I know this is a ‘food blog’ but today, I’d like to share my heart with y’all. I hope that’s okay. I have been holding this in for a while now, and I just need to get it out of my head, off my chest and out to you…
I have been a Christian for a long time, since I was like 11. An evangelist came to my church and talked about the end times and showed this movie that depicted what the end times would be like and what the people left behind would go through. I was like, nuh-uh, not this girl, I need Jesus and I need Him now!
The plan of salvation was shared often at my church growing up. I went to a Baptist church. It was not an ‘Independent Fundamental Baptist’ church (IFB) but it was a Baptist church. I was brought up believing that as a Christian, I shouldn’t drink alcohol to get drunk, I shouldn’t gamble, I shouldn’t dance, etc. A pretty typical Baptist upbringing, from what I have learned throughout the years.
IFB churches take the ‘rules’ even further. They believe as a Christian one shouldn’t drink alcohol at all, they even go as far as to say that when God speaks of wine in the bible, that he is talking about grape juice. These same people say they want us to take the bible Ver Batum as God’s Holy Word and trust it as God makes no mistake. Don’t get me wrong, I BELIEVE this. But God is very specific and clear in all other things so if we believe that why wouldn’t we believe that if God meant juice, He would have said JUICE?!?!
IFB’s also believe in no gambling, no problem there.
Now we’ll move onto ‘no dancing’, there are plenty of arguments for the opposite of this in the Psalms and in Ecclesiastes, now I’m not talking about bumping and grinding here, people. I am talking about appropriate dancing.
Then there is ‘no going to the theater’, because we don’t want to support Hollywood or because someone might think you’re seeing something you shouldn’t! #1 We support Hollywood whether we see a movie in the theater or we buy the DVD, so that’s just a silly reasoning. #2 People are going to think whatever they want to think, regardless. I understand the avoiding the appearance of evil thing, I do. BUT, does that then mean we shouldn’t put our groceries in a bag because someone might think we are hiding alcohol in our bags? Or we shouldn’t shop at Meijer anymore because they sell cigarettes there and someone might think we are buying them! No, that’s ridiculous! People will think what they are going to think despite our best efforts to appear or even actually be chaste.
IFB churches teach that women should only wear dresses or skirts, because we have to be modest. Where does this come from? You can be just as immodest in a skirt, if not more so than you can in pants or slacks. I mean come on, think about that for a minute! And I have yet to find a verse in the bible that says anything about a woman wearing skirts and dresses only. Most christians (yes, I spelled that with a little c, because I believe that the kind of Christians who place these kind of legalistic rules on others are not Christ followers) who are against women wearing pants, cite the verse in Deuteronomy about woman not wearing that which pertaineth to a man. A thorough study of the clothing norms in the bible reveals that there really was no distinction between men’s and women’s clothing in bible times, not beyond the stylistic differences, such as size, trim and color. In fact, the clothing that God Himself made for Adam and Eve, in the garden, was so similar that He used ONE WORD to describe the garment he made for each of them. The same word describes the clothing worn by godly men and women throughout the bible, yet we want to demand much more than even God did in not only in style, but form and function. Do we know better than God?!?
As an Independent Fundamental Baptist, if you are not in church EVERY time the doors are open (no exceptions… if you are able to be there, you should be there), you’re not being a good Christian. The verse cited most for this is the one in Hebrews about not forsaking the gathering of ourselves. This I do agree with to a point. Yes, we should gather together and have a time of learning God’s word and having fellowship as Christians, one with another, but where does it say you MUST BE IN CHURCH 3 times EVERY SUNDAY and EVERY WEDNESDAY and EVERY SINGLE time the doors are open. NO WHERE!
IFB’ers Only listen to Christian music (and I’m talking hymns and music without drums and/or anything but a piano and acoustic guitar, NO contemporary Christian music) or you’re a heathen, now I have never been called a heathen, but this is what we are taught. Anything that has a beat or anything that makes you want to lift your hands and cry out is NOT OKAY! To me, I think that should be the purpose of the music you listen to. It should be uplifting and make you want to shout to the Lord in thanksgiving for all He’s done and raise your hands in praise….maybe I’m wrong?!?!
If you don’t show up at the appointed time for door to door soul winning, you’re a poor example of a Christian. Really?!?! Show me in the bible where it says anything even close to this! Yes, the bible says we should go soul wining. We should go out into the hedges and highways…no where does it say it has to be door to door, or an organized time or day or even a church activity. I have the Romans Road here on my blog, I witness to people on Facebook all the time, I work at a Christian camp where I talk to people and witness to people all the time. Is that not soul winning? Of course I could do more and I’m not saying I do everything I can all the time, I don’t think any of us do. We can all do better.
Final thoughts, here…what are we doing? I think we have gotten so far off track that we have lost focus of what we are really supposed to be doing which is spreading the LOVE of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. In all those things I have written above, do you see love? I don’t. All I see is legalistic junk. Things that, in the long run, don’t mean anything.
Do you think when we stand before out Lord and Saviour, He is going to care about whether or not we wore pants or skirt? Or whether we bought DVD’s or saw movies in the theater?!?! We are supposed to be loving on people and sharing the gospel with them. Instead they see us looking down on each other from our high horses in judgment about what we wear, where we go and all that. Of course, we don’t judge them because they aren’t saved yet and don’t know any better, but once they’ve been at church for a while and ‘know better’, we best start to see some change or we’ll start saying things like, ‘if you don’t share our beliefs or you find yourself disagreeing with a lot of what is preached, this probably isn’t the church for you.’ WHAT?!?!
It amazes me how insensitive people can be. We need to remember what Jesus was all about. Yes, He was/is against sin, no doubt. But He was/is ALL ABOUT LOVE. Let’s get back to the basics, friends. Let’s love on people and spread the gospel light. Let’s treat people like Jesus would if He was here. I’m not talking about tolerance of sin, here. I am simply talking about not judging others, that’s not our job. We are to love others as Christ did and show them the way to eternal life, through HIM.
I hope I have been clear here and that you have seen my where my heart truly is. I am for you, Jesus is for you. He loves you and He wants you to come to know Him. If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, please visit my Romans Road page for a clear presentation of the plan of salvation. Still have questions? Just leave them in the comments!
Live, laugh, LOVE and be kind! xoxo