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Friday, July 15, 2005

Church Wants to Ban Saggy Jeans and Gold Teeth

Goldtooth This from TheLedger.com:

A church has asked for a citywide ban on low-hanging pants and gold-capped teeth, saying they promote a thuggish image.

Changing the image of young people could help Jacksonville cut unemployment, racial profiling and a rising per-capita murder rate now the highest in the state, said Richard Burton, deacon of Epiphany Baptist Church.

The 250 member independent Baptist church approved the resolution last month.

Jacksonville city officials have yet to take up the measure, although Councilwoman Elaine Brown said she was willing to discuss it with church members.

Hmmm... are baggy pants and gold teeth the real problem?

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July 15, 2005 in For What It's Worth | Permalink

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Sounds like a Christian version of the Taliban, and this list is just the start. Soon to be added:

No tongue, belly button, etc. piercings... No cussing in public... No business on Sunday... No revealing clothing on girls (bikini's, etc.)... etc., etc., etc.

I can see them making such a list for church members, but for the (unsaved) community?


Posted by: bernie dehler | Jul 15, 2005 3:03:16 PM

Wow Bernie, that was a bit extreme! It comes dangerously close to Senator Durbin's remarks about GITMO. Those of us who live in an urban environment know that certain dress codes are symbolic of worldviews, lifestyles, gang and club associations etc. When our children were teenagers our local schools banned Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornet starter jackets because they were the colors of choice for two rival gangs.

I get a bit concerned when any church suggests a dress code and immediately they are charged with being legalists or "Christian taliban." There just may be very good reasons for this pastor and church to try to influence their city council about issues as those they brought up.

Posted by: pjlr | Jul 15, 2005 3:48:16 PM

Dress Codes for the general public do not work! They are not enforcable and only tend to gender self-righteousness and increased isolation, just ask someone from any of the old school holiness movements.

Historically, speaking racial profiling existed long before gold teeth, baggy jeans, punk rockers, or gothic clothing styles.

The influence and impact of the Church will remain minimum until we are willing to get beyond the superficial surface and get to the heart of the matter.

Posted by: hrg | Jul 16, 2005 11:10:48 AM

In my experience, most independent Baptist churches are a lily-white bunch... if this is the case here, then the whole idea reeks of racism. Is this a good way to reach out to people? To campaign to have their clothing and dental adornments outlawed?

Jesus didn't die on a cross to change dress codes... but hearts.

Posted by: beej | Jul 17, 2005 6:05:45 PM

Hey guys Check out John The Baptist Ministry
He dress with a leather girdle, ate locust and wild honey and the old boy live not in th temple but in the wildernesss and Jesus said their was none greater but least in the Kingdom.

Posted by: Bri, G | Jul 18, 2005 12:57:55 AM

My prayer is that the Lord of the Harvest will send more workers into the fields.

Only by sharing the Gospel to non-believers does salvation come and true heart, attitude, behavior changes.

Here in Alabama we are famous for the Ten Commandments. We have court cases, we have bumper stickers. However very few with the stickers know what the commandments are.

They just want to fight about taking God out of public arena. Or I should say they prefer God to come into the public arena through laws, monuments, and government officals.

Just like the liberals they want the government to do what the person should do.

We do not have prayer in school because parents have not taught thier children to pray by thier example and words.

We do not have Ten Commandments in our public areas becasue we refuse them access to our private lives.

Jesus is not mentioned in public, because many times He is not even welcome in our private get togethers with friends and family.

Posted by: Franklin Reeves | Jul 18, 2005 12:11:13 PM

You have to have the wisdom to understand we live in a post Christian society and must begin to witness as to a non-christian culture overseas. One does not go to Japan and try and force western culture as Christianity- rather one must seek to change the heart and beliefs and the morality will follow as a side effect. This is true for a society that has a false view of Christianity and has turned to hedonism as it's religion.

Preach the simple gospel message of sin and salvation thru Christ, rather than trying to control a cutlture that is no longer your culture. Unfortunately for many us (especially the Baptists) we have not admitted that our society has turned catre blanche from the Church as it's guide- so they spend millions of dollars trying to control a group that left them years ago.

Sort of like Taiwan and China. China just refuses to admit Taiwan rejected them. So the church refuses to admit it is not the cultural voice that it was fifty to a hundred years ago.

JB Skaggs

Posted by: jb skaggs | Jul 18, 2005 12:58:05 PM

In banning certain clothing articles and other cultural trends we would be banning the people who don them. If peoplec can't come to hear about the Lord the way they are they won't come at all. It's not for us to tell people they can't coming wearing certain things. Where is the Biblical precedence for that?

We are strange sometimes because we pray for people to turn from worldly living, come to church and give their life to Christ and when they come to church and positioned to turn their life over to Christ, the same people who prayed them in will now be responsible for leaving out.

Let us teach them the importance and worship and living by the Word of God and let's allow the Lord to dictate to their hearts when, how and IF they should change.

Posted by: K. Bailey | Jul 18, 2005 1:55:11 PM

After reading this article I don't believe from this information that one could conclude that this is an attempt to dictate sinner behavior. I kind of agree with pjlr here. It's very likely the clothing trends can be associated with criminal behaviour. However, I also believe that to those individuals wearing the gear they would probable miss interpret that as being judgemental. This situation reminds me of a story I heard once from a missionary. This individual told me that it wasn't uncommon that women from the village would come and attend his services without some sort of top to cover their chests. He went on to say that these individuals had gotten saved and from their experience they realized their actions need correction. The missionary told me that from this experience he realized that is was up to God to clean them up and his position was only to give them the Gospel. This scenario could easily apply here. Instead of changing a difficult harmful part of someone's culture we should address the issue that really needs changed; the heart of these individuals. Just a thought. God bless.

Posted by: Pete King | Jul 18, 2005 2:33:07 PM

I don't have to make this a long comment because I think many have voiced several of my feelings. All I can say is that it hurts my heart that we will turn people away because of the way they are dressed or how they look when they smile. If we don't reach out to these people who will. Where is judgement falling. We are told that we are not to judge and yet this is what we are doing by not accepting them. Jesus turns NO ONE away whether they be black or white, tall or short, in suits or baggy jeans - he accepts and LOVES us all.
We are to love our neighbors as Jesus loves us.

Posted by: Bobbye Hemby | Jul 19, 2005 2:31:37 PM

Should the Church try to legislate externals to the world? They probably won't listen(1 Cor. 2:14). I believe that in the body of Christ there is a greater issue. The purpose and function of the Church is to make disciples. To create an atmosphere where believers can mature in knowledge and obedience to the Word of God and, most of all, grow in love. But in all of our efforts to grow numbers in churches, be it purpose driven, seeker sensitive, etc, we have lost vision of who we are ministering to. We have let the world infiltrate the church and water down the truth so much that we celebrate 30,000 member churches whose pastor is proud that he doesn't preach doctrine and whose main goal each week is that the people "feel good when they leave".

The problem isn't the world acting like the world. The problem is when those who have allegedly been regenerated, born again, saved, etc. are wearing saggy pants and gold teeth. Does it really represent the glorifying and changing power of Jesus Christ when believers mumble in slang and don't look you in the eye when they speak to you? Does heaven applaud when you can't even tell the difference (in appearance AND behavior) between a murdering drug trafficking gang member and half the church youth group? Is that what "The Church" is supposed to look like?

People who are desperate and hurting and really looking for truth don't wan't replication of what they ALREADY HAVE. They need a God who can come in and radically transform their broken and miserable lives. If all the Church is providing is a glorified social club for people to hang out at, then we truly have lost our purpose and vision, and we get what we deserve.

If the church did it's job (creating disciples), we wouldn't need to try to pass laws dictating externals to the world. They would either love it and embrace it, or they would outright hate and reject it. (Kind of like they did to Jesus!)

Posted by: Al Addleman | Jul 20, 2005 5:50:11 PM

Dress code? For the general public? Here in the United States? I don't think it would even pass the constitutionality test. We christians aren't the arbiters or the judges or the writers of moral law but rather the examples of what Jesus teaches. Seems to me we ought to be about getting these people into churches not out of a style of clothing you don't like. When I was young it was length of hair that was an issue. I understand your motives of trying to make everyone "good" (as you perceive it) but leave others to the Holy Spirit and you take care of yourself!

Posted by: David Perkins | Jul 25, 2005 12:18:58 PM

At my previous church, one young lady dressed gothic. When I first met her, I thought she was strange, but she drew in a lot of people who in turn gave their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ. If you ask me, some churches are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. In fact, I would dare say that more than some would believe fit in to that category. What happened to preaching the good news?? If we were really concerned with reaching the lost at all costs, we would not be focusing on the outward appearances of unbelievers. Some churches and christians have this idea that the gospel is not just the good news of Jesus Christ. We need to quit adding to the message, and let the Holy Spirit do the job of convicting people. I keep repeating, maybe someone, somewhere will listen. The churches job is preach the good news to everyone that they can, baptize, and THEN disciple. Some may disagree, but you can't disciple unbelievers. Love God, Love Everyone, Preach the Good News, this is the job of the church. Let them come in to hear. Better yet. Get out of your church buildings and preach at the beach or in the malls or anywhere else instead of being cooped up in your fortresses and bless me clubs.

Posted by: Peter D | Jul 26, 2005 8:49:21 AM

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