It's Bare Season Again


J.D. Conley

Unfortunately, with the summer well underway, many people are well underdressed. Each year about this time as the mercury rises, people across this land begin to strip off. It is apparent that bare season is open again, and many are on the prowl.

In light of this annual situation, we as the Body of Christ need to honestly concern ourselves with this question: "Is it pleasing to God for a Christian, male or female, to be a public participant in the activities which surround this time of year?" Activities such as mixed swimming, visiting a public beach, "laying out" in order to get a tan, or doing yard work where more skin is showing than not? These are questions which demand thoughtful and, in some cases, immediate attention by some members of the church.

Any type of activity where our physical bodies, for the most part, are exposed for all to see is undeniably displeasing to God. Please do not misunderstand: swimming, sunbathing, and beach combing are not sinful in and of themselves. Rather, it is the way in which we are attired and with whom we are in the presence when we do engage in these activities. It is a simple question of modesty and setting the correct example before others.

The partially clad male or female body has the capacity to induce lust in a person's heart, any person's heart. This in turn can produce deadly results. James wrote, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren." (James 1:14-16) But one might say in objection, "But I don't go to the beach or pool to lust after the opposite sex!" That's well and good, but why would Christians want to deliberately put themselves in a situation where they might be tempted to lust? Christians should also consider the fact that if they are immodestly dressed, how can they prevent someone from lusting after them? The child of God should take every precaution not to cause another to stumble. With all the sex deviates in the world, one cannot say, "No one is going to lust after me!" How can a person know this for a fact? Such an attitude borders on naiveté.

Parents of small, impressionable children should not allow them to dress inappropriately. Though children are incapable of enticing each other, why let them grow up thinking that dressing half-naked is all right?

Dressing (undressing) like the world is partially what the apostle Paul was condemning when he wrote, "And be not conformed to the world" (Rom.12:2) The flesh parade being conducted this season cannot be pleasing to God. Instead, may we present our bodies in the way the Scriptures instruct, "... as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. " (Rom.21:1)

Let's refuse to take part in "Bare" season this year, or in the years to come. 102 Laramie Rd., Marietta, OH 45750.


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