My Thoughts on Standards
I am a current UPC member (formerly Southern Baptist) and came across your site when researching some hair teachings. I recently began to question some of the teachings on hair, and after much consideration, prayer, and research, I decided to start trimming my hair again. I now believe that a woman's hair is her glory if it is LONG, not necessarily uncut.
I realized that in the past I may have acted as a modern day Pharisee at times, looking down on the "pour souls" who cut their hair. I have repented for this. Likewise, I don't want to become someone who looks down on others for not cutting their hair. I just want to love people, bottom line. I am going to continue to wear skirts, and not wear jewelry other than my wedding ring, as a personal conviction, but I don't believe these things are heaven or hell issues. I have always worn a little makeup, had a TV, gone to the movies, etc. and I think these are all personal issues.
I do want to add that I love my church family. I am highly aware that people have suffered due to some UPC churches, but I also know there are so many good ones out there. As another reader stated, I came into this church after questioning my old church, and spent months studying the scriptures. No one ever "made" me do anything. I also believe they are in line with the Bible on Jesus name baptism, the infilling of the Holy Ghost, and spiritual gifts.
My church is a wonderful place. Our pastor leaves a lot up to the individual to decide what standards they choose to follow. Also at my church we DO NOT condemn other denominations to hell, etc.
On this site, I heard about a lot of corruption in the UPC, but see, it was just the opposite for me. When I was 7 years old, my Baptist pastor had an affair with the secretary. At 12 years old, another pastor had an affair with a lady in the church, and at 18, a group of people threatened to stop paying their tithes if the pastor allowed this black preacher to come who was scheduled to preach. He gave in to them and cancelled the visit. I left shortly thereafter. After I left, I was teased and looked down on by my parents, and ignored in public by former Sunday school teachers or other church members. I am not slandering Baptists, I am just making a point that corruption occurs in various denominations.
Anyway, I believe standards are a good thing to set apart people, as long as there is balance and not condemnation. The trouble is when standards become someone's salvation. Standards are things we should want to do because we are saved, not things that determine salvation. I like when people stop me and ask me if I'm Pentecostal. It is a great witnessing tool. I would like to encourage people to find a loving Pentecostal church to attend, and I'm sorry that others didn't have the same experience I have had.
Posted February 17, 2007
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August 23, 1997
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