As a father and a grandfather it grieves me to convey some breaking news regarding music superstar Taylor Swift. This multi-gifted artist has now decided to advance her career further by disrobing to a nearly nude image in her just released music video, "Ready for It."
This sweet young starlet who's been a role model and inspiration to millions of youth portrays a sci-fi cyborg prancing around in a state of seeming undress. I viewed the "shock" presentation once in order to raise awareness and caution moms, dads and youth leaders.
Scripture says, "I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before my eyes"(Ps.101:2, KJV). Therefore I quickly confessed a moment of uncleanness in viewing this "push the envelope" presentation before passing along the insights that follow.
Many of us, upon reading this, ask the legitimate question, "Why is Taylor doing this? Her persona has always been distinct from that of a Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj or Beyoncé. We always felt comfortable recommending her music, posters and YouTube videos. Why?"
Your guess is as good as mine, but in today's competitive music world, compromises and concessions are made for fame and fortune. It's a sad reality.
What's unsettling is Taylor is doing this in light of her past statements affirming modesty and responsibility to young girls who admire, imitate and look up to her in such an adoring way.
Remember when she was interviewed by Billboard magazine and she said," The reality is what you wear matters. If you're a singer and on TV and in the living room of some 12-year-old girl, and she's watching what you're wearing and saying and doing... there is a big responsibility and I take it seriously."
Or how about her interview in The Telegraph when she in no uncertain terms disavowed immodest, sensual pictorials? "It's just a life decision... I don't feel comfortable taking my clothes off! I wouldn't wear tiny amounts of clothing in real life so I don't think it's necessary to wear that stuff in photo shoots."
I live in "Music City USA," so I interact with lots of musicians and artists. The worship leader in our church was one of the finalists on The Voice recently. Here is what I share with those committed to glorify God through their life and appearance.
7 Guidelines to Honor God Through our Appearance
How we dress is addressed by God so we can look attractive without inviting lustful looks which can cause others to stumble. Many Christians are not deliberately dressing immodestly but rather drift into alluring clothes out of ignorance or a desire for acceptance. Modest attire starts in the heart, not the hemline, with a sincere desire to glorify God, not a legalistic dress code to inhibit man.
1. Romans 12:1-2 (MEV) directs us "Do not be conformed to this world" but "present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship." We should look sharp, not seductive. We can dress cool, without appearing cheap.
2. We should never wear clothing the draws lustful looks, causing others to "stumble" into sin (Matt. 18:6) or commit adultery in their heart by fantasizing after viewing us dressed provocatively (Matt. 5:28).
3. Modesty is a positive principle emphasizing inner beauty and character over outward vanity and sensuality. " I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly..." (1Tim. 2:9, NASB). This applies equally to men who can fall prey to sexy Speedos, lowrise pants and extra tight T-shirts.
4. We are "called to liberty. Only do not use liberty to give an opportunity to the flesh, but by love serve one another" (Gal. 5:13, MEV). In other words, we have the privilege to defer to rather than defraud the opposite sex through immodesty. "Defraud" is arousing sexual desires in another person that cannot be righteously satisfied (1 Thess. 4:6).
5. The Bible tells us to steer clear of all sensuality (see 1 Pet. 2:11) which is basically planned appeal to the physical senses for personal gratification.
6. When there is a question concerning an article of clothing, length of skirt, level of neckline, size of shorts, sheerness of a fabric or tightness of leggings,etc. follow the the following:
* Doubt – do without (Rom.14:13).
* "Flee youthful lusts" (2 Tim. 2:22, KJV).
* "Honor your father and mother" (Eph. 6:2, MEV).
7. Determine to be countercultural, radical, charitable and courageous in holding biblical convictions, living life to the hilt for the glory of God! "My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent ... my son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path" (Prov. 1:10, 15).
While we pray for Taylor Swift and other prominent pop-culture personalities, may these guidelines help us in this time considered
the "undressing of America." We must not allow ourselves to become desensitized to God's liberating and beautiful message of modesty today.
"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman [or man] who fears the Lord, she shall be praised" (Prov. 31:30).
To repeat Taylor's title, are you "Ready for It?"
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 45 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). Click (here) for his "Here's the Deal" weekly podcast.