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    Sunday, July 16, 2006

    Take me as I am, or else


    Initially the philosophy went something like this: “It doesn’t matter how you dress; what’s important is that people come to the service.” The come as you are attitude took root because hippies wanted more than a drug-induced high; they wanted to get high on Jesus. So a number of them started attending worship services and were summarily snubbed by congregants who were put off by their grungy clothes and hair. Hence, non-denominational churches did away with any sort of dress code. The plan was to make visitors feel like they fit in. It worked!

    link

    Here’s the difference between then and now. Hippies may not have washed their hair or spit shined their sandals for church, but they showed up fully clothed.

    The problem with the “Christians are cool” approach is that followers of Christ aren’t supposed to be cool; they’re supposed to be holy. But few pastors preach on holiness these days. Even though we serve a holy God and are called to be holy as He is holy, the message of sin and repentance has been diluted to appeal to the “felt needs” of today’s self-absorbed audience. People want to leave the church feeling good about themselves. No one wants to hear anything “negative” anymore. “That’s what liberalism is,” says Gene Edward Veith, “changing your theology to fit whatever the culture is.”

    The problem is, our culture is morally bankrupt. Still, the Church bends over backwards to blend in with our hedonistic society. Is it any wonder that professing Christians find purity and righteousness passé? The fact that many churchgoers don’t care what God thinks about their character and behavior is obvious by the way they dress, the way they talk, what they watch on TV and see at the movies, the books they read, and the music they listen to.

    So, is a Christian’s behavior and character important to God? Absolutely! Here are two examples of what He requires of His people:

    “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity…because these are improper for God's holy people” (Ephesians 5:3).

    “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12).

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