Some Things to Some Men
All this talk of Christian liberty has started quite a bit of controversy in otherwise dependable Pharisee churches. I found it necessary to correct some serious errors in our denomination while speaking at a recent conference on the topic. The purpose of the conference was “Communicating Christianity to the 21st Century: Cultural Outreach without Compromise.” I was disturbed by the unhealthy focus on whatever-it-takes evangelistic efforts based on misinterpretations of 1 Corinthians 9:22 where Paul says, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” In order to correct their misapprehension about this verse, my message concentrated on the following points:
- Paul said in the previous verse that he was “not without the law to God” so it is clear that we are under the Law of Christ. We are never free to do that which is contrary to scripture like wearing immodest or casual clothing in the worship service. If Paul were alive today, he would never wear a Hawaiian shirt or go without wearing socks or a tie at any time, let alone in the pulpit.
- In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul informs us that he keeps his body in subjection, meaning that he would never engage in such unholy practices like wearing long hair, tattoos or pierced ears (or other body parts). Scripture tells us that it is a shame for men to wear long hair. Since Paul would never violate scripture, we can know for a fact that he would never have worn a pony tail, even if he were playing in the praise and worship band.
- Paul also says in Galatians 5:13 not to use liberty as an occasion for the flesh. Rock and roll music has absolutely no spiritual value and only exists to appeal to the fleshly, prurient lusts of lascivious listeners. He would never countenance such music in church. Only the disobedient and deluded would use rock & roll music in church.
- Last of all, Paul said we are to abstain from the very appearance of evil. This is the strictest form of separation possible and there is no way the apostle would promote the kind of loose living and compromising methods that we see becoming so popular among undisciplined Christian. He would have been well aware of Jeremiah’s warning to “Learn not the way of the heathen,” including their vile practices of rock &amp; roll; immodest and disrespectful indecent dress; heathen mutilation practices like tattoos and horrid piercings.
While the message may not have received a warm reception at the time I preached it, I am sure that overall the sentiment was appreciated. All of the other messages at the conference were lacking in passion , fire, zeal and steadfast dedication to proclaiming the unvarnished, uncompromising Message of God. Instead, they were all concerned about reaching out to people with a soft, lovey-dovey tepid gospel message emphasizing all the squishy, syrupy sweet aspects of God. They were all talking about grace and love and mercy with no mention of sin, wickedness, depravity and repentance from dead works. So for the benefit of all those who need and appreciate a good solid message, I am posting my outline here for all to read.
The inspiration for this post can be found here.