athlete running  a race. Now John MacArthur spoke of the rape of the Song of Solomon by Mark Driscoll. Well “Let Him In” constitutes no less than a (homosexual!) rape of Revelation 3:20 by Winans Phase 2.

This is merely the most egregious example that I am aware of. As I no longer listen to Christian music radio of any genre and merely happened upon this song, there are probably many others as bad or worse. But it serves as a good example of a song that is not reverent and is very much worldly. Though this song purports to be evangelistic, the truth is that it represents an attempt by carnal-minded people to win converts by relying on the basest of means. It is the “sex sells” approach to evangelism and discipleship that is advocated in this age by many, including Rick Warren and Ed Young Jr.

Rest assured, one cannot be carnal and worldly and be saved. One must be made holy, and this holiness is only achieved through Jesus Christ. The Bible does not tell us to become converted by lustfully imagining a sexual encounter with Jesus Christ. Instead, it tells us to repent of our sins and believe that Jesus Christ died for sins in the place of the sinner, was worthy to do so because of His being the Son of God, and was resurrected from the dead. If you have not done so already, I urge and entreat you to do so immediately. Click on the link below to receive some information on how to do so.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Chri$tian Capitali$m Strikes Again: Publisher Uses Angelina Jolie Photo to Market Bible

Posted by Job on October 8, 2008

In this photo provided by Illuminated World, the cover of “Bible Illuminated The Book: New Testament” is shown. (AP Photo/Illuminated World)

New Bibles alter form _ not word _ to draw readers

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Sex Sells Especially In The Church: Bishop Thomas Weeks Now Trying To Find TV Network For His Holy Hookup Reality Relationship Counseling Show

Posted by Job on October 7, 2008

First, his reality show plans fall apart. Bishop Weeks’ reality dating show a no-show

Contract negotiations postpone launch

Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III’s leap into a reality dating show was about as problematic as his failed marriage to national evangelist Juanita Bynum.

The first full episode of “Who Will Be the Next Mrs. Weeks” was postponed because of incomplete contract negotiations with a reality television producer. Those who logged onto www.bishopweeks.com Tuesday saw what seemed like an infomercial about Weeks instead of the lively conversation about dating featured in the reality show’s promo. “The show was modified due to the fact of ongoing talks with network producers and network stations who are ramped up to do the first Christian reality dating program,” Weeks said.

Technical difficulties delayed the noon launch of Weeks’ redesigned Web site and its programming. Church officials say teases from “Who Will Be the Next Mrs. Weeks” will be released throughout the week.

Weeks says he doesn’t date yet. But he wants to move on with his life and mend his broken heart. He and Bynum divorced in June after a 15-month separation. “I still hurt,” Weeks said. “I didn’t get married to be divorced.”

The show’s intro features Weeks sitting on his desk in a dark suit and a bow tie while candlelight flickers in the background and soft music plays. He rattles on about upcoming events and finally, the taboos of dating his reality show will address like sex.

” ‘Who will be the Next Mrs. Weeks’ is an open dialogue for us to talk — good, bad or indifferent,” Weeks said. “You know in the church we really don’t talk about hot topic issues, we bury it. We become silent.”

Other footage features Weeks working at church and talking to pastors about their relationships.

Weeks is inviting his followers to observe his personal life so they can get a Christian perspective on dating and coping with the desire for intimacy. The Pentecostal pastor will soon release a book about the subject called “Finding Yourself While In Transition.”

Weeks is still serving probation for attacking Bynum in August 2007 outside of the Renaissance Concourse Hotel in Atlanta. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault as a first offender and has completed the required community service hours and anger management counseling.

But now the plans are back on. Bishop Weeks recasts his ‘Holy Hook Up’

Bishop Weeks recasts his ‘Holy Hook Up’

Bishop Thomas W. Weeks IIII has resurrected his new reality show — and this time he will search for a God-fearing wife on TV instead of the Internet. Weeks said the Christian dating series, now called “The Holy Hook Up: Who Will Be The Next Mrs. Weeks?” will document his search for a new love as he performs his daily duties as leader of an international ministry.

The 30-minute Atlanta-based reality series will include Weeks sharing the spotlight with singles and broken-hearted couples on the mend. The twice-divorced Pentecostal pastor will dole out relationship advice drawing on his experience as an author, minister and a first-time felon who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on his ex-wife, national evangelist Juanita Bynum.

Weeks would not disclose what network he is negotiating with, but said talks are moving along.

Casting for singles, married, separated or recently divorced couples begins Tuesday, said Weeks. Interested parties should e-mail holyhookup@bishopweeks.com or visit http://www.bishop weeks.com for more information.

“I’m very excited about the way this is shaping up,” said Weeks, who appeared on the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show on radio (Kiss 104.1 locally) on Tuesday to talk about the reality series. “It is going to be a very tasteful, five-star presentation.”

Four couples will be cast on Holy Hook Up, which will feature celebrity guest cameos. The couples will live in an Atlanta residence together for three months. Weeks will play matchmaker to singles and provide relationship counseling to determine their compatibility. Newly engaged couples and those in struggling relationships also will have their bonds examined and tested to see if their love was meant to be.

“As Bishop Weeks counsels the four couples, he will start his search for the next Mrs. Weeks,” Weeks’ publicist Margaret Wright said in a statement. “Each week, Bishop Weeks will meet his new date and assess whether she has the potential to become a finalist for becoming the next Mrs. Weeks. This search will not be easy. Bishop Weeks is looking for someone who will share his vision of ministry and entrepreneurial spirit.”

True to reality show formats, the wannabe wives will face challenges to determine whether their hearts are truly open to love or whether they are only in it for the fame. The challenges will range from the “basic to the outrageous,” Wright said.

“At the end of the series there will be a wedding,” Wright said. “The union can be that of Bishop Weeks or that of his understudies.”

Weeks’ divorce lawyer Randy Kessler also may appear on the show to dole out advice to the pastor.

“He underwent sincere and serious emotional hardship,” Kessler said. “He learned from it …I am sure the reality show will have a positive impact on many people as Bishop Weeks is a strong leader with personal experience that he knows can help other.”

Weeks says he is inviting his followers to observe his personal life so they can get a Christian perspective on dating and coping with the desire for intimacy. Weeks will soon release a book about the subject called “Finding Yourself While In Transition.”

“My interest as a single individual will be to focus on a developing a godly relationship and the process it takes to do that,” Weeks said. “It is going to be quite interesting.”

Please note this comment where one of his supporters denies a rumor that has apparently been circulating about this fellow in some circles for awhile: 

I’m happy for him, maybe the truth will prevail and all the naysayers will find out the TRUTH of the situation that Mr. Weeks is not abusive and this his ex-wife is a psychopath and compulsive liar. Bishop Weeks is not gay nor is he abusive. I hope this time he finds a real wife and not a backstabber holding a knife! 

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Sex Sells Especially In The Church: Bishop Thomas Weeks III To Use Reality Show To Find Next Adultery Partner Excuse Me Wife

Posted by Job on September 19, 2008

Now this is talking the pulpit game to the next level. Christians must pray and intercede for the church daily! Of course, I am awaiting the first “judge not”, “touch not mine anointed and do my prophet no harm”, “instead of criticizing them why not pray for them” and “what positive are you doing for the kingdom of heaven/how many people have you healed of sickness or gotten baptized”, “how many skeletons do you have in your closet”, “Christians need unity instead of all this division”, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, “let the wheat and tares grow together” replies. People, “Bishop” Weeks III is not a Christian. He is a deceiver, an apostate who preaches abominable heresies. He has no respect or love for God or for the Body of Christ. Do not follow him. There are plenty of good decent respectable pastors out there preaching and teaching sound doctrine and practice and living it in their own example. Pick one, and leave reprobates like this man to their eternal fates. By the way … why did I state that this man is seeking another adultery partner? Because Bynum was his second “wife” and now he is looking for #3. Read what your New Testament says about the topic of divorce and figure it out.

Bishop Weeks looking for a new wife after Bynum

The recent ex-hubby of national evangelist Juanita Bynum is looking for love again — this time on his own reality show. Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III, head of Duluth-based Global Destiny International Ministries, wants a new wife to mend his broken heart. And he’s skipping the usual path to romance: chance meetings, singles mixers, social networking, speeding dating, fix-ups. (Or repentance, fasting, meditation on the word of God, and prayer.)

He is seeking advice from his followers. This time, Weeks intends to get it right. He will be documenting his efforts to open his heart to love again in 10 streaming video “Webisodes” starting next Tuesday on his Web site www.bishopweeks.com. The idea came after Weeks was flooded with thousands of e-mails and letters from people offering advice about what to look for in his third wife. Some even offered to be his wife. “There are some very adamant women,” says Weeks associate, Minister Guy Reeves of Global Destiny. “A lady from Belgium flew all the way here to meet him. She came to the campus. She wanted to be the next Mrs. Weeks like many others who have approached me about their strong desire to be Bishop Weeks’ wife.”

Weeks is opening his life to his followers so they can get a Christian perspective on dating and coping with the desire for intimacy. “What kind of advice would you give me about the new Mrs. Weeks?” he asks on a Web site promo of the episode. “We will probably find in due time who is that perfect woman for me,” Weeks says. “This time I’m not going to limit it just to the local church … It’s a global ministry. We’ve got to have a global search.” Weeks is opening his life to his followers so they can get a Christian perspective on dating and coping with the desire for intimacy. (So people struggling with feelings of lust are going to get advice from this fellow? If that is not the blind leading the blind … and needless to say his “perspective” will not be any more Christian or biblical than his “Teach Me How To Love You” conference$.)

Weeks is still serving probation for the August 2007 attack on his ex-wife Bynum. He was charged with aggravated assault as a first offender and has completed the required community service hours and anger management counseling. Weeks hopes to wed again someday. His Webisodes, however, won’t be an open call for a wife like typical reality dating shows. But if women send love letters — they will likely be shared. (What the Bible says about being modest and conscientious? Ah, who cares, obeying the Bible is for people who lack an anointing, right?) As for his standards, Weeks says the next Mrs. Weeks “can’t be ugly. She has to be easy on the eyes.” (There you go, Weeks. Let everyone know up front without a shadow of a doubt what you are all about: lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. In other words, LUST AND PRIDE. This way, your followers cannot claim to be deceived, and are without excuse.)

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Beware Peter Popoff’s Miracle Of Manna Scam!

Posted by Job on March 5, 2008

Ebony Puritan has the details:

THE SEASON’S NEWEST SCAM!!!

Posted in abomination, apostasy, blasphemy, Christianity, corrupt televangelism, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, heresy, prosperity doctrine, religion, televangelism, Word of Faith | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sex Sells Especially In The Church: Revolution Church’s SEX.GOD

Posted by Job on February 21, 2008

Courtesy of Slice Of Laodicea who writes: “It is only a matter of time before we see couples in bed, “on stage”, in churches to celebrate sex. Two years ago I predicted that we would have the equivalent of pagan temple prostitutes in evangelical churches. Except in church, it will be married couples (for now) demonstrating it all in public. You’ve been warned. The clip from YouTube below a promo for Revolution Church’s sex campaign last summer. (One of hundreds of churches engaged in this sort of thing.) I give it 3-5 years before we have the real thing in church somewhere.”

Posted in abomination, apostasy, blasphemy, christian worldliness, Christianity, church scandal, church worldliness, heresy, sex demon, sex sells especially in the church, sexual exploitation | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

What Is Modesty?

Posted by Job on February 9, 2008

Original link from SharperIron.

by mebrock at 1:00 am February 8, 2008. 475 views. Filed under: Modesty, Books, Christian Living, Christian Nonfiction Print This Post/Page
Editor’s Note: The following chapter is reprinted with permission from the book What Is Modesty? For more information about the book, please contact Iron Sharpeneth Iron Publications.When you think of modest clothing, what words come to your mind? Can you describe a modest person? Maybe you think of a mousy, quiet soul with no personality, or an unattractive woman who is proud of how she dresses and is openly critical of anyone who differs from her style in the least bit. Do you think of a beautiful woman at all? How about the way she acts? Does that factor into your assessment of her modesty?Your answers to these questions reveal to some degree how you understand the concept of modesty.Because many people (including Christians) have difficulty understanding what modesty is, we should begin by establishing a good definition of modesty. It is helpful to begin by examining how a modern dictionary describes modesty. The American Heritage Dictionary says that modesty is “reserve or propriety in speech, dress, or behavior.”

Because most of us think of clothing when we consider the word modesty, it is important to notice that this definition includes more than simply what a person wears. It involves speech and behavior as well as dress. This definition is actually consistent with what we find in the Bible.

In fact, you might be surprised to see how the Bible defines modesty. Let’s take a closer look at the Bible to see how God describes this modest person we Christians are supposed to be.

The first key to understanding a biblical definition is that modesty is not merely what you wear. Modesty is not a “good” article of clothing, and immodesty is not a “bad” article of clothing. Actually, modesty is quite different. Biblical modesty is more about what you are than what you wear.

We draw our current understanding of modesty from several biblical concepts, including the biblical word modest (KJV), which refers to appropriateness. In passages that deal with how Christian women should dress and act, we see humility and purity emphasized as well as appropriateness. It is significant that none of these words refer to specific articles of clothing. Let us look briefly at some verses that use these words, come to a conclusion on a definition, and then discuss the parts of the definition in more detail.

I Peter 3:3-6—Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Peter instructs Christian ladies to adorn themselves with a meek and quiet spirit. A meek spirit in this context is a spirit of humility. Peter illustrates this attitude by describing godly women who in humility placed themselves under the authority of their husbands. The grace of humility is essential for submitting to authority and is a rare and precious adornment for a Christian lady. It affects why we do what we do, including why we choose certain clothes and how we wear them. No matter how we dress, if we are filled with pride in our “modesty” and superior disdain for others who dress differently (even if we believe they are wrong), we show that we misunderstand what modesty really is.

In several modern Jewish books on modesty, the authors describe humility as a crucial element in deciding what they wear. They point out that the modern Hebrew word for modesty is the corresponding word that is translated humble in the Old Testament passage of Micah 6:8: “What does the Lord require of thee? But to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly [modestly] with thy God.” This idea is consistent with passages in 1 Peter and 1 Timothy that indicate that modesty is not compatible with showy, excessive attention to appearance. In other words, pride is not modest, but humility is.

Titus 2:4-5—That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

1 Peter 3:2-4— While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

In the Bible, pure is often translated chaste (KJV). Notice that purity is something that comes out in our lifestyle—the word conversation in 1 Peter means behavior or our lifestyle. We have a tendency to limit purity to sexual purity, especially when it concerns what we wear, primarily because purity can be expressed through what we wear. We talk a lot about purity, such as saving your body for your husband or not doing anything sexually that we would regret or that is outside God’s clear rules for sexuality. But purity encompasses far more than just sexual purity.

Hebrews 12:1 tells us to get rid of anything that hinders our walk with God. James talks about staying unspotted from the world (James 1:27). A person who finds his speech is beginning to be characterized by sarcasm and innuendo may determine that he needs to limit the television he watches. And a young lady may be surprised to realize that the unsaved coworkers she spends time with after work are affecting her desire to serve the Lord with her family. These examples illustrate the importance of this concept of chaste, or pure, living. Have you ever done something wrong that leaves a yucky feeling in your stomach every time you think of it? Would you want a sinful choice you made to limit the effectiveness you could have for the Lord? So although chaste living does include purity, it implies much more, including our lifestyle, thought processes, and desires.

1 Timothy 2:9—In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

Finally, we must make appropriate choices in our clothing and behavior. Having a heart that is humble and pure is the first step to modesty. Now we must apply these principles to specific situations.

1 Timothy 2:9 is the only verse that contains the English word modest in the Bible. So, whatever modesty means here, we Christian ladies are supposed to dress this way. The apostle Paul is not talking about a particular style; the Greek word for modest in this context actually means appropriate. Paul clarifies his meaning by contrasting the word translated modest (and its synonyms shamefacedness and sobriety) with examples of immodesty. The elaborate, over-the-top hair, jewelry, and clothes were excessive, too much—in stark contrast to the concept of modesty that Paul was trying to teach. Compare this verse with 1 Peter 3:2-4, which also contrasts excessive attention to appearance with a godly lifestyle. Both Paul and Peter wanted Christian ladies to dress appropriately, with restraint.

Proverbs 11:22 says, “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” Knowing what is appropriate isn’t always easy. That is why discretion is so important. A beautiful woman without the ability to make good judgments about what to do, say, and wear is just as mixed up as putting valuable earrings on a smelly pig. Knowing what to do in a situation takes good taste—seeing all the facts, deciding what facts are important, and even knowing what is beautiful and attractive. In the church today, God wants us to grow through the exercise of discernment based on biblical principles. Paul describes this skill when he says, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

If we take all of these words—humility, purity, and appropriateness—and put them together, we get a good picture of our current understanding of modesty. Here are some ways that we can describe modesty.

Modesty is an attitude of humility that seeks to please God rather than man or self. It is characterized by restraint and self-control, and dignity in dress, speech, and actions.

Modesty is a product of pure thinking and is not determined by what you wear. You don’t become modest simply by putting on a “modest” dress.

Being appropriate requires discretion to evaluate what is modest in each situation.

Although it is not true that modesty equals clothing, it is true that what we wear and how we wear it can be modest or immodest.

To sum up, modesty is a way of thinking that is characterized by humility and purity, and results in appropriate actions.

We must now attempt to put into practice these principles we find from God’s Word. Sometimes the application is easy, like getting rid of a t-shirt that is too tight. Other times, the application is more challenging, like changing how we think or talk about men. Following a list of rules is far easier than the difficult process of learning to apply principles. It is often a lazy substitute for the careful study and application of God’s Word. We should strive to be like the Bereans who were commended for their excited diligence in searching Scripture to verify the truth that they were being shown.

Remember that God did not give us a list of complex rules, complete with a vast index, to live the Christian life. There simply isn’t enough space to give step-by-step instructions for every variation of every situation a particular person will experience in her lifetime. Instead, God gave us the Bible, complete with principles that apply to every variation of every situation a person will experience.

The elements of modesty we will study can all be expressed through what we wear. Although many of the examples you will find here are clothing examples, keep in mind that while specifically identifying clothing applications can be helpful, they do not substitute for the emphasis on the heart attitudes that are discussed throughout Scripture. It is far better for each of us to prayerfully take principles from God’s Word and apply them personally and specifically to our lives than to mindlessly follow a list of rules.

Michelle Brock is Associate Editor of SI. She is the wife of Lee, a military pediatrician, and mother of three young children in New Mexico. The Brocks are active in La Luz Baptist Church. Michelle is active full-time at home, where she is involved in her husband’s military career, teaches her children, ministers in her local church, and has time for other personal projects. Last year, Michelle published her first book. She enjoys reading books about grammar and the English language, children’s novels, and books on special education. She and Lee also enjoy hiking, target shooting, and gourmet cooking. Their burden is to live life in such a way that their children will follow Christ as they follow Christ and that their lives will ultimately be a testimony to God’s grace and mercy in their lives as He leads them. She can be contacted at michellebrock@sharperiron.org.

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