As my wife and I were recently walking into our local Wal-Mart, we were suddenly somewhat stunned, appalled, amazed – and quite frankly, even a bit embarrassed for – the two young ladies in their mid-teens who had just hurriedly made their way around us on some vital shopping mission or another. It wasn’t the fact that they hurried by us – as we’ve gotten a bit older and slower we’ve become used to that. But it was what they were – or better yet, what they were very definitely NOT – wearing that was embarrassing. Both had on pretty much micro-mini shorty-shorts; shorts that had only slightly more material than the beach volleyball bikini bottoms worn by the women at the recent Rio Olympics; shorts that only barely therefore covered their behinds – and one with a very provocative white lace fringe that suggestively bounced with every step. It was enough to make any mature Christian man immediately turn his eyes away towards anything else in the store, and to make any mature Christian woman want to quickly grab a couple of beach towels from the house wares department, hurriedly run up to and wrap the towels around them, and then tell them point-blank to go back home and put some clothes on because they had apparently forgotten to get dressed before they came out of the house being still only in their underwear!
But what was even sadder about those two girls walking around in public, semi-clad in such scanty attire as would have made most Victoria’s Secret models feel right at home (and such as our two daughters growing up wouldn’t have even dared to try to lounge around the house during a lazy Saturday morning in), was the fact that one of them had on a T-shirt, loudly, proudly, and boldly proclaiming and advertising that she was part of a somewhat local Baptist Church’s youth group – and even gave the name! No wonder some of the denominations around us seem to attract so many more young men than we do to their ranks. And this is the second time in as many weeks that my wife and I have sadly seen the same sort of scenario played out before us. The previous time was in a different location, at a different store, and with a different message on the T-shirt, but with a somewhat similar sort of scantily-clad but at the same time slightly older young woman (maybe in her early to mid twenties?) with her completely immodest and sexually suggestive attire and her T-shirt message that sadly but boldly read: “I love my church.”
I guess that Acts 2:38, 22:16, Romans 6, Galatians 3:26-27, Colossians 2:1-14, as well as 1 Peter 3:21 are not the only Scripture verses missing from many major denominations’ bibles. Apparently so are passages and verses like 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 1 Timothy 2:8-15, and 1 Peter 1:13-16, 2:9-12, 3:1-6, and 4:1-5.
But what about us? What verses are maybe, in much the same way, “missing” from our bibles? When we show up for the worship assembly – and especially those men who are set apart to serve God from the front – in the same sort of ordinary, everyday, casual clothes which one would wear to school, or to the store, or to work (and especially when we know we have something far less casual and leisurely and far more formal and reverent in our closets which we would and/or even have worn to any number of events of the “more important” (?!?) nature) – might not it be questioned as to whether or not Malachi One is still in our bibles?
And should one feel the need to bring coffee, candy, pop, popcorn, chips or chocolate into bible class and the worship assembly in a manner not all that much different from what one might take into a movie theater – even though we diligently disavow and defend against drama skits and instrumental music and aggressively claim (paying lip-service at least) to be against making the worship assembly over into just another entertainment event and venue – are we really all that far from irreverently treating worship like worldly entertainment when we feel the need to ingest and indulge in those sorts of things during the worship assembly in our Father’s house (1 Timothy 3:14-15)? And might it not be wondered by others if and when we do such things, where such chapters and verses as Leviticus 10:1-11, Isaiah 5:20-21, and Ezekiel 22:23-26 have gone from our bibles?
Godly-fearing holiness, reverence, and respect, both in and out of the worship assembly, is the personal and individual responsibility of each and every single saint’s soul who wants to go to heaven to be with a holy God for all eternity. Here and now, is where holiness, reverence, and respect for who God is and what God wants His children to be, begins. This is our calling (Matthew 5:13-16; Ephesians 4:1-24; Colossians 3:15-17; plus 1 Corinthians and 1 Peter as referenced above). This is our duty. This is our responsibility. This is our calling.
So… What exactly does your bible say in those passages?
And… How are you going to answer God’s call to holiness, reverence, and respect next Lord’s Day?