February 5, 2010

Part 2 of my last post/A Reply to a Comment

I decided to write a second part to my last post in response to some comments that were left. I understand the heart of the woman who wrote the response and I am in no way being critical of her comment. I just want to share my heart in a more deeper way. Here it goes:

By far am I thinking and promoting people to walk in gray areas or sin. I am just simply sharing that we are all on this journey of walking with the Lord and sometimes we as Christian women can put yokes of bondage out of Law and not allow the Lord to change us by His Spirit.

I am wanting to share how the Grace of God has taught me that by His Spirit I can be changed, not by doctrines or teachings of religion. Yes, the bible clearly says that women should wear modest apparel. Does this mean skirts? Yes, it says that having long hair is a covering for the woman? But will Jesus still love me if I do cut my hair? And how long is long enough? Some women cut their hair to help a good cause such as wigs for cancer children. Maybe God is using them to serve a purpose? We don't know? Or maybe they just like short hair? Does it really matter? How about eating pork? God did say it was an abomination in the old testament? Then why do some still eat pork? Where do we draw the line?

We can fall into looking to much on how we need to do these acts or works, than focusing our efforts in changing our heart of bitterness, lust, judgment, anger, covetousness, etc... Where Jesus wants us to have a relationship with Him and come to Him in our nastiness and allow Him to change us through His unconditional love, grace, and everything in between.

Jesus came to call the religious Jews of His day hypocrites and white washed tombs where they were so consumed with the outward and doing the "right" thing that they were willing to overlook love. Jesus hung out with the low lifes, the rebellious, the ones who were rejected by the "religious". He tells the adulterous samaritan woman at the well...."God is Spirit and those who worship God must worship in spirit and in truth."

Christians can be quick to love the sinner, embrace them, and once he/she accepts Christ start putting yokes of bondage around his/her neck. They want to preach the do and donts of Christianity instead of teaching them to seek God with all their hearts, souls, and mind and allow Him to change them. Don't look around to find answers, but truly allow the Lord to teach you all things and change you.

Picture this: Find a young mother who is tattooed to her neck, she smokes, drinks, partys, uses profanity, works at the local coffee shop and really wants the Lord in her life. Her husband is a construction worker and also wants to be saved. The church leads them to the Lord and they get saved. What now? Well, they give them a big book of church doctrine and the beliefs and take them through the 10 steps of living holy.

This young mother is genuinely wanting God to do great things in her life so she starts to change her outward appearance. Everyone around her is dressed with dresses or living a very modest lifestyle. The women stay home with their children and she feels like she now has to quit her job. Her husband wants her to keep working, but this goes against what the bible teaches and what people are doing around them. She begins to feel awful because of her tattoos, she is trying so hard to quit smoking, she cuts out drinking, and has minimized her use of profanity but sometimes slips up around sister so and so. She walks in serious condemnation because she doesn't know how to live this holy life. Her husband would like her to wear jeans but she feels like skirts is the only way to live really holy unto the Lord. She is now so focused on doing the right thing that she totally misses out on the love relationship with the Lord.

What about her cussing and smoking....she still struggles and starts heading for depression because she feels like such a failure in her walk with God. She feels like life was easier to deal with when she wasn't saved. Yeah, she understands that she will go to heaven but what if she gets cast into hell if she is still cussing or desires to wear jeans? Oh Lord....she says....why is this so tough!! Why does God want so much from her? How could she ever, ever measure up to Him and be accepted. How? She is close to walking away entirely from Him!

Do you see how this young lady put laws and bondages of the church to influence her life. It was never the Lords intention. She never came to Him with a surrendered heart to have a true relationship of love. She didn't realize He was there the whole time waiting to fellowship as she was at the beginning of her walk, in her drinking, smoking, cussing, and jean wearing. He was going to change her in His timing. He was going to start by ministering to her heart. Teaching her how to love and not judge. Teaching to talk quietly and not yell. Teaching her to be joyful in the midst of disagreements with her husband. Teaching her how to show her tattooed friends how she had truly found her BEST FRIEND and how He's showing her how He has great plans for her life. Because of this new love relationship with the Lord, she will want to stop all sins she once struggled with everyday. Most of her sins were of depressions, condemnations, anger, yelling, etc... The smoking, drinking, and cussing would stop supernaturally because a true Love relationship breaks all bondage.

Only by the Spirit of the Lord must we be changed, not by traditions of man or doctrines. Allowing the Lord to teach us His Holy Word, not following any person because they seem "godly" in their works or outward appearance. There is a freedom in Christ when you find how loving, longsuffering, merciful, and kind He is. If we mess up He doesn't break fellowship with us. IF we mess up He is there to comfort us. If we aren't doing the entire bible to the "T" then He still loves us because GOD IS LOVE!!

I will leave you with these questions to ponder on:

Have you ever wondered why God would call Hosea to marry a prostitute? Knowing this was against the Law of Israel. Why would God do this? Why would God call Jeremiah to walk around naked for a year with a yoke around his neck? This seemed sort of nutty? Why would God call a young virgin to become pregnant in a place where if the "law" found out she would seriously be stoned? Why would God become Flesh and become best friends with the ungodly and not the "religious Jews" of the day? Many of these prophets (men of God) were killed for doing the works of God. Yeah, it didn't look like the "righteous" thing to do but He wanted them to, He had a purpose! And ultimately His only Son was killed by the religious of His day. Why? Because He was there preaching the kingdom of grace, love, healing, and forgiveness!

Let us as mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and women of God look deep into our relationship with the Lord. Ask questions such as "why am I following a certain teaching? Is it truly what God wants me to do or am I doing this to "look righteous" in the eyes of the church." I encourage all of you to follow the leading of the Lord in all you do.

With Love,
Chris
I am posting a reply to more comments. If you want to read the comments then click on the comments link below. If you want to join, please feel free too....like I said we are all learning :)

Thanks Morgan.... Yes, I believe that we as Godly women should be modest in our dress. I believe there are pants that can be nice and not skin tight. I do believe that ONLY through the Lord's convictions can we be changed. And this is the point of my post!

I do believe many more women should be more conscious of their clothing they wear to respect the men in the church and world. I continually instruct my daughters to dress in modest ways. If they wear a shorter skirt, I have them wear leggings under it. If I have them wear a bathing suit....They wear shorts over them. I personally don't allow them to wear bikinis, but that is me. I am not going to look down on a sister if she is wearing a two piece or think she is not following the Lord. You get my point.

To the anonymous person:

I never said that the Lord's word is of men. I said there are things in the word that men have twisted and made as traditions of men or hard core doctrinal principles. There is a balance to the word of God. Through the Spirit should we read and study the Word of God.

Dress also depends on the times we live in. When Paul wrote the modest clothing scriptures, who knows what women were wearing in that culture. They might have been wearing no clothes at all. If you think about it....Rome, corinth and those places were swamped with lusts such as orgies and the like. The culture was perverted.

Also the word "modest" comes from the Latin word meaning "moderate". In all things we should be moderate. I think the clothing that women should consider wearing should be of a lower key....not flashy to attract attention or low cut shirts....but if a sister in Christ is in the Word of the God, reading His word and seeking for His love and change, then we can allow the Lord to change this woman in His time. We don't have to constantly remind them that they need to look a certain way or even be a certain way.

We have holy spirit and He is the only one to change us and convict us. Even our adult children! In life we can be extreme in many ways. I think we should find a happy medium and not attract attention in any way. Live a modest godly lifestyle! And be spirit led. I believe that there are sects in today's society who are christian who obviously attract looks and stares....they are dressed like they belong in the quaker days. These people are stared at and attract alot of attention. But if that is how God wants them to dress then be it! But in no way am I to judge or to tell them what to do or not to do. Either way....Another point to my posting.

Paul says do not braid your hair, or wear jewelry such as gold, or pearls I have a gold wedding ring? Should I take it off and wear bronze, silver, lead? Or throw out the pearl necklace my husand gave me? I think we can take things to an extreme. I know many teachers of the word (pastors, apostles, teachers....of today) will say things in their preaching that I know might sound very extreme but knowing their heart and the heart of God...I get what they mean. Maybe Paul was frustrated by the flashy lifestyle people lived? I don't know. But we as women of God can come to Him personally and ONLY desire to look, dress, and be like He wants us to be not because a sect, movement, group of believers say we should. Remember the Lord is more concerned with the spirit of the man, not just the outer shell.

Matthew 23:23-25

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.

I know this is speaking of tithing....but you got to consider the heart of the message in context to the whole word of God. We can take the word of God with a magnifying glass and make sure we are following everything to a "T" and do things out of the flesh in a carnal way instead of allowing the Lord to teach us. But then again....everyone has sinned....daily....gossip is a sin, judging, pride, lust, outburst of wrath (do you slip and yell at your children on occasion)

My point to all of my posting is that we need to recognize the Freedom and redemption Christ came to give us through His word. I am not saying to stop obeying the word....I am stessing....SEEK HIM, KNOW HIM!!! Have a genuine relationship with your Savior. Allow Him to show us the Word. He is the Word!

To all my readers:

I am want to let you know that I am NOT telling people to break the Laws of the Lord. I hope those who follow me, and know me will understand my heart. If you have any clue about the Love of Christ you will know what I am trying to relay on my posting. There have been some misunderstandings that are accusation on my trust, love and walk with the Lord. I guess someone wants to "judge" my heart from my post. This is exactly the point of my post.

WHO ARE WE TO JUDGE ANYONE?! Skirts or no skirts!


10 comments:

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Chris, we are one in this! I agree with you and I have been delivered from such destructive thinking. I tried to be righteous in so many ways, but God kept trying to remind me that the gospel is simple. I was complicating his Grace and mercy.

I'm going to say one word. JOY!!! If you don't have joy, then you need to ask God where it went. I found that mine left when I let legalism in.

Anonymous said...

I agree with leah, how dare you say Bible princiaples are teachings of men! God has the same standards for everyone. He doesn't tell some women to wear skirts and some to not. He leads and guides us by his Word. You make every thing sound like a opion. Yes God will still love you if you don't wear skirts but that doesn't mean we can just do whatever and not live how we are suposed to. You look at it all wrong. God will still love you even if you murder some one that doesn't mean we. should do that. Doing right is always hard. We need to stand up for whats right and stop condoneing everything. I'm not going to go into it but God clearly states women's and men's roles, how we should dress and how we should have children. God spent tell people to do stuff that is contrary to his Word (KJ Bible). You are way off. Your opion doesnt matter only what Gods word says. You don't need to pray about some things they are in the Bible. Pray God will show you thongs in his word.

Morgan said...

Well said!

I agree with the PP that quoted how we are not supposed to dress like men. However, in my opinion pants can be very feminine and very modest. I believe that the meaning behind the verse about not dressing like a man is just that- not trying to look like a man or act like one when you're not. If you're wearing pants because you like them, then there is no sin. If you're wearing pants because you want to pass as a man, well now that's another story.

As far as modesty, again, I feel like pants are modest unless you're wearing those really tight ones- i.e. spandex, extra low-rise, or ultra-skinny pants.

When I was first saved, I was a pre-teen. The church I started going to wanted girls to wear skirts or dresses. At the age I was, nothing fit me, and I mean nothing. I was super teeny tiny and it was heartbreaking trying to find clothes that were nice that fit. I had one or two skirts I could wear, but I didn't want to wear the same thing every week. When my friend mentioned the "dress" code, it really hurt my heart. Here I was trying to follow Christ, and yet now there was this burden on me to "look" the part.

For those that do feel convicted to dress or look a certain way, it would be a sin to them to go against their convictions and do something they believe the Holy Spirit is convicting them is wrong.

A few verses that came to mind about the topic of Christian liberties:

1 Cor. 10:23-33

1 Cor. 8:9-13

Blessings to you. And for what it's worth, I get what you're saying. : )

Chris in FL said...

I responded by adding to my second blog post.

thanks again for your comments.

Anonymous said...

I know it funny how you Didnt post my comment correctimg my typos, and how Christian it was to make fun of me about it. You purposely didnt post my corrections. Sorry i can't visit this blog anymore your so unbiblical on stuff and mast tied people that differ from you

Anonymous said...

Wow for not wanting to judge you sure agure a lot to people who think differently than you. And you never comented on boys wearing dresses? Why can't they if women can wear pants? and the Bible never says its moral laws are subject to the day you live in. Pants are a man's garment and have been for 1000s of years and dresses a women's garment. It only changed 50-60 years ago, when women tried to do everything men do. Make up all the excuses you want, to live how YOU want. All these comments sound like opion none had Bible verses. Sorry but dressing modestly and like a women is not a twisted law or whatever you want to try and call it. Gods word is what i go by and none of your opions are going to change what I think. I don't do things to show people I'm right or whatever, I just want to do what the Lord says (the Bible) not some opion you develop, because you did it for the wrong resons. You could go to church for the wrong reasons to it doesnt make it wrong.

Chris in FL said...

Anonymous,

I wasn't making fun of your typos... I'm sorry if this offended you. I didn't post your small post because usually people don't care if some words are typed wrong. We all make mistakes. :)

But for you to call me unbiblical is wrong of you. I have never said anything that is not in love. You are continuing to bash people over the head where I am just saying SEEK THE LORD!!!

What is wrong with seeking the Lord for our lives? I never was typing this to change your thinking or what you believe. I never intended to change your mind. I am just typing my heart on issues I have dealt with and see prevalent in church that is it!! For you to come and bash me over the head and say I'm not biblical is the judgments I am talking about.

I think I know who you are and I think we've had discussions like this before on another blog so I understand where you are coming from. So you can come as Leah, Jessica, or an anonymous person it doesn't matter because God knows your name.

I encourage you to seek the Lord and stop refusing Him to open your heart of love, compassion, and everything wonderful that God represents. Our walk with the Lord is to show those who haven't been touched by the Living God who their savior is not some religion or bondage!!

And I don't have to justify my walk with the Lord. I know HIm and He knows me!!! I have never once told people to go out and sin.....by far. All I have said is KNOW HIM, not religion!!

Chris in FL said...

Anonymous,

Forgive me for not posting your comment, I had to make a judgment call. LOL and you know what I am talking about.

Have a blessed life. Good bye!!! :)

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

I think we need to be relevant if we want to be listened to.

I think a relationship with Jesus takes care of all of this stuff. If you are seeking His Will for Your life and you are praying about it until He shows you the way. You just can't go wrong! Seeking godly counsel on this subject is vital as well. I have had to do that on many issues, head coverings, dresses, QF, homeschooling, speaking in tongues, etc. It is between God and I at the end. I have to ask Him and He will tell me if I listen to His answer.

I refuse to put God in a box! I've done it and He always gets out!

Chris, you are handling this very maturely.

Jen said...

Oh my....Chris!!! I am saying a little prayer for you right now! I've had the same thing happen to me on my blog...and from people that won't even admit who they are. It's very disheartening.

You are right on so don't let any of this discourage you from speaking the Truth.

Sometimes people get caught up on one thing or another and they lose focus of the big picture. When one "claims to be Christian" is attacking another....why in the world would a non-believer want to be one of us! It's so so sad...

Don't let anyone rob your joy. We know your heart and I can't wait to meet you in Glory!