As a fellowship of believers, we at Candlelight Christian Fellowship believe it is our responsibility to honor the Lord in all we do. As Christian’s we believe we are called to demonstrate love for the Lord by loving our brothers and sisters. Translated, this means living a Christ centered lifestyle that assists others in serving the Lord. Anything we do that may stumble a brother or sister should be avoided; care is taken to do all we can to help people keep their eyes on Jesus: walk in love. The scriptures plainly declare, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)
The role of modesty as it applies to “church life” and brotherly love.
In the world today, Christians are often referred to as “judgers” and/or “self-righteous.” This was not the case with Jesus. However, Jesus was criticized by the religious of His day for demonstrating love, grace, mercy and ministry to all. His methods often offended the religious: (Example: He allowed a “sinful woman” to speak to Him, wash His feet, touch Him, et al. – culturally horrifying acts.)
It is important to remember that being “stumbled” (usually applied to the unsaved or immature) and being “offended” (usually applied to the self-righteous) are altogether different responses to the circumstances around us. When one is “stumbled” by the dress of another, it is usually the result of sin’s sway: the flesh. We cannot blame others for this propensity. We are called to simply recognize our weakness and if need be, “look the other way.” If we are “offended,” it may be cause for repentance: ours – for thinking only of ourselves and looking past the needs of another.
We have therefore concluded:
- Modesty is non-excessive. Anything that specifically draws attention to an individual causing them to stand out in a crowd is therefore considered immodest. This can be, as the scriptures indicate, defined as:
- Over-dressing: excessive decorations and or expensive clothing. Paul told Timothy, “In like manner also, that the women (and at times in today’s culture, men) adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing.” (1 Timothy 2:9)
- Under-dressing: Although the New Testament does not specifically address under-dressing, we believe if certain styles of clothing, (or the lack thereof) causes a man or woman to be distracted from seeing the inner beauty of an individual, it should be avoided.
- Modesty is often culturally defined. This can be defined in several ways and may be best described by the following illustrations.
- A bathing suit may be appropriate in the swimming pool or on the beach while it is inappropriate in the library or shopping center.
- It is not considered inappropriate for a woman to be seen topless in the villages of Africa but it is considered inappropriate here in the states.
- Modesty is personal. It is not the policy of Candlelight Christian Fellowship to establish a specific set of standards for “dress code.” However, we are called to love everyone without discrimination. We believe that the young are to be guided by their parents and that parents are responsible to set the “dress code” of their children. Others who attend church services (members or visitors) should be encouraged by love, acceptance and grace. It is not the policy of Candlelight Christian Fellowship to turn people away from the Lord, the gatherings of the church or from exposure to Godly living based upon their cultural “dress code” standards.
It is our belief that as persons come to know the Lord and are effected by the Holy Spirit they will begin to “walk in love” toward others and refrain from causing a brother or sister to stumble. For those who are mature in the Lord, we believe it is our responsibility to minister to all who come to us for the love we represent.
May the Lord bless you in all you do and may He establish you in your way as you faithfully bless His name.