Pastor Ryan Guenther
Youth Pastor Jason Porter
For the cause of Christ

Hot Potato



I remember as a child playing the game called, “Hot Potato”.  You got rid of the object as quick as possible and did not want to be stuck with it in your hands.  That is exactly what it seems like many church leaders do with the subject of “Dress Standards”.  They pass it off to someone else besides them.  Looking the other way has become more difficult these days now that the proverbial “big elephant in the room”  is in plain sight for all to see.  That room is now the church!  And it is the church that is supposed to set the standard!  What in the world happened?…well, the church has let in the World!

I think of the Ethiopian who cried,

“How can I, except some man should guide me?” (Acts 8:31)

A large percentage of the status of our teens can be attributed to the lack of guidance from the former generation. “My church already enforces good dress standards!”  That may be true, but if teens are not taught “WHY” standards are important, then their faith will only go as far as the rules and will not be planted in God’s Word.

Psalms 145:4

One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

Falling into the spirit of the Laodicean age, we have found many churches “giving up” when it comes to standards.  Let’s first get something out of the way.  I’m not talking about teens from the bus ministry.  I’m not talking about the unsaved.  I’m not even talking about the new “christian” teenager who just got saved.  I’m talking about the “Christian” teen that SHOULD know better, but tragically has NEVER been taught.  Teens should know WHY dress standards are important.   Where is the back bone of our Youth Leaders?  Too many times they find just the right spiritual excuse.  Where is the spiritual growth?   The hypocrisy is that fundamentalists rag on the “New Age” Churches and their ecumenical ways, while letting their own “dress standards” slide towards ecumenicalism in their own churches.

Ezekiel 22:26

Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things:

  • they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have
  • they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean,
  • and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

Fundamentalists preach against churches that have christian rock, corrupt bible versions, modern liberal methods, etc…, But yet they have one thing in common with these churches….  “the same dress standards in their youth group”!

It is the spirit of the age, and it is NOT God’s Spirit!

There are in turn some consequences that result when dress standards are not taught.

First of all,  teens fail to learn the importance of a Godly testimony.  A person’s  image reveals the importance that is placed upon their God.  Sadly, many teens are more concerned about their “self image” than being in “God’s Image” and glorifying Him.  It is the responsibility of  “the bride” to adorn the doctrine of God.

Titus 2:10

Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

The 1828 Dictionary defines the word, “adorn”:  To deck or decorate; to make beautiful; to add to beauty by dress; to deck with external ornaments.

The Church, as the bride of Christ, is to adorn herself correctly to be obedient to and for { “…her husband (Revlelation  21:2) ”}

Christ, so the Word of God be not  blasphemed! (Titus 2:5)
Our dress is an indicator of our belief.  Give me a long haired, earring wearing punk, andI’ll show you someone who has loose standards on music and not enough Bible maturity in him to be a man.

Give me a teen girl who draws attention to her body by the ungodly way she dresses and I’ll show you a teen girl who has rebellion with levels of impurity.

Whatever happened to avoiding the very appearance of evil?!? (I Thessalonians 5:22)

Proverbs 11:22

As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion

Teen lady, God then calls you a jewel of gold in a swine’s Snout!  How utterly gross!  Taking God’s precious creation and shoving it up a pig’s nose! That’s how God feels when a teen girl is not modest.  By the way ladies…What’s wrong with a dress?  The one, main thing that defines you as a lady is one particular article of clothing…A dress. God wants you to be distinct.

Deuteronomy 22:5

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.

In our youth rallies, we “push” to have the example set in front of the young people with dress standards in all areas including singing, preaching, bible quiz and skits.  When a young man gets up to preach a message for the Lord, he ought to look like a preacher.  When a lady is up singing a song, she ought to look like a lady. Secondly, teaching dress standards show teens to honor the Lord with their appearance.  At a funeral or a wedding, you honor the person’s life with the way you dress.  Does God deserve more honor than a mere human?  Of course He deserves it!  If we are to honor the Lord with our “substance” (Proverbs 3:9),  would that not also include the way we dress?  Hey, I’m glad if you believe the King James Bible.  I’m thrilled if you are part of a great fundamentalist youth group.  If so….Don’t look like a bum!   Does it really hurt to give God your best?  Comb your hair!  Straighten up!  Tuck your shirt in! Pull your pants up! Tie your shoe laces! Shave your two hairs under your chin! Take your hat off!  Smile!

Give God the honor He’s due!

Lastly, teens need to be taught the dangers of living on the edge.  Sometimes a rebellious teenager will even follow the letter of the law and be rebellious to the Spirit of the law and be as wicked and sensual as could be.  Achan did not realize that coveting the “dress/clothes” of the world would eventually lead to the destruction of his entire family.  In other words, he lost all the potential he had for God because of his love for the world.

Joshua 7:21

When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

Joshua 7:22

So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it.

Joshua 7:23

And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD.

Joshua 7:24

And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor.

Joshua 7:25

And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.

Joshua 7:26

And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.

Another danger of experimenting with “worldly” dress is the “ungodly attention” it will draw.   If the Devil is as a “roaring lion” seeking whom he may devour, then you will receive ungodly attention for sure. (I Peter 5:7)  Ladies, what kind man is drawn to you? Are they drawn to the outward?  Or the inward?   Drawing the eyes of men to your body is spiritual prostitution!

Matthew 5:28

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

Stop trying to impress someone who doesn’t even care about you.  Flirting with sin will only bring heartache.  Seek to please God and God will bring the right person your way.  Why not let God be first in everything you do, including what you wear!  Jewelry in a jewelry store is out on display because it is for sale.  If you’re not selling it, don’t display it!

1Peter 3:3-4

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.

Standards do not equal Spirituality, but they do reveal a level of Spirituality.  Standards are for protection.  Teenager, you need as much protection as you can get.  Seek to please God and not man!  Be an example!  Excuses are abundant with accusations of legalism, hypocrisy,  or the wrong focus,  However, to have the proper balance one must please the Lord with the way they dress.  If God singled out His people Israel for dancing “naked” (Exodus 32)  …He Absolutely, without a doubt, cares that teens are covered up, decent and modest!  When was the last time “dress standards” were taught or preached?

1Timothy 4:12

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation,in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Who’s going to set the standard?  Who’s going to be an example of purity?  Who is going to stand in the gap?  Can you see the giant? Is there not a cause? This issue of dress standards is an ongoing battle that God’s people should not retreat from.  Let’s leave retreat for the cowards, after all; aren’t you a little old to be playing Hot Potatoe?

For the cause of Christ,
Pastor Ryan Guenther

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