The Lure of the Fashionable
(Or, Duplicating Gruesome Reality)
Warren E. Berkley
| First Published in THE PRECEPTOR, 2001 |
One index of the reign of sin is the lure of the fashionable. “Conforming to this world” is often combined with “serving various lusts and pleasures,” (Rom. 12:2, Titus 3:3). The resulting behavior is offensive to God, harmful to people, destructive of individual influence and frequently, extremely juvenile.
It is remarkable how powerful worldly fashion is to those who are given to this dimension of human appetite. When you do something, without any mature motive or reason – simply because others are doing it, you are captive to the influence of fashion.
I thought about this a few days ago, as a result of something I observed. I came to an intersection and noticed an automobile next to me riddled with bullet holes. It appeared to me that the vehicle had been through a fierce gun battle. There was a sense of alarm at first, so I looked inside the car – only to witness normal occupants who seemed to be in good health. I concluded the necessary auto body work had not been done yet, but I was still alarmed at what had happened to the owners.
A few days later I drove into a parking lot at the grocery store, and here was another vehicle with a dozen or so bullet holes in the driver’s door. This caused me to think about the crime rate, the violence that must be growing in my community. What times we must live in, to see automobiles torn up and obviously penetrated by bullets! Terrible.
Then I went to auto parts store to buy an air filter for my truck. While waiting for the employee to find the part, I noticed a display of FAKE BULLET HOLE decals! I caught myself just before uttering the verbal expression of astonishment common in my grandmother’s generation: “Of all the thangs!!”
I suppose the explanation is – if you can’t get your vehicle shot, you can buy these decals to make it look like you’ve been shot!! Then I went to WalMart yesterday, and the guy in front of me was wearing a shirt with bullet holes and blood (imprinted on the shirt to duplicate gruesome reality.)
It provoked me to think about what strange things people will do, simply because others do it. This is the lure of fashion, also seen in tattoos and body-piercing. I suppose an argument can be made in favor of custom and convention, or private opinion where no sin is involved. You can study that.
But it may be personally useful for us to stop and inquire of ourselves, before duplicating fashion: Why am I doing this? What good will be accomplished? What message will I send? What influence will I have? Would Jesus do this? Based on His revelation of Himself, what would God’s judgment be? Will a mind and conscience, directed by the example of Christ and the teachings of the Bible desire to give the appearance of violence?
Without any doubt, Christians must guard against the impulse and habit of conforming to the world.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Rom. 12:1,2