John Piper, Christian theologian was posed with the question of whether or not Christian girls or women are okay to wear bikinis. As a Christian surrounded by fellow church members that wear low cut tops in church and yes bikinis at the beach, I’d lost hope that someone as popular as John Piper would stand up for the unpopular.
Piper avoided answering the question directly, perhaps playing it safe, despite how he really feels about the issue, by saying:
“Instead of setting rules regarding modest dress in your church, it is best for church leaders to cultivate a culture of modesty from the inside out.”
I think that even the best of us, given this level of fame and influence, might be tempted to avoid sharing our unpopular belief with the world. Most Christians I know already don’t care about outer modesty, so telling people to emphasize inner modesty is nothing new. It just confirms and affirms what Christians already are incredibly lax and lazy about: responsibility for not causing your brothers to stumble. I know we can all agree—Christian or no—that bikinis are titillating.
Before I express how disappointed I am about his vague and safe response about bikinis, I must say that what John Piper followed the body of his statement with is admirable:
“Cultivate the joyful sense that modesty is beautiful. Renounce any mindset that modest means frumpy. From my own experience — I am just testifying as a man now who has been a teenager and a 20-year-old and a 30-year-old and a 40-year-old and a 50-year-old and a 60-year old — I can testify without any doubt that at every age of my life, my masculine life, my hungry life: Sexy dressing of women is less attractive than modest beauty,”
>Overall, I really am thankful that he went into further detail about modest dressing—in particular, how it doesn’t have to be frumpy and is actually more attractive. Other theologians I know have completely scoffed at the idea of modest dressing, e.g. C.S. Lewis, whom I otherwise admire.
So I’ll take this as a victory for those who know the importance of modesty!
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