Keeping Up Appearances
Apparently my recent post on worldly dress has sparked a good bit of online discussion. I had no idea that clothing was such a controversial topic. The Bible is very plain that Christians should not dress like the world. We may be in the world but we should certainly not be of the world and this includes our dress. However, there seems to be some dispute as to where we need to draw the line between worldly dress and godly dress. Let me quote from a formerly respected Pharisee pastor, Telemachus J. Dobson. Telemachus and I both attended Grace Pharisee Bible College together and have had many a discussion, some quite heated, but he has become a legalistic Sadducee in recent years as you can see for yourself.
It has recently come to my attention, Pharisee Brethren, that our brother Gamaliel, he who would hold himself up as an icon for the next generation of Pharisee ministry; is becoming a bondslave...not of Jesus, but of fashion!
A recent missive reveals his fixation on worldly dress, claiming that "the real Pharisee preacher must dress for success" as a "witness" to the "worldly undressed". After all, God made man in his own image, and that image does not necessarily come dressed in Louis Vuitton suits with Bruno Magli loafers. A true Pharisee would be fully aware that Jesus would shop with the "least of these"...at K-Mart!
But no, our fine brother Gamaliel would leave the ninety and nine...for the sheep who takes his marching orders from GQ!
Know ye not that the necktie was invented as a bib for the mature to wipe their mouths after a good potluck? But no, we must have them as adornment! And instead of at least getting our neckties from the gift counter at Pharisee Family Shops, the nice ones with a "Christian design for $8.99", our compromising brother was actually photographed wearing a Christmas necktie featuring cartoon characters caterwauling Christmas Carols about the conception of Christ! Blasphemy!
Men and brethren, if you can't do a single-color tie or at the very least stripes, it is vanity! We are to be a peculiar people, not the foolish fellow travelers of the fashionistas!
Telemachus J Dobson
Riverbend Pharisee Mission
What this dear brother does not realize is that by dressing in shoddy clothes purchased at bargain basement prices off the rack, he is giving less than his best to God. The Old Testament teaches us that we should bring the firstlings of our flock to the Lord, not the halt, the lame, the second-hand and the cast-offs. God deserves our best and that includes dressing in the best clothes that we can afford. For those of us who are truly spiritual, we dress even better than we can afford, showing our dedication to sacrificial giving on God’s behalf.
But before I could respond to Telemachus and explain to him that he was dishonoring God by dressing like a bum, the discussion spun out of hand. I wanted to let him know how much of a Sadducee he was for judging my desire to give God my best when I received this.
Blessings on the upright, and imprecations on all pretenders to our blessed position! May all recognize our purity.I call on all sisters to unite in outrage and distain. Kmart indeed! Bro. Telemachus, how great is your fall! What of the homespun, and the fruits of your sisters and mothers' nimble and capable fingers? What of the industry and perseverance of your ancestors? Are you better than they? Come back to your roots, down to proper humility, kind sir, that you may be truly lifted up as an example to the godly.
PS: if you must indeed frequent that paragon of vanity fair, don't forget to check your clothes for any hint of that awful subterfuge - synthetic fiber. If it ain't natural how can it possibly be true? And if it ain't true then guile will be found on your person.Oh take care as you teeter on the brink, do not go round the bend!
Miss Ida Seenit
Society of Saintly Sisters
And I knew the conversation had totally spun out of control when some clown sent this in.
"Let me see, I need some new clothing, but I dare not get any modern worldly threads. I'll try this store. Hello Miss, I need some material, but I'm wondering how old is the loom that it was woven on? You don't know? Well, do you know if the thread came from this world? I need something that is holy, in other words not from this world. You don't have anything like that? Hmmm, I guess I'd better go see some Pharisee to see where they buy their clothes."
Some people have no appreciation for how hard it is to live a holy, godly life.
Appearance is Everything
The greatest danger facing God’s True Churches today is doctrinal compromise. Today’s sotted saints are selling out their allegiance to the timeless truths of God’s word for a mess of pottage and their chief salesman is Rick Warren. His Saddleback Church in California is leading thousands astray by their false teachings and lackadaisical attitude toward Biblical integrity. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in their casual attitude toward dress.
Let me say, first of all that God cares a great deal about how His people dress. To teach anything different is to give in to the devil’s teaching that “Jesus looks on the heart and not on the outward appearance.” Just because Jesus can see our hearts, doesn’t mean that he ignores what he sees on the outside. It is also because we can’t see the heart that we need to pay particular attention to outward appearance. While it is possible for a worldling to dress like a saint and appear outwardly to be holy, we should never think that it is possible for a saint of God to appear outwardly unholy while remaining right with God in his heart. Outward appearance is how we advertise our allegiance to God and demonstrate to the world that we are holier than they are.
So let us see what the Bible has to say about how we dress. You will find that the Levites received particular instructions in how to dress at the hands of Moses (Leviticus 21). They were told exactly what to wear and they were given individual instruction depending on whether they were the high priest or the regular Levites. God also instructed the nation of Israel on particulars regarding their clothing, including putting fringes on their garments and making sure not to mix fabrics like wool and linen in a single garment (Deuteronomy 22:11-12).
By contrast, Rick Warren has made worship so casual that folks come to his church in shorts, jeans and t-shirts rather than suits, ties and dresses like they ought to. And no wonder, for they are merely following the example of their pastor who preaches in Hawaiian shirts and khaki pants. He is more suited to a California beach than he is a California pulpit. He has no respect for the church, the pulpit or the ministry. Everything about his style is casual and comfortable. Someone who takes such an informal attitude toward worship cannot possibly please God.
As proof of God’s disapproval we see that his church is one of the largest and fastest growing congregations in America today. We all know that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and that apart from the drawing of the Holy Spirit, none can come unto Him. This is why good Pharisee churches remain small – we appeal only to the elect, the sacred remnant, the few who have made their way through the narrow gate. The explosive growth of Saddleback demonstrates that they appeal to the carnal pleasures of the flesh, not the holiness of the spirit. They attract big crowds because people are more interested in satisfying their own desires than in pleasing God. Nor can Rick Warren possibly be preaching the truth since we know that worldly people are not attracted to truth (my church being a clear case in point) and his church is full of people who dress like the world.
His argument for casual dress is that worship doesn’t have to be uncomfortable to be pleasing to God. Let me just say that if God had wanted us to be comfortable in His presence he would have given us a comforter instead of the Holy Spirit of his presence who comes to judge the righteous and the unrighteous alike. God abhors complacency and compromise with the world, demanding instead a separation from the world and a holiness that raises us out of the mire of humanity. We are called to be heavenly minded in spirit and truth and this includes the spirit and truth of how we dress. We know that we will not be spending eternity in heaven dressed in jeans and t-shirts with cute slogans on them but will be arrayed in robes of fine linen signifying of our purity. It is time we started dressing as the heaven-bound saints that we are called to be and not like the world around us.
Gamaliel The Sadducee
Gamaliel isn’t gonna be posting this week because I hacked into his site to let y’all know how big a Sadducee the G-man really is. See, I went to visit his church last week and thot I would tell what happened. It was an eye-opener.
So I go into this church cuz they have a sign out front that sez “Everyone Welcome.” Well “everyone” must not mean everyone since I wasn’t. This big old dude comes up to me in the foyer and sez, “Can I help you, son?” He was definitely not my Daddy so I wasn’t about to be up with that “son” bizzness, so I told him I was there to go to church, did he have a problem with that? And he cops this ‘tude like he’s all better than me by asking if there’s somewhere else I could go where I’d be more comfterble. “I dunno,” I said, “Am I supposed to be comfterble in church?” He sez he don’t want no trouble and I told him I didn’t either So, like, he leaves me alone and I find a seat.
Now, if a church sez, “Everyone Welcome” on the sign, you’d ‘spect they’d make you feel glad to be there, right? Well, not at Gamaliel’s church. The only people that made me feel welcome were the kids and not all of them. This one cool kid comes up to me (I knew he was cool cuz you could see where he had his ears piecred but he took all his posts out and stuff for church) and sez, “Nice tat,” looking at my arm that shows three nails circled by a crown of thorns and “John 3:16” under it. “That’s nothing. Look at this one,” and I show him my other arm with a sword that says, “Behold I Come Quickly” on it when his mom tells him not to talk to strangers. He gives me wink and I smile, but his mom looks like she was sucking lemons.
And then we go through the whole service and no one else comes up to say hi or shake my hand or nothing. And then it turns out that the big scary dude I had already met was pastor Gamaliel. And like he preaches this sermon about “separation” and how we need to not be like the world and need to live for God and I’m all about that but when I say, “Amen,” like in my old church you’d think I’d swore or something. Everybody gets all stiff and uncomfterble and everything so I don’t say that any more.
So when the service gets over and we’re on the way out, I shake hands with the G-man to tell him I was down with his sermon but he acted like he wasn’t cool with me. So I ask him wassup with that. And he sez he thinks I’m a fine young man but I’m not a very good representative of Jesus Christ, which is not a cool thing to say to anyone. So we get into it right there in the foyer.
“How can you say that, dude? You don’t even know me,” I tell him.
“I know a great deal about you already, just by looking,” he sez.
“What? You judge by appearance? Whassup with that? Doesn’t the Bible tell you not to do that?”
“I did not judge you,” he sez. “I merely drew a conclusion based on the message you are sending me with how you look. You are saying that you are a rebel and a worldling and that you want to have nothing but the most superficial of relationships with Jesus Christ.”
“You could tell all that just by looking, could you? Well let me tell you something. You are a pompous, judgmental Sadducee who looks down his nose at people. If we don’t look like you and talk like you then you don’t want anything to do with us. Just because I’m wearing leather and you got a suit doesn’t mean you’re better than me. So chill out, dude and get a grip. That ain’t what Jesus is about.”
“I don’t need to you inform me about Jesus,” he said in a voice cold as ice. By now we had quite the crowd gathered around. “I have been a follower of Him all my life and real Christians do not get tattoos, or all those piercings you have or listen to that godless rock and roll music. You are trying to resemble the world and not Jesus Christ.”
“So, like people in the world don’t wear three-piece suits? Gimme a break. The biggest crooks and thieves and liars I know dress like you and sit in boardrooms, lawyer’s offices and government. Is that who Jesus wants you to dress like?
“At least I’m not a big hypocrite like you. You preached today about love and grace but all you’re giving me is grief. You said Jesus loves us all but you don’t want anything to do with people like me because we don’t fit your nice, neat definition of what a Christian is. Your last song was, ‘Just As I Am’ but there’s no way you want to accept me just as I am. You only want to accept me just as you are. That’s not cool.”
And that’s why I am hacking into the site – to let y’all know that Gamaliel is a big ole hypocrite. He’s always preaching love and grace but he doesn’t practice it. He only loves people who are like him or fit his opinion of what a Christian is. Anyone outside his comfort zone is just so much trash to him. As far as I’m concerned he is nothing but a big Sadducee who wants to just judge people. He is cold-hearted, mean-spirited and as far from what it means to be a Christian as you can be.
My advice is to not bother attend his church because Jesus certainly doesn’t.
The Soon Return of Jesus
The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that we cannot know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man will come again. Many a minister has made a career on date-setting only to be shown how wrong he really is when Jesus doesn’t come. There has been a long history from the time of Savonarola and Muntzer all the way down through Hal Lindsay and Y2K. You can find a fairly comprehensive list at http://www.bible.ca/pre-date-setters.htm From my past there are a couple charlatans who stand out as particularly noteworthy.
Jack Van Impe has been predicting the end of the world ever since I can remember. I attended a crusade in the early 1970’s where he predicted The Coming War With Russia.
His message was so well rehearsed that he preached the exact same sermon in person that we had heard on a record album of the same title. According to Van Impe, by 1990 we were supposed to see Russia march on Jerusalem closely followed by the Red Chinese who were going to march across the dry riverbed of the Euphrates because of some hydroelectric dams the Iraqis were building. Aside from the fact that history never happened the way he predicted, he hasn’t stopped his misguided prophecy ministry. He continues to “foretell” future events and gullible Christians continue to support his half-baked claims and outright fictions.
Later I heard Ed Vallowe, famous for his Bible numerics, predict Jesus’ return. He should have stuck with finding hidden messages in Bible numbers and codes instead of jumping on the apocalyptic bandwagon. Somewhere he latched on to the “Jupiter Effect” as the signal for the next prophetic event on God’s calendar. He predicted that we were going up in the clouds in 1982 when all the planets lined up and cataclysmic events would shake the earth. Curiously, when I heard him speak in 1981, he mentioned that he was booked through 1983. I guess he wanted to make sure his bases were covered in case he was wrong. Good planning on his part.
Since then I have heard that there were 88 reasons why Jesus is coming in 1988, why the Gulf War of George H. W. Bush was going to be the end in the early 1990’s and of course, everyone’s favorite Y2K. None of these came to pass. All of them were false predictions made by ignorant men who refused to accept that Jesus second coming is secret except to those who can spot the budding of the fig tree and can read the signs of the times.
Unlike all of these charlatans, I have scientific evidence that the world is going to end on June 1, 2014. That means that if the rapture is pre-tribulation as we all know it to be, then it must occur on or before May 31, 2007. Now I am not about to set a date, but it is clear that Jesus must come by then in order to give the Beast a chance to fill up the cup of God’s wrath.
This gives all of us a year and a half to take care of everything before His return. My suggestion to all of you is that you make sure all your affairs are in order in the next year to be ready for Jesus when He comes. Now, this is not to say that I am predicting a date. I am not. The Bible tells us that no man can know the day or the hour and I don’t presume to know that. He may come this week, next week, next month or next year. However, we can know the season and with the fig tree budding, I do know for certain that he is coming no later than May 31, 2007.
Personally, if I owned any property, I would sell it now or if I had a retirement fund I would cash it in and spend it. I can’t guarantee that Jesus is coming on this date, but even if he doesn’t then we still have only seven more years before the cloud gets us. We might as well live for today because tomorrow is unlikely to come.