Posted by: John Adams | May 2, 2009

Thoughts on Virtue & Modesty

When I first went out to PBC, I was surprised to discover a subculture of people who didn’t flirt, date, or play games with the opposite sex in the way that most people in our culture (including Christians) do. A lot of girls, in particular, took purity very seriously and had an innocence about them that was refreshing.

It’s an innocence I’m missing these days. While I mean in no way to demean the people who have chosen to come to Asbury, the standards many people have brought with them to the seminary do not manage to improve much upon those of the culture that surrounds them. Clothing on the women is often revealing in a way that makes it difficult for the men not to stumble; many men, in turn, do not seem to have an attitude of chivalry toward the women that encourages respect.

To some extent, I believe that this reflects the failure of local churches, which bear some of the blame for young Christians’ confusion about modesty. If churches don’t provide clear Biblical guidelines to young men and women, then who will? Most young people will take their cues from a sexually depraved culture that shames men out of chivalry and degrades women in the name of equality.

The church should be a counter-culture and the Gospel should cut as deep as gender roles and how we dress. As Abraham Kuyper famously said, Jesus Christ recognizes no square of the inch of the universe over which He does not cry out “Mine!” How we clothe our bodies and how we act toward each other in community should reflect that truth as we seek to bring Him the glory due His name.



  1. 🙂 Thank you for posting this.

  2. Excellent! We’ll be teaching our sixth class at Discipleship School (Sunday School) next week on “How to choose your spouse”. The people are loving it. You’ve given me some ideas to pursue as we seek to help our young people grow up into the Lord in these areas. It is indeed the Church’s role to be the conscience of our society in these areas — a truly Christian counter-culture.

  3. Great blog, John. In one of my classes, we were reading about the church being so attached to culture. I’m pretty sure it was Chrysostom’s sermons about marriage and family. He spoke about weddings costing huge amounts of money (in the 5th century!) and the orgiastic celebrations. He wondered why Christians weren’t creating customs instead of observing the customs of the culture. That’s a good question. Same applies to modesty.

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