A Letter: Find Out What Pleases Him in EVERY Area
Kind of an FYI forwarded note about some xmas questions... For His Sake,
Hi there... Thanks for the fax and for the effort you are both making in this deal. I appreciate it. You’ve done well. Thank you.
As for the thing itself (xmas), I realize that the “traditions of men” do have a powerful blinding effect that makes what ought to be obvious things seem trivial. I have been “blind sided” myself numerous times with things that should have been very obvious. Case in point: I didn’t have any knowledge at all of God’s Heart about modesty as it related to certain things. A low-cut or super-tight dress, or short shorts or miniskirts—those were fairly obvious to me. However, I MISSED ENTIRELY for a number of years after I became a Christian, that **wearing bathing suits in public swimming situations reveals the EXACT same amount of shape and skin as those other clothing items do that would cause me to turn my head away in a shopping mall.** HOW CRAZY that I would have thought that sunshine, hot temperatures, and water would make immodesty somehow different in one location than it is in another! Yet, I didn’t see it at all for a long time. Partially, because being a runner and triathlete historically made me accustomed to, and desirous of doing things the way the world does. I loved the heat and the sun and a good sweat and a workout in the pool. I also loved that my children were outdoors getting “good clean exercise.” Convenient for mothers, too, to take the children somewhere so they can talk and “sun” or whatever. In other words, being hardened by faulty experience, combined with my own idols, etc., made me fish bait for satan.
Do these things matter? Of course! Would you allow your daughter to wear a slinky nighty or her underwear, even with a slip over her underwear, into a shopping mall or to school? Then why is it okay for women to be so dressed in a public place, with even a one-piece bathing suit? Does God owe an apology to Noah’s sons for cursing them for not reverencing modesty? Why DID God think it important for there to be a ramp up to the altar, instead of stairs as He designed the Temple grounds? Meaningless? Of course not. Consider Gen. 3:21, 9:21-27; Exo. 20:26, 28:42, and Rev. 3:18, 16:15, and it is obvious what God thinks, since Eden of how we dress and modesty issues. Is it okay for men doctors, because of the patterns of the world, what we are used to, and the “line” they feed us about their superior knowledge and morals to be looking upon the exposed bodies of our females? (All in the name of science, health, or whatever, of course. But does GOD really see these as exceptions to His expressed Heart?) These are important matters to God! Ask Noah’s sons! (And they were blood family, and of the SAME sex!) I, frankly missed a lot of things such as these for a long time, and there is still ground to cover for me in Knowing Him and His Heart!
If the Vineyard had a beauty contest, would anyone sit back and ignore the fleshly, worldly “pattern of the world,” “judging after the flesh,” ugliness of such a thing? Would it be an honor to be nominated for such a thing? Not at all. It would hurt deeply that those that profess Jesus would even consider comparing people’s externals and have a glorious contest to promote it. It is NO different at a “christian school” than a “church,” is it? God’s Way is God’s Way, regardless of the format. The “pool” is not different in modesty issues than “the shopping mall” or “the church service” as it relates to modest dress. The school or workplace is not a place where God’s Principles and Priorities don’t apply as much as in “the church.” Truth is Truth and God is God. And a homecoming queen is not more acceptable to God in a school than it is in a church. I know this is hard, since the culture of the world system is screaming, “Foul! Foul!,” but it is real in God’s Sight. It took me awhile, to my shame to see this.
So, I understand how you might have missed this, too. I really do. However, you DO need to look at it seriously and thoroughly, okay? My lack of understanding does not make me innocent. The “traditions of men” have hardened many to God’s Reality, but His Reality has not changed. Not about modesty, not about beauty contests (and similar fleshly comparisons of intellect, etc.), or about pagan festivals, or _____. The fact we can easily refer to it as a holy day (holiday) is a clue as to what has happened to this whole thing. It is shrouded in the world system, steeped in pagan ritual, icons from satan worship, utter worldliness and hypocrisy—ALL WITH JESUS’ NAME AS THE BANNER! “Easter” and its fertility god worship is slightly more obvious (the bunny, the eggs, etc.), but only slightly (the trees, lights, mistletoe, and others). At least halloween doesn’t put Jesus’ Name on it to justify it! If we were to have lived in Ephesus when “Diana,” the fertility goddess represented a huge portion of the local economy (as does xmas today amongst today’s pagans), we wouldn’t have “bought” the substitution of “Jesus” as the reason for continuing the goddess’ annual celebration. We shouldn’t today, either. Make sense? Using the phrase “Merry Christmas” is no less painful to God, for the above reasons and several more, than calling the Mormon establishment (or anything outside of Jesus’ current Headship) a “church,” or calling a clergyman “Reverend” (revered and holy one) or “Father.” These things must not happen! Words and practices are not small matters to God.
As for the stuff like the christian school “holiday” program, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, xmas hymns in the shopping malls, etc.—how could it be wrong?! The words are all right—”Jesus is Exalted!” OR IS HE? Seldom the REAL Jesus is exalted in this way, since the real Jesus says, “If you love me, KEEP MY COMMANDS.” How would a loving husband feel if they knew that the one that says daily, “I love you” was regularly sleeping around? “QUIT telling me that, if you will not back it up with your LIFE!” Jesus is no different. The shopping malls are obvious, and we must not sit back and let the world defy our God by “taking His Name in vain” in such a serious and hypocritical way. But what about the christian school, or “church” usage of Jesus’ Name at “holiday” time? What if the choir director or program organizer at the “christian school” was living like the christian coach who recently showed such anger at the christian basketball game you were involved in? Or worse? And several of the children were, like the youths in Texas you know of, going to an abandoned house to drink and have sex after the “practices” for the program? Would that make the xmas program, in God’s eyes an abomination rather than a pleasure? You betcha.
You can’t ignore history. Ai was a massive failure because of ONE idol in ONE tent, out of the couple of million people involved. Weren’t the others innocent, since they were not aware of the man’s sin, nor committing any of their own? No. That particular xmas program (for all its nice qualities and fine words and songs and affirmations), that school, and any “church” is no different than Ai’s Judgment was for those that professed God at that time in history. God is God, and He wants only reality, not words and songs (see Isa. 1). Since the probability of many such problems as the basketball coach exhibited in his temper tantrum is EXTREMELY high, there is little likelihood that God found pleasure in the xmas program you were at and may have participated in, or the other 500 such programs “in His Name” that month in your city. THEREFORE, we are disconnected from the Head if we DID find pleasure in any one of them.
REALITY is what God is after, not form. Anything less than Reality is SAND, and upsets Him greatly. As I said before, I have been so guilty on several such issues in the past, until, as in the story Jesus told, I “came to my senses” and was no longer swayed by my inattention to God’s View, my personal desires and idols, or my numbness created by “the way things have always been”—the “traditions of men that nullify the Voice of God.” I’ve made my share of mistakes, but I hate that fact, and desire total change in every area that would please the Father and His Son. God help us all to withhold nothing.
“To him who is given much, much is required” (Lk. 12:48).
Well, that is all I want to say right now. That still is only a fraction of what could be said about the “holiday/holy day”—but the subject I wanted to deal with is much larger, anyway.
Would be glad to dialogue all that you would desire about it or anything else.
Love in Christ Jesus, Messiah King...