Practicing Discernment: North Creek Junior High Dress and Swimming Guidelines to Prevent Someone from Sexually Stumbling into Sin

A discernment exercise from an EFCA church in Walnut Creek, California. North Creek Church as led by Dr. Kent Dresdow has its dress and swimming guidelines for junior high students. The goal is not to make people “stumble” into sexual sin. How do you look at these guidelines? Or is this legalism and similar to what C.J. Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries did? 

“Intelligence is something we are born with. Thinking is a skill that must be learned.”

Edward De Bono

“To live is to think.”

Marcus Cicero

That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.

Acts 17: 10-12 NLT 

Today at The Wondering Eagle I am going to use the dress and swimming guidelines from an EFCA church in Walnut Creek, California as a discernment exercise. North Creek Church just changed senior pastors. Dr. Jon McNeff who led the church for 24 years retired. O June 1, 2018 Dr. Kent Dresdow stepped into his place. The Wondering Eagle would like to welcome the new senior pastor.  I am going to be writing about North Creek from time to time. However today’s post is a discernment exercise. Take a look at the dress guidelines for the junior high ministry. I will give you a hint about North Creek Church, their library has a lot of C.J. Mahaney material the last time I looked. If you want to hear what Mahaney taught about modesty you can watch it in the video above. Here are the guidelines: 

Dress and Swimsuit Guidelines

Now these are some questions that come to my mind, but I will let you think upon them and others. 

  1. Are girls in junior high sexual objects by North Creek Church? 
  2. Are girls responsible for keeping men sexually pure in how they dress? 
  3. Are guys responsible for not making girls stumble? 
  4. What is legalism? Despite what the guidelines say is this legalism? 

Please read the guidelines and feel free to discuss. That is it for the day guys know that you are loved. 

 

7 thoughts on “Practicing Discernment: North Creek Junior High Dress and Swimming Guidelines to Prevent Someone from Sexually Stumbling into Sin

  1. It doesn’t say that the rules are aimed at girls, but almost all the rules seem to be exclusively for girls. Unless they are telling the boys to wear knee-length skirts and one-piece swimsuits! And I see no mention about whether boys are allowed to wear speedo swimsuits, or that they are expected to wear shirts except when swimming. It sure looks like they are considering junior-high girls as sex objects, and ignoring the boys entirely.

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  2. I am not for a list of rules but i do wonder where Christian people have their heads when dressing. A spirit filled God-serving person should want to dress modestly. The church should not need to post a list of rules. And Yes women, it is partly your job to help men with their thought process. I look at the styles out there and wonder how men and women cannot fall into sin. Yes, the men need to keep their shirts and pants on too. I don’t want to be seen as a sex object so I don’t wear short shorts, low necklines, tight clothing, skin tight whatever they call these things these days they call clothes.

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  3. North Creek Church as led by Dr. Kent Dresdow has its dress and swimming guidelines for junior high students. The goal is not to make people “stumble” into sexual sin. How do you look at these guidelines?

    Just from the above statement:
    “NOT THIS BULLSHIT AGAIN!”

    This exact sort of thing has been covered over and over on several spiritual abuse blogs — Wartburg Watch, Spiritual Sounding Board, Homeschoolers Anonymous, and others I’m not aware of. Christianese Purity Culture’s take on the burqa. Or the Duggars’ code phrase “NIKES!”

    (Though I was never immersed in Christianese Purity Culture per se, I somehow ended up internalizing most of its tropes. So I know how it can mess you up.)

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  4. So much of this is a matter of healthy balance. There can be appropriate encouragement of people to consider how they are dressing and what message that sends, without body shaming and sexualizing everything. I have heard numerous Christian women (rarely, if ever, men) talk about how they were made to feel very self conscious when young, and made to feel as if the moral and spiritual health of their male counterparts was entirely dependent on how they dressed, as if the males were simply hormone-driven animals possessing no moral compass or responsibility of their own.

    In our former church the wife of a leader seemed to view it as her personal responsibility to police the attire of the teen girls. The problem was, it was done in entirely judgmental fashion, and it was often on questions of attire that were more driven by her personal standards and preferences, reflecting the era and location where she grew up. We actually lost a couple of people at the church over the years due to them leaving after being, in their estimation, judgmentally confronted.

    It would be great if the younger people could receive guidance that is positive and not shaming.

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    • Agreed Dave. I remember in Crusade hearing about how the female staff member would speak to girls on retreats and tell them they were needed to dress responsibly to help men and not tempt them. Evangelicalism sexualizes a lot. It gets to the point where it shames people where they feel guilty about their sexuality. In the this is often about control.

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  5. Full disclosure: I only skimmed this post.
    But I have an observation:

    Jesus barely talked about sexual sin. It’s pretty much confined to, don’t mess around with anyone but your spouse, and don’t mess around at all if you don’t have a spouse. But if your spouse messes around, you’re free to divorce, as the covenant has been broken.

    But other than love God, and love others as yourself, Jesus probably spoke more about forgiveness, and the lack of it being sinful, than anything else (forgive 70×7, go be reconciled to your brother before leaving your gift at the altar, prodigal son, parable of the dude who was forgiven a huge debt, then didn’t forgive a small one, just to name a few).

    And yet so much time and focus and writings and speeches are spent on sexual sins.

    And comparatively little is spent on the sin of unforgiveness, and the havoc it wreaks.

    I can walk into a church, confess that I haven’t forgiven people in my life, and be told that it’s okay, they’ll pray for me, they can empathize, been-there-done-that, and I’m welcome to play music up front if I want merely because of my musical talent. I could probably weasel my way up to deacon or elder if I had any such aspirations. And I’m never told to “repent from your unforgiving lifestyle!”

    But if I was to be someone who is gracious to all, forgives, gives grace, is loving, does unto others as Jesus taught, but if I was gay, I’d be told to repent from the lifestyle, and not permitted to serve in any meaningful way.

    The dichotomy between Jesus’ many teachings, and how often he spoke & taught of such things, and the church’s treatment of various sins is striking.

    I think I know why:

    Because the sin of unforgiveness is something most have experienced.
    Whereas, the sin of homosexuality is one that a vast majority are not even tempted by.

    So it’s far easier to “other” the gay person.

    This treatment needs to stop.
    Time to remove the plank.

    The time to be judgmental is towards oneself as the Holy Spirit convicts one in one’s faith walk. The time to love is towards others, and let God handle the sin.

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    • But Christian moralists are obsessed with “pelvic issues” (i.e. Sex makes people stupid and Christians crazy), and HOMOSEXUALITY(TM) is the OTHER guy’s sin, NOT your own.

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