How Christian “Modesty Rules” Contribute to Rape Culture

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Last week I released a short video on social media, which was viewed about 40,000 times. I titled it, “What would Jesus do with booty shorts?” I shared my heart on “clothing policing” girls and women in the Church and in Christian schools. I told my own story concerning the subject, in less than three minutes.

I told the “Christian internet” that when I was 18 years old, I packed my bags and headed to Bible school down south. I was an “on-fire Christian,” who was excited to dedicate my entire life to ministry. In high school, I dressed like a normal teenage girl. Now, “normal” then is a bit different from “normal” now, but you get the point.

The dress code at my Bible school was much stricter than my Christian (minister) parent’s expectations were. I tried to obey the dress code, but it seemed like every other day, my clothing was being policed. One RA came up behind me and said, “You look adorable today, but those pants are a bit too tight, and you need to go home and change.”

This was a mixed message and I felt embarrassed; I thought my pants were fine and within dress code. I would have gotten over it, if I had not been constantly told to go home to change for an entire year! I was not trying to break the rules, but many of the rules were subjective to what residence assistants believed were “modest,” and I could not keep up with the confusing boundaries.

Looking back, I realize how much it harmed my heart to have many peers and “mentors” looking me up and down, examining my body, counting how many curves were showing, counting inches of my skin, and subliminally teaching me that Jesus was more concerned about my clothing than my heart.

That year, I lost a bit of that “fire” I had for Jesus. I was made to feel guilt and shame. I was forced to keep up with other people’s religious convictions and this stole my passion and freedom.

I was simply a teenage girl – a human being trying to discover how to balance my love for Jesus with my love for fashion and my femininity.

After I released that video, I received too many hateful comments to read. Sadly, most of these comments were coming from Christians. They called me all sorts of names, attacked me personally, and then quoted Bible verses to justify their vitriol.

I later posted this:

“I was a youth pastor to BEACH teens who lived in bikinis and short shorts. Did I police their clothing? No, I taught them about Jesus and loved them as they were.

If a young woman would have shown up in something extremely revealing, I would have taken her aside and lovingly addressed it, with extreme sensitivity and without shaming; but I am a female.

Grown men church leaders should never be policing girls’ and women’s clothing or bodies. It’s creepy and none of their business.

This is another reason we need more female pastors and church leaders.”

Many Christian men and women lost their marbles yet again, and began to hurl insults at me, and it became clear that these insults were fiery balls from the pit of hell.

We have a spiritual enemy who has used religion to silence, objectify, limit, and control God’s daughters for far too long. Darkness has an agenda to keep patriarchy going strong in the Christian Church, and has blinded many children of God.

When we disagree on what’s biblical, as Christians, we should challenge one another in love and in Christian charity.

The Written Word of God says that the world will know that we are Christians by our love for one another (John 13:35); but something deeply spiritual happens when women and men begin to buck against patriarchy, that has been bathed in sacred-sounding language, such as “Biblical Manhood,” “Biblical Womanhood,” “Modesty,” and “Biblical Gender Roles.”

Some easily forget or ignore it, but it’s right there in Genesis: Patriarchy (men ruling/taking authority over women) is the result of the fall of humankind (Genesis 3:16), and Jesus came to earth to redeem us from the consequences of the fall. Jesus took on every human “curse” and became the perfect sacrifice to set us free from all that is tied up in human sin and sickness.

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13).

There are many Christians who are still living under the law, which is what makes them police girls’ and women’s clothing, women becoming pastors, and pretty much everything girls and women do and don’t do. These Christians are not free in Christ; they are stuck and tainted by the sin of patriarchy (and all legalism). They themselves are not redeemed by love, so it is easy for them to speak hate and quote Bible verses in the same sentence.

Policing girls’ and women’s clothing contributes to “rape culture” in the Church and in society. Within “rape culture,” people slowly shift the responsibility from the rapist to the victim. “Rape culture” asks questions like, “Well, what was the victim wearing?” or “Was the victim drunk?” These questions are not relevant. As I wrote on Facebook,

There is nothing a woman can do or not do to “ask to be raped.” I don’t care if she is drunk and running up and down the street butt naked; she is still not asking to be raped. No human “deserves” to be raped!!! #‎StandWithVictims‬ ‪#‎NoMatterWhat‬

The facts, here in the USA, are that one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives; 80% of victims know their rapist (Source). For this reason, I will continue to speak out against overly strict modesty rules in our churches and Christian schools. Modesty is subjective, and is between each woman and God. Jesus does not give girls and women any hard fast dress code and neither does the New Testament.

Any modesty suggestions that are mentioned in the New Testament are cultural and have more to do with “not showing off wealth” than “not showing off skin” (Ex:// 1 Peter 3:3, 1 Timothy 2:9). The Spirit of God will direct each Christian woman in what she will wear and what she will not wear and Spirit-filled women will come along side our girls with grace-filled, shameless guidance.

“Clothing police” and strict dress codes are not necessary and cause much more damage than good. 

For these people, who are still bound by self-righteousness and law, we must speak out. For victims, we must speak out. For the sake of Christianity’s reputation in the world, we must speak out. The message of Christ is freedom:  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).

Christian feminism is about releasing girls and women from inequality, captivity, and injustice, found right in our churches. We stand firmly against oppression of any woman or man on the biblical basis of gender, racial, and social equality (Galatians 3:28).

Christians and unbelievers alike will try to silence us by attacking, but we will not be silenced. Their words will sometimes sting the heart and drain our energy, but they will not kill us. Even if they do “kill” our voice for a season, we will rise again. The more they hate on us, the louder our voices will become, because we know by their fearful and hateful reactions, that we are most certainly pushing back the powers of darkness.

***

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93 Comments

  • Ugh, yes! Modesty culture is one of almost wholly unfounded moral superiority that pits the world against women and encourages judging a book by its cover. It’s not about morality- it’s about subjugating women. It has to stop. We have to let go of this archaic notion that women are inherently sinful and their bodies cause men to turn to sin.

    I wrote on this a while back, too, but from a more global/less faith-based perspective if you don’t mind me sharing: http://domesticatingmom.com/lets-talk-modesty/

    • Very well said. The other thing that this kind of culture does is also demean men. It tells men and boys that they are not able to be trusted, that they have no impulse control. I think we focus so much on the girl, we forget the boy is a part of the equation too. What message do we send when we say a girl’s clothes are “too distracting” or that our clothes make it difficult for a man to “control his urges?”

      Our expectations for men in these situations are too low and basically communicate that we do not believe them capable of rational, Christian thought.

  • I think that you make a great point in this article. I went from Christian school back to public school because of being judged so harshly. We had uniforms but because I had nail polish on, or because they thought I was “pretty” I was made to felt like I was doing something morally wrong. There was no joy of the Lord in that place. I do love my church and I still attend faithfully. But there were times where I would minister in song and then hear something about my dress. I do understand modesty and the reason for that that is not what I am saying! But I do think there are maybe some Christians that judge too harshly at times or take it too far.

    • Yes Dina! As Christians, we should not be judging each other on what we wear at all! Church should feel safe. We should have signs on the door that say, “Come as you are, wearing what you have!” 🙂

      • What about Muslim modesty rules or Orthodox Jews modesty rules. Oh wait thats right only Christians are bastards.

        • No one was called that in the blog. The writer called out a behavior. She is speaking from her own experience and as such there is no requirement to discuss things outside of that experience.

    • HAHA, we were always in trouble for our clothes, right?!?! I love that we know how each other feels! Miss you Morgie!!! Xo

  • 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

  • “Policing girls’ and women’s clothing contributes to “rape culture” in the Church and in society. ”

    Well said. Not only that but it tends to encourage women to balk at the excessive control and throw off all caution. I do think we all (men included) need to exercise some concept of modesty. We represent the effect of Christ in the world. The way we behave (with some small inclusions of how we dress) does encourage or discourage people to be willing to look toward God.

    It is terribly sad that a majority of modern churches care more about man made rules and positions of power and authority than they do yielding to God’s Spirit. We should be finding God’s presence in ourselves and the church meetings in order to bring healing and hope to everyone.

    Policing women’s attire is so far off the mark it is incredulously ridiculous.

  • You are absolutely right. Having said that I think you realize that haters are going to hate. I think it’s a waste of your time to engage with the haters just continue changing hearts one heart at a time.

    I’m sorry for the abuse you have taken from “church folks “, sadly they think they are doing a good thing probably as the Pharisees thought they were doing a good thing.

    • Yes, I think many church folks do think they are doing a good thing, like the Pharisees did. True, haters are gonna hate. It’s not easy, but I do try to tune them out. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • only one issue over the entire article. I believe you are solidly right in all except for one point and it is a common misconception caused by a lack of accurate reporting.

    I honestly believe that the 1 in 71 men will be raped is significantly low and underreported and is a lot closer to the women’s figure of 1 in 5 then either men or women want to accept. It may be more subtle and less violent but it is still there.

    • That may be true, but the source I provided for that stat seemed to be a reputable source. Either way, I will continue to research this topic in depth, as I am passionate about it! 🙂

      • I commented elsewhere that 1 in 7 men have been raped. I need to correct myself. 1 in 7 men has been a victim of violence which can but doesn’t necessarily include rape. Regardless, 1 in 71 men and 1 in 4 women being rape victims is much too high.

        That said, 1 in 16 men is a rapist. These are sobering statistics.

    • Actually if you include prisons, and why wouldn’t you, according to some articles, more men are raped in the US than women. Another article suggests that depending on definition as many males reported abuse as females. However I wish you had not gone this direction because I thought your article was right on until that point.
      By turning the woman into the victim in your statement “There is nothing a woman can do or not do to “ask to be raped.” I don’t care if she is drunk and running up and down the street butt naked; she is still not asking to be raped.” you conjure up feelings of male vs female again and only push the sexes away from each other. Why not “There is nothing a person can do…”! You concluded with “No human” so that is commendable.
      By the way, I hope we are all teaching our young ladies that being drunk or buck naked is not wise:)

  • Thank you for this! There needs to be stronger voices of Christian feminism.

    For me personally, I take issue with the belief that women must be modest.

    Why modest? Why not shining, living out loud, having strong opinions, belly laughing, hip swaying, heart filled with joy, chasing your dreams and taking the lead?
    Why should any woman be judged on what she wears, if it is an expression of her personality?
    I believe a woman’s purity is measured by the size of her heart, her words, her actions, her love rather than what she wears.
    Thank you for opening the discussion <3

    • I love this, Lucy! Modesty is a heart issue, not a clothing issue!

      I love the idea of girls and women running free, chasing their dreams, without worrying too much about “offending” religious people.

  • Your post really hit home for me. I feel like this culture of modesty is strongly policed and enforced in the South. Growing up in a divided household allowed me to see both sides of the fence. For that, I am very greatful. My mother and her family were devout Christians of the Holiness faith – a denomination that focuses on modesty in all aspects of life. The one you hear the most chatter about? Women. Their lack of modesty or the sinful way they dress is a hot topic indeed.

    My father did not attend church and instead strived to be the best person he could be. He was caring, kind, and hard working. Growing up I wondered why he never went to church with my mother – by the time I was a teen I understood. I have not returned to church since the age of 10. I do not believe it is right to judge others. I have a big heart and I love everyone I meet and see all the good they can do for the world. I refuse to be bullied into thinking otherwise. It is wrong. I struggle with my decision to leave church, and hope to begin a journey for myself very soon. It is a shame that a faith can turn its children so far as to fear church. I fear it. I dread the idea of going and being judged again. God is love. I will never lose sight of that.

    • I so know how you feel. “Church people” can really burn a soul out. I am praying that you will find a community that would bring you life! We should leave church feeling rejuvenated, not beat down. Xo

  • Modesty Culture showed up in my life, although mostly from secular sources, when my boobs came in a lot later than most teenage girls. I’ve been wearing ribbed tank tops since I was 14–I’m 29, and I still wear them all summer! No one had a problem with that while I was underdeveloped. Suddenly my clothing was “slutty” because my boobs sprouted unexpectedly when I was just shy of 17. And they kept growing at an alarming rate for a few years, leading to more and more unwanted comments about my body. Trust me, based on how long it took me to even KISS a guy, and how few guys asked me out over the years, I’m pretty sure I didn’t actually cause “my Christian brothers to stumble in their walk.” (Almost direct quote from one Christian friend).

    Last year I wrote a piece on bikinis, which I cross-posted to The Huffington Post. The comments on FB and on HP were roughly divided into three groups.

    1) Men telling me I was lying and making everything up
    2) Women commiserating with me, women sharing their similar experiences
    3) Men and women calling me a harlot who didn’t care about men’s struggles with lust

    If anyone would like to read it: http://bellebrita.com/2015/04/my-bikini-modesty-culture/

    • Oh geesh. It is ridiculous that any man (or woman) believes that they have any say at all in how another human being dresses! 😉

  • Hi Jory, I thank God for your passion and courage. I pray God’s anointing and favor over everything you put your heart to. And as far as the negative push-back you regularly receive, I pray for humility and protection. And that by God’s amazing grace you can see your detractors as God sees them.

    I have an quote in my office; “Leadership is not about having a large following, it often means standing alone- being isolated, and fearful at times.” Keep standing in your true identity – who God says you are … and speaking truth in love …

    anne and i believe in you!
    Hugs from Colorado,
    tim

  • Loved reading this so much! Thank you for this! I went to a church that “policed” every single person’s clothing, male and female alike. The pastor went so far as to pull my boyfriend at the time to the side and tell him that if he can’t dress appropriately for church he shouldn’t have come! Needless to say, that was the last time we set foot in that church. On another Sunday, I wore a dress that stopped at my knees instead of my ankles and I got looked at like I was dressed like a prostitute or something! The dress wasn’t revealing, just “not long enough”. I can’t stand this nonsense of what’s modest and what’s not. Churchgoers these days think they have the right to judge anyone, especially when they come to church. For this reason, I haven’t been to church since I had my son. Yes, I’m a single mom who had him out of wedlock, and I dread what will be said to me about it. I’ve only found one church that was accepting of me and my son, but it’s an hour away from where I live, and I only used to go when I could go with friends because it was the only was I could get there. It’s a shame so many people feel unwelcome in church these days.

    • Oh Carmen, don’t even get me started on this! The local church should be the most inclusive and comfortable place in the world. People should be able to come as they are and feel loved right where they are at. We are all on our Christian journey and we are all at different places. We all struggle with something and no one is perfect! We should feel safe at church! I am praying that you find a church community closer to your home that loves & accepts you just as you are!

  • “The Spirit of God will direct each Christian woman in what she will wear and what she will not wear and Spirit-filled women will come along side our girls with grace-filled, shameless guidance.”

    Respectfully, you do realize that not every woman in the church is guided by the Holy Spirit right? And that there are a significant number of women who think they are Christian but do not have the Holy Spirit residing in their hearts?

    Your presupposition could potentially lead to more chaos in the church instead of order. God is a God of order and not chaos.

      • Brian, whether or not a woman is full of the Holy Spirit, a man should not be telling her what to wear…try putting the shoe on the other foot…do you wish others to tell you when what you are wearing conveys an immoral attitude?…especially when you do not have an immoral attitude and are just wearing what seems normal to you? Can you not imagine that others may just be applying THEIR OWN sinful thoughts to your clothing and perceiving incorrectly that you are immoral…I think of those pants men wear with the long crotches that hang down to their knees…how many men wear these without giving it a thought…bet many just wear them because they grew up with that ‘style’ as weird as it seems to me…☺

        Wouldn’t it be nice if people would just focus on getting to know others without feeling the need to CHANGE them?

    • Respectfully, you do realize that not every man in the church is guided by the Holy Spirit right? And there are a significant number of men who think they are Christian but do not have the Holy Spirit residing I their hearts?

      Your presupposition could potentially lead to more violence against women. God is a God of love and not hatred.

      Not to mock you, but I have encountered many Christians who are not filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not discriminate. I have been abused by Christians alone, but they have been female or male, pastors or non-pastors, and mostly outwardly modest.

      If men are looking over women lustfully, they should be rebuked. If a women is dressed inappropriately they should be rebuked. Neither party should be subject to the harmful belittlement of their peers but rather “gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance” as it says in 2 Timothy. Say it then leave them alone. And to avoid sexual misconduct, or the appearance of sin, a man should never instruct a women whom he is not married to on what to wear.

    • Brian, who are you to judge that “not every woman in the church is guided by the Holy Spirit?”
      Do you have special connections or unique understandings of the ways in which God’s Spirit is moving?

      Your entire comment is built on the condition that YOU know all. You express 0 humility, which makes it tough to trust your opinions.

      • Wow, um. No.

        Of course there are men who do not possess the Holy Spirit in church. This wasn’t about gender…but interesting how you choose to latch on to that. Says a lot about the heart….but I digress. Jory’s post was specifically about women so women were what was mentioned.

        If you believe that there are not men and women in the church who are playing Christian then you are deceived. The abundance of false teachers and preachers in today’s pulpit is all the evidence that one needs to determine if there are persons lacking in the Holy Spirit in the modern church.

        • Regardless whether the Holy Spirit resides in someone (I’m a deconverted Christian, so you can debate about my case all you’d like), it’s still about controlling someone else if you’re dictating what they wear.

          And dictating to other people that they need to follow YOUR definition of modesty is ridiculous. How on earth are women supposed to know the working definition of modesty for every single male who crosses their path?

          That is an unfair burden to place on someone, and it allows men to abdicate their personal responsibility for their thoughts and actions by blaming a woman’s clothing choices for men’s moral failings.

          • “How on earth are women supposed to know the working definition of modesty for every single male who crosses their path?”

            They aren’t. That is generally why there are standards of dress and/or rules of dress that organizations impose. Speaking as a Navy Chief on the backside of many years in the Navy, I can confidently say that correcting people about their dress doesn’t presuppose a sexually immoral base. There have been countless times that both men and women under my charge did not dress to the standard required, and we sent them packing back home to fix themselves. Just because I dared to correct a woman didn’t mean that I somehow wanted to exert some misogynistic tendency. The tone of this conversation hints that if a man corrects a woman that what is really in his heart is lust, and he should be rebuked. That is a broad stroke that attempts to absolve women of any responsibility for adhering to a standard.

  • Thanks for saying this, it’s especially strange having spent time in countries where seeing people with little or no clothes is not a shocker, it’s normal. Also, I know multiple of my friends who were abused when they were wearing full on stained hoodie and baggy sweatpants.

    • Oh yes, rapists are going to rape no matter what a girl or woman is wearing. We must teach boys and young men self control and the value of avoiding a “lustful eye.” This is what Christ focused on, so this is what we should focus on. Girls and women should not held responsible for other people’s lust.

  • Oh yes yes yes! We can be Praying for discernment, Speaking the truth in love. “Let our speech be always seasoned with grace, seasoned with salt….” (Col. 4:6) I want to remember that I am not the Holy Spirit.

    • Amen Martha! Instead of judging people all the time, let’s start praying for people! This seems the most biblical and Christian response. 🙂

    • Ugh, Nicol! It’s worse when sexism is bathed in “sacred sounding” religious language. There is no where in Scripture in which Jesus policed girls & women’s clothing. We must start reading the Bible in proper context and in a way that honors girls and women’s bodies (and does not sexualize them). Lots of love, sis!

  • We are apostolic/Pentecostal. Where (concerning dress), women wear skirts and dresses and have long hair and men wear nice pants or knee length shorts and have short hair.

    It absolutely irritates me beyond measure that you were treated this way. It saddens me to no end. Many people complain about the apostolic church’s position on holiness attire. Many apostolic church’s put all their eggs in the holiness attire basket. Being a Christian doesn’t mean looking a certain way. And you are so right. It is highly inappropriate for a man to approach a young woman about her clothing. Being a Christian is about loving God and loving people. I do believe in holiness standards, but I also believe in loving people and not humiliating them.

    Furthermore, I hate it that so many “Christians” spoke so hatefully to you in the name of “religion”. What on earth do they think gives them the right!?!? “Christians” can often be some of the most hateful people around. 🙁

    Love and blessings to you, Jory!

    • Thank you, Sara.

      I grew up Pentecostal and Assemblies of God. The churches/schools I went to were more a bit more “modern,” but they still had strict standards for girls and women on dress code. I don’t believe in having any dress code for girls and women in a church environment. “Come as you are. Wear what you have” should be the sign on every church’s front door. In time, the Holy Spirit will work on hearts, and most girls and women will simply choose to dress more modest as Christians. But, it should be their choice, and not done out of guilt or forced obligation.

      Lots of love, sister! 🙂

  • I don’t believe this only contributes to a ‘rape culture’ either but also a ‘domestic violence’ culture too. If it’s okay for your pastor to tell you what you can’t and cannot wear and what is and isn’t appropriate, it isn’t much for of a stretch for your husband to do the same. To control you and dictate what you can or cannot do – an emotional form of domestic violence.

    Thank you for taking a stand on something that is quite clearly a controversial topic within your community.

    • I agree. We must come to a place in which girls and women make their own choices for their own lives. If they are Christians, we should encourage them to talk to Jesus about their choices, not mere men.

  • “These Christians are not free in Christ; they are stuck and tainted by the sin of patriarchy (and all legalism). They themselves are not redeemed by love, SO IT IS EASY FOR THEM TO SPEAK HATE AND QUOTE BIBLE VERSES IN THE SAME SENTENCE.” Yes!

    …never ones to ENCOURAGE others in the faith, legalists enjoy talking down to others and putting them in their place, as they see it…driving spiritual innocents from the church because such men are CARNAL not spiritual and therefore can only look at young women as ‘sexual’ beings, no matter how they dress, whether covered head to toe or not. They do not perceive the things of the SPIRIT OF GOD because they are NATURAL men…as the Bible puts it.

    I spent the first 20 years as a Christian all wrapped up like a mummy until I came to my senses…this modesty ruling is imposed by men who have no spiritual understanding. That is why they missed your strong spiritual gift. They live on a fleshly plane, unable to perceive spiritual things, and so they turn the church into a carnal place…having no ability to join in the spiritual nature of churches.

    …you are right…it needs to end. Young SPIRITUAL girls are just that, young, INNOCENT, and free in the Lord…and I for one, despite being an older woman who knows how these men are, living outside the Spiritual realm, determined to impose the Flesh on the Spirit in the church of Christ. They simply cannot see women as spiritual beings. That is why they treat women as Satan does, giving them no liberty. Therefore I defend your right to be free, as long as you are not also living on a carnal level yourselves, and I respect your wisdom, if you are spiritual believers, to decide what that is FOR YOURSELVES under God’s guidance. It is time for more focus to be placed on the need for leaders to be chosen IN THE SPIRIT, and to realize that men who are legalists do not KNOW the Spirit. Such men have no place taking authority over others in the churches and spiritual men and women need to see that they do not permit those of fleshly nature to ‘lord it over others’ as the “princes of the Gentiles do” because Jesus commanded “it shall not be SO among you.” Sadly, it is difficult to find a church where legalism is not lording it over the people and it is difficult to find spiritual people who are willing and strong to protect the church from the carnal types of leadership.

  • As a non-believer I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that there are those within the church that recognize this and are willing to fight against this. Believe me when I tell you that you won’t find much hate from atheists on this, we’ve been fighting for Christian women on this front for some time.

    • Just something I wanted to add. You are very brave for standing up for this. As a non-believer it’s kind of expected that I would criticize the church and call it out where I see it (so I’m used to the backlash.) But to stand up to your own to try to make a change for the better, that is admirable and very brave. I wish you luck.

  • I commend you for your message, not because I happen to agree with you, but because you have substantiated and corroborated your point very well.

    Do not be dismayed or disheartened by those, women as well as men, who despite professing to be indwelt by the Spirit of God have no more understand about that profession than the vile which proceeds of their hearts from which Jesus said come all murder, false testimony, slander and such.

    The penchant for dictating to girls and women what someone has determined is modest has a close cousin. It is the penchant for DOING those right things which falsely ensure some saints not only that they are the right people of God, but they are the only people of God. These things include having a certain specific number of “elements” which identify the assembly of those saints as the right ones. It has been evident for some time that these brothers and sisters, with no thanks to those who lead, teach and preach, have starved and strangled the life of the Holy Spirit in them.

    Life? What life? It became so much easier to dole out rules and a proper inclusion of those right elements in worship.

    There was neither knowledge, understanding nor joy in these words of Jesus: He who believes in Me from his innermost shall flow rivers of living water.

    I just spoke out through an article on the murder in Orlando. I did so because I do not want my silence to be cast along with some saints (and this is quite real) who privately squeal with glee at the murder of homosexuals. I am compelled to so as well concerning the judgment of women and girls, sisters in Christ, for what they wear and never listening to what they say. I understand the use of the term rape culture as just another effort for the world to frame its understanding of the criminal behavior of rape. Like too many such phrases which the saints in Christ are just as quick to adopt and embrace it gives the impression (like the terms trinity, unitarian, etc.) that we have understanding when there is little and sometimes no understanding. It may well be true that modesty rules contribute to rape culture. It may be equally true that the term rape culture, especially by the saints in Christ, contributes to the ignorance and misunderstanding, not just of the particular sin primarily against women and to a lesser extent men, but to the deity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit who dwells the women and girls and men and boys who have been clothed with Christ.

    Peace and blessings to you, Jory.

  • Thank you. I hate that men will tell women that they must dress modestly or else men may “lust for them in their hearts” which Jesus discusses. The words of Jesus are directed to MEN to watch their hearts, not to women. Women are not responsible for men’s hearts, men are. I can’t blame other people for my sins. That is just another form of oppression.

      • Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

        We have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters, not to be a stumbling block to them. It is not all about you/me.

        • Absolutely. Keep in mind, that this verse is not specifically about women’s clothing. Also the administration is from the Bible to us to consider, not for us to control one another with. Nor does it absolve us from our own sin in the face of stumbling blocks.

    • The stat I provided is correct (1 in 71 men) according to the source I provided. Please see for yourself. God bless. 🙂

  • Keep on preaching! I think we should take an offering! Anyway one thing I noticed years back is that the Evangelical church almost never addresses male modesty. In fact, that’s one thing that stuck out to me about Islamist countries whose modesty rules have the force of law: though more lax, men also have rules for modesty(one rule regulates the length of their shorts); whereas Evangelicals ignore male modesty altogether.

  • Jory,
    Thank you for keeping the “comments” option available! I recently commented on another of your blogs with something like 30 gazillion hearts. (Slight exaggeration.)

    I’m glad you’re addressing (again) this topic. I carefully thought through some corrective remarks that I made while serving as a youth pastor (yearrrrrs ago.) My hope is that I handled it with gentleness, but to be honest, I’m not sure I did. I know that I have grown in grace and wisdom since then, and I know I now handle the hearts of young girls much more tenderly.

    I think you demonstrated exactly what the problem was both in citing your experience and by making the comment, “If a young woman would have shown up in something extremely revealing, I would have taken her aside and lovingly addressed it, with extreme sensitivity and without shaming; but I am a female.”

    Within that wise and kind statement lies the problem. And we simply don’t have an easy answer for it. I’m speaking, of course, of the fact that no matter how wise or tender we are, “extremely revealing” is subjective. (Knowing you were talking about beach culture, I imagined you referred to something like a thong bikini… but I don’t honestly know. Maybe you were talking about a swimsuit that showed most of the breast or her naval.)

    I do know that the challenge is that we’re dealing with the intention of hearts here; both of the person who is wearing the clothes and the person who is observing. And honestly, we’re just not good at knowing the intention of other people’s hearts.

    Jesus– on the other hand– was (and is) great at discerning hearts. He is also great at discerning what the person He is dealing with needs from Him. When He came to Bethany after Lazarus died, He met both Martha and Mary before visiting the grave to resurrect His friend. Each woman, separately, said the exact same thing to Him: “If you had been here, my brother would not have died!” To Martha, His ever-practical favorite, He chose to give her an explanation of correct theology. Then, He chose to take action– “Take me to his grave.”

    So… what is the answer? How can we– in love– choose what to say and not to say? First and foremost, I believe, the answer will have to do with our relationship with the person. In EVERY CASE, we FIRST need to evaluate whether we’re someone who has the authority to speak into another person’s life; either by virtue of an official role (such as pastor or leader) or permission to speak into their lives– such as, we’re a close friend from whom they seek advice. NEXT, we need to know whom we’re dealing with: non-believer, a new believer, a mature believer, a wounded believer. FINALLY, once those two factors are determined, we need to seek the Holy Spirit on what should (and should NOT) be said, how it should be said and when it should be said. Bad idea: “Your shirt is too tight! You’re not protecting the eyes of your brother!” Better idea– spoken in private!:++ “This is awkward to say, but I know your heart and I think you’d want me to mention it. I noticed that from this angle, I can see a little more cleavage than you may have intended. Let me know if I can grab a safety pin or a cami for you.”

    Jory, as a former complementarianist (???)who is now navigating egalitarianism, I so appreciate your point of view and your willingness to share it. Thank you!
    Jenna

    • OOPS!!! I somehow deleted a key phrase from this:
      To Martha, His ever-practical favorite, He chose to give her an explanation of correct theology. Then, WITH TENDER-HEARTED MARY, He chose to take action– “Take me to his grave.”

  • I think I’m confused…so now it’s the Christians’ fault people are getting raped? I guess it might be interesting to poll how many rapist come from conservative Christian homes that police clothing choices or comment on clothing choices. I know the LDS has strict requirements on clothing. Does their religion have a higher percentage of rapist? I’m sorry you were body shamed, I’m not a fan of dress codes, but I have a hard time making the jump from dress codes to rapist without seeing some hard data.

    • Sadly, it doesn’t take much research to find that a great deal of sexual abuse and assault (including child sex abuse) is happening within the institutional church – very often in the very places which talk the loudest about modesty and purity. That is why there are so many blogs these days talking about it. If you are really interested in learning more, here are a few just to get you started:

      watchkeep.blogspot
      snapnetwork.org
      netgrace.org
      recoveringgrace.org
      sgmsurvivors.com

    • She is not calling christians rapists. She is saying conservative christian dress codes contribute to “rape culture” which is a mental state where people shift the blame in their heads from the rapist to the victim. Ex. “She was asking for it dressed like that”

  • Hi Jory,

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now. I graduated from a school in Waxahachie a few years ago and was an RA during my senior year. It was difficult to judge what followed the dress code and what did not, and whenever there was question, the dress code was altered to be more specific. There were rules about workout clothes, leisure wear, classroom wear, and what was allowed in chapel. I remember welcoming new freshmen girls into the school, and when we defined the dress code, a new girl in the dorm began to freak out because we had outlawed most of her wardrobe in under 10 minutes. Looking back, I cringe thinking of girls we sent back to change who missed out on morning worship before chapel, or girls who were given fines simply because their tank tops were 1.5 inches wide, instead of 3 inches, which was about the standard for chapel (where in the world can you find 3-inch tanks anyhow? Do they even exist?). I remember whenever our dorm pastor would bring up an update to the dress code (which 99% of the time, only applied to women) in our meetings, and cringing at the amount of nit-pickiness that defined how we were supposed to dress. It also occurred to me that most of the people making these decisions about female modesty were males, except for our one female dorm pastor. I seriously doubt leadership knew how much they were adding to the problem of sexualizing women’s bodies by defining how much shoulder skin was okay to show in chapel, or whether a centimeter or two of fabric would really keep a guy from lusting over a girl’s legs if that was the intention of his mind and heart. I loved my time at school, but it amazes me how we can support and encourage women as fellow heirs and leaders in Christ when it comes to ministry, yet have trouble seeing past her outfit.

    • Hello Olivia. I know exactly what you are talking about. As we get older, we realize how unfair these dress codes are to girls and women.

  • What about Muslim modesty rules or Orthodox Jews modesty rules. Oh wait thats right only Christians are bastards.

    • Modesty rules in Islam exist to give women the choice of what another sees. Think of the punishment Queen Vashti (Book of Esther in the Bible) received for refusing to display her beauty. Men is Islam are required to lower their gaze, not to blame a woman’s appearance for their own actions.
      However, misogyny exists in all cultures. So her points can equally be applied to other religions. I don’t think she was singling out Christians, just sharing from her personal experience.

  • I read this article and I was sad; sad because it’s annoyingly prevalent in my country [Nigeria]. You see women (and girls) turned back at the door of churches because they would “seduce” the men. It’s something I want to speak out against but I don’t know if I have the courage yet. But thank you for being a voice for women.

  • Where we would agree is it should be women who enforce dress codes and other moral issues on ourselves in the public sphere, not a primary role of men. However, this is not justification for female pastors, nor is this a patriarchal problem. In reality, when the west was patriarchal, modesty and other moral issues were enforced by women to women. It would not be chivalrous for a man back then to shame another women in public, but you would have come under the scrutiny of your peers.
    There are codes of dress in the bible and Paul gives us this information. He went further than how much skin was showing, he even told the ladies who had more money to dumb it down for the sake of those who could not afford fancy clothes. Was Paul subjective?
    The gospel is not an abstract feeling devoid of the physical world, this is romaniticism, rather it is embedded in the physical world.
    Part of our physical world is the reality of sin, and we are to be an example to the world how our faith in Christ counters sin. Part of this is the animosity between the sexes, and the gospel teaches us to reduce this animosity into harmony. The curse of the fall between the sexes is a faulty compass between the sexes. Men at times would rule women unfairly, and women would try to take this away for their own.
    We have to cooperate with each other and if that means dressing modestly on our part, then we do it out of faith and love.
    I can declare a right to leave my keys in the ignition of my car at all times and cry to the insurance company that not covering my loss for doing so is contributing to a car theft culture. This would not be owning my part, so i am morally required to bring the keys with me.
    It does matter how a women acts and behaves in public-like running around drunk and nude when it comes to a rape charge.
    In typical crime like a shooting death, the law recognizes that an unnatural death occurred is wrong. They have hard physical evidence of something wrong in itself under the law. They just have to conclude if it was an accident, self defense or a homicide.
    However, rape is much different because people having sex is not evidence of something wrong because it is a normal part of life. Since sex itself is not a crime, it all hinges on consent, and this depends on testimony and evidence that backs up this testimony. Therefore, a women running around drunk and nude will have a hard time proving her lack of consent.
    This is real life. Yet, even in cases where a woman has used the legal system as a tool of revenge against a man and is guilty of purgery. She is not charged for her actions.

  • I was very saddened reading this article. In no way should people judge others for what they wear, but the Bible has much to say about Biblical modesty and women adorning themselves with modest apparel. I dress modestly because I have a conviction from scripture, and I do not force my views on others. But when I have the freedom to teach on dress, the Bible is clear about women dressing to please God first and it was also a reflection of their husbands. I would dare say biblical modesty doesn’t promote rape culture, it’s the rapists. And Jori, I would love to see where in the Bible you get your basis for being a preacher? As genuine as your love for God is, you have no right to hold the office of a bishop.

  • Thanks for this. Although I cannot speak for all guys, I do know that the guys I associate with will agree that we all have a lot to learn. My friends and I are always sad and frustrated at our history of misguided patriarchy, abuse of power, and terrible objectification. It is always good to hear these kinds of stories and thoughts so we can continue to learn and grow. Our wives and female friends and colleagues guide us through the myriad of confusion on these subjects. I think our job is to listen, learn, support and act on what we learn as best we can, although we continue to make 1000’s of mistakes. Just so you know, some of us men are hearing all of your (women who are telling their stories) messages and trying to support you, learn from you, and grow with you into the future.

  • I think you are missing an important aspect of modesty. This was the theme of the movie “GI Jane”: It isn’t that women are weak, men are. Even in my 60’s I am immersed in all manner of visual allure that I find irritatingly distracting. I behave myself, am well trained in keeping my eyes where they belong, and would never dream of criticizing what another person wears. Yet, despite my best efforts, it remains a struggle and the feminists both in and out of the church feel free to say it’s my problem and just keep my mouth shut. I do that but I cannot feel free to have a conversation when there are issues that are “third rails”. Like so many other struggling men, I no longer feel at all comfortable or welcome around Christian feminists. I suppose there will be cheers but, not to worry, we don’t live forever.

    • I think you raise a point that people need to be more aware of. It’s not just men who need to be respectful, but both men AND women need to understand what affect their actions and dress has on the opposite gender. We all need to be mindful of how we’re affecting the other gender, and what kind of culture we’re trying to create. Why should I expect to dress and act how I want (as a woman), but then hold you (a man) to a higher standard of self-control/restraint, and expect you not to look at me or say anything? I don’t understand how women can expose their skin or dress provocatively and then get upset when someone from the other gender reacts to it… we all have a responsibility to our community to make it one in which people are viewed first and foremost in terms of their actions before God, rather than their sexuality.

  • I am a female pastor and a mother of 3 teenagers, 2 girls and a boy. I teach my children that God created them wonderful and beautiful and that their gender and/or physical appearance should never limit them from becoming who God created them to be. However, I also teach them (my son and my daughters) to be modest in their dress – not out of shame at all, but out of respect for themselves. I fear that too often girls (and boys too) are taught by our culture that they have to dress ‘sexy’ to be beautiful and that is simply not true. Modesty doesn’t have to mean baggy clothes or long skirts, but beautiful doesn’t mean ‘letting it all show’ either. To me dressing in a way that accents ones physical sexuality takes away from seeing the true beauty. I don’t disagree with what you said – and shaming or rejecting people based on some obscure standard is wrong. But teaching kids/teens to respect themselves in their dress is a God honoring, as well as self honoring, thing to do.

  • Hello, your post was quite elegantly written and very thought provoking. I have a question for you. What would your response be to women who choose to cover up and practice modesty as a way of getting closer to God? For me personally, I feel that women are so pressured to expose more and more of themselves in this society, that any woman who DOES want to cover up and not expose her skin is often given strange looks, ostracized, and ridiculed. Women put a lot of pressure on other women by setting cultural norms and ideals of beauty that involve showing more and more skin. By doing this–showing more and more–aren’t we creating a culture in which we are sexualizing ourselves and conditioning men to look at us in a sexual manner?? Just a though…

    • Anna, I believe that women are smart enough to decide what they will wear on their own. If that is very conservative clothing or more sexy clothing, that is their choice. The key word is “choice.” Women are adults, and should be able to wear whatever they want. Each Christian woman can talk to God and decide for herself what is appropriate for her. It is between her and God alone.

  • Jory,

    I came across this article recently when a girl that I went to college with, ten years ago, posted it to her Facebook account a couple weeks ago. I tried to look up your video, “What would Jesus do with booty shorts?” but I was not able to find it. I am sorry that people have said hateful things to you and I will do my best not to do likewise. That does not mean that you will not view some of what I say as harsh, but I promise you just as Jesus was not being harsh with the disciples when he said repeatedly, “How long must I endure you?” neither do I mean anything I say to be harsh. I read your bio and you say that you value the authority of scripture and value that those who “oppose” you feel that they value it too; I am hoping that this statement is true of you. I also read an article that you posted that a man name Tim wrote about modesty when I was looking up this article again.

    Now to get to your article, I have never in my nearly 36 years of life read anything “Christian”, either liberal or conservative, that is as hateful as this article is. After reading this article multiple times and then paragraph by paragraph it is my opinion that this article could be called, “Why I hate conservative “Christians” and how I believe they are ruining the Church” and would be more in line with the content of the article. Please hear me out here; there is no more hateful a thing that anyone can do than to not forgive someone for the way that they have mistreated you. The second most hateful thing is to then condemn those same people for their “wronging” you. I am sure you do not see this but that is exactly what this article does. I feel in order to have an edifying conversation with you that I must first point out how hateful your article is. I would ask you how is it that you can spread love with speech that is hateful? I think it is fair to say that is a point that you make in this article.

    Looking at your article from a logical argument presented you start out with a story about your college experience insighting emotional appeal, as though your experience makes you an expert on all things modest. You then continue by emotional appeal to present that people who are focused on a woman’s clothing are unloving and not concerned with the heart but rather with law, which you state more emphatically later on. Then you move into the topic which is your intent for the article, “rape culture” which is presented as fact by accusation supported with facts that are pertinent to rape but not to your claim. You then move back into accusation about anyone who “polices clothing” and how horrible those people are and how their only intent is evil and not good aka condemning by emotional appeal. Consider if you would we consider emotion as something that comes from the heart of a person. The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful desperately wicked, who can understand it?” Please understand I am not trying to slander you but rather shed light to what I see that I do not believe others see. Hopefully you can see or start to see that there are issues with your article.

    I ask you to consider something about your story, you talk about how when you went to college for the one year you were talked to daily about your clothing and that this stole your fire. You claim that the people were not concerned about your heart but rather law. Proverbs says, “the ways of a man are right in his eyes, but the Lord directs his steps”. Have you ever considered that there was a reason you went to that college and not the reason that you may think? If I were to call you a prude, how do you react? It has been my experience that most Christian woman, especially “feminist”, react by recoiling and looking for the nearest exit. But the word Prude means a woman who is concerned with modesty. So why would this been seen in a negative light? The other article from June 2016 that you posted did a good job of pointing out how there is an issue of lust at hand with men but I find that I agree with the retired Chaplain that the article is like looking at one side of a coin and claiming that is all there is in the conversation. For anyone who decides to read this post but has not read the other article I would ask that you stop and read that one so that it can be understood without completely restating in this one that that article is a good representation of one side of the coin. But l am looking at the other side of the coin because it is applicable to your post. If God took you to that school, which I do believe that he did, and your experience (or the only thing that you have focused on in this article) is that daily you were talked to about your clothing, is it not fair to say that it could be something that God was trying to point out in your life? We all know the story about the rich young ruler who believed that he was “on fire for God” but Jesus points out to him an issue that is literally keeping him from being “on fire”. John talks about, “Do not despise the chastisement (correction) of the Lord for those who He loves He will correct”. Your claim was that the “clothing police” where not concerned about your heart. I have been the “clothing police” myself and will admit that it can be and many times is done negatively, but I have always been concerned with the heart of the person. The Bible on multiple occasions talks about knowing a tree by its fruits …basically a persons actions is an out pour of their heart. The last fruit of the Spirit is “self control” which modesty would fall into. You make a great point that when you focus only on one thing that is a sign of the fruit that is can be destructive rather than edifying. Proverbs says that when you rebuke a wise man he will thank you but a fool won’t. My point is this when you rebuke someone you have to consider your own motives and approach but there are two people in the situation so you can do everything right and still have the negative experience. What I see from your own words is that there was at least one person who considered how taxing it would seem to you to be talked to about your clothing. But I do not see anywhere where you have considered that God was trying to point out to you that you had a heart issue that you had not considered. No one is perfect and it is talked about multiple times in the Bible about how the Spirit and the flesh war against one another. Paul gives a deeply personal account of the struggle in Romans 7. If God brought you to that college to confront you about an issue of the heart that you had and you have responded by turning to feminism is it also not fair to say that it is not against “clothing police” that you fight but rather God? I think this is a fair thing for you to examine in your life.

    As far as your very brief claims to rape culture I do not think this article does anything to really address all of the issues regarding rape. There are many forms of rape and/or sexual assault the two worst of which I think are your focus that being predatory and spousal where psychological abuse is also present (meaning the partner, usually the woman, is devalued and forced into a sexual act) these are the situations in which the attacker will attacker no matter what the victim (usually female) does or does not do. But to completely absolve the girl/guy who willfully dresses in a way to draw attention (no matter how small), then: goes into a bar or club drinking looking for someone to meet, flirts (which is a form of seduction), acts in ways that would be perceived as sexual (in the way of dancing, conversation, etc.), and/or allows herself/himself to be in an environment that logically would breed thoughts that would stir desire, is irrational at best. If we were talking about a different topic like dealing with a recovering alcoholic and I were to say that it was not at fault if that person got drunk and then any actions that follows, would be shut down before I could get the words out. In a court of law I would be held accountable for any and all actions that person did because my actions lead to theirs. That does not mean that they are not accountable to their actions and ultimately the one responsible for their actions. It is not one or the other it is both. What I find unbelievable is that you would focus more on clothing police rather than how the dating culture, drinking culture, and the feminist culture are contributing to the rape culture and/or sexual assault.

    In my opinion the reason why anyone would focus more on the clothing police than the other three I have mentioned is because they are seeking their own agenda rather than addressing a major issue that needs to be addressed. Case and point the rest of your article is praising your position (also known as self righteousness) and condemning anyone who would have a differing opinion.

    I want to address your condemnation using solely the Bible. You point out that man having authority over woman is a result of the fall. That is awesome and a valid point. But, you ignore the rest of the Bible and even the rest of the story. Woman (her name is not Eve yet) is deceived and eats the fruit. She then causes Adam to fall (which he does willingly… we assume though that he knows it is the fruit he is instructed not to eat but honestly nowhere in the Bible does it say that he did. Even worse it is assumed that he was standing there and did not stop the situation with woman being deceived but again there is nowhere where this is even hinted to anywhere in the Bible) I think this story is apart of the conversation of this article for a reason, because it is the same discussion as the rape culture with differing details. Look at the story. When God shows up He does not even address Woman (again not yet Eve) rather He questions Adam, who is the one who He told not to eat the fruit (she was not even made at that point). The result of Adams answer is that Adam would struggle when working the land, would be kicked out of the garden, and ultimately have a spread a sin nature that would separate him from God. But consider this if you are adamant that Adam did nothing to stop woman from sinning, why did Adam point a figure at the woman? If you were in the same situation and you heard and saw everything wouldn’t you point the figure at the serpent rather than the one thing that is your greatest joy among creation. I believe that we are more wicked now than Adam ever was and logically if we would behave a certain way Adam and woman would have done so more righteously. But it is the lack of anywhere where Adam is held accountable for not stopping the serpent that points to the fact that he was not there for the conversation. Unless you believe that God is unjust and only cares that Adam ate the fruit. When woman points to the serpent her punishment is that she will long for mans authority (which she never has) and be under his authority which she had not been prior to, have pain in birth, and is kicked out of the garden with Adam. Then God addresses the serpent who is only held accountable for deceiving woman (again nothing pointing to Adam being there). Adams first act of authority over woman is to name her Eve. Basic point each person is held accountable for their actions and their effects on others actions.

    There is an issue that I must address before continuing and I know you will disagree with what I am going to say. Feminism and Christianity are polar opposites. Feminism is not about equality nor better treatment of woman. There is a reason that the feminist movement began with and has continued to be pushed by atheist women. This is why I make my statement: the first thing that the feminist movement pushed for was for woman to be able to work. The way that they pushed for that was through contraception. I forget the woman’s name but she flat out says, “It is not until woman stop having babies that they will be able to fight to be able to work.” Look at the story in the garden again first thing that God tells Adam and woman is to be fruitful and multiply. Proverbs says that a man whose quiver is full is blessed by God… aka a man who has many children. The Bible says it is a mans duty to his husband to provide children for his wife. And the Bible talks about how God forms us in the womb. I think when you look at Proverbs 31 you can not say it is wrong for a woman to work but that work is not at the cost of having children. The next thing that the feminist movement pushed for was woman to rebel against having long hair and remaining a virgin until marriage. I do not think you will say that anyone should have sex before marriage but did you realize that the Bible in 1 Corinthians 11 tells a woman that she should, “have a symbol of authority on her head” and that, “she dishonors her head (man) if she prays or prophesy’s with her head uncovered” and that, “even nature teaches you that a woman is given long hair as a covering”. I am sure that every feminist that reads that just went into an uproar but the Bible does say that in the New Testament. I think it would be pointless to debate about what is long hair so I will leave it at this is what the Bible says. Then the feminist movement started pushing to take men down telling them that men were weaker than women and that she should use her body to take him down – Feminist manifesto. From this thought came the porn industry, bikini’s (which only strippers would wear to model originally), modern high heals – to make the legs and butt more appealing to man, abortion (I am thankful to see that you are pro-life), thongs (again through strippers), and now a push for woman to go topless. Look these up all of these things are products of feminism. From feminism’s start one of the major focuses has been challenging modesty. Many people do not know this but up to 1956 every single denomination of Christianity practiced woman wearing some type of head covering (not just her long hair) while at church. The point is there is a reason why all of these things are the fruits of the feminist movement.

    Now lets look at Christianity and bare with me because this is not going to be popular. Christianity is not concerned with social justice. Look at the passages to slaves and this is case a point. A slave is told not to try to seek to get free from there master. They are literally told the remain in the state which they were redeemed, if free remain free if a slave remain a slave. This is only the beginning of the conversation though because there is a word to the masters. The concern of Christianity is that all would come to salvation no matter the cost to the messenger. As a result of the relationship with God a Christian acts just. If we focus on social justice it will distract us from spreading the Gospel effectively. Social justice is concerned with how society acts rather than with the heart of the individual. Ironically this is a shoe on the other foot situation, whereas the clothing police focus on the actions of modesty, social justice focuses of the actions of societies justice.

    I can now move into the most important topic that your article causes to need to be addressed. Without looking at Biblical authority you can not understand why feminism and social justice is anti-christianity. Both of which I understand you consider bold statements. I know you will agree that if the Bible says it three times it is important. Allow me to show you this then it comes to addressing authority the Bible does a three by three. Authority in the Bible literally works like this: God has all authority, He in His authority gives authority to whomever He pleases (and holds that person accountable to that authority) thus to rebel against anyone’s authority is to rebel against God. The first place that authority is given is in the garden when God gives Adam authority over all creation (woman is not even made at this point). Adam uses that authority to name every animal and when given the authority to even name woman (Eve). When God makes woman the authority that she has is based on being Adam’s wife meaning at no point does she make a decision that opposes Adam’s. Sorry ladies. In the Old Testament every time someone rebels against the one that God has given authority that person is destroyed basically. David even at one point refuses to touch Saul because Saul was God’s anointed. Move to the New Testament there are multiple times where Christians are told to submit to the government in all things because God has appointed those leaders. (That does not mean that those leaders are righteous people case and point Nero was one of the rulers during one to the letters it is said to submit to government.) But there are three places were in sets of three authority is addressed on a small level: Husbands and Wives, Children and Parents, and Slaves and Masters. It each passage it follows the same pattern the person who is under authority is addressed first and told to submit. Then the person in authority, husbands, masters, parents, are given instructions about being righteous leaders and are reminded that they have to answer to God for their actions. In 1 Peter woman are even told to call their husband’s lord the same as Sarah did to Abraham, the word lord is the same as master. Yes, the Bible tells a woman to call her husband master. I can already hear the rebuttal coming because everyone does it that it does tell a man to force his wife to submit. You are right but honestly stop because this is an emotional reaction rather stop and ask why would this be said in the first place? Lastly before I point out something fundamentally important, in 1 Timothy and 1 Peter the qualifications for being an elder or deacon are laid out both of which require one to be male. And in 1 Timothy it is said, “I do not permit that a woman should have authority over a man” and why is that? “Because woman was deceived in the garden”

    I know the response to this is that I am trying to subject women but honestly you have missed something. Man (humans) are made in God’s image. 1 Corinthians 11, the same passage that says woman should have a symbol of authority on their head, show a more detailed picture. Males are made in God’s image and females are made in males. Now you may think that I am trying to put woman down, not the case. What I love best about this passage is that it sets up something that makes it impossible to dishonor God, males, or woman. It is like this in this passage if males are dishonored then God is dishonored. If females are dishonored the males are dishonored. If God is dishonored then there is no honor to be had. But I still have not gotten to the point…. why would God establish this cycle? Well because God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God has designed man (humans) to be a refection of Him… Father (males), Son (females), and Holy Spirit (children). Look at Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, over and over and over again Jesus states that He does not do His own will but rather the Fathers. In the New Testament every time you see the word God it is referring to the Father only. It is impossible to believe that women are degraded because they have to submit to men and believe Jesus. In Romans 1, the same passage that we get that homosexuality is not right, Paul saying that everyone is without excuse for not acknowledging God who is plainly displayed through all creation. The most plain display of this is gender roles. The authority that Jesus operates with is the Fathers which the father has given to Him. Just the same the authority that the Church operates with is not of the Church but is Jesus’s which Jesus has given to the Church which is His bride. The idea that Jesus freed woman to be church leaders does not make sense. First off name all of the disciples and apostles (aka the ones he used to build the Church and lead the Church) that are female. Here is a clue there are only twelve of each and none of them are female. But he does bring honor to woman that they should have had all along but where denied. Also look at the temple Jesus at no time tries to change the Temple with exception of selling in the temple. In case you do not know a woman could not enter most of the Temple. In fact the closer you get to God in the Temple the fewer the people that could enter the space.

    The most important lesson that I learned from getting wrapped up as a clothing police was the difference between subjection and submission. Submission is the willful act of putting oneself under anthers’ rule. Subjection is when someone forces you under their rule. A husband is never called to put his wife under subjection but consider David put his first wife, the daughter of Saul, in an enclosed room so that she never saw public again after she tried to have authority over him. There is no sign of this displeasing God but David does go into her to fulfill his duty to her… aka provide her with kids and love.

    I hope that I have laid out well why I boldly say feminism is against God. I hope you can test this against the Bible and then shape your thoughts around the Bible. But getting back to the rape culture conversation I have one more thing to say. One of the most taught thoughts in the New Testament is about liberty vs discipline. The topic is normally about eating. But the point of the conversation is that if there is anything that would cause a brother (or sister) to stumble, even if that person is stumbling because they are being to strict, that you should refrain and in fact are sinning by not refraining from doing whatever it is. Look again at 1 Corinthians but go to chapter 10 and you can see this and the thought is not stopped until you get through the famous passage in chapter 13 about love. Ladies to claim that you love your brother and not concern yourself with modesty (which is not about clothing but rather includes clothing) is impossible. I challenge you to read 1 Corinthians chapters 10 – 13 then cross reference to Romans, then read Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians and hopefully you will see how fundamental the doctrine of adjusting your actions as an act of love is to Christianity.

    I hope I have done well at being peaceful and keeping the unity of the Church. That does not mean you like everything that is said. But, I know what I have said to be Biblical.

    Very Respectfully

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