This post was written in response to a question about God's grace and tattoos, and why I think God meant never to get one. Um, I don't think that. It was more an "ask a silly question, get a silly answer" sort of bantering between my boys and me, and not meant to be a doctrinal statement. But I'd be happy to outline a few of my doctrinal thoughts on questionable issues. Please, please, PLEASE bear in mind that I am not a Bible scholar and reserve the right to change my opinion. If you feel the need to correct what I have written, do it in the spirit of meekness and mercy. Otherwise, I am not publishing your comments nyah, nyah! ;] Here goes:
Can I just gently say that we get too hung up on artificial standards and forget God's truth occasionally? If my boys were to run out the moment they turned 18 and get tattoos, I'd be shocked and horrified, yes. But more because of the fact that "it's so permanent," not the idea that they are going to HELL and damnation for disobeying a command of God. Same with earrings, nose rings, etc. etc.
Jesus says that not one jot or tittle of the Law will pass away. Jesus fulfilled all the laws that were ever set forth by God. Today, we need to be reading the Bible with the idea that while we are under grace, there is also the principle in the Law we must still obey. Some ideas, and feel free to add your own:
Do you keep it? Strictly? Well, good for you if you do. The Pharisees were a little (!) overlegalistic on this issue, but today we tend to think we can just skip it over if and when it's convenient for us. The children and I attend church and D usually gets the day off from work. I'm honestly not sure sometimes if we have the right balance of rest and work on Sundays.
Dresses and Hair
Do you figure that you HAVE to wear a dress if you're a woman? How long, exactly, does it have to be? I totally get the "no cross-dressing" idea from the Old Testament. To me, though, if I'm buying it from the women's department and it covers me reasonably well, I'm good. You go ahead and have a higher standard on the clothing issue with your children and yourself, but don't hold me to it. Promise you I'm not a hussy because I wear jeans. I even cut my hair sometimes, too. I feel convicted about it, but I have some mixed feelings. Would God enjoy seeing me get snarls and terrible headaches so I can keep my hair long to please Him?
Then again, aren't I a bit of a hypocrite to pray for the people who are today's martyrs, but I can't do this one thing for Him? When it's spelled out clearly in God's Word? Nope, I could not tarry but one hour with the Lord... Maybe it's just an excuse, but how am I going to be a NICE Christian woman of God consistently if I get horrible headaches every night? Oh, nevermind, I'm not nice even when I have my hair lopped off.
Yep, I am going to get trounced for this. There is nothing in the Bible against women working. In fact, you see the Proverbs 31 woman seems to have a home-based business. Try going off to darkest Africa or deep into the jungles of South America ... go somewhere where people REALLY are struggling to live and tell them to "just rely on God" and have the wife stay home. Sometimes God really does help those who help themselves. And yes, I know that "verse" is not in the Bible.
On the other hand, please prayerfully consider the effect on your children before you leave them in the care of a non-relative for most of their waking hours while they are young. Please carefully consider the effect this has on your family and society at large that this is seen as a normal thing to do. Consider this idea of "socialization." It isn't being stuck in a room with 20 of your agemates and only one adult. I suppose it comes down to the idea that you do what you have to do sometimes (I'm thinking especially of the single moms who need lots of extra grace and love) while understanding that the ideal is a family that is stable and prayerful regardless of location and circumstance.
Smoke 'em if you got 'em! Ok, no, just kidding. Sorry to disappoint you.
Your doctor is not God. You are not God. You get to make decisions as to what to put into your or your childrens' bodies. You should do this in consultation with your doctor(s) and prayer to God. I think the state has no business prosecuting families who earnestly and prayerfully refuse medical intervention and treatments. Yes, that means even preventable infections and simple-to-cure stuff. This is a slippery slope and I don't want the government involved with my health care directly, thank you. I know this isn't quite a "Bible" issue, but I feel (see? opinion) that there are things that should be the family's dominion and only a few things should be the state's.
Did you read this whole essay? Wow. I'll read yours if you put it in my "comment" section.