11 September 2007

God's Gotta Change Her Heart

Last night we went to a homeschool skate with a different group, although some of our friends from the local group met us there. It was fairly pleasant. I was the first to arrive of our grouping, and found myself the only woman wearing pants in a gathering of pentecostal women. The first alarm bell was when we brought in our Christian music CDs, and were told that this particular group stopped allowing anyone to bring music and now had two CDs that they used, and the owners were not allowed to play anything else for the skate because they had rented the rink for the homeschool skate night. No biggie - it ended up being praise and worship music that could be skated to fairly well, but my kids were a little disappointed.
Kendra brought her punk-haired friend Michael, wearing a t-shirt that said "Disturbed" and jeans with holes throughout. There were a couple of boys who I know are raised in very conservative, pentecostal homes who treated him just like he was one of the guys - and that was so cool.
There was another girl that came in wearing tight black biking shorts and a tank top. I noticed only because she stood out in the flurry of long skirts and uncut hair. Although quite tall, she was one of the last ones left when they did the limbo.
At some point in the evening, a lady who had coordinated the homeschool skate walked over and introduced herself to us. She said she was glad we had come, and then commented that they noticed a few "visitors" were inappropriately dressed, and that they would have to figure out something to do about that. WHAT does she think they are going to do about what other people wear? I have been furiously angry since I got home last night over this - and a line from a song on the new Casting Crowns CD keeps running through my head "God's gotta change her heart before he changes her shirt." To paint the picture in words, the young woman didn't have any of her body exposed - she was just wearing form fitting athletic clothing for skating. I passed her as we walked out and stopped to look her in the eye and congratulate her for her longstanding in the limbo game, and she was beautiful. Maybe she just doesn't know it yet. Maybe she doesn't realize that she is priceless in the sight of a Father who loved her and cares about her and has immeasurable value - that the appearance of her body doesn't even play into.
I am sick to death of this brand of Country Club Christianity. People like that need to get an island.

Post note: I was thinking about this in the shower this morning, and remembered something I was telling my kids last night. There are some kids they have met who behave as if they are "better than" Christians, judging others for listening to certain music or reading certain books or seeing certain movies - and they have had a hard time with it. We talked about the danger of having a bias against someone who has a bias against you being equally wrong. My rant was put in check remembering what I told them - which doesn't change that the issue is wrong, but helps me keep my attitude in check. Maybe I'll send a care package to the island.

9 comments:

  1. Great post Julie. I get mad in the face of attitudes like this too, but always try to remind myself that it tells me more about the person with the attitude than anything else. Those who are legalistic are usually afraid, I find. They do not seem to be trying to grasp the reality of God's grace. I appreciated what you had to say and how you examined your own heart too. I love the line from the song.

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  2. We've been running into this a lot with Carly's volleyball team. It is extremely offensive to me. I never thought I would get so far from my conservative upbringing, but I can't help being glad.

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  3. Great post! I definitely think that if an event is being hosted by a more conservative group, all the attendees should respect the hosts beliefs, but the hosts also have to accept that not everyone is as conservative (or liberal or whatever) as they are. It would be a great time for the hosts to share their beliefs and values with the visitors rather than chasing them away because they dress less modestly or have a punk hair style.
    I tend to get angry and frustrated with people/groups who espouse God's love but don't have it for others. Don't they realize that Jesus himself got down with the poor and the beggars and the prostitutes (who I'm sure were no more modestly dressed then than they are today) He didn't decry them because they weren't as 'good' as he was, he helped them and he loved them.

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  4. Your post really moved me, as it spoke directly to something that happened to my friend recently.

    Jesus loved the scandalous women, and didn't forbid them to come near him....he knew that only by coming NEAR to Him....would they begin to change on the outside.

    My mom is not a believer. She's a bit crass, uses off language and dresses intersting. When she goes into a church....are they going to shut her out? How will she ever know His love....which is demonstrated by believers?

    makes me a bit ill to put it into a personal perspective.

    But I'm also siding with you that I can be judgemental ON the judgemental ones.....talk about irony.

    Doesn't it all come down to Grace at some point? :)

    Emily

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  5. I remember BEING one of the people that should be on the island. Legalism and judgment can creep in under the guise of wanting to "not be of the world" and before you know it you're not even of the planet. Hard to see the lost when our religious noses are pointed so heavenward. Being on the flip side now, I have to really gaurd against being judgmental about their judgment, but I usually run to the nearest exit when I'm around people like that.

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  6. I guess it all depends on the purpose of this skate. Is it to reach out to all homeschoolers? Or is it an activity for a particular religiously associated group? It really does make a difference!

    I can see their concern in someone being dressed "inappropriately" or immodestly or just not up to their standards. Especially if it could be a stumbling block to other children in the group.

    However, if this is their MAIN concern, then they just need to have everyone sign a statement of faith and dress code. THEN say something about it. You're either open to all homeschoolers or you're not.

    But come on! It's like inviting the unsaved to church or those who have never before set foot in church and then chastising them for not being dressed "right." Uhhh... what's the big picture here? What is MOST important? Their salvation... the other "stuff" will follow with discipleship.

    You have to first show others that you love them before they care anything about what you have to say or what you believe.

    Maybe they're ignorant of how someone else would take what they're saying. Grace can be learned. Sometimes it takes a good example. :-) Maybe that could be you?

    Love,
    Marsha

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  7. Great post! I too have zero tolerance for those that are legalistic. I suppose going to as relaxed of a church as I do, is why. On any given Sunday you see all kinds of people going to our hurch, suits & ties and bikers in leathers. You'll even see some folks smoking a cig before coming into the building. Our Pastor is doing a series right now on the heart and mission of our church. It's how Jesus never drew dividing lines, He drew circles of inclusion.

    It's a shame that this group doesn't use this as an example of that! It's okay for them to dress and look like they do but to teach their kids how glad they are that there are others who want to know more about their Lord!

    What's that saying?
    "Don't be so heavenly-minded that you are of no earthly good!"

    Maybe they are so insecure in their faith that they think that their kids will be compromised for hanging out with "sinners & tax-collectors".
    Connie

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  8. Dear me, I hope the care package isn't addressed to anyone in particular. lol!

    My son gets it all the time. He wears a t-shirt and ripped jeans just about every day. Up until 2 days ago, he was sporting a full beard. He has long hair and wears this funky black hat. People assume they know his heart by the way he dresses.

    You know I completely agree with you on this. I always wonder if "better than" Christians realize that thinking that they are "better than" is against God's principles. Hmmmm....

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Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥