Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No shirt. No shoes. No dice.

Sometimes it takes a few items to get me thinking, this time about modesty.

I saw this piece about a man fined $25 for walking topless on a public street. This seems odd, though it would be understandable if it was a woman walking topless.

Also, one of my kids asked me why I was not wearing a shirt around the house, to which I responded with, "That how I roll."

I was then asked, "How come girls can't go without a shirt?" To that I responded with, "Well, I guess that's just how our country rolls."

But thinking about modesty I wondered if Christians were more culturally dependent than we care to admit. I had addressed modesty before as being about more than just clothing, but I wonder particularly about clothing at this time.

Prior to the fall ...
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
-Genesis 2:25

After the fall ...
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
-Genesis 3:7

We've been having trouble with these issues ever since. But are we culturally dependent on defining modesty? Should we be?

Did the Bible decree shirts optional for men? Did the Bible define different levels of modesty depending on venue?

Can we be guilty of hypocrisy if we decry "cultural relativism," but then say you can wear something on the beach, but not at the mall?

(HT Hough for the t-shirt pic)

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At 23 September, 2008 15:37, Blogger Hough said...

It does make you wonder how much those fig leaves covered.

I also read an interesting article in relevant magazine (generally a lame publication) awhile back about a girl who was not a believer observing the Christian subculture. Of the "Christian" items you could buy she found the most interesting was a form fitting shirt that read, "modest is hottest." She observed the argument for being modest (not drawing sexual attention of boys) was that it really was the hottest (would draw the most sexual attention from boys).

But I guess that is how they roll.

At 23 September, 2008 15:43, Blogger Hough said...

I found the shirt.


At 23 September, 2008 15:55, Blogger GUNNY said...

That shirt is greatness and so good I had to share it in the post itself.

I also appreciated the fact that the shirt also draws attention to the chestal region. What's up with that?

At 23 September, 2008 19:03, Blogger Lance said...

More validation that I can and should preach in my Speedo Sunday.

Service starts at 10:40.

At 23 September, 2008 22:02, Blogger Jade said...

You know Gunny in some cultures in Africa, there's nothing un-modest about a woman going topless. Instead, they find it lewd for a woman to expose her legs! So they go topless but must wear a long skirt to cover the legs.
Food for thought....

At 24 September, 2008 09:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I have that shirt - it's a little different design, but has the same message (http://www.themustard.com/juniors/modest-hotpink.jpg).

My 17 year old son will tell you "it's not so much that girls wear the skimpy shorts or shirts - it's just that they wear them WAY TOO SMALL! It's gross!".

At 24 September, 2008 11:50, Blogger Hough said...

Just to be clear, you are suggesting that women should wear bikinis in the mall right?

At 29 September, 2008 15:57, Blogger GUNNY said...

Lance, any pictures of the infamous speedo sermon?

Jade, when I was preaching in Sri Lanka a woman on the front row just started breast-feeding a fussy baby. Unlike what you might see in Texas, there were no attempts to "cover up" or the like.

I was not prepared for that. But, you're right, it is certainly culturally condition in your country that male chest = decent and female chest = indecent, lewd, etc.

Hough, the mall attire is bad enough as it is, don't encourage them!


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