Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's really hard to know what to say to people.

Trying to figure out where I'm at and where I need to be.

She asked, and I didn't know what else to say. Sigh.

6 Flags. And yeah, it's been a long time ago.

My mind (today) is like the above sentences; scattered & disorganized & only understandable by me.

 So lemme try to put this to words:

I have this friend; and she is awesome.

We don't do everything quite the same way, but that's not unusual. I have lots of people who don't think quite like me. I'm ok with that.

(Girls are just naturally evil, stab-other-girls-in-the-back, creatures. They have to work on being nice.) I like to keep the nice ones as friends when possible.

We had been planning this trip to 6 Flags. We hadn't yet figured out if the youth pastors were driving the church van or not, or planned a meeting place, and the tickets hadn't been bought... But was partly planned.

So anyway, this friend and I, just the two of us were on a church pew talking about the 6 flags trip, and she asked, "Is there going to be some dress code or something?" Then she said something about having to wear long black dresses.

I took a breath, then, said, "Um yeah I don't think long black dresses are really required, [awkward laughter] and you should just wear jeans, but wear a shirt, and actually it would be good if you wear a shirt at my house too, and maybe when we do things together with my family, but honestly I don't know where everyone else is at."

And it made her sad, and it was horrible...

But she just quietly said "Yeah, actually I was joking."

I'm not sure if she meant she was joking about asking about a dress code or just joking about having to wear long black dresses...

-And I'm not sure what I should've said or should not have said.

I wasn't sure if 6 Flags was going to be a 'youth group thing' or not. We had asked Andy and Lisa if they would drive the church van. (If they did it would've been. If not it would've just been some of us hanging out.)

When we do something as a youth group we are always given a speech about how the girls are to wear skirts past their knees, and the boys to wear pants, and that there are to be no shorts, tank tops, or cussin'... (Actually I don't know if shorts are still on the list or not...)

Several of the girls wear jeans anyway, and it's not made a big deal of...


And now at church our pastor has started preaching about how some of his church people needed to stop telling people what to do, and how to dress.

And a few comments have been made to me.

If we are not to tell people what to do for fear of offending them. What do we tell them?

I could, if it is preferable, just tell people that they must talk to the pastor...

 Trying to figure it all out...

Edit: I did talk to Bro Anthony & Sis Shelia, and he said he was trying to preach that, we need to not force all of our convictions onto other people's lives. Long sleeves in particular, which are something he wears always, but doesn't want his church people to be ordered to do, and doesn't require of his family either.

He said it wasn't my responsibility--to have to ask a certain dress code of everyone else, that he wouldn't require it of me--but it was ok for mom to require it at her house, and for me to request a level of modesty for an activity I'm planning.

So he was OK with me :)

I'm OK with myself being around certain level of immodesty. (More or less than different ones of you are comfortable with...) But I don't want to plan an activity, and have the responsibility of knowing already that the level of skin there will be causing certain friends to stumble. (Some girls and boys fight lust harder than others.)

I sometimes invite certain friends to hang out with other friends and leave the others out if I need to. But I if want to include everyone, I have stricter guidelines, than if I was the only one there.

When the Browns started coming to church Karen asked me how people dressed at youth service, and I just said "Well pastor prefers girls to wear skirts, but not everyone does, and your girls won't stick out if they wear jeans."

That wasn't hard

Still its so much easier with non-'my-church' people...


Jes said...

Well, the girl did ask. Whether it be joking or not.

Roxy said...

I never liked that rule. Honestly. A lot of my friends I invited wouldn't come because of the "only skirts" rule. I felt like it hindered my ministry to them because they felt unwelcome because of it- or judged. And if they did come in pants they felt really awkward and wouldn't come back. Anyway, just something to think about.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't say that women are to ONLY wear skirts ANYWHERE in the Bible.

If a pastor wants it to be that way for his church, so be it... but I think that a LOT of people place way too much emphasis on the skirt thing.

Try asking God what he thinks about it rather than just doing what you are told to do because it 'a rule'.

For Church, Sure. If that is the pastor's wishes.

In Life Outside of Church, it is a matter of your walk with Christ and what HE wants.

It all becomes a rather RELIGIOUS way of thinking rather than a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS one.

I am not a female, so I don't have to deal with it. I do attend the same church... but I also do things the way that Christ leads and allows me to.

I don't ONLY listen to so-called 'Christian' music. Sure, there's some bad music out there with a bad message... but not ALL of 'secular' music is that way. The lord gave me a spiritual gift called DISCERNMENT... and the Holy Ghost will be my conscience.

This is between the Lord and I.

If the 'Church' frowns upon it... well, that's really too bad for them. I walk my walk with Christ. I let HIM lead me.

Our church is a wonderful one and I am very blessed to have found a home there with such a wonderful Pastor.

However, one thing I have observed is that there are way too many people focused on RELIGIOUS thoughts rather than the HOLY GHOST. Some people live their lives different ways than others. If the Bible doesn't tell me that it's wrong and Jesus Christ doesn't tell me it's wrong, I usually make my decisions based on those facts.

A woman wearing a skirt and a woman wearing jeans are NO different as long as they are serving the Lord.

God gave us a brain.
Religion and religious thoughts and 'standards' are a lie.

Jesus Christ and your walk with Him and his standards are the truth.

Let's not divide the body of Christ any more than we have, I say.

That's just me though...

Roxy said...

Good insight. Personal relationship instead of rules. :)
Jesus is pretty awesome in the way He loves, isn't he?
He transcends all differences.. even the small ones.
He's pretty fantastic, that's for sure.

Christie said...

I believe that the Bible does tell us that women should wear skirts or dresses. Sadly, we don't teach our young ladies that much anymore.

In 1Timothy 2:9, the Bible talks about women wearing modest apparel. I looked the word "apparel" up in the Vine's Dictionary. This is their definition:2689,katastole>
connected with katastello, "to send or let down, to lower" (kata, "down," stello, "to send"), was primarily a garment let down; hence, "dress, attire," in general (cp. stole, a loose outer garment worn by kings and persons of rank, Eng., "stole"); 1 Tim. 2:9, "apparel." See CLOTHING

I also looked up "katastole" in the strong's concordance. It took some searching but I really wanted to know God's heart.

So after my study I concluded that we are to wear long, loose garments. Maybe that doesn't mean only dresses but it definitely ruled out my jeans.

So you might think by reading this that I had my heart set on wearing skirts. If you thought that you would be wrong. I fought it for three years. But God kept showing me His will.

Deuteronomy 22:5 (I know everyone argues about this one)

Isaiah 47:2-3 (God is saying that a bare leg is being naked but i guess that applies more to shorts than pants)

1Peter 3:3 (In the New American Standard Bible, the word apparel is translated dresses.)

Also I found it interesting that in the recent past, all women and girls wore dresses and skirts. In fact when my mother started public school she was required to wear dresses. She is only 55. So it hasn't been that long ago.

Anyway, to shorten a very long story, I finally submitted my will to God and stopped wearing pants. It was not easy at first but now it is in my heart.

So do I think that Jesus still loves you if you wear pants? Of course!! He loves us so much. I don't think being a christian is about "rules" but if we love Jesus we will want to be obedient to Him.
1 John 5:3
And we are blessed by being obedient.

I hope this helps someone. I know it is a touchy subject and I hope I haven't come across as mean, but i really feel it is important to share what God has shown me in His Word.

mrl said...

awesome report christie.although i agree 110% with anonymous with no reservations, that is the most complete wholesome presentation on the matter filled with truth, humility and love i have ever heard.

Anonymous said...

kudos christie on a well prepared study.bottom line........ the closer your walk, the more your convictions. have you ever done an extensive of a study on a women covering her head in church ( or out for that matter)?

Anonymous said...

The point is not to EXLUDE people from becoming a Christian through very SMALL differences. Some people will shy away if you start throwing all these micro-management details or rules at them.

Let Jesus deal with their hearts when they and and the LORD are ready.

No need in DIVIDING the body.
Some believe in the rapture, some don't. Personally, I don't... but to someone who does, then I'm going to be judged accordingly in their eyes as 'not a Good Christian' or 'misinformed'.

blah to all of that.

More coming together. Less tearing apart by minor details.

To each and every person, let the LORD be their guide.

Me? I'm sick of the division.

Christ is my life. Not the way I dress. If the Lord has a problem with my attire, then I expect that he'll inform me through the Holy Ghost.

I love all of you no matter how you choose to dress yourselves. I see you as part of the body.

I'm assuming Christ feel the same.

Esther said...


It is really sad that your friends felt awkward, but I'm sure that no one said anything to them about their wearing pants, or treated them badly. Most of the women at our church wear pants regularly,(though some don't to church.)

Perhaps they were uncomfortable with being around people wearing skirts??? Some people dislike the weirdness...

Esther said...

Anonymous (the one who posted the 1st & 3rd anonymous comments),

I think you must've misread my post; I didn't ask my friend to wear a skirt.

(I did, however say that it'd be a good idea to wear a shirt, and I guess you could use the same comments about that, but at any rate...)

Pastor has never (that I can remember) asked people to change their personal dress code. Even at church I think he is fine with people coming wearing jeans.

I've only heard him ask people to dress differently on youth trips, youth camp, or when being in some kind of ministry position e.g. when singing in the choir he requests that the women or girls wear a skirt & the men & boys wear pants at the time that they are singing, (Because those people are a representation of the church.)

And like I mentioned it is not made a big deal of if the girls wear jeans anyway. We have had people come to sing in the choir wearing shorts and they were definitely not asked to step down. There might be a few rules, but that doesn't mean kindness has been thrown out.

You said, "God gave us a brain. Religion and religious thoughts and 'standards' are a lie." And maybe they are to you, but that doesn't mean everyone who chooses to live differently is condemning others or "EXLUDE[ing] people from becoming a Christian."

In a previous comment on another post, you said " i don't get involved because i am not like those people, besides the fact that i love Jesus Christ. so i stay away. in the long run, it has turned out better that way.”

Is it possible that you are choosing to exclude yourself rather than being excluded by others?

(I might say something to C. AKA the 2nd anonymous commenter & mrl later. Btw C. where did mrl come from? Does it stand for something? )

SharriBeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SharriBeth said...

Wow.... I hate how serious this topic has to be. For me it's simple, just because you wear pants doesn't mean you can't have a relationship with God and just because you wear a skirt doesn't mean your any better then the ones that wear jeans or have a closer relationship with God, it just means that everyone has their own convictions.

Christie said...

Thanks mrl and anonymous for being very kind about my comment. Usually people who disagree get angry.

I certainly don't think we should divide the body of Christ.

My point was that I believe that the Bible does have something to say about the way we dress. You may agree or disagree with my study of the Bible. I challenge you to study it for yourself. But if I am right about it, then wouldn't we have to dress that way because the Bible says that it is right? As Christians, don't we always strive to obey the Word of God, even if it is hard on our flesh?
For example, Ephesians 5:24 says: "Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."
That is pretty hard on my flesh. Especially while building a house. lol But I am trying my best.

But that said I love everyone at church and I don't look down on the women who wear pants. I hope that I come across in loving manner. I don't see anything wrong with teaching people how to dress, act, ect as long as there is a Biblical basis and not some made up rules. I also don't see a problem with dress code at church functions since we are representing our church. There again as long as it is biblical.

Btw, some people have been quite mean to me because i don't wear pants. And those people were church people. So it definitely goes both ways.

I haven't done an extensive study on head coverings. In 1Corinthians 11:15, the Bible says long hair is her covering. So I do have long hair for that reason. I don't think wearing a head covering is necessary but it is not a sin either. So i would wear one if my husband asked me to or if i ever visit the Mennonite church.

Anonymous said...

None of my comments were directed at anyone in particular. They weren't even really directed at your post, but I felt the Lord leading me to say something, so I did.

I never said our Pastor is anything less than wonderful.
I love him.

As far the post about religion and religious 'thoughts or dogma' dividing people... well, I've seen it happen time and time again. At our Church and at others. I'm not saying that people who do certain things are telling others to do the same. I am just giving the warnings against.

It's a very dangerous thing to do. People are fragile.

As far as excluding myself from certain 'groups' or 'niches', nah I've done my analysing. I love all who attend our Church, but all I was saying there was that I choose not to get involved with little 'groups' because I am really am not like those people and feel uncomfortable. Doesn't mean I don't love them.

I never meant to start a war. All i wanted to do was make a statememt.

Please, let's not divide the body of Christ. Its time for it to come together. We don't all have to be best friends... or even friends at all. All i want is for Everyone to understand that Christ will welcome them with open arms no matter what they have done or do. That includes dress.

That's my last post.
Hope I made some sense.

trying to set it right said...

i was going to just let this go,but it seems there was way too much confusion on the subject that i felt compelled to explain myself.( not to mention i need practice working on typing and "grammer" skills as it becomes painfully obvious to my readers).my "the closer your walk the more your convictions" was painfully misunderstood. so let me let you look at it from another angle.
i wanted to get closer to the lord. i started to search myself to see what i could do to accomplish that. i decided to quit drinking alchololic beverages cause i thought it may hinder my witness to employees and colleages. as a result of my decision to get closer to the lord i now have an identifiable outward manifestation to those who know me as a result of my decision. i likewise decided to quit smoking.(another manifestation).also,i no longer go into the convienance stores, post office, ace hardware, or anywhere else without a shirt on.( yet another outward manifestation). is it obvious yet where this is going and what i meant. i never meant that you were closer BECAUSE you wear sneakers when i wear flip flops.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I owe an explanation (I am the girl this was posted about) When we were talking about going to six flags,I had asked ''Do we have to wear anything funny?'' that wasn't meant toward a dress code. I said that because a few weeks or so before six flags the church had went to a UT football game, and one of the guys had stated that we all had to wear UT jerseys,( I knew he was joking of course ) and so when I asked that question, I was referring to the joke made about the game, NOT skirts. I personally do not feel awkward being different in the way that I dress, its the way I feel convicted, I do try to at least be respectful and wear more modest things at church functions, I don't feel shunned by anyone, I feel loved, even though I am different, I once went to a church where my and one of my siblings were frowned upon for hugging the other kids, they were side hugs mind you! so I don't feel like I am being judged and maybe I am but as far as feeling like it I don't. The end.

Anonymous said...

I also want to mention, that I wasn't very clear and didn't tell Esther that I was talking about the game and not a real dress code, I had only said I was joking. I should have elaborated, and been more specific, I felt really bad afterward because I thought I may have hurt one of the sweetest girls I've even known.

Esther said...

Hi friend, :)

No you didn't hurt me. And you didn't act angry or anything at all ike that.

You were quite understanding and cool with everything.

Was more that I was worried about having hurt you.

Also when pastor preached that, "Church people need to stop telling my church people what to do. That's my responsibility," I freaked a little.