Saturday, January 16, 2010

Outward Appearances

Why are we as Christians (Believers in Jesus Christ) so concerned about outward appearance?

I am amazed at the mindsets of those claiming to belong to Christ. Some believe that women MUST wear skirts (not just at church gatherings but also at home) and that they must not cut their hair at all. What is sad is that they believe if they do not observe this, they will burn in hell.

Now I know that my attention will immediately be taken to Deuteronomy 22:5 regarding women wearing skirts which states: “ The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” (KJV)

My response to this is very simple... Brothers and sisters please understand that we are no longer living in the Old Testament or by the Law of Moses. Jesus Christ came in the flesh to fulfil this Law (Mat 5:17) so that we won’t have to and to set us free in Him!!! If we continue to believe that the wearing of certain clothing according to their design will either get us into or keep us out of the Kingdom of Heaven, then we are definitely putting ourselves under a curse and damnation...

Don’t believe me? Then read Galatians 3:10 which states: “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." (NIV)

Now regarding the cutting of hair, I know for certain that my attention will once again be taken to 1Corinthians 11:6 – “If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.” (NIV)

FIRST OF ALL, Paul does not state here that “IT IS a disgrace for a woman to cut her hair”, instead he says “IF IT IS a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved, she should cover her head”. This means that if according to our customs it is disgraceful for a woman to cut her hair then her head should be covered. But then again we should not be observing any customs or traditions of this world, because then we would be trying to please man and not God for customs/traditions are all manmade.

Furthermore if the above explanation does not “satisfy” you then just read a bit further in 1Corinthians 11:13 (Taken from the Amplified Bible) “Consider for yourselves; is it proper and decent [according to your customs] for a woman to offer prayer to God [publicly] with her head uncovered?” Here Paul clearly states that we should judge for ourselves and that he does not state 1Corinthians 11:6 as a command.

Even in the Old Testament it is stated that God does not look on the outward appearance of man in 1Samuel 16:7 – “But the LORD said unto Samuel, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (KJV)

So then my brothers and sisters, who are we to look on the outward appearance of man if our Heavenly Father himself does not even do this? Are we not supposed to look at everything through the eyes of our Lord? How can we claim that His Spirit dwells in us yet we look at outward appearances with judgement and not with love since the Spirit of God is love?

The compulsory wearing of skirts and the belief of a woman not cutting her hair are just two examples of external observance or of Christians looking at the outward appearance of man. Other examples include the belief that men must wear suits and ties in assemblies, men must have shaved beards, men must not have long hair (Samson comes to mind), the belief that other people must be able to see that one is religious and many others.

So ask yourself, “Am I really as close to Jesus Christ as I think I am?” Is your heart in the right place? Jesus said in Matthew 15:8These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me.” (AMP). Do not let this verse apply to you.


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