John Piper on Modesty

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John Piper on Modesty

Postby jasenj1 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:19 am

http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/b ... modesty--2

Deep things need to happen in a woman’s and a man’s soul before they have any chance of thinking and feeling about these things in a way that honors God. I will just say this to any woman, any man who dresses inappropriately: Until God has become your treasure, ... until you count everything as loss compared to the supreme value of knowing Christ, your attitude towards your clothing and your appearance will be controlled by forces that don’t honor Christ.


And he will realize that, apart from the work of the Holy Spirit through the Word and through faith, his church will be split between two kinds of carnal people: One group will bristle at every mention of modesty and say, “How dare you tell me or my children how to dress!” That’s a bad attitude and it is carnal. But the other group will put all their emphasis on outward appearance with little sense of the heart and that it is supremely important. And these two groups can never know peace. They both have failed. Neither are deeply transformed by the gospel.


when the time is right, yes, you take up the texts like 1 Timothy 2:8–9, “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control.” And you work through it, making sure that everyone feels that the Bible really does care about how we dress. And it really does want us to dress in a way that is rooted in humble, joyful, Christ-exalting, other-serving, gospel faith.
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby nudie66 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:00 am

It's funny how Christians think of clothing when they hear the word 'modesty', and yet they forget that the opposite of 'modesty' is 'extravagance', when it comes to an extravagant house, or car, etc.

I do not enjoy dressing extravagantly. In fact, once I remove all extravagant clothing, there isn't any clothing left.
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby bn2bnude » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:39 am

Here is my take on the so called "Modesty Culture" that Piper is addressing...

Its men (especially in Piper's belief system, women do not lead) making rules for women to try to control their own lusts.

In youth groups and Christian schools, it is the girls who are wearing clothes that are "too revealing" that "distract the boys". To restate that, the boys are having trouble controlling their imaginations so the girls have to dress appropriately...
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby jochanaan » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:19 pm

If God cares how we dress, why didn't He give us some more specific rules? :?:

Rev. Piper challenges us to "deep work." If I were dialoguing on his site, I'd challenge him to do just that. Is it revealing clothes that "tempt" boys or men to lust? No. Jesus, Paul, James and John all agree that it is our own hearts that lead us astray, regardless of what another is or isn't wearing. So if we still nurse a tendency to lust, what another is wearing will do little good; if our hearts are purified from both a wish to possess and the worldly mindset that "nudity = sexual temptation," what the other isn't wearing makes no difference. To the extent that Piper and others insist on veiling the flesh that God made and declared "very good", they are still focusing on appearance and not the heart, on others and not themselves.
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby Petros » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:47 pm

We know very well - and Mr Piper will know very well if he thinks about it - that the bodily reactions of males in a certain age range will not be eliminated by any amount of veiling of the female form. What we do not see we can and do imagine.

It is true that certain costumes and certain behaviors - which varying with the culture - and be read as invitations or signals of availability. But that is different different ting.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby New_Adventurer » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:23 pm

Is that why children who grow up in nudist households and nudist resorts have fewer sexual hang ups than the fully clothed at all times children? If they see it freely there is no need to dream about it in fantasy and bare skin is no big deal.
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby DaveT » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:14 pm

Yes, the mind is conditioned to see naked in everyday life without the sexual component. It cuts out the naked fantasizing connected to lust. Then the feelings of attraction to the female are inspired by a different aspect, perhaps a healthier one.
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby jasenj1 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:08 am

For those who have not seen it yet, here is a lengthy refutation of "Modesty Culture".
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby jochanaan » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:35 am

jasenj1 wrote:For those who have not seen it yet, here is a lengthy refutation of "Modesty Culture".
Highly recommended. I don't think "Autodidact" is one of us, but he certainly is a fine analyst and critic. 8)
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:43 am

jochanaan wrote:
jasenj1 wrote:For those who have not seen it yet, here is a lengthy refutation of "Modesty Culture".
Highly recommended. I don't think "Autodidact" is one of us, but he certainly is a fine analyst and critic. 8)

As the Napoleon Dynamite movie was an amusing look at the quirks of Mormon culture in small-town Idaho, I would love to seek a similar gentle movie about American evangelical culture, particularly as it relates to sexual phobias and nudity.
The beauty of Napoleon Dynamite was that it was not a hate-filled critique, but simply, humorously showed life as it is for these people, and let their sometimes odd ways speak for themselves,
while showing their basic humanity and good traits in an even-handed fashion. Not only that, the script writers did an outstanding job with character development rather than portraying "those Idaho Mormons" monolithically.

I don't know if the people thus portrayed would "get the joke" and realize we are laughing at the situations and not denigrating their faith or worth as human beings, but one can hope that most will understand.

As an Evangelical Christian myself, let me hasten to add that most of us are not as extreme as some of the prudes who seem to have such inordinate media presence and apparent influence.
Last edited by Ramblinman on Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:03 am

Petros wrote:We know very well - and Mr Piper will know very well if he thinks about it - that the bodily reactions of males in a certain age range will not be eliminated by any amount of veiling of the female form. What we do not see we can and do imagine.

It is true that certain costumes and certain behaviors - which varying with the culture - and be read as invitations or signals of availability. But that is different different ting.

I think one good example is of a female friend of mine at my former church.
She regularly came to the singles class meetings in scoop-neck dresses that revealed ample bosom, while most of the girls had dress or blouse fabric reaching much closer to the neck.
In a room full of covered bosoms, she certainly distinguished herself.

Should she have been shamed for "revealing herself in a sexual way" rather than covering up more fully, "so men will only desire you for your character"?

Or did she set an example to other girls that we have freedom in Christ that includes celebrating young beautiful breasts?
And indeed her body was beautiful and shapely, but she was my friend because she was a kind gentle person who loved Jesus.

If we had been at a church pool party, we would have seen far more skin than my friend revealed.
But in the context of a singles event was it wrong for her to be the one bare bosom in a room full of covered breasts?

Must nudists (or simply those who see no sin in cleavage) ALWAYS conform to group custom?
Is there ever a place where we can show leadership in the matter of bare skin? Without it being a message of sexual immorality?
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby natman » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:34 am

Petros wrote:We know very well - and Mr Piper will know very well if he thinks about it - that the bodily reactions of males in a certain age range will not be eliminated by any amount of veiling of the female form. What we do not see we can and do imagine.


I have read that the rate of rape and incest within Muslim cultures where women are forced to wear full-body burkas, where only the eyes are visible, is much higher than western culture. However, the "reported" rate often appears less because in most Muslim cultures, when a rape occurs, the rape victim is prosecuted and often stoned to death, either in lieu of or in addition to the rapist. :(

So it doesn't really matter how much we cover the body, lust will occur. In fact, based on the effect of Muslim culture and the increase in rape, incest and STDs following the introduction of Victorian Prudery, the more we hide the body, the greater the incidence of lust and sexual sin.
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby jasenj1 » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:09 pm

Ramblinman wrote:She regularly came to the singles class meetings in scoop-neck dresses that revealed ample bosom, while most of the girls had dress or blouse fabric reaching much closer to the neck.
In a room full of covered bosoms, she certainly distinguished herself.

Women are different. They seem to be oblivious to the fact that when they wear a scoop neck shirt and then bend over, the scoop opens up and all around can see straight down to their navel - and everything in between. My own wife does this. Women truly have a different relationship with their bodies than men do.
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby Petros » Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:21 pm

True - but that relationship is by no means uniform. Herself is VERY conscious of necklines and their possibilities - and I do not doubt more aware of sleeve structure than was Deedee in 1958.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: John Piper on Modesty

Postby New_Adventurer » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:27 pm

Women are different. They seem to be oblivious to the fact that when they wear a scoop neck shirt and then bend over, the scoop opens up and all around can see straight down to their navel - and everything in between. My own wife does this. Women truly have a different relationship with their bodies than men do.


last month my wife and I were with a tour group in Liverpool. England, and one night everyone was on their own for dinner. As we were getting ready to cross the street a taxi stopped right I front of us and three young ladies climbed out. They all had interesting and eye-catching short skirts and struggled to get out from the back seat of this big English taxi. What popped into my head was simply this, you can wear a short skirt, you can preserve your modesty, or you can get out of the taxi; pick two. Well they all were wearing short skirts and they all got out and we got an interesting view. My wife's comment was that the knew what they were doing.
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