The matter of how a Christian is supposed to behave in the society is complex. It gets even more complex when the tag "born-again" is attached to the Christian and moral expectations get higher. There is a global definition of "born-again Christianity, and then there is the Nigerian definition. As I always say in my treatises, the Nigerian definitions of Christian principles are characterized by extremities that are fueled by ignorance. This is not intended to mean that ignorant Christianity is peculiar to Nigeria; no sir! All over the Christian world, people are grossly misinterpreting the Holy Bible and the teachings of Christ every day. However, my already established case study for the book that I published on this subject is Nigeria ; so, my interest is Nigeria's brand of ignorant and misinformed Christianity.
Nigerians are tracking all manner of un-Godly or ignorant acts every day in the name of Christ. On certain matters, it is relatively very easy for rational individuals to differentiate what is right from what is wrong. For instance, most rational people world over, agree that taking human life in whatever form in the name of Christ is wrong. Very often, however, it is difficult to decide or conclude who is really on the right path of Christianity, and this has a lot to do with human imperfection in the interpretation of the Holy Bible, the teachings of Christ, and ultimately, the will of God. What some of us (the human race) sincerely believe and claim to be the will of God is not always true, and we do have proofs of this fact. A good one is that humanity once believed that the world was a flat object. Indeed, the man who discovered that the world is actually spherical was persecuted and executed for "blasphemy."
Away from the matter of the shape of the world, a good deal of the confusion in the Christian belief system is most often engendered by the fact that the bible and the teachings of Christ are built on parables and proverbs, which beget ambiguity. With ambiguity, comprehension and interpretation of "The Message" frequently vary from one Christian or one sect of Christians to the other. Let's relate this to the title of this treatise-how do we define "born-again" Christian fashion? I am talking about the overall physical appearance of a born-again Christian in Nigeria, and my spotlight is beamed on the women folk. I am spotlighting women because they are the guiltier of my observation that Nigerian born-again Christians go to two extremes in their physical expression.
On one extreme, we have women in Nigeria who see nothing wrong in looking good as Christians. Ordinarily, this is the view that I subscribe to; God is never associated anywhere in the bible with ugliness. Anybody who allows himself or herself to look bad or ugly, in my opinion, is not representing God's will. Unfortunately, however, some of the "good-looking" Christian women in Nigeria often look too doggone good to be Christian! They often look so "good" that they look like prostitutes out in the street to turn tricks. Now, that I definitely say no to!
Many Christian women expose too much of their body parts that should be covered up in public. More grievously, the 'irresponsible' fashion is not limited to their secular world; they carry it right into the church on Sundays. Humanity may pretend all we want, but the natural fact remains that most normal men, including pastors by the way, tend to be distracted with sinful thoughts and imaginations of the sexual kind in the church when we see a woman dressed sexually provocative. The women that dress "to kill" know this fact perfectly well, too; they know exactly what they are doing. They do know the negative impact of their act on men inside the church. Indeed, many of them purposely dress so provocatively to make a 'catch' in the church, if you catch my drift.
Then, we have women at the other extreme who believe that looking good is sinful. They think that you are only born-again Christian if you dress and look like a "plain Jane" nerd. I definitely, definitely say capital NO to this! I declare that Christ did not teach us to look bad in order to get to heaven. He couldn't have, when there are passages in the bible that talk about God and beauty. Don't ask me to quote any of them verbatim off the cuff, but we all know that God is associated with beauty, and not ugliness. I truly have a major problem with a woman that decides to rubbish her God-given beauty with the ignorant belief that Christ wants her to look un-enhanced and ugly.
It is bad enough that 'mature' women do it, and downright disastrous when unmarried young ladies allow their beauty to wither away in the ignorant belief that it is the will of God. Christian or not, every woman should polish and enhance herself to look attractive, to the glory of the God of beauty. This is more important for unmarried women, who must always remember that they have to look good in order to attract husbands. They must bear in mind that most men, including the born-again Christians, would not marry physically unattractive women simply because they are born-again Christian.
It is a Christian requirement for a woman to get married one day, and, to get married, a woman has to look attractive to men. We all know that the attractiveness of a woman (indeed men, too), is most often actually based on the enhancement of one's basic physique, and not necessarily on the inherent beauty. There are people, who are naturally beautiful, but even they have to keep enhancing that beauty, or it would wither away. Sure, Jesus Christ himself probably would marry any woman just for the content of her heart, but, unfortunately, Christ cannot come down from heaven and marry all the female Christians on earth. Hence, it is my conclusion that any unmarried woman who intends to get married has no business making allowing her beauty to wither away, in the name of Christ.
So then, as Christians, we must learn to strike a balance by looking good without looking too good. We must not rubbish our beauty in the name of Christ, but we should also desist from obvious indecent dressing in the name of beauty. Like I said, the women who are guilty of looking too good do know exactly what they are doing when they dress so provocatively to church. I have seen some pastors who rebuke them openly in church.
"They are the devil's incarnates that he sends to destabilize the church," a pastor once said in a sermon. I would say he was probably taking it a little too far, but then, maybe not.
"Folks," he continued, "I was a man ever before I became a pastor, and I do have feelings, too. Sure, I may be able to fight the distraction spiritually better than the next man, but I am human all the same. "
Now, that's my kind of man; a pastor who does not unnecessarily pretend to be holier than though; one who admits that he is human, with weaknesses just like the next guy. I am going somewhere with this conclusion comment, by the way! It is leading to the topic of my subsequent blog-Sex And Hypocrisy In Christianity. Do keep in touch.
Meanwhile, what do you think about Christian fashion?
Credit To Harry Agina