Updated on January 31, 2013
Thou Shalt Not Wear Short Skirts
When Religion Goes Bad
I was doing some research for a writing project based on Psalm 22. This is the Psalm quoted by Jesus on the cross. In it, David, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, vividly reveals in precise detail some of the events surrounding the crucifixion of Christ. This is centuries before the actual event and hundreds of years before crucifixion was even widely practiced. It is an amazing Psalm, but I digress a bit.
I came across a sermon that was quite good. But then, a third of the way through, the preacher goes off on a tangent on girls wearing short skirts, revealing attire, makeup, dancing etc. I stopped at that point.
Don’t get me wrong, I think modesty in many situations can be a good thing. But let’s look at this through the eyes of Christ. Imagine a stripper or prostitute is convicted and is desiring to learn more about this God that gave His life for her redemption. She puts on the best attire she has and heads to the nearest church. Instead of seeing and hearing love (because God is love), she is berated about the way she looks. Do you really think she will ever enter a church again?
God does not condemn. He loves. He is also most concerned with the inward person – the spirit that is the real you. Look at the life of Christ. He forgave and loves the prostitute that was caught in the act and the woman at the well that was going through men like water. (see John 4 and 8 ) He loved them both. If he can change the inside, get you spiritually reborn, the outside will take care of itself.
Unfortunately, religion wants to change the outside first, and then, maybe, change the inside. And by the way, I define religion as anything man does in a vain attempt to reach or impress God. That is why Jesus was so harsh to the religious leaders of his day. They had hundreds of rules, traditions and laws that violated the most important law of love. If Jesus healed someone on the sabbath, they were more concerned about their tradition of not working, than delivering someone from Satan’s oppression. What brought more glory to God, a person being healed, or everyone not working?
God looks at the heart, as we should. You don’t judge a person by the way they look or what they do – that will bring judgement on you. Love them. Forgive them. Expect the very best from them. If people see the love of God in your life, they are much more likely to want to get to know Jesus who has given you the power to love others and be a blessing to the world.
This does not mean you have to approve of sin, or a sinful lifestyle. But you need to love the person. We were all sinners before being recreated into the family of God. That is the ultimate goal – to reach the lost and introduce them to Jesus so they can be part of God’s family.
Love is the fulfillment of the Law. And if you have trouble remembering what love, and God is like, Paul spells it out for you:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. — 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 <NIV>