I do not think that this apostolic movement is perfect. In fact, there are several areas within the movement that have little resemblance to the life of Jesus Christ. Doctrines. Traditions. Fads.
I love this way of life. I love it because, in general, the men (and women) strive to keep the foundational Biblical truths, having to do this by sifting through every wind of doctrine, trying their best to find and maintain balance. This is no easy task.
One of the pros (or cons) of having the internet is realizing that in the big, wide world of apostolicism, there are a whole lot of very different, some very disturbing doctrines floating around. Ten years ago I could claim ignorance to these. Now I can't. I haven't decided yet if this is good or bad.
One recurring theme I have been finding - on apparent "apostolic" blogs - is the belief that having a strong standard of conduct and/or dress somehow takes away from the grace of God and the understanding of it. I'm amazed at the amount of people who claim "liberating freedom" in learning about God's grace - which, without exception, is accompanied by a letting down in the way they previously dressed and how they previously conducted their lives.
And if I could, I would have to ask:
1) Why does the FIRST sign of the enlightenment of grace always mean you "get" to do things you previously felt restricted to do?
2) Is there a limit to your liberal (for lack of a better word) turn, or will God, with His grace, accept you in WHATEVER you decide to do?
3) If there is a limit.....meaning that you still would choose NOT to do some things, I have to ask, why? If God is full of grace, what gives you insight as to what is acceptable and what is not?
I understand that God's grace cannot be earned. However, that does not absolve me from obeying His Word.
The same people who feel......liberated.........most likely do not believe it is okay to commit adultery. That it's not okay to steal or murder. That it's not okay to lie. However, that same Bible talks very strongly about the necessity of gender distinction and about men and women's hair. And for some reason that is the first thing that people feel liberated from, in the name of grace.
I do not believe I am more holy - truly I do not (in fact, right now I feel quite like schmuck in the eyes of God). I know that God weighs the spirit and looks at the heart of man and that no level of outward "holiness" will make me saved if my heart is not right. But I ask - does the fact that I have a huge amount of things to constantly work on inwardly excuse my dress and conduct outwardly?
I think not.
I understand obedience and the necessity of it. And do not confuse the necessity of obedience with the grace of God.
That, to me, is a very disturbing doctrine.