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Sunday, August 20, 2006

For the sake of the Gospel

I was in the midst of a discussion this past weekend. Up for debate was the topic of appropriate dress for corporate worship. From what I gathered, there was definitely a sense that some of us were gonna have to just agree to disagree regarding the issue. Personally, I tend to fall on the side of dressing casual, for various's how my generation tends to dress, it's more comfortable, I feel God's not concerned with what I wear (as long as it's modest), and the majority of our congregation dresses on the casual side. Define casual? You will find me wearing skirts with sandals most of the time but I enjoy wearing loose fitting linen pants with a casual blouse as well. I have no hesitations about my casual dress, as long as it's modest. Some might say that I'm not being respectful of the Lord Almighty by dressing in such fashion. I will agree that there's validity to being respectful of the Lord in how I dress but is there any more respect in wearing a dress than there is in wearing linen pants or jeans, for that matter? Is there any more respect in wearing hose and heels than in wearing simple sandals on bare feet? It concerns me that, rather than the gospel being our focus, we allow the issue of "how dressed up or dressed down" we are to take precident in our minds (and hearts?). We need to be willing to do whatever it takes to win others to Christ. Randy Pope, pastor of Perimeter Church in Atlanta, says, "The gospel has to be elevated to its rightful position and we can't let our personal preferences stop us from elevating the very thing that is most precious".

Pope continues, "If our churches are going to lead than we have to become contemporary to the culture in which we've been placed. Am I concerned with being used to help win the lost? Do I do all things for the sake of the gospel so that I may become a fellow partaker of the gospel? Am I (we) willing to repent of idolatrous traditions? Traditions are beautiful, wonderful and should be embraced but not at the expense of losing the opportunity of reaching the lost."

  • Define unbiblical traditions -- those who's love for a particular tradition dictates their interpretation of God's word leaving them unwilling to move from their tradition regardless of the impact on the lost.
  • Define Biblical tradition - those who, in spite of loving and routinely utilizing traditions, will readily move from them for the sake of reaching the lost.

What a challenge. I pray that I will strive to become all things to all people, not just becoming some things to some people. See you in church Sunday.....I'll be the one in pants.


Huffs said...

I'll be the one in pants here, as well. We have been spoiled by our 7 years at Perimeter...SPOILED.

Wanda said...

You have such a wonderful talent for words and expressesd this so well. As you know, I am surrounded by some who think a woman should ALWAYS wear a dress to church. I love the Lord and feel that I need to respect Him in the way I dress, but, like you, I think He is more concerned with my heart that my clothes. I love you. Mom.