Monday, July 28, 2008

Worship

I remember one of my friends telling me how he struggled with the lust of the eyes. My answer? "You need to stop hanging out with women who dress immodestly. You can't resist temptation by stepping right into it."

For the most part, I've been doing that. But then there are times when I am caught by surprise at the attire worn at the gatherings of Christians. Those are the times that I just want to hide or scream. Rarely can I do either.

Jesus said, "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; because it is far better for you to enter into life half-blind than to enter into Hell with good vision. And if your right hand causes you to sin, then cut it off and throw it away; because it is far better for you to enter into life maimed than to enter into Hell whole. And if your right foot causes you to sin, cut it off; because it is far better for you to enter into life lame than to enter into Hell whole."

Now obviously, all of this is hyperbole. None of the prophets were ever instructed by God to literally dismember themselves in order to deal with sin in their own lives or to dismember other people in order to deal with sin in their lives. But Jesus does have a point: anything that is causing you to sin needs to go. For me, that will have to include some friends I dearly love. I cannot continually resist the temptation, as has been adequately proven by history, so I just need to not be where it is.

Before everyone starts making unfounded and uncalled for and bigoted unnecessary jokes about Islamic oppression, I want to make something really clear: there is no way on earth that anyone--male or female--in their right mind could possibly believe that short shorts are modest. Or cleavage- and/or midriff-showing tops. That is the sort of thing I am complaining about. Give me a break.

How can a man focus on the Lord when he is surrounded by all this flesh? Close his eyes? I'll try that next time one of those women is trying to have a conversation with me. I'll let you know how it goes.

Or I'll just stay away from them and leave them to wonder what happened.

Or, even harder, I'll confront them about their attire and beg them to wear real clothes. Yeah, that will go over well.

How on earth can Christian women wear this stuff and sing praise songs to the Lord?

"Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘ These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" (Matthew 15:7-9)

Because we have adopted a different standard of modesty than is revealed to us in Scripture.

Wait a minute--did Jesus say that those who say they follow Him but actually listen to others are hypocrites?

That is scary. I think I should warn them.

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