Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Posts Tagged ‘practical theology’

Christian Women With Weave, Was Your Hair Offered To Idols?

Posted by Job on October 14, 2009

Let us remember the verdict of the Jerusalem council of Acts 15 where the Jewish Christians decided the guidelines for sanctification and holy living for Gentile Christians. Consider this verse:

That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.”

Now consider this nugget from an article on the movie “Good Hair“:

… the movie, “Good Hair” … details the lengths to which some black women and men will go for straight hair … from a hair salon where a 6-year-old maintains a stiff upper lip as a chemical relaxer sits on her scalp, to the temples of India where the hair women sacrifice in a religious ceremony is swept up, sent to factories and exported as weave

Of course, I know the difference between eating something and putting it in your hair. I also know that Paul liberated this principle from being made into legalism in 1 Corinthians 8. However, allow me to propose this:  humans generally need to eat meat in order to be healthy. So, if there was a choice between damaging your health by doing all that one possibly can to obey Acts 15:29 and thus becoming malnourished or eating meat and being healthy, Paul said to eat meat. Also the context of 1 Corinthians 8 is that the meat that had been offered to idols was then mixed and sold with all the other meat, and it was impossible to tell which meat was which.

So while Acts 15:29 made it unlawful to KNOWINGLY eat meat offered to idols – which is practicing idolatry – UNKNOWINGLY eating meat offered to idols was not idolatry and thereby harmless. The reason is that the prohibition is not on the meat itself, which was fine, but rather the idolatry, which is sin. So this was not  a choice between being an idolater and not being an idolater. Instead, it was a choice between not APPEARING to be an idolater and being malnourished, or APPEARING to be an idolater and being healthy. Paul’s reasoning was that appearances don’t matter, only the heart does, so go ahead, buy your meat at the market with no worries as to whether it was offered to idols or not – because it was impossible to tell – and eat it.

However, where meat serves a vital human need, I would argue that hair weave does not. It is entirely cosmetic. So even though it may be lawful, is it nonetheless expedient (1 Corinthians 6:12) for a Christian woman to adorn herself with hair offered to idols? Is such a thing edifying (1 Corinthians 10:23)? Is hair offered to idols and then sold for a price an appropriate covering (1 Corinthians 11:15) for the body of a Christian woman, seeing that such a body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) as opposed to a pagan temple filled with idols? And is acquiring and wearing costly weave that has been offered to idols a way of keeping 1 Timothy 2:9-10?

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

Now of course I am not going to claim that it is a sin for Christian women to use weave because it MIGHT contain hair offered to idols. Not only would I be guilty of violating 1 Corinthians in saying such a thing, but I would not even be able to rely on the literal interpretation of Acts 15 or Exodus 20:3-4 (the passages concerning idolatry specifically and practicing false religions – which includes participating in their rites and ceremonies – in general). Instead, I am just providing more information for Christian women (and men) to consider in our efforts to make better, more Christ-honoring decisions. After all, where does the idea to go out and put weave in your hair come from? Or the idea that we have to look a certain way come from? Generally the media, Hollywood, mass entertainment, Madison Avenue (commercials), and what have you. They sell you an image of beauty that is not real. I am not merely referring to this image because so much of it is literally fake, whether the product of airbrushing, lighting, cosmetic surgery, photo editing etc. but because it takes our minds and hearts away from the true beauty that is Jesus Christ that is revealed through us through the wonderful works of His creation (Romans 1) and causes us to exchange it for a lie, an image conceived not in God’s mind or made by God’s hands but rather created by man’s hands and conceived in his sinful, corrupt rebellious minds. And what are images conceived and made by man? Merely idols.

So the real issue is not that the hair MAY HAVE BEEN offered to some idol in some Hindu temple. The issue is that your DESIRE to use weave – wherever its origin – probably comes from looking at magazines, watching television, coming up with some false image of beauty that you desire. So, the false idol that is the problem is not in some temple in India, but rather is inside the temple of your own heart! And these false images and idols promoting a perverted, corrupted sense of beauty and attractiveness in the media have only two real purposes. The first is mammon, money. I fear continuing to sound like a leftist or socialist, but the fact is that these images are disseminated to cause you to buy the magazines that contain them, which contain still more images that cause you to want to buy the makeup, hair products, clothes etc. that make the magazine publishers a lot of money.

The second reason, make no mistake, is to challenge and attack Biblical notions of modesty, decency and sexuality. Most of the publications, TV shows, movies etc. that endlessly present these images also ceaselessly mock anything resembling notions of Biblical purity, including but not limited to marital fidelity. Even if they don’t directly attack it, they undermine it with the lie that a man and wife can sit and look at that junk 24/7 without either A) being tempted to stray (adultery) or B) fantasizing (which is also adultery Matthew 5:28), or similarly that our children can watch it without either being tempted to commit fornication or fantasizing about it. So similar to my challenge regarding tattoos, the issue is not whether weave is permissible according to scripture, but whether the motivation to get a weave is Christ-honoring in the first place.

That said, there may be many motivations for getting hair weaves that are completely legitimate, i.e. totally unrelated to wanting to look like the female vampires in these soft-core pornographic magazines and music videos. Some women may state that their husbands like the way that it looks. Others may profess that it is a look that they prefer for themselves. Others still assert that in their work environments (office or professional jobs, etc.) they must maintain a professional appearance. Again, I am in no sense asserting this to be some sort of law that has any bearing on anyone’s salvation, justification, sanctification or consecration. There are also many who may perceive me to be just totally off base, tilting at windmills and causing unnecessary division and confusion (stumblingblocks as it were) when I should focus only on Jesus Christ and Him crucified, risen, and will one day return. To such people, I apologize in advance, and please know that it is not my intent. Instead, my reason for dealing with this topic is this Biblical one: Christians, beware of and be separate from the world and things in it, whether it be its mindsets, its desires … or its idols. After all, we only have to look at the world of televangelism. Paula White, Medina Pullings, and many others are counted among those who market their own appearance, and tie it into their false health/wealth/family prosperity gospel doctrine. Jan Crouch, Juanita Bynum and Cathy DuPlantis are just among the many who proudly declare that they have had cosmetic surgery (or surgeries)! Extend it a little further and we have professed evangelical Christians Carrie Prejean’s lingerie modeling (and plastic surgery), Heidi Montag’s Playboy modeling, and Miley Cyrus pole dancing, all done for a little bit of fame and fortune that even were it to last 1000 years would be a mere flicker of an instant in the eternity that we will either spend with Jesus Christ in New Jerusalem or in the outer darkness where the worm never dies, the fire is never quenched, and there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. Again, the issue is not the weave, but the heart and where it lies.

However, for people who are considering the issues raised in this post, allow me to refer you to an expert on the topic by following the link below:

I’m a natural systah

Also, for those who may be wondering what all of this is about to begin with, please play the video below.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Posted in Bible, christian worldliness, Christianity, church worldliness, Jesus Christ, media conspiracy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments »

To Whom Should We NOT Pray?

Posted by Job on October 11, 2009

His list is excellent. Pay attention to #2 on his list, which would in my opinion exclude iconography.

To Whom Should We NOT Pray?

While you are at it, read the following as well:

To whom should we pray?

Who should pray?

Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Practical Theology: I Am Too Fat To Survive The Great Tribulation!

Posted by Job on September 17, 2009

Recently I abandoned my belief in the secret rapture, instead taking the view that the church will be present for the seven years of great tribulation. My belief is that such will be a very difficult time of the church similar to that of Israel (or more specifically Judah) during the time of Jeremiah. Christians will be in constant physical danger, often having to relocate or flee, and providing for even the bare necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter) will be difficult. We will have to rely totally on God to supply all our needs instead of any country, government, economic system etc. Instead, the nations, governments, militaries, political and economic systems etc. will be united against us. It will be completely the opposite of the easy, decadent living that western Christians have known and enjoyed for hundreds of years … the very same which many Christians are apparently willing to torture and kill other people in order to preserve.

And I regret to say that if these horrible difficult times for the church were to occur any time soon, I have no idea how I would stand a chance! I would be one of the very first to be captured trying to run away! Why? Because like a heavily disproportionate number of evangelical or fundamentalist Christians from the deep south, my health is in terrible shape. Now a few short years ago God miraculously preserved my health by instantly healing my worsening asthma as well as damage to my kidneys caused by my longtime overuse of over the counter asthma medicine. But this is the thing: the need to manage my asthma was my primary motivation for at least trying to keep my weight down. With that sole restraint out of the way, I have now ballooned to about 75 pounds more than I was when I was unloading trucks for a living!

For the longest, I have been deluding myself as to the true seriousness of my physical condition, brought on by the sins of gluttony and sloth (as well as my love for red meat, eggs, cheese, and soft drinks!) but now my eyes are opened. It happened just recently, as my frustration with the messages in my children’s television shows reached the tipping point (specifically the homosexual pagan lemur character in “Penguins of Madagascar” … the person who originally did the voice for this character in the movie versions was Jesus Christ hating Sacha Baron Cohen of the movie “Bruno” … need I say more?) and I decided that the entertainment for my children was going to (as much as possible) be “the great outdoors” as opposed to Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney. Hiking, fishing, exploring … I was even considering challenging my long-held aversion to (fear of!) camping and swimming. And no, I am not ashamed to acknowledge that the idea that Christians JUST MAY NEED SURVIVAL SKILLS motivated me just a little.

Then I was confronted with cold, hard reality. My very first trip to a local park with this nice little mountain trail, made very easy and accessible for THE ELDERLY left me huffing, puffing and sweating (but thank God no wheezing or any other asthma symptoms whatsoever … again the asthma is gone praise be to Jesus Christ, and no I didn’t “grow out of it” but it was the worst that it had ever been right up to the home prayer session that me and my family had!) after 20 minutes. My kids and I had gone MAYBE a quarter of a mile. They were having a great time looking at birds, trees, and the mountain (which is actually a hill, but don’t tell the locals that!) but they had to leave because their old man couldn’t keep up with them! Now I continued lying to myself, thinking “this is nothing that a few trips on the treadmill won’t fix” while driving myself to yet another fast food restaurant. But the very next trip, to a park with a small waterfall, their excellent time was cut short by my physical limitations. So, three thoughts popped into my head.

A) I was actually in much better shape when I had asthma. Even if I did have to take a few puffs of my inhaler from time to time, I was actually capable of walking all day. Now, I can barely walk for 30 minutes! For my to practically reject God’s gracious and merciful healing of my body by allowing myself to get in such poor physical condition that I cannot realize the benefits of the blessing is a terrible commentary on my spiritual (not physical but spiritual!) condition. I recall the man that Jesus Christ healed to whom Christ said “stop sinning or else something worse will come upon you.” Well, anyone needing evidence that gluttony (both eating too much and eating the wrong things) and sloth are sins only need to look at my person, for again I am actually in worse condition than I was when I had asthma. Paul Washer regularly mentions how so many Christians are killing themselves with our eating and exercise habits, and it appears that he was talking directly to me!
B) I was thinking “wow, if U.N. secretary general/global leader were to give the ’round up all Bible believing Christians’ order, I wouldn’t even be able to grab my kids and make it to the car, let alone run up the side of some mountain!” Begging the indulgence of all amillennialists and preterists, remember Matthew 24 when Jesus Christ said “escape to the mountains!” when the time of sorrows comes? I am too fat and out of shape to comply with that commandment!
C) Also, without even needing some endtimes scenario, I realized that it would have merely taken our being pursued by some desperate criminal or some rabid raccoon (or any emergency which would have required my grabbing my children and carrying them while outrunning something or someone somewhere) to expose how reckless and irresponsible I have been with my health and in this way would not be able to fulfill the physical requirements of being the steward, the head of my family as the Bible requires.

And yes, I also recall having read this book on evangelism whose author stated that overweight evangelists, missionaries, pastors etc. are often not taken seriously, especially in areas of the country and world where physical fitness, by the people that they are attempting to minister to. So, I am immediately going to start incorporating diet and exercise as part of my personal approach to Christian living. If nothing else, it would exhibit wisdom and self-control, and against such things there is no law!

P.S. No, this is not an endorsement of the “health” portion of the prosperity doctrine. Nor do I endorse the increasingly common practice of churches calling themselves “family life” or “whole person” centers and building fitness centers and doing things like offering dance aerobics (to gospel music of course!). Just as 1 Corinthians 11:34 says “if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation” then it follows that we should do our EXERCISING at home (or at least at someplace other than church!) also. After all, if going to go to church to lose weight, who is going to evangelize the overweight people that go to the gyms?

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