Monthly Archives: June 2023

What Does the Bible REALLY Say About Modesty?

About Modesty?

Pastor Don Carpenter

What Does The Bible REALLY Say? / Skirt; Clothing

When Pastor Esseppi died, our church had several leaders pulling us in several directions. It took over 3 years to unify enough to choose a leader. The one thing that the church could agree on was that they wanted a King James preacher. I sure hope we are still there. But friends, there are a lot of folks who teach error but preach from the King James Bible. If someone were to come in teaching that truth is not absolute, or that Jesus is not the Christ, or that Salvation can be lost, he would be tossed out on his ear! Tonight we continue a series that will peer into the subtle underbelly or error held by some teachers who call themselves Independent Fundamental Baptists. These are folks who preach from the King James Bible. These are folks who use the right words. These are folks who espouse teachings that can lead to vain, empty, worship. These subtle teachings though preached with volume and passion are not found in the Bible… not really. Sure someone may lift a verse or a phrase from context and read their own cultural or racial bias into it… but that does not mean that it is Bible truth.

Matthew 15:9 KJV

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Last week we explored the dark manipulations of scripture made by folks who had racist leanings. Today we are going to explore the subject of modesty. This is an area that has several teachings often repeated as scripture that need to be examined further. Here is the only verse in the entire Bible that mentions modesty. Now I believe in it… but we need to see what does the Bible REALLY Say?

1 Timothy 2:9–10 KJV

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; 

But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

David Cloud, founder of the IFB “Way of Life Ministries” laments the lack of standards and offers a solution.

 One man wrote:

“It’s not just clothing that can be inappropriate — also high heel shoes. They cause the hips to gyrate when the lady walks. The secular world told us this, so why is it in the church? Bright red nail varnish on fingernails and toenails, red lipstick, seamed stockings — that look from the ‘50s and ‘60s [that draw undue attention to the legs.] It’s not always what the attire is but how it is worn and the woman herself. … Excessive use of perfume and make up — both designed to draw men; they should be used with wisdom.”

The battleground, of course, as we have noted many times, is the heart. If a lady is worldly in her heart, she will probably not be modest even if fully clothed and she will look for ways to push the boundaries of any clothing standards with the objective of being fashionable and perhaps showing herself off.

He goes on to offer a “Biblical Solution”

 True modesty requires a wise dress code. I believe strongly in dress codes for Christian workers in this day and age, but the dress code must be thorough. It is not enough to say that the women must wear dresses rather than pants. It should describe all of the important features of a modest dress, that the neck line must not be too low, that the clothing must not be tight, that it must be long enough so that the leg is covered, that it must not be clingy, that it must not be sheer, etc. The issue needs to be spelled out plainly. The dress standard is not only a code; it is a teaching tool to educate the people on this matter. And dress standards for church leaders and workers is a model for for the rest of the church to follow.

Of course, if a girl or woman is worldly in her heart she will still look for ways to push the boundaries of the standards regardless of how clear they are, but that is a separate problem altogether.

[This article is from the author’s book Dressing from the Lord, which is available in print and eBook editions from Way of Life Literature.]

Another Church put their dress code online:


 Men (13 & up)

 Full length pants (no demin)

 Front button polo or dress shirts. Sweaters are acceptable. (No t-shirts)

 Shoes and socks


  No pierced jewelry

  No necklaces on outside of clothing

 Women (13 & up)

 Skirt or dress is required

  Must completely cover the knee while standing or sitting

  Any slits must stop at the knee

 Top (pertains to blouse or dress)

  Must cover cleavage completely while standing, sitting, or bending over

  The back neck line must be above the shoulders

Snugness of fit for skirt, dress, blouse, or top:

  Not form-fitting, or body hugging

  Must drape and not cling

  No exposed midriff

  Nothing see-through

 Disclaimer: This policy cannot cover every possible situation. Other obviously distracting, immodest or giving-a-wrong-message type of attire will also be prohibited.

“Doctrines” that are actually the Commandments of Men.

“Women Must Not Wear Pants”

Deuteronomy 22:5 KJV

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

Job 38:3 KJV

Gird up now thy loins like a man; For I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

Job 40:7 KJV

Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

 • So the thought is if you divide the legs, you are doing what men do.

 • Some go on to teach that men wear denim jeans, that makes women want to wear jeans, so no one should wear denim.

 • The text is actually speaking of maintaining gender distinction… not laying down an exact fashion choice.

 • In fact the girding of the loins was used of the virtuous woman.

Proverbs 31:17 KJV

She girdeth her loins with strength, And strengtheneth her arms.

“Shorts = Nakedness”

“The Bible Says ‘the uncovering of the thigh is nakedness’”

 • This quote is repeated over and over… and it is not in scripture.

 • Here is the reasoning behind this…

Exodus 28:42 KJV

And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

Loins = Hips

Thighs = From the hip to the knee – Websters Dictionary

“THEREFORE any skin showing above the knee is NAKEDNESS!!!!”


 A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (3409. ??????)

 3409. ?????? yârêk, yaw-rake´; from an unused root mean. to be soft; the thigh (from its fleshy softness); by euphem. the generative parts

Loins = upper thigh… private parts

The ONLY verse speaking of the thigh and nakedness is not a teaching about shorts and modesty… it is saying that the priests’ privates are supposed to be covered.

What Does The Bible REALLY Say about Modesty?

Modesty is not a Dress Code, it is an Attitude.

 1 Timothy 2:9–10 (KJV)

 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; 

 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

1 Peter 3:3–4 KJV

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

 1 Timothy 3:2 (KJV)

 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Dressing for Attention is Wrong in the Heart Motivation

Proverbs 7:10 KJV

And, behold, there met him a woman With the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

Romans 15:1–2 KJV

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Everyone is Responsible for Their Own Thoughts and Actions

Matthew 5:27–29 KJV

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Job 31:1 KJV

I made a covenant with mine eyes; Why then should I think upon a maid?

Remember Who You Are

1 Corinthians 6:19–20 KJV

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Colossians 3:17 KJV

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Romans 12:2 KJV

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:48 PM June 7, 2023.