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  #1  
Old 07-24-2009, 06:45 AM
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noeticknight noeticknight is offline
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Paradigm Shift

Greetings!

Due to the inability of some (ahem-Narrow-cough) to abide by the rules of engagement, I have decided to continue my thoughts on the topic of what constitutes or diminishes “outward holiness” on a separate thread. I specifically focus on the most familiar issues such as dress, appearance, cosmetics, etc.

Recently, while perusing the Articles of Faith on the WPF website, I noted something rather significant. It appears that their authors have been able to cleverly craft a document that ties together core spiritual truths supported by pertinent scripture with arguments that don’t quite stand up to good reason.

The WPF stance on cosmetics is a good place to begin. Are we to accept their proposition that make-up is inherently evil by virtue of its artificiality? If we can agree that make-up is a technology (which it is), should we then assume that evil may lurk in other bits of technology as well, like, say, my lawnmower? Is something (artificial) like a toy lawnmower even more pernicious? Furthermore, it is stated that (they or God?) view the wearing of make-up as an attempt to induce beauty. What does this vague wording designate? Is enhancing one’s physical person immoral? I’m sure the consensus would be mixed if confronted. Is this a logical oversight on their part or the establishment of devices to gauge the spiritual condition of believers who choose to attend this fellowship? Unfortunately, the Jezebel argument falls terribly to the fallacy of guilt by association.

What about Jewelry? Is it inherently evil based on its value or its shininess? Sorry Mr. Rolex, you’re in a no-win situation. Costliness is relative, so it must be shininess. Who knew that the real evils on television were those advertisements for Colgate and toilet cleaner?

Finally, let us be clear about modesty. Holiness is harmonious to (but does not equal) modest apparel. Anybody can wear modest clothing, but scriptures indicate God as the only one who can establish true holiness (1 Thess. 3:13). At least there are no absolutes mentioned in this piece with regard to said topic. Then we would have to examine if it is really possible for one’s holiness and “glory” to fluctuate based on length of clothing.

I didn’t intentionally mean to step on anyone’s personal convictions, and if it is perceived that way, I apologize. I only know that sometimes, “convictions” can be a useful term by some as a last ditch effort to preserve the effectiveness of these ex post facto regulations. In my humble opinion, some “spiritual nudges” and "revelations" can actually be attributed to behavioral conditioning, social conformity, and groupthink.

What think ye, group?

Last edited by noeticknight; 07-24-2009 at 06:50 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2009, 08:30 AM
*AQuietPlace*'s Avatar
*AQuietPlace* *AQuietPlace* is offline
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Re: Paradigm Shift

You already know my opinion.

I think their statement:

Furthermore, it is stated that (they or God?) view the wearing of make-up as an attempt to induce beauty.

is not biblically sound or logical. Pentecostal ladies do plenty to attempt to induce beauty. It's what women do. As I mentioned on the other thread, curling your hair, wearing high heels, and shaving your legs are all done for the sake of beauty. There's not a thing wrong with wanting to look feminine. As a matter of fact, you would think it would be encouraged, especially in our unisex generation.


Quote:
I only know that sometimes, “convictions” can be a useful term by some as a last ditch effort to preserve the effectiveness of these ex post facto regulations. In my humble opinion, some “spiritual nudges” and "revelations" can actually be attributed to behavioral conditioning, social conformity, and groupthink.
I agree.
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2009, 10:34 AM
A.W. Bowman's Avatar
A.W. Bowman A.W. Bowman is offline
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Re: Paradigm Shift

The Internet is the means by which all organizational "old-guard" leaders and their supporters to the point of being marginalize from the Christian faith. For those being released from the “old” constraints, it is a breath of liberty. To those who cling to the “old ways”, it is a vindication of the old values and evidence of the backsliding of significant number of Saints.

On-line forums such as this one stands at the forefront of the battle between religious leaders for the hearts, minds, and the personal and financial loyalty of their individual followers.

Twenty years ago the local pastor held supreme authority over “his” congregation. Only permitted questions were allowed to be brought up and discussed. The pastor would then render his decision and that was the end of the mater. Accept or reject. If one rejected the pastor’s edict(s), then it was the road (disfellowship) for the dissenter, for they were found to be guilty of rebellion, causing dissension, division, and/or controversy among the assembly.

Even today I have walked into a church and heard preaching against another church (of the same organization) within the same city. Where the church members were instructed not to visit or even speak to members of that other “backslidden” church where “all of the truth was not being preached”. If this were not sad enough, I have talked with some of these ministers on “preacher only forums”. I was very clear when I left the last one:

“If the Saints who attend your churches could see how you treat one another, the degree to which you cannot agree on the most basic of doctrines (what they are and how they should be applied), and what you really think of your congregations, the majority of these people would run from YOUR church!”
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2009, 10:35 AM
A.W. Bowman's Avatar
A.W. Bowman A.W. Bowman is offline
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Re: Paradigm Shift

So, what about the Internet?

The following are just a few of the more common freedoms that church members can exercise on the Internet that would get them severely judged is brought up in the church:

- Standards:

On what bases is this or that “holiness standard” based? Show me (and explain) the scriptural bases for it (them).

Why does your list of standards vary (in number and degree/method of application) from the church across town?

- Doctrines:

Why does today’s doctrine of salvation differ from the doctrine of the early 40’s?

I find inconsistencies (even apparent contradictions) between some of our beliefs, why is that? Can you reconcile them for me?

- Scriptural Interpretation:

Why is your interpretation of this particular scripture more superior (correct) than mine or someone else’s?

Why is your application of this particular scripture more superior (correct) than mine, or someone else’s?

- Preaching:

I’m confused, what did that referenced scripture(s) have to do with your message?

Why do we keep going over Acts 2:38, baptism in Jesus name, and how the Trinitarians are lost, when we have so much of the Bible we don’t (will not) touch?

-----------
A pass through the threads on just this one forum will bring out a multitude of similar subjects that are being discussed and debated, while generally discouraged within most church settings. And, therein lies the weakness of organizational control over the preaching/teaching of the word of God and its fostering of leadership worship. People are finding that what they have been taught for years is NOT THE SAME as what is being taught in “that other church” down the road, and people want to know why!

I am fond of asking this question: After 2,000 years, why is it that we still can’t agree on what salvation is, or holiness, true sin, or what does it mean to live an acceptable Christian life before God – and that is just within one organization?

On these forums the body of Christ (including some of its leaders) is thrashing out the differing belief systems that are present in our several churches. Personal convictions are being challenged against the accepted religious norms and against the word and Spirit of God. In the process preachers, teachers, churches, organizations, and even individuals are being challenged (some call it bashing, and sometimes it is) and are being called to account over their positions and teaching.

Doctrines of men are being uncovered, with mixed results. Some people will embrace their new found understanding of what they have accepted in the pass, and make whatever changes are necessary to get into an alignment with that new understanding. Others will continue to hold fast to their tradition(s). Regardless of the choices being made, there can be a high cost to pay in terms of family and/or church relationships.

Bottom line: What makes the Internet such an effective vehicle for the investigation of personal belief systems is the ability to mask one’s true identity, perhaps even while exchanging posts with another church (member!

So, the questioning, searching, sharing of insights and understanding are read and considered by many, which leads to additional questioning and searching. Yes, some of the same old issues keep coming up day after day, It is not easy to be willing to question a long held belief (and many religious leaders don’t want you to), or to put out on the Internet a doctrine of your own! Or, to test the results of your studies against the opinions of the assembled members of an on-line community.

Yet, here we are. The old guard no longer holds supreme authority over the thoughts and lives of men and women, as they once enjoyed. Today, more religious leaders are being held accountable to the local assemblies for their teaching and their instructions/leadership.

There is a spiritual revolution taking place – and it just might be God ordained - again!
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It makes no difference whether you study in the holy language, or in Arabic, or Aramaic [or in Greek or even in English]; it matters only whether it is done with understanding. - Moshe Maimonides.

Last edited by A.W. Bowman; 07-24-2009 at 10:52 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2009, 10:48 AM
HeavenlyOne HeavenlyOne is offline
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Re: Paradigm Shift

Hash, I love reading your posts. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:32 AM
A.W. Bowman's Avatar
A.W. Bowman A.W. Bowman is offline
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Re: Paradigm Shift

Thanks HO -

I still have some major typing problems! I hope folks can work through and/or around them to decipher what it is I am really attempting to say, rather than just what comes out of this keyboard.

I just reviewed my posts and found several sentences that really need "fixing", but it is too late to "modify". So, unless there is a question, I'll leave them "as is".
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  #7  
Old 07-25-2009, 09:59 AM
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Re: Paradigm Shift

HaShaliach,

Two great posts!!!!


Thank you.
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2009, 10:06 AM
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Re: Paradigm Shift

HaShaliach just gave us two posts of how the internet is helping people to see some things for themselves and how the "control" of some pastors over their part of God's flock is being challenged.

Some years ago a friend of mine was involved in a ministry to bring light and salvation to Jehovah's Witnesses. Several members of her family were part of that cult. She mentioned that the internet was a great means of reaching and informing Jehovah's Witnesses because they could see things and think about things on their own without everything coming through the controlled filter of their leaders.

The internet, including forums like this, is a good way for people to see that there are Apostolic teachers, ministers, and saints who have varying opinions on things like how a person is saved/born again and how long their sleeves or hair have to be, and other questions, and these folks are all saved and part of the same Body of Christ and, in some cases, even part of the same organization.
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  #9  
Old 07-25-2009, 10:36 AM
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StillStanding StillStanding is offline
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Re: Paradigm Shift

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaShaliach View Post
The Internet is the means by which all organizational "old-guard" leaders and their supporters to the point of being marginalize from the Christian faith. For those being released from the “old” constraints, it is a breath of liberty. To those who cling to the “old ways”, it is a vindication of the old values and evidence of the backsliding of significant number of Saints.

On-line forums such as this one stands at the forefront of the battle between religious leaders for the hearts, minds, and the personal and financial loyalty of their individual followers.

Twenty years ago the local pastor held supreme authority over “his” congregation. Only permitted questions were allowed to be brought up and discussed. The pastor would then render his decision and that was the end of the mater. Accept or reject. If one rejected the pastor’s edict(s), then it was the road (disfellowship) for the dissenter, for they were found to be guilty of rebellion, causing dissension, division, and/or controversy among the assembly.

Even today I have walked into a church and heard preaching against another church (of the same organization) within the same city. Where the church members were instructed not to visit or even speak to members of that other “backslidden” church where “all of the truth was not being preached”. If this were not sad enough, I have talked with some of these ministers on “preacher only forums”. I was very clear when I left the last one:

“If the Saints who attend your churches could see how you treat one another, the degree to which you cannot agree on the most basic of doctrines (what they are and how they should be applied), and what you really think of your congregations, the majority of these people would run from YOUR church!”
I think you nailed it!
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2009, 10:41 AM
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StillStanding StillStanding is offline
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Re: Paradigm Shift

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
HaShaliach just gave us two posts of how the internet is helping people to see some things for themselves and how the "control" of some pastors over their part of God's flock is being challenged.

Some years ago a friend of mine was involved in a ministry to bring light and salvation to Jehovah's Witnesses. Several members of her family were part of that cult. She mentioned that the internet was a great means of reaching and informing Jehovah's Witnesses because they could see things and think about things on their own without everything coming through the controlled filter of their leaders.

The internet, including forums like this, is a good way for people to see that there are Apostolic teachers, ministers, and saints who have varying opinions on things like how a person is saved/born again and how long their sleeves or hair have to be, and other questions, and these folks are all saved and part of the same Body of Christ and, in some cases, even part of the same organization.
The internet has indeed made a huge difference in a pastor's control of information. In fact, I would say the internet has done far more damage to the ultra-con agenda than television!
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