Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The biggest candy bar from God ever!

I came across this post in a round about way.  While listing items on eBay this morning, I listened to the sermon by Dr. Rosenbladt and was in tears half way through.  I wanted to scream and yell, "YES!  THAT'S something to get excited about!!  Unbridled, Unconditional, Unrestrained LOVE!  THAT'S how God loves us!"

And while the sermon was incredible, the comments were pretty incredible as well!  In an answer to one commenters fear of "drowning in grace" (what better way to go?!?!)
"If anything we are far from being ‘immersed in the law’ today, and are drowning in the grace message. You can’t have one without the other, and a quick look at the times around us and I think our time would be better spent exposing the cheap grace message and what the evidence is of a truly saved person."
Commenter Ted wrote
kate, let me ask you this. When was the last time you cried yourself to sleep at night because you feared for your eternal soul that you did not believe nearly enough to be saved? Or that your third baptism didn’t take and you may need a fourth? Or that your seventh time at the altar call might not have been enough because you continue to see sin in your life and you don’t desire Jesus enough, because if you did your sinful behavior would change?
After studying, praying, consulting with pastors and teachers and reading essays and books, and no matter what you do or how much you study and try to “come to Jesus”, you continue to live in sin and just fail, fail, fail. So you lie in bed at 3:00am in the morning, curled up in a fetal position, shaking and weeping in the most horrific terror, certain that you are hell-bound no matter how much you try to reach out to Christ because you just can’t “get it right”?
That's it!  The frustration!  The fear!  The rules!  The righteous mask.

I came away from this wondering if those who would consider themselves "fallen away" have really fallen away from their initial belief that it's Christ alone who saves them for Himself OR are they fallen away from the constant demands for "holy living", for "separation".  Demands made by fellow believers that they tow a certain line.

Commenter Ted finished up with
"I would recommend you spend less time evaluating other people’s faith and joyfully go about your daily vocation in the knowledge that not only was Christ’s blood sufficient to cover the sins of the despairing people I just described, but also yours as well. I just hope that proper teaching and preaching of the sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection finally reach these poor folks’ ears before they walk away from the faith entirely." 
Nothing left to add to that!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Proud to be Modest?

Among fashion bloggers, there are numerous subsets.  There are the vintage lovers, the retro pinup set, the high fashion high dollar bloggers.  And there's also a set of modesty bloggers, showcasing their love of fashion married to their religious conviction on modesty in dress.  I've even come across several Muslim bloggers who highlight their fashion while adhering to strict "hijab" rules of dress.  (I hope I've said that correctly.  My intent is not to offend.)  

Elaine, a modest fashion blogger of Clothed Much posted this article from Jezebel on Twitter.  Apparently there is a website that asks the question, "Is this modest?" and then proceeds to answer said question.  This is how Jezebel describes the site.
"Is This Modest" is a website that claims to promote an open and practical dialog about modesty, but it's actually a male-gazey compendium of creepshots of high schoolers and misogynist rants about too-tight t-shirts. Is it possible to have a sane discussion about modesty? Not if modesty means, as it does on this site, that it's a woman's responsibility to prevent men from thinking impure thoughts. 
I tried to check it out for myself, but the site is now displaying a "under construction" sign.  But it does get me thinking about the modesty discussion and the thing I keep coming back to is that modesty is an attitude.  An attitude that is expressed in our demeanor, dress, conversation, etc....  So it seems paradoxical to take pride in one's modesty.  

There's a verse in the New Testament that seems to be on repeat in my head.
and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. (1 Thess. 4:  11-12)
 Mind my own affairs.   Wow!  That's not something I've spent a lot of my opinionated life doing.  But this is what plays in my head when I find my thoughts ever focused on what SOMEONE ELSE is doing.  Tending to myself and my own issues and trying to HELP not FIX someone else is more than a full time job.

I get it.  Both sides think that they are helping.  Modesty proponents believe that they are helping women to stop relying on their sexual attributes.  They also, I'm sure, believe that they are helping men, because, Hey, if women would just stay covered, men wouldn't have sexual thoughts about them!  (There is just soooooo much wrong with this theory!)  Those who decry such modesty based websites as misogynistic, believe that they are liberating women from being viewed as sex objects.  Often overlooking, however, how even the most feminist of feminists will jump at the chance to be portrayed as lust worthy.

Look, we're all flawed.  We ALL need help.  But that help is never going to come by finger pointing, judging and ostracizing one another in the name of a self proclaimed mission.  Both sides offer valid view points, but at the end of the day, it's our OWN selves we are responsible for.