Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: No More Navel Gazing in Church

ROME (Reuters) – An Italian priest is resorting to some innovative theology to rid his church of young women’s bare midriffs.

“God knew what your navel looked like even before you were born, so there is no need to expose it in church,” commands a sign at the entrance to the church in Cinisello Balsamo.

Guards at major churches in Italy routinely keep out people wearing skimpy attire. But Father Felice says he resorted to the signs because his parish cannot afford guards to keep out the low-cut jeans and high-cut tops, newspapers reported Monday.

Monday, 6/5/2006 Reuters


It is summer, and clothes are coming off… all over the world. It is to the point that people are not only willing to dress immodestly, but they are not hesitant to do so in places where it is offensive to others.

I think it wrong for women and men to expose themselves (via bathing suits or other immodest attire), but most often in the past I have been able to avoid places where such immodest attire is worn. Not any more! It is even the case that occasionally we will see people brazenly coming into our own assembly on Sunday morning in attire that should cause shame. Even more disturbing are the clothes that some Christians seem to feel free to wear, often exposing thighs and cleavage, or because of tightness becoming provocative dress.

I saw an interesting news report which clearly shows the kind of attitudes that are presently seen. The sheriff and prosecutors in Santa Barbara are trying to find some way to prosecute a pervert who sat in the stands of an Oxnard High School football game, and took video of the cheerleaders exposing themselves while kicking or doing splits. The man and his wife edited the tapes to emphasize the exposure of body parts, and sold the tapes on eBay. The cheerleaders said they felt violated, and some said they are not sure if they want to participate in cheerleading anymore.

The problem is that there is no law against videotaping the footage. The taping was done in public, and can not be defined as voyeuristic. Further, the girls were purposefully exposing themselves to the public by doing their tricks in skimpy clothing in front of thousands of fans in the stands.

And yet we have young ladies, and the mothers and fathers of young ladies, in the church today who just don’t see what is wrong with being a cheerleader! defines the word provocative as “exciting sexual desire.” Another term more commonly used these days is “sexy.” Why is it that some dress provocatively, and act provocatively, and seem surprised (and become offended) when they become the recipients of the very attention they are provoking?

It is a matter of respect. In order to have respect from others, you must act respectably. The Bible enjoins the ladies especially to shamefacedness (cf, 1 Timothy 2:9). “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety…[and]…(which becometh women professing godliness) with good works” (1 Tim. 2:9-10, KJV).