Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

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Online Magazine: Edition 5

June/July 2005

Welcome to the Fifth Edition of the Online Magazine of the Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church




by Norman Tew

Today (25 April 2005) the Google news search service pointed me to an article in "The Patriot News", a newspaper serving parts of Central Pennsylvania, state of the United States.  It made an interesting contrast to the recent fashion shows in Sydney.  While I realize that the pictures that are selected by the TV news are probably the most fantastic costumes, I wonder who would wear some of the ridiculous dresses displayed. 

The article was about a lady named - Kimberly Hamme who sells what most people would call Amish clothing over the Internet.   In case there are any questions, the Amish are a religious group in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, who have taken a firm stand against "modern" corrupt lifestyles.  Thus they have rejected electrical appliances and do their farm work using old style implements and wear simple and often old style clothing.  Also prominent in that part of the States, though also in many other parts of the world, including Australia, are the Mennonites who also believe in plain clothing.

Kimberly's  web site is at in case you are interested. Kimberly is not a member of either faith though, but is a Seventh-day Adventist.  She says, "The clothing worn by plain people in many of the various faiths signifies that God calls us to set an example through modesty,   'Plain' is to be set aside from the world and its fashions."  She is also reported as saying that many religions have conservative branches that believe dressing modestly fits God's will, including Pentecostal, Southern Baptists, orthodox Catholic and Jewish.  I must admit that she is not typical of most Seventh-day Adventist women, for certainly I have never met any who went to the extreme type of dress that she sells, and I have traveled to several countries meeting Seventh-day Adventists in most of them.

In the early days of the Seventh-day Adventist church, there were moves against the unhealthful fashions of the day (skirts dragging in the dirt of the street and narrow waists that constricted the internal organs of the body), and some extremes were suggested in dress reform, but church members tried to have a healthful clothing that avoided both the extremes of fashion and the extreme masculine clothes that the reformers of women's clothing suggested.  Today Seventh-day Adventists in Australia do not go to the extreme of the "plain dress" shown on the web site, though they do believe that it is bad Christian Stewardship to waste money merely for fashion sake.  Clothing is both for modesty and protection from the extremes of the weather (slap on a hat against sun burn as well as get rugged up for the cold)!  Clothing is often used to draw attention to oneself or one's sexual characteristics, and this personal display aspect is not in accord with Biblical notions of modesty (which includes not drawing attention to oneself as well as the sexual type of modesty).

While men are not tempted by fashions as much as women, still the principles of careful use of money and avoidance of personal display do apply to their clothing as much as to their type of cars etc.

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