Shameless Exhibitions

Book 1 Chapter 11 of Calvin’s Institutes is entitled “Impiety of Attributing a Visible Form to God. The Setting Up of Idols a Defection from the True God.” In section 7 he speaks of “The use of images condemned by the luxury and meretricious ornaments given to them in popish churches.” Calvin further adds this particularly exquisite zinger:

“Let papists, then, if they have any sense of shame, henceforth desist from the futile plea, that images are the books of the unlearned — a plea so plainly refuted by innumerable passages of Scripture. And yet were I to admit the plea, it would not be a valid defense of their peculiar idols. It is well known what kind of monsters they obtrude upon us as divine. For what are the pictures or statues to which they append the names of saints, but exhibitions of the most shameless luxury or obscenity? Were any one to dress himself after their model, he would deserve the pillory. Indeed, brothels exhibit their inmates more chastely and modestly dressed than churches do images intended to represent virgins. The dress of the martyrs is in no respect more becoming. Let papists then have some little regard to decency in decking their idols, if they would give the least plausibility to the false allegation, that they are books of some kind of sanctity” (John Calvin, Institutes, 1.11.7; bold underlining mine–CD).

Some articles on modesty and modest dress:

Personal Purity in Thought, Speech, and Appearance

Modesty and Whorish Dress

Modest Dress of Christian Females

Advertisements