Contend Earnestly: 10 Steps to Become a Legalist: Step 2

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

10 Steps to Become a Legalist: Step 2

Well, hopefully you have the first step down and now you can move on to step two. This is where we take the pride learned in the first step and apply it. We need to learn that people need to also look like us as well. Go take a look in the mirror and then take a look at your closet, now everyone must look like that.

Remember this goes both ways. If you are one that parts your hair down the side, that is the standard, if you have purple hair then all those who have their hair parted are frickin weirdos and must hate Jesus. If you like wearing a cardigan for Jesus then all those with skulls and crossbones and weird buckles all over their clothing must be freaks that are of the world. So...

Step 1: Make sure that all Christians dress like you. Whether you dress like the businessman or you dress like the crack dealer downtown, know that the opposite of how you dress are the weirdos that don't really love Jesus. So, those people that have holes in their jeans and black Converse need to know that Jesus doesn't love the way that they dress. Jesus only loves those people who look like you do on the outside, forget the inside. Or, if you see someone in church that has a button up shirt and a tie for the sake of Christ, don't they know that they are boring and just conforming to the world's system? Here is the point. People need to dress like me to love Jesus like me.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

I am sure that we can come up with an interpretation that will fit within our view of clothing somehow. Just say it with authority and hope that no one challenges you on it.

Step 2: If someone looks like a crack dealer, lives on the same block as crack dealers, acts like a crack dealer, they must be a crack dealer. Can you believe that some people would wear all black and like rock music? Don't they know that it is of the devil? Who cares if you have never talked to them, there is no need because you don't want to be a part of the world. If someone hangs out with them and lives amongst them they must be one of them! Maybe the Pharisees were right:

The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
Luke 7:34

I would rather watch the drunkards and crack dealers from afar instead of talking to them because I might get infected by their dirty sin. Plus, if you decide to be amongst them, what will the people in the church think? No matter that the Pharisees were the people of the "church" back in the day and decided it would be a good idea to kill Jesus.

Step 3: Why don't all pastors wear suits to church? Doesn't everyone know that we should dress our best to impress? I have heard it said that if you were to meet the President of the United States how would you dress? Then that is how you should dress for Jesus. ( mean some wouldn't dress in a suit to meet the President?!) Especially the men speaking for Jesus.

I have heard a story where a man from Africa came over and was turned to Jesus by some missionaries. He was asked in what ways would he have done it differently if he could have some input for further mission's work.

His reply was:

These preachers love Jesus, no doubt. But, after we were converted they told us that we must abandon the clothes of our tribe and put on suits and ties, cause we needed to dress correctly for Jesus. The African said, that would be the only thing I would change.

Man, this African guy needs to lighten up and understand that Jesus does care about your clothes and it should always be the clothing of the United States Business Man. Who cares if some see it as a symbol for greed, Jesus needs your money too!

Who cares that the New Testament only speaks negatively when speaking of those who dress up in fine clothes. Who cares if Jesus wore the clothes that were appropriate for his culture, for the trade that he was in and the people that he was reaching. Men like Hudson Taylor were used by Jesus but Jesus hated that Mr. Taylor decided to respect the Chinese and dress like them, he should have had on a suit and tie.

Here is the point of this post. The only time that we see glamorous robes for God's people being used is in the Old Testament when the Gospel was really a "come and see" Gospel as John Piper has put it. Not only were the priests girded up with the bling, but so were all the temples of God along with his ark of the covenant that was definitely something to gaze at. But, as we left the "come and see" gospel behind and came into the "go, seek and save" gospel we only see the act of dressing up to be mentioned in the negative, not the positive. Take a look at James 2 and 1 Tim 2:9.

We are to emulate Jesus. Jesus dressed in the culture he was in, this is why Hudson Taylor should be our hero and not our foe. Taylor was amazing in that he changed his entire look to fit in with the culture because he felt that God had called him to that people.

Here is the bottom line. Dress like the people that God has called you to be with, but don't assume that it means that you must be in a three piece pimp suit if you are serving a bunch of people that dress in jeans and t-shirts. Suits are NOT the clothing of God. I should know,I wear one everyday to work. Why do I wear a suit? Because my clients who are seniors think that I am smarter if I do and most of my clients come from an age that suits were appropriate for my field, so I play their game and deal with it. Why do I cover up my tattoos when I go to work? Because most of my clients would throw a hissie fit if they saw that I had tats. What if I were to wear my suit to youth group? I would be an idiot. What if I wore my hat on backwards to work? I would also be an idiot.

Your clothing does not glorify God, your heart does. So, if you are sporting purple hair and skulls on your t-shirts to get a reaction, you are in just as much sin as the dude in a three piece showing off his bling. So, if the preacher wears a clown suit to get attention and prove that God doesn't care about clothing, he has missed the point, because does care about the intention of why you do things.

But don't put a burden on people just because you don't like the way that they dress or look. I love when people speak out against people with purple hair and then I ask if their wives color their hair. Most of them say, "yes." So, then, it's not if we can color our hair but God is now pleased with which color we choose for our hair? That is messed up.

We need to understand that they guy rolling in a Benz needs the same Saviour that the punk rocker in the VW bus with weed smoke coming out the window does. Love who God has called you to be, who he has called you to minister to and who he has made you into and love all others and respect who God has made them to be as well. Who knows, maybe the guy with purple hair, tattoos and earrings in his nose loves Jesus? way...that is just too weird. :)

Jesus is no respecter of persons and neither should we.


Anonymous said...

enjoying the series!

Anonymous said...

Great post. You forget sometimes living in and around Seattle that people are even judged by how they dress. Strange costume is so common it's the norm here.

Two favorite things in the post:

1) Man, this African guy needs to lighten up and understand that Jesus does care about your clothes...

hahahahaha....that's just awesome.


2)What if I wore my hat on backwards to work? I would also be an idiot.

This confirms something about myself that I've suspected for some time: I'M AN IDIOT!

Thanks for the post and keep up the good work with this series. I'm looking forward to my new life as a legalist!

Bob Hayton said...

All that and you didn't even bring up the no-pants-on-women rule based on a particular take on Deut. 22:5! I love the series.

Fundy Reformed Bob

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