Standards in Church

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by crazycat, Apr 26, 2002.

  1. crazycat

    crazycat
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    I would love to know how many people go to churches that have standards such as dress, and music. Do you think it has anything to do with Christianity, or legalism. I am not suggesting works salvation either.
    If you do have high standards on these areas how do you treat Christians that don't? If you don't have these standards would you attend achurch that did, if you have seen God bless the church, and It has a good Christian base and spirit? I would love to hear some input.
    Thanks ,
    Cathy [​IMG]
     
  2. Rev. Joshua

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    Cathy, strict standards are not necessarily synonymous with "high" standards. A strict standard for dress seems to me to be falling short of Jesus high standard of love and inclusion.

    Our church is a Midtown Atlanta (urban) congregation that draws people from all over the metropolitan area. There is no expectation or set standard for how people will dress.

    I would not be comfortable in the kind of legalistic church you describe. I'm sure God blesses the ways in which they are faithful to the gospel, as God likewise blesses our congregation. Nevertheless, I grew up in a fairly legalistic church. I outgrew it, and have no desire to go back.

    Joshua
     
  3. crazycat

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    Strict standards and high standards are both relative terms. I see no problem with either one to describe my scenerio.TMHO like it or not.
     
  4. Maverick

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    Standards. Modesty is taught in Scripture so there should be a standard of modesty. That does not mean 3 piece suits are the only thing a man can wear to church. In my 50 years I have seen plenty of immodest dresses, but few modest pants on women because they spray paint them on and I see cleavages fore and aft that I ought not to see anywhere especially in church. Covered does not necessarily equate to modesty. Modesty should be the standard and by nature it would be strict to many today.

    Clean is good though some child may come in dirty,but modest clothes. We do not hinder the child for a condition he may have no control over.

    I like Western wear and echew suits at every opportunity, but I do not rag on the lad that just has to wear a suit. Boots are the only shoes in the world for me though I sometimes condescend to wear sneakers.

    Godliness should be a standard. How strict could that get?

    Legalism If you tell me that unless I wear a three piece suit and tie I am not saved you have not become legalistic if you require your leaders to set forth an example. If that example is not one that I feel necessary than I can mosey on down the road to somewhere else where they project the image I am comfortable with. Leaders are held to a higher standard by God and certainly by people who look on the outward rather than the heart.

    I say forget about the image being Business, Business Casual, Casual, Western or whatever. Make the image clean and modest and individual expression may have a fairly free reign within those parameters, but you don't chunk standards and say anything goes.

    It is not odd that Babylon represented the world in the OT and what did Achan have? God's gold and the world's attire. It is much the same today. We hoard His tithe and follow the fads of the world rather than the standards that God set for modesty and separation.
     
  5. donnA

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    A strict standard does not mean a good or high standard. If my church said I could only wear dresses I'd go somewhere else, that is legalism. And I wouldn't be a apart of it. How can you set standards and then enforce them? Are you going to stand at the door and tell visitors they can't come in becasue you don't like their dress. I've heard of many people who don't go to church anymore becasue people looked down on their dress. As long as everything is covered that should be is then theres no problem.
    You'd have to name the other standards you are thinking about.
     
  6. redwhitenblue

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    I grew up in churches where the pastor enforced such strict standards on the families which was nothing less of dictatorship. I refuse to be part of a church which has the leadership of dictatorship, a true godly leader doesn't push but leads by example and those who follow that example are rarely pushed. In my opinion any church which enforces the following is nothing but a legalistic group who desperately needs to get their act together....

    Women wearing dresses
    Women not wearing makeup
    Not listening to any certain type of music
    Not going to movies or dances
    Men not allowed to have long hair or facial hair
    No piercings
    Length of women's hair
    Version of bible
    No drinking alcolholic drinks
    Where you go
    Owning a Tv or watching it
    Church attendance

    Oh my, this list could go on and on but I think you all get the point I'm attempting to make here, of course I'm sure some will disagree but this is just the type of church I personally avoid like parallel parking....I'll run out of gas going around the block 50 times before I'll parallel park. :eek: :D

    karen
     
  7. Maverick

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    redwhiteblue, why am I not surprised that you are from DC? ;)

    True, a strict standard is not always a good one, but no standards are not a virtue either.

    Covered is not modest. I have seen many women dressed in such a way that the only difference between seeing them naked is skin color and freckles. Consider that men are attracted by sight and if they can see every bit of your form with little left to the imagination you are giving them plenty of input to lust over you.

    An example would be a new statue in the park. If I did not want anyone to know exactly what kind of statue it was until the unveiling, I would have a loose tarp draped over it so that best they might figure out is the height and width of it. If I tightly wrapped the tarp or covering around it it might not be completely visible, but I could easily tell it was a person on a horse and if I know my local history could guess who it was on the horse. That would pretty much kill the secret of it.

    With many women, you can tell the size and shape of most of their attributes and even where they cleft in all three areas that cleft. That does not leave much to be surpised about when you unveil yourself to your mate and it unveils more than any other man should see.

    If I could get man to honestly tell you what they are thinking when you gussy up in your best attire you might be shocked. I have worked with men from backgrounds and have heard some pretty crude comments about passing women. I have to admit that in most cases the girls were not dressed in a modest fashion. My mother alwas siad that if you weren't seeling or giving it away take down the sign.

    Paul had several types of attire that he could have used to describe modest apparel, but chose the katastole. Note that Adam Clarke mentions the split dresses we see today as having been in the culture of Paul. Nothing really changes it only goes through cycles.

    Anyway, I will get off this subject because anything just shy of complete lawlessness is applauded whereas anything else is slapped with the legalism card,which is much like the race card. Drop it and that is the end of that person's credibility.

    Church attendence is Scriptural teaching and you blow it off as legalism. Is it not odd that every preacher first condemned TV and then it proved to be harmless and taught morals and now that everyone has one woe be to the lad that says that TV is predominantly evil, not in its essensce, but in its application. The less watched the better. I agree that facial hair on men is biblical, but then so is long hair on women. And why do you need to put holes in your body where God did not give them to you? Where you go? Not sure what you meant there butif it is in the company of the wicked or a sinful place then yes you shuld be told not to go there or hang out with those people. Versions are important. Makeup - are you dissatisfied with the way God made you? If so it wrong. Some music is not good and shaking your booty in a room full of people is not modest and rubbing up against someone not your mate can lead to lustful thoughts and actions. Movies are like TVs since we are told not to set any evil thing before our eyes, so great caution has to be taken.

    Now, can I enforce anything? No, I can only teach the Bible and its principles and you will do as you will and you will have to answer for what you do. I will answer for what I teach and what I do not teach should I choose to take a coward's way out.

    Anyway, I leave you with Adam's commentary and then say bye to this message.

    1 Timothy 2:9 PP1

    [That women adorn themselves] Kai (grk 2532) tas (grk 3588) gunaikas (grk 1135) en (grk 1722) katastolee (grk 2689) kosmioo (grk 2887). The apostle seems to refer here to different parts of the Grecian and Roman dress. The stolee (grk 4749), stola, seems to have been originally very simple. It was a long piece of cloth, doubled in the middle, and sewed up on both sides, having room only for the arms; at the top, a piece was cut out, or a slit made, through which the head passed. It hung down to the feet, both before and behind, and was girded with the zona round the body, just under the breasts. It was sometimes made with, sometimes without, sleeves; and, that it might sit the better, it was gathered on each shoulder with a band or buckle. Some of the Greek women wore them open on each side, from the bottom up above the knee, so as to discover a part of the thigh. These were termed phainomeerides, showers (discoverers) of the thigh; but it was, in general, only young girls or immodest women who wore them thus.
    The katastolee (grk 2689) seems to have been the same as the pallium or mantle, which, being made nearly in the form of the stola, hung down to the waist, both in back and front, was gathered on the shoulder with a band or buckle, had a hole or slit at top for the head to pass through, and hung loosely over the stola, without being confined by the zona or girdle. Representations of these dresses may be seen in LEN'S Costume des Peuples de l'Antiquite, fig. 11, 12, 13, and 16. A more modest and becoming dress than the Grecian was never invented; it was, in a great measure, revived in England about the year 1805, and in it, simplicity, decency, and elegance were united; but it soon gave place to another mode, in which frippery and nonsense once more prevailed. It was too rational to last long; and too much like religious simplicity to be suffered in a land of shadows, and a world of painted outsides. (from Adam Clarke Commentary)
     
  8. redwhitenblue

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    Actually I grew up in a very small town for the first 20 years of my life and went to small strict churches as well. DC life really has zip to do with my stands.

    EVERYTHING I mentioned about a church enforcing is totally justifiable in being a personal conviction and not a churches biblical right to enforce.

    First of all, I've seen plenty of other clothing aside from dresses on ladies which don't come close to showing her form, I know I'm a woman.

    Makeup- it's not being dissatisfied with what God gave me, it's just a particular interest to make myself a bit more presentable ...once again personal conviction and has no unbiblical content to it.

    Movies- no unbiblical content as long as what's being viewed is of proper value for the mind...personal conviction

    TV- totally personal conviction as there are many wonderful clean shows to watch.

    Peircings- nothing unbiblical

    Church attendance- unless you hold a specific active position in the church to where your presence is needed, it should not be enforced.

    Version- just plain silly to even discuss

    I have viewed churches who lean on these rules fall like flies because they lost the entire purpose for their exsistence.

    karen
     
  9. Don

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    Was walking down a corridor with my supervisor a couple of years ago, and this woman was walking towards us. She was wearing a mini-skirt--and I mean "mini"--and a halter top that she might as well have not been wearing. Definitely not appropriate wear for a work place; don't know how she got away with it. I know for a fact that I caught an eye-full before I averted my gaze; I also know that my supervisor (unsaved) did not even try to look away. As she got close to us, she asked in a very angry tone, "What are you looking at?!" I answered as nonchalantly as I could, "What do you think we're looking at?"

    Also still surprises me, whenever I walk into a Christian music store, to peruse the CDs and see the guys on the covers with their shirts open down to their belt lines, or in one or two cases, no shirt at all. Makes me wonder why they think that's going to attract people to Christian music....

    Standards in the church? Really depends, doesn't it?

    If the pastor is instilling standards for salvation, that's one thing.

    If all he's doing is instilling standards to put forth the best for God, well, that seems to be another, doesn't it?

    I was taught after I was saved (notice emphasis on when) that we should put forth our best for God. If dressing like a street-walker is your best, then by all means, put on your best.

    But monitor your intent, too. If you're dressing to show off your body, or if you're putting on a suit to show how affluent you are, well, folks, that's a stumbling block in our brother's path, now isn't it?
     
  10. redwhitenblue

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    Don, I agree with you. I just don't believe it's within the Pastor's rights to enforce a dress code for his church. I do agree however it all has to do with the attitude.

    karen
     
  11. Grasshopper

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  12. Ernie Brazee

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    How one responds to standards is indicative of their attitude.

    A few years back there was a military unit with the most rag tag looking slodiers that you could imagine. They looked so bad we kept our NCO school candidates as far away from them as possible, they were an embarassment.

    Then one day the Adjutant General decide this unit would convert from an engineer unit to an MP unit. We were aghast; MPs are expected to be the sharpest of troops. The AG's answer was they will meet the standards or leave. Well, some left and those that stayed got there act together, and became outstanding troops.

    The point is if a preacher maintains standards those who stay and abide by those standards will be memmbers of an elite unit that serves God and is used greatly by him. Those who lack standards and bow to the whims of the careless and wordly members will not know the blessings of being used greatly by God. A large mebership is not an indicator of spirituality.

    We are to serve God, and worship him in Spirit and Truth, not in the flesh. How many prayer requests are for material goods instead of prayer to live a consistent Christian life? How often do we pray for victory over the flesh rather than feeding the flesh?

    Yes, we have standards in our church, our pastor enforces them by preaching the Word of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us. Some have left of their own accord because they disagreed with our standards. None have ever been asked to leave if they didn't dress a certain way. Visitors are welcome to come as they are. Once they are saved the Lord will clean them up and the rest will fall into place.

    Ernie

    [ April 28, 2002, 09:51 AM: Message edited by: Ernie Brazee ]
     
  13. donnA

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    If it's the Lord's job to clean someone up, then it isn't ours.
    Personal convictions are not the bible, they are personal convictions, you can say why you do this or not do that, but to teach it or demand it of others is not biblical. That would be adding to scripture in order to enforce what you think is right, or what God has convicted you of. It's up to God whe He convicts, not us.
     
  14. Rev. Joshua

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    Ernie, I know something about elite units having served proudly and successfully for six years in one (including as Company/Batallion/Regiment NCO of the Year). I believe in standards, and I'm very familiar with the pride and competence that comes from meeting high standards.

    One thing that separates an NCO from a private, however, is that the NCO understands the reasons behind the standards. Why must male soldiers always be cleanshaven? Because it maintains discipline; because protective masks don't seal well over stubble; and because cammo works better on a cleanshaven face. Why are soldiers expected to be able to place their awards on their uniforms within tolerances of 1/32 of an inch? Because learning to pay that level of attention to detail is essential to the level of precision expected of a soldier. Despite how it looks from the outside, the Army doesn't set standards "just because." The Army only sets standards where failing to do so would comprimise the mission or welfare of the soldiers.

    To carry your analogy from the Army over to the Church (as you have done), it is the Church's job to set only those standards that accurately reflect the unique mission of the Church and the responsibilities of Christians. Jesus sets the bar for us in this regard, and His standard is clearly one of radical inclusion, amazing love and sacrifice for even His enemies, and a categorical rejection of superstitious legalism.

    Some standards (no women in pants, no shorts, no going to movie theatres, no dancing, etc.) - because they actually contradict the mission of the Church and the teachings of Jesus - are not "high" standards at all. They are a sign that human priorities and cultural biases have stepped in and preverted the gospel.

    Joshua

    [ April 28, 2002, 06:04 PM: Message edited by: Rev. Joshua Villines ]
     
  15. Bible Believing Bill

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    Alot of this depends upon your definition of standard. As relates to the current discussion there are two definitions of the word standard.
    My church uses a combonation of the two definitions. For the membership at large the standard is a measure of comparison. The Pastor tells us what he believes, i.e. he believes women should wear dresses, but that belief is not forced upon the membership. However if a member holds a position within the church (such as Sunday School teacher) then when they are representing the church this standard becomes a requirement of moral character, i.e. When at chruch, or participaing in a chruch activity then a womean would be required to wear a dress or skirt. That dosn't mean that she can't change into a pair of jeans to go work in her garden at home.

    IMO this is the way to do it. Set the standard and let God deal with each individual. When someone accepts a position within the church the they are making a decision about it they will follow the rules just as we all do when we accept employment with anyone.

    Bill
     
  16. SaggyWoman

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    It is amazing how much can change if we let the Holy Spirit do it's work and convict.
     
  17. redwhitenblue

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    Hmm Bill I still don't know that I would agree to that, but for those who would all fine and good. I am the type to not make an issue of something but it if is getting to me then I'll walk away silently.

    karen
     
  18. Bible Believing Bill

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    Exactly my point Saggy. Rules can only create resentment, but the Holy Spirit can convict and create change. I fully believe that Gods convicts each of us on different things. For example he may convice one woman to wear only dresses and not do this to another. He may convict someone to not listen to country music and no convict another about it. God works in our lives where HE sees the need, not where we see the need.

    Setting a standard is not the same as setting a rule. A standard is an example. An example is there to show something it is not a requirement. There is abosolutly[ nothing wrong with a chruch setting a STANDARD.

    Bill
     
  19. Ps104_33

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    Maybe if we spent as much time and energy on getting the Bride as we spent on enforcing standards, they would never become an issue in our churches.
     
  20. Bible Believing Bill

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    PS104 you are missing my point. The standard is the example that is set and the Holy Spirit convicts the individual to change. If the chruch is attempting to enforce a standard then it has become a rule and is no longer a standard.
    Isn't it a standard in your chruch that you read your bible? It is is mine. Isn't it a standard that you pray? It is is mine. Isn't it a standard that you conduct yourself in a civil manner to others? It is in mine. The standard that is set is to help us walk with God. Anyother reason or an attempt to enforce standards becomes a rule.

    Bill
     

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