Quotes (409)

paul-washer.jpg  I do not so much have to pray up when I’m preaching under a tent in inner-city San Anton[io], but I have to pray up and know that I am walking with the Lord when I walk into an average Baptist church because of the way most people dress. And you say, “It’s legalism.” No it’s not. They’re commands in the Bible. It doesn’t say we’re all supposed to dress like a Puritan, but it does say we’re supposed to be decent and cause no offense or stumbling. “Well you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Yes you can! Jesus said you can; by their fruits you will know them.

– Paul Washer

13 thoughts on “Quotes (409)

  1. Amen and amen! This is a topic my wife and I are sick about. Below is a message I sent to my pastor a year ago – and have heard nothing in reply.

    In the midst of the excellent series of messages from Colossians, the video shown
    this past Sunday stood out. I am not to only one who noticed that the secretary
    (pardon me for not knowing her name) was wearing a top that showed cleavage in two
    shots. I urge you, my brother, to request the women who work at HNW to dress modestly. To do so would honor the Lord as it is His command for women to do so and it would benefit the brotherhood, as no man needs his church to provide temptations to sin. Also, many men and women at HNW appear to be clueless about the need for modest attire – the right example from staff helps provide credibility when you preach
    or teach 1 Timothy.

    When I visited another church a while back, one thing I noticed from almost the
    first moment I was there: no female (from very young to very old) was dressed as
    a trollop and no male was dressed as a gangster. I commented on this to man and
    woman and was told that the elders had not taught on this topic, but the knowledge
    that modesty honors the Lord was widely known. A young mother told me she was teaching her young daughters that they should not allow their bodies to be used to cause a brother to stumble – she was horrified by the knowledge that so many women are detached from this teaching.


  2. Thanks for your comment sbrogden:

    Trollops and gangsters . . . very sad and very true.

    I highly recommend the sermon Soul of Modesty by CJ Mahaney. I also recommend you send it to the pastors and elders of the church you mentioned.

    – The Pilgrim


  3. “…it does say we’re supposed to be decent and cause no offense or stumbling.”
    Pardon my directness, but it seems to me that those who would impose some kind of dress code are the stumbling blocks here. You guys sound like the Pharisees who came down on Jesus because he was eating with tax collectors and sinners.
    Like you I’m all for tasteful attire and I find myself strained by all the skin we see these days. My personal problem with the abundance of skin is that, due to my lustful nature I find it a distraction. And if I’m trying to focus on God, the last thing I need is a distraction. I guess this is your point when you say we are supposed to cause no offense or stumbling.
    But, on the other hand, Jesus came for the sick. The last thing we should do is push people out the door because of how they dress.
    Also, I think preaching modesty is the wrong approach; your trying to treat a symptom, not the root cause of the problem. The right approach, as modeled by Jesus, is to preach love, faith, repentance of sins, and forgiveness by the sacrifice of Jesus. Love for Jesus will bring about the modesty you are looking for: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15)


  4. E.D. Jones,

    I think you’re missing the point, Paul Washer is talking about “Christians” dressing this way. When Jesus sat with tax collectors they were not yet converted, but when they were they were different and changed their lifestyle.
    In other words there is a Biblical doctrine of regeneration whereby God with His super-natural Grace does make us into new creatures and one of the first things that should happen (other than faith appearing) is that we hate our former sinful ways and have a hatred for the ways of the world. Does this mean we will be perfect? By no means. Rather it means that as we grow in Sanctification we will begin to be less and less like the world because of God’s grace.
    All that Mr. Washer is trying to say is that the church in filled with people that have a false view of Christianity and a false view of the Law and these people believe that because they are in church or do “christian” things that there is no need for them to differ the outside world. That type of church-goer perhaps is living with a false hope.


  5. I definitely agree with what you say about false hope. There are so many people who have been deceived, which contributes to that false hope. But my hope is that we don’t push people away with our criticism or condemnation. After all, Jesus calls us to avoid condemning others. So this gives us the tough job of loving those who we find offensive. Yet we have a great roll model.


  6. Many professing Christians have forgotten we have a higher calling, we are called to be holy. If some in the church are dressed like the world, how are they any different than the world? We must follow biblical guidelines concerning dress, speech, actions. If someone were to shout out a profanity during church, wouldn’t you go to them and show them from scripture the error of their speech? Why is dressing inappropriately any different? This too is a violation of God’s word; how are we going to impact the world for Christ if the world can’t tell the difference between us and them? Being lenient and compromising are not what we should be about, we must stand firm, be strong, and follow ALL the commands of our Great and Awesome God.
    BTW, if anyone hasn’t heard Paul Washers ‘the ten indictments’, it is a MUST LISTEN. You will be blessed.


  7. All this talk about how Christians should dress has reminded me of something Jesus once said: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” (Matthew 23:25).
    I get the impression some of you are more concerned about outward appearances than what is inside a person. Yes, when people see true Christians they should be able to notice they are different from the “world”. But I think it’s differences in our actions and behavior (rather than how we dress), that will convince non-believers that their is really something special and compelling about this thing called “Christianity.”


  8. Dear E.J.

    Please cease wielding your axe of accusations:

    “those who would impose some kind of dress code are the stumbling blocks here”

    “You guys sound like the Pharisees”

    “The last thing we should do is push people out the door because of how they dress”

    I suggest you check your spirit. This was merely a quote about how some people’s inside condition is prominently displayed by their outside appearance. No one said anything about kicking anyone out of church, nor enacting dress codes.

    And when you say, “I get the impression some of you are more concerned about outward appearances than what is inside a person” you are obviously getting that impression because you WANT to get that impression.

    Nowhere in this quote or in any of the subsequent comments did anyone ever suggest, imply, or say the things that you are accusing.

    Why such an accusatory tone E.D.? Why whenever we speak of holiness there’s always someone out there who can’t wrap their mind around it and instead charge “Pharisee!”? It really perplexes me.

    But at any rate, I suggest you cease with your accusations or you will fail to see you comments post any more. Everyone commenting on this thread has been cordial and non accusatory yet you have continued to suggest something of us far different than reality.

    I also suggest (before you leave another comment) you listen to this sermon, and check out this post. The sermon would do you good in understanding our position, and the post would help with self-reflection.

    – The Pilgrim


  9. This is an issue I was dealing with just yesterday. Judgmental is the regular accusation launched at anyone if you say anything about modesty. I took a stand a month ago about the “Bama Twins” coming to the church to give their Christian testimonies. The two young ladies are on the TV, the news, billboards and the internet dressed proactively. When a church then invites them to share their testimony and give away pictures, the church has become a stumbling block to others instead of a beacon of light.

    Berean Wife


  10. You’re right! I’m very sorry for my accusatory tone. Sometimes I get over zealous and jump to conclusions, and in doing so I end up being a hypocrite. I just have such a strong sense that the biggest hindrance to the growth of Christianity, are some people who call themselves Christian, who by their behavior end up pushing others away from Christianity. It’s partly because of my passion to confront false doctrines and clearly convey the true gospel, that results in me sometimes over-reacting. And then I become the hypocritical ugly Christian. Again, I’m very sorry.
    Sincerely, E.D. Jones


  11. Dear E.D.:

    You apology is accepted. I am not sure if you’re new to DefCon, but if you spend any time here you will know that we too are committed to defending the faith.

    When you say people’s actions are the biggest hindrance to growth, I agree, but see it a little differently than you. You (I am presuming) think that legalism is that behavior that’s pushing people away the most and I’d agree that it plays a big part. However, I think the much bigger problem is the behavior exhibited by professing Christians that is rooted in sloppy grace. The behavior that says:

    I repeated a prayer so therefore now I’m saved (even though there’s been no regeneration and no evidence of that regeneration) so now I’ll continue to act like my old self and continue to be friends with the world because my ticket to Heaven has been punched!

    Why does anyone need our Jesus when they see the “Christians” acting, talking, walking, dressing, and behaving just like them?

    In this particular case E.D., the topic was modesty. A topic that the Bible is NOT silent on. I for one have grown tired of having to be on extra guard with my eyes because of the way some women dress in church! And I’m equally weary of the slanderous and judgmental remarks of those who cannot comprehend that God calls us to be holy, separate, and different than the world. He calls us to come as we are but He doesn’t expect us to remain that way.

    So what is the genesis of all of the immodest dress, legalism, potty mouths, friendship with the world, behavior that pushes people away, etc.? It all stems from a lack of the clear Gospel being preached in favor of tickling ears and filling seats.

    Once we get back to the true Gospel and quit candy-coating it, people will actually begin to get saved and will, in turn, change their outward behavior . . . the “fruit” that the world sees that turns them away.

    I again strongly recommend the sermon The Soul of Modesty (find it here). It handles the whole modesty and dress issue very well and in a manner that I think you’d even appreciate.

    – The Pilgrim

    P.S. If you haven’t already, check out the following two sermons that I think you will get a lot out of:

    How to witness to the lost the Biblical way
    A shocking sermon


  12. 1st Timothy 2:8-10–I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere…also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, [that] which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.

    One does not have to be legalistic or a Pharisee to know that there is a certain kind of “dress code” (not in the negative sense of the term) when it comes to anybody who enters the house of God. That’s why I believe one of the gravest ills to fall upon the church in America was this man-made tradition of “dressing up” in one’s “Sunday best” to do church. Because it did more than almost anything to make church a show of the external–as long as you looked good on the outside, no one questioned what you looked like on the inside.

    However, that does not mean that we should look down on someone if they do not have fancy clothes, as evidenced in James 2. That’s why I rail against these churches that won’t let anybody in wearing blue jeans, and who declare that women can’t wear pants inside (Heck, I teach Sunday School in blue jeans). So modesty can cut both ways–against those who try and outdo each other in how much they spend for their church clothes, and against those whose attire is more suited to the beach than the church.


  13. It’s so very important that mums teach and demonstrate to their daughters how to be modest a a very young age. I’ve had a standards for my daughter since she was very small. I’m hoping (she’s only seven so this is like calling the game in the first inning 🙂 that it will be easier to maintain when she’s a teenager if we’ve been consistant for as long as she remembers.

    We try to talk about how Godly women dress and behave. She wanted a bratz doll for a while and that gave us an opportunity to talk about the problem with the dolls, about how Christian girls don’t aspire to be brats and how we don’t wear clothes that show off our bodies. She understands at seven. Now I’m praying that it sticks.


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