During our house fellowship on sunday, someone shared some words from Romans 14 and i decided to study it during my quiet time. I thought i should share with you because of the lessons embedded in it.
If you’ve been in church for a while, i’m sure you understand what it feels like when someone thinks you aren’t holy just because you don’t do things the way they do. Some will judge you for wearing trousers. Someone who wears trouser will judge you for wearing a fabric he/she doesn’t wear. Someone else will try to force you to cover your hair. While another will give you many reasons why makeup makes you look like Jezebel. Before you recover from that another will give you a story of how they saw a vision that wearing jewelries is for the heathens. And if care is not taken, you might find yourself struggling to fit in and in some cases, questioning if you actually should run away from the church.
My question has always been, why all of these? Is this how God wants us to treat people? Do we have to sentence someone to hell for wearing leather to church? I am an advocate of modesty and i’m by no means saying we shouldn’t correct people in love. If someone is well dressed and covered, i don’t see any reason why that person have to put up with torment from his/her fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
To be honest this problem has been in existence since the bible days. In Romans 14, we see Paul addressing this issue. I personally love the way the Message version translates this passage. I remember the first time i read it i was like “wooo is this in the bible?”. Because if we all lived like it says in this scripture, the church won’t be the way it is today.
We all come from different backgrounds. Some people are more conservative than others. The not so conservative christians aren’t lesser christians than the conservative ones. Some people gave their lives to God in a very conservative church setting and they grew in faith in that atmosphere. It can be difficult for someone from this kind of setting to accept another believer who views certain things differently.
I grew up in a very conservative church. Certain things that shouldn’t really matter were taken very seriously. And i have always questioned why it was so. Sadly many years down, i still see traits of this in church. I have seen people say they can’t wear trouser to church on a sunday, but these same people would wear it to the same church during weekly services. Some will criticise an outfit but they will wear that same outfit outside the church. My question has always been. Is the God of weekdays different from the God of sundays? If you are convicted about that thing, why wear it at all? Why is sunday different from any other day? Why are we convicted on a sunday but not other days? It has always baffled me and it still does. Our focus should be on who and how we worship (Romans 12:1).
I have heard people say they don’t wear certain outfits to church because they are cautious of others – “they don’t want to make others stumble” they say. But then why wear that same outfit outside the church to make non church goers stumble? Aren’t we supposed to be light of the world? If it’s a sin to wear it on a sunday, then it should be a sin to wear it any other day. Your convictions might be true. But don’t impose it on others.
Sadly this attitude has pushed people away from the church. I personally have experienced the pain this causes and gosh it hurts so bad. We have succeeded in pushing many who are still in church into their shell and then we question why the church is the way it is.
Some people argue about days of worship. Does this really matter? If my church chooses to worship on a tuesday instead of a sunday, will the Holy Spirit leave our midst as a result? Will God remove our names from the book of life?
I have been in church long enough to see the division and bitterness this can cause. We need to always remember that our convictions are different. Certain things that the bible doesn’t classify as sin will always be viewed differently.
I feel the devil uses these irrelevant things to distract us from what we should be focusing on. As we are busy tearing down a sister who wore makeup to church, souls are perishing. As we are busy dividing the body of Christ with our mouth just because some people decide to worship on a friday instead of sunday, the devil is having a feast. How different are we from the hypocrites?
Let’s ignore the things that aren’t necessary and focus on our Father’s business. Let’s do more of praying for people instead of letting them know what we think. Let’s stop sentencing people to hell over the same thing that we do on a different day.
So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault. You’re certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God’s work among you, are you? Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. (Romans 14:19 & 22)
***Again, i am not saying we should wear what we like and do what we like in the church. The bible clearly talks about us being decent and as children of Light we should be different from the children of darkness in every way.***
Romans 14 also talks about us being a stumbling block. I will be talking about this in my next post. Until then continue to uplift others and treat them the way Jesus Christ would have done when He was on earth.