Whatever Happened To…Modesty?

Posted: February 25, 2010 in Living the Faith, On Being Apostolic
Tags: , , ,

Oh man…I can feel the freeze coming from here.  It’s a weird and wonderful thing how an apostolic minister can wind up feeling like he’s from another planet; all he has to do is stand in the pulpit of an apostolic church and say, “Modesty.”  Why, there’s no better way to cool off an otherwise overwarm sanctuary or to settle down an emotionally overwrought congregation.

But really, whatever happened to it?  Modesty, I mean?  When did apostolics begin to act  flash-frozen when presented with a concept so linked to true holiness and real humility?  I dunno, but it’s sad…real sad.  And it’s sad because a lack of modesty presupposes a lack of holiness and humility.

Maybe we never really understood what modesty was.  Maybe we thought that modesty was all about the way we dressed, the way we looked.  Maybe we never really considered that modesty was was less about what we did and was far more about who we were. Maybe we didn’t get the concept that modesty was about us, about our natures, about the manifestation of Christ’s spirit in our lives.

We went along that way for quite a while, you know.  For a few generations.  And as long as our hearts were in the right place, we were modest.  But something happened somewhere along the way.  We lost a connection to something.  And when we did so, modesty started to ebb from us.  And now, it’s an issue.

Modesty is an issue in our appearance. We’ve perfected the art of being immodest while being completely covered.  We’ve learned how to present a sensual, unwholesome appearance while obeying to the letter all of the traditional apostolic “rules” about dress…illustrating perfectly how distant we’ve become from the spirit of those guidelines.  We are as obsessed about our bodies as the unsaved are, and we are corrupted by the hyper-sexuality of our culture.  But this couldn’t have happened had we not lost touch with the heart of modesty first.

Modesty is an issue in our lifestyles. We are self-indulgent, given to excess.  And when our excess is questioned we’re given to excuse.  We have fully become children of our society, fully participating in an unregenerate culture.  Instead of presenting the temperance becoming of God’s children…indeed, the temperance that’s listed as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit…we demonstrate a gluttony that would startle even Epicurus.  Gluttony of food, gluttony of things…we have become materialists, defining our success by what we possess.

Modesty is an issue in our attitudes. Arrogance and pride are de rigueur for us.  We are haughty.  Those who best demonstrate the Spirit of Christ among us are often those who’ve been saved for the shortest periods of time.  Strange, isn’t it, that the newest of new converts are more like Jesus than the old guard?  Somehow, that doesn’t seem to be right.

These things are issues…even among our ministers.  Perhaps especially among our ministers.  If there should be a group among apostolics demonstrating the higher path, the more excellent way, it should be her clergymen.  Unfortunately for us, that’s not the case.  Immodesty in appearance is not isolated to rank and file church members; ministers wives and families are participants, too.  Immodesty in lifestyles is obviously present as well.  Here and there one will encounter an Apostolic minister who lives modestly because he chooses to…but far too many have been seduced by the idea that “more is better” and that “gain is godliness”.  And sadly, we have not been disciples of humility.  Pride among apostolic ministers is so well known as to be a byword.

Why?  Well, it’s as I said at the beginning; modesty is a product of  true holiness and true humility.  And those are heart issues.  Holiness and humility are things acquired in the presence of God, and when we lose our connection to them its only a matter of time until unregenerate humanity begins to surface.  And surface in an ugly way.

And little is uglier than an immodest apostolic.

  1. alcaja says:

    so the whole issue is….?
    we must become simple.
    simple in our passion for Christ & Christlikeness.
    simple in our needs and wants.
    simple & transparent in our relationships.
    so… the emergents are part right…
    the part they are wrong in is is graphic and destructive…
    but the part they are right in – we must be assimulated into instead of assulting.

  2. Stay tuned, alcaja, for the next post on the future of the North American Apostolic church…that is, if simplicity is something that you value.

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