One Woman Shares
I am a current UPCI church member and must say a few words in defense of the church. Yes, sometimes I question the necessity for the standard of hair, dress, etc. I agree that if a person doesn't feel a conviction of those things, he/she should not feel forced to follow those guidelines. And no one in my church is forced unless they want to be in a position of leadership, in which case it is only natural that the pastor would expect them to support his teachings.
I really do not know if these issues are "heaven or hell" issues, but I believe that anyone who does these things in a right spirit, loving, submissive to God spirit, they will be rewarded in heaven. Frankly, if there is an uncertainty, I would rather do these things and find out in heaven that they weren't necessary, than to NOT do them, and find out that it kept me out of heaven.
Sometimes it is difficult to be "separate", but how much more did God do for us!! It is the least I can do in return for ALL that He has done for me. I mean, He DIED for me!!!
I commend you for doing your own research and not relying only on the teaching of a preacher. I do not necessarily agree with all of your points of view, though.
I encourage people to be part of the church, whether they want to follow those standards or not. I fellowship with people not of the same faith readily and do my best to ward of judgmental spirits. As far as being judgmental, I don't believe that you can judge the whole UPC on that. Yes, some are very judgmental toward "backsliders" and "new converts", but not everyone is.
And I'm sure that there are people in non-UPC churches that are judgmental also. That is a personal problem, not a people problem. I follow some of the guidelines of the Articles of Faith, but I do not follow all of them. I feel it is my responsibility to do or not do what I feel in the Spirit.
Church is a place to worship God, learn more of the Word, receive leading from a Shepherd appointed by God. But I do not feel a church should be a place that runs people's lives or forces them to do anything. And if my church ever makes me feel I am being forced, then I certainly will look for another church.
Posted March 17, 2002
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August 23, 1997
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