Sunday, April 29, 2012

Modesty and Diaper Changing


Modesty or "covering your nakedness" throughout the Bible is a commandment of God.  But exactly what is and is not modest is reinterpreted by every generation.  Mark Bullen believes he takes the modesty principles of the first century church and applies them to today, these guidelines all being part of "the faith once delivered to the saints."  If there is a question that arises as to the extremity of a certain rule or guideline, it is given an answer and whether you or agree or not, you must obey or be in rebellion against God.

His basis for this is found where Jesus tells his followers that the Pharisees sit in Moses' place as lawgivers.  So even though the laws they were making were difficult and excessive, the Jews were required to follow them as they would have followed Moses.  Basically, Mark is now sitting in Moses place as lawgiver. 

Here is a small sampling of the rules regarding clothing at Living Faith Christian Fellowship:
  •  Women are required to wear a double covering over their torso.  This means a loose fitting dress and a not form fitting vest or smock over the top, no matter how hot the weather.  It is to give a boxy appearance, no drawn in waistline.
  • Both men and women are to wear long sleeves at church.  Short sleeves for men are permitted for work.  Women may wear sleeves that gather below the elbows.  It must be gathered so nobody could get a peak up the sleeves to the chest.
  • Girls must wear bloomers that go below the knee and have some sort of gathering or taper so nobody can peak.
I had always thought girls also had to wear a double covering, but then one day Angela Bullen, Mark's wife was telling me about  some "flow" dresses she was going to make for her girls to be like a new person that was joining the church.  They have a gather in the middle of the chest and that apparently made them modest enough for 5 and 7 year olds to wear.  The rules were often reinterpreted to fit the Bullen's tastes.

I felt bad for a couple young ladies that had recently joined the church at the requirement of their father.  They had to remake their vests 3 times because they did not meet the approval of the Bullens.  They were very pretty and had womanly figures, I do not believe they were trying to draw attention to themselves.  I think they were not prepared for how strict the standards would be or how insecure the other women are.  I definitely felt insecure around a couple pretty young things when I was required to wear such shapeless clothing.

The men have guidelines, I suppose.  But I could never figure out why so many rules and preaching about the appearance of women when all the women appeared to be doing their best to follow the rules, yet the men wore disgustingly tight pants.  Hello!  I wasn't checking anybody out, but some of those guys needed to go the next size up, or 4.

The last straw about modesty came one day when I was changing my baby girl's diaper at church.  There was a changing table by the office we all used and on that day a 2 year old girl was watching me take care of my little one.  The mother walked up and said for her daughter to get down then said nevermind because it was a girl she had been watching.  I asked for her to clarify and she explained that only girls changed or witnessed other girls, and only the mothers took care of the boys.

At first I shrugged it off as just another strange custom of this one particular ultra-conservative family.  But just to be sure, I decided to ask Angela Bullen about the diaper changing customs.  She affirmed that yes, only mothers change the diapers of boys, for modesty reasons.   What!  I was at the time pregnant with a baby boy and counting on my 10 year old daughter's help after a c-section.

I am very glad I did NOT follow her advice.  After our son was born, his older sister was an incredible help.  It was also a wonderfully innocent way for her to learn that human males are not the same as the horses and cows she was used to seeing.

At what point does modesty go too far?  Yes, God wants us not to tempt one another.  But are women always tempting men just by being shaped like a woman?  Are 7 year olds being immodest for not concealing the breasts they don't even have yet?  Is a baby defrauding a person of the opposite sex by having their diaper changed?  It comes down to that men have to take responsibility for their thought life and not expect women to wear burqa's to spare them the temptation.  Besides, couldn't men just imagine what's underneath the burqa?

4 comments:

  1. Did anyone else find it hilarious that when they read this post, google put an advertisement for family fun at the top that showed a family in bathing suits at the beach? Of all posts! ROFL! At least that's the advertisement that was there at the time I read it. . .

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  2. “Did anyone else find it hilarious that when they read this post, google put an advertisement for family fun at the top that showed a family in bathing suits at the beach? Of all posts! ROFL!”
    Shame on you, Noelle, mocking modesty so. You think it is funny that people frolic around nearly naked, when God hates such?
    “what is and is not modest is reinterpreted by every generation.” This may very well be true, Noelle, but whose standard do you conform to? God’s or “every generation’s”?
    Your interpretation of Matt 23 is erroneous, and is NOT the view held at LFCF. Jesus wasn’t telling the people to conform to the traditions of the Pharisees. How dubious is that? How often did He warn of the Pharisees teaching for commandments the doctrines of men? He was telling them to obey what was taught from Scriptures. He expects EVERYONE to conform to that.
    Adam Clarke on Matthew 23:3
    All therefore whatsoever - That is, all those things which they read out of the law and prophets, and all things which they teach consistently with them. This must be our Lord’s meaning: he could not have desired them to do every thing, without restriction, which the Jewish doctors taught; because himself warns his disciples against their false teaching, and testifies that they had made the word of God of none effect by their traditions. See Mat_15:6, etc. Besides, as our Lord speaks here in the past tense - whatsoever they Have commanded, ὁσα ειπωσιν, he may refer to the teaching of a former period, when they taught the way of God in truth, or were much less corrupted than they were now.
    Whoever was wearing “disgustingly tight pants” must have conformed to the church standards, because I have never seen any such thing.
    “At what point does modesty go too far?”, you ask. When it is belittled, redefined, dismissed, and mocked it surely has not been taken far enough.

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    Replies
    1. Good point Jeff. Immodesty has certainly been taken too far in my house because I have changed my son's diaper in front of my daughters for the last year. It has even so corrupted me that I actually see the irony in Google putting an immodest advertisement on this post.

      I posted EXACTLY what Mark taught. He may have changed, but I only post things that I heard directly from Mark, my husband, or another member.

      And I do not mock modesty by saying it is being taken to extremes at LFCF. I do note that you have not refuted any of the practices I described, which is the point of this post. People that are in agreement with your fellowship will now have a clearer understanding of what is expected and have a much easier transition.

      Grace to you,
      Noelle

      Please forgive my sarcasm, I actually detest the practice, but the dialogue here is just too much. If I didn't see the value of modesty, would I have even noticed the irony?

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  3. I have not attended Livingfaith Christian Fellowship. If I was single I would give it a shot.... However, anyone who makes a mock at any form of modesty better take watch for one's soul.

    Matthew 18:6
    But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

    Our worldly public schools are not addressing this issue and as such children are SOLD for pornography productions!!! beware of that danger. Supposedly there was a saving of 400 children and over 348 adults arrested in pornography business. Now these adults were teachers, doctors, nurses, pastors and more!!! Yikes! You can find this news by doing a google search on it.

    Modesty is for today and it is for tomorrow.

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