Thursday, June 17, 2010

She's Got the Look

Which danger are you most liable to fall into:

a. the danger of religious formalism and legalism (and being self-righteous about it)
b. the danger of worldliness

It is a fine balance, and there is grace and freedom in Christ. But surely you tend to go one way or the other? It may help to think about this as you read on.

I have been looking through different Biblical teachings to fight the worldliness that is in my sinful nature.

In my early research I have not ignored looking into a couple of other faiths. These groups (the 7th Day Adventists and the Mennonites) follow a literal interpretation of the Bible, in many ways separate themselves from society, and have added their own teachings on top of what the Bible says. Yet their devout convictions, and spiritual motives, to submitting their style of clothing to Jesus is a challenge to me. It makes me re-think why I dress the way I do. Of course the implications do not stop there, but can apply to what kind of home I live in, how much money I spend on entertainment/escape, and the music I listen to... just to start!

Contemplate with me! Which of the following statements* do you think is true?

1. The Bible does not tell us what style of clothing men and women should wear, because it recognizes that style is dictated by climate and culture.

2. Dress and appearance are an important index of Christian character.

3. Our outward appearance is a visible and silent testimony of our Christian values. Some people dress and adorn their bodies with costly clothes and jewelry to please themselves. The Christian, however, dresses to glorify God. “In no better way,” wrote 7th Day Adventist leader Ellen White, “can you let your light shine to others than in your simplicity of dress and deportment. You may show to all that, in comparison with eternal things, you place a proper estimate upon the things of this life.”

4. That in their appearance, Christians manifest such qualities as self-respect, proper reserve, purity, humility, neatness, and that attractiveness which springs from Christian simplicity.

5. It is your duty to dress so plainly as to show to the world that you place no sort of reliance on the things of fashion and set no value at all upon them, but despise and neglect them altogether. There is no way by which you can bear a proper testimony by your lives against the fashions of the world, but by dressing plainly.

Would you be willing to dress differently than you do now because you are a follower of Jesus? Put simply, who are you dressing for...and why?

*statements are borrowed from the writings of Charles G. Finney and Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi.

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