I find in our age, as any-other age, caught up in the trivial and choosing to take a stand on, and show no diversion to the things we decide not to obey or show reverence to. Christians have always been this way and I think until we are in the new heaven and the new earth we will stay thus, sinners.
I think hot button items move people to change, and or to give up on, their belief of what the Bible says and incorporate it in as an acceptable behavior. That is why the "hot button" sins of one age become part of the established values of the next. I think that we see this many times over, in the Bible. Samuel, who was a lifetime worshipper of God, who by any standards lived as closely as possible for God, had sons who were totally corrupt. We, as did, the children of Israel, pay the price for disobeying the Lord. The wilderness became the burial grounds of all of the men over the age of accountability because they, all but Joshua and Caleb, sinned over and over until God decided they would never enter into the promised land. Moses and Aaron each died with the rest because of sin, their children learned and honored God until Joshua died and then the next generation went right back to being corrupt, more so with each generation, the next building on the sins of his fathers so to speak. I believe as God says in the Bible, each man has to come to the Lord for himself of himself. We are after all called to be sons of God not his grandsons. Salvation is a personal relationship with God, non-transferable. Each generation, as each person, must come to God on their own as best we can.
Having said this I have spoke in the past about the hot button issues, our current buttons are many and not my focus in this blog. I have said before hot button issues of a hundred years ago, that were horrible sins are now acceptable and for the most part are part of most Christians lives. A hundred years ago abortion and homosexuality were not on our radar. They were in an up roar about mortgages, pensions and having credit. Surprised? you should not be, and for the record if they were a sin back then they are still a sin now. God does not change. Just contemplate that thought, maybe we should have stayed the course and our country would be the better for it, but alas I digress.... We as Christians have changed, interesting is it? We have forgotten what God wants most from us, faith, hope and charity/love. He wants us to have mercy on and care for our fellow man. He wants us to worry more about helping our neighbor succeed than us having huge fancy houses, new cars, clothes that fill up those houses and innumerable luxuries. God not only doesn't care how much you gather and have he, in more than one place in the Bible, warns women to not wear gold, braid their hair or wear fancy clothes while in his tabernacle. He says the flowers and birds are nothing and he never forgets to make sure they are fed, have nests and so, as he loves us more than they, we should never worry that God will supply our needs. Funny how we have gotten so far away from that thought.... Do we as Christians see to our fellowman or are we to busy getting and paying our mortgages to care what our neighbor does?
Do we help others, or are we worried about something that they are wearing, or not wearing is something we must judge. Do we judge without knowing what we judge? Do we care that a homeless man has no clothes, or only that he stinks and is making our building stink? Do we see something some one is wearing as they see it or through the stereotype that this age has become famous for? Do we ask why someone is wearing something or do we judge and know we are in the right of it and God is on our side? Do we even care what the reason is that someone is wearing something or wearing nothing at all? Is that really what God want for us? Shouldn't we help or at least ask why before we know that something is a sin and we are going to address that persons short comings?
I was asked yesterday to not represent my Church while wearing a "witch hat". I was completely taken off guard and aback. I must say in defense of this person they know nothing about Facebook and are not on it. He does not know that liking something in an open group or business does not make me a representative of the group. I was asked to like the group, did, and like I often do I asked others to like it so that the group gets out there never assuming I represented the group. If it had been a closed group I might have considered in a remote way that I was representing the group, or had I been one of the administrators of the group I would have been representing the group, but as a person asked will you like this? I was not a representative of the group which is the Church I go to. I simple liked the group with my Facebook profile and that is what set up the beginning of the problem.
That being said several months ago, for work, I was asked to wear a hat. I saw it as a hat. I don't believe witches, real witches have any real part in the stereotypical "witch hat". I actually looked into the history of 'witch hats' and they are a relatively new creation with most of our current thoughts and ideas coming straight out of the movie Wizard of Oz. Okay, I must admit I love the Wizard of Oz but don't consider it to have any real dark arts or occult, any more than any of the fairy tales with witches, princesses or princes. I did also find that most witches, real ones, have worn crowns, conical, pointed hats with antlers or horns. On that note, if witch hats are evil? Ever see a crown worn in church? Would it be considered like gold or braids? Is it occult? Does any of that come to mind? Maybe it should or maybe this should be a stereotype and dismissed as the nonsense such thoughts are. Okay, doesn't that bring to mind the pettiness of all of it? Yes and I meant it to be to make a point. I have digressed so going on.... During the dark ages there was a time when our stereotypical witch hat was the height of societal fashion and rich people wore them but like any other fad they went out of style and eventually the country folk got into wearing them but since that was so last year by then they were called what a modern person would call a "hick". The country woman who were herbalist and took care of their families and friend with herbs became known as "wise woman" or witches, never the satanic kind. I can relate to this currently doing just this for my family and friends, and I am not a satanic witch any more than the woman who healed their families and like them, so maybe the hat is appropriate for me more than I had dreamed. I think I can feel proud about wearing a hat once sported by my sister herbalist. To make a long story sort of short.....
My friend took a photo of me, with the hat on and gifted it to me. The expression on my face clearly says I am skeptical of wearing the hat. As I was. However the picture of me, not the hat, is one of the best I have ever had taken of me. I was honored that my friend gave me the photo and the Lord saw fit to have my father looking out of my face back at me, in the photo. I never thought I looked so like he. The photo came to represent the Love of God, my father's, and my friends to me; not some one's idea of a stereotype. It is me wearing a hat and it is just a hat. I am not changing my Facebook profile photo, which means a lot to me now on many level, so I can like a page that I do not represent, but did have a lot of respect for and wanted to joyously share with my friends.
In an aside, and it is sort of a bazaar thing, the person who objects to the hat admittedly hates halloween. I was truly surprise, when I accidentally found out the first year I knew him, that he bought candy and distributed it at halloween. My sister asked me if I had taken the kids by his house I said no I thought he would have had his lights out (the universal message that you don't believe in halloween) but no he didn't to my utter shock. I am proud to say he didn't distribute candy this year he took his wife out and did not participate in something that was so hard on his soul. That begs the question in, my mind, how is it that me wearing a hat, he calls a witch hat, which I never did, in a photo and liking a page on face book make me a representative of my church but distributing candy to a whole years worth of trick or treater's doesn't make you a representative of your church, especially when you believe halloween is satanic? I say it is really not any of my business and don't for moment want an answer because no one should ever have to answer to me, unless you are my child and you did something I need to know about..... I say a hat is a hat, and judging, either is always wrong if you don't want your own actions to be condemned by the one who truly has the right to judge your heart and actions.
In closing I want to say we Christians get so caught up about a tree that we miss the beauty of the forest. Being a Christian is so rewarding. I feel so loved of God that his glory keeps my soul in unspeakable joy. A joy that can't stay closed up in my little dust of the earth body, it has to seep out and tell all of the glory of Salvation in Christ Jesus. Today could be the day of your salvation, wouldn't that be something glorious to blog about, imagine you saved and know that heaven will be your home.... tomorrow.