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Sunday School Stunner.....

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Lisa
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« on: January 13, 2009, 08:22:06 am »

We had an interesting conversation in Sunday School that left me with the "I'll need to do a little research" comment.

It started with Mama Hen and I talking about modesty.  She asked if I was going to take my picture that day for the fashion show.  The girls around us asked what we were talking about, so we explained.

We then got to talking about Paul's guidelines for modesty - covering a woman's head, no jewelry, etc.

Then someone said that was written to the Corinthians at that specific time.

Which caused someone to say that you can't pick and choose what you follow from the Bible.  Either it is God's Word for then, or it's God's Word for always.

She went as far as to say that she condones her friend living (and sleeping) with her boyfriend because that is not one of the 10 Commandments (I tried to use 1 John 2:3-6, which triggered her use of the 10 Commandments.) - AND that this girl is in love with Jesus.

Which has now led me to this.  I believe that God's Word is for always.  But, I don't cover my head and I do wear jewelry.  Am I picking and choosing what I want to follow?
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sarahmae
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2009, 08:28:38 am »

You have some great questions...I really want to address them, as will others here, I'm sure.  I don't have time right now, but I will get to them!

You are awesome!  Smiley
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"I don't claim to have found the truth but I know it has found me."  Sara Groves
Lisa
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2009, 10:01:37 am »

I forgot one major element:

My friend who condones the "live-in" boyfriend mentioned that unless it is one of the 10 Commandments, everything else is just a guideline for how God would want us to live our lives, but it is not necessarily a command.  I think this is the comment that really bothered me.  She said that she understands why God wants us to live pure lives, but He didn't command it in His original 10, and therefore, it is merely a suggestion.
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BethF
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2009, 11:57:02 am »

Oh wow, how sad for your friend that she doesn't understand God's grace. The law was put in place to show us that we are imperfect and need a savior. When Christ came to earth and died on the cross for sin, grace replaced the law. We are no longer under the law and have the freedom to not live under it. While they are a standard to live by, only God can truly hold to them. And if you are going to follow the law, you can't pick and choose which ones to keep....so you can't ONLY keep the 10, you have to keep ALL of them (and I forget how many hundreds of them there are).

I am sure that Sarah Mae will address the modesty issue specifically, but while we have the freedoms to do certain things that aren't black and white in the scripture, we are called to stand apart from the world. We are to represent Christ. The biggest question I ask myself is NOT "How far can I take this without sinning?"....but "How can I do ______ and glorify God MORE?"

Its definitely not our place to judge people's actions b/c God calls us to love everyone and have grace for them. We aren't to put each other under any law. However, I CHOOSE not to live with my boyfriend b/c it gives off the apprearance of evil. It also puts us in a position to sin. Its a choice that I make, even though the bible doesn't SPECIFICALLY say that I cannot LIVE with him before marriage, I know that it doesn't please the Lord and it doesn't glorify Him to the fullest.

As for the modesty issue....we do have to take the bible in its context. Like I said, Sarah will probably hit this, but the head covering and jewelry were apart of that culture and when you study scripture, you have to take into consideration the culture.

I hope that makes sense....I'll be praying for this situation with you.
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~BethF
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2009, 12:52:58 pm »

as a mother who's eldest daughter is just beginning puberty and watching some of her peers already acting boy crazy and dressing at times age-inaapropriately, I could go on and on about the need for modesty in our culture.  I personally have been affected by the tragedy of our culture that is at the very least fed by women who don''t respect themselves or others enough to be modest in their dress or their actions.  I can attest to the devastation that comes to a marriage and to your self esteem as well as other aspects of your life when this part of our culture finds it's way into your husband's life and I tell you all that this is a war that we can not afford to lose.  I speak freely in this forum because I know that you are all women of faith as am I and we must band together to make this world a better place now for ourselves and our sons and daughters.  I do not excuse the men who involve themselves in this at all, they are as responsible for their actions as we are for ours - we can dress modestly but that is just one piece of a very large puzzle.  Watch network television - as I type this, there is a commercial on for a KY product with a couple in bed talking about their sex life - it's 130pm, is that necessary?  It used to be that cable was where all the "risque" content was, now you can hardly turn on an 8pm sitcom with out hearing the word 'sex' let alone all the inuendos and blatant sex related scenes.  I want the very best for my girls and I don't consider myself a prude, but this all makes me so sad that their innocence is almost impossible to protect without locking them up somewhere away from the world. 
OK, that was a bit of a rant and I apologize for that, but I truly worry about everything that we have become so numb to today.
God bless you all
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sarahmae
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2009, 01:18:42 pm »

Again, I will comment on the modesty stuff later, but real quick...

As for the 10 Commandments Jesus summed up the whole law when He said we are to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.  The first of the two addresses the first four commandments by telling us how to love God, and the second addresses the last six which tell us how to love others. 

For example, we know that we are not to commit adultry (commandment six), but Jesus took it a step further and said if we lust in our minds we are committing adultry in our hearts.  If we as women dress in a way that causes another to lust, we are not loving our neighbor because we are contributing to their sin.  Make sense?

We are not under the law, but it helps us to live well if we follow it - not because we are condemned if we don't, but because we love God and know that His way is good.  The law is a path to freedom.
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BethF
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2009, 01:53:20 pm »

Hey Sarah! Can you clarify what you mean by saying "The law is a path to freedom"? I did a very in depth study on Galatians last year and the biggest thing I learned is that the law doesn't bring freedom. Grace alone brings freedom. The law shows only our works, which put us under bondage. Paul's example he uses is circumcision (Gal. 2:3-5)...and he even goes as far to say not to participate in the tradition/ceremony of circumcision b/c it can make new believers stumble (fall into a habit of keeping the law instead of living under grace...Gal. 2:11-13). I do agree that our works show our fruit and being obedient is important so others can see Christ in us...which Paul talks about in Gal. 5. However, He also mentions throughout the entire 5th Chapter that you cannot be led by the Spirit if you are putting yourself back under the law. Gal. 5:1-3 tells us that we can be believers and put ourselves back under the slavery of the law....and Paul warns us not to do that. Anyway---I was just curious to know what you meant.
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~BethF
sarahmae
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2009, 02:15:11 pm »

Hey Sarah! Can you clarify what you mean by saying "The law is a path to freedom"? I did a very in depth study on Galatians last year and the biggest thing I learned is that the law doesn't bring freedom. Grace alone brings freedom. The law shows only our works, which put us under bondage. Paul's example he uses is circumcision (Gal. 2:3-5)...and he even goes as far to say not to participate in the tradition/ceremony of circumcision b/c it can make new believers stumble (fall into a habit of keeping the law instead of living under grace...Gal. 2:11-13). I do agree that our works show our fruit and being obedient is important so others can see Christ in us...which Paul talks about in Gal. 5. However, He also mentions throughout the entire 5th Chapter that you cannot be led by the Spirit if you are putting yourself back under the law. Gal. 5:1-3 tells us that we can be believers and put ourselves back under the slavery of the law....and Paul warns us not to do that. Anyway---I was just curious to know what you meant.

Beth,  Smiley

When I say that the Law is a pathway to freedom, I mean it leads us to Christ and His grace - sorry for the confusion!  We should not live under the yoke of the Law, but we should try and obey it because Jesus tells us to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves - the Law tells us how to do that.  But again, we live by grace, not Law.  Does that make sense?
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sarahmae
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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2009, 02:23:24 pm »

One more clarification -

It is by GRACE we are saved, not by following the Law.  The Law leaves us guilty before God, it shows us what sin is, and then leads us to the amazing grace that comes through Jesus Christ.

When I say we should try and live by the 10 commandments, I only mean that if we love God and love others, it is good.
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BethF
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2009, 02:36:49 pm »

That makes perfect sense....I figured I was just reading it wrong and wanted to make sure. Thanks! I hope my question didn't come across rudely...I was just wondering. I feel like its hard to express what we mean or our intention through typing...so I'm sorry if it sounded harsh. Smiley Thanks for clarifying!!!
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Lisa
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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2009, 03:53:34 pm »

Ooh, this is good!

So how do we address the "pick and choose" Bible?  How do we determine, or how can we know what is meant for those times and what is meant for all times? 
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MelissaR
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2009, 04:24:05 pm »

About a month ago I read 1 and 2 Corinthians and got really hung up on Paul's command to women to keep their heads covered.  I did some reading about why this command is no longer practiced, and the best answer I found for why we no longer have to do this is found here (by the way, this is a really neat website that I've found... check it out for all kinds of difficult Christian topics):
http://www.gotquestions.org/head-coverings.html

I think most of us would agree that Paul was addressing something that is not culturally relevant today.  This issue was causing disruption in the church at that time, so he was weighing in on how members of the church could show submission and keep from causing stumbling.  (If you disagree, that's a conviction God has placed on your heart, but it is ultimately between you and God.)  However, this issue is nothing like the issue of premarital sex.  Why?  Because God clearly states that the marriage bed is to be kept sacred (Hebrews 13:4).  This is a moral code that is not a law, but a way to follow the only commands that we need to concern ourselves with today: To love the Lord God and our neighbors. 

The Ten Commandments and OT law were specifically given to the nation of Israel, not to Christians.  We are no longer under the law.  It was never intended by God to be the final law for all people, for all time.  Now, that doesn't mean that some of those commands aren't relevant anymore.  When Jesus died for us, we were no longer under the law, but we had new commandments, to love God and our neighbors.  If we are following those commandments, we will realize that loving others means not murdering them as well as honoring our parents, staying true to our spouse, not stealing from others, etc.  And it also means other things that aren't just in the ten commandments.  It definitely means abstaining from sexually immoral behavior because God created sex not just for recreation but mainly for re-creation, and He doesn't want unmarried couples to have unwanted babies.  He designed the family a certain way for a reason, and we honor that and HIM by following his moral code.

Do I think the Bible is for all time?  Absolutely.  Do I think that every single thing in the Bible applies to us today?  No!  I think there are examples of issues in the Bible that were unique to the time and culture.  Even in the NT, after Jesus died, there were issues in the church that caused people to stumble in their attempts to love God with all of their hearts, so they were specifically addressed.  There are now issues today that the apostles couldn't have dreamed of addressing all those years ago, and they are relevant to us now (i.e. bikinis!).  We can't pick and choose what to follow from the Bible, but each part of the Bible must be read in context.  One thing remains true: We must do things that allow us to love God with all of our hearts.  If covering your head personally helps you to love God and serve your fellow Christians better, great!  For most of us, it doesn't because hats are fashion accessories.  But there is no denying that there are certain issues that do help or keep all of us from loving God fully, and premarital sex is one of them.  (So is modesty.  If we are knowingly causing our brother to sin, we are not loving him the way God intended.)  It isn't so much an issue of picking and choosing as it is an issue of God's moral will vs. His permissive will.

I hope this made sense.  Researching it and writing it down helped me tremendously, but I don't know if it helped anyone else!  :-)
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Lisa
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2009, 09:31:02 pm »

That helped a lot.  Thank you!  I'm curious to see if this conversation will come up again.  Ever since that particular day, the pre-Sunday School conversations have been a lot lighter.  I'm just happy to have the insight and the info for the next time!

Thank you so much for all the time and study that you put in.  I really do appreciate this!
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