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Tag Archives: purity

A Better Reference Point for Modesty

I’m writing this post as part of the #ModestyRules Synchroblog. (Image source)

So many voices, so little clarity, so much needless hurt

Modesty is, and always has been, important to me. Perhaps it’s because of my cautious nature and reserved personality. Perhaps we could find a more spiritual cause. In any case, as young as two and three years old, I was averse to showing my belly button. When I became a teenager, and a whole new world of clothing options opened to me, I was petrified of ending up in something indecent. As an adult, I now minister in contexts that regularly put me on a stage, in front of a class, or even in front of cameras — all of which require a conservative dress code.

I say this to affirm: I like dressing modestly. It’s my default. I find no “freedom” in the idea of wearing skimpier, flashier things.

Yet even so, as I think back over the messages I was taught about modesty in my teens, and the sort of messages that get blogged and reblogged today, I’m troubled. Any teaching about modesty must, of course, first define what it is. When you strip away all the lists of rules, the hemlines, the necklines, and the spaghetti straps, what exactly is modesty, and why do we care about it?

The answer to that question, almost universally, has been this: Modesty means adequately covering up your body so that you don’t cause your brothers to stumble.

I would suggest — in fact, I would insist — that this definition is a problem. A big one. There’s a lot that could be said about this, but for the sake of time, I want to focus on four reasons we need to change our reference point:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Real Heroes Run and Hide

Running and hiding doesn’t immediately summon images of heroism. And to be truthful, a lot of times, running and hiding is simple cowardice. On many occasions, the Lord has called people to obey in the face of seemingly impossible odds. In these instances, backing out would have been succumbing to fear and rebellion.

But as saturated as our culture is with action flicks, we have an immense admiration for crazy guys who look danger in the face and laugh. We cheer when the cinematic protagonist, armed with nothing more than a pie tin and plastic spoon, rallies himself to charge the bad guys head-on as his friends are all begging him not to go and get himself killed. Then, of course, since this is Hollywood, he trounces all opposition, suffering nothing more than the obligatory flesh wound on the bulging bicep. We gawk at and envy this kind of self-assured boldness. We applaud the foolhardiness and invincibility complex, calling it “courage”. We begin to admire real life people who are prepared to forge ahead, come what may, giving no thought to potential consequences.

However, the book of Proverbs shows us that there is a time where the heroic thing is actually to run and hide. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2009 in Bible, Heart Stuff, Proverbs

 

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When “Why Not?” Isn’t Good Enough

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the book of Daniel lately. This is my current favorite book in the Bible. If you’ve read the blog for very long, you’ll also know that I’ve written a fair amount on it (and I actually should pick up on that again soon).

In the past few days, I’ve been particularly struck by Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank…” Daniel’s choice was radical. It rubs greatly against the grain of our Western culture. Daniel wasn’t looking for what was permissible; he was setting his heart on what was holy. In other words, he was setting his heart on what was transcendent to the society he found himself in.

Technically, Daniel did not have to take a raw+vegan+water diet in order to maintain a basic level of righteousness. This is actually quite an important point: Daniel didn’t choose his diet because it was required of him by God or by the Law. Let’s think about what he could have been eating and drinking. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2009 in Bible, Daniel

 

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Ditch First, Ask Questions Later

I was recently involved in a discussion on a fun blog about whether or not it is possible and okay to listen to someone’s music without your opinion of it being tainted by the artist who wrote it. It’s an interesting question, and brought up much good discussion. For instance, there are some artists today that we, as believers, clearly wouldn’t support. Yet, several classical composers were no better in their personal life, but we don’t revolt at their work. How do you draw the line? Where do you draw the line? Is there even a line? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2009 in My Two Cents

 

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I hate the spirit of this age.

I’ve held back on blogging about this for a couple of days, because the title is so incredibly negative… but some things are worth being incredibly negative towards. I’m stirred up enough today to just let it out. Pardon me if I preach.

I hate the spirit of this age. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Harmless Entertainment… or not

I can’t quite place why, but this is weighing on me tonight and I thought it was worth sharing. In short, this is what’s on my heart: we have got to be vigilant about guarding what we let into our lives as entertainment.

My desire is not to create a list of do’s and don’ts as far as what one may or may not watch or listen to. Rather, I’m thinking of the words of the Apostle Paul: “…’Everything is permissible for me’—but I will not be mastered by anything” (1Cor 6:12, NIV). Within our systems of entertainment lie all sorts of subtle traps that try to master us. We let down our guard in order to be entertained, and don’t notice the strings attached to the things we allow inside our souls. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2008 in Heart Stuff, Intimacy with God

 

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