Thomas Allen Robertson
We live in an age in which sin has been made respectable; in which it is acceptable to gratify the lust of the flesh; in which it is more unusual when that which is right is done than when that which is of evil is followed after; and it is very seldom that the denial of self is practiced. By this we are not saying that this is a generation worse than the one which preceded it. This generation, as did the Jews, is simply following the pattern, “As your fathers did so do ye.” In the world, one generation after another, the standards have changed. As each generation came along another bar was let down, and more and more of sin was accepted as men waxed worse and worse. The only retarding influence to the gradual decline and decay of man has been the influence of Christianity. As Christians have held up the light and have set an example before men they have slowed the tide of sin and immorality, and have constrained many to turn to Christ and glorify God.
But when those who have the torch of life committed to them begin to join in the foam as it is carried along with the tide, participating in and defending the things the world engages in, the torch begins to flicker in the draft of worldliness and is not far from being put out all together.
The Christian is not left to wonder about his position in the world and his relation to it, or what God would have him do as he walks in the world. The Bible plainly prescribes the course of the Christian and sets his bounds.
James tells us that a part of “pure religion” is that one is “to keep himself unspotted from the world” (Jas. 1:27). Unspotted from the world means unstained by the sins prevalent in the world. Paul said, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (2 Thess. 5:22). The American Standard Version says, “every form of evil.” And this is exactly what it means: Avoid evil every time it appears no matter what form it takes. Again, Paul says, “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” (Rom. 12:2). The Christian who conforms to the world is not following Christ. With reference to the way the world lives the Christian is to be a nonconformist. A Christian is in no wise transformed by partaking of the sins of the world and seeking to justify them. The Christian who can see no fault or harm in the things of the world is spiritually blind. But again, Paul says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Hence, this passage is enough to condemn much that is allowed to pass unopposed by those who claim to be Christians.
Let us notice one way in which the teaching of the above passage is ignored today. This teaching is ignored in the world today with reference to the manner of dress—or undress—of men and women. Men and women are going out in public and exposing themselves to the gaze of the world in an indecent manner. It isn’t just the women either; the men are not immune to this blandishment of human flesh. It is a disease that is common to both sexes. However, the woman traditionally the “Fairer Sex” is more persistent in it and more daring with it. So wide spread and accepted has this trend become that many who claim to be the children of God have been enticed to partake of the devil’s world. And many of those who are too retiring to partake have offered their voice in defense of this evil. Read the verses already referred to and also, 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and you will see that this is not from above.
The Christian needs to respect the teaching of the Bible and so walk as to plainly let the world see the line drawn between the Christian and sin.