My son calls me a grenade lobber. I have a tendency to ask hard questions that make people uncomfortable.
The launching question I ask the most is, “Who made that rule?”
Having been a people pleaser a good portion of my life, I have had to learn how to discern the information that comes into my life. Having an opinion, saying “no”, or “I disagree”, were not skills I owned.
For me, part of learning to be assertive has been practicing asking questions. For example…who made the rule that white clothing could not be worn after Labor Day or before Memorial Day? Actually, no one knows the origin of the “white clothing rule”. I checked with Google. See what I mean? A social etiquette followed for decades and no one knows how it started.
Okay, that was an easy one….now I’m going to ask some interesting questions and maybe even share an opinion or two. Buckle your seat belts….cover your toes….I’m coming for the sacred cows. And by all means….check out the references for yourself.
I am a Christ follower. Notice I didn’t mention a denomination. Now, I’m not offended or disturbed if you happen to belong to a denomination. That’s not my focus. The focus for me became this question..”Do I go to a “church”, or as a believer, am I and other believers actually The Church? You may be asking what difference it makes…valid question. I will use a couple of questions as my answer. Where does God reside? Does He inhabit a building of brick and mortar or does He reside in His people? Use the word, church, as a key word at http://www.biblegateway.com/ and decide how you would answer those questions.
Have you ever been invited to a special occasion and either declined, because you didn’t think you were “good enough”, or spent a small fortune on a new wardrobe just to “fit in”? I have. I’ll be honest. Why would I want to stick out like a sore thumb? So, why in the world do people dress up extra special on Sunday morning to attend a service?
Here is the history behind dressing in our Sunday best. Just so you know, I am quoting from, “Pagan Christianity”, by Frank Viola and George Barna.
“Dressing up for social events was known only among the very wealthy. Only the well-to-do aristocrats of society could afford nice clothing! Common folks had only two sets of clothes: work clothes for laboring in the field and less tattered clothing for going into town. Dress was a clear marker of one’s social class. Eventually the middle class was born, and they could now dress up to distinguish themselves from the peasants, and more closely resemble the well-to-do.”
In all fairness, many Sunday morning services are now more casual. My point is this….God does not accept or reject dependent on attire, hair style or color, piercings or tattoos. (Thought I would throw those in, too.) If attendees are made to feel uncomfortable because they are dressed non-traditionally, then I would question the purpose and message of the organization. I hope you will check Luke 20:46 to see what Jesus Himself said about religious behavior.
Years ago, I was impacted by a statement from a friend who had left her religious order of nuns. She believed every activity she engaged in was holy and sacred. From going to the grocery store to volunteer work to employment, eating and recreation, even rest. For her, there was no delineation between sacred and secular. Apparently, God says the same thing. Colossians 3:23 in the Amplified version of the Bible says this, “Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as something done for the Lord and not for men.”
One more thought…this past Sunday I was impressed by the message I heard from a young pastor in the service I attended. He brought up money. I know, the biggest grenade ever. Our Western culture, even organized religion, throws money at everything. It’s easy to throw a ten dollar bill in the offering plate as it passes or give to a favored charity. Noncommittal and impersonal. His question was this….Instead of indifferently writing a check for the missions fund, why not go on the trip yourself? Religious works versus hands-on relationships. Last time I checked….Jesus said , “Go into all the world…” Mark 16:15.
It’s time to wrap this up….for now I’m out of grenades. Oh, by the way…I attended that service this past Sunday in my blue jeans.