By Donald Townsley
It is my conviction that there are several sins that are committed more frequently during the summer sea-son than at any other time of the year. In this article we will look at some of these sins.
The problem of immodest dress grows worse by the year! Dressing immodestly (by either women or men) is contrary to the law of Christ. Christians are not to be lascivious (Gal. 5:19). Lasciviousness is conduct that is shameless and shocking to public decency. Thayer says it means “unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, shamelessness, insolence.” W.E. Vine says it “denotes excess, licentiousness, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness.” Clark says it means “all lewdness.” These definitions show that a Christian must always show restraint in conduct, be de-cent in dress, and never be lewd in any sense.
The definitions above would rule out the wearing of skin-tight jeans or pants on the part of male or female; the wearing of shorts; dresses that are cut too low, too short, or too tight, and dresses that have a slit which shows the leg half-way up the thigh (giving a “strip-tease” view of the leg which is very sensual and lust-enticing to the male). Paul said to the women: “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works” (1 Tim. 2:9-10). Paul told the older women to teach the younger women “to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Tit. 2:5).
The nakedness of a woman’s body excites lust in men. From his roof-top David saw Bathsheba washing herself and she was “very beautiful to look upon” (2 Sam. 11:2). David looked, lusted, then sent for her and committed the overt act of adultery with her (2 Sam. 11:4). The same thing happens over and over today: women ex-pose their nearly nude bodies to neighbors and friends of the opposite sex; lust is kindled, then it is not over until that neighbor or friend “goeth in to his neighbor’s wife” (Prov. 6:32-35)! Trust is destroyed! Hearts and homes are broken! And it all began with a woman indecently exposing her-self!
A woman who displays her body before men, or conducts her-self in such a way that she causes them to lust has become a stumbling-block (Matt. 18:6-7). No godly woman is going to be displaying her nude (or nearly nude) body before the eyes of a lustful world which has “eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin” (2 Pet. 2:14). A godly woman knows what is modest (in apparel and in conduct) and lives accordingly. She also teaches her children and sets the proper example of modesty before them. The writer of Proverbs said of the evil woman, “Lust not after her beauty in thine heart” (Prov. 6:25). Jesus said that “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:28).
Mixed swimming is another summer sin that falls in the same category as that discussed above. True Christians will not expose their bodies to one another and to the people of the world by going to the public swimming pools and beaches. There is also physical contact involved in mixed swimming that is lust-enticing, Christians are to abstain from every form of evil (1 Thess. 5:22).
Many Christians not only take a vacation from work, they also take a vacation from God, Christ and the church! Many rob God in order to take their vacations some drastically reduce their contribution, and others just eliminate it altogether! We all need to understand that the Lord’s work must go on: vacation or no vacation, duty to God must come first! Then, many go to places where there is no church. They have given no thought as to where they will worship on the Lord’s day (Acts 20:7; Heb. 10:25)! What if the Lord should come during this time when you have given no thought to ensure that his work goes on at home, and have made no preparation to worship him while you are away from home?
We all need to learn that Christianity is not a seasonal religion, nor is it circumstantial in nature. The practice of Christianity does not depend upon place we must be Christians wherever we are; neither does the practice of Christianity depend on time we are to be Christians regardless of the day or the hour! The “seasonal Christian” is good at church services and in the presence of the brethren, but many times he becomes a reprobate when he gets away from the brethren and the preacher and goes on vacation! He seems to forget that God sees him all of the time (Heb. 4:13). Brethren, we must be true Christians, in every sense of the word, in order to be pleasing to God.
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 15, p. 1
August 4, 1994