Why Not Worldly Fashion

by Rev. C. J. Meeuse

An Honest Outward Appearance

Actually, many customs of dress are attempts to appear different than you really are. Then "clothes make the man" - or the woman - or they even have to make a man out of a woman. An other method of adorning or hiding your true outward appearance is the use of all kinds of powders and colors, plucking the eyebrows, and whatever other cosmetic methods are used as a help make up one’s self.

Obviously, it is because of dissatisfaction with their God-given appearance, that those who do this seek a self- made "beauty." At any rate, it is artificial.

It would be good if girls and women who take their refuge to such means would ask themselves if clean skin is not more beautiful. Why the mask? Does a person not accept herself? "Woman shows her true face," I read once in an advertisement for a skin-cleanser.

Only moments before her death, Jezebel painted herself. The beautiful show is, indeed, vain. It is beneficial to realize what happens to our body after death, in order to spend more time on the care of our soul.

In Isaiah 3 we read, "Moreover the LORD saith, because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, the chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, the rings and nose jewels, the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, the glasses, and the fine line, and the hoods, and the veils. Arid it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty."

Sunday Clothes

Now that Sunday has become a day of worldly pleasure for many people, a great change has come in the manner in which they dress on that day. In former days, everyone also had, besides his work clothes, come neat clothes which he wore on Sunday to church. People who do not go to church, but seek relaxation on a campground, go fishing, or go to the beach or other places of pleasure, dress themselves accordingly on that day. They have advanced their work clothes to be their best clothes, and in addition to these, they have "leisure clothes." These may be loose-fitting, easy-going, and even sloppy. What is noticeable, is that this custom of dressing is now also threatening to find entrance by those who still go to church, especially by many young people. In this way, there are already congregations in our church, in which the boys just go to church in their blue jeans. Some girls in these congregations show resistance to the compulsory head covering and would rather not differ in their style of clothing from that of the world.

Now, someone will object that you may come before God just as you are. You do not have to clean yourself up before the Lord. That is impossible, is it not? Perhaps someone will try to give a pious twist to his worldly lifestyle. It is to be hoped that we truly know that even in our best clothes, we are not better than someone in "dirty rags," and that we may come to Him as incorrigible sinners. However, if this is truly so, then we will, indeed, come to Him to be cleansed from our filthy sins! Then we shall not praise our "filthy rags." Then we ask of Him "garments of salvation" and "a robe of righteousness."

We must not defend the sloppy, worldly customs that penetrate into the church. Though someone from the world is welcome by us, even if he cannot clean himself up, still he will gladly conform if he wants to belong to us. If we begin to clothe ourselves as the world does, then one can fear that we desire very much to belong to the world. Everyone would wish to dress themselves neatly for an earthly monarch. Should we not do this then, when we want to present ourselves before God’s countenance?

And concerning head covering for girls and women, Paul in I Corinthians 11: 10 writes about power on her head because of the angels. Many people have already tried desperately to set this up in their discussions as if not only the long hair spoken of in this chapter, but also this head covering should be seen as something confined to those times. Nevertheless, the angels show in God’s Word that they know their place; why do many women not want to know their place? Natural adornment is often taken away in order to take the artificial. To confess your position by a power on your head is rejected as out-of-date. The spirit of revolution does not halt at the church doors. Still we must keep on fighting against it and love God’s will in spite of the mockery of the world.

What about the Boys?

It is not my intention in this booklet to point an accusing finger at the female gender only. Vanity is rooted in the heart of a boy or man just as well, even if it perhaps comes forth in a different manner. Among boys, there are also popular customs of dress, which show that they want to belong to the world. After all, you dress yourself the same as the people you want to look like and with whom you want to belong. With all the pretense, there is still something which reveals what is in the heart.

In addition, there are boys who go a step in the direction of feminine practices, by decking themselves with all kinds of chains and jewelry. Or is this a step back to heathendom, wherein men also often decorated themselves with various kinds of jewelry? Let each ask himself what it is he is seeking with these acquired customs. But let no one proudly set himself above those that tend towards the service of the god of fashion. There are more types of idolatry! Let us examine ourselves before God’s countenance as to what our bosom sins are. Then we may, indeed, warn each other, but only in humility.

Actually, it is very sad that this article had to be written and that many young people (and older one) easily read something like this, while they leave unread other literature, which is directed more towards the renewal of the heart than towards an external change. Do buy and read, above all, that which points out the way in which to seek God! Renewal of the heart is essential for everyone. Renewal of lifestyle will be the result. Then it will appear in "acts, words, face, and clothing" Who it is we desire to serve.

The Lord Jesus said, "therefore, take no thought, saying ’What shall we eat’? or, ’What shall we drink’? or ’Wherewithal shall we be clothed’? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:31-33),