The Modesty Culture and other nonsense Puritanical American Traditions

While I appreciate the efforts of America’s founders to create a morally upright society, I think there are some places that they went astray. When Christians deviate from Biblical principles, things can get a little complicated. Here are four practices that really need to be rethought and perhaps thrown out.

Segregation of the sexes

In the churches of the olden days the men and women were segregated. The men sat on one side of the church and the women on the other. Great American ministers have implement the principle to never be alone with a woman other than his wife or the “Modesto Manifesto” My mom always taught me that I should really be friends with girls, not boys. I have been told that if a guy is friends with a girl that means that he likes her. Perhaps, this is to ward of any inclining toward sexual immorality.

This segregation may seem admirable. However, Halee Gray Scott questions the “Modesto Manifesto in her insightful article. I struggle find a biblical backing for this intense segregation. What about the one-on-one time that Jesus spent with the woman at the well? Also, two of his close friends were women. I doubt he was romantically interested in them. While we do want to stay from strange the women (and men) that the Wise Man talks about in his book of Proverbs, I think it would be wise to stop seeing opposite sex as unilateral objects of sexual gratification or temptation. Then, we will be more able to foster healthy relationships and discern those with evil motives. Let’s go back to the middle of the road.


Male headship

Even after reading Kate Wallace Nunneley’s brilliant Bible-based piece “5 Myths of Male Headship,” I am still wrestling with this interesting concept. Should depend on my father and then my husband for guidance? Do I need to always submit to every man in my life? Are they closer to God? I grappled with all of this when I had to make a decision that my parents necessarily didn’t agree with. I decided that God may talk directly to me like the talked to Deborah, Manoah’s wife and Mary. While I think we should always counsel with the people in our lives and even put their preferences first, complete and blind submission is unbiblical. If they are going down a wrong path, don’t follow them.



There’s this huge deal about not dressing a certain way so that “your brothers in Christ” won’t “stumble.” I am highly suspicious. I asked by brother about I piece of clothes that modesty culture usually condemns and he shook his head in annoyance.

“It’s fine,” he insisted.

My sister and I were analyzing a girl’s clothes as inappropriate to modest standards.

“She dresses normal,” my brother stated.

No, I am not going to go out of my way to make my “brother’s in Christ stumble.” If I am in a place where the culture dictates a certain dress code I abide. I also don’t wear clothes that promote the current culture of sexual objectification. However, I think we should rethink the extreme culture of modesty. Biblical modesty was, believe it or not, about not wearing a lot of expensive clothing. And for the brethren, I think Bailey hits the nail on the head in her controversial blog post “I Don’t Accommodate Uncontrolled Men” when she says, I’m going to stand up and look that man in the eye and tell him that his inability to control himself is not normal, healthy, or God-given…” For me modesty is about health (i.e. not wearing clothes that restrict my blood circulation), stewardship (putting my money where it actually matters), and simplicity (drawing attention were it actually matters). Let’s hold those brethren to a higher standard.



This concept is not one that I struggle with. It is unbiblical nonsense. It skews our perception of God’s judgement. The wicked will not burn forever and forever in hell for 60 years of bad deeds. God only promises eternal life to the righteous. God wants everyone of his creatures to be saved from actions that harm themselves and others and He puts every resource in heaven toward that; however, He cannot let injustice go on forever. To the evil person who refuses to love unselfishly and insists on clinging to the practices of injustice and oppression will welcome death to escape living in a place where unselfishness and justice reigns. The prophet Ezekiel records God’s broken-hearted plee: Why do you want to die [my people]? I do not want anyone to die, says the Lord God, so change your hearts and lives so you may live.


What do you think? Yea or Nay. Feel free to challenge.

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