by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser
Fundamentalist Christians rarely miss an opportunity to point out ANOTHER behavior that is a sin or causes others to sin.
Several years ago, Trisha Ramos wrote:
No doubt our Facebook pages can be a witnessing tool for the Gospel and with the advancement of modern technology and all the various social media venues, we don’t even have to leave the house to be a witness for the Lord. In fact, why else have a Facebook, but to tell of the Lord’s wondrous deeds and call others to turn from their sins and trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I’m sure there are many other reasons why we have Facebook pages but in the midst of it all, proclaiming the gospel should be the chief aim for any follower of Christ.
To show this more clearly, when you accept a friend on Facebook, typically the very first thing they do is view your pictures. In fact, sometimes that’s all they may do. They quickly skim through them to see how you look and what you’ve been up to for the past decade or two and then off they go, onto the next person’s page. It reminds me of the ol’ adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This saying refers to the idea that a picture communicates something. Sometimes it communicates too much. So with that in mind, when was the last time you went through your Facebook pictures and asked yourself, “Is this modest?” or “What am I communicating to my ‘friends’?” and “Would I want my brothers and sisters in Christ looking at theses pictures?”
Ladies, this is especially for us. If you are a professing Christian and if you haven’t done this already, here’s something practical that you can do: Go through every picture on your Facebook (This may take time depending upon how many pictures you have, but it will be worth it since on Judgment Day you will give an account to the Lord for all of these things) and if you are dressed in an immodest manner, hit ‘Delete!’
If you need help with deciphering what is modest and what is immodest, ask a modest sister in your local church for help, or a godly older women who can give you wise counsel, or ask your husband (assuming that he has biblical standards for modesty). And if all else fails and you have no one else to go to, well then, there’s always me and I’ll be quick to toot my modesty horn.
For starters, here’s a few specific areas that might help you out, let’s begin with cleavage. Ladies, if you are showing cleavage, hit ‘Delete’ as fast as you can! I don’t care how “cute” you look or if someone else posts to pic of you or if it was way back in your BC (before Christ) days. This is not acceptable in any circumstances for a woman who professes to follow Christ. Simply delete the picture or ‘Un-tag’ yourself.
If you have photos of you or your friends in bikinis, hit ‘Delete’ as quickly as you can and don’t look back. Or if your mid (midriff) section is showing hit ‘Delete’ please. And short shorts are a no no, so you know what to do with that, ‘Delete, delete, delete’. And then check your heart and ask yourself, “What is it within me that desires to present myself in this manner?” and “What does this speak of the condition of my heart?”
“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel…” 1 Timothy 2.9a
Like the Pharisees of old, modern-day fundamentalists major on the minor. Cleavage is everywhere these days. Women have two breasts and the space between them is cleavage. Women have had cleavage for as long as I can remember. It is utterly amazing that anyone would give one moment of time to the issue of women showing their cleavage. Cleave away dear women, cleave away, I say!
Are Christian men so weak that any show of cleavage causes them to lust? Maybe I am too old, but when I see cleavage my first thought is “are the breasts real?” I am glad to be free from the Puritanical shackles of fundamentalist Christianity. As a man, I am grateful that I have the freedom to say “nice” in the presence of my wife and not get a lecture on “if your eye offends you pluck it out.” It is refreshing to hear my wife say “that’s a nice looking guy.” No fear of infidelity. No fear of moral compromise.
There is a lot of sexual dysfunction in the Evangelical church. Blogs like the one mentioned above help reinforce this dysfunction by teaching women to treat their body in ways that diminish their sexuality or turn their sexuality into something to be ashamed of. Christian men are viewed as helpless and weak, turned into horn dogs by the slightest bit of cleavage or leg. Evangelical women are taught that it is their job to keep these poor, helpless men from lusting and falling into sin. Time to cover up, head to toe…wait a minute…isn’t there another place in the world where women are required to do the same?
Trisha Ramos is married to Emilio Ramos, teaching pastor of Heritage Grace Community Church in Frisco, Texas.
Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network member, Bruce Gerencser blogs at The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser He writes from the unique perspective of having been a pastor for many years and having seen it all in churches. His journey out of being a true believer and pastor has been an interesting and informative one.
Bruce Gerencser spent 25 years pastoring Independent Fundamental Baptist, Southern Baptist, and Christian Union churches in Ohio, Michigan, and Texas. Bruce attended Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan. He is a writer and operates The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser blog. Bruce lives in NW Ohio with his wife of 35 years. They have six children, and ten grandchildren.