Friday, November 12, 2004

thou shalt not dance. thou shalt not drink.

I'm just curious but do you think it's "okay" for a church to regulate what its leaders and small group leaders can do (i.e., let's just say for example the regulation of alcohol consumption or dancing at weddings)? Like, is it biblically-based to hold to such standards especially if persons under such standards feel they're extra-biblical and therefore, not necessarily essential?

Last night at small group we got into this discussion after I found out that the southern baptist denomination has these types of rules (or variations of them) and that just scared me a bit. I'm all for people being "above reproach" in living out their lives but I'm not sure it's biblical to set standards that YOU believe to be above-reproach-living that the Bible doesn't really ever address. We didn't get into a real deep discussion about it but many of them (new believers, so this seemed foreign to them) were wondering why in fact our church does hold this to be true. Is it just b/c of our southern baptist affiliation? I don't know. All I know is that my church may appear to be adding stuff to the Church standards and then telling everyone it is one of the essentials (which it's not)! Oh well. I'll be dancing some tonight in the car on the way home but thankfully, I'm not with my small group from church and so therefore, it's not wrong. However, if we all were in the car dancing together, then THAT would be a TOTALLY different story!!! (sense the sarcasm mixed with cynicism?)

Yikes.

2 comments:

Magicfingers said...

No church affiliation should be able to restrict or delegate to you what is "acceptable" in Gods eyes. Most churches interpret the bible to mean what that particular affliation has determined to be true.(by what means, I don't know) If you which to know the truth, Read the Bible yourself. When you hear of such restrictions, ask whomever is speaking to "show you in the Holy Bible where it says that".
My Pastor makes reference to this particular subject quite often. Especially when he is speaking on how the devil is at work all the time trying to fool us, and move us away from God, get us all wrapped up in all kinds of rules and regulations which take us away from the basic fact and that is God's spirit lives in us. Performing the required works in church will not get you to heaven. Worshiping God truly in your heart, wheather it is in church or in your car or in a dirt field will.

Wendy said...

As a general rule, I try not to be the type of person who counters a story with, "Oh that's nothing! Listen to this . . ." However, after reading this entry, I couldn't resist posting a comment that breaks my own rule.

Drinking? Dancing? That's nothing. Try this on for size:
no movies, no TVs, no bowling, no golf, no organized sports, period, including Little League. For women, no pants, make-up, jewelry, no cutting or dying of the hair, skirts must be worn six inches below the knee at all times, pantyhose must be worn to every church service, no wearing of the hair down. For men, only certain colors of shirts can be worn, hair length cannot exceed the collar, sideburns cannot exceed mid-ear. I could go on . . . Think this sounds like religion fifty years ago? Or of the Amish? It's not -- the above is a description of my church in December 2004 in a normal Texan suburb.

So are such rules a trick of the devil to turn our focus from what authentic Christianity is all about? I used to not think so, but after seeing more self-righteousness, prejudice, self-absorption, judgementalism, and pre-marital sex (all sins of which I am not guiltless) in my own church and its affiliates than anywhere else, I'm beginning to wonder.

I'm a blogger desperately trying to change things for the better for the people I love. You can check it out at http://www.ninetyandnine.com/fblog/fblog.html. Thanks for your thought-provoking posts!