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July 1, 2000

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Q/A Topics:
Proper dress/attire

QUESTION:
Could you please include a question from me to enlighten meabout God's plan for modern man/woman?

Deuteronomy.22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither a man shall put on a woman's garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

Many believeing women wear jeans and tight shirts.Is it an abomination unto the Lord? Please advise.

ANSWER:
May I send you to the website Q/A how women should dress

While that Q/A is addressed 'to women' because of the way the question came in, I think it will address your question as well as I might, were I to do so again now...starting from scratch.

As for specifics, I believe the Lord would have me not necessarily address that publicly...since Scripture doesn't, either. Scripture does not address "jeans" or "T-shirts" or "swim suits", etc.etc. So many specifics fit in the realm of 'culture', from country to country, and region to region. But it addresses the basic guidelines by which Christians should live...and I think that that Q/A touches on it.

Other than the Scripture you referenced about "cross-dressing" (which I think most people are pretty clear as to -what- that entails... if not sure, just watch an episode of Jerry Springer!!), the Christian life isn't so much 'what' clothes we wear, as much as what is in the -heart-. (Rom2:29) If a person is in tune with the Lord's indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom8:9), he/she -knows- how to dress. And if they are wearing a T-shirt, they will know how to wear it "suitably", according to what is in their heart; or whether a given shirt is appropriate to be worn at all. Obviously some are, some aren't.

If the Lord gives the individual certain 'freedoms' (Rom14:2-3), a Believer does not flaunt before others. (1Cor8:9) But, neither does he kowtow to legalism. (Gal2:4-5) A Believer is "modest" ...IOW, "appropriate". (1Tm2:9) Living "by faith". (Rom14:23, 1:17) with a clear "conscience". (Ac24:16, 1Cor8&10, etc)

See also: Q/A -Women and Pants?

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Head Coverings?

QUESTION:
I was recently reading a book by a man named Ellis Skolfield who claims that women should cover their heads all the time because of the passage in I Cor 11:3-15 re the ordinances of head covering, women remaining silent in church and not teaching at all to men or holding authority over them. I felt instantly convicted of the head covering thing, and am pretty clear that I should cover during church, because we do pray, but what I am struggling with is the question of whether or not I should cover my head all the time...

[A lot of stuff edited out]

I just want to be sure about this. My personal preference is to cover it; I don't know why. But at the the same time I quake with fear about what people will say. I just don't want to make the Lord look bad, not to mention put up with a lot of abuse. I would be interested in your opinion.

ANSWER:
Well, all I can do is render an "opinion". The only actual Scriptural -teaching- that I know of on the matter is that 1Cor11 passage. And yet there appear to be some inconsistencies even in that passage. Paul speaks of men having short hair, as dictated by "nature". And yet we know that Jewish nazirites (men) were -specifically- NOT TO cut their hair, but to let it grow "long". I don't know if they did it in Biblical times...but today, Jewish men put their prayer caps on. That's a "covering" ...which would seem to be opposite of what Paul is teaching.

Because of the seeming 'inconsistencies', I have always been left to wonder if a bit of "culture" was coming into the discussion. In that part of the world, a woman is often known for what kind she is by her head covering: whether she is married, single/betrothed, single/available, or a whore. When Judah slept with his widowed daughter-in-law, he thought she was a "harlot" because of her "veiled face". (Gen38:15)

Many things (questions) the Lord has at some point in time led me very definitely to specific answers. This is one item He has never seen fit to so-enlighten me. My answer is still, "I don't know". Since He hasn't, I have to assume it is not as 'crucial'.

If it is a cultural matter, we must remember that Corinth was about the "worldliest" place on earth at that time. (We know this from both Scripture and history) The Church at Corinth had all sorts of problems with carnality...being like the pagan, heathen world around them. They had problems with immorality (ch5), quarrels and law suits (ch6), idolatry (ch8), spirituality (ch12,14) If Paul were addressing the Church today, perhaps he wouldn't speak of veils and head coverings... but of spaghetti straps, and such things? In that culture, in that part of the world, the woman's head covering was a representation of her modesty and propriety...and submission to her husband.

However, while the specifics speak of "head coverings", the main issue under discussion is "submission" to "authority". Just as Paul begins his discourse where he corrects them about charismania by giving the source of their error, demonic 'idolatry' (1Cor12:2); here he sets forth the foundation for what he is about to discuss. (11:3) He gives the chain-of-command... God -> Christ -> man -> woman. So, whatever the details regarding covering the head may be, the whole point is about hierarchy; and also a clear distinction of the sexes. While there is no distinction of 'importance' or heirship in Christ for salvation (Gal3:28), there -IS- a distinction as God "created them male and female". (Gen1:27)

So... for the sake of testimony, where others might label you (unnecessarily) as "weird", I would consider this matter before the Lord, long and hard. Perhaps give it a little "time" for the Lord to speak to you, in clear certain terms. We can sometimes eagerly want to "jump" after reading something that sounds quite persuasive by 'man'... when, perhaps we need to wait for the Lord's "still small voice" in the matter.

Another thing; you didn't say... are you married? What does your husband say on the matter? You would, first and foremost, want to follow his wishes on something like this. (Numbers ch30) After all, -that- is what the passage is saying, more than the question, "should you wear some cloth on your head?"

At the website TopicSearch under "women" there is a Q/A "How women should dress". It doesn't answer your specific question directly...but you might find other related guiding principles useful, perhaps, to add into the whole mix..?

I don't know that you would be condemned if you do, or condemned if you don't. But whatever you come up with, be "fully assured" in your own mind. (Rom14:5) And do so in "faith"; (vs22-23) not because some author of a book sounded convincing, but because the Holy Spirit assured you.

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A.W.Tozer - Evangelical Mystic?

QUESTION:
I have a question regarding A.W. Tozer's writings. In the introduction to "The Pursuit of God" on page 7 the author states, "The evangelical mystics were his favorite study." I've never heard the term evangelical mystics before, and I'm confused as to what this means. Is it possible that the writer is using the term loosely, or are Tozer's writings considered to be mystical? I was surprised when I did a meta-search on the Net to find Tozer's name was grouped with the names of some R.C. mystics.

ANSWER:
Well...thanks for the heads-up. Up until now the only Tozer I've read is excerpts as others would have gleaned them and included them in this or that "quotable" type of thing. Based on that, I was assuming Tozer was solid. His quoted excerpts that I've seen up until now have always been so 'right on'.

But based on your note here, I just went and did a search. I don't know if the site I found is the same one you did...but I read the stuff about "mystics", too. And then, spent a few minutes clicking on a few collections of his writings...where there would be 9, 10, etc listed paragraphs on various subjects. and, indeed, it would seem he had a bent for mysticism. His view of the Believer's relationship with the Holy Spirit seems to be more of an "art form" to be "cultivated", rather than what Scripture says it is...His indwelling. etc.etc.

Romans 8 is quite clear regarding the Holy Spirit. A primary definition of a Believer is one who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. If a person doesn't have the Spirit, he is not a Believer... by definition. (vs9) If a person "doesn't know" if he has the Holy Spirit or not, again, by definition, he is not a Believer; because the Spirit "witnesses" with our spirit "that we are children of God". (vs16) This relationship is not an "art form" that we "learn" by "practice"...as one might become a "better musicician" by practicing many long hours. It is something that the Holy Spirit "guides" us in. (Jn16:13) While our New Birth may result in new works (Eph2:10, Jas2:14-26), as all things "become new" (2Cor5:17), the very basis of our new life is faith. The just ones "live by faith" (Rom1:17, Hab2:4). We "walk by faith not by sight". (2Cor5:7) We are saved by faith, and our Christian life is a life of faith. Just as we cannot save ourselves, it is God's gift; neither do we have anything to do with the Holy Spirit, other than the degree to which we give Him full reign in our lives as we are continually "filled by the Spirit" (Eph5:18), or "quench" Him. (1Th5:19) The New Birth (Jn3:3) is a New 'Nature' (2Cor5:17), not an artform. Formerly, "by nature" we were "children of wrath" (Eph2:3), but due to the Spirit's sealing (Eph1:13) we now know the things of God 'INNATELY' (by birth) because we have "the Spirit from God". (1Cor2:10-16) An "art form" is when a stage actor mimics the actions of a little robin in its nest, chirping, fluttering, eating worms and bugs the parents bring, because he studied and practiced how to do it. When a baby robin hatches, it does those things naturally. When we receive God's Holy Spirit, we -know- the things of God because, through the Holy Spirit, we "have the mind of Christ". (vs16)

Now... I had never before heard the term "evangelical mystic". although, I expect that is the same game as "christian" psychology. There ain't no such thing! By definition they are mutually exclusive. In the same way "evangelical" and "mystic" are exclusive, if it is assumed that "evangelical" equates with "Christian".

I don't know if Tozer truly was a Believer, and was just deceived with mysticism...or if he was another "wolf" in sheep's clothing. However, based on what I just saw now, I would have to say that his writings cannot be recommended without a disclaimer to keep one's eyes open. Verify against Scripture to "see if those things [are] so". (Acts17:11) Don't assume that, just because something he said 'over there' was so good, that 'this here' will also automatically be good.

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Guns and Self-defense

COMMENT:
while i agree with everything that you have said so far, including this latest walk-thru [Do Not Murder from the 10 Commandments], might someone who is not as [mature] a christian see this as a clear signal to purchase a weapon for protection, which can [and probably will] be used, either accidently by a child or in any way which was not the purchasers original intent.

i used to own an automatic, for protection - i destroyed it and decided to rely totally on my God and Saviour for protection, that was in south africa, fortunately He has seen fit to remove myself and children from that violent society and we now live in rural ireland.

may God bless you in all your work and please do not take the above as a criticism - only an observation from someone who has 'been there'.

ANSWER:
Actually, something like this can go either way. Likely, a case for "Let each one be fully assured in his own mind." (Rom14:5)

On one hand we have the Scripture that assures us, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Ps46:1)

And on the other hand we have Jesus speaking of "the strong man, fully armed, guards his dwelling, his goods are in peace." (Lk11:21)

Just because a person has guns in the house doesn't mean that when the intruder comes, that he will even be able to "get to" those guns (or knives or baseball bats) if the intrusion was a "surprise". As we are told in another place, "..the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the mighty.." (Ec9:11)

When Jesus sent His disciples out to preach, the first time He told them to not take anything with them, other than the clothes they wore. (Mt10:9-10) Later, speaking of the future, as one prepares provisions, He says, "But now...he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." (Lk22:36) As one would travel there were many dangerous places where bandits and pirates would attack and rob people, so people tended to be armed. After all, when the mob came to take Jesus away, Peter drew his "sword". (Jn18:10-11) He obviously was used to carrying it around all the time, and Jesus never told him to get rid of it when He called him to be His disciple. (Mt4)

Yes, God protects us. But He has also given us minds with which to make wise choices. Nine years ago during a low time in my life when the stress of the situation made me wonder if I would physically survive, the Lord one day clearly gave me assurance as to my -physical- safety until He should return. But you know, there have been some days where the enemy would like to "get" me. Particularly during times when I have been concentratedly writing many studies for a collection; and often, during the trip to the post office to mail the 'snail' mailings of VW each month. He doesn't like it that I'm faithfully plugging along with VW. So, when that oncoming vehicle is meandering as though to cross the center-line heading straight for me, I do not "rest" on that assurance of nine years ago and continue on my merry way, "The Lord said He'd protect me... La dee dah!!" No. I take evasive or precautionary measures. There are times He keeps the danger at bay. Other times, He gives the alertness to avoid it and/or deal with it appropriately. Often that 'alertness' is a split-second situation where I had otherwise been quite tired or less-attentive; and that momentary alertness is 'in-spite-of' myself. The Lord jolts me to make -me- make the necessary adjustments. The steering wheel (or motorcycle handle bars) do not move by themselves...!

With Israel, there were times when God said to "stand still" and watch God work.(Ex14:13-14, 2Chr20:17) Other times He gave them directions on "how to" fight. There were more occasions where they -fought- and won with God's direction, than where they stood on the sidelines and merely watched. In 1967 God used Israel's missiles and other weapons, but guided them with His hand for unprecedented accuracy in hitting their targets, to give them victory when they recaptured Jerusalem.

While VW is not about political activism, some of your arguments are also the same ones that our (US) activists use as they try to disarm America's citizens. (And I'm sure that you didn't intend them to be activist comments) But Christians should be wise as to the truth of what's going on. I realize you said you're from other countries. And while these mailings go around the globe, a larger percentage of the subscribers are American.

So...to you fellow-Americans, let's switch gears for a moment...

The current rhetoric about "gun violence" that we often hear practically every other night on the Evening News in America is not so much an issue of self-protection, or of child safety locks, etc. (-FAR- FEWER children die of gunshot wounds than die of drowning, illness, etc. Comparatively it's a miniscule number. When the media recites statistics, most of those "children" are actually in the upper teens, and the deaths are gang/drugs-related. If those weren't by gun, they would be knives or clubs, etc) That rhetoric is a cover-up for the -real- agenda, which is a systematic attempt by the government to disarm its citizenry. The US "Constitution" does not speak so much about self-defense against robbers, or sport-shooting, but of the citizens protecting themselves against a government gone awry. (And be sure the current administration, and media know this very well, even though they say otherwise!) The "right to bear arms" -DOES- include "automatic assult rifles" and anything else in modern weaponry... because the true meaning of "arms" in the 2nd Amendment is -MILITARY- arms. Not merely game hunting and sport target shooting. Those weaponry means by which a citizen militia can go to war against a defunct government. Remember that it was a citizen militia army that George Washington led around, which ultimately along with the help of the French, gave this nation its independence. Of course, the current agenda has also dumbed-down the education system so badly that that 5-6th grade teacher on "Jay Walking" (Jay Leno program) the other night couldn't even come up with the -name- "George Washington". If the TEACHERS don't know, how can they teach the children? If people don't remember history, they won't be any-the-wiser as freedoms are eroding away; which they are. But our affluent society is so content with its wealth, they don't notice, or care, that our freedoms are being picked away one-by-one, daily. And history will repeat itself. Before Hitler came to power, Germany was disarmed...weapons confiscated. Any other totalitarian power has always functioned only after its citizens were disarmed.

We've spoken at other times about how Christians should relate themselves to militias. You can find them at the website, TopicSearch, -left- box under "militias". So we won't cover that ground again here.

Again, politics is not our main objective. God called me to preach the Gospel; not lead or join a militia group. But when the subject comes up, we address it occasionally. And it has been awhile since we last did so on this topic. It is only addressed now, because the terminology of this question also matches the rhetoric in this country regarding the so-called "gun violence".

But back to 'self-protection', as long as the attack is not -because- one is a Believer because it is persecution against Christ, even a cursory reading of Scripture shows that a person has a right to defend themself against theft and molestation; whether with a gun, pepper spray, baseball bat, self-defense judo/karate, etc.

If the attack is due to one's Faith in Christ, that's another matter. If the Lord hasn't returned in the next few weeks, there is a Portion all prepared for mailing in a couple of months, in sequence in its turn, on this very subject. Please stay tuned...

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