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The Language of the Christians Clothing

By Dr. S.M. Davis

 

Editor's Note: Dr. Davis can be located at www.solvefamilyproblems.com  "This article first appeared in HOME SCHOOL DIGEST as a two-part series in V13 #2 & V13 #3

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    A pastor friend told me about a husband and wife in his church who were having problems. She said she couldnít "take his religion" anymore. She wanted to do what she wanted, and she wanted her daughters to be able to do what they wanted. What they wanted to do was to go to dances, listen to worldly music, dress any way they wanted, etc. The oldest daughter was 20 and recently married. The other daughter was 14.

    The wife put up with her "religious" husband as long as she could stand it, then she moved out. While out on her own, she had an adulterous affair. But then, she got herself into financial problems. She called her husband and asked to come home. Against pastoral advice because of her non-repentant attitude, the lonely, forgiving husband let her come back home. She stayed home about four months, then left her husband and filed for divorce. Though her husband didnít want it, the divorce was granted by the court.

The husband wisely stayed in church, kept his Godly standards, and kept crying out to God. Worldly people would say to him, "We know what your problem is." When he asked them what it was, they would reply, "Youíre spending too much time in that Bible. If you would just back off on your religion, your family would be alright."

    After this wife divorced her husband, she decided she would go back to a liberal church she had left sometime before. The pastor welcomed her back by telling her that it was about time she left her husband.

The wife had been divorced about a month when she showed up at my pastor friendís office. She had a Bible and a couple of commentaries under one arm. She also had tears in her eyes. She asked if she could talk to the pastor.

    And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:22, 25)

     And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (Genesis 3:6-7)

    Why does Adam know that he is naked now, and did not know it before? I believe it is because the glory glow of Godís perfection that originally covered him is now gone.

    Above the Ark of the Covenant was a phenomenally bright lightóthe light of the glory of God.

When Jesus was on the Mount with Peter, James, and John, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him. Matthew 17:2 says Jesus "was transfigured before them and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light."

    So I believe Adam was originally naked, but covered by this glory glow of the light of Godís perfection. When sin came, that glory left.

    Do you see anybody around you glowing with light today? No. Then that means every one of us needs to be saved and every one of us needs to wear clothes!

    And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (Gen. 3:8-10)

    Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. (Gen. 3:21)

    There is a language that everyone speaks. Everywhere we go we recognize and interpret that language. Often we do it subconsciously, but we do it nonetheless. I am talking about the language we speak by the clothing we wear.

    People speak many different languages with their lips, but all people speak this language with a part of their lives. Jesus referred to the fact that some people use this language to lie. Most people, if allowed to act on their own, use this language to tell the truth.

    Public school systems have discovered that they can change the entire atmosphere of the school simply by requiring everyone to speak the same language in this particular area of life. One thing is for sure; it is impossible to be silent in this area. We are all speaking this language every day. We are all speaking this language right now. It is also possible that, if you do not know what God says about this area, you may speak things in this language you really do not want to speak.

    Notice the references to clothing, not only in Genesis 2 and 3, but also in the following verses. Job 29:14 says: "I put on righteousness, and it clothed me."

    Isaiah 61:10 says: "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness."

    Proverbs 31:25 says: "Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come."

    1 Peter 5:5 says: "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisted the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."

   Righteousness, salvation, strength, honor, and humilityówhat incredible clothes! Did you know that those are clothes that can be seen? When you get around a proud person, you can see it. When you get around a humble person, you can also see it. In fact, that is the reason that

  1 - The main clothing of a Christian is not the clothing of the outside, but the clothing of the inside.

The main clothing of the Christian is the clothing of humility and righteousness for the heart and the soul. Several other truths grow out of this significant truth.

      1a. A person clothed with humility and righteousness has the attitude of a servant, not the attitude that they are the "big boss." They may be the one in charge, but their humility still prevails.

      2a. A person clothed with humility and righteousness is teachable. He or she is approachable. Humble people want to learn. They want to know what God has to say. They realize that they need others, their   counsel, and their help.

      3a. People clothed with humility and righteousness donít have a problem making themselves accountable. They do not act like they are better than others. They donít develop a "pharisee attitude" toward others. They realize and admit their human frailties and the limitations of their human reason.

      4a. People clothed with humility and righteousness are grateful.

      5a. They approach truth with the attitude that they want and need to obey rather than the attitude of rebellion or resistance.

      6a. People clothed with humility and righteousness want to be like Jesus. They may fail, but they want to be like Jesus. They want to portray as much as possible the spirit and attitude of Jesus Christ.

      7a. And people clothed with humility and righteousness are always concerned about their testimony and their example.

    The opposite of those things is also true.

      1b. A person not clothed with humility and righteousness is probably clothed with pride and self-righteousness.

      2b. They do not have the attitude of a servant. They seldom have the attitude of being teachable. In fact, they may have the attitude that they know it all.

      3b. They seldom display an approachable attitude. They tend to have the attitude that says, "I know what I want to know and if I want to know anything else I will ask. If I do not ask, do not tell me."

      4b. People not clothed with humility and righteousness tend to not have the attitude that they will follow whatever God says.

      5b. They will not make themselves accountable.

      6b. They will probably have a pharisee attitude at some time.

      7b. They probably do not have a grateful spirit. Nor are they as concerned as they should be about their example before others and their influence on others.

The main clothing of a Christian is not the clothing of the outside, but the clothing of the inside--the clothing of humility and righteousness for the heart and the soul.

 

  2 - Your clothing speaks a distinctive language all its own.

    Your clothingówhether it is the clothing of the inside or the outsideóspeaks a distinctive language that is all its own.

    This is a universal language rooted in the nature of the creation itself. Notice the word "clothing" in Matthew 7:15. It says: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheepís clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

    Jesus is referring to the language of the outside, a language so powerful and clear that it is possible to use that language to lie and deceive. A wolf, in order to deceive, may put on sheepís clothing. But be sure of this: No true lamb who knows what he is doing would want to wear a wolfís clothing.

    When I thought these thoughts, it reminded me of an article that I read that told how women leaders of the womenís liberation movement, when they were going to appear before the media or before hostile audiences would deliberately dress in "modest, feminine attire."

    Those women were using their sheepís clothing to make their wolf-like agenda appear more conservative and acceptable. Why? Because clothing speaks a language all its own.

    You have heard the statement: "Clothes make the man." There is some truth there. But it would be even more accurate to say that: "Clothes do not make the man as much as they tell you who the man really is and what the man is really like on the inside."

    Clothes describe a man or a woman. They speak a language about the personís life.

    A wolf is expected to wear wolvesí clothing. That is the reason you see some of the bizarre sites you see when you go out in public in our day. There are people dressed today in ways you would have never seen or even dreamed of 50 years ago!

    But just like a wolf might be expected to wear wolvesí clothing, a lamb should be expected to wear sheepís clothing.

    According to Psalm 93 and 94 God Himself wears the clothing of majesty, strength, and honor.

    In Genesis 41:14 Joseph changed his raiment from prison clothes to something more appropriate before going in to see the Pharaoh of Egypt. He knew that his very attire was going to speak a language he did not want his prison clothes to speak, and those who were taking him in did not want his prison clothes to speak that. After all, Pharaoh was a great king!

    When I was a boy there was a common phrase: "Sunday-go-to-meetiní-clothes." Whenever daddy or mother wanted us to dress in our nicest clothes they would say: "Son, put your ĎSunday-go-to-meetiní clothesí on." I have a picture of my family and me in our "Sunday-go-to-meetiní clothes" in 1961 when I was 10 years of age.

    Why did we dress that way? We wore our best because it showed respect. We were going to church. Church was a special place where you went to worship God. It was where you went to show respect and honor to God. So you wore the best that you had to wear.

    Five years before that, when I was 5 or 6 years of age, I wore a T-shirt to church. It was the best I had. I was the youngest of six. Our family did not have very much money but it was always the nicest, cleanest, best T-shirt that a little boy had.

    I think people should come to church however they are dressed. But those who have been around for awhile should have learned how great our great and mighty God is and realize that it really would be a good idea to dress up when coming to church so that by the language of our clothing we can say that our God is a great, majestic, and honorable God.

    Iím not saying you should dress for a show. That would be wrong as well. But you should dress in whatever is the best way you can to show respect to the Lord.

    Carla Ralstin wrote this: "I am always intrigued when I find restaurants who have a certain dress standard Ö men have to have on a coat or a jacket and a shirt and tie; no jeans, shorts, etc. The ladies are required to wear a dress or a skirt and blouse. And what is always interesting is that those who are not properly dressed are not allowed into the restaurant for dining. I cannot help but think how sloppy many of Godís people dress for the church services. I am not talking about lost sinners who come to church, but those claiming to be saved, who show up dressed like they are going to a ball game. Recently I read an article advertising Albuquerqueís newest and most glamorous nightclub. In large 12 point bold type along one side of the folder were these words, ĎDRESS TO IMPRESS.í No denim tops or bottoms, no t-shirts or jerseys, no flannel shirts, no baseball caps, no combat hiking boots, no tennis shoes. Just below that in large type were these words, ĎNO EXCEPTIONS!í We are in a mess when restaurants and night clubs have better dress standards than many Bible believing churches."

    Again I say to you that clothes speak a language all their own.

    A fellow wrote the following testimony: "We were leaving early on a Saturday morning on our long awaited vacation. As we eagerly boarded the plane I noticed the surprised look of the flight attendants seeing my wife and 10-year-old daughter in church dresses and my 12-year-old son and me in coats and ties. We found our seats and began excitedly discussing the sites that we would soon see. As the aircraft was pulling away from the gate the flight attendant quietly said to me: ĎAfter the plane gets in the air we want you and your family to move up front to the first class section.í

    "At the proper time she returned and escorted us up to the front row of first class. Pleasantly surprised at our new seating arrangements, I asked her why we were moved and she replied that the crew wanted to show their appreciation to us for having such bright smiling faces and for dressing so nicely when we boarded their plane that day. ĎSo many people today dress like slobs when they fly,í she said. It provided me an opportunity to give her a gospel tract and to tell her that we dressed up in order to honor them because we knew that if there was an emergency they would willingly risk their lives for our safety."

    Your clothing is always telling somebody something.

    Employers understand this concept. If you talk to some employers they will give you an earful about what they have seen while interviewing people for different jobs.

    I have had employers tell me that the moment people walk in they can tell if they should hire them or not. I have heard them discuss how amazed they are at how sloppily people will dress while interviewing for a job.

    One prospective employee walked into a very successful corporate office for a job interview. At the outset of the conversation the personnel director announced, "We have a dress code here. Would you have any problem with that?" That company had learned over the years that its employees were providing not just a service, but a continuous demonstration of the companyís character and credibility by their very appearance.

    Young people, if you ever go for an interview, even if it is for a job digging ditches, dress up before you go. Why? Because it says to the person who is interviewing you: "I assume you to be a person of character, decency, and honor, and I respect you."

    Of course, your countenance is even more important than your clothes. A key reason to dress properly is so that you donít distract from people seeing the joy of the Lord in your countenance!

    Your clothing is always saying something. Your clothing lets others know who you admire and whose standards you have adopted.

    I donít have nearly as much problem with people wearing the wrong clothes as I do with why they are wearing those clothes. Hollywood should not set the clothing standards for Christians!

When a young man or woman wears clothing with rock music groups or words or symbols on them, he is telling you that he admires that group. That also means that he or she is only one step away from emulating their lifestyle.

    A proverb in the country of Russia says: "We greet you by your clothes, and we bid you farewell from our hearts." What an interesting proverb for a country! "We greet you by your clothes." They are saying that their first impression of you is what they see of your clothing.

    In Mark 5 the Gadarean demoniac gave a testimony without opening his mouth just by putting on clothes after he met Jesus. Before that time he had been running naked, but when Jesus gave him his right mind he wanted to be clothed. He did not have to say anything. He was saying something when he put his clothes on.

    Public nakedness speaks and says that demons may be in control. Proper, modest clothing speaks and says that Jesus may be in control.

    If you talk to missionaries who have gone to tribes where the natives do not wear clothes, they will tell you that one of the characteristics of the gospel is this: after people come to Christ they begin to sense that they need to wear clothes. They will ask the missionaries about it. "Mr. Missionary, are we supposed to start wearing clothes? Will you teach us from the Bible about this?" Then the missionaries will sit down with the Word of God and teach them what they are supposed to wear and soon after they are saved it is not unusual to see those new Christians start putting on clothes.

    When I was in Papua, New Guinea it was not uncommon for women to be topless. Riding down the road we passed by a woman probably 20 years of age, and I had to look away immediately. Seeing us, she quickly put her top on. I believe she sensed that she was saying the wrong thing and needed to dress another way.

    I talked to an Illinois State policeman about why they wear uniforms and what they taught them about wearing uniforms. He told me: "They taught us that when you are in uniform you are not just representing yourself, you are representing the entire State Police organization and you are representing the entire State of Illinois. Your uniform also contributes to what is called Ďofficer presence.í"

    They want an officer to be able to walk up to an individual and have such a presence about him that he is respected. The uniform helps create that sense of respect for the officer. A sharp appearance contributes to a sharp attitude. He said: "They tell us that if you shine the brass buttons on your shirt and shine your shoes and wear sharp, well-pressed clothes, then when you walk up to a car they are more likely to respect you. Your very presence may well settle down a difficult situation." He added: "Of course, people donít even think about those things. They just see you and process the image without even knowing that they are doing it." The image portrays a language.

    Proverbs 7 refers to a woman who met a man and the Bible says she was dressed in the attire of a harlot. She spoke an unGodly, lewd language with her clothes. If you have ever been to a large city you may have seen prostitutes standing on street corners. They speak a language with their tight, short dresses, low cut blouses, (and so on) that their customers recognize. When authorities want to catch those customers, what do they do? They send a lady policewoman out who is dressed the same way as the prostitutes. She speaks the language. I donít know if she is a wolf in sheepís clothing, or a sheep in wolfís clothing! But whatever she is, the language of her clothes deceives men.

    I have an article that tells how a pastorís wife in Florida was mistaken for a prostitute, arrested by a policeman in a patrol car, taken to the station, and booked. Since she had no identification on her person and was arrested on a street frequented by prostitutes, she was booked on a loitering charge. She had claimed she was fixing dinner for her family and two visiting couples when she discovered she needed to go to the store for bread and it was while on this errand that the policeman picked her up.

    That ladyís clothing said something to the police. The poor policeman lost his job.

    A "lady pastor" in Texas was asked by the management of a public swimming pool to put on a more modest bathing suit. Her skimpy bikini offended other patrons at the pool. The language this "Christian pastor" was speaking by the clothes she was wearing offended even the world!

A few years ago my family and I were visiting at the San Diego Zoo. (Sometimes you wonder if the biggest zoo at the zoo is behind the cages or in front of them!) There was a lady who came walking into the area where we were. I could not believe what this woman was wearing in public. Her main outer garment was a peach colored slip. She wore her underclothes as her outer clothes. I thought to myself, what language is this woman trying to speak? She was clearly speaking the language of sensuality.

    Years ago when I was just a young preacher I preached a message from Isaiah 64:6 "All our righteousnesses are as filthy ragsÖ" When I walked into the pulpit I put on a ragged, filthy, dirty, old, torn coat. It was one of the ugliest coats you have ever seen in your life. I wanted the language of the coat I was wearing to continually remind people of the Scripture I was preaching.

    Your clothing speaks a language all its own. Everyone by his or her clothing is speaking this language, whether sumo wrestler, truck driver, factory worker, waitress, soldier, policeman, or preacher.

    The parents of a 6-year-old boy wrote me and said: "Our son was in the grocery store and he saw a lady wearing shorts and a halter top. He turned, looked at his mom, and said "Mom, that lady does not have her clothes on." Her clothing (or lack of it!) communicated a language to that young boy. Accurately, or inaccurately, her clothing communicated something to that boy.

    In school systems all over the United States they have started in the last few years to require uniforms. What a novel idea! Our Christian school has been doing that since its inception. The world used to make fun of us for doing it. The public school youth would laugh at our youth. We just kept on wearing them.

    Why do they want uniforms in public schools? Because they need to get one language in and another language out so they can have peace in the schools.

    As long as they have the language of gangs, along with all the paraphernalia that goes with it, they will have warring in schools. One article I read said: "School officials praise uniforms, claiming less violence and vandalism, better attendance, better grades, and more enthusiasm for school. Although unquantifiable, [it means they donít really understand why it works that way] an administrator suggested the decline in crime saves schools money on such items as painting over graffiti and arranging for out of class supervision. Uniformsólove them, or leave them alone? You have got to love them. They put all students on the same level and improve self-esteem. They lessen the rate of school crime and violence. Grades and attendance go up and uniforms cost less than standard school wear. Whatís not to love?"

    When youth were allowed to wear anything to school it sent out the message that anything goes. Now they are saying, "Wear uniforms," and the language of the uniform says to everyone that there is decency, order, and control in the school.

  3 - Inward and outward clothing should speak the same language.

    What language should they speak? For the Christian, they should speak the language of righteousness, salvation, strength, honor, and humility. People with the right clothing on their hearts will want to wear the right clothing on their bodies so that the language they speak on the outside is consistent with the language they speak on the inside. A lamb should wear sheepís clothing because that clothing is consistent with his character. It would be confusing in relation to his testimony if he were to wear anything else.

    Now I want to re-emphasize right here the importance of the inside, because if the clothing of the soul is not right you will become a Pharisee acting like youíre better than all those sinners who donít dress like you. Or, on the other hand, you will probably not receive Godís truth, no matter how clearly it may be presented. Both of those extremes are rooted in pride.

    While talking to a preacher friend, I brought up this subject. I wanted to see if he had any comments. He said, "Brother Davis, the outer clothing of the believer is the biggest area of Pharisaism among conservative Christians." He is saying that it is easy for someone to dot all the Iís and cross all the Tís in relation to the outer clothing and then look down on anybody who does not dress the same way.

    Another preacher told me about a man in his church who went to a lady in his church. The lady and her husband were young, new Christians. He walked up to her in church and said: "Donít you know that you are offensive to men by the way you dress? You shouldnít wear those slacks." The pastor said, "I need to talk to that man, but I am not sure he can handle it." The pastor was recognizing how difficult it is to help Pharisees because they lack the humility that makes a person approachable.

    Now the truth is this: I would rather have a man or a lady who has a sweet spirit who does not know the truth and is not dressed like the Bible says, than to have a person who dresses properly on the outside but is a Pharisee on the inside.

    If a person has the right inside clothing, they will eventually get the right outside clothing. Iíll be giving you a powerful illustration of that truth in Part Two of this message.

    1 Peter 3 talks about the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. If a woman does not have that she may be dressed properly outwardly but it will be obvious to anyone around her that something is severely lacking in her life.

    A person with the right clothing in his heart and soul is going to want to make sure that the clothing of the body is pleasing to God. He or she is going to be approachable, teachable, and concerned about what God thinks.

    Disposition relates to dress. Attitude is key to attire. Character has everything to do with clothing.

    Again, the most important clothing is not the clothing of the body. The most important thing is the clothing of the soul. At some point during this message or part two of this message you may find yourself saying, "I donít like that. I do not agree with that." As soon as you find yourself thinking that thought, that may be your reminder that you need to go back and get the soulís clothing right so you can hear Godís truth about the clothing of the body. If you donít see Godís truth, thatís one thing. But if you donít want to see Godís truth, thatís something else.

  4 - Outward clothing is important to God and should therefore be important to us.

    Some people say that outward clothing is not that important. But they fail to realize that clothing was the very first thing that God dealt with for both the man and the woman when they sinned. God let Adam and Eve know that their fig leaves were not sufficient. Whatever you think about what the Bible says about clothing, be aware that the Bible does say that fig leaves are not enough. Years ago Dr. Lester Roloff said: "It started out as fig leaves. It looks like itís going to end up that way."

    Some ladies will say: "It does not matter how I dress. If men lust after me then that is their problem." But that was not Godís approach. God wanted Adam and Eve to be properly clothed when they were outside and there was no one else around to even see them! God also did not put fur coats on them because it got cold outside. He put fur coats on them because they needed to be covered.

  5 - Godís three purposes for clothing are protection, symbolism, and modesty.

    Philippe Pinero is a missionary on the islands of Vanuatu about 1500 miles northeast of Australia. Bro. Pinero was showing slides in our church and put up a slide with native children who had begun wearing clothes. Then he stopped and said this: "Did you folks know it is more healthy to wear clothes than not to wear clothes? There are so many diseases and scratches and infections that people get when they do not wear clothes." God gave clothes for protection because Adam and Eve had suddenly found themselves in a sin cursed world filled with diseases and infections and thorns and thistles, etc. Clothing is for protection.

    Another purpose of clothing is symbolism, or identification. The priests in the Bible could be identified by their distinctive appearance. They wore the robes and the garments of a priest. Especially did the appearance of the high priest cause him to stand out. He wore a gold mitre on his head with the words "Holiness to the Lord" inscribed on it. He also wore a breastplate with 12 precious stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel.

Nazarites could also be identified by their appearance. Samson was probably the most famous of the three or four Nazarites mentioned in the Bible. God made a special exception for Nazarites and commanded them to not cut their hair. Since Godís ordinary standard for men was clearly short hair, the Nazarites "stood out" as different, and long hair was like a badge of reproach for them to wear.

    1 Corinthians 11:15 is plain that long hair is a womanís glory, given her for a covering to show her joyful submission to authority. But verse 14 says that, even without a Bible, we would know that a man is to have short hair. "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?"

    The Greek word there for "shame" is "atimia," and means "dishonor; shame; disgrace; or vile." Itís saying that it is a dirty, filthy, vile thing for a man to have long hair. The word was used in 1 Corinthians 15:43 to refer to the offensiveness of a dead body. It was also used in Romans 1:26 to refer to the "vile affections" of the homosexuals. I do not think it is coincidental that the long hair on men in our culture seems to have originated with the homosexual rights movement.

    Sometimes people will ask, "How long is long?"

    We were at the Louvre Museum in Paris. We saw the statues and busts of the famous men around the time of the first century. Most of them had hair that was very similar in length to the length of my hair. Godly men are probably Scripturally safe to try to keep their hair off their ears and off their collars.

    Incidentally, Jesus was not a Nazarite. Jesus was a Nazarene. It meant he had been raised in the town of Nazareth. We are clearly safe to say that Jesus did not have long hair and that we should not use pictures of Him that show Him portrayed in that fashion. There was nothing effeminate or "sissy" about our Lord. He was a real man in the very best sense of the use of the word "man." We have hundreds of antique pictures of Jesus where we have without apology given him a haircut in the computer so that His appearance is Biblically accurate.

    Dad and Mom, donít be afraid to cut your little boyís hair. And donít be afraid to let your little girlís hair grow out.

    Life-long servants could also be identified by their appearance. According to Exodus 21:6, they had a hole bored in one of their ears. The hole bored in his ear said that this person is a servant of someone else and has chosen to be that way for life.

    Do you know that it is probably not coincidental that men are now putting holes in their ears? When ladies wear holes in their ears it is a symbol that they are willing to serve their husbands. The piercing of ears by men in our day seems to have arisen out of the homosexual movement. A Sodomite man would use his pierced ear to make a statement that he was the servant of another man in a vile way.

    Incidentally, the fad in our day of boring holes all over oneís body may well be demonic. Remember that the Gadarean demoniac, before he met Jesus had been continually "cutting himself."

  6 - A person clothed with righteousness and humility would want to communicate the language of modesty instead of nakedness.

    All the way through the Bible, God condemns nakedness. He begins with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. As soon as they realized they were naked, God covered them up.

    Dr. Henry Morris said this: "The shame associated with nudity is no artificial inhibition of civilization, but has its source in the primeval awareness of sin. It is only lost when consciences are so hardened as to lose sensitivity to sin."

    Clothing is a reminder to us that we are sinners without the glory glow of God who need a blood sacrifice and a covering for our nakedness.

    Why do many people struggle with Godís truth about clothing? Because clothing is a reminder to all of us of the fact that we are sinners without the glory glow of Godís perfection who need the help of a holy God or we will be in bondage to our sin forever.

   

    I began with the story about a lady who had left her husband. He was "too religious" for her. A liberal pastor commended her for her divorce. But she had only been divorced about a month when she came walking back into my preacher friendís office. She had tears in her eyes. She looked at the pastor and said, "Pastor, you were right."

Four or five times she repeated, "You were right. You were right! I realize that all this time youíve been trying to help me, not hurt me. I made some serious mistakes in leaving my husband. But the most important thing I need to do is get right with God!" Then she said, "Pastor, for the first time in my life, Iím ready to listen."

The pastor gave her some things to do spiritually. She said, "Iíll do whatever God says for me to do." Then she asked, "Can I come back to church?"

That very day he had gotten a request for her letter from the other church. He said, "What do I do about this?" She said, "Donít send it!"

A few days later the wife ran into a friend from the liberal church. Her friend told her that she wouldnít be her friend anymore if she went back to the conservative church. The friend said, "Your problem is, youíre reading that Bible too much, just like your ex-husband."

The lady started reading her Bible. As she did, she started developing her own standards of dress. At first she was coming in for counseling in questionable clothing, then she started coming in wearing a dress. She started doing the same thing where she worked. Her mother called and criticized her.

    In the meantime, she and her ex-husband were going through counseling in order to put their marriage back together. When they set a date to get remarried, the youngest daughter got upset. Then the ladyís parents got upset. Then the older married daughter got upset. The older daughter had been very popular. She had been the Homecoming Queen, the Fair Queen, and a Runner Up in a State Fair pageant." The daughter said, "Mom, itís not fair. If you go back to him, the next thing you know, youíll have dresses on my sister!"

    The lady said, "Pastor, I caught myself saying something you have said over and over: ĎWhat is the big deal about wearing dresses?!í"

    She continued, "I never realized that the dress appearance was such a God that people would rather a home bust up than dress appropriately. My daughter would rather her Dad and I be divorced than for her younger sister to wear a dress.

    Even the youngest daughterís public school teacher heard about what was happening and got wrongfully involved. The teacher went to the Motherís home and told her, "Maíam, if you go back to your husband, and donít allow your daughter to come to the school dances, Iíll do everything possible to have your daughter taken from your home."

    When the pastor heard that, he said, "Well, theyíve gone a little too far now." He called the School Superintendent, told him what had happened, and within an hourís time the teacher was out at the motherís house apologizing.

    The couple was remarried on a Wednesday evening in December of 1995 at the conservative church. The Pastor said publicly, "Some churches in our area have promoted the dissolving of this marriage, but weíre guilty of trying to put it back together!"

    Why do many people struggle with Godís truth about clothing? Because clothing is a reminder to all of us of the fact that we are sinners who need the help of a holy God. Adam and Eve didnít realize they were naked until they sinned. Then what they wanted to do to cover their nakedness and their sinfulness was not sufficient. And so it is even now. People want to wear the fig leaves of their good works; or the fig leaves of baptism; or the fig leaves of going to the mass; or the fig leaves of being a church member. But our sinfulness requires the shedding of blood. Not the blood of a sheep or a goat, but the blood of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Is your salvation something youíre trying to do, or something youíve let God do for you?

I heard a tape where Fay Sammons was speaking to ladies back in 1987. She said:

God wants us to learn how to let our husbands protect us. They can only protect us when we are willing to submit to them.

    I remember a few years ago when my husband came home after counseling a pastor in the area of moral freedom. This pastor had a real struggle going on, especially with women in the church who wore a particular piece of clothing.

    I felt real good about what I had been doing. God had convicted me, and Jim, my husband, had talked to me about dressing modestly, and trying not to defraud other men.

    I worked at trying to get rid of my clothes that were too short or too tight, or shirts that would show the definition of the body.

When Jim came home that afternoon and told me about the preacherís problem with the women in his church. He said, "Fay, Iím going to ask you if you would be willing not to wear one other article of clothing anymore."

    Job 29:14 says: "I put on righteousness, and it clothed me."

    Isaiah 61:10 says: "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness."

Proverbs 31:25 says: "Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come."

1 Peter 5:5 says: "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisted the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."

Righteousness, salvation, strength, honor, and humility Ė what incredible clothes! Did you know that those are clothes that can be seen? When you get around a proud person, you can see it. When you get around a humble person, you can also see it. In fact, that is the reason that

    1 - The main clothing of a Christian is not the clothing of the outside, but the clothing of the inside.

    The main clothing of the Christian is the clothing of humility and righteousness for the heart and the soul.

    2 - Your clothing Ė whether it is the clothing of the inside or the outside - speaks a distinctive language that is all its own.

    This is a universal language rooted in the nature of the creation itself. Notice the word "clothing" in Matthew 7:15. It says: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

    Jesus is referring to the language of the outside, a language so powerful and clear that it is possible to use that language to lie and deceive. A wolf, in order to deceive, may put on sheepís clothing. But be sure of this: No true lamb who knows what he is doing would want to wear a wolfís clothing.

    3 Ė Inward and outward clothing should speak the same language.

    What language should they speak? For the Christian, they should speak the language of righteousness, salvation, strength, honor, and humility. People with the right clothing on their hearts will want to wear the right clothing on their bodies so that the language they speak on the outside is consistent with the language that they speak on the inside.

    You donít want to become like a Pharisee acting like youíre better than all those sinners who donít dress like you. On the other hand, you do want to be teachable.

At some point during this message you may find yourself saying, "I donít like that. I do not agree with that." As soon as you find yourself thinking that thought, that may be your reminder that you need to go back and get the soulís clothing right so you can hear Godís truth about the clothing of the body. If you donít see Godís truth, thatís one thing. But if you donít want to see Godís truth, thatís something else.

    4 Ė Outward clothing is important to God and should therefore be important to us.

    Clothing was the very first thing that God dealt with for both the man and the woman when they sinned. God let Adam and Eve know that their fig leaves were not sufficient.

    5 Ė Godís three purposes for clothing are protection, symbolism, and modesty.

Clothes were given by God for protection because Adam and Eve had suddenly found themselves in a sin cursed world filled with diseases and infections and thorns and thistles, etc.

Another purpose of clothing is symbolism, or identification. The priests in the Bible could be identified by their distinctive appearance. They wore the robes and the garments of a priest.

    6 - A person clothed with righteousness and humility would want to communicate the language of modesty instead of nakedness.

    All the way through the Bible, God condemns nakedness. He begins with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. As soon as they realized they were naked, God covered them up.

    Dr. Henry Morris said this: "The shame associated with nudity is no artificial inhibition of civilization, but has its source in the primeval awareness of sin. It is only lost when consciences are so hardened as to lose sensitivity to sin."

    Clothing is even going to be worn in heaven according to Revelation 1:13 and 19:14.

If people take off physical clothing, what have they exposed? Revelation 3:18 tells us they have exposed their shame Ė "the shame of thy nakedness." In Exodus 32:25 the children of Israel were camping near Mt. Sinai while Moses was receiving the law. There was idolatry, dancing, and nakedness, and the Bible says they were "naked unto their shame." Revelation 16:15 says "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." Notice the consistency of the Bible here. If you do not wear clothing on your body outwardly then nakedness is exposed and shame comes with that nakedness. In like manner, if you take the clothing of humility off the heart and soul, what is exposed? Pride. Proverbs 11:2 says, "When pride cometh, then cometh shame." So if a person is not properly clothed inwardly, it is shameful. And if a person is not properly clothed outwardly, it is shameful.

    I remember being backslidden when I was 14 years of age. I had ridden a motorcycle and gone to the public swimming pool. When I left there I started to put on my clothes. Then I proudly thought, "No, Iím not going to." I rode all over town dressed very immodestly. And I knew better because my parents had taught me better. I can still remember the shame that I felt.

    A key question is this: What is nakedness? That is a very important question because modesty relates to morality.

    One of the reasons we have a plague of sexual immorality of all sorts in our day is because we also have a plague of immodesty.

    A week before Easter Sunday a preacher mailed out a newsletter to his congregation urging everybody to attend the Easter service whether they had a new Easter outfit or not. He did not word his note exactly right. The next day his phone began to ring and church members gleefully pointed out what the pastor had written in his letter. "Forget your clothes and come to church on Easter Sunday." Arenít you glad the folks didnít listen to that? Modesty relates to morality.

    A big caution comes here for those with the clothing of humility and that caution is this: You cannot determine nakedness by human reason.

    People who practice and defend wearing nothing use human reasoning to defend and justify their nakedness. They will talk about how natural it is, how comfortable it is, how those of us who disagree with them are Victorian prudes, and so on. They are using human reasoning.

    Now follow me carefully. If you were to put together the human reasoning of some Christian lady from Papua, New Guinea and some Christian lady from the United States you could justify a woman or a man walking around with nothing on but just a loincloth or a fig leaf. Human reason would take us right back to the original conclusion reached by Adam and Eve!

    Be aware of this: If you are going to use nothing but human reasoning to determine nakedness, you may wear hardly anything at all!

    Too often, even in our Bible believing churches, we have not used a truly Biblical standard to determine modesty. Instead, we have defined modest clothing by how certain parts of the body affect the minds of other people. But using that standard modesty could be almost anything depending on whom you are talking to at the time.

     To think we could come up with an understanding of nakedness using purely human reasoning is to think that we are smarter than one of the most brilliant men who ever lived Ė Adam! Adam was created with an extraordinary mental capability so that he was able to name every animal in the whole world! Yet Adam blew it when it came to knowing what to wear! And Eve didnít do any better!

     Genesis 3:7 says: "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. . . " They figured that out but they couldnít figure out what they were supposed to put on. " . . . and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." Genesis 3:21 says: "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them."

    The word for "coats" there is the same word used to refer to Josephís coat in Genesis 37:3. The word "clothed" in the Hebrew is labash. It has the sense of fully enveloping the body in clothing. Notice that God covered the same area of the body for both Adam and Eve. God covered from the neck to the knee on both the man and the woman.

    You only have to go three chapters into the Bible to find out what modesty is and what nakedness is. But the Bible expounds on this further in other passages. Exodus 28:42 "And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach." God said you have to cover the thigh in order to cover nakedness on either a man or a woman. If you uncover the thigh you have uncovered nakedness.

    Isaiah 47:2-3 is an interesting and key passage. God is using an allegorical illustration of human nakedness to describe the coming shame that is coming on Babylon. It says: "Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen." The rivers, I believe, is referring to the boundary between nakedness and modesty set by God. It is saying that when your thigh is uncovered, nakedness is also uncovered.

    There are folks in our day who think that you are not naked unless you are totally unclothed. But it is possible to be partially naked and without Godís definition you will not know when you are or are not displaying nakedness.

    Any item of clothing Ė shorts, culottes, dresses, whatever Ė that stops covering above the knee cannot be justified Biblically.

    Why is this important? Because modesty relates to morality.

    But it is also important because of what Jesus said in Matthew 5:28: "whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." This verse is the Son of God pointing out to us that sight affects the mind of a man.

    Incidentally, the place to begin practicing this and teaching this is in the home. It seems that every few days now I hear another nightmare story about terrible things happening in the home among family members themselves. It you read Leviticus 18 you cannot help but see that God considered modesty important, not only on the street but in the home as well. Leviticus 18:6-17 begins: "None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD." Leviticus 18 is referring to proper clothing among the whole family Ė the mother, the fatherís wife, the sister, the sonís daughter, the fatherís wifeís daughter, the father, the mother, the aunt, the sonís wife, and so on. It is the passage that shows that people in the same household should be covered when they are around each other.

    Mothers and daughters should be clothed in front of sons. Daughters should be clothed in front of their fathers. Brothers and sisters should not be unclothed in front of each other. Fathers and children should not be unclothed in front of each other. Children will acquire a sense of modesty early on if you will teach them and dress them properly.

    If there is something you do not want your daughter to wear when she is 15, then do not let her wear it when she is 5. Fathers should approve all of their daughtersí clothing.

    Young ladies, please pay attention to what I am about to say. If your father questions some article of clothing, no matter how much you love it, do not argue with him. Just do not wear it. A father knows this area of life better than you do. Let him protect you.

    There are many women who do not dress modestly because they do not understand how God made the mind of a man. I said earlier that you can communicate a language that you do not know that you are communicating. A man is stirred primarily by sight. That is the reason that most preachers who speak about clothing preach about womenís dress but do not preach about menís clothing.

    There is more danger involved in a woman not being properly clothed than a man. However, if biblical truth about clothing is to be preached we have to show what God says about men and women because the Bible standard of modesty and nakedness is basically the same for both men and women.

    There is a sense of hypocrisy that is involved when we in our Bible believing churches say that our girls need to be covered up and then we let our boys run around wearing short-shorts while playing basketball. The Bible is consistent in laying down proper dress standards for both men and women.

    In 1 Corinthians 7:1 we are told that, "it is good for a man not to touch a woman." Generally speaking, a man is stirred by sight and a woman by touch. That is not to say that it is exclusively that way on either the part of the man or the woman. My wife said to me several years ago that she believed some women dress immodestly because they think men are just admiring them. However, there is usually more than simple admiration taking place.

    Let me give you ladies a comparison here that you will hopefully never forget. Picture this. What if a handsome man whom you admire came up and gently touched you on your arms and your neck? The effect that action would have on you may well be comparable to one that you have on a man when you wear clothing that is immodest. Tight pants, shorts, short skirts, low cut blouses, see through blouses, sleeveless blouses, or skirts with slits in them may affect the mind of a man. There are many women who do not realize this. They are speaking a language they do not know they are speaking. They are sheep on the inside and they are dressing like a wolf on the outside and they do not know it. But there are some who do realize it and still continue in their actions. The problem with those ladies is not their outward dress. Their problem is their inward clothing. Something isnít right in their hearts!

9;     Men, be careful about your eyes and minds. Ladies, be careful how you dress around men.

9;     Someone once said, "The public attire of some women wouldnít make a pocket handkerchief for a self-respecting gentleman June bug!" Someone else said, "A century ago it took two sheep to clothe one woman. Today, a silk worm can do it on his day off."

9;     A preacher friend told me about being in a store, and he saw a father and his daughter from his church. The father had been in the church for years and was a prominent leader. The girl was in the Christian school. He was shocked to see the girl wearing clothes that in my day could have been mistaken for her underwear. It was just made a little differently. The preacher said, "I wanted to walk over and shake him and say, ĎMan, do you realize what you are doing?í

    Parents, you must not fail to deal with this area!

    In September of 1995 the U.S. Justice Department was investigating the Calvin Klein Corporation for a picture that was so inappropriate that it probably broke the law. There was a young man pictured in a blue jean ad who was clearly under 18. It was so suggestive that the justice department ordered an investigation to figure out what laws had been violated. The company pulled the ad, and if I remember right, apologized. They said they had been misunderstood, etc.

    That occurrence stirred up Christians all over America, but I saw the picture, and the young man in that picture had on more clothes than the average teenage boy at a typical Christian youth camp!

9; I have been in many peopleís homes, Christian and non-Christian, and seen unclothed pictures, statues, etc. adorning their home. I was in a home one day where the parents were having problems with a teenage son. I was shocked to see an unclothed picture on a wall in the home. I had to talk to the parents and say, "Do you know what youíre doing to your son? You are creating problems for your son by the picture that you have on your wall!"

9; The word that is used to defend such displays in our day is the word "artistic." But once you use that word as an excuse for nakedness, there is no stopping where it will wind up. If you can say that an unclothed man or women is an artistic picture, then whatís going to stop you from calling a unclothed boy or girl artistic?

9;     I have an article from June 27, 1997 titled, "Classic film obscene, videos taken."

9; Oklahoma City Ė

Michael Camfield had not even finished watching the movie he had rented . . . when police knocked on his front door and demanded that he give them the Academy Award winning foreign film.

    "I got the strong impression that verbal resistance on my part was futile and they were going to get that tape one way or another and arrest me if they had to," said Camfield, development director for the American Civil Liberties Union in Oklahoma. (This video contained such vileness I cannot even tell you what it was.)

    Camfield said he surrendered the video after debating with the officers on "constitutional law and artistic merit."

9;     If you can defend one type of nakedness based on it being art, then you can defend any other kind. Some things were never meant to be art! Why do we have such a problem with the N.E.A. (the National Endowment for the Arts)? Because they have said for years that anything can be art!

9;     Christians are the only ones who can show the world the way back to the truth, and we can only do that if we ourselves humbly and joyfully return to Godís standards of modesty.

9;     I have a preacher friend who was touring a major Christian art gallery filled with a large collection of old paintings. A little ways into the tour, my sincere friend looked at his guide and said, "Those people are naked! You ought to be ashamed of that. You ought to cover that up!" He was right!

9;     Listen to this article:

    When miniskirts were introduced in Tokyo, Japan, the assault rate jumped 80% in about six months.

9; Why the sudden jump? Because they got away from Godís standards. When you get away from Godís standards you get into all kinds of problems. The more nakedness we uncover as a nation, the higher the number of crimes we can expect in this area.

9;     In our church several years ago we asked some young men: "What do you think about the clothing of the ladies in our church?" Their response was: "What makes the ladies in our church think that we want to see their bodies? We have made a commitment to keep our eyes and mind pure. We expect that we have to be on guard at Wal-Mart, but why on youth activities? We do not like walking into a Sunday School and having to look straight forward.

9; "We look up and see a Godly lady walking through the church. Her dress is modest, and then she takes a step, and there is a big slit in her dress. It is modest, then "peekaboo", then modest, then "peekaboo", etc."

9;     A slit or a gap of any kind in any of a ladyís clothing may be like a tease that says, "Surprise! Thereís more flesh here to see than you thought!" Someone I read called it a "flashing effect." One wise preacher wrote: "It is strangely enticing. Even if the slit is below the knee, the effect is sensual. We asked a group of young Bible college men if they were tempted by slit skirts, and each one admitted that he is."

9;     Modesty is properly covering the parts of the body that God says are nakedness. It is also being careful not to use any part of the body in a way that would entice others to sin.

9;     "Well, we are Christians!" Yes, but we donít have glorified bodies yet. And until we do, we have to be careful.

9;     All Christians should dress in a way that is Biblically correct, culturally acceptable, and ostentatiously neutral.

9;     One of the saddest things that has happened in our culture is the way ladies wear low cut dresses on their wedding days. Why would a lady, on a day when she takes holy vows to keep only to one man, wear one of the most immodest dresses she could ever wear for her entire life?!

9; It would seem that even the world would say that a lady should be modestly attired on her wedding day. And yet it is almost impossible to simply go to a store and buy a modest wedding gown.

  7 - A person clothed with humility would want to communicate the language of submission and acceptance of themselves, rather than the language of rebellion and rejection of Godís design.

9;     I heard on the radio in 1997 that a young man had been suspended from school because he refused to remove a stud from his tongue. A school official said, "Thatís just too extreme."

9;     The boy was quoted as saying, "The tongue stud is an expression of who I am."

9;     He was telling the truth! His tongue stud declared that he was a heathen. But the Bible says that the body of the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies in every way should declare that we are Christians, not heathens.

9;     The clothes and jewelry you wear is also an expression of who you are. May I ask: How many here are ladies? How many here are men? May I also ask: Do you accept yourself the way God made you?

I Timothy 2:9, I believe, is the key verse in the entire Bible telling how a lady is supposed to dress. "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;"

1 Peter 3:3 balances that verse and shows that it is not wrong to fix your hair anymore than it is wrong to wear clothes.

9;     Going back to 1 Timothy 2:9, I believe the key word in the whole Bible in this area for ladies is that word "apparel." The word in the Greek is "katastole" (kat-as-tol-ay'). "Kata" means "down", "Stole" means "clothing, or robe," which gives it the meaning of "long robe."

9;     The Bible says that the women adorn themselves with modest apparel, or a modest long robe. If it is modest, then it has to go to the knee, so that the thigh is not exposed. If it is a robe, then it is a robe.

9; Let me emphasize to you that the meaning of this word I gave you is accurate. This Greek word "katastole" is two Greek words combined together.

9;     The word "Stole" is a Greek word all by itself. In Mark 12:38, it is translated "Long clothing." In Mark 16:5, it is translated "Long white garment." In Luke 15:22, it is translated "Robe." In Luke 20:46, it is translated "Long robes." In Revelation 6:11, it is translated "White robes." In Revelation 7:9 it is translated "White robes." In Revelation 7:13 it is translated "White Robes." In Revelation 7:14 it is translated "Robes: ĎThey have washed their robesí."

9;     The word is consistent. When it says a modest long robe, that is exactly what it is referring to.

9; Deuteronomy 22:5 clearly gives a principle that should be considered here: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."

9;     The Bible is emphasizing that there is a distinction between the clothing of a man and a woman.

In Cathy Corleís book, What in the World should I Wear? she writes:

    When God gave the distinctions between men and women in dress and hair length, He choose for the lady to wear a dress Ė a long flowing garment Ė and hair that is long and flowing, which is more gracious and feminine and lovely than the appearance of a man. God directed for a man to wear pants or breeches and a short haircut, which by nature is more masculine.

9;     The word "breeches" occurs five times in the Bible: Exodus 28:42, 39:27-28, Leviticus 6:10, 16:4, and Ezekiel 44:18. The word is always used in relation to men.

9;     Another phrase used in the Bible is, "Gird up thy loins like a man." There are people who say there is no difference between a womanís robe and a manís robe in the Bible. I disagree with that.

9;     If you study, you will find out that, generally speaking, the womanís robe was fuller and came down further than the manís robe. Since the men had to work in their robes, they came down to their knees, and underneath them they wore breeches. When they had to run or work hard, they would "gird up their loins."

9;     The man would have this robe-like garment on, and he would reach down, pull this robe-like garment up, and tuck it into his belt. He could then run or work without being hindered.

     The phrase "gird up" occurs five times in the Bible, and is always used in relation to men.

9; God distinguishes between a man and a woman, between a manís clothing and a womanís clothing, and He also distinguishes between the differences in the work of a man and woman. God meant for men and women to be different!

9;     If you study the word for "apparel" in the New Testament, there is a generic Greek word that is used for apparel for both men and women in Acts 20:33 and 1 Peter 3:3. Then there is a word that is used only in relation to men in Acts 1:10, Acts 12:21, and James 2:2. The word "katastole" is used only in relation to ladies.

9;     Years ago I was at the Library doing research on the history of our church, and I came across an article from the Lincoln Courier from August 16, 1904.

Washington, August 16 Ė

    An expected application from Postmaster McKay of Des Moines to be allowed to employ women as mail carriers and the fact that the regulations require these servants of the government to wear trousers have put the official of the postmaster in a quandary.

    Sentiment in the department is strongly against allowing the use of women carriers, but careful search of the regulations reveals the fact that there is nothing there to prohibit them except they would have to wear menís apparel if employed.

This section is plain and unmistakable in its intention to apply to men only, and refers without reserve to "pants, vest, and coat." "The examination and physical qualifications also might prove a stumbling block for the women," said an official.

9;     I have a pastor friend in Sauk Village, IL. He said, "Brother Davis, until 1957, it was against the law for a woman to wear slacks in the town of Sauk Village, IL."

9;     I have a picture from 1896 of four women dressed to go mountain climbing. Itís amazing to me to see how they were able to dress in robe like, yet modest clothing.

9; I also have a picture of a beach scene from 1920. Itís amazing that not one person on the beach appears to be dressed immodestly or improperly.

9;     One of the young ladies here in our church, Nina Marshall, competes in horse riding. She always wears a dress and rides sidesaddle. She told me that she has had judges who didnít like it that she wore a dress. She said, "But thatís their problem, not mine!"

9; Cathy Corle writes:

    Pants have always been a symbol of the man, and the manís authority. When you look for a public restroom, youíll often find two doors with no words. One sign has a figure dressed in a skirt, the sign on the other door has a figure dressed in pants. Does that cause you to stand out in the hallway and wonder which one is which? No! We already know, because pants have always been associated with men.

    Youíve heard people say it for years: "You can tell who wears the pants in that family." Pants are a symbol of a manís authority, and when a woman wears them, she is displaying on her body a message about whatís in her heart.

    Psychologist Esther Rothman, principal for a school for disturbed adolescent girls aged twelve to eighteen in the New York public school system describes the impact of clothing on her studentís behavior:

    Our worst days are when we have a snowstorm because realistically the girls say they have to wear slacksÖ This is the day we know there are going to be at least ten fights. When they dress in a way that gives them greater freedomÖin a somewhat masculine way, they are going to act up. But no girl particularly wants to act up when her hair is well doneÖwhen she is made-up she doesnít want to bother; she doesnít want to disturb it.

9;     Another article said:

    American women have adopted menís clothing as a sign of freedom to denote rebellion against unfair restriction made on the basis of sex.

9;     Among Bible believing churches, this area that I am dealing with has created more problems, caused more splits, and created more bad feelings than any other single topic I know of on which a person can preach. Everywhere I go I hear it. I heard it from a missionary on a foreign field. He said, "You just can hardly preach on it over here." I told him. "You can hardly preach on it in the United States either."

9;     There are many preachers who have honestly put up the white flag. I donít think they are right, but I donít condemn them, because I understand the difficulty.

9;     Shorts are worse on ladies than pants. They are cut-off pants. And if and when they go above the knee, they break both the gender AND the modesty barriers.

9;     I answered a telephone call in August of 1996 and a lady was calling from Louisiana. She had just finished listening to a tape where I had preached some of these same truths. She said, "Oh, Dr. Davis, thank you for that clear Bible preaching showing us why we ought to dress a certain way. I was sitting here listening to your message wearing a pair of shorts. Half way through the message I couldnít take it anymore. I had to stop the tape and go in the other room and put on a dress. My son even noticed and commented about it. I told him, "Son, Iíve worn a pair of shorts for the last time in my life!"

9; Over five years later I was preaching in San Diego, California. That same lady came up to me, reminded me who she was, and told me that she has done exactly what she told me on the telephone that day!

9;     A lady named Nicole gave this testimony:

9; I have been wearing dresses for almost five weeks now and have been convicted regarding my clothes for close to three years. I transitioned by going to several thrift stores and buying enough to get me by. I ended up spending close to $60.00 on about twelve dresses. They were not all my style but I tried to purchase enough different fabrics and styles to get a feel for what would work. I quickly learned that anything dressy did not work, as it made me feel like I needed to wear nice shoes and that is just too uncomfortable with my boys. Also, anything with the pleated waists makes me feel huge and then I don't feel very pretty so I have since bought jumpers that hang straight at the waist. I bought lots of denim and it held up great - even on a two-week camping trip.

My dh [dear husband] and kids treat me so much better and my sons have nicknamed me "princess" because "you are always so beautiful now mommy." I have been able to do everything I have always done including hiking, camping, caving, and scrambling up rock faces into coves. I wore a dress to the beach and only went in to my knees so the bottom of the dress was soaked. I felt going in anymore could make it clingy and therefore immodest. I wore a bathing suit one time and was really embarrassed and changed.

A lot of people have treated me badly regarding this decision even though I have not mentioned my feelings regarding the whole thing unless asked. PTL though, just yesterday I had a friend who phoned me. She said that she couldn't stop thinking about how beautiful my face looked last time she saw me and she had been puzzling about why she noticed it so much now. Then it occurred to her that modest clothes allowed her to focus on my face/smile etc. She said that it really convicted her.

    One last note. My dh used to struggle with looking at other women and I worried about if I wasn't catching his eye would someone else be. Well, he only had eyes for me, he was appalled by others immodesty, and God really impressed on my heart that I need to be obedient to how God is leading me and God will take care of my husband. It has been wonderful to be released from that worry.

9;     Incidentally, the reason some men want their wives to dress sensually is because of egotistical pride. They want to "show off" what they have, like you would "show off" a fancy car.

9;     Again Cathy Corle writes:

9; 9;     "A friend of mine told me that her decision to restrict her wardrobe to dresses and skirts came as a result of a ladiesí class. All the arguments and reasons that could be given were unheeded until the lady who was speaking said, ĎLet me just demonstrate something to you.í She asked the ladies in the audience to close their eyes momentarily. She held up a large picture of a woman in an attractive, feminine skirt and blouse. She asked the ladies to open their eyes. Then she inquired, ĎWhat is the primary focal point to this picture? Where did your eyes first fall naturally?í The audience agreed that their eyes were first drawn to the face of the woman in the picture.

9;     "She once again asked the ladies to close their eyes. When they opened their eyes they were looking at a large poster of a woman in a sport shirt and blue jeans. She asked, ĎNow, be honest with yourselves, and tell me where your eyes first fell naturally when you looked at this picture?í Many of the ladies in the crowd were surprised to find that most peopleís eyes first focused upon [an area they all realized they should not be looking at, which was] vividly emphasized before they ever notice the womanís face. If this happened in a crowd of ladies, how much more would it be true of men? For my friend, this was all the Ďevidenceí that was needed."

    -A person clothed with righteousness and humility would want to learn their language from the Shepherd, not the wolf.

    Where has all this come from? I am going to trace a little history for you.

    One article says:

9;     "It was not until well into the 1920ís that anyone but the most indiscreet and daring women would wear trousers, even in the confines of her home. Initially, the new style was greeted with disapproval and ridicule. Women were told that they looked very ugly in trousers and the Ďwanting to wear pantsí was unnatural and sexually unattractive. The fad spread, wearing slacks to the office or to a park was still out of the question, and any female who appeared on a formal occasion in a trousers suit was assumed to be eccentric and probably [worse]."

    It remained this way until the actress Marlene Dietrich, in 1933, donned a typical mannish slack suit and initiated "the true beginning of the era of slacks and shorts for all."

    Something else happened in 1933. Helen Jacob, at the Wimbledon tennis match, was the first woman to wear "man-tailored" shorts.

    Something else happened in 1933: the humanist manifesto!

    A man was telling me about his conversation with his father. His father told him about when slacks on ladies first became a part of our culture.

    Though Marlene Dietrich wore them in 1933 they didnít really become popular until the 1940ís when women started doing menís work because so many men were out on the battlefield. His Dad said that when the ladies went to work in the factories in the 1940ís, they wore dresses. However, their dresses were getting hung up on the machinery, so they designed coveralls for the ladies to wear. Many ladies still would not wear the coveralls except at the factory. They would wear a dress to the factory, put the coveralls on while at work, and then change back into their dresses when they left.

9;     A newspaper article from April 22, 2001 talked about "TVís big role in dictating fashion:"

9;     "Ever since television first hit the airwaves it has acted as a conduit for trend setting styles brought to us by way of the prime-time landscape. In ĎI Love Lucy,í Lucille Ball cast the American housewife in a fashionable light with her pretty housedresses, and other TV homemakers followed suit.

&# "But when Mary Tyler Moore debuted as Laura Petrie on ĎThe Dick Van Dyke Showí just a decade later, she did something no woman on TV had ever done Ė she wore pants. The result was a stampede for Capriís."

     Where has this all come from? It hasnít come from the Shepherd. It has come from the wolf pack. Christians clothed with righteousness and humility will want to get their fashion design from Heaven instead of Hollywood.

     Spurgeon said, "London gets their fashion straight from Paris. Paris gets their fashion straight from hell." Satan has a whole line of ladies wear designed specifically to promote all kinds of wrong things.

How should a Christian dress? In a way that is Biblically correct, culturally proper, and ostentatiously neutral.

    1 - The main clothing of a Christian is not the clothing of the outside, but the clothing of the inside.

    2 - Your clothing speaks a distinctive language all its own.

    3 Ė Inward and outward clothing should speak the same language.

    4 Ė Outward clothing is important to God and should therefore be important to us.

    5 Ė Godís three purposes for clothing are protection, symbolism, and modesty.

    6 - A person clothed with righteousness and humility would want to communicate the language of      modesty instead of nakedness.

    7 - A person clothed with humility would want to communicate the language of submission and acceptance of themselves, rather than the language of rebellion and rejection of Godís design.

    8 - A person clothed with righteousness and humility would want to learn their language from the Shepherd and not the wolf.

    9 - A person clothed with righteousness and humility will be willing to accept God given responsibility for their example in this area.

    I had a lady who told me why she and her girls decided to wear dresses: "In this world, where all the gender confusion is taking place, we just decided we wanted to celebrate our femininity." A neighbor of hers said, "Itís such a special joy to look down the street and see girls who look like girls and boys who look like boys."

    Fay Sammons told how that her husband Jim came home that afternoon and told her about the preacherís problem with the women in his church.

    He said, "Fay, Iím going to ask you if you would be willing not to wear pants anymore."

I really thought he had lost his mind! I mean, I wore pants half the time! That was half of my wardrobe! He explained to me again that when you wear pants it shows the definition of your body, and how it causes a man to lust; defrauding a man.

    I said, "Well I know Iím supposed to submit. So honey, Iíll try real hard. Iíll try wearing skirts and dresses more. But I have so many of them!"

    He said, "Fay, you just do what you think is right. I just wanted you to know how I feel, and Iíd rather you not wear pants."

    I tried real hard to do what he asked me to do. There were times though, that I would slip back. The pants were so comfortable, especially when I was working outside.

    He would come home sometime for supper, and I would be in my pants. He would say, "Oh honey, you look so nice when you wear a skirt or a dress!" Iíd say, "Iím going to try harder Jimmy!"

    Then I had this great idea. This was in the day of pantsuits, so I thought, "What if I wear pantsuits when I wear pants. The long jacket would cover me."

    Jim said, "Fay, you do what you want to do. But I believe you shouldnít wear pants anymore."

One day I was going to run some errands. It was in the wintertime, and I had on a long car coat over my blue jeans. It was hot in the car, so I took my coat off. I was going to run into a shoe repair shop.

I thought, "It is so nice outside, Iíll just leave my coat in the car and run in." I walked in, and a man came and waited on me.

    He said, "If you donít mind waiting, I can fix your shoe while you wait."

    I said, "Oh, thatíd be great." I was standing at the counter and I heard the door behind me open. I glanced around to see who it was, and it was a man.

   There was a shoeshine chair behind me, and he climbed up in it. He said, "Itís a nice day isnít it?"

I said, "Yeah, it sure is."

    I just got to feeling awful. Here I was, standing in my blue jeans. This man was sitting directly behind me, and I just got the weirdest feeling.

    I started praying: "Oh God, put a wall of protection around me. I pray that I am not causing any wrong thoughts to come to him. God, just make me like Iím invisible!"

    In a minute he said, "Are those new blue-jeans?"

This was a perfect stranger! No man had ever asked me if a piece of clothing was new! I knew right where his eyes were! It was just awful!

    I said, "No, theyíre not."

    He said, "Oh, I wish mine looked that good after laundering them."

    I prayed, "Oh Lord, get me out of here as fast as You can!"

    The man came back, I got my shoe, and I got in my car, and burst into tears! I knew that God was     spanking me. I knew that I had gotten out from under my husbandís authority and protection.

God loved me so much; he wanted to protect me. He was using my husband to put that protection over me. I was saying, "Forget it, I donít want it." I was fearful of what God would do if I would ever wear pants again!

    That night, when Jim got home, I asked him to forgive me for being rebellious, not submitting to him, and not willingly getting under his protection. I thanked him for loving me so much that he wanted to protect me.

9;     I am concerned about our country. Our country is getting in worse shape morally. One of the reasons is: "Christians will not accept Godís truth in these areas, and accept that truth graciously." I would beg you not to take what I have preached tonight and become a Pharisee looking for somebody to attack who isnít dressed just right! That is not wearing the clothing of righteousness and humility.

9; "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (II Chronicles 7:14)." Until Godís people get where they should be, the world will never be healed.

10 Ė Clothing is a reminder to us that we are sinners without the glory glow of God who need a blood sacrifice and a covering for our nakedness.

9; "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10)." The number one garment everyone should be sure they are wearing is the garment of salvation.