Biblical dress -- Modest Apparel


1 Tim 2:8-10

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

Men are authorized to pray “every where (in every place) -- in and out of the assembly

Place … properly, any portion of space marked off, as it were, from surrounding, space; used of … an inhabited place, as a city, village, district … the place which the nation inhabit, i. e. the holy land and the Jewish people … the temple … of a house … of uninhabited places … of any place whatever … of places in the sea … of that "place" where what is narrated occurred … of a place or spot where one can settle, abide, dwell

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon)

In like manner (contextually “every where, in every place”) – in and out of the assembly – women are to dress modestly

The English word “modest” appears once in the King James Bible in I Timothy 2:9 and is applied to the dress of women – but in I Timothy 3:2 the same word is translated variously “good, respectable, orderly” and is applied to the behavior of men, in particular elders

Modest -- well-arranged, seemly, modest 1 Tim 2:9

used of a man living with decorum, a well-ordered life, 1 Tim 3:2.

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon)

Strongs adds the word “orderly” and Vines also adds the word “decent” to describe that which is modest

In 1 Tim 3:2 God defines what he wants in the “good” (good, respectable, orderly) behavior of an elder – to be adhered to “every where, in every place” (1 Tim 2:8)

And God also defines what he wants in the “modest” (orderly, well-arranged, seemly, decent) apparel of a woman – to be adhered to “every where, in every place”

Modest apparel does not expose nakedness and is not provocative (tight-fitting and revealing)

In the ultimate analysis it is impossible to “cover” ourselves before God – but we surely can cover ourselves before men

Heb 4:13

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Adam and Eve recognized that aprons (loin-coverings) left them naked

Gen 3:7-10

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

God made Adam and Eve coats – to clothe them

Gen 3:21

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

The Old Testament priests wore garments to cover nakedness – covering the loins and thighs

Ex 28:42

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

God told Babylon that if they uncovered the legs and the thighs – that they had uncovered their nakedness and that it was shameful

Isa 47:2-3

Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.

Nakedness can also be seen if clothes are porous or tight-fitting – there are some full length dresses and pants that are so porous or tight-fitting that nothing is left to the imagination.

Modest apparel will not convey an evil, seductive appearance – that would be immodest (out of order, ill-arranged, unseemly, indecent). Some clothes are suggestive and seductive -- as with the attire of a harlot or a homosexual. What are we trying to advertise with our clothes – that we want people to think we are available?

1 Thess 5:22

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Prov 7:10

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

Gen 38:15

When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.

Modest apparel will exemplify purity and will not appear or project evil – clothes (or anything else) should not to be used as a platform for profane words or pictures – that is immodest (out of order, ill-arranged, unseemly, indecent)

1 Thess 5:22

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Eph 5:3-4

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

Modest apparel will show a distinction between the sexes – cross-dressing is immodest dress (out of order, ill-arranged, unseemly, indecent)

3500 years ago Israelites under the law of Moses -- were not to cross-dress – a distinction between the sexes was to be maintained

Deut 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.

Today under the law of Christ -- a distinction between the sexes is also to be maintained -- there is a prohibition on acting in the capacity of one of the opposite sex – and cross-dressing is acting in the capacity of one of the opposite sex

1 Cor 6:9

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Effeminate – effeminate, of a catamite, a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness, 1 Cor 6:9 (Thayer's Greek Lexicon)

Effeminate -- having feminine qualities untypical of a man : not manly in appearance or manner (Webster)

Today – some women will dress like a man (with man’s shoes, suit, shirt, tie, short hair) – sometimes can’t tell the difference.

Years ago – the “Twiggy” look was popularized – with a woman wearing a man’s shoes, suit, shirt, tie, and short hair – and preachers correctly preached against that.

And today -- some men dress like a woman (with a lady’s dress, or a lady’s skirt, or a lady’s Capri pants, slacks, or pantsuit, with lingerie and a wig and makeup) -- and some (male prostitutes) seduce men. They are rightly considered effeminate (I Cor 6:9).

Modest apparel will not convey an overdressed appearance (Paul said that is immodest, 1 Tim 2:9) – the emphasis is not to be on fancy hair style, gold, pearls, costly array) – don’t follow after the worldly fashions and try to stand out.

1 Tim 2:9

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

1 Peter 3:3

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

Jesus’ appearance and clothing caused him to blend into the crowd

John 8:59

Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Jesus had to be pointed out when in a crowd

Matt 26:48

Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

The Pharisees were the opposite – they stood out in their dress

Matt 23:5

But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

Matt 23:27

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

Modest apparel will show respect toward God – we should strive to conform to God’s standard of good behavior (1 Tim 3:2) and God’s standard of modest dress (1 Tim 2:1-9) and show respect in our lives and in our dress – everywhere, in every place.

Rom 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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.

For instance it would be disrespectful to wait on the Lord’s table in a Grateful Dead sweatshirt – because it would direct people’s thoughts away from Jesus to the sweatshirt. That would be immodest apparel – out of order for the task at hand.

And it would be disrespectful to come into the assembly dressed slovenly – ill-dressed with a total disregard for appearance. Examples of being slovenly dressed are – hip sliders (showing underwear, or worse), shirttail half out, muscle shirts (like tank tops). That is immodest apparel (out of order, ill-arranged, unseemly, indecent).

And use some judgment about those situations – the timing or setting for handling a family member or a close friend or a long-time member may be different compared to that for a visitor or for an outsider who has become a new babe in Christ

Col 4:6

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

But on the other hand it is not disrespectful for a poor man to come into the assembly in the best he’s got – nice clean blue jeans and a shirt -- don’t pre-judge and show respect of persons toward others who don’t dress up in accordance with our personal preference (James 2:1-4). There is a distinct difference between being slovenly dressed and humbly dressed.

For us to be modest – we must adorn ourselves with an ornament of God’s own choosing and liking – the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit – there is where the emphasis should be placed.

1 Peter 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.

God does “see” that adorning (1 Peter 3:4), and does take note of it and is pleased with what he sees

1 Peter 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.

1 Sam 16:7

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Personal preference in the wearing of apparel

Paul spoke on the abstaining from the eating of meats

As a matter of personal preference abstaining from the eating of meats is totally acceptable with God – God receives that one who abstains

Rom 14:2-3

For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

But if we exercise pressure and force our scruples on others and command others to abstain from the eating of meats that is wrong.

1 Tim 4:1-3

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

The abstaining by ladies from wearing nice, modest ladies’ pants or slacks, or men from wearing nice, modest casual slacks and a shirt in the assembly

As a matter of personal preference abstaining from wearing these things is totally acceptable with God – God receives them (reference principle taught in Romans 14:2-3)

But if we exercise pressure and force our scruples on others and try to command others to abstain from wearing these things – that is wrong (reference principle taught in 1 Tim 4:1-3)

In the congregation let us strive to live in accordance with God’s law, and follow the dictates of our conscience as guided by God’s word. Let us not force our scruples in dress on others. Let us show respect equally to all regardless of status in life. Let us show love one to another – in accordance with the royal law.

James 2:1-13

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Suppose someone comes in to our assembly wearing fine clothes and someone comes in wearing very humble (plain – not costly, Webster) clothing. Which one do we automatically favor in our minds – which one will we be the most impressed with? Isn’t it natural for us to think more highly of the formally dressed person?

Now – understanding that fine clothes may naturally bias our reaction – how do we deal with that? Do we let our bias affect our behavior? Do we treat the richly dressed person more favorably than the more humbly dressed person? Or do we treat them as equals? Are we as warm and friendly toward both? Do we invite both back with the same zeal? The Bible says we need to treat them equally (James 2:1-4).

If a poor man regularly comes into our assembly in the best he’s got – a nice, clean pair of plain pants and a shirt, let us always without fail accept him with open arms just as we would the fellow with the designer suit. Don’t show respect of persons anyplace, anytime, for any reason – that is James’ point.

In the congregation we may encourage dressing up in formal wear instead of casual wear to come to worship. And to avoid confusion over words let’s understand that formal wear encompasses a range of wear, as well as does casual wear. According to Webster formal wear is more of a “dressy” type of wear, and casual wear is more of an “everyday” type of wear. The wearing of a suit and tie is an example of formal wear. The wearing of slacks and a shirt is an example of casual wear.

And that’s one of the big problems in trying to legislate on dress from a human standpoint. Exactly where do you draw the line, and say that this is the rule and this is not. Is it at the wearing of the tie (e.g. ties stored in a dressing room for use in service)? Is it with the length of the shirt sleeve? (I know of a very well-respected preacher who preached wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt under his suit coat.) That is why we need to enforce God’s standard and none other – modest apparel.

Do we sometimes sub-consciously or consciously make dressing in formal (dressy) wear a law?

Have we unknowingly or worse yet knowingly -- caused people to shy away because of our scruples on clothing? I have been told of cases where people have been made to feel uncomfortable and didn’t come back.

Do we sometimes show respect of persons in our choices for service in the kingdom? If a faithful lady wears a nice, modest pair of ladies’ slacks (much more modest than many dresses), will she be afforded the same opportunities for service as others? If a preacher tries out, and his wife (for reasons of preparation to travel) wears a nice, modest pair of ladies' slacks, will he be afforded the same consideration as others?

Again, where is the passage -- that says that we must dress in formal (dressy) clothing to go to worship? My personal preference is that I dress up (usually a suit and tie). But let’s don’t make personal preference a law for others. Let’s judge righteous judgment in our dealings with others.

Lev 19:15

Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

It would be good if people could come with me to Nigeria and India, to see some of the congregations of the churches of Christ. After we adjusted to the cultural shock, then I believe there would have to be an adjustment in the thinking of many on what constitutes acceptable wear for worship. Many of these poor brethren can’t even spell “dressy,” let alone even to begin to have the wherewithal to meet a “dressy” standard.

And it is not that they don’t understand the concept of “dressy” clothing. Sometimes a Nigerian brother will come to worship in a suit and tie. But the “haves” do not pressure the “have-nots” to conform.

Let’s don’t enforce our personal preferences on others.

Rom 14:3-4

Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Rom 14:22

Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

Some adamantly say that we should give God our best in clothing. Be careful to not go overboard on that. Our best probably is a suit and tie. Does that mean we should always wear a suit and tie every time we cross the church threshold for worship or we are sinning?

Not talking about our personal preference. My personal preference is to dress up for the assemblies of the church for worship. And I dress that way basically because it is what I want to do, and I don’t want to offend other people.

As a preacher I dress up when I come to assembly for worship – not because I believe that God innately needs us to wear formal (dressy) clothes for his personal benefit -- but because of the people that will be at worship.

1 Sam 16:7

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Because to men the outward appearance is important. If I came to worship and preached in just plain pants and a shirt, then many would listen to me, but I suspect there would be some who would not be able to get past my plain clothes. Today I as a preacher try to dress so as to not be a stumbling block to men (1 Cor 10:23). As a preacher I dress up where that is the custom. But in a country congregation with very humbly dressed brethren of modest means I have been known to take my coat and tie off so as to blend into the crowd. As Paul said, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (1 Cor 9:22).

The Old Testament prophets actually dressed very plainly (in sackcloth). John the Baptist dressed in camel’s hair (Matt 3:4), and Jesus commented on his plain dress.

Luke 7:25

But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously appareled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts.

If it were possible for John to come here that would be wonderful – he would certainly bring us good doctrine regardless of his plain appearance.

What does God consider to be our best? See what the Bible says.

1 Peter 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.

1 Tim 2:9-10

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.

So to impress God we need to give him our best, and our best is to put the emphasis on the appearance of the heart, and not put the emphasis on the appearance of the body (1 Peter 3:3-4; 1 Tim 2:9-10).

For whose benefit is it when we dress formally (wear dressy clothes)? When I worked in industry I sometimes dressed that way – but it was primarily about money because the company wanted to create a business image of material prosperity to the customers. But when we dress formally for worship, is it for our benefit -- or God’s benefit? We have our “Sunday-go-to-meeting” clothes -- who pays more attention to dress – man or God?

1 Sam 16:7

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Regarding those who are attracted to our assemblies by the outward appearance – if fine clothes attract them, then won’t it take fine clothes to keep them? It’s like brother Roosevelt Johnson said regarding attracting people to services with food, “If you get him with a chicken leg, then you’ll have to keep him with a chicken leg.”

Some have the idea that any time a dignitary comes to town -- to give him honor they should dress up. And then we conclude that since God is a dignitary worthy of honor then we should dress with formal, dressy wear for worship.

However, God does not “come to town” – he is always here – he’s in our homes, in our restaurants, he’s at our school functions, he’s in our bedrooms, he’s in our cars, in our worship assemblies.

Acts 17:27-28

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being

If I thought God wanted me to dress with formal (dressy) wear for worship for his sake -- and that he was the one that got a benefit out of it – then at home before I would say any prayer to God I would run to the closet and put on a suit and tie! Because as we all know – prayer to God is worship – and he is there all the time.

Too much attention to the outward appearance very well can be an indicator that all is not right on the inside.

Matt 23:5

But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments

Matt 23:25-28

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

The Bible actually warns us about having too much emphasis on dressing up.

1 Peter 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.

1 Tim 2:9-10

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.

So the Bible actually warns us about “the putting on of apparel” (fine clothes). To impress God we need to give him our best, and our best is to put the emphasis on the appearance of the heart, and not put the emphasis on the appearance of the body (1 Peter 3:3-4; 1 Tim 2:9-10).

To “dress up” means – “to outfit with clothes and especially fine or special clothes … to put on one's best or formal clothes” (Webster). To “dress down” means – “to dress casually especially for reasons of fashion” (Webster).

Dressing up in formal wear may be immodest. The Bible indicates that we can “dress up” using expensive clothing and be immodest (1 Tim 2:9-10). We can also have exquisite formal wear that reveals the body in an ungodly way and be immodest (e.g. some apparel seen at the Academy Award ceremonies). And some formal wear can send the wrong message.

Dressing down in casual wear may be immodest. The Bible indicates that we can “dress down” using casual clothing with ungodly words or pictures placed on the clothing and be immodest. And we can also have casual wear that reveals the body in an ungodly way and be immodest.

So dressing up (formal wear) versus dressing down (casual wear) does not speak directly as to whether the clothes are modest or immodest. Both formal wear and casual wear may be modest or immodest.

God does not have a preferential dress code on formal wear versus casual wear, as long as both are modest (and reference the first part of this paper for what he considers modest). He hasn’t legislated that we must dress in formal wear, or in casual wear, as long as we dress modestly. If he had legislated formal (dressy) wear for worship, then he would have condemned the poor man in James 2:1-4, and our poor brethren in Nigeria and India would be out.

A man of substantial means may choose to “dress up” in fine clothes, like a designer suit. He may be more used to that, and may feel out of place and out of character to dress in casual clothes.

On the other hand, a man of more humble means may “dress down” in casual clothes (a nice, clean pair of plain pants and a shirt). He may be more used to that, and may feel out of place, out of character, and feel pretentious in formal wear.

Let’s accept them both into our assemblies – without partiality and without making judgments and having evil thoughts (James 2:4).

Let’s dress modestly – inwardly and outwardly – lest the Lord come and find us naked

Rev 16:15

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

So in summary

Whether or not we should dress modestly is not at issue – without question we should (1 Tim 2:8-10; 1 Peter 3:3-6), as has been emphasized many times to congregations.

Sermon on Modesty, Sermon on Biblical dress, Wednesday night Bible study series on proper dress

Whether or not we can continue to dress up (wear formal, dressy attire) in worship is not at issue – certainly we can and it is not being advocated that people change from wearing formal to wearing casual.

It has been stated repeatedly that we are not trying to get people to change what they wear, but rather to make sure that we all have more respect for others who don’t meet our personal standard of dress (Rom 14:1-23). If we are allowed to enforce our personal standard of dress, then where will it end? Confusion will reign.

And always take the above statement in context – tolerance of immodesty is certainly not being advocated, and immodesty will not be acceptable behavior.

Whether or not we should show respect to God in our choice of clothing is not at issue – certainly we should show God respect in our clothing (that’s being modest) and in our behavior and in our lives in general – at all times and in every place (Rom 12:1-2)

For instance, as it has been stated, it would be disrespectful to wait on the Lord’s Table in a Grateful Dead sweatshirt – because it would direct people’s thoughts away from Jesus.

And it would be disrespectful to come into the assembly dressed slovenly – ill-dressed with a total disregard for appearance. That is immodest (out of order, ill-arranged, unseemly, indecent)

But on the other hand it is not disrespectful for a poor man to come into our assembly modestly and humbly dressed in a nice, clean pair of plain pants and a shirt.

At issue is – whether or not God’s law says we must wear formal, dressy attire (and not casual) in worship – and whether or not we can impose our personal standard of dress on others and pressure them to conform.

As we have seen – God’s law does not say that we have to wear formal (dressy) attire in worship. The silence of the Scriptures should be respected (1 Peter 4:11).

And we should not impose our personal standard of dress on others and pressure them to conform (Romans 14:1-23).

And always take the above in context – tolerance of immodesty is certainly not being advocated, and will not be acceptable behavior.

Let’s follow after peace, and holiness

Heb 12:14

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: