This blog has been a long time coming as the events spanned many years followed by much contemplation as to how and what to write. The events are not hearsay but were personally witnessed. The apparent contradiction is equally real and confusing.
When our kids were growing up, Barbie was the master of the nursing cloth. Any one not sitting right next to her would have had no idea she was nursing but might rather have questioned her taste in style. Our 1st daughter Brandi raised the bar with what I refer to as the nursing smock resembling an abbreviated Burka offering absolute modesty.
Some years and grand children back we (Brandi, Barbie and I) were in a church service together where Brandi nursed one of her children just a seat or 2 away from me. I was even unaware she had done this. After the service was over one of the pastor’s wives came up to Brandi and asked she not do this again in the future as her actions could cause men in the service to sin in their hearts. As this happened some years ago, the steam and flames have long since ceased coming out of my ears.
This is the same backwards logic the corrupt religion of Islam uses in blaming women for the evil in men’s hearts causing them to lust after all women so the obvious answer is to cover over the sin issue in the men by the reactive covering of their women in portable tents. This fails to address either some potential seductive nature of the woman but more importantly excuses and justifies the sin nature of the man. And just for the record, this cloaking of their women has done nothing to stay the lust, fornication, homosexuality and other sexual acting out by Muslim men.
Side note: In contrast to covered/smock nursing, open breast nursing may be one of the big PC promoted practices in America which also occurs in some churches and cultures around the globe, it is not, however, something I feel comfortable with in public or in church in America – my personal opinion.
I am a big believer in modesty in both men and women. Although it would be hard to start much of a mega-church based solely on modesty as the word is only mention a couple of times in the whole of scripture with little advice as to what it means. But there is at least one place where God Himself is addressing how those who minister before the Lord are to dress in order to not chance any over exposure. In Ex 28 the Lord orders Aaron to have the priest wear what could only be described as pajama bottoms underneath their floor length robes in order to not risk the guilt that would be associated with exposure as they climbed the alter or stage.
A more recent occurrence happened at a church which has been somewhat proactive in promoting modest dress by those who are on the worship team or sing in the choir. They have a posted dress code which would be consider reasonable by most Christians. Among other things, tight fitting shirts, skinny jeans or leggings alone (without an additional covering top/dress) are not allowed for men or women.
The problem with a posted set of standards is that if not enforced they becomes a cliché or joke to most all who see it. Such has been the case at this church. On several occasions the skinny jeans and leggings dress code has been ignored, stretched (pun intended) or blatantly violated to the extreme occurrence of a camel toe making an appearance on stage by one of the worship team members.
My son after reading this blog pointed out to me that I might have been a bit one sided and sexist as he has witnessed the male moose hump on the platform as well. Although I had also seen this I was unaware there was a similar animal term coined to describe it. So for those who are not familiar with either term suffice it to say it is the clear display of “nether regions” anatomy by means of tight jeans or leggings. Make the leggings flesh colored, and almost all mystery is removed.
Let’s be clear, I am not advocating burka type dress codes for pastors and worship leaders but neither do I think completely modest nursing women should be relegated to some back room with poor/no sound. I can choose not to frequent places known for questionable dress, but church and the platform in particular should always be a safe place for our eyes. There may well be a few out there who are saying to yourselves “what is he even talking about?”. But I can assure you it is not most men and certainly not our most vulnerable youth who are bombarded with ever increasing “eye candy” challenges on a daily basis. Having been a youth pastor for 15 years, well aware of my own faults and counseled with many adults, this almost constant assault on our eyes from billboards, advertisements, the internet and simply walking in the mall is perhaps the greatest “trip” hazard facing men.
Sure I could simply choose to avert my eyes (which I do), worship in the foyer or otherwise try and ignore stuff like this but then that would be maintaining the status quo and what we have done all to often in the church with other “stuff” like divorce, gossip, etc. etc (with devastating consequences). And whereas I can look away from the over exposure, I can no longer keep my mouth shut.
I will go so far as to place responsibility/blame squarely on the guy who, in his mind, is undressing a modestly covered women (whether nursing or not) and likewise place the responsibility/blame on the woman who dresses so as to put on display and remove any questions as to the finer points of her anatomy. There is a clear difference in those two scenarios as one requires vain imaginations and the other does not and any one saying otherwise is simply lying to themselves or perhaps the most naive person on the face of the planet. Surly we can find the Lord’s heart for modesty somewhere between treating modestly nursing women as temptresses and what seems to me to be provocative and tempting visits by desert animal feet on the platforms of the church.