Maxine's United Pentecostal Church Experience
Hello, I am writing this letter in response to your web page (http://www.spiritualabuse.org/hair.html) where you asked at the bottom of the page, "Are you struggling with this issue? Know someone who believes this, but can't understand where they're coming from?". I decided that I needed to write to you.
I have been in Pentecost for the last 14 years. I was about 10 when we started attending church. My mother never decided to follow the standards or to become involved in the church, but I, on the other hand, wanted to fit in more than anything. I listened to what everyone taught, and kind of just took it for granted that this is what the Bible says and this is what it means.
Well, I have been struggling with this issue lately. My husband and I have been married for 5 years, and we had been extremely involved in our church for the first 2 years of our marriage. When the church had a major split, we were left wondering where to go? After visiting all of the area churches, we were finding the same problems, the same reasons that the church that we had attended before had split.
We encountered snooty Pentecostalism; women in the churches thought that they were closer to God or better than anyone else because they had dressed the part. I watched as visitors would come and feel out of place, because of their ungodly attitudes. I was beginning to understand, that I had been the same way.
I became discouraged and frustrated, wondering in myself if this is what God had really intended. My husband and I hadn't been going to church, not because of the standards issue, but mostly because we weren't fitting in and never really felt welcome in any of the churches that we visited. So for the last 2 and 1/2 years we had not gone. We remained prayerful, and tried to remain as close to God as possible. I also kept the standards while we were not going to a church.
Recently my husband got a new job offer and we moved from the town where we had been living. Since we've been here, we had visited United Pentecostal Churches in the area, hoping that it would be different, but to our dismay it wasn't. So, we were driving down the street and saw a huge sign that read Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ, and we decided we would try it out. I am so glad that we did. We came into this church and not only felt welcome, we felt like family!! This is the first time we have experienced the real love of Jesus Christ!! I finally felt like I was surrounded by Christians.
Now this church teaches exactly what the UPC churches preach, but they don't have the standards. I have held onto these standards of no cutting of the hair and no pants for the last 14 years, and I have recently been praying about this issue, along with studying the word of God. Where I am at now, is why do I want to change? I am conflicted. I have been feeling for the last 3 years that standards are not necessary, and that the Bible doesn't really state that women should not cut their hair, or not wear pants. Where I am at now, is why do I feel so guilty about wanting to cut my hair or wear make up or wear pants?
When I look at others, I know that they are saved regardless of outward appearance. And that truly living for God comes from your heart, not from your clothing. I know it's not a heaven or hell issue, but, I am afraid that I will be cutting my hair or wearing pants now for all the wrong reasons. Why would I want to wear makeup? Not to glorify God, but myself. Why would I cut my hair? Because I want my hair to look healthy and beautiful, instead of scraggly and yucky. Why would I want to put a pair of pants on? Because I want to fit in better? I am just not so sure my reasons are really good reasons. I feel like I would be changing to feel better about myself. I am not scared that I will go to hell for doing these things, or that anyone else will either.
I just don't know where I need to go from here after reading a lot of the hair stories and the scriptures from your site. I feel the same; maybe you have some insight, or you can relate, to what I am feeling. I am just wanting to live for Jesus, and I want to do it to the best of my ability. My husband thinks that I should just give up my standards, because the Bible doesn't really say that they are necessary. That's all fine for him, but why am I struggling with it so much? Please pray for God to give me guidance on this issue, as I have been doing the same. I hope that you have some input that might help my situation. Sorry this letter is so long. I just haven't really been able to discuss with anyone how I am really feeling. Thanks for listening.
Posted March 16, 2002
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August 23, 1997
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