How Liberty of Conscience Looks in Yoga Pants

Brad Littlejohn made a thoughtful contribution to the great pink hair discussion here, and he was going great until he got to the part about what binding consciences actually looks like. But his beginning was really strong—he sees that pastoral work centers on numerous applications of first century principles to twenty-first century tangles.

“To preach and pastor effectively, the minister must be waist-deep in the stuff of everyday life, the myriad personal, social, political, and cultural challenges that confront his congregation and that at every point draw them closer to or drag them further from the face of God.”

The task is one of casuistry, and only a simpleton legalist would think that figuring these things out is easy or automatic. But then, because some of the situations are difficult, and wise men leave space for differences of opinion, it is assumed that all such situations are equally complicated and that it is necessary to leave that same “room to differ.” But let me give you a short list of such things, some of which I think should be discussed charitably—for are these things not complicated?—and others of which I think the preacher should only address from the pulpit if he is willing to throw his necktie over his shoulder while hopping around in a denunciatory fashion.

Using birth control. Yoga pants on people who can’t afford to be seen that way. Hard-R movies. Yoga pants on people who can afford to be seen that way. Thirty-year mortgages. A tattoo of a .357 Magnum. A tattoo of a tiny butterfly on a suburban mom’s ankle. Pink hair, there we go. Unwillingness to come within thirty yards of gluten. Septum piercings. Septum piercings with a bone through it. Posting 328 photos of yourself on your Facebook page, with at least a third of them trying to capture that sultry look. Using earbuds to create a day-long musical cocoon for yourself. Rolling your own cigarettes and smoking them ironically.

Now everything on this list is (at a minimum) challenging, and some of them are way over a line that every pastor ought to have clearly established in his own mind. But wise pastoral responses will vary, and they will vary according to the importance of the issue, and the clarity of biblical teaching on the subject. Keep that last phrase in mind—does the Bible address the subject directly?

In his piece, Brad defines conscience-binding this way:

“Speaking more loosely, however, and from the subjective viewpoint, conscience-binding happens whenever a believer thinks, based on what another Christian (often a pastor) has said that they must act in a particular way or else incur divine wrath.”

But left out of this equation is whether the pastor is correct, and whether the believer would be right in thinking what he now does based on what the pastor says. And this goes back to the clarity of the scriptural teaching.

As I look at how the apostle Paul gave instructions to Timothy on how to make sure his ministry in the church of God was orderly and pleasing to God, I cannot escape the conclusion that how the women adorned themselves was an important element in it—“likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire” (1 Tim. 2:9, ESV).

Now I could look at this passage, and apply it woodenly, and crack down on a cute ten-year-old girl who did up a braid with a red rubber band. Or I could do what I actually do, which is to interpret this passage as prohibiting ostentatious display. That is the principle. Some women in the first century would go in for ornate braiding systems, with jewels braided in, and then top it off with gold dust sprinkled on. Okay, don’t do that.

Here in the twenty-first century, who is responsible not to be the ostentatious display? Well, the women. Who is responsible to exhort them, as needed, not to be the ostentatious display? Well . . . the pastor.

And when the Westminster Confession addresses liberty of conscience, a truly precious thing, it says that “God alone is Lord of the conscience” and that He has “left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men” (WCF 20.2). This is quite true, but urging women to dress modestly and with self-control, summoning them to avoid becoming a spectacle, is not a doctrine of men. Paul teaches it and Peter teaches the same (1 Pet. 3:3-4). Isaiah makes fun of the women of Zion strutting their goods at the mall (Is. 3:16). How is it possible that we have fallen to the point where we think that feminine modesty is a private choice and a private choice only? This is more than sub-Christian—it is sub-pagan.

The Confession, again wisely, cautions against the tendency that we have virtually surrendered to.

“They who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, do practice any sin, or cherish any lust, do thereby destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life” (WCF 20.3).

Those who ape the world and its lust for autonomy, individuality, and the reinvent yourself vibe are doing what? They are destroying the end of Christian liberty. The foe of this liberty is not the pastor who warns Christians flirting with adultery (which is dalliance with the world, Jas. 4:4) away from the cliff edge. But we are so cowed that most churches wouldn’t know what to do in the most flamboyant of cases. Say a woman shows up at church in butt-hugging yoga pants (that say “don’t you wish”) and flaming neon hair (that says “don’t you dare say anything”). And the conservative church takes this as a signal to start guarding against legalism. What are we conserving again? C.S. Lewis commented on the phenomenon—confronted with a flood we break out the fire extinguishers.

I have a brief thought experiment for you, and it is not an experiment that is trying to see how far we can get with this “legal spirit” that afflicts us. Take one hundred Christian women who see no problem with neon hair, and who use it to celebrate their creative individuality, and who argue that it is an exhibition of their spontaneous love for Jesus. They are working on “spunky” and “creative.” Now take one hundred women who are deeply suspicious of that kind of thing, and who would never dream of doing anything like that themselves. They are working on “modesty” and “decorum.” Now fast forward 10 years. In one of our local churches we have a family that has decided to “transition” their 6-year-old boy into a girl. It is local, has made the front page of the paper, is being celebrated in the world, and all 200 women know the family involved. Here is your thought experiment. Will the percentages of disapproval in the two groups of women be exactly the same? If they are different, in which direction will the difference lie? By the way, this is not a hard question. As Dylan once put it, you don’t need to be a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing.

One last observation from Westminster. Liberty of conscience does not grant a license to publish or maintain “such opinions . . . such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity (whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation)” (WCF 20.4). Conversation here refers to way of life, or lifestyle. And how men and women relate to one another in community is one of the central features of our conversation.

And one last observation from me. When it comes to binding consciences, the fundamental question is or else what? The Bible teaches that some violations of the law of God are to result in church discipline. The man who took his father’s wife at Corinth needed discipline, not arguments. But the Bible teaches that a host of other problems with sin are be addressed via admonition and exhortation—and teaching and arguments and blog posts.

It is not binding the conscience to do so. It only feels that way to a narcissistic generation that is ill-accustomed to have their personal choices questioned in any way.

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Jane
Member

This is where I see the Achilles heel: “Take one hundred Christian women who see no problem with neon hair, and who use it to celebrate their creative individuality, and who argue that it is an exhibition of their spontaneous love for Jesus. They are working on “spunky” and “creative.” Now take one hundred women who are deeply suspicious of that kind of thing, and who would never dream of doing anything like that themselves. They are working on “modesty” and “decorum.” I know many Christian women who work on modesty and decorum, and are deeply convinced that a bit… Read more »

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

Words change over time and place too. “Spunky”, for instance. We understand what Pastor Wilson means but we might interpret the word as British slang and be mad at him. Words and hairstyle and dress all communicate and so reflect the communicator’s intent and skill. Part of the skill is sizing up the audience and its skill.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Not being highly invested in the conversation, I would add the following. I do think there are two issues at stake in this sort of discussion: 1) is the issue of motivation, and 2) is the issue of execution. In terms of 1: I think most people can understand an innocent motivation for the pink streaks example. In terms of 2: If the principle that governs Paul and Peter’s thought process is the principle “avoid ostentatious displays,” then one does have a rationale for equating unnatural hair coloration with ostentationess in a definitional sense, particularly to the degree to which… Read more »

Jane
Member

I’m not sure that your second point is solid. To demonstrate: is there some color of clothing that we should never wear? Nearly all clothing color is unnatural with respect to the color of our skin. ISTM that if there’s *necessarily* a color line at which something becomes an incontrovertible violation of ostentation for hair, there must also be for clothing. I really think it boils down to this: Drawing a line and saying everything on that side of the line is always a reflection of a negative heart matter, is a fool’s errand. The better errand is to cultivate… Read more »

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Paul draws a line in the sand. He is not simply criticizing motive, but execution. Agree?

Jane
Member

He draws it at pink hair?

Of course Paul draws lines in the sand. But if we’re making up our own, which is what we’re talking about here, we need to be sure they’re solidly partaking of the same principles that scripture uses. And that we’re not projecting our own thoughts (“I could never imagine dyeing my hair pink unless I was lost to everything and wanted to make a spectacle of myself”) onto someone else (“There’s some pink hair dye, that would look nice in my hair.”)

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

I’m trying to establish common ground.

Do you agree that there are two concerns in the passage, one is the concern of “intent” and the other is the concern of “execution?” In other words, people should have modest hearts, and modest attire. The example of immodest attire given is “elaborate braided hair with gold and pearl displays,” So, Peter and Paul’s instructions cannot be reduced to “heart motive.” Agree so far?

Jane
Member

Yes, I agree with that. I didn’t mean that we throw out all concern about execution. I am saying the problem of execution is more effectively dealt with by cultivating virtue and putting to death sin. Even Paul’s instructions tend toward that. Try this: A: X is not an action in keeping with modesty. Those interested in modesty should avoid it. B: If a person does X, the person is obviously interested in something other than modesty. I don’t believe that B either follows from A or is necessarily true, even when A is definitely true. And the original statement… Read more »

Jane
Member

To put it another way: If this were only a careful explanation of why pink hair doesn’t tend toward modesty, I’d be a lot closer to being on board with it. But from both Toby and Doug have been fairly clear statements, or at least statements that tend to be read this way, lacking qualification to prevent it, that pink hair is out because *if* you do pink hair *then* it is because you are XYZ kind of person or you have bought into XYZ kind of error. I would have been a lot happier with an explanation of why… Read more »

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

You said, “I didn’t mean that we throw out all concern about execution. I am saying the problem of execution is more effectively dealt with by cultivating virtue and putting to death sin. Even Paul’s instructions tend toward that.” This may or may not be true. My point would be that this is not Paul or Peter’s argument in the passages cited. They condemn a specific type of attire which is obviously and intrinsically “immodest” or “ostentatious” (which curiously is not at all revealing). In short, they say, “do not wear your hair like that, it is immodest,” and not… Read more »

Jane
Member

Well, of course, Paul and Peter don’t say that, but they’re not who I’m arguing with! My objection is not to questioning whether some hairstyles are immodest. It was precisely as I stated — conflating the wearing of immodest hairstyles, with being immodest. No room for ignorance, being deceived by the culture, simply being clueless about what you’re communicating, etc. “Yes I know that we are more comfortable with just dealing with intent and NEVER wanting to speak to execution, because right motive generally leads to right execution.” Well, yes, but I’m not saying that. “But, aren’t there some situations… Read more »

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Perhaps I wasn’t clear or you misunderstood the point of my contribution. I was only responding to this: There just seems to be a whale-sized assumption that there’s something about non-natural colors that cannot be compatible with an attractive, but modest, demeanor. I was making a relatively modest claim that neon pink hair can be understood as intrinsically immodest, and far further down the ostentatious scale than “braided hair, gold, and pearls.” Therefore, the argument would go something like, If Peter and Paul feel compelled to critique one intrinsically immodest form of hair, “elaborate braids with gold and pearls,” then… Read more »

Jane
Member

We’re pretty close.

I think I see what you mean — “demeanor” means outward appearance, so I can live with the dichotomy in that sense. I was using demeanor more broadly (and perhaps inaccurately) to mean “total package.” If pink hair is de facto immodest, then I guess you can’t have a modest appearance with pink hair. But I think a woman can come off more generally as a modest woman, while having pink hair — it’s just a mixed signal.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Sure. I absolutely agree that mixed signals are possible. I would speculate that they are probably rare. And I honestly don’t think the the case against the intrinsic immodesty of pink hair is hard to make considering what Peter and Paul are prohibiting.

But, maybe the third point is a harder sale for some.

Jane
Member

I’m not necessarily saying it’s hard to make. I’m saying it needs to be made. If you’re going to tell me I need not to do X in order to be obedient, you do need to tell me why X in particular is incompatible with obedience. Lay it out. Explain it. Otherwise you’re cultivating in me the habit of rule-following, rather than informing my conscience.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

So you are saying that our line should be drawn at gold, pearls, and costly attire?

My issue is that sounds like a line that would hit “politically conservative” churchgoers as hard or harder than “liberal” churchgoers…and thus it is being completely ignored.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Jonathan, Here is my understanding of the logic of the passage. Peter and Paul see women in their congregation who have their hair braided with gold, pearls, etc. and they observe that when these women walk in a room, eyes are instantaneously drawn towards the elaborate hair displays. Regardless of “intention,” this is what is happening. Some of these women may adorning themselves in this way because they crave the attention, others might be doing so for more innocent reasons. However, regardless of intention, the result is the result. The instruction is therefore given to address the “type of adornment,”… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Your entire interpretation seems to follow from bunching “gold or pearls” with “braided hair” and then ignoring “costly attire” entirely. And then you try to make it culturally specific in a manner that I’m not sure is justified. I looked at a lot of translations, and they don’t seem to agree with you. Instead, they appear to interpret Paul as listing three seperate things. * braided hair with gold * pearls * costly attire The common thread there is obvious. It’s also perfectly in line with Jesus’s words about not worrying about your clothes, and getting rid of possessions. To… Read more »

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

There are ancient pictures of this sort of thing. That is why the commentaries generally treat them as a package deal. That is why people often have an impulse to distinguish a 12 year old braiding her hair from an enormously wealthy queen displaying her wealth in gold, pearls, and an elaborate and costly hair style. The logic then goes: if the 12 year old braiding her hair is OK, then a modest bit of gold is OK, and so is a modest bit of pearls. Peter and Paul’s concern might not be to simply isolate each of the three… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

My interpretation is actually a combination of 1 and 3. Spending too much money on your clothing is materialistic, it is also immodest. It suggests an importance placed on clothing, and the social rank that clothing signifies, which Jesus specifically warns us off of. I tried to look up the kind of pictures you spoke of, and the articles I was led to confirmed my thoughts. They all say that these expensive hair styles and clothing choices were a sign of social rank, and that women were trying to one-up each other. That sounds far closer to today’s culture of… Read more »

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Sure, I just think 3) is more primary than 1), but materialism is clearly bad and expressed in clothing types, regardless of motive. I’m probably more in agreement with you than you might think.

Jane
Member

“2) gold, braids, pearls, are ok within reasonable proportion, Peter and
Paul are primarily addressing heart motives (perhaps Jane?)”

Not quite. I don’t think I can articulate the difference successfully, though. I’ll just let the record show that I don’t “own” that particular statement.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Bethyada has helpfully pointed out 1 Peter 3:3, which has the same list yet appears quite clearly reading it the way I am, with the braids and gold and costly attire being three separate points.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

This comment reflects a more specific interaction with the 2 passages:
http://disq.us/p/1i66l16

Can you interact there?

Would the “not even a hint of materialism” interpretation of Paul’s words reflect your view?

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Well never mind, I can’t get that comment to not be detected as spam. Can you interact with these two interpretations? With Peter, the focus seems to be mostly internal. If read by itself, it is difficult to come to the conclusion that Peter is forbidding certain forms of attire (the braiding of hair, gold jewelry, or clothing) due to the fact that if he was, then we would all have to walk around without “clothing.” Therefore, the main message seems to be something along the lines of “if you want to be attractive, focus primarily on having an attractive… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I would say that your breakdown of one focusing on the internal and the other the external is correct. But I don’t believe there’s any difference in the reason for it. One person might caution that the wearing of a particular tube top is done with the wrong intentions, and another might suggest that you reconsider because it has a bad effect on the guys. But the basic issue with the tube top is the same either way – it is exposing what it exposes because certain guys want it that way, and that’s an issue whether internally driven or… Read more »

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

In terms of your first paragraph:
I agree with the logic of what you are saying and people have to acknowledge the fact that Peter and Paul are appealing to the same basic thing.

In terms of your second paragraph:
Would you basically be arguing that Paul’s point is reflected by interpretation 1) I listed above?

not even a hint of materialism?

Anything that looks of materialism is waste. This has nothing to do with the appearance of it, but the cost and what it reveals of motive?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

If I understand you correctly, then yes, I agree with that, but I don’t know that can be fully separated from your 2) in the manner that you have seperated them.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Read the above breakdown then, and that explains why I think you have to pick one or the other.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

Apparently I can’t get a comment past the spam filter. If your interpretation of Paul is that Paul is forbidding those specific items as being fundamentally incompatible with Christian women who profess godliness with good works and not appealing to a well known “look.” Then I would say that there are certain implications that follow from that. The only reasonable interpretation of the passage would be to forbid any hint of materialism. One would need to be consistent with this. Wearing any gold is sinful. All braiding of hair is sinful. Wearing any pearls is sinful. Wearing any expensive clothing… Read more »

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

My point is basically that a person has to settle on whether Paul is critiquing a “look” or a “list.” Your conclusion will be based on historical awareness. Let me use an example that you might find horrendous. Suppose Paul lived today and said, “likewise also the men should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with gold-teeth and gold-chains, or wife-beaters, and baggy pants, but what is proper for men who profess godliness–with good works.” You have to decide whether he is critiquing the list, or critiquing a well-established “look.” If the “look” is in view,… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Again, I don’t think we can draw a direct line between simple and inexpensive. The very simple linen dress you might find admirable probably costs five times as much as a ruffly, shiny dress from Walmart. But I wonder how far you would take this. Does a good Christian woman buy from a thrift shop whenever possible? Should she make a point of dressing cheaply even though her professional workplace requires her to dress well? But, how do you address the argument that a public desire for “luxury” clothing provides employment to a great many people? What would you do… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think the good Christian woman should be a good stewart in her clothing choices. That involves a great many factors (cost, lasting quality, justly treated workers, sustainable product, multipurpose design, etc.) which keeps principles like “get it from a thrift store” from being advised. Though I do believe that we were far better off when we made most of our own clothes and repaired and reused them until they didn’t work as clothes anymore. All we can do to push back in that general direction, as opposed to cycling through new sweatshop mass-produced outfits each year and tossing them… Read more »

lndighost
Member

I’ve also noticed that simplicity costs. Maybe it’s the idea that a high quality fabric speaks for itself, whereas polyester needs ruffles and sequins.

A stern old saint I knew had very strong views on women’s clothing:

‘A believing woman has no business looking dowdy. How dare she? She is the King’s daughter!’

Jill Smith
Member

I like that a lot. My beloved Saint Claire of Assisi instructed her nuns that while it was their duty to be poor, it was also their duty to beautify poverty. I don’t think we are ever called to choose dowdiness!

One of the things I hate about modern nuns’ clothing is that it looks as if they have made dowdiness their number one goal. Traditional nuns never looked that way. It is no wonder that Catholic girls are heading for the religious orders that kept their habits!

Jill Smith
Member

Braiding as a separate point doesn’t make much sense to me, unless the braiding is understood to be a time-consuming process with an elaborate result. Nobody thinks that Amish girls wear braids to be worldly and ostentatious. Nuns made generations of schoolgirls braid long hair as part of a neat and disciplined appearance and to discourage vain little girls from flaunting their long curly tresses. Braids on a grown women do sometimes suggest an image to me but it is more to do with determined plainness and unworldliness than vanity. Would St. Paul’s teaching apply to black women who thread… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

If you saw my other breakdown, I pointed out that most of the translations for Timothy go with “braided with gold”, then have pearls and costly attire as separate points, but 1 Peter 3 has elaborate hairstyles and gold jewelry and fine clothes as the three problematic elements. So I see Paul’s first list item as being a combination of a very elaborate hairstyle with gold, not just any regular simple “braids”. I’ll say that I was shocked by the time and pain it took my Black friends to get hairstyles of that type. Then again, it stayed in place… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

I also find it pretty. But I also think a pearl necklace is pretty. And I don’t see much difference whether it is worn around my neck or used as a hairband. Paul wrote at a time when gold and pearls signified wealth and when there were no cheap imitations. If plastic beads are okay, I don’t see how we could say that a fake pearl hair clip from Forever21 is over the edge. Couldn’t Paul’s teaching be interpreted as forbidding any very elaborate style that takes too much time and money to maintain, drips with obvious displays of wealth,… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yes, I am 100% in agreement with everything you just said.

Jill Smith
Member

I meant to add, when you’re a woman expected to maintain a professional appearance, half an hour on hair every morning isn’t unreasonable. You try washing, blow-drying, using a curling iron or electric rollers, and combing it all out in under 30 minutes!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Which was just to prove my point that a 3-4 hour beading session might pay for itself in time commitment by the end of the week.

FeatherBlade
Guest
FeatherBlade

Used to be that women who wanted curly hair in the morning washed it the night before and slept on their rollers.

Jill Smith
Member

I am old enough to remember that, and it was really unpleasant! I used to wonder how I would manage when I was old enough to have a husband. Fortunately, electric rollers came along before a husband did.

Katecho
Member

Dunsworth wrote: The better errand is to cultivate the heart so that we’re not even arguing about when the line gets crossed. On a personal level, that’s a worthwhile errand, but we can’t naively assume that everyone is aiming to avoid the line. Some people (even fellow Christians) are deliberately trying to leap cross, or flirt with, the line. We shouldn’t be quick to jump to conclusions and judgments about intent, but neither should we ignore danger signals that are attested by other behaviors, particularly as parents and pastors. Pastors have a duty to emphasize that these lines of communication… Read more »

Jane
Member

I agree. The comment you quoted came in a fairly narrow context after a lot of back and forth. I’m in no way saying it’s unhelpful to assess outward actions.

jared
Member

The problem, I think, is in Christianity’s eventual acceptance of the cultural shift, regardless of whether it is good or ill. One can take the seemingly slippery slope approach that you demonstrate here to say, in another 20 years, it will be modest for women to be as shirtless as men in those particular circumstances (at the gym, for example). At what point does an individual’s “deep conviction” about a cultural norm become a violation of the biblical principle of modesty?

Jill Smith
Member

I don’t see how we can oppose pink streaks without also condemning artificial colors on nails. Modern manicures can have fancy designs and embedded sparkles and rhinestones. They call attention to a woman’s hands. They can be expensive. They can be intentionally ostentatious.

I think it would be hard to argue that women with “fun” manicures are more likely to be on board with gender reassignment for 6-year-olds.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

But hair is so much more visible than nails…

Jane
Member

It is? Maybe from a distance, but if you’re interacting with a woman in any way, the nails will be visible.

Bibcnsl
Guest
Bibcnsl

If a man or woman with fully neon pink hair walks in the room… most reasonable people will want to look… a woman with neon pink nails walks in a room… most people will not feel such a compulsion… this seems obvious

It is strange. It is different. It is unnatural. It attracts attention. It’s ostentatious.

Jane
Member

But again, “fully neon pink hair” is a much more specific statement than “pink hair,” which is my quibble with Wilson. I’m pretty certain he’s talking much more about the fully neon pink hair than about the cute pink streaks in mostly natural hair, but my objection is, he’s not making that clear. And by not making it clear, then he’s communicating something rather different from “don’t be ostentatious” and sounding a lot more like “these colors good, those colors bad.”

adad0
Member

So…..Donald Trump with orange hair, Miley Cyrus with pink hair, Bruce Jenner with long hair and Rachel Maddow with short hair all walk into a bar.

The bar tender says, “What is this? Some kind of joke?” ????

Ginny Yeager
Guest
Ginny Yeager

Perhaps a deep root to this problem is the lack of preaching about sin? If your starting point as a Christian is your sinfulness and your need for repentance, you are much more grateful for salvation and much more meek and humble and open to teaching about holiness (Heb 12:14).

Heidi_storage
Guest
Heidi_storage

I went to a pink-hair kind of church with generally very sound theology and good, Biblical preaching (but you had to wear earplugs during worship). Worldly people came and some turned to the truth–and some did not, though they gave the appearance of doing so. The ages of attendees skewed young, and I suspect that a larger proportion of attendees would approve of the transition than in my current, OPC church.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

I have a thought experiment, based on Wilson’s thought experiment:
What if, 100 years from now, the world views Christians the way it now views the Amish?

adad0
Member

Then we would look better to the world than we do now!????

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yeah, I actually think the Amish are respected for their integrity more than the average conservative Christian who otherwise is just going along with cultural trends.

Jane
Member

Maybe, maybe not. I know a lot of people, Christians included, who mock the Amish for their “hypocrisy” (by which they usually mean, “if I had rules like that, they’d be different ones, so theirs must be self-serving.”)

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Right, but if they are mocked and persecuted for a genuine commitment to Christ, that’s a blessing.

Jane
Member

Correct, I’m just saying I’m not sure that they are respected as much as you might expect.

And what I mean is, their commitment may be genuine, but people are more interested in finding reasons their own practice of not being Amish is more laudable (“because we’re not hypocrites”) than considering whether the Amish are doing something praiseworthy.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Actually, I was more of the mind of the world thinking of us “those weird people who don’t dye their hair pink.”

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I usually see them get respect in church circles (both conservative and liberal) for their willingness to stand by their convictions, clear trust in God, and commitment to forgiveness and nonviolence. I also see them get respect in organic farming and “we gotta get back to nature” and “self-sufficiency is important” circles. The places I see them catch haters are among those who don’t like critiques of technology (the ones that toss out “Luddite!” at people), among those who don’t like religion at all, and among those who are so particular to their brand of Christianity that they have to… Read more »

adad0
Member

If you live in Pennsylvania you would know better than I would.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Bingo. I’ll be passing out straw hats in the narthex if you need me.

adad0
Member

Not to mention that you are good to go on the beard already!????
(Me too actually!)

Now that I think about it, the Amish aren’t known for yoga pants or neon hair either!????

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb
Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

Some women dress like fishing lures.

Related fact: 50% of people are below average.

Like it or not, the population of fishing lure women is going to be skewed to the left side of that bell curve. And that’s a fact that has heavy implications for how pastors will have to approach this.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Well said, Bro Steve. And the LORD warns us there are hooks in those fishing lures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRKyHuCqs5g

Becky Pliego
Guest
Becky Pliego

And it is a good thing to remember that our conscience should not be the ultimate authority in our life. God’s Word should be. Which means that we all need to be training our consciences in the Scriptures. We need to want to grow and we need to want to change.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

It’s interesting to me that the plain, literal meaning of Paul’s command to Timothy is that women are to avoid gold and pearls and costly attire. Yet there are numerous churches you could walk into that would look askance at pink hair, but which are full of gold, pearls, and costly attire. And I can’t ever recall those things getting condemned, at least not in a legalistic, eternal manner. Is this another instance where the “liberal sins” can always be judged externally with no need to know the heart, but any sins which could potentially indict our own conservative members… Read more »

Evan
Guest
Evan

“It is not binding the conscience to do so. It only feels that way to a narcissistic generation that is ill-accustomed to have their personal choices questioned in any way.”

Ouch, that stung a little bit. Okay, alot a bit.

Bike bubba
Guest

One thing that strikes me is that when we’re talking about specific clothing choices and such, one great question is “why”? Some people are wearing those ill-fitting clothes because they’ve gotten to the end of the paycheck before the end of the month comes, some people are simply trying to draw attention. One’s approach is going to depend a lot on the reasons.

John
Guest
John

The problem arises when we’re approaching the issue by asking the question, “How far can I go without sinning?” Once you’ve asked that question, you’ve almost certainly already gone past it.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I certainly agree that that is ALWAYS the wrong question. The issue is that few people under the age of 30 think that pink hair is on some spectrum that eventually gets you to sin.

A better question might be if some people are subconsciously applying your rubric to their wearing of gold, pearls, and costly attire. How far do you think they can go?

John
Guest
John

That’s what I mean, though. If someone is getting a little pink in her hair because she thinks it look good, just like she might wear some makeup because she thinks it makes her look good, then I really don’t think it’s a problem. The tell would be her answer to anyone who challenged the look. She might answer, “I thought I would look pretty,” but she also might answer, “There’s nothing wrong with me trying different things. You shouldn’t worry about it.” I’ve heard both types of answers, and the latter suggests to me that the girl in question… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

It probably makes more sense to address individualism as a vice (more so in women who are called to modesty) than it does to chase down and codify each detail. How much drawing attention to myself is too much? Well, the less the better. Women used to police one another in this sort of thing before decades of pro-moxie anti-gossip sermons.

Jane
Member

If the sermons aren’t distinguishing between gossip and quietly taking a sister aside, the sermons are wrong. If you think there’s no difference, or that both are equally acceptable, you are.

insanitybytes22
Member

Well, here’s my problem with Pastor Wilson’s post. I am concerned about how we are radicalizing young men. I am concerned about how boys are falling between the cracks and shooting up schools,malls, and churches. I am concerned about the way so many on the Alt Right held up as a hero, a white supremacist who punched a young girl in the face. I’m concerned about the man in the neon yellow “Jesus will Judge You” jacket who was kicking people down on the ground in the head. Why in the world are you concerned about yoga pants and pink… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

I am concerned about the way so many on the Alt Right held up as a hero, a white supremacist who punched a young girl in the face.

What’s your concern? She wanted equality, she got it.

I’m concerned about the man in the neon yellow “Jesus will Judge You”
jacket who was kicking people down on the ground in the head.

Tell me more about this. All the info I saw indicated that’s what the communists were doing, not the Trumpists.

(I gotta get me one of those shirts.)

ashv
Guest
ashv
insanitybytes22
Member

No. I’m upset because my Christian men seem to have no idea what being a man is all about and once you lose that moral foundation, there’s really nothing in your society worth preserving anymore.

ashv
Guest
ashv

If your idea of “being a man” doesn’t include fighting antifa, I really have to wonder what your moral foundations are.

insanitybytes22
Member

Your antifa was an unarmed 5 ft teen age girl. Your hero,the guy who hit her, was a convicted thief with ptsd and a campus white supremacy program that’s been featured in the LA Times. His buddy was wearing a Jesus Will Judge You jacket. That is what is called misrepresenting Jesus Christ, wearing external adornment, and generally being a wanker, not yoga pants and pink hair.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Unfortunately she appears to have not learned to pick on people her own size.

I don’t expect our guys to be perfect. I’m not going to condemn something good a man does today because of something bad he did in the past. (Hence my appreciation of Trump.)

Anyway, how do you think Jesus was being misrepresented?

insanitybytes22
Member

“Your guys” seem to be convicted thieves with ptsd and an extensive record.

Thankfully he wasn’t wearing yoga pants or sporting pink hair, so I guess his purity is intact.

ashv
Guest
ashv

“And such were some of you…”

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

So, just to be clear, you condone punching a young girl in the face. Shout we infer that you would as well? Why don’t you tell us how Jesus was being rightly represented? I’d love to hear it!

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I condone bullies getting what is coming to them, yes. So when you show up as a mob to intimidate and harm people and destroy their stuff, and wind up getting punched… I call that justice. Well, half justice. She ought to go to jail, too.

Jill Smith
Member

I think that Jesus said turn the other cheek, not deck people whose views you find distasteful.

A man can be a good man, despite a past conviction for theft. A man who punches a woman in the face without urgent necessity is not a good man today. And “urgent necessity” should not be defined as showing uppity women where they get off.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You’re totally ignoring the fact that she attached herself to a mob of violent criminals. Being “uppity” is nowhere on the scene.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I think that Jesus said turn the other cheek, not deck people whose views you find distasteful.

So Christians should disavow anyone who fights back when attacked? At least one person got stabbed that day trying to rescue a guy that antifa had surrounded on the ground to stomp. Should he have just encouraged the victim to turn the other cheek, too?

There’s a wide gap between suffering personal abuse meekly and heaping scorn on people willing to fight evil.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Not enough upvotes in the world.

Jill Smith
Member

Yes, I agree that there is a right to self-defense and a duty to defend others.

And I agree that the proper way to fight the poisonous and evil nature of Damiga’s views is not through violence. I don’t think Antifa are well-intentioned; from the little I have read, they have no coherent philosophy. But even if they were, it is evil for them to use force to oppose the peaceful exercise of free speech. No matter how repellent the views that speech contains.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Why should Christians oppose laws against blasphemy?

Jill Smith
Member

I’m not quite sure what you mean. But surely you are not saying that it is legitimate for Christians, but no one else, to use force to prevent people they don’t like from engaging in free speech.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Not who, but what. My point is that “free speech” is not a Christian principle and it’s completely reasonable to prevent some things from being said in public.

Jill Smith
Member

Canada imprisons people who hold public rallies (or write articles) inciting hatred towards minorities. I’ve lived in the US long enough to think the Canadian approach is wrong. But many reasonable people think that among the things which should not be said in public are “Gas the Kikes, Race war now!” It seems to me that it takes a pretty strong commitment to the principle of free speech to make a normal person hear this kind of thing and walk on by. My point is that if you give one violent group moral permission to shut down free speech, you’re… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Given Canada’s slanted views on civil and religious liberties, I’d question their ability to determine who is inciting hatred and who isn’t.
http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/same-sex-marriage-and-the-persecution-of-christians-in-canada

Jill Smith
Member

I have followed the Trinity Western University case, and I think it’s important to note that the opposition to their proposed law school came from the lawyers who control access to the profession, and not from the government. In fact, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled in favor of TWU. The same issue arose a few years ago when the BC College of Teachers refused to recognize TWU’s teacher training program for the same reasons, and again, the courts ruled in favor of TWU. I think the court ruled properly in both cases. But it is true that the… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

The bigger issue is that targets of “hate speech” or violent threats are limited to, as you said, “Muslims, Jews, and racial minorities” (and of course LGBQT and whatever new letters have been added recently). When someone announces on Twitter they’re going to “scalp Nazis” and actually mean “assault Trump supporters and anyone else who challenges us,” is that inciting violence? Not when you have your SJW filters turned on. And the violent Leftists include “respectable” folk like uber-PC college professors.
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/04/new-video-antifa-member-professor-eric-clanton-beating-trump-supporters-bike-lock-media/

Jill Smith
Member

I absolutely agree that any declared intention to assault Trump supporters (or anyone else) is inciting violence. I don’t understand U.S. law about this. I have wondered why groups and individuals are not prosecuted when they cross the line between expressing odious opinions and advocating the use of force against identifiable targets. If someone urges people to create a violent disturbance at a pro-Trump rally, he should be prosecuted. Even if he is a professor of sociology at UC Berkeley. On the other hand, insofar as I am a liberal at all, I am a classical liberal who values free… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

I don’t understand U.S. law about this.

It’s not about law. It’s about “Who? Whom?”

(As a classical liberal, what is your position on restrictive covenants for real estate? :)

Jill Smith
Member

Don’t forget the qualifier “Insofar as I am a liberal at all.” I think property rights are important. But the right to make contracts and have them enforced by the state gives way to the state’s duty not to enforce contracts against public policy. You can’t expect to use the power of the state to keep people of color out of your subdivision.

I was surprised to see that even as far back as 1948 the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against enforcing such covenants in Shelley v. Kraemer.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The bigger issue is that targets of “hate speech” or violent threats are limited to, as you said, “Muslims, Jews, and racial minorities”

That’s an oft-repeated lie. The law makes absolutely no distinction between whether the target of a hate speech or a violent threat is a minority or not. In fact, there are hundreds of hate crime cases on the books where the targets were White people.

JP Stewart
Member

Again, these people showed up because people were getting pepper sprayed and attacked with sticks for showing up to a peaceful demonstration. I’m not defending the guy who punched “scalper” girl, but there were much more innocent victims than she…and I didn’t see you and ME gushing tears about this:
http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/03/04/10-arrested-in-berkeley-elderly-man-assaulted-following-violent-anti-trump-protest/

And yes, I had to go to Breitbart because the MSM barely covered stuff like this…until the Leftist girl with loaded gloves looking for a fight got her clock cleaned.

Jill Smith
Member

I don’t know how much clearer I can make it that I oppose Antifa and its use of violence to suppress free speech! My position isn’t based on sympathy for the girl or for her mindlessly violent friends. When people use force to disrupt peaceful demonstrations, they should be charged and prosecuted. But, if she didn’t hit him first, he should not have punched her.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And, if he is a follower of Christ, there is kind of an obvious verse suggesting that even if she did hit him first, he should not have punched her.

If you can turn the cheek with a Roman soldier, you can probably manage it with a 5-foot tall woman.

Though the video makes it obvious that he ran in and punched her while she was standing in place.

JP Stewart
Member

As always, the usual suspect cries rivers of tears over anything done by Trump supporters, but never condemns antifa or similar scumbags unless he’s forced to. The situation never would’ve happened if antifa hadn’t instigated such violence months ago. And no one is claiming the guy is a model Christian. However, if a group of Christian men surrounded the peaceful demonstrators (who have been attacked with pepper spray, bike locks, sticks, etc.) and fought back when necessary, I’d have no problem with it. It’s a job the impotent CA cops haven’t been doing. Way to miss the forest for the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You’re speaking nonsense. I’ve already condemned both of them equally in an earlier comment, and no one had “forced” me to in any way. Not that there’s any need to condemn antifa because literally no one here supports antifa or has suggested that they are a model of Christian behavior. But people ARE claiming the guy did the right thing. That’s the only reason I responded at all, and the only aspect I responded to. I have not breathed a single word about either one of those fools in my real life or anywhere else on the internet, because I… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

There has been only one comment on this thread that associated Damigo with Trump supporters, and that was made by ashv when he called Damigo’s group “Trumpist”. I believe ashv is in error if he believes that Trump, or the people who vote for him, support white supremacy and hatred of Jews. There are people out there who think Trump supporters are Nazis, but there are also people out there who think every Democrat endorses sex with small children. There is nothing useful to be accomplished from arguing with such people. I think that we can’t let extremists control the… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

I should add that when I suggested the girl was punched because Damigo thought she was uppity, I was relying on the first reports that she was a hostile but nonviolent counter-demonstrator.

JP Stewart
Member

Your wonderful little girl wore weighted gloves (the Antifa cowards always bring weapons) and bragged about taking “100 scalps” beforehand. I imagine she looked up to female MMA fighters and boxers and thought she could hang with the boys.

Interesting that you didn’t mention the elderly man who was pepper sprayed by Antifa just a few weeks before that. Unlike Antifa Girl, he wasn’t looking for a fight, either. After dozens of senseless assaults like that (and practically no protection from the cops), some guys finally decided to fight back….and all we hear about is the innocent little Antifa princess.

insanitybytes22
Member

I have cried a river. Our so called men are fighting little girls and thinking that somehow makes them manly men while our Christian leaders are busy sitting on their behinds lamenting the horrrors of women’s yoga pants and pink hair.

Trust me, I’ve cried a river.

JP Stewart
Member

So no concern at all that Trump supporters (and others) have been attacked by those thugs multiple times? Antifa has no problem assaulting mothers or elderly men. I guess we’re supposed to cheer them on? Again, this girl wasn’t an innocent demonstrator like so many that Antifa has attacked. She was weaponized and looking forward to “scalping” people. I don’t consider the guy a hero for punching her, but she’s the one who came to brawl. And yes, yoga pants that reveal every imaginable curve are an issue. Ask any heterosexual man with health T-levels. And that has absolutely nothing… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The things that are being used as excuses for “manhood” in the responses to you are straight embarrassing. I’m rather shocked that they have read the gospels and yet still claim that this cowardice, hate, and lack of self control defines a man.

JP Stewart
Member

ME also said “I would flat out put on yoga pants, dye my hair pink and fight along side that girl and her perverse ideology, long before I’d stand with self righteous Christian men who think there is something virtuous about punching girls in the head.” So the girl who bragged about scalping people and brought a wine bottle and weighted gloves is by far the lesser of two evils. Do you agree with that, too? For the record, no one here said the guy who punched her is a “Christian manly hero.” That’s a strawman created by ME. She’s… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

So the girl who bragged about scalping people and brought a wine bottle and weighted gloves is by far the lesser of two evils. Do you agree with that, too? No, I think its usually ridiculous to judge people to the extent that you’re talking about a particular girl being a “lesser evil” than a particular guy. Both are in the wrong. But which “wrong” is more important to me? I personally care a lot more about the one that has potential to make the Church look bad, that harms the witness of the Gospel, than the one that merely… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

“If your idea of ‘being a man’ doesn’t include fighting antifa, I really have to wonder what your moral foundations are.”

When Jesus opposed violent rebellion against the Romans (both on the large scale and in the immediate circumstances), I’m pretty sure there were Pharisees and Zealots saying the same thing you just did.

Not to mention when he talked about loving Samaritans or the nations.

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

You sound as if you’re proud of the way your guys represented Jesus, that Jew from Nazareth. You really put the Christ in christian.

Jill Smith
Member

I’m not saying she was innocent or that I like her views. I like her views about as much as I like Neo-nazis or anyone else who advocates violence to create social change. The guy who fought back has already served two years for assault. I think it is fair to say that he is as committed to the use of violence as any Antifa member. The question is, did she strike the first blow? Did he believe he was in imminent danger that could be averted no other way? Was he intervening to stop her from assaulting an elderly… Read more »

qazer
Guest
qazer

“The question is, did she strike the first blow? ”

Yes, she did. She and the group she was with initiated violence, and got violence in return. Sometimes there’s more than one bad guy. Usually, in fact.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

How about “because she was behaving like a savage in the company of savages”? Is that a good enough reason? Historic Christianity is fine with civilized men opposing lawlessness. It’s pretty tragic that young women have decided to join the barbarians, and it shows the utter degradation of our culture. But taking that as a given – well, how else do you stop a violent mob bent on destrution, except by more violence?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Hey, somebodies calling people barbarians, and it’s not me!

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Everyone who lives across the Alps…

Jane
Member

Don’t forget the Cisalpine ones — they’re the ones you really have to watch, after all.

Jill Smith
Member

If she attacked him first in such a way as to make him fear for his safety, he had a right to use reasonable force to defend himself. I haven’t seen that this point has yet been made clear. If he punched a girl, however horrible, in the face because he anticipated that someone in her group would attack him, I don’t think that is okay. If she posed no direct, personal threat to him–and again, I don’t know whether she did–yet he believed he was under imminent attack from an entire group, I don’t think it shows much manliness… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You have a very refined sense of decorum about street brawling! Isn’t the obvious lesson “little girls shouldn’t go pick fights with large men, because this is the sort of thing that will inevitably happen to them”?

I am generally favorable to the rule “don’t hit girls.” But civilized behavior requires civility, and civility, like a dance, takes two; Amazons and barbarians need not apply.

ashv
Guest
ashv

It would have been more fitting if he had horsewhipped her, but alas, circumstances did not make that practical.

wtrsims
Member

I call that a “Sochi Cossacking”

wtrsims
Member

If I intentionally seek out a war zone, insert myself into the war zone, and consequently get shot in the chaotic crossfire, I don’t have much claim to other’s pity by saying “but I wasn’t shooting!” Doubly so if I entered said war zone on the side of one of the belligerents.

But I am disheartened by anyone else thinking that he was defending the cause of righteousness.

It’s certainly possible for one to fight unrighteousness unrighteously, and being unrighteous yourself, even in the very act of punching other unrighteousness.

Jill Smith
Member

I’m not sympathetic to the girl. I agree that she could have just as easily been hurt by accident and that she shouldn’t have been there. But I just can’t see Damigo as a Christian warrior, and I still think he should not have punched her in the face–unless she threw the first punch.

wtrsims
Member

I don’t see Damigo as a Christian warrior either, but I don’t think you can say that a person shouldn’t have gotten hurt while they were in a battle and was in attendance on one side’s behalf. She knew what she was going to and what would happen there, and even expressed a desire to participate. Whether she “threw the first punch” or not is irrelevant. She entered as a combatant and was treated as such. Antifa Chick didn’t take on the role of combatant for that one day only, but she has made such activity her life and character.… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I don’t see either of them as sympathetic characters either, except in the “it’s sad to see someone go so far down the wrong path” sort of way. The issue comes when anyone who claims to follow Christ then suggests that either one of them was doing a good thing.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Whether or not your are sympathetic to Trump’s agenda, I don’t think it’s reasonable to equate the antifa group, who purpose to intimidate and attack those with whom they disagree, with those who fight against them. Surely the aggressor ought to bear responsibility? Maybe a Frenchman shot a German first at the Battle of the Marne, but he might have fairly countered by inquiring what the Huns were doing outside Paris.

Jill Smith
Member

I agree with you,with the following provisos. That we defend as vociferously the free speech rights of people whose politics we despise. That we distinguish between people coming to an event prepared to repel violence if it occurs and people coming to an event looking for a chance to crack heads. I have read calls to action on white supremacist sites that suggest not everyone comes intending to maintain the peace. And that we acknowledge that, even in warfare, there are conventions to be observed.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I agree with the idea of free speech, at least in general. I don’t think I am obligated to fight for the speech rights of, say, Satanists as vociferously as those of the Church, but I’m not in favor of shutting up either group by force. I don’t think it is useful sorting those who are excited about the chance to fight from those who experience less of an adrenaline rush. Let us say merely that they should be structurally on the defensive (repelling thugs, not going into their neighborhoods and hunting them down). Proportionate response is a fine concept… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

I would be very sorry to damage my Britney Spears porcelain veneers defending the speech rights of a Satanist. But, like you, I don’t want them silenced by force. Perhaps this would be a time I would try very hard not to notice what was going on across the street! Many years ago I participated in a nonviolent demonstration led by the Quakers. We stood silently and held signs. Only the leader was authorized to engage with passers-by. I was roughly shoved by a man who didn’t like my placard, and because I had been trained by the Quakers ahead… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Two people can both be in the wrong without equating them. But in terms of “intimidating and attacking those with whom they disagree”, I’m almost certain that little chain of violence started with Trump supporters attacking non-violent protesters, with Trump’s vocal approval, before any significant violence was taken against the Trump supporters. At least as early as September 2015 for Trump supporters violently attacking innocent people and naming Trump as their motivation, October 2015 for such violence occurring at Trump rallies themselves, and January 2016 for Trump actively encouraging violence against protesters that had not been violent themselves. Of course,… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I don’t know what point you are making. Antifa and the black block are clearly the aggressors in these present conflicts – it’s not a liberal event that they are trying to defend, but a conservative event that they are trying to shut down.

JP Stewart
Member

Nope. The chain of events was started by the Left years ago as they first tried to shout down and silence conservative speakers and then began assaulting them (throwing things, bringing in angry mobs, etc). I believe this even happened to DW a few years ago. Here are just a few recent examples:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/03/04/middlebury/hAfpA1Hquh7DIS1doiKbhJ/story.html
http://dailysignal.com/2016/02/26/campus-protesters-try-to-silence-conservative-speaker-demand-college-presidents-resignation/
https://heatst.com/culture-wars/seething-mob-shuts-down-speech-by-pro-cop-writer-heather-mac-donald-as-event-turns-violent/

Jill Smith
Member

I have often wondered about this. Do you think there is any legitimate role for heckling? My personal preference, in dealing with someone whose views I find detestable, would to maintain an icy silence and then ask pointed questions aimed at making other people laugh. But the British House of Commons operates in an atmosphere of boos, catcalls, and rude remarks. Is there a place for this? Is it so discourteous to the people who want to actually listen to the speech that we should always refrain?

JP Stewart
Member

I’m not sure if heckling is ever okay…I’m not going to make a blanket statement. But the House of Commons and sporting events are very different than a pre-sanctioned speaking engagement. And intentionally shouting and throwing things to prevent someone from exercising their 1st Amendment rights is always wrong.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Oh, please, if you’re going to take those events and pretend they have any connection to Trump rallies whatsoever, then we might as well back up to conservative police forces violently beating (and even murdering) Civil Rights protesters. Or hell, massacres of labor rights and immigrant demonstrators even earlier than that. That connection isn’t any looser than the one you just made. In fact, Trump has already made the EXACT same connection between police beatings of Civil Rights protesters and his own security beating Trump protesters.

Jill Smith
Member

A plague on both their houses!

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

5 ft unarmed females would be well advised to avoid confrontation.

FeatherBlade
Guest
FeatherBlade

An “unarmed” 5 ft teenage girl who was throwing glass bottles and stated her intention to take Nazi scalps. That aside, Feminism teaches us that women are the exact equal of men in every way and every circumstance. If this is so, then there is no reason to not hit a woman, especially when she is a full and willing participant in a street brawl. You can’t proclaim “I am woman, hear me roar”, and then retreat to “Don’t hit me, I’m a girl” when the men decide to take you at your word and treat you like a man.… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

So you would agree with me that no one has the right to use violence to oppose the peaceful exercise of free speech. Ever.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Of course not. Why would I?

Jill Smith
Member

So, your objection is not to Antifa’s using violence to stifle speech with which it disagrees. What is your objection?

ashv
Guest
ashv

They hate me, people like me, and our ways of life. I’m very pleased that the Trumpist forces did the job Berkeley police have not been permitted to do.

Jill Smith
Member

I think it would be unfair to Trump, and to his supporters in general, to represent Nathan Damigo as acting for him except in his own deluded mind. He formulated his racial philosophy by reading David Duke while serving a four year sentence for armed assault on a man he mistakenly thought was an Iraqi (like that would have made it okay). An interview on his own website reports his pleased discovery of cybernazi music and his wish that there was more of it. He gloats about yelling “Go home” through a bullhorn at anyone who doesn’t pass his personal… Read more »

Lance Roberts
Guest

While I can’t name it off my head, that has to be some kind of fallacy. You’re saying we can only talk about the ‘big’ issues (as who? defines them) and can’t talk about the little points of obedience, the jots and tittles?

insanitybytes22
Member

I’m saying we really have no authority, no business speaking of how others should dress and look when our own ability to triage sin in the world is so pathetic. In the world today we have an epic meth and heroin problem, suicide through the roof, Christian men on TV punching girls in the face, divorce, child abuse, etc etc, and our big concern is women’s modesty?? Yoga pants? I mean heaven forbid anyone be troubled by lust while they’re trying to get their violence on. This isn’t leadership, it’s actually why so much of the country is disgusted with… Read more »

adad0
Member

Memi, Jesus does say that we can’t be faithful in the big things, if we are not faithful in the little things first.
That thought would put the best face on this topic. After that, much of this is debatable.
Romans 14 is still a good bottom line.????????????

Lance Roberts
Guest

We have the authority that the Bible gives us to deal with ALL sin. How can we let our weaknesses keep us from preaching the gospel, which is everything in the Bible, not just the “obviously evil to the world also” stuff.

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

“Fallacy of relative privation” is the one you’re looking for, I believe.

Dave
Guest
Dave

ME, A Dads comment points out scripture that is really helpful in these discussions. Faithful in little leads to faithful in much. Unfaithfulness in little leads to unfaithfulness on the big issues. America has not had tough, Biblical preaching for decades and it shows. The gal that got punched was previously carrying items which could be used as weapons. Wine bottle. Noxious spray of some sort. She had gloves that appeared to be weighted with shot allowing easy disabling of any individual she hit. As a feminist, she bragged she would collect 100 scalps and instead got punched herself. That… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

Utter rubbish, Dave. If you won’t condemn a convicted criminal and white supremist who punched an unarmed teen ager in the face, than you certainly aren’t qualified to judge something like yoga pants and pink hair.

When Christians can’t see the immorality in the big stuff, then people quite rightly reject their authority on the small stuff.

Eagle_Eyed
Guest
Eagle_Eyed

She got what she deserved.

Dave
Guest
Dave

ME, you are mad again. She was filmed in other portions of the protest with a wine bottle trying to hit someone with it. She was filmed at the protest with what would be called weapons. She did go to the protest to get into a fight and was successful in that endeavor. Feminism started decades ago and that fight was the end result. Consider the current push to place women in combat positions. It would be the Berkley brawl multiplied many times over. The unfaithfullness of American Christians years ago led to the both sides of that picture —… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

I am mad, you are right. I would flat out put on yoga pants, dye my hair pink and fight along side that girl and her perverse ideology, long before I’d stand with self righteous Christian men who think there is something virtuous about punching girls in the head.

Dave
Guest
Dave

ME, I have been at work and couldnt replay earlier. Both sides are wrong and it is because of decades of bad preaching and teaching whicb led to gradually moving away from a Godly lifestyle.

I would not join either group because both are just flat out wrong. Christians tend to jump from bandwagon to bandwagon in these turbulent times without really thinking thinking the problem all the way through.

insanitybytes22
Member

Both groups may be wrong but only one group is claiming the name of Jesus Christ.

ashv
Guest
ashv

self righteous Christian men who think there is something virtuous about punching girls in the head.

Who thinks that?

wtrsims
Member

https://youtu.be/EIzpOOGSbTo

Which side is more destructive to civilization?

One side is currently actively engaged in tearing civilization down, while the other had to do the same in the past so it could pretend to be civilization’s defense now.

Jane
Member

I think one side is tearing it down, and the other is hacking at the foundations while pointing and yelling at the ones who are tearing it down.

Jane
Member

What, are they afraid they’ll hurt the guy or something?

JP Stewart
Member

Stop lying. She wasn’t unarmed. Weighted gloves are a weapon–they have added lead or steel around the knuckles. And as Dave said, she was also trying to assault people with wine bottles.

insanitybytes22
Member

Sigh. I think I’ll just put on some yoga pants, roll myself a cigarette, and proceed to smoke it ironically.

Bike bubba
Guest

Don’t forget a beer or two.

adad0
Member

Well, it’s not for nothing that they call you “Glam-ma”!
????

Jane
Member

Oh how I loathe that expression. :)

adad0
Member

; – ), So far as I know, Memi came by the title honestly.
According to her, the grand kids came up with it!

Any influence by force of pink hair is unknown! ; – )

Jane
Member

I’m sure in ME’s case it’s all innocent, but I’m pretty sure it’s a product of Boomers who can’t age gracefully. I first remember hearing it a decade or more ago in connection with Goldie Hawn, who is a prime example of that sort of thing.

It’s more where it comes from than any particular person who uses it, that irritates me. Much like the pink hair. ;)

insanitybytes22
Member

I’ll have you know, I am not a boomer. That would be my mother. I simply had my first kid when I was 18 and my daughter followed suit. Hence I became a grandma when I was 36. We are now entering the realm of great grandma territory which could be scary indeed.

Jane
Member

Understood, ME. Again, I was not referring to you — I’m saying the term came into use as a result of boomer culture.

Kind of the way pink hair came into vogue as a product of punk culture, but we no longer associate all pink hair with punks, right?

Nathan Smith
Member

I really appreciate these posts, and Sumpter’s moreso actually. My wife and I have been talking about attire and modesty and the like for the last several months. Discussing it as worldliness within the church is very helpful. Previously my stumbling words over it have been much less streamlined or pointed.

The world hates Jesus. We love Jesus. Lets not mimic the world in our dress or in our thinking about modesty and the like. The issue really goes deep into the way we think about femininity (along with a lot of other things as well).

Jane
Member

You say “lets not mimic the world in our dress” like it’s an easy distinction to make. Name me a way of dressing that does not mimic what was at some point cutting edge, out-there fashion in the world. Absolutely anything we can choose to wear mimics what the world wore in some era. The Amish dress like most of the peasants did in the early 17th century. And the 15th century peasants would probably have thought it ridiculous if not offensive. I am not saying that to undermine the idea of modesty — certainly the modesty of our dress… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Nuns’ habits (back when they wore them) were at one time what ordinary widows wore. I have seen modesty sites featuring culottes as a feminine substitute for pants, but culottes were the standard dress of male French peasants. The girl’s gym tunic, now seen as the repressive school uniform of the past, was once cutting edge and daring because it allowed girls the freedom to move their legs and play sports. I guess Diogenes eschewed worldly clothing when he decided to go around dressed in nothing but a barrel! My dear father thought that pastel colored shirts on men were… Read more »

Nathan Smith
Member

Sorry. My point is that my argument was bad. It was clumsy and imprecise.

Jane
Member

It wasn’t. You just didn’t say everything at once, so I asked for more. I do rather regret my tone, sorry.

Nathan Smith
Member

You tone was fine with me. No harm done. IF there is anything for me to forgive, then it is freely given.

Nathan Smith
Member

Add that to the fact that I truly am a simpleton.

Nathan Smith
Member

At the risk of further proving myself a clumsy, imprecise simpleton, my thinking is something like this: Much of the attire that we see people wear in our society (and I’m not drawing any lines between those who do and do not do this based on gender, age, or whether they are regenerate) is meant to be titillating to some degree. Men do it as well as women. It isn’t just the college kids. And people that “have Jesus in their hearts” do it. There are certainly extreme examples. I would probably use an example of a current “starlet” if… Read more »

Jane
Member

Thanks, that’s helpful to understand what you mean. And I agree.

Prudence
Guest
Prudence

Here is a good sermon dealing with expositing this passage, if anyone has time and desire to listen. I’ve listened to it more than once. https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/54-14/gods-high-calling-for-women-part-1 The thing is, this passage is referring to behavior at church, not necessarily behavior in general. Read chapter 3 of 1 Timothy: “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.” A lady at church… Read more »

Bike bubba
Guest

I’m getting a kick out of the pink hair thing–I actually joked with the mother of a pink-haired girl that she really ought to keep her daughter away from the Kool-Aid, upon which I was informed that, yes, that was exactly how she’d done it. Go figure. But that noted, if our beauty is not to consist of outward adornment, we might find that a certain amount of bling is permissible if it’s not what the wearer is relying upon as an indication of beauty. In that light, I think we need to appeal to how the Torah describes being… Read more »

RBIII
Guest
RBIII

I’m quite sad and disappointed because several hours ago I wrote and posted a relatively lengthy comment in which I tried to engage thoughtfully (if critically) with this post. I know that the comment posted successfully, because it appeared for at least a few minutes, long enough to get an upvote and to show up on the “Oh yeah? sez you” sidebar. But now it seems to have disappeared. Was it deleted? If so, why?

adad0
Member

It’s those “Russians” hacking things!
????

RBIII
Guest
RBIII

I’d really like to know. No one cares, I know, I worked on that comment and really had some sincere questions, and I can’t reproduce it now. There was nothing profane or insulting in my comment. I don’t post here often (though I have before) and have been a long time reader. I don’t think it could just be a technical glitch, because I saw my comment up briefly. It had been my understanding that the moderator (DW?) did not delete comments.

Katecho
Member

I blame Disqus for eating my posts. Don’t take it too personally. Disqus is just full of technical flaws and seems to be held together with spit and baling wire.

RBIII
Guest
RBIII

Thank you both for replying.

Jill Smith
Member

I’ve had comments disappear before and then reappear later. I’m sure it’s Disqus. If a comment is deliberately deleted after you post it, you can tell. Your name will appear as Guest, and it will say the comment has been deleted. So I’m sure it’s not that. How frustrating for you.

bethyada
Member

Enjoying the conversation, though discussion is focused on disparate issues. From Doug’s perspective, does sporting pink hair imply something about our beliefs or behaviour? Quite possibly. Ignoring the tight clothes, his thought experiment is reasonable, 100 pink haired ladies are more likely to affirm transgender issues in 10 years. But that doesn’t really solve the problem. I suspect that any neutral cultural change will have an overshare of boundary pushers. And the appeal to dressing modesty may not be overly helpful. What does the passage really mean and how does it relate to fashion and rebellion? Further, it is difficult… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Paul says I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. (1Ti 2) Peter Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even… Read more »

Brad Littlejohn
Guest

Thanks for this, Doug. Very helpful in moving the conversation forward. I attempt to move it forward a bit further here: https://bradlittlejohn.com/2017/04/25/the-perilous-business-of-pastoring/

Prudence
Guest
Prudence

Here’s an example of extra rules to make absolutely sure we don’t come close to breaking God’s law. There is a law in the Torah regarding boiling a calf in it’s own milk, thou shalt not. So Pharisees realized that you are much more likely to break this law, if calf meat and milk are in the same room. Thus, it was against the law to eat in a location where someone was eating meat, and someone else had milk. Problem solved! If a girl with pink hair is more likely to have impure thoughts, voila! make pink hair against… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Prudence I think that is boiling the calf in its mom’s milk. There are reasons against that but the wooden response you pointed out is just that — a wooden response.

The point here is that small events of unfaithfulness can lead to large breaches in our Christian lives.

Living in a coastal town should give you plenty of worldly examples where small acts of unfaithfulness in preparing the boat for a fishing run or other activity on the high seas resulted in large problems on the blue water. Our Christian lives follow that same pattern.

Prudence
Guest
Prudence

Listen friend, the color of the boat (like a barn) has not as much effect as whether the rudder works properly, or whether you are equipped to fight freezing spray. Those pharisees weren’t having a wooden response. It started out with good intentions, they were trying to be different from the pagan Greco Roman culture around them. They were a “Back to the Bible” movement. They loved God’s law so much, that they made extra laws like the one I gave as an example, in order to safeguard themselves and others from violating God’s law. And look how adding to… Read more »

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

Rules and regulations that are invented by one well-meaning generation tend to have a negative effect on following generations. These rules are our method to preempt what God has promised and the Spirit is working out.

Jill Smith
Member

Or we could just go with the Orthodox Jews and make women wear wigs.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Empty regulations make for a righteousness that does not touch the heart, or have any power over the flesh.”

This is a really good point. Whatever happened to letting the Holy Spirit convict someone? Don’t we become a new person in Jesus Christ?

Under this kind of silliness, someone with pink hair and impure thoughts is being taught to…get rid of their pink hair. Makes absolutely no sense to me.

ashv
Guest
ashv

If your concern about your hairstyle is chiefly what it does to your own spiritual well-being, then you’re still missing the point.

bethyada
Member

And while we are talking conscience.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

“does the Bible address the subject directly?”

= potential straw man argument that’ll come back to bite you in the behindicans.

“contrary to the light of nature” is what WCF correctly identifies as an equally authoritative measure.

Billtownphysics
Guest
Billtownphysics

This one comment from Littlejohn is interesting: “And when a pastor preaches or writes, he must name and rebuke sins in general; he cannot pause mid-sermon and say, “Now, in your case, Jimmy, this means that you are sinning whenever you do this, but given your different circumstances, Tammi, I’m not worried about your conduct here.”’ After thinking over this awhile, my thought is WHY CAN’T a pastor do this? If the principles of Matthew 18 have been followed, it may be entirely appropriate to call out specific sins in front of the whole congregation. I imagine that the early… Read more »

Jane
Member

Also, even if we grant that it’s not appropriate for him to name Jimmy and Tammi, why can’t he say, “If you’re doing this in this way, that’s a sin, but if you’re doing this other thing that can be distinguished in that way, it’s not”? My pastor actually does that frequently — not with things so specific as hair color, but he ensures that we don’t confuse issues based on superficial similarities.

Jill Smith
Member

I think that naming names would improve church attendance.

Jane
Member

*snert*

Carole
Guest
Carole

…but his [Paul’s] mind was in this place to touch a vice which women are overmuch given unto, and it is this curious trimming of themselves to be seen afar off… And therefore they must be appareled and decked after another sort. And how? He uses here two words: the one of them signifies properly shame or bashfulness, and the other signifies gravity or sobriety, & modesty. So that we have to mark well that Paul doth here point out as it were with the finger, the two faults that women have and are as it were the two wellsprings… Read more »