Femi Owolabi: Is the Pentecostal dress-sense invading the Catholic Church?

I may not be theologically correct, but at least I should make a little sense, morally speaking—or writing. The ubiquitous public display of women’s bodies leaving virtually nothing to the imagination has never been my worry—trust me, I’ve met ladies in public places and seen how they make deliberate efforts at promoting their cleavage. I have been to clubs, where we do not only see these things—we are also allowed to touch. And yes, I have a more liberal attitude towards sexuality, nonetheless my mind is not yet lost in the licentiousness as I promptly ask myself: what would my hand be doing inside the bra of a woman ain’t married to?

Lately, our dear Pentecostal Christian sisters are becoming characteristically obsessed with the so-called 21st century way of dressing. Do not get me wrong, as there’s nothing wrong in keeping up with what’s in vogue. I do crazy fashion myself, but my problem is that these days, I could hardly differentiate between a girl coming from the (Catholic) Church and the one coming from a night club. And the very unfortunate thing is that this unacceptable(by me) way of dressing by these girls (I see coming from Church on Church days) is fading almost imperceptibly into pentecostalism.

It is arguable though, the silence of our pastors on this issue which of course makes it impeccable for most of these girls. How do you condemn a lady’s church outfit when her pastor hasn’t? But as a worried Deacon, my pen became deterministic to express the unsatisfied state of my mind before our sisters start to come to Church in bikinis, bum-shorts and who knows? Maybe g-strings.

Brother Paul writing to Brother Timothy on the instructions about Worship is seen in the second chapter of his first letter, verse 9, “…And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and NOT DRAW ATTENTION to themselves….”  Many of the New Testament letters address specific abuses that occurred in the early Christian communities, and I think that may be the case here.

A few Sundays ago, my conservative friend and I were in a queue at a Church entrance and again he drew my attention to the ladies who were in front of us. Their gowns had a scooped back with the curve. a little bit below the middle of their backs consciously showing their colored bras hooked at the middle of their backs. And looking downward, the gowns barely went four-inches below their buttocks, such that if they dared try to raise their hands in shouting Halleluya, we would have seen their underwear, if they are wearing any. I am not exaggerating.

Let me make bold to say or write that we should take Brother Paul’s ‘modest-in-appearance’ to mean modest in a sexual sense – not showing off what a great body a lady has, or distracting people from worshiping God.

I remember a very beautiful friend of mine in the university. She dressed moderately to class and of course to fellowship, And for five years that we were together, there was never a day that her dressing became questionable. But, on the night of a departmental night dinner that she had invited me to, I was shocked when I saw the gown she was putting on. Quickly, I told her I had never seen her appear this way. Then, she smiled and told me that how would she dress like this to Fellowship or Class. She would only wear such very-short gown to a departmental dinner. Unfortunately, such gowns and even more crazy ones are what we see sisters wear to Church these days.

The truth be told, this is absolutely nonsense. It compromises the Christian faith, and I tell you, sometimes in my head what a girl wore to Church fights for memory space with what the pastor preached. I think Christian babes are to be examples to those around them, living the pages of the Bible for those who never read them. Their appearance and actions should exude stability and good judgment. I’m sure some of you are also aware of girls who “ping” (guys inclusive) or chat and even chew gum during Church service? God has given you six days to do whatever you want and even the seventh day (Sunday) He only asks for at most two hours of your time to worship. Yet, some girls still ping while preaching is going on, like they’ll die if the BB is switched off and kept inside the bag.

Like I expressed earlier, I am not against whatever a Christian lady chooses to wear in public, but I beg of them to be extra conscious of how they dress to Church. Inarguably- lust is a fundamental feature of humanity and even if man would fall into this mess, must it be in Church when he fixes his gaze on the sister’s cleavage, and his mind detach from the message of holiness, now soaked in dirtiness? You would have only succeeded in helping him to sin. You remember the case of Adam and Eve? The question here albeit is that why would Adam and his babe choose to hide from God’s presence when they discovered that they were naked? And if micro-mini skirt is termed semi-nude, why wear it to Church? Finally, my dear Pentecostal Christian sisters, the next time you are coming to Church, try make your gown/skirt touch at least somewhere around your knee. Cover your breasts properly and understand that you are going for a Church Service(God’s presence) and not any other social function!

Deacon @fEMIoWOLABI   [email protected] fEMIoWOLABI


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Comments (6)

  1. And about the chewing gum, some us chew gum because of our breath, irrepective of where, I don't see it as dishonouring God

  2. The craze for fashion is almost like a cancer that has eaten into many young ladies and guys. We live in a definitive world, where tags and standards are placed for being cool, rich, social and acceptable. Fashion is no exception…as insane as it is, ladies have carried on the madness of nakedness to prove a point…and that is the fact that more guys want to see them naked than clothed. In is indeed a sad reality, advertisers, movie producers and the likes have often deployed nudity as strategies to sell their products. So as much as something is essentially wrong with those ladies, who have let themselves get depraved by the madness of fashion…a deeper truth is that something is essentially wrong with the world we live in, where majority has not merely accepted nudity as high fashion acceptability, but also where the so called men, women…pastors, employers, lecturers…become hunters of the mysterious anatomy of the human flesh. That said, I must vehemently rebuke any religious systemic authority that will not openly confront such abusers of ethics. I do have a contention against the generalisation, and this is my reason…those ladies are not pentecostal sisters, they are ladies you met in a pentecostal church. The church site, just like the club is an open building for social gatherings. Anybody can walk into it…if a suicide bomber can find his way to a church, then so can a harlot…even presumably so for a longer period. To expect people in a perfect state…perfectly dressed in an institution that seeks to harbour, heal and help sinners is itself another human contradiction.

  3. Deacon Femi, I think this is a very beautiful n interesting write up, Indecent dressing in D church should be discouraged among young ladies. I'm catholic, and I beg to disagree that d ladies in catholic churchs are starting to dress irresponsibly. If you have seen dat, I assure u, its an isolated case. I rmbr in d parish where I worship here in Warri, a gal came into d church with a sleeveless top dat was so tight n showing her Bra n even armpit hair! And she went for communion. First, she was turned back n after d communion was over, an announcement was made dat ladies who dress bad, will b stopped from receiving communion, during any of d Masses, n many have taken d advice. It is really difficult to see young ladies in d catholic church who dress like street gals n actually go into d churc, most times u'll b caution b d ushers. In d pentecostal churches, its quite difficult tO talk to ladies about their way of dressing, cos like u rightly said, when their pastors can't caution them, who r we to???

  4. Stanley, well I think you only reacted to the title of the piece and unfortunately you were too quick in drawing a rather baseless conclusion. This is the title I sent to my Ynaija editor "How Ladies dress to Church: Pentecostalism and its Liberality?" How the 'Catholic' came in- I don't know. And I'll be glad if my editor can return the original title- I am not comfortable with the 'Catholic' thing please. Likewise this line "I could hardly differentiate between a girl coming from the (Catholic) Church and the one coming from a night club." I don't know why editor bracketed Catholic. And no, I don't attend Catholic.

    @OmegeNaija, I've not placed Catholic on a comparison scale with the Pentecostal Church.

  5. Deacon Femi Owolabi, it is well written, and I don't blame you for yabbing we babes, na some of us wey no fit keep our butts and boobs under the cloth I blame, however, I think your basis for comparison (Pentecostal vs Catholic) is biased

  6. My dear deacon Owolabi your write-up though seeking to address a budding problem in the body of Christ, could not hide your ignorance and visible bigotry.

    From your disposition I would not be wrong to assume you are Catholic. Correct me if I am. (For your information I am married to a Catholic but raised Anglican).

    If you would only observe, you would agree with me that modest dressing, & in this case to church (church here being any christian place of worship) has never been the exclusive preserve of catholics alone amongst other christian denominations. To attribute immodest dress-sense to pentecostalism only shows how myopic you have been. You need not look far to see denominations like the deeper lifers, MFMs & other off-shoots who no doubt are pentecostals. These denominations have observed a strict dress-sense on their members which I am sure you are aware of. That some new generation pentecostals have given-in to secularism should not be a reason to equate secularism with pentecostalism.

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