Church and the World

Just My Two Cents

Another subject I wasn’t intending to write about…but once again the Lord showed me something and I want to share it with you. Mind you it is only my two cents, but I think it is worth at least a read and input.

One of the things the Lord decided to show me a long time ago was the hold that Puritan values have on the church within America. Which we have passed on from generation to generation. Soon after becoming a believer and sitting in a church building listening to sermons on how I was to behave, seeing women look down on me for what I wore to church (these were the only clothes I had at the time). I began to feel “unworthy” and that I didn’t “measure up”. With these feelings I began to change. Not so much to please God, although this is what I said I was doing; but to fit in. I didn’t want to “feel unworthy or not measure up” any more. This led to a long list of “changes” I made to please people or to measure up in their eyes….even though I stated I was doing it for God alone.

Then came GRACE. My husband will now tell you he is thankful to have the “real Darlene” back. I am thankful I get to be me and God loves me no matter what. Gone are the days I have to measure up to man for approval. I already have God’s stamp of approval. So what am I getting at? Over the last couple weeks I have seen articles, memes, statements on social media from well meaning Christians talking about the half time show and how provocative and sinful it was. How demeaning to women it was. And just how could any “good Christian” find this clean. And I sat and wondered just who is their message to? Other Christians? The world as they watched? Children watching the half time show? Are they trying to prove their point this kind of “promiscuous dancing” leads to sex, rape, human trafficking?

I find it strange these arguments are heard over and over again. Christians pointing fingers at people and sometimes other Christians about their dress, their choices, their words or their past. I have seen Christians coming out against Christian artists who have crossed over into the secular music and aren’t thanking God for the fact their music will have an impact on people that we may not have an impact on; but are much more concerned with what that artist wore to an awards ceremony, said or did. Or how about new Christians in the world of celebrities? Christians coming out and saying that he or she can’t be a real Christian because of this or that.

But what gets really bad is when Christians beat the world on the head about their behavior. Jesus never once went to “sinners” and told them you are doing wrong, stop it. He did say your faith has healed you. Your faith has saved you. Remember when Mary anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her tears? (Luke 7:30-40). Jesus never brought up what she did wrong. Who brought this up? The Pharisee did. The Puritan stronghold within the church acts just like the Pharisees of the old days. Putting peoples behavior before faith.

I went and re-watched the half time show. Some parts I had missed the first time because I was busy trying to do other things. My takeaway is I enjoyed the show. I loved the blend of culture with American pride. I loved the athleticism shown by all those dancing and singing. I have seen comments about the pole dance, their clothing, and their dancing. For those upset about the pole dance…do you realize there are classes for this now and it is extremely difficult to do the poses shown in the show. I didn’t see this as sexual; I saw the raw strength it takes to pull yourself up a pole and then hold on and also to do all the movements done. What about their clothing? What about the way they danced? Isn’t this too provocative? Isn’t it turning women into sex symbols turning us back in time instead of moving forward? As a woman I believe we should feel sexy and beautiful and how we express it is unique to each individual. Every woman wants to feel pretty, beautiful and sexy. Sometimes I feel like the church has suffocated the woman into believing she is the one at fault for every evil thought a man has had. Our thoughts and choices are our own, men’s and women’s. I can not control your thoughts and you can not control mine. But does this mean we should put limits on people doing the very thing God gave us the ability to do? Or what we wear? A good friend of mine had said something funny to me years ago. She said, “If there were a naked woman walking down the street my boys should not have an uncontrollable urge to go over there and jump on her body!” This statement although funny, is true. So many Christian women point to other women and say they are the problem because they have dressed, danced, looked beautiful or sexy. Somehow beauty and sex appeal has become dirty in the church. If you watch it or allow boys to watch a half time show they will all of a sudden have an uncontrollable urge to run out and have sex or rape a girl. What in the world?!?! One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is “self control”. Neither of my boys had an uncontrollable urge to do any of the above things after watching the half time show. They noted the two women are beautiful and actually haven’t thought about it except for the posts they have seen on social media. Last night one remarked….okay enough bashing on the half time show. When believers, I believe trying to help, beat the world on the head with the law we end up sending the message you are not good enough, you will never measure up to us, you are dirty, you are evil, you made too many mistakes, there is a long laundry list of things you must do to attain God’s love. Thankfully this is not what Jesus did when he walked here on earth. He invited people in to see who he is. His love overcame all the things they have ever done or will ever do. When I understood this I saw who I am in Christ and exactly who God is.

I enjoyed the half time show. They were there to entertain and they did just that. I love music, dance, culture and the people who make up the world. It is what makes people unique and able to reach each other in their unique way. This is what Jesus did. He came in a unique way which upset the religious mindset but set the captives free.

On a side note I think we, as the church, have thought if woman just cover up and are modest then we will help men from “sinning in thought or deed”. I believe even if we covered all the way up there would still be “sinning in thought or deed”. We live in a fallen world with broken people in and out of the church. Like I said earlier no one can control other’s thoughts. We will always deal with people who have evil intentions. We must be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. But to blame women for causing the evil deeds to be perpetrated upon them is just stupid. To blame these two artists and all their dancers to place women in a compromising position is just silly.

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