Friday, May 24, 2013

Immodest Culture

Lol.  I have gotten exhausted with this subject.  I've looked women in the face and had conversations about modest dress and they laugh at me.  Almost like a "Dude, are you crazy?"  And even though the Bible offers scripture speaking directly to the way women should dress, still, no submission.  But ladies breathe, this is not what I'm talking about today.  I am, however, addressing why maybe you fear it.  Or why you have not considered it.  Let's work.

I think we live in an immodest culture.  Before we begin, we must define what the word "immodest" means.  It means: Not modest in conduct, utterance, indecent, shameless.  Not modest in assertion or pretension; forward; impudent.

So you can get a clearer understanding, the word modest means:  Having or showing a moderate estimation of one's own talents, abilities, and value. willing to call attention to oneself; Observing conventional proprieties in speech, behavior, or dress. Free from showiness or boastfulness or attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.

So immodest is that our culture is NOT the things above.  Crazy huh?  And how much of what we do everyday is subconsciously to glorify ourselves?  I said subconsciously, which means we do it without even thinking about it.  There's a lot of things that points to this being true.  I won't call you out, I'll just be brutally honest about myself.  Ready?

Deep within my heart, what's the purpose of this blog?  Yes, I enjoy sharing my heart with you all and hoping to encourage you, but what if a little bit of me has my ego struck when you're reading it?  I feel good when 70+ people are reading what I have to say.  And how many of my "encouraging" Tweets is for self glory? "Yeah, look at me. I got this Jesus thing down don't I?"  How many times do I dress nice to go anywhere to impress?  Maybe I like to hear people say, "You look nice today Claude."  How often are the things I say only to promote myself?  How often do I name drop so people will know who I hang with?  "Yeah, I'm in that club and that level at the church.  You're not."  I may walk into my church with a certain swagger because people know me.  Everyone runs up to me saying, "Hey Claude", and yes, maybe I enjoy it. 

Scary huh?  God and I deal with that pretty often in my quiet time, one of the first things I pray for is for Him to remind me that it's not about me and my own glory but Him. That the influence I have is not mine but His.  But I have that reminder.  Our culture doesn't.  And look at our culture.  I mean all the social media is for YOU to express your opinions about everything.  Sportscasters sit in their comfortable chairs and share their "valued" opinion of everything in sports.  And we don't live in a modest culture at all when it comes to sexuality.  Every TV show talks about sex as if it's not a personal, intimate, and private moment between two couples committed to each other.  And we'll watch sex scenes that we wouldn't allow to happen right in front of us.  The level of profanity and disrespect to each other. The selfishness expressed throughout our days.  When I'm mad that I have to wait in line at Wal-Mart.  I'm mad when someone pulls out in front of me on the road and then drive slow!  Are you kidding me!?  Do they not know who I am?  I deserve to go to Wal-Mart for one thing and not have to wait 32 minutes in a line!  I deserve to drive in peace and ease to my destination without someone cutting me off or slowing my speed down.  ME ME ME!  I, I, I!

So even trying to speak with a woman about modest dress is funny now.  Because I love their response.  "Well nothing is cute in modest dress."

Sadly and terribly true.  And why?  Because our culture is telling them that showing their bodies is womanly.  It's women's fashion to wear tight and revealing clothes.  So why would I dare call women to conform to scripture rather than the culture?

I'll say it again.  Who am I to point women to conform to scripture and grow in godliness by doing so with the pressures of culture for them to look a certain way?  

So anyways, with our immodest culture, how do we even pursue modesty?  Because from the definition, it isn't just women that need to get better at it.  I'll just ask some questions for you to measure the motives behind some of your actions.

Why do you Tweet those godly sayings?

Why do you post when you've given to charity and paid for someone else's meal or left a big tip for a waitress?

Why do you share with us on Facebook that you ministered to somebody and they started crying?

Why do you post pictures of you on your glorious and beautiful vacation?

Why do you post pictures of your food?

Why do you dress the way you dress?

Why do you do the things you do at the church?

Why are you leading that small group?

Why are you tweeting the lunch you were just on?  

Claude.  You're asking me to be honest with myself?  

Why yes. Yes I am.

And what's funny, we really don't want to do this to ourselves.  And I'm not saying these things are bad within themselves, I'm just asking you to ask the tough questions and see if you don't experience some convictions.  I've gotten a funky answer for some of these questions and I don't do certain things because of the answer I got. And who knows, your answer to these questions may be 100% Godly and perfect.  That's fine too.  But, it's beneficial to ask just to be sure. 

My goal for this blog is for you to realize how much culture is discipling you.  It is shaping everything we do.  And if you're a believer in Jesus, you must know that this is unacceptable.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

Why is this important?  In the context of Romans 12, Paul makes a statement that is powerful.  

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Conforming to God and not the culture is our true and proper worship.  Living sacrifices, which means while we are alive we are to be sacrificially living our lives that reflects our relationship with Christ, in which since Christ calls us under His Lordship, that means we are constantly adjusting to being made into the likeness of Him.  So yes, it doesn't matter what culture says----Christ is the ultimate authority.  

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