Christian Women Should Not Eat Chocolate

10 June 2013, 09:54



465423_13036347Occasionally Recovering Grace likes to offer other articles and resources that our readers may find helpful in their road to recovery. One such humorous, but thought-provoking article was written by former ATI student, Dulce Chale, and hosted on a Home Education blog. This article provides great “food” for thought on the issue of modesty:

“Christian Women Should Not Eat Chocolate”

[Click above link to read the article]

Dulce also wrote an article specifically on Gothardism that is well-worth reading.We posted it here on Recovering Grace:

Peering Underneath the Umbrella: Musings on Gothardism”

All articles on this site reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of other Recovering Grace contributors or the leadership of the site. Students who have survived Gothardism tend to end up at a wide variety of places on the spiritual and theological spectrum, thus the diversity of opinions expressed on this website reflects that. For our official statement of beliefs, click here.


  1. Mary June 10, 2013 Reply

    Fabulous post! I couldn't agree more. (I've heard the analogy "walking by a dieting person with a plate of chocolate cake" used as a metaphor for modesty, only the person was actually serious- apparently there are some people who think we should put ourselves under that sort of bondage? You'd think the opposite would be self-evident....)

    Here's another good post on the same lines:

  2. Jenny June 11, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for sharing Dulce's article on our blog with your readers!

  3. esbee June 11, 2013 Reply

    I went to the website and read the article- it made some very good points. A commenter said she almost agreed but would as a woman wear a dress around a man who she knew would be offended if she wore pants. I wrote and said, how does that man handle going out in public because there will be women wearing pants who does not know he will be offended. Are those women sinning because he is offended when they wear pants? And something I did not think of but will add here, what if she wears pants that day and happens to run across that man out in public? Has she sinned?
    and how does this woman who defers to the man being offended, when she goes out in public, how many does she unknowingly offend by how she dresses or hair style or shoes or the list goes on and on?
    That is what legalism does, there is no end to the many ways it can be applied and misapplied. And takes all your energy just to try not sin that day and be pleasing to God. I know, I used to be slave to just that kind of daily thinking. Ugh!!!!

    In another comment, someone put her down for being a homeschooler who dared to have thoughts such as she expressed in her article. I,E. you are a homeschooler, there are certain thoughts and ways you should be and not be. (legalism again)

    And my reply was she was a unique creation of God given a mind and brain capable of thinking, having opinions not exactly the same as others... or words to that effect.

    • Heather June 11, 2013 Reply

      Yes Esbee. I'm sure someone out there could describe every article of clothing I possess (including heavy winter jackets) as immodest, because everyone's idea of modesty is different. My goodness, even my undergarments, whom no-one but my husband sees, would offend some, if they knew I wore this style vs that style. (like that's any of their business anyway). I get having respect for other's convictions, but that does NOT require you to sacrifice your own. Anyone who is offended by a friend or stranger wearing, doing something they don't like (and I'm talking about minor things), has no business trying to dictate someone else's life, or looking down their nose at them. Usually when it's a fellow Christian being upset because some unrelated woman is wearing pants, is not an issue of causing a weaker brother to stumble. If anything, they're the ones causing a weaker brother to stumble by being so mean spirited and judgmental. (I'm speaking from personal experience here.) Someone else said, 'God called us to unity, not conformity.'

  4. grateful June 11, 2013 Reply

    I don't understand why it is considered "bondage" to dress modestly, particularly when the Word directs us to do so. In fact 1 Tim compares this lifestyle with how men are to comport themselves in prayer and supplication, so therefore it must be pretty important. I don't buy into the whole "Dress modestly for you brothers in Christ sake" because it is incumbent upon a man to have a covenant with our own eyes (although it does make it easier when a woman is dressed modestly, but that's not the point). It is a lifestyle and a matter of the heart and IMHO should be looked at as an opportunity to demonstrate Christian morality. Are we not called to different from the world? I think it is simply pride cloaked in "liberty." We, as followers of Christ, are to live as servants and also "esteem others better than ourselves" If someone thinks eating chocolate is a sin, I by no means, would ever eat chocolate around them. Not because I feel that way but because I serve the Lord Christ and I am to put others' needs and desires before my own. Here endeth the epistle :)

    • dreamer June 11, 2013 Reply

      You might not eat chocolate around them, but you wouldn't give up chocolate all together because someone, somewhere thinks Christian women shouldn't eat it, would you? I think that was the point the author was making with that analogy. She was speaking against these all-encompassing blanket regulations that some Christians will impose on each other, such as "Christian women should never wear pants."

      The Bible says clearly in Colossians that our man-made regulations have an appearance of wisdom and self-imposed religion, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. Modesty that comes about as a result of a relationship with the Savior and a desire to please Him is fine. Godly, even. Modesty that comes about as a desire to please other people and make us look the way we think Christians should look is useless.

      • grateful June 12, 2013 Reply

        I have found that often the women that strictly adhere to and promote not wearing pants are the ones that wear them in their family ... if you know what I mean :0

        • Heather June 12, 2013

          Boy are you ever not kidding. Sheesh! And most of them don't even know it, much less know how obvious it is to everyone outside their family. It's actually really sad.

    • esbee June 11, 2013 Reply

      " I am to put others' needs and desires before my own."

      I think that verse can be twisted like any other- a person's needs are food and clothing but because a man has a desire to see women wearing only dresses is not the desire I think is meant in the Bible. I struggled for years about not riding my horse on Sunday because a deacon said so (you should honor the Lord wearing dresses on sunday) but to see him say nothing about all the church men watching football on Sunday while the women stayed neat and tidy in their church clothes to honor God.......well that is where it gets to be bondage.

      Dress styles have changed since those words about dressing modestly were written. Didn't everybody, men and women, wear the same kind of robe/toga-like attire? Then what was it that women did that made that attire immodest in Paul's day?

      It is easy to be "modest" if you live in the North Pole! Everything is covered.

      • Sherry June 12, 2013 Reply

        Though men and women often wore similar looking clothing in the past (i.e. robes), there was always enough of a difference between them to show distinct gender roles. Clothing is a covering given by is symbolic, and the clothing that "morally upright" women (saved or unsaved) have traditionally worn has always been something that is loose, flowing, and covers the breasts and the thighs (and everything in between). What led to the undressing of and changes in thought about women's clothing? Was it rigorous Bible study or was it the desire for convenience provided by changing cultural norms (such changes which have also produced a huge break down in marriages, homes, and sexual purity)? Our culture wants women to despise the role God has given us. It wants us to be "free" to do whatever we want....dress like a man, do a man's work, have sex whenever and with whomever you desire, don't limit your life to one that is "bogged down" by children and being a keeper of the need more to be fulfilled. These are all lies from the Father of lies...they are not the Truth that God's Word gives, and the lies bring destruction while the Truth brings life, and yes, liberty! Liberty from the "burden" of rules, and liberty in the privilege of serving our Savior in word and in deed (our inward thoughts and motives as well as our outward dress and actions). Let's be the salt and light this dying world needs. There is an excellent new book that deals with a Christian's worldview about the body (there is so much more involved than just clothes!) called, "The Naked Truth: Revealing Things We Hide Behind." You can find it here: It really does boil down to our hearts as Christian ladies. Will we find God's role for us a burden because we are focused on how it may be a "hard" or "inconvenient" or "unpopular" road to travel or do we look at God's role for us as a blessing, a privilege, and a calling?

        • "Hannah" June 12, 2013

          Oh, good heavens. Seriously? 0o

        • Andrew June 12, 2013

          "don't limit your life to one that is "bogged down" by children and being a keeper of the need more to be fulfilled. These are all lies from the Father of lies."

          So Solomon lied when he wrote Proverbs 31??

          Do you not realize that Paul made a cultural assumptions based on the accepted norms of Greek society?

          And the thing about modesty, it is not defined by the bible, it has always been society. While there are some fashion designs that are risque there are plenty of acceptable fashions that could be considered modest.

        • esbee June 12, 2013

          to Sherry-
          The "God's role" for women is a lot of what RG is all about...a place to find grace not the BG culture of the girls forced into a "biblical" role of housework, child bearing, under a father's rule to husband's rule, everything not listed is a sin, everything listed is a sin, till those women had to escape, some into atheism, just to keep from going crazy.
          I agree with not having sex with whom ever you want (that is sin as listed in the Bible.

          What do you mean....

          dressing like a man (tie, suit, actual men's clothing?)

          do a man's work (working outside the home as a teacher, nurse, or any other job taking a woman outside the home. How many woman plowed fields in the 1800's?)

          "bogged down with children" how many is scriptural or is just not wanting any children a sin?

          "keeper of the home" (always neat and tidy? planned meals? a show place? are pets allowed? how many and what kind?)

          in other words, from your comment, I gather that if a woman is not content with the traditional stay at home role she is sinning? If a woman wants to go to college, learn something, have a career, postpone marriage and kids or none at all, then that is not God's true plan and she is sinning.

          God does not make cookie cutter Christians.

        • "Hannah" June 12, 2013

          Well, I certainly don't agree that wearing "man's clothing" (bikinis qualify??) and doing "man's work", ie, anything other than cooking or cleaning, automatically means sleeping with anyone, anywhere, anytime. I mean, that's quite a jump ;)

        • Mary June 12, 2013

          What we as Christian women need to be "fulfilled" varies to each woman, because we're not saved, called and gifted as a gender, but as individuals. If I'm called to have 6 kids and homeschool them, I'm going to be unfulfilled as an accountant. If I'm called to be a lawyer, judge, or the next president, I'm going to be unfulfilled as a stay at home mom. And..... the same goes for guys! Some guys are most fulfilled as dads, some as writers, some as pastors, some as doctors, some as nurses- it really doesn't have much to do with gender. Yes, sometimes God calls us to difficult and unpleasant things, and when God does, we should not shrink from them, be they cleaning a zillion poopy diapers or running a country. God does not have one "role" for groups of people by gender, age, or any other arbitrary classification.

          I really don't know where the idea that sexual immorality is "new" comes from. In the old testament, there are stories as heinous as the girl who died from being her assault in India recently, and there are devious, exploitative, sexually deviant people, as there have probably been since humans began. As the Bible says, there really is nothing new under the sun. Are there things which have not traditionally been accepted in American culture but which are becoming more so? Yes, but this does not speak to anything but American culture, which is quite new itself.

        • Heather June 12, 2013

          I wear pants, therefore I hate the role God gave me. I occasionally work outside the home, therefore I hate the role God gave me. I have God given talents and skills that I have carefully honed and trained, and use those skills to both minister, and bring home a paycheck, therefore I hate the role God gave me. See how silly this sounds? Fact is, those things ARE the role God has given me, for this time in my life. Since I don't have children yet, what am I supposed to do with myself? And when I do have children, somehow I'm forbidden to do a smidgen of work (either in or out of the home) that pays anything? Today we are blessed to have a million conveniences that give us opportunities we never had in previous generations. I see no reason why we shouldn't take advantage of them, providing God has not specifically led you to do something else. I won't argue with anyone who believes that God wants them to stay at home and raise children, I think that's great. What I have issue with is people trying to be the Holy Spirit for everyone else around them. Not everyone is in the same set of circumstances (through the will of God, no less.)

          I do want children, and soon. I don't hate my gender, or hate the desire I have to, yes, be a stay at home mom when I have them.

        • Heather June 12, 2013

          I forgot to add, my husband is 150% ok with me working. He's not one of those men who feels emasculated if I make more money than he does (I'm nowhere close to making more money, just a point.) He's a great provider, and good man. He's not lazy.

        • Darcy June 12, 2013

          "Women" is too broad a generalization. God didn't make women then give them all the same story forever and ever amen.

        • dreamer June 12, 2013

          God did not make the same exact role for every woman. Show me one place in the Bible where it is stated that He did.

          I guess the Proverbs 31 woman wasn't fulfilling her role when she left her home and went out to plant a vineyard or sell her wares to the merchants, was she? She also had servant girls to do those menial woman chores like house-cleaning and meal preparing. Clearly she should have been doing all that herself so that she could find true happiness and fulfillment.

        • Tony M Robinson June 17, 2013

          Some people repeat the notion of modern liberal courts that acceptability of attire is solely established by a consensus of a community and that there is no external universal baseline standard to reference. They shun the possibility that Scripture has a standard that can be discerned or that history reveals a common standard that once existed universally. Out of this group, some falsely state that the Apostle Paul made cultural assumptions based upon accepted norms of Greek society when he wrote regarding attire. Those making such accusations ignore the Holy Spirit and do not hear Him on this matter. Such statements reveal a spirit of unbelief. The Holy Ghost spoke through Paul who was sent to teach truth and faith, not fads. By undermining Paul's instructions to the church, they resist the Holy Spirit.

          Then there are those that approach the subject from shallow waters. They focus on whether or not the style prompts men to lust or offends their brother and they totally ignore bigger aspects regarding clothing. It is as if they think a subject can't be multidimensional. For example, the commenter that lifted up a bikini to ask if it is a man's apparel is revealing such a myopic view. And I see in some comments something that was supposed to sound silly, and it did, but only because they are revealing a lack of understanding regarding gender goals and guidelines as given in Scripture.

          And for the commenter that asked if such meant she hated her role, a more appropriate question would be, "Do you have the mind of Christ on this topic." For Christians, to see something as God would see it, having the mind of Christ on the issue would be the real issue. Such might be more substantive than whether or not your spouse backs you up.

          I see Sherry gave a link to my book. I've made some updates for those that may have downloaded in the past. Here is the link and a coupon to download it for free (limited time only): Coupon TZ42J

        • Heather June 17, 2013

          Ahem... Satire, Mr. Robinson, Satire. You presume (falsely) that I wish to ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit. May I presume then that you are trying to play the Holy Spirit in our lives rather than letting God do His job in each of us? Because I think that is the overall message in many of these comments, letting each follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, instead of abiding by one individual's personal definition of what is or isn't modest. Also indicates a lack of trust in God, that He isn't capable of guiding His own people.

          Having the mind of Christ. This is a very vague comment. Each person on this board could claim that they do have the mind of Christ, (and most likely be lifted up in pride at their own presumed 'rightness' in having the mind of Christ.) That being said, I'm actually quite conservative with my dress, so it's laughable at best that you insinuate that I'm deliberately living how I want without any consideration to what God wants for me.

          So my spouse backs me up, but that isn't good enough, even though my husband OUGHT to be leading me (and he certainly has)? Also the assumption that my devoutly Christian spouse isn't also following the leading of the Holy Spirit, which is offensive at best.

          Quite rude of you.

    • "Hannah" June 11, 2013 Reply

      What passage in 1st Timothy are we talking about? I can't find where a woman's clothing is mentionedx anywhere in the book??

      • "Hannah" June 11, 2013 Reply

        1 Timothy 2:9 NLT

        And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.

        Is this ^ the passage in question? Because the word "modest" is in there, to be sure... But there is nothing from the word itself or the context, to indicate that it refers to how much or what style of clothing a women wears. The context is clearly the traditional use of "modesty", that of not drawing undue attention to oneself.

        • Andrew June 12, 2013

          Interesting choice of translation. It should be noted that the phrase "and not draw attention to themselves" is not in the Greek. The KJV for instance uses "shamefacedness" in lieu of that phrase.

          From Strong's concordance

          G127 aidos ahee-doce'

          perhaps from G1 (as a negative particle) and G1492 (through the idea of downcast eyes);

          bashfulness, i.e. (towards men), modesty or (towards God) awe.

          KJV: reverence, shamefacedness.

        • "Hannah" June 12, 2013

          Thank you, NLT is a dynamic equivalence translation. This means that it communicates the whole thought vs the individual words. Point being, that the typical use of the word "modesty", especially in this passage, refers not to how much skin is covered, but to the humility of the wearer. That is the traditional English use of the word; a modest person is one who does not promote themselves. Therefore, dressing modestly would have the connotation of not promoting oneself or drawing undue attention to oneself. Notice that Paul does not mention amounts of clothing, here. He, rather, states that the outward is not the primary adorning.

        • grateful June 12, 2013

          Not to get bogged down here and lose the focus of the intended context of this website (of which Ryan and Ileata give eye-opening perspective on this topic as it relates to IBLP), my point is two fold. In the KJV, the phrase "in like manner also" precedes the verses about modesty, shamefacedness, et al. This is an important phrase because it draws a comparison/parallel to our prayer life and service to those in authority via prayer, thereby demonstrating that both the spiritual and physical are important as it pertains to our walk and our witness. Furthermore if one (whether man or woman) lives a life of "modesty" as your above comment suggests then naturally a byproduct of a modest life would translate into how one adorns themselves; it would simply be a manifestation of what is on the inside.

        • "Hannah" June 12, 2013

          Are we even talking about the same passage?

        • grateful June 12, 2013

          1 Tim 2:

          8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

          9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

        • "Hannah" June 12, 2013

          Ah, okay. Just trying to see if we are talking about the same passage, lol. My version does not use the "likewise" comparison, nor does it say anything about praying for those in authority, that's what confused me. I take the "praying for those in authority" was your own inference, then?

          In any case, I think we agree on the basic premise, that not dressing to draw attention to ourselves is inferred, but that how each person does that, will be individual.

          My thought is that one could make a greater case against braiding hair from this passage (and some do make that case, although I believe it misunderstands the basic intent of the passage), than against wearing bikinis. I believe implementation is up to the individual's conscience.

      • Tony M Robinson June 17, 2013 Reply

        If we will not hear the Apostles moved by the Holy Spirit or history for that matter, then it really doesn't matter who backs us up. I realize that nobody can give you something that they do not have, even someone in a leadership position. Such is especially true of pastors. This is a worldview issue that goes beyond how long your dress is. Regarding a worldview issue, when someone slighted the Spirit, stating that Paul spoke from cultural assumptions based upon accepted norms of Greek society when he wrote regarding attire, nobody pointed out the obvious and defended Scripture as being breathed by the Spirit. We are much more above that today aren't we? But we will pat each other on the back when it suits us. On somethings, He calls us to have one mind and for that purpose He gave us boundaries to heed, whether we feel comfortable with them or not.
        If you are so concerned about playing the Holy Spirit then don't say anything so that nobody will mistake your efforts. However, the only "individual's personal definition of what is or isn't modest" that I am concerned with in earnest is the One that created the image after His likeness in the first place. Like many preachers, you misunderstand the term modest, or kosmios, that the Pauline passage refers to. You can wear something that is totally unsexy, unprovocative, or anti-erotic, and still not fulfill the meaning - and more importantly - the symbolism behind kosmios. What you seem to be referring to is sobriety, which does vary not only between individuals, but situations as well.

        • Tony M Robinson June 17, 2013

          If we will not hear the Apostles moved by the Holy Spirit or history for that matter, then it really doesn't matter who backs us up. I realize that nobody can give you something that they do not have, even someone in a leadership position. Such is especially true of pastors. This is a worldview issue that goes beyond how long your dress is. Regarding a worldview issue, when someone slighted the Spirit, stating that Paul spoke from cultural assumptions based upon accepted norms of Greek society when he wrote regarding attire, nobody pointed out the obvious and defended Scripture as being breathed by the Spirit. We are much more above that today aren't we? But we will pat each other on the back when it suits us. On somethings, He calls us to have one mind and for that purpose He gave us boundaries to heed, whether we feel comfortable with them or not.
          If you are so concerned about playing the Holy Spirit then don't say anything so that nobody will mistake your efforts. However, the only "individual's personal definition of what is or isn't modest" that I am concerned with in earnest is the One that created the image after His likeness in the first place. Like many preachers, you misunderstand the term modest, or kosmios, that the Pauline passage refers to. You can wear something that is totally unsexy, unprovocative, or anti-erotic, and still not fulfill the meaning - and more importantly - the symbolism behind kosmios. What you seem to be referring to is sobriety, which does vary not only between individuals, but situations as well.

    • "Hannah" June 11, 2013 Reply

      Ok... There is also a big difference between a person thinking that chocolate is a sin, and that very chocolate actually causing them to fall into a *real* sin. I don't live my life by another's perception of sin, or another's conscience. I live by my own conscience, in accordance with my understanding of Scripture. Because to live by another's conscience, is actually a pretty dangerous form of bondage, not to mention a huge crazymaker!

    • Ileata June 12, 2013 Reply

      The Bible does teach us to not do what offends another Christian. If I know something is offensive, then not doing that around that person is an act of love. That love has an object....a specific person for whom I am deferring.

      But what is taught in groups like ATI is, "Don't wear (insert item) ever because someone somewhere might be offended." That's where bondage comes in because pretty much everything is offensive to someone. When a woman is bound to never offend any "possible" person with her attire, it's overwhelming. She doesn't get the joy of extending love to a person by deferring, she just can't wear anything ever without feeling guilty and every
      time she hears of another man finding another thing provocative she has to add to the list of things she can't wear.

      • "Hannah" June 12, 2013 Reply

        Ileata, my understanding of the word "offend", again, is "cause to sin". There will always be someone who is offended with something that you do. We defer to one another in love, but this is not the same as being ruled by another's conscience or preferences.

      • Darcy June 12, 2013 Reply

        Where does the Bible say we cannot do anything that might offend another Christian? Because my Bible says nothing of the sort.

        • Heather June 12, 2013

          I'm pretty sure every single thing I ever say or do will offend some Christian, somewhere, even down to which soap I use, which cereal I eat, etc.. I can't live to please my equally sinful fellow Christians like that. There may be certain circumstances that are exceptions, but overall, I must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit for ME.

          I think the unspoken mindset here is that we who decry legalism, must obviously be people who don't take things seriously, and are using grace as a license to sin. Well the Bible does't say that your only options for this life are legalism or license, because both are condemned. I know I take it very seriously, and may even have erred too much on the safe side in some things.

        • Andrew June 13, 2013

          @Darcy. Read about the miracle of the fish with the coin. It records how Christ compromised in order to not cause offence by paying the temple tax even though he knew and Peter figured it out that Christ did not have to pay it. In this case it would be a sin against your brother but not against God.

          Also the forgiving of the seventy times seven of your brother who sins AGAINST YOU(not public sin as the NIV aludes)). There we are told the proper way of confronting our brother and the two possible outcomes which is either winning him over or winding up with the right to treat him as a heathen and taxman.

          Someone else defined offend as "causing to sin". In this case I cite eating meat sacrificed to idols. Paul wrote about how he could do this in clear conscience but could cause a new christian to stumble because he might think that was wrong. The point here it is both a combination of wisdom and respect along with a willingness to compromise.

    • Mary June 12, 2013 Reply

      I would go so far as to say that yes, I would eat chocolate around someone who thinks it's a sin. Some of my friends believe eating meat is wrong; this does not mean I'm going all vegetarian whenever they're around. I drink a glass of wine in public with my steak; I'm not going to stop doing that just because someone thinks it's a sin. (though if I'm specifically going out with an alcoholic, I would probably refrain- not because I had to, but to be supportive of a friend who is struggling with an actual, chemical addiction. As opposed to a mad desire to cover my legs, shoulders, or boobs.) I would also eat cake at a meal with a friend who is dieting, in the same way that I go to a pizza joint with my family and just eat a salad- because I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MYSELF. If I were really so weak that I couldn't see someone doing something and not do that thing myself, I think I'd have to seek professional psychological help. If I were struggling with an addiction of some sort, I would consider it MY responsibility to avoid situations in which others enjoyed a moderated form of the behavior I craved.

      Modesty =/= covering up. It's a meek, gentle, and unselfish spirit, coupled with not wearing something that marks you, culturally, as a prostitute or a sex you are not. Hence the discussion of head coverings, "men's clothing" and loose hair in Paul's letters.

    • Wes June 13, 2013 Reply

      There are often two views on this matter. Almost as if it's an either/or proposition.

      Option A. Some believe it is the man’s responsibility on how he should respond to women.

      Option B. Others believe that women must take great care to not incite negative responses from men.

      I believe a better view is that of...

      Option C. it is both a man’s responsibility regarding what his eyes see and what he thinks regarding women but it is also women’s responsibility to consider the environment she’s going to be in when wearing clothes.

      If one loves the Lord and one wants to honor Him I think one’s clothes would reflect such honor. If we acknowledge God He will direct our steps or paths. However, how that plays out in clothing attire may be different by the individual, the family, and by the culture.

      • "Hannah" June 13, 2013 Reply

        I agree with this ^ One considers the occasion, the environment, and the local culture, before choosing an outfit. One does not go out of their way to be provocative or offensive, but neither does one bow to the sensitivities of a minority.

      • Heather June 13, 2013 Reply

        Well said. I remember a woman talking about how she was a missionary to a particular group in China. Long skirts and sleeves were viewed as strange, because everyone wore short skirts if not actually mini skirts, and sleeveless. If a woman did not wear this, everyone assumed she was hiding something (i.e. she was really a man, or something like.) What do you do in such a circumstance?

  5. RyanR June 11, 2013 Reply

    Here again, I think the "bondage" label goes back to motive. In IBLP, it was always about WHAT a girl was wearing and never about HOW she wore it. On top of that, there were myriads of rules about things like slits, form, color, etc. that frequently changed, often leaving girls who were compliant one day, exasperated the next that they had nothing they could wear without being judged for being immoral. And for the most part, it's not like they were being paid for their services and could necessarily afford to go buy a new wardrobe because someone was now "stumbled" by something no one else had been previously.

    And in spite of the dress code, there were still girls who were thought of as immodest because of "how" they carried themselves. Wearing a dress or skirt didn't change that.

    I think the articles and comments are a reaction to the letter of the law rather than the spirit that is all too common in fundamentalist circles, along with the phenomenon that the burden is almost always placed on the woman without bothering to challenge the man, i.e., "dude, you need to exercise some self-control, find an accountability partner, and pray for deliverance from your penchant for skirt slits."

    • grateful June 11, 2013 Reply

      Brother, I'm convicted ... those ankles always cause me to stumble (ha, ha)

      I guess not growing up ATI, I just don't get it. But, for the record, I appreciate you women out there who truly seek the Lord in this area of your life (and not follow "rules") and are willing to follow His voice. I'm sure it is tough sometimes.

      • Michelle June 11, 2013 Reply

        Yes, Grateful, it would be harder to get if you didn't grow up that way. I see modesty as dressing appropriately for the occasion. Wearing a sleeveless shirt in the rain will draw more attention than if it is sunny. I appreciated the article very much, BTW.

        • grateful June 11, 2013

          I married an ATI girl and appreciate her desire for modesty. She's not a Nazi about it and dresses quite stylish (as far as I can tell :)), I never thought it was that much of an issue. Makes complete sense to me that a Christian girl should dress modestly and look different from the world.

        • MatthewS June 11, 2013

          I personally think it's possible to overreact on both sides of the deal. In the spirit of good clean fun, nothing more, a link I ran across a while back and got a chuckle out of it:

    • Mary June 12, 2013 Reply

      I think it all goes back to what lust is, (noticing attractiveness vs. unhealthy fantasizing/obsession/drive for acquisition) and the fact that attractive and friendly with the opposite sex should never, ever be equated with "seductive" or "immodest." (though, of course, the two can coexist as can many related things)

      I see a number of assumptions inherent in most "modesty rules" which I would consider fallacious:
      1. That any interaction between males and females has some inherent freudian sexual component
      (leading to restrictions on cross gender friendships, then isolation of genders socially, and generally a poor level of skill at relating to the other gender in a non-sexual way)

      2. That men are visual, and women are emotional
      (this can certainly be true, but it is not generally the case in my experience. Both men and women want closeness and emotional intimacy, and both are sexual creatures who struggle with things like lusting, objectifying, etc; any double standard of modesty along gender lines is purely a social construct. E.G. in our society, women going topless is considered immodest and indecent. In other societies, no one cares and it's not a big deal. Whether women, or men, are wearing shirts has nothing to do with whether other people will lust after them, unless they have lots of chest hair or a c-section scar which might prevent lust in people who are turned off by that.)

      3. That any person can cause another person to sin
      (This is impossible. No one can make you commit a sinful act, outside of holding you down and forcing you, in which case, because of the whole being forced bit, it's NOT SIN.)

      Also, because of the limitations on cross gender interaction, things can be seen as serious flirting/seduction that, in the real world, would just be a laugh between friends. A girl can wink, smile, talk, and laugh and this does not mean that she's trying to steal your purity. Same for guys. It might mean they like you, want to be your friend, or have a crush on you, but it probably does not mean they want to have sex with you. The absurd degree of separation between the genders breeds mistrust, second guessing, and over-analyzation of everything, which is destructive to healthy relationships. Also, a person who is friendly and attractive can be seen is immoral, no matter what they are wearing.

      4. EVerything is about attracting the opposite sex
      (depending on the ages and situations involved it can be, but it can also be "hey. This is comfortable, I look darn good in it, it makes me feel confident and stylish." I personally think dressing for yourself and what makes you comfortable and what is situationally appropriate is far healthier than dressing for the opposite sex.)

      • "Hannah" June 12, 2013 Reply

        Right on about there being a lot of assumptions in Gothard world... assumptions that were ultimately used to control people and deflect blame from the guilty... Yeah.

  6. "Hannah" June 11, 2013 Reply

    Ah, I see we *do* have something on the modesty debate ;)

  7. Daniel June 12, 2013 Reply

    I have to completely disagree with one of the scriptural references made in this article, "...Nor are they immodest, according to my understanding, by the Bible (when God clothed Eve, He gave her a loin cloth, not a bra)"

    Unless someone has a different understanding of Genesis 3:21 than I do, it appears that Eve dressed herself in a loincloth of leaves which was an insufficient attempt to hide her shame. But did not God cloth her and Adam with a garment or of animal skin/leather?

    "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them." -Gen. 21:3 KJV

  8. Will Hunsucker June 12, 2013 Reply

    "For Christians are not distinguished from the
    rest of mankind either in locality or in speech or in customs.

    ...they dwell in cities of Greeks and
    barbarians as the lot of each is cast, and follow the
    native customs in dress and food and the other
    arrangements of life..."

  9. Alfred Corduan June 12, 2013 Reply

    The problem with the analogy is two-fold:

    1) Nobody has ever died, ruined their family, ministry, lives because of chocolate. Go chocolate. Indulge, tempt others to indulge, the world continues on in happy fashion.

    2) There is no chasm of difference between chocolate temptation based on visual stimulation between men and women.

    A better analogy to pick up point 1) is wine. So let me rewrite an initial paragraph toward that example:

    "What you may not understand is that it is just a part of the way that God designed us. When alcoholics see wine, they are provoked to drunkenness. That may or may not be your intent, but the truth is that when drunks see our sisters in Christ with wine, they are just wired to respond to it. They want it. So I am asking, as a godly woman, that you refrain from tempting them by drinking wine. Will you, as a humble and sincere sister in the Lord, make a commitment to give up the wine that is causing them to stumble?"

    Does THAT make more sense? It does to me.

    And . . . a better example to highlight 2) is to focus on the inherent differences between males and females when it comes to getting sexually aroused. This from , a decent looking site for Christian marriages:

    “A woman is stimulated more by touch and romantic words. She is far more attracted by a man’s personality, while a man is stimulated by sight. ”

    So . . . a better analogy would be a rewrite along the following lines:

    "What you may not understand is that it is just a part of the way that God designed them. When women get touched by a man, they are tempted to sexual thoughts. That may or may not be your intent, Mr. Gothard, but the truth is that when young girls feel you touch them while sitting next to you or “playing footsie”, they are just wired to react to it. If you weren’t 78 years old but were instead muscular, sensitive and good looking, they want it. So I am asking, as a godly man, that you refrain from tempting them by touching them. Will you, as a humble and sincere brother in the Lord, make a commitment to give up the casual touching that may cause them to stumble?"

    Does THAT make sense? It does to me, if you can visualize Bill Gothard as a 20 and 30 year old doing some of these things. In fact, it helps explain some of the violent reactions I have received when I have made well-intentioned yet really insensitive comments relating to what appears to me on the surface to be close to a non-issue.

    To a fellow hand-holding with a desirable young lady, a hug, or a kiss are chasms separated from “sex” . . . a guy can do any of those with multiple young ladies without intending a commitment of any kind. I am beginning to understand some of the fussing, women here exploding about “footsie”, something that makes me want to laugh. I have . . . never . . . ever . . . found “footsie” to be stimulating, sexual. But a trip to the beach is, for me, a massive exercise in self-control . . . women I do not know, do not want, yet whose skin is producing raging hormones. I see my wife more or less clueless about what is going on, no idea.

    This is a battle most women have no clue about. It is typically men who ask for modesty rules . . . because it helps give us a fighting chance to keep our thoughts - and ultimately actions - pure.

    I am always amazed at what women must think of the fact that David - Solomon - Samson - Judah - Reuben - let alone any number of previously respected men in modern times have fallen so badly. I guess they were all jerks after all, eh? The guys get it. We constantly find ourselves, even at my age and after being saved for 50 years, a step of two from disaster. When I read women making light of the matter, it, well, makes me most unhappy.

    So . . . if the women asking men to exercise self-control in a world of no modesty rules will also submit to the same liberties on men touching them, I will believe that they are staking out an informed position.

    • Darcy June 12, 2013 Reply

      Dude, don't presume to speak for all women. I am a woman very visually stimulated, thank you very much. The whole "men are visual but women aren't" is a complete myth. And if it were true that "She is far more attracted by a man’s personality", then why are you not suggesting men hide their beautiful personalities so as not to make a woman stumble?

      • esbee June 12, 2013 Reply

        Amen to that sister!
        I read years ago in Parade Magazine in the 1970's an article on what part of the woman's body men were attracted to. Of course there were the boob men, but there were also leg, ankle and calf men (and other parts) and it went into detail if they preferred those parts large, small or medium sized.

    • "Hannah" June 12, 2013 Reply

      "So . . . if the women asking men to exercise self-control in a world of no modesty rules will also submit to the same liberties on men touching them, I will believe that they are staking out an informed position."

      Oh, my gosh... Please keep your hands off. That is NOT how this works. That is a pretty creepy thing to say.

      And this is not a world without any "modesty" rules, whatsoever. Not in the U.S., anyway. I don't believe anyone was advocating such a thing.

    • "Hannah" June 12, 2013 Reply

      One person does not get to mistreat another one based on their dress... EVER!! NO EXCUSES!

    • Darcy June 12, 2013 Reply

      Touching and looking are not the same things at all. You have a perverted mind. You are not someone I would want anywhere near me or my daughters.

    • "Hannah" June 12, 2013 Reply

      Looking and leering are not even the same thing.

    • Andrew June 12, 2013 Reply

      Let's face reality. Even though we are saved we still have a sin nature. We can work ourselves into a frenzy about the visual. But modesty is relative and is defined by the society not the Bible. Remember our wearing clothing is because of sin and eyes being opened. God's original intention was for us to be naked. To help with not staring at the attractive girl you can always move. The less popular beaches can be enjoyable without having to worry about "unwanted scenery", you can always change your schedule at the gym or exercise somewhere different.

      The point is you can't control what goes on around you but you can control how you react.

    • dreamer June 12, 2013 Reply

      God did not "wire" people to be alcoholics! Saying that sexual desire and the desire for alcohol are both natural is not correct, and makes a flawed analogy.

  10. Ex-ATI Gal June 12, 2013 Reply

    I realize this is a situation where I know amazing born-again believers on both sides of the, I am not going to state an opinion here...what I am going to say is that Alfred...first of all, the issue goes WAY beyond an old man playing "footsie" and if it was ONLY "footsie" that was the issue here...I think people would be less likely to complain. The point is this man is going way beyond what is appropriate and even doing so with minors and with young women who have not consented to be treated like this. Second of all, to say that a so-called "immodest" woman should consent to being touched is so disgusting that if I had daughters I would not want someone who makes those kinds of comments anywhere near them...I am sorry...but that comment is beyond woman deserves to be inappropriately touched. While arguing with you and getting you to see things from another point of view is probably fruitless...I can ask you to think through how you would react if it was your wife or your daughter who was being harassed by an older man and keep that in mind when defending BG's actions, or saying anything that would imply that a man has a right to touch a woman because of how she dresses.

    • Alfred Corduan June 12, 2013 Reply

      All taken. Please try to see an attempt at perspective. It is not to justify the crime of inappropriate touching by Bill or anyone else,, but a cry for women to stop being so cavalier - dare I say self righteous? - with something that affects men so dramatically, and so differently. There are reasons why gloves in social settings make no sense to a gentlemen . . . And why modesty codes have never been much of an issue in male attire.

      I knew I was going to get shouted down . . . Some of the moments are a wee bit over the top. :-)

      • Heather June 12, 2013 Reply

        Yeah, since all the girls Bill has touched are so darn cavalier and self righteous about wearing their bikinis in front of him.. wait.....

        I still don't believe that Bill doesn't know what he's doing. Why would so much of it happen in private, or very small circles where no-one was in a position to call him out (without being fired, or having their own reputation smeared somehow), if it was so innocent or ignorant on his part?

        (BTW, David pretty much raped Bathsheba. Think about it. How is a commoner going to say no to the king? In those days it'd be off with your head! She may or may not have been willing at some point, but he's the one who was the nasty. Yeah, he was a freaking jerk and worse, but the difference between David and Bill is that David repented, big time. Bill won't even acknowledge his wrong, much less repent and try to make it right.)

        • Andrew June 12, 2013

          Actually the text indicates no such thing. Bathsheba advertised her availability by her choice of bathing location, where she could be seen from David's palace. And after Nathan's confrontation and the death of the child, David comforts her and she conceives Solomon.

          When it comes to others unfortunately we may need to wait until the day of accounting when God settles all accounts.

        • Alfred Corduan June 12, 2013

          There is no justification for any man under any circumstance violating a woman for any reason. Women do not make men sin.

        • Alfred Corduan June 12, 2013

          But when I see what I consider a glib treatment of a woman's ack of modesty on men around her, I know that someone doesn't get it. If free consumption of alcohol in front of a recovering drunk may be considered a lack of love, then careless temptation placed in front of a male struggling with his eyes and thoughts let alone actions is the same. End of soapbox.

        • "Hannah" June 12, 2013

          See, for a man with such horrific struggles to even go to the beach, is akin to an alcoholic going to a bar. Why are the others in the bar responsible for drinking in front of him? Why did he even go to the bar?

        • "Hannah" June 12, 2013

          It is actually highly debatable that Bathsheba did anything unusual per the customs of the time, in her choice of bathing location. The "rooftop" was a sort of porch that made the roof of the next house below it, further down the hillside. It was seen as another room of the house, suitable for all manner of daily activities of living. I'm mentioning this, not because I wish to debate, but because the story of Bathsheba was another story that was mistakenly used against us, as females under the Gothard system.

          In any case, as a woman of the day, she probably did not have the right to refuse the king. And that is the main point in question, whether or not she actually had consent, not how provocative she was or was not, in her choice of bathing scenario.

  11. Deb June 12, 2013 Reply

    Alfred, you are what I call a person with "enlightened IGNORANCE". Which is to say: you babble well, achieve nothing, and expose yourself as being a creepy, brainwashed, male supremacist that believes he has the answers for all of life's' issues.
    God made woman beautiful. Sorry. Find some self control like the rest of the civilized world and face it.
    Oddly enough the places in the world that require their women to dress excessively modest are the places where women have less say, less value and are the most abused. So obviously the women are not to blame. Ironic, no? the one reason we dress modestly is to help you men. It seems to have backfired.
    Believe me, many of us have tried to get to Heaven by wearing those gnarly Quaker - like dresses.
    And concerning sexual arousal? Thank you for telling us how us women are wired. I'm beginning to think you need some serious help. You're poor wife. You have no idea the absolute strong sexual drive that women can have. I would imagine you have suppressed such in your own relationship. But believe it or not, treat a woman the way she should be and you may be surprised how equal yes EQUAL we are with men! Not identical but equal.
    Am I really reading this right about how alcoholics are drawn to women with a drink in their hand?? Alfred, have you ever known an alcoholic? have you ever had a drink? Have you ever stepped into a bar?? Because let me tell you, you may not understand but you are one of the most naive, misled, gullible people I have ever experienced. And that is saying a lot. I have had several drinks in my life, am not an alcoholic and I have never met a man that wanted me for my wine. Very very strange.
    As for the battle of men's eyes of which you speak. We may not be as dumb as you think. There's a drawing of beauty, it's natural. It's no crime to appreciate be a staring ogling, crass perv, that thinks if he can see it, he can touch it, is such a degrading, objectifying, disrespectful person. Unbelievable! Imagine if we reciprocated that approach?? You have a sick mind. Go get help and really consider why you believe such things.

    • Alfred Corduan June 12, 2013 Reply

      I am sorry . . . I can't resist. "God made woman beautiful". Yes . . . And He made them naked. Where are we going with this line of reasoning?

      • Heather June 13, 2013 Reply

        Ok, I guess it'd be best for us to cut off our noses, lips, breasts, and give ourselves deep cuts all over the rest of our bodies so that we'll be ugly and scarred just to enable you to keep your filthy mind to yourself. UGH! I was trying to be nice, and now I see why everyone else thinks you're so creepy!!!!! Go convert to Islam already!

        • Alfred Corduan June 13, 2013

          Heather, please. God invented clothes . . . To cover at least some of that beauty, right? Way back when, when the only people were a married couple. Apparently modesty matters.

          BTW, Solomon talks about a fellow's neighbor wearing the clothing "of a prostitute" (Prov. 7:10). How could he tell? What clothes would the neighbor wear to make the guys know, "Hey, she is open for business"? I bet you know the answer . . . .

        • Wes June 13, 2013

          Yes and Solomon had how many wives and concubines?

        • eva June 23, 2013

          Alfred, God did not "invent" clothes to hide Adam and Eve's beauty. He killed animals to cover their sin of disobedience. They were the ones who told Him that they were ashamed because they were naked. How can you believe such a thing when the Scripture is clear on that. How did this come down to covering their beauty? God didn't ask them to walk naked in the garden with him. They just did walk with Him without knowing they were naked. They only saw that they were naked after their sin. So, no, I don't think modesty mattered before sin entered the world. You didn't mention that little important fact in your comment about God covering beauty.

      • Deb June 13, 2013 Reply

        Ok Alfred. That's just creepy. We weren't discussing nudity. And I explained myself very well. Keep reading it. You will eventually understand.

        • Heather June 13, 2013

          Thank you Deb.

        • eva June 23, 2013

          Alfred, God did not "invent" clothes. He killed animals to make coverings for their - sin not to hid their beauty. Adam and Eve where the ones who said they were ashamed because they were naked. The result of sin. You make it sound like God covered up the very good people he had made.

  12. "Hannah" June 12, 2013 Reply

    It is actually highly debatable that Bathsheba did anything unusual per the customs of the time, in her choice of bathing location. The "rooftop" was a sort of porch that made the roof of the next house below it, further down the hillside. It was seen as another room of the house, suitable for all manner of daily activities of living. I'm mentioning this, not because I wish to debate, but because the story of Bathsheba was another story that was mistakenly used against us, as females under the Gothard system.

    In any case, as a woman of the day, she probably did not have the right to refuse the king.

    • "Hannah" June 12, 2013 Reply

      I am sorry, that did not go where I wanted it to go.

    • Andrew June 13, 2013 Reply

      She could have refused him. Why do you think in the book of Matthew the genealogy records her as the the wife of Uri the Hittite and doesn't mention her by name. It's because she willfully committed adultery which means betrayal in jewish thinking. Look at David's plan to murder Uri after she told him she was pregnant.

      • Darcy June 13, 2013 Reply

        Hahaha, you need a course in history, logic, and biblical hermeneutics.

      • "Hannah" June 13, 2013 Reply

        Well, that is the pivotal question before one can assign guilt in the matter... Whether or not she could have refused, in that day and age. I don't know. Because really, bathing is not a justifiable provocation for rape. Nothing is.

        • Andrew June 13, 2013


          Where in the world do you get the idea that David raped Bathsheba? Seduced maybe. The hebrew word for "lay with her" has this meaning


          H7901 shakab shaw-kab'

          a primitive root;

          to lie down (for rest, sexual connection, decease or any other purpose).

          KJV: X at all, cast down, ((lover-))lay (self) (down), (make to) lie (down, down to sleep, still with), lodge, ravish, take rest, sleep, stay.

          And the text says she was a beautiful woman which lead to David to make contact. But he wasn't a rapist. His son Amnon was (2 Samuel chap 13)

          What David was guilty of in OT Law is Leviticus 18:20 "And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor's wife and so make yourself unclean with her." ESV

        • "Hannah" June 13, 2013

          I'm not Darcy. I'm "Hannah". And I think I was pretty clear about where I got it. In a culture where women do not have rights, it logically follows that Bathsheba would not have had the right to refuse someone as powerful as the king. It's not a question of the text, it is a question of the culture of the time and place. So, Strong's is not going to give you the answer to that question.

        • Andrew June 13, 2013


          Sorry I mixed your name up.

          Affairs are not quite as old as the sun and are consensual on both parts. It could involve seduction on the part of one party but is not always the case. While the text is not graphic it does tell how things went down. If David had forced her it would have gotten out and the text would indicate that. See the indicident of Amnon and Tamar as case in point. He went so far as to make her is wife after killing Uriah after first trying to pull a scam on Uriah in order to mislead about the pregnancy.

          The thing about history is that it doesn't record the alternative ending. It only records what went down.

          If you want to believe he forced her go ahead.

          The ritual cleansing bath was usually done privately. Logic would say David's initial reaction upon seeing her was lust. (to want with extreme passion). After all that David was known as an adulterer not a rapist along with being a murderer. OT law does distinguish between the two even if the law seems biszarre for the woman.

          Woman as property. Even fundamentalist Christians get into that and when you look at North American history women were men's property up into the 20th century depending on where you lived.

        • "Hannah" June 13, 2013

          Well, I think we are left with, the text doesn't tell us, does it?

        • Andrew June 16, 2013

          Out of curiosity, after reading the article did you (or anyone else) treat yourself to some chocolate in any form ;-))

      • Heather June 13, 2013 Reply

        She could've refused him... We're talking about the kind of man who later deliberately had her husband killed. But yeah, she could totally have refused him... Please remember this the culture that had some similarities to Islam, women were property. Maybe some Jews were godlier than others (and Uriah seemed to be one, but really.

    • grateful June 13, 2013 Reply

      Go back and reread the account. Two things about King David: 1) he should have been at the battle front and 2) he was "lounging" around. The message to men: do what your supposed to be doing and watch out for idle time ...

  13. Tony M Robinson June 17, 2013 Reply

    If someone said they live in a modest three bedroom house, would that mean that it isn't sexy, or that they keep their bedroom blinds closed all the time? No, it means something else - it is that older usage of modest that is more in line with what the Greek expressed, not what people today focus upon.

    • Andrew June 18, 2013 Reply

      Actually "modest" in that context would refer to square footage and simple architectual design, not they keep their blinds closed all the time.

      What constitutes modesty has always been defined by man. Consider the Amish. Yes they dress modest BUT it is a man's definition going back to Jacob Amman enforced through their ordinance.

      When it comes to dress the NT only talks about head coverings for women, which was cultural at the time, and about wearing excessive(but without defining) amounts of jewellery. As for whether to wear makeup at all, the Bible is silent.

      Modesty is relative, not an absolute and has always been defined by society. Put it this way, the Holy Spirit may have inspired the apostles to write about dressing modestly however, 1) We were created with a brain to figure it out, 2) We are still free will creatures, 3) We should be led by the Spirit, not by what some man thinks.

      • Tony M Robinson June 18, 2013 Reply

        No, such does not merely refer to square footage.
        Although many Christian women's groups talk about modesty, they usually miss the biblical context that the King James translators intended the word modest to convey. If someone told you that they lived in a modest three-bedroom house, would you expect them to mean that their house was unattractive, not sexy, or that their bedroom drapes were always closed? No, they mean that their house matches or compliments their lifestyle or it is in harmony with their station in life. The house is said to be modest because it does not scream out, "Hey, I don't fit in this neighborhood or their pay grade!" It is this type of meaning that kosmios, the actual Greek word behind the translation, uses to point to the ordered creation of things and being in harmony with the Creator's design. We often talk about how the creation of the heavens, the stars, galaxies, and such, all declare the glory of God. We also use the word kosmios, well, its derivative in our tongue, cosmos, to describe that which portrays a harmony ordered by God's design. This same thought is found in other passages serving a similar purpose. The word that deals with considering whether something may cause someone else to stumble, actually occurs later.

        There was a universal standard that women's attired historically fell within, and even thousands of years ago, some tried to push the boundaries. Adam and Eve certainly had their ideas of acceptable attire, but they were corrected by God. The same was true in places like Corinth and when Paul wrote his directives, he was sent to Gentiles to teach truth and faith, not fads, and the words were breathed by the Holy Spirit, not contemporary culture. But such is only one part of a much bigger worldview presented in Scripture and demonstrated in history. People that either positively or negatively focus upon the principle of "will this tempt a man to lust" are often blind to the bigger picture that such questions are only a limited portion of. The Naked Truth: Revealing Things We Hide Behind

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        • MatthewS June 19, 2013

          You have a book to sell and you have linked to it. One or two links is fine but more than that and it quickly turns into a person being an ungracious guest.

        • Tony M Robinson June 19, 2013

          When someone offers a resource or their labor for free, it is a gift. But I forgot this is the age of being unthankful and where generosity is always suspect by the ungrateful. My mistake. But then, such inconsideration is what we do with the image God created and shared with us, so such a demeanor is not surprising.

        • dreamer June 19, 2013

          Matthew, he is offering you this valuable resource for FREE. How dare you not be grateful and accept something that you never asked for and probably did not want in the first place! :)

        • Heather June 19, 2013

          Hey Tony, you aren't really coming across as a gracious person who merely desires to help, you're coming across as a peddler, pushing his wares (even though it's free?) Maybe change your approach?

          btw, in this day and age, I am suspect of most things 'free' (particularly from people I don't know) because there's almost always some string attached. You can't say that this is merely a matter of ingratitude or being inconsiderate, in these days, it's a matter of watching out for scammers. Not saying you are one, just making a point.

        • Andrew June 20, 2013


          If you read the Greek text you will find that that the context for modest means inexpensive. "Decency" which is also relative, is conveyed in the Greek as soundness of mind when it comes to style of clothing.

          BTW I did peruse your book, but really all it offers are opinions and proof-texts.

          I think you are missing the point of being under grace not law and being led by the Spirit.

        • Tony M Robinson June 20, 2013

          The link is easier than cutting and pasting the entire book. But such controversy is ad hominen, but people are more prone to push regarding behavior than something the Spirit explicitly pushed.

          You really didn't comprehend much flipping through the book. The legalism argument is shown to be false. Come on, Paul taught against legalism and yet he set specific parameters on attire because he understood the boundaries he spelled out not be be legalism.

          Marriage is only between male and female - that isn't legalism, its following God's design. Such is in contrast to what someone said earlier regarding Rebekah's veil.

          Three aspects help to easily conclude that Rebekah’s veil covering was nothing more than cultural etiquette denoting an unengaged woman, including harlots, and not something universally expected by God of women. First, veils on women have never been universally expected across the globe by civilizations (It lacks a historical basis). Even among Rebekah’s descendants, we find the custom not practiced. Second, there is nothing proclaimed in the Bible to either Jew or Gentile to show such as a standard (It lacks a biblical basis). Third, though veils are used symbolically in Scripture, none of the uses mirror aspects of the Trinity through gender specific roles (It lacks a theological basis). In fact, almost all veil references deal with the temple or tabernacle. Another reference found both in the Old and New Testaments relates to a veil that Moses used for himself. Therefore, when the use of a veil on women is tested by searching for three essential criteria -- a worldwide historical basis, a consistent biblical basis, and a symbolic theological basis -- it fails. In contrast, putting the concept of marriage as being between a man and woman through the same test, heterosexual marriage passes as being a universal standard designed by God and not a mere cultural phenomenon.

          If you are not willing to listen to something that has a worldwide historical basis, a consistent biblical basis, and a symbolic theological basis, nothing I say will be acceptable.

        • Andrew June 20, 2013


          1) We weren't talking about marriage.

          2) We are not talking about the cosmos

          3) We are solely talking about the fact that the Bible doesn't absolutely define modesty and decency. What your book presents is a man's teaching on his conclusions about what modesty and decency is with proof texts. Legalism in form of a commandment of man

          4) Genesis records that God intended for us to be naked and that Adam and Eve were not ashamed. Gods reaction after the fall is recorded as "Who told you you were naked?". All we are told in genesis is that God took the skin of an animal to fashion them clothes. As to the style we have no idea but it addressed their self consciousness of being naked.

          5) Contemporary culture did play a factor in the NT writings. It was so that the gospel was not blasphemed(to rail and make strong accusation against) by the unbelievers. Titus 2:5 is an example. Contemporary Greek society expect wives to obey their husbands according to Greek philosophy.

        • Heather June 20, 2013

          I get the feeling Tony isn't going to listen to our explanations.

        • Tony M Robinson June 21, 2013

          I speak at events on scams and fraud prevention. I've been quoted on the topic by national media, including USA Today. I even co-hosted a TV series on how not to be scammed. The comments on the page regarding a coupon offer via smashwords as possibly being a scam are irresponsible. People taking such comments seriously will be succumbing to paranoid nonsense, the kind law enforcement and scam experts discourage. I hope such irresponsible statements are not indicative of the writer's state of mind, but only a ploy to discredit the offer. It is those kind of statements that wind up in the "eccentric" tipster file.

          Marriage and dress are both intertwined. To turn a blind eye to the concepts of marriage when dealing with biblical teachings on outward appearance is extreme nearsighted and indicates a lack of really understanding the broader implications that our outward appearance can portray. When the Holy Spirit addressed the topic of marriage, He often used outward appearance as a teaching point. This is mentioned in the book and in the Bible. No need for me to go into detail other than to say your myopic approach is blinding you to a broader understanding of the topic.

          Had I stated that kosmios meant anything akin to being a spend-thrift, my Latin teacher would have drop kicked me across the high school class. The Greek teacher at least wouldn't reacted like a football coach.

          If we are talking about "modest" taken from the NT passage KJV translation of over a hundred years ago as an earmark of a godly woman, then we are talking about being in harmony and expressing God's design. If we are talking about "apparel" as taken from the same text, we are dealing with katastole' = something that fits into the same parameter of attire found as a base line in every major culture, even with the Indian tribes though they were separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years from their Sumerian counterparts.

          Go study the clothing passages in the NT alone and see how closely they are linked with marriage, with authority structure within marriage, and their comparison to the aspect within the Trinity. Don't be so narrow minded. This topic was also addressed in the book in some detail.

          Modesty, not the original meaning but in today's style of "not enticing a man" and decency are covered by other parts of the text, not the "modest apparel" part. Not spending a bunch of money to upstage someone in dress, likewise, is supported elsewhere, not there.

          Trousers are not a new invention of the past 200 years. They go back to the most ancient times, most often depicted by warriors such as archers or horse riders. In some pagan cultures, warrior women wore them. The morality of these groups were lacking. When Christianity - of any flavor - spread to the European sectors, the women in these pockets switched back to something that fit into the kosmios katastole' category. At other times, the practice was squelched by the surrounding culture. Like marriage, there was a consensus of dress buried deep into families that archaeology can see in the most ancient of ancient civilization.
          Nakedness is not a sin in and of itself. If it were, Adam and Eve were in trouble before eat of the Tree that promised them the ability to decide right and wrong for themselves (what most people and our modern legal systems are teaching today). They were corrected, archaeology bears it out, and the teaching is spelled out for us today.
          Scripture says that Abram obeyed God's laws and statutes. This is prior to Moses. The base line commands were known to ancient man and they were in written form, not only in oral tradition. So even though we don't see base-line morally based laws codified for the children of Abraham until Moses, this does not mean that they were not known prior to that event. I think the preface of the book gives you a little bit on why. But again, these are all more encompassing than the narrow minded view that attaches non-erotic clothing standards to the phrase kosmios katastole'.
          Paul's, or the Holy Spirit's teaching on outward appearance is valid today. Any guideline against nakedness, to be truly universal for application, has to come from God.

        • Heather June 21, 2013

          Tony, you just aren't going to win yourself an adoring audience when you discredit and twist what we say here.

        • Andrew June 21, 2013


          You have missed the point of this blog site. Most folks here have left legalistic, authoratarian, extreme misguidance, and commandments of men. Most, if not all, have retained their faith in Christ. Folks here are trying to live a life under Grace, not law and to try to be led by the Spirit.

        • Tony M Robinson June 22, 2013

          Heather, you stated, "btw, in this day and age, I am suspect of most things 'free' (particularly from people I don't know) because there's almost always some string attached. You can't say that this is merely a matter of ingratitude or being inconsiderate, in these days, IT'S A MATTER OF WATCHING OUT FOR SCAMMERS". I did not twist anything: the comment was irresponsible in context with my offer, which you were addressing, and is unsound, paranoid sounding advice. I have hoped you were attempting to be sarcastic instead of really believing what you said.

          Andrew, as far as desiring to be led of the Spirit, it is a mistake to construe such as a justifiable reason for neglecting what the Spirit has already moved men to write in Scripture. It is equally wrong to think that someone reiterating the words or guidance of the Spirit to others is someone improper. You stated, "Most folks here have left legalistic, authoratarian, extreme misguidance, and commandments of men." The first chapter attacks such fallacies. But the narrow-mindedness demonstrated by the article and supporters is just as much a fallacy as the examples I provide in the first chapter. When it comes to legalistic, authoritarian, and misguidance on clothing that is often pushed, they center, as have you, on what is or is not to be considered non-erotic, as if the baseline was designed for the express purpose of helping men not to lust after a woman. You are correct to assert that Adman and Eve sensed a need for a covering after they sinned. But like we today, they took their own counsel as to whatever significance the covering should encompass (such is the curse of the Tree: the desire of establishing right vs wrong ourselves or through our consensus). God stepped in and corrected their error, but Andrew, who was Eve suppose to help in not lusting after her? I say again, "Who was Eve suppose to help in not lusting after her?" NOBODY. This in itself should have spurred you to think that there is something more involved in clothing than combating the lustful tendencies of some men - because there were no other men. The aspect of being mindful not to be stumbling stone to men has some merit and can be found in Scripture, but even that amount is an ancillary purpose, not the main purpose given, and is has more flexibility attached to it than the primary purpose of our attire. There was always symbolism interwoven into attire as God laid it out, whether it is to the world in general, or Jewish high priests in particular. The symbolism for women's attire was just as valid when Adam and Eve were the only ones on the planet as it is today. Such the Spirit has always led towards and has used the violation as such to depict punishment and rebellion in Scripture. This is a much broader context than the narrow view you've been conditioned to respond to.

          I may add a few things to the manuscript, but I never will put all of know on the subject - I never intended it to be more than showing that clothing is a worldview issue - something the typical arguments you have heard cannot address because of their myopic approach to the topic. The coupon will remain good until Aug 17, but those that have downloaded an earlier free version will be able to download any update. The book also has direct contact to me, since I don't usually hang out on the internet.
 Coupon TZ42J

  14. esbee June 17, 2013 Reply

    Legalism concerning all those nitpicky little rules about how to dress is alive and well no matter what the religion....I guess some buddist monks who failed to read somewhere in their sacred texts about wearing outrageous accessories will be appropriately punished when they get back home. “you will not be feeding the sacred rats until you humble your ways!!!!”

    “Thailand's national Buddhism body said Monday it is monitoring monks nationwide for any inappropriate behavior following complaints ignited by a video showing Buddhist monks flying on a private jet. The YouTube video emerging recently showed one of the monks was wearing stylish aviator sunglasses, carrying a luxury brand travel bag and sporting a pair of modern-looking wireless headphones. It attracted criticism from Buddhists nationwide. “

    • Tony M Robinson June 22, 2013 Reply

      Legalism is doing something to merit God's favor. Doing something right when you have the liberty not to be bound to sin is not legalism. I am under grace, but should I ignore what history and the Spirit speaking through the Scripture both point to as being pleasing to God so that grace should much more abound? God forbid. I certainly can't claim that I'm desiring to be led of the Spirit while obstinately living in contradiction to things the Spirit desires and has expressed through men by Scripture. Grace abounding is not always a sign of good Christian living. The Corinthians should have been ashamed to have a man take his father's wife, but they were puffed up about it. Grace certainly abounded in that situation, but their disobedience was not God honoring. Unfortunately, such is not the only thing Christians today boast of being able to do that is contrary to godliness. Equally perverse is the claim to want Holy Ghost leading while downplaying what He led men of old to pen for our admonition.

      • esbee June 22, 2013 Reply

        "Doing something right when you have the liberty not to be bound to sin is not legalism. I am under grace, but should I ignore what history and the Spirit speaking through the Scripture both point to as being pleasing to God so that grace should much more abound"

        Yes, that is very good explanation of a certain scripture BUT too many men have made their rules as if they were given by God. How to dress to please God is a big gothard thing, so much so that nave and white are the only colors that pleases Godthard. All girls with long blond softly curled hair. 10 steps to please Godthard this way and 8 steps to make sure Godthard does not punish you for that. That is why this site exists to show people what grace is all about.

      • "Hannah" June 22, 2013 Reply

        So, what do you think we are advocating, which Scripture expressly forbids? As you said, legalism is the freedom to not be bound to manmade rules, and to obey what God has specifically addressed in Scripture. Ergo, if you are looking for conformance to something only your own conscience and thought process dictates, this is inconsistent with your stated position. A ruling one way or the other, on whether Christians should/should not wear bikinis (we are still talking about bikinis, right?), would fall into this category, as it is not specifically addressed in Scripture, especially as concerns New Testament believers.

        • esbee June 22, 2013

          "A ruling one way or the other, on whether Christians should/should not wear bikinis (we are still talking about bikinis, right?), would fall into this category"

          your whole comment makes a good point but I only took this part to take it one step farther- a woman in deepest darkest Africa where the native women go topless- to them a bikini is winter wear! When a woman from there gets saved does she go out to the nearest walmart and buy a bra? Living there is a whole other set of cultural needs--- elephants tromping your cabbage patch and destroying your food supply, lions making you their food supply, children not getting enough to eat, SNAKES!!!!!!!!!!!! where a mosquito net is an answer to prayer and of course, those taboos and superstitions that must be overcome. They would be lost/confused/overwhelmed reading about the tales on RG site.

        • Tony M Robinson June 23, 2013

          Pedophilia is not specifically addressed in Scripture, but I'm so narrow minded and dense to understand how biblical parameters is against it. Same with bikinis.

          I wish you would simply thoroughly read The Naked Truth = you would have known that what you gave was a poor argument - not as weak as the one by esbee, but a fallacy nonetheless.

          I am familiar with Gothard. Have had about three decades of occasionally crossing paths. If you really want to "recover" properly, don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Gothard did not give you enough to recover with but rather focused your attention on arguments that are really narrow in scope, many times off base, and lacking positive direction. Much of the negative stuff women endure through preaching on this topic is generated from the minds of men that struggle with lust themselves - or they are reacting to a situation where someone has gone into adultery. My book may help give you a broader worldview, possibly help you salvage some of the what might have been good, and overcome some of the guilt that is fostered by a preacher's over eroticism of the female body. Let's face it, if you are over reacting and throwing out anything that actually has a valid biblical reason behind it that was simply never framed correctly to you, do you really want to do that?

        • esbee June 24, 2013

          "poor argument - not as weak as the one by esbee,"

          hey gimme a break, after all, I am only a retired skool teecher and I have to break down things so simple that even a cave kid can understand it!

          My point is -if you are referring to what I said about those who live in Africa, that for any truth or principle of God to be true, it must be true and able to be obeyed or practiced around the world, regardless of climate or geography. That is why those two commands that Jesus left us before He went back to heaven after resurrection make so much sense and can be obeyed and practiced from pole to pole..."Love God and love your neighbor."

          p.s. I may not be blessed with your gift to explain everything to the nth degree but I am blessed.

        • "Hannah" June 25, 2013

          Well, you just completely discredited yourself on this forum, by using "baby" and "bathwater" in the same sentence. Good work! Fewer phrases will accomplish the same, so quickly and thoroughly.

          And thanks for the offer, but no, I'm not reading your book.

      • "Hannah" June 22, 2013 Reply

        Honestly, Tony, if you do not have a background with Bill Gothard, I believe you are wasting your time and ours, on this website. Recovering Grace exists for the sole purpose of exposing the teachings of Bill Gothard. We aren't really here to discuss the minutiae of what each person should and should not wear, except as it relates to the teachings of Bill Gothard and our own struggle from legalism to freedom. I see you have written a book on modesty, which many of us will not even remotely agree with. Unless you wish to discuss Gothard, I just think you are on the wrong website.

        That's just my personal opinion.

  15. David Pigg June 24, 2013 Reply

    Its all about pride, self righteousness,hiding behind shields,etc. Great article.Oh yes,and please add bully.

    • David Pigg June 26, 2013 Reply


  16. Chris Symonds June 26, 2013 Reply

    I rarely have time to acknowledge self serving trolls whose real motive is promoting their own wares, but Tony you fit the Bill. Please forgive me for insulting this guy but when someone goes to such an extent to make one point about clothes apparel and keeps saying "If you would only read my book you would see I am right!" I can see the real motive is pretty transparent.

  17. Tony Robinson August 1, 2013 Reply

    I updated The Naked Truth based on some observations in this site and a similar page. For one, I translated a Latin text that is 1,200 years old that was a reply regarding a church question about women wearing pants. Interesting, but the text was written 1,200 years ago. It is not a new phenomenia or topic. I also added more to show detail in history as well as a question session.

  18. Anonymous March 1, 2015 Reply

    There's nothing unchristian or "immoral" about eating chocolate. In fact, chocolate (derived from cacao) contains epicatechins which enhance the mitochondria.

    As read about in:

    While this is using references from peer-reviewed research, let's transition.

    The epistle to the Galatians was written by the Apostle Paul in response to legalistic heresy that misled the Galatian believers.
    The epistle to the Colossians was written by the Apostle Paul in response to Gnostic legalism which misled the Colossian believers.

    By the way,

    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8).

  19. kevin March 2, 2015 Reply

    Out of curiosity I did look up The Naked Truth on Amazon, by Tony Robinson, as he seems so eager to have us all read his book, by his multiple references here.

    5 Stars

    Oh, but wait, there is only just one review. But, hey, the guy really seemed to like it.

    "Easy reading and told me a lot of things I was not aware of...Much truth here for those interested in the truth"

    One little problem: The review is by Tony Robinson, the author. I guess not everyone is aware that when you post a review on Amazon you have to be logged in and it automatically gives the name of the person who is writing the review, based on your account information. Oooops!

    Too funny. Glad to hear that his own book told him a lot of things that he was not aware of. Also that he found it easy reading. One would hope so, in that he penned it. Not kidding, see link below:

    Tip: When posting a glowing review as a shill to promote your own book, take the time to log in as a different user.

    • kevin March 2, 2015 Reply

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