Monday, August 15, 2011

Draft: Is Our Sunday Best Really Best?

Draft:  Is Our Sunday Best Really Best?

    When I began attending church, because of 'a girl,' back in high school the concept of appropriate dress came up.  Appropriate Dress? Now as I look back I think just how horrendous of an idea that is. Actually I kind of thought it back then too, but it just seemed like typical rebellion then. I believe my first sunday at the small Baptist church, in a small town, I wore a sweater, and *GASP*  ... jeans.   The girl, who's father was youth minister at this church, later told me and admitting she was under apprehension about my attire, that her Dad commented that "he has a nice shirt on" when she brought up my wardrobe choice to him.  His response at the time seemed like a relief, and now seems like symptoms of a long drawn out cancer of the church. Currently, I've not researched enough to even take much of a stab at knowing where or when such ideas of dress code started. And a talk about dress code can go into many directions. But for now and in this simple informal post, I'm just focusing on the thought that one may not be "dressed up enough" for church. So in this post I'm not considering things like modesty or inappropriate images/words into account, though tentatively, I think the only thing that would bother me is the modesty issue due to it being such a stumbling block for men directly and for women indirectly.
     When you personally go to God in prayer, are you always wearing your Sunday Best? I would hope not, for you surely aren't praying nearly enough. So the misconception that dressing in your Sunday best for church surely was born out of a combination of vanity and pride towards our fellow man rather than any consideration for God. The God of 1 Samuel 15:22 surely doesn't render much value from how one is dressed when coming to him in worship, whether you chose the 2 piece suit or khakis. In fact if anything, the concept of "Sunday Best" has contributed to the barrier between church and the outside. A person considering church, shouldn't have to give a seconds thought about whether they 'have something appropriate to wear."
And even if you are one that feels like you haven't ever put pressure on anyone to dress a certain way, haven't you though by the way you yourself dresses. Verbal speech isn't nearly the motivator or influence that action is. So what should you do? Dress down or dress up? I can't necessarily answer that for you, but certainly would suggest you giving it a few minutes thought while you get ready for church. Are you dressing up to impress others, to make yourself feel good? Should that really be a consideration at all, or is even the consideration of your dress as you prep for church a stumbling block, perhaps one of the most overlooked ones.  All this playing dress up simply increases vanity, pride, and the power of the clique that makes it hard for those outside your circle to enter in, which is totally the point of Jesus.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chuck Norris with a swift Right Kick to Sex in the Media

    Call me weird, call me out of touch, just don't call me Larry. I'm afraid I was unaware until recently that Chuck Norris, Mr. Def Con, Mr. Redheaded Ninja,  Mr. Total Gym, Mr. Facts and yes even Mr. Texas Ranger, is among other things a conservative article writer and seen at the AFA (American Family Association) Website on their blog segment.
Not everyone agrees with his views, but of course, isn't that kind of the norm? The first article I noticed by him was the following one, and it's certainly a pertinent reality check. Sexual immorality is a vice that is pervading nearly every avenue possible in media and in our lives in general. Quite difficult to escape it, sex is being pushed in our face more than any politician campaign or rhetoric. Don't believe me, just count how many commercials you can go before you hit one that is using sexual arousal in some way to sell a product.
Check out his article, and then intentionally decide and take efforts in your own life and those you influence to both guard against and fight back the tidal wave that is sexual marketing.

Sex, Media, and Signs of the Times by Chuck Norris (yes that Chuck Norris)