**DISCLAIMER: This is very frank and perhaps offensive to some. If you are not interested in hearing a rant about what I believe to be Biblical Truth, this post is NOT for you***
When I was 14 years old and desperate, God introduced Himself to me. He did this by sending someone my way, proclaiming just the right amount of His Word, and then in a Still Small Voice to my heart, telling me that "this was what I was searching for". In later years after learning to recognize His voice speaking to me, I understood this more clearly. Even now it astounds me how clear His voice was then. I remember that moment and still hear His exact words; I still feel the tingling down my spine that I felt back then. Most importantly, I still BELIEVE IT.
And I believe with all of my heart, this is what has kept me from believing a lie throughout the years. This is what has kept me from *changing* what I initially believed. The truth is down deep in my spirit and God has confirmed it over and over and over. I cannot and will not change it. It is NOT my Word to change.
I am disturbed at the confusion about *standards*. I am disturbed at the blatant rebellion against what was once believed. I understand fully, 100 percent, that standards do NOT save us. I understand that my sleeves could be to my wrists and my skirt to the floor and I could have a heart full of hatred, a tongue that gossips, a bitter spirit. And that I WILL be lost if those remain unrepented of.
What I don't understand is the belief that *forsaking those standards* might actually make us CLOSER to God.??? Why forsaking the standards suddenly gives a special insight to what GRACE really means. I understand the potential for self righteousness. I understand that God HATES self righteousness. But I don't believe we forsake separation in order to get a grip on self righteousness. The closer I get to God, the more I understand that my own righteousness is nothing but filth. But I also understand that there are many things that could defile my temple, and it certainly doesn't give me carte blanche to do what I please. It's all about balance.
What I do understand is how people who forsake the *legalism* - bless God it's grace alone after all (completely not understanding that GRACE teaches us, not permits us) - end up losing the revelation of ONE GOD, BAPTISM IN JESUS NAME, THE INFILLING OF THE HOLY GHOST BY THE EVIDENCE OF SPEAKING IN TONGUES. And I ask, do they really forget the times God moved on them in their spirit and they spoke in a language they did not learn? Do they really? If they don't forget that, why do they suddenly believe IT'S NOT NECESSARY?
How can they attend a church that believes God is a Trinity?
All the clothing/hair arguments go up in smoke entirely to me when those same people forsake the very foundation of Truth. The Oneness of God. Baptism in Jesus Name. The infilling of the Holy Ghost. Why can't the foundations be kept once the *standards* are gone? If standards are the issue, why don't they still believe in One God? If they still believe in One God, why do they go to a Trinitarian church?
I have a lot of standards for my children. Likely quite a few of them are unnecessary. Being unsure, however, of exactly what might ensnare them, I keep the standard high. Likewise, being married, I conduct my behavior AND dress in like manner. I do NOT flirt with men, married or single. I do not wear provocative clothing (and wouldn't even if I was svelte).
Why would a Christian wear provocative clothing or dress in any way that could be considered seductive? To some extent this is an individual conviction, but my goodness when someone's individual conviction is to show their cleavage, then I can certainly understand why there is a standard!
I don't feel like I am explaining my heart very well, but I my main point is this: Once upon a time, God gave me a revelation of His Truth. He then proved it by giving me a supernatural experience that was promised from His Word when I received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. He helped me understand that He took flesh on Himself, came to earth as a man, and that he is not THREE persons. Why on earth would I risk losing ANY of that precious revelation because I feel restricted by *legalistic* standards?
I have yet to see one person retain the knowledge of that Truth once they rebelled against those standards. Not one.
It is that Truth that is precious to me. Not the length of my sleeves per se. However, even if NONE of the guidelines I keep is necessary - and I truly won't know until Glory - history has shown me that it is not worth rebelling against them because of the risk of losing the knowledge of His precious Truth.
The Truth that He spoke to me in that Still Small Voice 29 years ago.