Present Day Concerns

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As Christian pilgrims in an alien society, we find ourselves under constant pressure to compromise our principles and standards. In order to strengthen and safeguard the beliefs and practices of the Alliance, we urge careful attention to the following issues:

  1. Spiritual life. In our post-Christian world it is all too easy to slip into a pattern of neglect in personal spirituality. We encourage daily commitment to the Lordship of Christ and regular attendance at church services.
  2. Lifestyle. In an age of affluence, the follower of Jesus will be careful with his purchases and possessions so that they reflect the simple lifestyle as modeled by the Lord Jesus. That will enable him to give sacrificially to the needs of others and to the extension of the gospel.
  3. Personal appearance. Jesus and the Scriptures call us to a simple, modest, unadorned lifestyle, and a separation from the world and its fads, fashions, and ornamentation. Jesus’ followers will avoid immodest and form-revealing clothing.

    If sisters choose to wear culottes for social activities or work that would increase her ability to remain modest while doing those activities, they should be of “sufficient length” to cover the knees when sitting, have “sufficient material” to avoid a tightness on the legs that would give the appearance of “shorts,” and should only be worn with the approval of her husband or father.

    Because wearing shorts borders on immodesty, can leave a poor testimony, and may cause offense, we strongly encourage men to wear full length trousers for all public life. Exceptions could include the wearing of shorts below the knee for non-public activities such as water sports, etc.

    Since the tie serves no practical purpose other than ornamentation, and out of respect for the convictions of others, we appeal to our brethren to abstain from wearing a tie at any conjoint BMA-related activity.

  4. Sports. Our society is enamored with sports. The follower of Jesus will avoid over-involvement, either as participants or spectators.
  5. Media. Society’s media is controlled by those with less-than-Christian standards. We call on our constituency to beware of the dangers of our present-day media, whether in the use of computers, Internet, DVD, VCR, TV, books, magazines, or other media.

    Recognizing the tremendous impact of television and other forms of mass media, we strongly recommend that all “spiritually detrimental programming” be removed from the home. Media that is acceptable can also be detrimental if not used thoughtfully and deliberately. We must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in controlling their impact on our lives, and refrain from practices that would grieve the Holy Spirit and hinder our witness for Christ.

    We ask our constituency to respect the views of other brothers regarding media use. When one is in the presence of others who are offended by our use of any form of media, we should abstain for our brother’s conscience sake.

  6. Headship veiling. It is with deep concern that we see a diminishing of veiling size on the part of some sisters. We strongly encourage a covering or a hanging veil of sufficient size to cover a substantial part of the head. We urge pastors, husbands, and fathers to be diligent in maintaining a consistent Biblical pattern for the veiling, free from fashion and decorative appearance. We also urge our sisters to be submissive and cooperative.

Biblical Mennonite Alliance Council of Overseers, July 2011

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