A Brief Word on Brian Sauvé, Beth Moore, and Modesty

A Brief Word on Brian Sauvé, Beth Moore, and Modesty February 10, 2022

Recently, a pastor named Brian Sauvé said some things on Twitter regarding the topic of modesty that drew the ire of many women and men. This isn’t much of a surprise given how much of Twitter is driven by what I like to call the perpetual outrage machine. It doesn’t take much time on the platform to discover that what Obi Wan said of Mos Eisley is likewise true of Twitter on the whole: “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” But, I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest that social media in general suffers from this same phenomenon, where the topic du jour changes more quickly than most people have had the time to process the last thing they were told to be outraged over by the Blue Check Mark™.

It is nonetheless an interesting phenomenon because of how quickly and easily people are whipped up into a frenzy over a relatively benign statement from a pastor suggesting one have some discretion in the photos they post online. The smell of blood in the water brings the sharks—but what many seemed to have missed is that the blood in the water isn’t from the man who stated a simple truth that perhaps I’ll amp up a bit by simply using the words of Solomon, “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion” (Pro. 11:22).

Or perhaps we can dial the notch up just a wee bit further by simply stating this same woman is the one Scripture unabashedly calls a harlot, whose way is to lure men to their death (Pro. 7:6-27). Contrast this with the woman of modesty and discretion, who builds up her house in the fear of the Lord—whom Scripture calls praiseworthy (Pro. 31:10-31), whose beauty is not that of outward adornment, but of a gentle, quiet, and submissive spirit (1 Pet. 3:1-6). The point being: modesty is not only a good and righteous quality in a woman—it actually has to mean something for those things to be true, which likewise necessitates that there is such a thing as immodesty.

As my pastor said, “Modesty is absolutely an issue of the heart—but the reality is that the word ‘modest’ still has to mean something. Sure, you can find a woman who dresses modestly who has an immodest heart, but you will never find a woman who dresses immodestly and has a modest heart.” To put it rather bluntly, you will not find a woman who is modest at heart who takes to social media to display her body for the world’s eyes to consume. She lacks any sense of proper shame in uncovering her nakedness (Gen. 3:7, 9:22-23) and the man who pursues her is quite literally stupid (Pro. 7:7), as he is led like an ox to the slaughter (Pro. 7:22). She takes that which is only for her husband (1 Cor. 7:4) and defiles the marriage bed with it (Heb. 13:4).

The sad part is that these “deeds of the flesh” are part and parcel to the things which Paul says are evident to all, meaning simply that they are obvious. He says, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21). These aren’t the deep truths of the Scriptures which require an exceedingly arduous amount of study and exegetical prowess to discover; these are the plainly revealed truths evident within the realm of natural revelation.

Yet, here we are, with many in the visible church acting as if these things are not all that obvious. You have a figure like Beth Moore who simply mocks Brian Sauvé, rightly being called to the carpet for her own hypocrisy because she made statements on modesty not all that different just years prior. If there were any lingering doubt of her trajectory at this point—my hope is that at least something as basic as biblical modesty would awaken others in the church to see her slide. But suffice it to say, I’m not all that convinced simply due to the sheer number of professing Christians who joined the rally cry against Brian.

Here the common tropes and parodies of sound arguments abound, where people likened their debauchery to a man wearing a suit, as if that somehow conveys a double-standard where women are expected to don a burqa, and the cis white male enforces his diabolical plan to enact The Handmaid’s Tale in real life. The absolute folly of this argumentation is laid bare for what it is when you simply consider that a song like W.A.P. was the degenerate national anthem of the culture just a year or so prior.

I mean, really? Are we going to pretend as if the problem we have in our world is that women aren’t encouraged to be broadly provocative in their attire? Are we really going to pretend as if it isn’t even an issue to find clothing for pre-pubescent girls that isn’t low-cut and revealing? Do me a favor: just talk to a mom this week about this. This is the message of female empowerment in our culture, though, is it not? This is an odd “flex” as it is, where a woman deemed powerful is the one willing to show off her goods confidently before strangers on the internet for adulation through likes, comments, and shares. God forbid someone stand up and say the emperor has no clothes!

Look, I have yet to meet a man who has said the onus is completely on women—that they are not responsible for guarding their own eyes and battling lust. I have yet to meet a man who is unfamiliar with the radical statement of Jesus Christ, where they don’t believe they aren’t to gouge out their eyes, if need be, to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, I have simply yet to see a rational person who advocates for women to dress modesty deny that men also need to embrace modesty, guard their heart and their eyes, and flee sexual immorality. Perhaps I run in circles contrary to those who take umbrage with a simple statement like Brian Sauvé made, but I have sincere doubts.

What I have seen is plenty of people, within and without of the church, who are fearful to say a simple truth: it is not female empowerment to show off your body for the consumption of an utterly godless, sexually deviant world. In fact, I am hard-pressed to see these same people utter the statement that to dress provocatively is wicked, perverse, sin, contrary to the biblical ethos. You will find ample sermons, blog posts, podcasts, etc. on the man’s obligation to flee from sexual immorality—and rightly so. But when one dares to say the opposite, that yes, it is the simple duty of a godly Christian woman to be clothed with modesty, all hell breaks loose. These are not difficult things though. This isn’t something “stunning and brave” to say. It is simply the truth.

More than anything though I believe this reveals we live in a post-Christian society—and be sure to know that this isn’t simply a problem of the leftist feminist movement. This is a problem indicative of many women (and men) in the broader church who have, perhaps inadvertently so, embraced an amalgamation of the Bible and feminism. In other words, this is but one of many areas where many wish to bifurcate between the Scripture’s commands and place prominence and precedence over and above a man’s duties. Believe it or not, we can do both. We can unabashedly call men and women to repentance, out of love for the brethren (i.e. other believers).

Yet again, I don’t think the problem many have is in doing both. Rather, the problem people have with it is the same we find in pro-abortion arguments, where the oft-cited “my body, my choice” is shouted from the mountaintops as if this is a profound statement on morality. But it isn’t profound, and no one who thinks beyond their nose is all that impressed with it. As Brian Sauvé noted though, there is a delicious bit of irony to it all. The goodness, beauty, and truth of the Scriptures has gone forth to the masses with a clear proclamation of the gospel. Indeed, the Lord writes the best stories.

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