Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Give Me Liberty or I'm Leaving The Church"

Liberty: The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing.

Today, we have this new wave flowing through the churches like the wave at a professional sporting event where one person jumps up out of their seat throwing their hands into the air and this is then repeated by persons to their right or left until the movement is taken completely around the stadium.

Read Galatians 5:1-13

Liberty without a doubt is a wonderful concept when looked and addressed in the proper context with which it was intended. Unfortunately, I believe we have taken liberty to mean a lot more than even the scriptures themselves give. There were certain rituals which had been taking place for many years under the Jewish laws and customs, mainly circumcision, and Paul had spoken to the Galatians concerning this. Now, I have only touched on this to move into my point so don't get stuck here, Yehudi.

Liberty in Christ was intended to move us from trying to work our way into heaven and eternal life to believing by faith and walking and living our lives through the Holy Spirit. We moved from the lifestyle we had in the world to a separated life in Christ Jesus, and not falling victim to the desires of the flesh. However, somewhere between 1981 to present I have seen the things I left in the world come creeping into the church. When I accepted the Lord as my Savior, I no longer went to the clubs to party, because it wasn't edifying to my relationship with Christ, but now we have 'Christian Clubs' we can go to.

I stopped wearing the earrings I had because it didn't represent the Christ I was now telling people about, instead it represented the streets He saved me from. Now, we have Christians going out getting tattooed and pierced all over their bodies, and it's all in the name of Liberty in Christ Jesus. I'm sorry, I just don't think the Liberty we have been given was meant to allow us to stay in the same realm of lifestyle we were in before accepting the Lord.

Liberty in Christ was and is the vehicle for us to ride in faith with a pure heart toward our Lord and Savior without having to succumb to the traditions and legalities of working for ones salvation. Liberty was not intended for us to be able to maintain our wayward and worldly ways with the weak mantra of 'the Lord knows my heart'.

The scriptures tell us: 'If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, and the old things are past away and all things now become new'. We have to stopped with all the compromising and get back to the basics of teaching and preaching the unadulterated Gospel. The Lord is holding all of us so-called leaders responsible with not speaking out against the things which do not promote nor edify the Body of Christ.

Give Liberty or I'm Leaving The Church! Our response to this is: ADIOS! We don't need members that bad!


Z said...

I visit a church from time to time where I wish their "new creature" attitudes might mean putting on a suit and tie for church! The men all look like Jimmy Buffets in flowered shirts and cut offs and the girls all look like Charlie's Angels in the summer...

I think there's something nice about getting dressed in a respectful manner, but maybe that's just me. Others say "God knows our hearts and we shouldn't need to put on the dog for God"

WHo the heck else WOULD you put on the dog for?

maybe it's a silly point but it seems applicable. There are other things like very churchy people living together or having children out of wedlock....I can't personally imagine attending church in a congregation with small children, pregnant and unwed, but that's just ME, I guess? What a message it sends, huh?

To God be the Glory...let's glorify him and take a few minutes to dress up and to think about His Word when making life decisions.

maybe I sound like a prig, but that's how I feel! xxx

shoprat said...

Z Regarding different churches having different attitudes toward how we dress I accept Paul's advice that every man should be fully persuaded in his own mind and not worry about what others do. (Romans 14: 4-6) Sexual morality is another issue entirely.

IHS even in the secular worldview freedom should never be interpreted as being allowed to do whatever you want. I personally prefer the definition of being allowed to reach your full potential as a human and child of God..

Papa Frank said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment here but profoundly disagree with the specifics. I would submit that the important issue is not the earrings and tattoos but rather the mindset and view of sin. It is much more common to have someone sitting in church who cheats "a little" on their taxes while justifying it to themselves than it is to have someone with a tattoo. The difference is that you can see the tattoo while only God sees the heart of everyone in there. Which is displaying the world, someone who has an earring and is praising God with a pure heart or someone who is very conservative in their dress and appearance who sits in church and entertains lustful thoughts about a choir member up front? Many people were led to the Lord by someone with tattoos and earrings.

I.H.S. said...

Shoppie, always glad to see you and I would agree with you 100% on your definition, thanks.

Papa Frank, I too agree with what you have said, and I would like to add for some clarification; that the tattooing and earrings I'm referring to aren't from those coming into the church but instead are being done by those already 'in the church'. It seems to be in my estimation I'm seeing the Gosple reach those individuals we were all told would never be saved and they are in fact accepting the unadulterated Gospel and once they come into the assembly of the church with their tattooes and earrings showing has given rise to this thought which says,'well if they can get saved and they already have them then what's wrong with me getting them and I'm already saved?' This was the beginning of it back in the 1980's that I saw. From there it went down hill.


Z said...

My feelings about dress are not at all that someone impress with his nice suit, etc.."aren't I more pious?" Not at ALL.. Actually, it didn't even occur to me till I read the comments..sorry!

My feeling is that the least we can do is honor God with a little bit of effort...that's all. I don't condemn, I just wish more people would feel that maybe just throwing on real shoes and socks, or a sweater over the strapless dress might reflect better a heart of respect and adoration?
that's all...

On the earring..if one FEELS the earring is disrespectful or represents another lifestyle which one has left..then losing the earring's a good thing, for what it represents. But, by all means, if the earring just signifies hipness and one likes wearing it...wear it to church! It's our hearts those things reflect.
Again, it's not about what others think, ..between us and our God, no?

Yehudi said...

IHS: I was getting ready to stop reading and start commenting, but then you interjected for my benefit...and I cracked up laughing. I appreciate your article, and since I've shown that gentiles as well as Jews are obligated to live a life observant and worthy of the One who called you, I err on the side of conservatism. You don't work on Wall Street and show up at the NYSE in a tank-top and shorts, and neither should you represent yourself as a follower and talmid of Moshiach Yeshua and not have a life that bears that fruit. Otherwise you do a disservice to Him and others who are towing the line.

Z said...

I like that, yehudi...err on the side of conservatism. Why not!?

Ducky's here said...

WHo the heck else WOULD you put on the dog for?


Why put it on for anyone?

I want spiritual healing, not a fashion show.

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Thanks for the comment this morning. I really would not have thought of 'saints,' even though I have heard that before. Thanks for bringing that up.

I love talking about freedom and free will because it's always such a paradox. We love our free will, and don't want God to trample it. But I think we'd be okay with God limiting our free will if it kept us from being kicked out of heaven once we got there. We don't think of God protecting us from ourselves when we think of God limiting our free will. We just think he's being mean or something.

As for me, I got rid of my earrings (a few years after getting them) because I wanted to be taken more seriously in the workplace!

Z said...

Ducky, but nobody here has promoted dressing respectfully for church as a way to impress anyone. I believe every single one of us who advocate a slightly more 'dressed' appearance at church have emphasized how it reflects our hearts and minds..out of respect to GOD.
Who cares what other people think?

Matt...good point about the marketplace.

Now, I happen to like an earring in ONE ear (I don't know, I always find the men's two-earring thing a little too girly, but maybe cuz I'm old!) and I think you and IHS are right: If it keeps a man from a job, DITCH IT...(don't sue the employer for discrimination!)...and, if it reminds one of a past one feels isn't Godly or something like that...ditch it for your faith.

Z said...

Just now got sent this joke...thought you guys would enjoy it considering the earring talk!!
A man is at work one day when he notices that his co-worker is wearing an
earring. The man knows his co-worker to be a normally
conservative fellow, and is curious about his sudden change in 'fashion
Finally, he walks up to his co-worker and says, 'I didn't know you were into
'Don't make such a big deal, it's only an earring,' he replies sheepishly.
'So, how long have you been wearing one?'
'Ever since my wife found it in my truck.'
(I always wondered how this trend got started)