On Thanksgiving Day, Dolly Parton (77) kicked off the 133rd annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign with a live performance at the halftime show of the Dallas Cowboys football game.

To the views of the third largest TV audience in NFL regular-season history, Dolly Parton sang some of her must famous songs as well as some renditions of “We Are The Champions Of The World” and “We Will Rock You” while wearing a Dallas cheerleader’s uniform.

*  For full disclosure: I did not watch the football game of the halftime show and I have absolutely no desire to do so.

Dolly Parton immediately went viral for her performance being both cheered and criticized for her confidence and her performance.

Dolly Parton is known as a country music singer/songwriter, as an entertainer, and as a person of generosity. Throughout the years, she has also been vocal about her faith and its influence on her life. Now, my point in bringing up her faith is not with the intent of examining her faith, but rather to consider her example.

While I read article after article since Thursday of individuals expressing their thoughts about what Dolly did, I haven’t read many expressing what Dolly did not do.

What did she do? She embraced the immodest culture around us.

What did she not do? She did not follow the instructions that the Bible commands.

The truth is that we live in an immodest culture. Now, I’m not saying that’s a good thing, because it’s not. What I am saying is that Dolly has a lot of fans and followers, both old and young alike, who through the years have watched as Dolly has embraced the immodest culture that we all have grown up in. Our culture is one that craves attention (likes, looks, and loot) and that does not mind flaunting one’s own credentials (legitimate or not) for the entire world to see.

We are constantly fed the lie that we either need to show off, show out, and show others up if we want the attention which amounts to power, popularity, and opportunity or we simply need to conform to pressure, to the passions, or to the persona of the world that is around us. All that mentality produces is a race for people to simply keep up with the constant changes of life (the latest fashion, the current lingo, the new or trending actions and activities that “make us worthy” of people’s time and attention).

Let me say this – If you have to change who you are and who God wants you to be simply to fit in, then what you are doing is trying to put yourself inside of an environment that will only create a greater distance between you and your Heavenly Father. Be very careful because the result that you are pursuing is one that is nowhere near who God designed you to be.  

Yes, the issue is modesty, but I think that we have often framed the conversation incorrectly. The conversation of modesty tends to get limited to the clothing choices of ladies, but the issue of modesty is far greater than that. It’s one that involves us all and it includes three key things: HOLINESS, HONESTY, and HUMILITY. Three things that we all could use a little more of.

HOLINESS – there are things that are right to say and do and there are things that aren’t. The standard is the unchanging Word of God, not the ever-changing whims of culture.

HONESTY – there are things that I like that are not in my best interest and that do not help me accomplish the purpose for which I was created.

HUMILITY – there are things that draw attention to me and then there are ways that we can allow our God-given talents to serve others, to satisfy our right desires, and to please and point others to our Heavenly Father.

Here’s the reality: your modesty does not begin on the outside; it bubbles up from the inside and it shows up on the outside. It begins with the understanding that we were created with a much higher purpose than receiving the applause of man (which the Bible calls a snare). Our goal should be the approval of God.

2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

So that’s part one (Dolly embraced the immodest culture around her), but what about part two (Dolly did not follow the instructions that the Bible commands)? Adulthood should be viewed as an opportunity to instruct and to be an example to the next generation of holiness, of honesty, and of humility. You’ll find this to be true of both the “…aged men…” as well as the “…aged women…”in Titus chapter 2. We have a generation of young people who are now being taught by the older generations to expect and to embrace things that are in clear violation of the Scriptures.

In a recent interview, Dolly Parton said the following: “I make jokes about it, but it’s the truth that I kind of patterned my look after the town tramp. I didn’t know what she was, just this woman who was blond and piled her hair up, wore high heels and tight skirts, and boy, she was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen. Momma used to say, ‘Aw, she’s just trash,’ and I thought, that’s what I want to be when I grow up. Trash.” (

I don’t think that’s the kind of example or instruction that we need to be giving the next generation.

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