Adornment, dress codes, indignation, and freedom in the church are topics, today.  No mature Christian will agree that believers may enter the divine presence looking like a flash mob ready to destroy a convenience store?  The sacred collective created by Jesus Christ is a body made up of spirits, and is not just another social organization rooted in material existence, personal preference, private opinions, and selfish choice.  Churches do not have bouncers and security staff like night clubs, however, the deacons and ushers are empowered within the shared covenant to maintain necessary order.  (I recall a fellow ejected one Sunday, shouting that he was a child of GOD, and it was his right to “come as you are.”  They rebuked him saying, as a son he must practice obedience; and they were quick to literally lift him up and out.)  Developing believers often are surprised that clergy and officers within their own assembly are endowed with divine authority, and also must demonstrate the wrath of GOD against sin such that the behavior of church members may come under censure for what appear to themselves as arbitrary, and a simple “matter of choice.”  Rightly understood, those who willingly come to Christ do so surrendering choice and free-will submitting themselves to the diverse operations of GOD that pertain to having eternal life.  Trusting GOD, believers may encounter divinity in settings that range from the bedroom to the battlefield, from the chapel to the burial place.  Whatever the setting for praise, prayer, and obeisance, Christian believers seek to be sanctified (i.e., cleansed; set apart for divine service; made ready to be taken when the Savior comes to harvest his followers from the earth) at all times, and be seen by the Father covered through the blood and righteousness of Christ.  With this in view, believers offer and present themselves sharing gifts made acceptable by faith, gratitude, humility, love, respect, reverence, simplicity, and truth.  The fighter who uses the ID “Hugh” at “Yahoo! Answers” (Level 3 with 1,103 points, a member since March 10, 2015) posted the following:

 

Religion and spirituality. I was thrown out of church (by force) because I did not comply with the dress code, is this any way for men of?

the cloth to behave, as soon as he saw me started to go on about how I was dressed and I was a disgrace and that I was never to come back again…..You could have knocked me over with a feather when the Minister rushed at me screaming at the top of his voice ‘put your trousers back on you heathen’ and then threw me out. What has happened to the church in this day and age?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  (2nd Peter 1:  2-11, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Should Men Take Their Hats Off? (05/15/2014); The Issue Is Not Accuracy (05/16/2014); Worship Wear? (01/23/2014); Mankind Destroyed? (01/24/2014); Why Clothing? (10/15/2010); Known by GOD? (10/16/2010)

 

“Hugh”, a church is more than an abstraction or secular organization only when the believers faithfully discharge peculiar spiritual duties unselfishly sharing their personal resources (including knowledge, money, skills, talent, time).  GOD is to be approached as exalted, pure, and sovereign.  The casual behavior that many enjoy as harmless in other settings is specially regarded as abominable, filthy, offensive to GOD, and profane when occurring in the Sanctuary—the largest area of a worship place set apart for members and their guests to gather and welcome the divine presence.  Included are gum-chewing, gossiping, partial nudity and wearing clothing for sexual attraction such as shorts, skinny jeans, and swim gear, smoking, and whispering.  For Christian believers participation in the activities of their assemblies, congregations, groups for praise, prayer, service and study as well as for full communities of faith are governed by by-laws composed and adopted by the body as well as by commandments, examples, guidelines, and principles written in the Bible.  Those who voluntarily commit themselves to a church all are required to experience specific sacred events (e.g., baptism, confession, confirmation, instruction, offering, the ordinance of humility, the right hand of fellowship).  In addition to being present for various ceremonies, rites, and solemn rituals for worship, members are expected to regularly attend sessions for decision-making and handling the financial and practical affairs of the group.  Here are a few points from the holy writings that have helped born-again believers who must mature again understand their religious liberty, duty, obligation, and privilege:

(1.)  John 14:  23-27, King James Version (KJV):  23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words:  and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:  and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.  25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:  not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

(2.)  1st Timothy 3:  14-16, KJV:  14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:  15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.  16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

(3.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 14:  36-40, KJV:  36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?  37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.  38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.  39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.  40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

(5.)  1st Timothy 5:  19-22, KJV:  19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.  20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.  21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.  22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins:  keep thyself pure.

There are many other Scriptures that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and made a permanent part of ones own sacred knowledge.  (For example, (6.)  2nd Corinthians 13:  7-14, KJV:  7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.  8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.  9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong:  and this also we wish, even your perfection.  10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.  11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.  12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.  13 All the saints salute you.  14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Comments
  1. For K. L. Register, I have chosen to share an afterthought, here: Most believers must receive correction and added sacred knowledge, for in accordance with the flesh, most of us at first hold that by his death upon the cross, Christ destroyed ALL discipline, divine law, formal regulation, sacred tradition, and even the Ten Commandments. Such features as individual conscience, emotions, feelings, knowledge, instinct and intuition are mistakenly regarded as the appearance of the Holy Spirit. Born again, believers must “grow up again” (i.e., acquire discernment; become mature and perfected) meeting the same life challenges as others upon the earth. The kingdom of GOD is not the land of “do as you please.” It is the land of do as pleases GOD. Thanks for your response; be encouraged!

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