Talk To Ministers
Danger of Extra-Biblical Teachings --
A Serious Warning to Pastors
Dear Fellow-laborers in the Kingdom of God:
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Revelation 22:18,19). While the above warning is specific to the book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is a very real danger to those who are "... handling the word of God deceitfully; ..." (2 Cor. 4:2) in other areas of Christian life and doctrine.
Deceitfully? Yes, deceitfully! Anything you say is true that is not true is a lie. It is deceitful. I believe there is more than enough scripture to prove that any time we tell anything as true when we know it is not, unless clearly identified as an illustration of a truth is misleading people and as under-shepherds of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will be held accountable for any sheep we are to blame for going astray. People in your community should be able to come into your place of worship and there find green pastures and still waters under your leadership. If you drive them out, then frankly, you are not a very good under-shepherd!
We also know that Satan is the one who comes to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus declared that He, Jesus, came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. If, as a pastor, you knowingly tell people that this scripture means one thing, knowing it says and means another, and people never come to know Jesus Christ or abandon their church attendance and eventually backslide because of your misuse or deceitful use of the Word of God, surely all the woes God pronounced against shepherds who lead God's people astray that Jeremiah describes in chapter 23 will also come upon you! Yes, you, my Apostolic Pentecostal preacher friend who is so careful to get the repentance and water Baptism and Holy Ghost baptism doctrines ever so perfectly correct!!
Dear old Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., founder of Bob Jones University had a saying that was inside the door of every dormitory room which said:
To do something wrong:
Not even in order to get a chance
To do something that is right!"
That is so true! It has been a guiding principle to me since I was a ninth grader at Bob Jones Academy. I here apply that saying and the above scriptures in the case of Bible verses misquoted or quoted out of context in an effort to make people live what some pastors think are more holy or more consecrated lives.
For any readers who are not pastors, ministers in any other capacity, or long-time saints, then by all means do exactly as your pastor tells you, and if he tells you something wrong, rest assured that he will give account to God. "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." (Hebrews 13:17).
I have NO argument with any position that anyone can prove by scriptures taken, read and applied in the meaning and context of the original speaker or writer and in full agreement with all other scriptures on the subject. I quote the opening paragraph of the Up Way Publications Guarantee: "Recognizing the responsibility to always teach and preach exactly the same doctrines that Jesus and the original apostles would if they were here in person today the following offer is made..." I DO take serious issue with those who drive individuals out of their church and build a very negative community image of their church which first of all should be an example of the love and care of Jesus Christ to seek and save, and secondly, a negative image which prevents meaningful outreach to the lost.
This issue of Talk to Ministers is a deadly serious warning to those who misquote certain scriptures, especially, Deuteronomy 22:5; 1 Timothy 2:9; and 1 Peter 3:3. I am greatly disturbed, nay ALARMED, by the misunderstanding so many pastors have as to what constitutes biblical, godly holiness and modesty. If we will all forget what dear old Brother So-and-So and the Baptist Dr. Holiness-is-what-I-say-it-is, and what everyone else says it is and take the exact language of the Bible (Whatever translation you use, the message overall is the same, though I do prefer King James Version) and the context of who is speaking to whom and under what conditions, a very great deal of the arguments and the ridicule of the church in the eyes of the world can be eliminated.
"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves." (I Thess. 5:9-13).
Without ANY doubt no person shall
see the Lord if he or she does not follow both peace and holiness (see
Heb. 12:14. Without any doubt, we are commanded to obey them that have
the rule over us and we are also commanded to not set a stumbling block
for a weaker brother or sister (see 1 Cor. 8:7-13; 10:28-30; 2 Cor.
3:17; Gal. 2:4; 5:2-7,13; James 1:25; 1 peter 2:15,16). We are also
to show forth the love of God. We are told to be modest, but the two great
We are NOT "lowering our standards" to correct our previous misquotation of three (3) or four (4) verses of scripture and begin instead to live by and apply the many that tell us what Jesus said were the "weightier matters."
Another direct commandment of Jesus to His followers is the "Great Commission" -- "Go ye..." and the means by which the world shall know we are His disciples -- "...that ye have love one to the other."
If only all of us in the ministry
would pursue truth and precise accuracy as strongly in the matter of holiness
and dress as we do in the matter of Jesus' name baptism and the oneness
of the godhead, much of the discord between brethren and the ridicule (sometimes
mistaken for respect) our communities have for some of our churches could
But to you pastors and other ministers
and church leaders, I have pointed out several times that the "pet" scriptures
used by most of those who preach a "holiness standard" of dressing have
the word, "NOT" right where it shoots down the very thing you are saying.
If it really brought glory to God, I would be all for it, but although
there are some really
If only we can realize that extra-biblical
standards, no matter how long practiced or by whom preached are not really
different from all the verses the "only believe" people use to teach their
doctrine that belief equals salvation. Both are nearly equal in keeping
people from what Jesus referred to as "weightier matters." In other words,
realize that I
Some comments on pet verses:
We want to be so correct in the plan of salvation, and that is wonderful and well-pleasing to the Lord, but why do we insist on totally misquoting Moses, Paul and Peter on the matter of "dressing holy"?
I can tell you, I know where I stand before my Lord Jesus Christ. And not one of you preaches a HIGHER standard of holiness than I do. If you say or do or go or wear or even think anything not intended, to the best of your scriptural knowledge and the leading of the Holy Spirit, to honor and glorify God, it is SIN! I'll take on all comers on that point! "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:17).
Other scriptures on this subject: "And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." (Luke 14:23).
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:1,2) If you do this and preach this and set the example of this, your clothing is not going to make you look weird or strange or "freaky" as the unsaved of your community might say with an obvious feeling of revulsion. You do not dress "just like the world," because a prostitute can make just as much or even more money dressing like a demure, pure Christian holiness girl who would be approved by the strictest pastor as she can wearing her sexiest short hot-pants outfit. It is not what you wear, but why you wear it. Are you dressing as you are to 1. please and honor the Lord Jesus Christ? 2. be proud of how "holy" you look and think you are better than others who dress less "holy"? 3. entice a person of the opposite sex? 4. please your spouse or your pastor? And which of those answers best fits the Bible picture of someone pleasing God? Which least pleases Him?
"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. "(I Peter 1:13-16).
Please forgive me if I am impatient and very adamant in my stand on this issue. I have seen the great harm to the Kingdom of God that the perception, albeit false, that in many Jesus-name Apostolic churches, the ushers are standing at the doors with rulers or tape measures to check skirt and hair length. Great harm has been done to the bringing of sincere Bible searchers into Apostolic truth by these misused and misquoted verses. (In several years of regular attendance and continued visits to various Apostolic churches, I have never once seen an usher with a measuring device, but I cannot count the many people in the community who quite quickly refuse an invitation to visit an Apostolic church just because of that wrong perception!!) The church is NOT known for being a place where your spiritual needs are met, but a place where you are condemned if you don't dress a certain way!
I also know a good number of Apostolic preachers many years older than I who have stated to me personally that they regretted that they drove off more people by misguided holiness standards than they reached in their communities and that if they had it to do over, they would have spent more time reaching out to the lost in love and honest concern and less on "standards". A person who never comes to even visit your church is generally also much less likely to read the Bible and pray until the plan of salvation is revealed to him than one who comes, hears the word and feels the Holy Spirit moving amongst His people.
If I had not seen souls, and indeed
whole communities, lost because ministers who were totally right on the
I here carefully demonstrate verse by verse that the very verses many of you folks use says that "apparel" or clothing, is NOT what the Apostle is saying. What? Is the 'not" whited out of your Bible? Please forgive me for being a bit sarcastic!
"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array." (1 Timothy 2:9). Please note, pastors, "... NOT with ... or costly array." Note FULLY the context of the verse. Hey, bro! if you gonna quote it, quote it as a part of the whole message Paul was sending on the subject, Don't pick and choose!! Are you a teacher having itching ears? There are plenty of modern-day Pharisees who want to feel "holier-than-thou" pride over the way they dress, so sure, you will have a following. But I cannot imagine the Jesus Christ I know, the one described in the Bible, being pleased with the saints and unsaved alike that you drive away from your churches by preaching your own standards -- people He died to seek and save!!! :-)
Likewise, 1 Peter 3:3. Read the WHOLE context, verses 1 through 6 and if you are going to preach on it, then give the context. What was the OVERALL message Peter was giving here? He specifically tells the way for a Christian wife to win her husband to the Lord is NOT by her outward apparel or appearance but it is WHAAT?? Again: WHAAAT? I can't hear you! And for whom is she to do this? For the salvation of her own husband. It says nothing whatever about what she is to wear at the factory or in McDonalds or Burger King, what she is to wear grocery shopping or to the beach. Here, the overriding rule should be: "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor. 10:31).
Finally: DO NOT LOWER your holiness standard, but elevate, RAISE it to full agreement with what the Bible really says.
Yours for Jesus' sake,
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This page last updated 17 July 2003.