Adornment, amusements, and social activities conducted within the church are topics, today.  Believers are to be in the world, yet, not of it.  The clothing believers wear can neither ensure their salvation, nor of itself seal them in condemnation.  Many believers are committed to a process for increasing the church that relies upon connecting to outside the congregation upon their own carnal, material, and social level.  Even so, judgment remains the exclusive province of Christ partly because there must be a weighing of things that are subtle (i.e., barely visible; having hidden shifts in meaning and value), and that have no physical substance such as comprehension, divine prerogative, and eternal purposes.  Those within communities of faith also may derive benefit from amusements such as family entertainment, ice cream socials, singles activity, and Super Bowl parties.  However, just as accountability and intimacy within the home generate a different standard for shared activities to entertain and refresh the family, recreation within the body of believers that appears in the public forum should always continue circumspection and restraint.  To avoid misrepresentation of the spiritual body, leisure behavior should only be shared in private settings, and not events open to the public.  Consider again the following from the Bible, and the comments appearing below:  John 7:  24, King James Version (KJV):  24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.  Also, 2nd Corinthians 13:  5, KJV:  5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.  Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?  2nd Corinthians 4:  15-17, KJV:  15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.  16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! 7 Answers” (Australia) using the ID “Anonymous” (profile information withheld) posted the following:

 

Christians: What are your thoughts of this Protestant church promoting the wearing of sports jersies to their weekend services?

Crossroads Fellowship Church

Saturday, November 7 | 5:00pm
Sunday, November 8 | 8:30am, 10:00am, & 11:30am

Wear Your Favorite Team Jersey to Church!

How do you feel about this? Show your team spirit by wearing your favorite team jersey to church!

Come prepared for worship and game day fun!

 http://www.crossroads.org/story.aspx?storyid=1125

Update:  Do you see this as an abomination? A desperate marketing tactic perhaps?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.  And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;  To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.  To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak:  I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.  And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection:  lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.  (1st Corinthians 9:  19-27, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Not A Matter Of Opinion? (04/24/2014); What Faith Makes Possible (04/25/2014); Worship Wear? (01/23/2014); Mankind Destroyed? (01/24/2014); Are Holidays Bad? (11/16/2013); Denying GOD by Eating Shrimp? (11/17/2013); Will GOD Bless My Team? (12/31/2012); Put Every Man His Sword By His Side (01/01/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, in the effort to create an atmosphere of mutual acceptance, suspension of being judged by others, and unconditional love, many congregations of Christian believers now appear to operate without the strict dress codes and standards that once distinguished church goers and Christian believers as “sanctified” (i.e., set apart for the exclusive use of divinity).  For those in relationship with GOD through Jesus Christ, it is important to address such doctrines and themes as release from the strictures of Old Testament law; new life by apprehension of divine spirit content; new covenant grounded in righteousness through faith as well as discerning sameness and difference for the spirit of divine law and its letter.  Even so, there is never to be a total abandonment of discipline, regulation, and shared truth that establishes stability.

Correctly understood, sanctification proceeds only by operations of GOD, and is not the product of indoctrination, intellect, logic, and reason.  Believers experience excitement joy, and zeal as they acquire sacred knowledge and gain mastery through sacred practice (we say, observing sacraments).  However, these are aspects of the character, nature and spirit that make up divinity; and are not the same as emotion, excitement, fanaticism, and passion that characterize carnal and finite being.

Correctly received, assembling and church attendance are gifts and sacred events from GOD wherein believers are granted access to the divine presence, and opportunity to be in shared communion and direct exchange with Deity.  Mature believers “put their best foot forward” and wear their “Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes” as acknowledgment, and an outward demonstration of inner order, propriety and respect toward GOD.  What they wear is not intended for boasting, showing off, and vainglory.  Their attitude, mind-set and motives are directed to knowing and pleasing GOD.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, believers have to be careful to avoid the trap that baits them into judging others.  Because all believers must gradually develop and grow, everyone who participates in a gathering at the church does not come being on the same level of commitment, devotion, maturity, and understanding.  All appear because they are confessing their need for change, correction and growth.  The welcome is equally to those seeking peace and rest as it is for those seeking their place as disciples, laborers and workers for the kingdom.  What appears as casual dress and clothing more suited to play often has been chosen for its value as a lubricant to contact (i.e., familiarity, recognition, remembering), being in proper uniform for hard work, and a lever to interaction that will nourish the body.)  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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