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farouk

Conservatism versus hyper-conservatism?

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I like to think that from a theological point of view and even a cultural point of view I'm rather conservative in my outlook. ('What saith the Scriptures?' is a healthy yardstick.) But what might be called hyper-conservatism is sometimes quite different in tone and content.

To be honest, I must admit that I am baffled by some of the other threads which seem to be based on the premise that some cultural customs (whether about certain sports, attire, etc.) being supposedly wrong inherently, thus supposedly rendering people suspect theologically if they don't share the same vehement opposition to them. Put another way, conservatism seems to be vastly different from hyper-conservatism.

Is it just me? or does anyone else feel this way, too?

(Thoughts?)

Edited by farouk

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I think there's a natural tendency to use our own opinions as the yardstick by which we measure the ideas and opinions of others. All of us think we are "balanced," and tend to think of people who seem to be a few "standard deviations" to the right or left of us on any given issue as "hyper-something." For example, I'm sure some people on here think of me as "a liberal" since I don't see anything wrong with women participating in sports, or wearing modest pants, and am not KJVO. However, others might view me as "a conservative" because I believe that certain art forms (styles of music, for example) demean the gospel, and I wouldn't allow my kids to get tats or pierce their tongues, and I wouldn't send them to public school.

I've found that these terms (hyper-conservative, hyper-liberal, etc.) aren't at all useful in most discussions, because none of us see ourselves as others see us. Assigning labels doesn't aid the free exchange of ideas; it hampers it.

It doesn't bother me that others apply Scripture differently than I do; on the contrary, I rejoice that people are using scripture as their guide to faith and practice. The applications of others aren't my business, although it's fun to throw ideas around in a friendly manner. The thing that bothers me sometimes is when people throw out accusations (or at least negative insinuations) simply because another person is applying scripture differently than they would. It behooves us all to remember that we are not responsible for others, but only for ourselves. We all think differently, and shouldn't be surprised when someone disagrees with us in matters of practice.

Edited by Annie

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I think there's a natural tendency to use our own opinions as the yardstick by which we measure the ideas and opinions of others. All of us think we are "balanced," and tend to think of people who seem to be a few "standard deviations" to the right or left of us on any given issue as "hyper-something." For example, I'm sure some people on here think of me as "a liberal" since I don't see anything wrong with women participating in sports, or wearing modest pants, and am not KJVO. However, others might view me as "a conservative" because I believe that certain art forms (styles of music, for example) demean the gospel.

I've found that these terms (hyper-conservative, hyper-liberal, etc.) aren't at all useful in most discussions, because none of us see ourselves as others see us. Assigning labels doesn't aid the free exchange of ideas; it hampers it.


I see, yes, ty.

It's a case of defining where what is 'extreme' begins, I suppose, without using the label 'extreme' too often.

I guess my starting point is, the Scriptures offer a perfect balance, although my understanding of them may be far from perfect, so I need to strive for that balance, constantly.

(Anyway, my wife wears pants and I don't make it some sort of issue of theology.)

Blessings.

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I think there's a natural tendency to use our own opinions as the yardstick by which we measure the ideas and opinions of others. All of us think we are "balanced," and tend to think of people who seem to be a few "standard deviations" to the right or left of us on any given issue as "hyper-something." For example, I'm sure some people on here think of me as "a liberal" since I don't see anything wrong with women participating in sports, or wearing modest pants, and am not KJVO. However, others might view me as "a conservative" because I believe that certain art forms (styles of music, for example) demean the gospel, and I wouldn't allow my kids to get tats or pierce their tongues, and I wouldn't send them to public school.

I've found that these terms (hyper-conservative, hyper-liberal, etc.) aren't at all useful in most discussions, because none of us see ourselves as others see us. Assigning labels doesn't aid the free exchange of ideas; it hampers it.

It doesn't bother me that others apply Scripture differently than I do; on the contrary, I rejoice that people are using scripture as their guide to faith and practice. The applications of others aren't my business, although it's fun to throw ideas around in a friendly manner. The thing that bothers me sometimes is when people throw out accusations (or at least negative insinuations) simply because another person is applying scripture differently than they would. It behooves us all to remember that we are not responsible for others, but only for ourselves. We all think differently, and shouldn't be surprised when someone disagrees with us in matters of practice.


I don't think I'm "balanced". I'm hyper conservative. :clapping:

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I see, yes, ty.

It's a case of defining where what is 'extreme' begins, I suppose, without using the label 'extreme' too often.

I guess my starting point is, the Scriptures offer a perfect balance, although my understanding of them may be far from perfect, so I need to strive for that balance, constantly.

(Anyway, my wife wears pants and I don't make it some sort of issue of theology.)

Blessings.

Right...Since Scripture doesn't spell out every issue of practice, it is up to us as individuals and local churches to read what Scripture says, evaluate other factors (like culture), and make informed, thought-through, discerning decisions about how we should live. When it comes to particulars, we shouldn't expect everyone else to reach the same conclusions we do, or even to understand why we've arrived at the conclusions we have. It's not a stranger's business to critique that sort of thing. That's the Holy Spirit's job. However, if we are willing to discuss various issues in a friendly way, we put ourselves in the place of at least understanding where our Christian brothers and sisters are coming from, which can be beneficial on all sides. Marginalizing someone as "hyper-conservative" creates a barrier where unity should reign.

I respect the opinions of Miss Linda, even though I don't agree with her on certain issues. Same with John and LuAnne and others I've interacted with in this forum. As a fellow believer in Christ, I can be edified by their insights, even if I don't agree with them completely. It would be prideful to imagine that I have all the answers about everything, and that everyone else (even those I might think of as "hyper conservative") is dead wrong. I'm sure I'm wrong about many things, and it's great to be able to participate in a forum where ideas can be challenged and informed some more.

I think it's a mistake to get so caught up in "issues-driven" debates that we fail to see how very similar we all are as children of God. Edited by Annie

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Right...Since Scripture doesn't spell out every issue of practice, it is up to us as individuals and local churches to read what Scripture says, evaluate other factors (like culture), and make informed, thought-through, discerning decisions about how we should live. When it comes to particulars, we shouldn't expect everyone else to reach the same conclusions we do, or even to understand why we've arrived at the conclusions we have. It's not a stranger's business to critique that sort of thing. That's the Holy Spirit's job. However, if we are willing to discuss various issues in a friendly way, we put ourselves in the place of at least understanding where our Christian brothers and sisters are coming from, which can be beneficial on all sides. Marginalizing someone as "hyper-conservative" creates a barrier where unity should reign.

I respect the opinions of Miss Linda, even though I don't agree with her on certain issues. Same with John and LuAnne and others I've interacted with in this forum. As a fellow believer in Christ, I can be edified by their insights, even if I don't agree with them completely. It would be prideful to imagine that I have all the answers about everything, and that everyone else (even those I might think of as "hyper conservative") is dead wrong.

I think it's a mistake to get so caught up in "issues-driven" debates that we fail to see how very similar we all are as children of God.


Some good and helpful thoughts there, thank-you.

Such input is helpful and maybe there is also a better term than 'hyper-conservative'.

In any case, rather than being ad hominem, it's more about mindsets, and we can all continuously benefit from having our own individual mindsets informed and fashioned by Scripture's broad scope of revelation.

(If this makes sense.)

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Some good and helpful thoughts there, thank-you.

Such input is helpful and maybe there is also a better term than 'hyper-conservative'.

In any case, rather than being ad hominem, it's more about mindsets, and we can all continuously benefit from having our own individual mindsets informed and fashioned by Scripture's broad scope of revelation.

(If this makes sense.)

It does make sense, and I agree. Focusing on Scripture and living by it (rather than worrying about how others might apply Scripture differently than I do, and coming up with labels for them) is what it's all about. Edited by Annie

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It does make sense, and I agree. Focusing on Scripture and living by it (rather than worrying about how others might apply Scripture differently than I do, and coming up with labels for them) is what it's all about.


Ms Annie:

Yes, 'worrying' is wrong. Like you say, we will all interpret some things differently. But then this is part of the mindset in question (or whatever one calls it) whereby only those who interpret it as I do, can really be sound theologically, supposedly. Anyway, I shouldn't worry about what ppl think of my wife's pants, etc. or young ppl's earrings etc., or sports, etc., and, like you say, focus on Scripture and living by it, right.

Blessings. Edited by farouk

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I like to think that from a theological point of view and even a cultural point of view I'm rather conservative in my outlook. ('What saith the Scriptures?' is a healthy yardstick.) But what might be called hyper-conservatism is sometimes quite different in tone and content.

To be honest, I must admit that I am baffled by some of the other threads which seem to be based on the premise that some cultural customs (whether about certain sports, attire, etc.) being supposedly wrong inherently, thus supposedly rendering people suspect theologically if they don't share the same vehement opposition to them. Put another way, conservatism seems to be vastly different from hyper-conservatism.

Is it just me? or does anyone else feel this way, too?

(Thoughts?)

I've never heard of a hyper-conservative. I've heard of conservatives, neo-conservatives and paleo-conservatives.

In any event, if one is using Scripture as the yardstick they will be viewed as extreme if they actually believe and follow the Scriptures.

Scripture is not unclear with regards to things such as attire and pertains to all cultures. Modesty is clearly taught for all. Not conforming to the way of the world is clearly taught. It doesn't matter what culture one is in, most of the body is to be covered in a modest manner when in public or the company of those not ones spouse.

Even where Scripture doesn't give a direct command or statement, Scripture provides an abundance of principles for us to apply to everything in life.

What we see today is most Christians wanting to have a Burger King Christianity, they want to have it their way. Scripture is clear on dressing modestly yet most Christians dress the same or nearly the same as the immodest world dresses.

Look at the many Christians today who call themselves Christians yet they don't follow Christ; they follow their own lusts, the ways of the world, their own will. Professing Christians flock to the R-rated movies where they hear the name of Jesus profaned continuously, where sinful sex is seen in detail and in an approving manner, where the "morals" of the world are promoted and other ungodly things are put into the hearts and minds of those viewing.

What does Jesus say? If you love me you will keep my commandments. If we want to follow Christ we are called to deny self, live for Christ, even to the point of it being Christ living in us and not ourselves. How many professing Christians even attempt this let alone actually strive for this? Most professing Christians want to have the security they feel in saying they are Christian while refusing or outright rejecting following Christ.

Jesus asked why so many call Him Lord yet don't do as He commands. Jesus warned the day will come when many will stand before Him declaring they are His yet He will tell them plainly He never knew them and cast them away.

Scripture doesn't call folks to profess to be Christian and follow the world, Scripture calls for actual disciples who follow Christ. We are warned to examine our faith to be sure of our salvation.

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If one looks worldly (inappropriate jewelry, immodest clothing, etc), walks worldly (doing worldly things), and talks worldly, then one must be worldly (and not walking right with God). A child walking/striving to walk with The Lord should not be anything like this. We are called to be separate. We should look different, act different (when compared to the world).

Call me conservative, call me narrow-minded....I'm as narrow minded as God's word.

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If one looks worldly (inappropriate jewelry, immodest clothing, etc), walks worldly (doing worldly things), and talks worldly, then one must be worldly (and not walking right with God). A child walking/striving to walk with The Lord should not be anything like this. We are called to be separate. We should look different, act different (when compared to the world).

Call me conservative, call me narrow-minded....I'm as narrow minded as God's word.

I think every Christian would agree with you on this...It's not "hyper-conservative" to think this way; it's biblical. Where Christians differ (and where labels begin to be thrown out) is on what practices/behaviors/ways of thinking are considered "worldly." I don't think pants on women are "worldly"; others do. I enjoy reading the Narnia books and the LOTR books and the Harry Potter books; others would call that "wordly." I wouldn't put my kids into a public school; others would. swim?

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I agree with what various ppl have said, and the truth of separation is very important: separation from the world and separation to God.

Romans 14, about Christian liberty, is important, too.

(I guess the label part of it is rather subjective; their meaning can differ from one person to another.)

We will all interpret some things differently. But as mentioned in response to Annie's good post, I shouldn't worry about what ppl think, e.g., of my wife's pants, etc. or young ppl's earrings etc., or sports, etc., because it's best to focus on Scripture and living by it.

Edited by farouk

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I like to think that from a theological point of view and even a cultural point of view I'm rather conservative in my outlook. ('What saith the Scriptures?' is a healthy yardstick.) But what might be called hyper-conservatism is sometimes quite different in tone and content.

To be honest, I must admit that I am baffled by some of the other threads which seem to be based on the premise that some cultural customs (whether about certain sports, attire, etc.) being supposedly wrong inherently, thus supposedly rendering people suspect theologically if they don't share the same vehement opposition to them. Put another way, conservatism seems to be vastly different from hyper-conservatism.

Is it just me? or does anyone else feel this way, too?

(Thoughts?)


My pastor preached a very good message a few weeks back. He preached on the liberty of Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. He preached that there is an even balance of living in liberty and puting oneself under bondage and subjecting oneself to rules that don't exist. While I have seen many people do this including myself when I was growing up, I am thankful that God brought me out of the bondage I put myself in. As I have said before, Christianity isn't about a set of rules that says do this, don't do that and living in fear of judgment. These rules may exist, but it is about the relationship with Christ. As a person grows closer to Christ, he/she will want to follow Christ and be Christ-like. I generally can have fellowship with people who put themselves under bondage, but it can be quite difficult when they start accusing me and judging me of not following Scriptures even though Scripture may not be clear on the matter (ex. playing cards).

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My pastor preached a very good message a few weeks back. He preached on the liberty of Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. He preached that there is an even balance of living in liberty and puting oneself under bondage and subjecting oneself to rules that don't exist. While I have seen many people do this including myself when I was growing up, I am thankful that God brought me out of the bondage I put myself in. As I have said before, Christianity isn't about a set of rules that says do this, don't do that and living in fear of judgment. These rules may exist, but it is about the relationship with Christ. As a person grows closer to Christ, he/she will want to follow Christ and be Christ-like. I generally can have fellowship with people who put themselves under bondage, but it can be quite difficult when they start accusing me and judging me of not following Scriptures even though Scripture may not be clear on the matter (ex. playing cards).


amblivion:

Good post, ty.

Sounds like a good sermon that you heard. Edited by farouk

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Good posts! Christians do indeed have liberty (btw - the liberty in 2 Cor 3:17 is talking about freedom from sin, not the right to do whatever we want - amblivion, I know you're not promoting that...I just wanted to clarify myself). And many people seem to forget that, painting invisible arrows on the foreheads of people who don't do exactly as they do. But.......

We have to be careful that we understand liberty. We are to "stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free..." Gal. 5 is an outstanding chapter on liberty. But there is a verse so many Christians ignore..."For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion for the flesh, but by love serve one another." Verse 13.

Using liberty for occasion for the flesh is called license, or licentiousness. So-called "Christian liberty" (I put it in quotes and said so-called because that is not actually a biblical term) does not free us up to live a free thinking lifestyle. We are still to obey scripture - commands, precepts, principles and patterns are all there for us to follow.

In 1 Pet. 2:16, we're told to not use our liberty for a cloak of maliciousness - wrongdoing, trouble, living any way we feel like and proclaiming liberty...

2 Pet. 2:19 tells us of false teachers who promise liberty but actually bring bondage...because when we convince ourselves that our liberty as Christians okays us to do certain things that might be questionable - we put ourselves back under the bondage of sin from which Christ freed us.

Liberty is the fence around our Christian yard: If we stay within the bounds of that fence (God's Word), we will not get entangled again with the affairs of the world (that doesn't mean we won't live....we are still in the world, just not of it) and sin. We have the freedom to roam all over our Christian yard, but not to go outside it.

Jude talks about those wolves who come in and turn God's grace into licensiousness...we aren't to follow them. That is one of the reasons for standards in churches, whether it be music, dress, etc. The Bible says a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. It doesn't take long for sin to spread. So, if someone appears hyper-conservative, mayhap they are just concerned with making sure their liberty doesn't turn the grace of God into laciviousness.

Following the fads of the world is just that. That doesn't mean we shouldn't look nice, won't have a decent car or a nice house. It means we won't actively pursue that which the world holds in such high esteem - and we won't try to reason our way into causing others to lower their standards just because we believe that our liberty allows us to do things. Again, remember, liberty is not license. We are liberated from sin. We are liberated from the law. But we are not liberated from doing what is right. We are not liberated to do as we please and claim Christian liberty.

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Right...I think the "issues" discussions arise more because we don't understand Romans 14 properly. We tend to condemn when others view various issues (pants, literature choices, public school, etc.) differently than we do, even though their choices are being informed by Scripture just as much as ours are. "Worldly" is a handy (but misused) term to throw at others' practices in these discussions. This term supposedly trumps whatever the other person is saying, but it really doesn't advance the discussion any, or prove anything.

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Our liberty is not to be used as an occasion to sin. We are to represent Christ in all we say and do. Our appearance should honour Christ. Dressing immodestly, participating in worldly endeavors, entertaining ourselves with what Scripture says is sin, and all such matters cannot be done to the glory of God and are something Christians are commanded not to be a part of.

Christ gave His life for us yet some of us think we have some right or liberty to do as we please. For the glory of God should we not be willing to wear modest clothing rather than what we might prefer? Should we not be more than willing to forsake the ways of the world to give our all for Christ just as He did for us?

Professing Christians are to be growing in spritiual maturity, becoming more Christlike, pursuing holiness. Remaining childish, demanding our own way is rebuked in Scripture. We are to deny self, that means we are to put away selfishness and do ALL for the glory of God.

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Our liberty is not to be used as an occasion to sin. We are to represent Christ in all we say and do. Our appearance should honour Christ. Dressing immodestly, participating in worldly endeavors, entertaining ourselves with what Scripture says is sin, and all such matters cannot be done to the glory of God and are something Christians are commanded not to be a part of.

Christ gave His life for us yet some of us think we have some right or liberty to do as we please. For the glory of God should we not be willing to wear modest clothing rather than what we might prefer? Should we not be more than willing to forsake the ways of the world to give our all for Christ just as He did for us?

Professing Christians are to be growing in spritiual maturity, becoming more Christlike, pursuing holiness. Remaining childish, demanding our own way is rebuked in Scripture. We are to deny self, that means we are to put away selfishness and do ALL for the glory of God.

I agree completely...and so would every Christian seeking to follow Christ with devotion. But that doesn't mean that there won't be disagreement when it comes to practical issues...and I think that's what the OP is talking about. People are so quick to label another Christian as "worldly" without explaining why, as if this word trumps everything else the other person is saying. We shouldn't be so prideful as to write someone else off just because they apply Scripture differently than we do.

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Is a woman dressed modestly if she is wearing a bikini in the company of those not her husband?

Is a woman playing sports wearing short, tight shorts or a mini- skirt and clingy top dressed modestly?

These and other issues have been discussed recently with some saying there is nothing wrong with either yet Scripture is clear as to the fact both are immodest.

No doubt there are some things where folks might have room for discussion on a matter, but in many areas, such as these two examples, Scripture is very clear and attempts to lump these sort of things into an area where some feel they have "liberty" is wrong and often deception.

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1 John 2:3-6

King James Version (KJV)


3And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

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Is a woman dressed modestly if she is wearing a bikini in the company of those not her husband?

Is a woman playing sports wearing short, tight shorts or a mini- skirt and clingy top dressed modestly?

These and other issues have been discussed recently with some saying there is nothing wrong with either yet Scripture is clear as to the fact both are immodest.

No doubt there are some things where folks might have room for discussion on a matter, but in many areas, such as these two examples, Scripture is very clear and attempts to lump these sort of things into an area where some feel they have "liberty" is wrong and often deception.


While I agree with your two questions being immodest, there have been other topics on this board that do have room for discussion. Some believe that all organized sports for women are wrong, and others believe that some organized sports for women are wrong. Then there are some who believe that no organized sports are wrong for women. We have also recently had topics on earrings on women and high heels. Since I have been a member of the board, I have seen many topics discussed that the Bible is not clear on, yet people take a hard stance on them and judge anyone who does not agree with them.

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If one looks worldly (inappropriate jewelry, immodest clothing, etc), walks worldly (doing worldly things), and talks worldly, then one must be worldly (and not walking right with God). A child walking/striving to walk with The Lord should not be anything like this. We are called to be separate. We should look different, act different (when compared to the world).

Call me conservative, call me narrow-minded....I'm as narrow minded as God's word.


If we really look at this, do ANY of us men really put aside worldly whatever and totally walk as Christ? Do any of us men walk in a way to stand out, or do we try to fit into the world? For example lets look at our dress. I (so I am not pointing fingers at anyone more than myself) get up every morning and put on my jeans. No I do not wear them skin tight, but still I wear them. On Sunday I put on either good jeans or dress slacks (yes I know if I was truelly "Godly" it would be a suit)and a dress shirt. But my question is where do we get jeans and slacks? Is this what Jesus wore? Or does this dress stile come from the world? If we look to Gen. we find God made Adam and Eve coats. It says nothing of her a dress and him slacks, just coats. From this I picture what we would call a trench coat or overcoat that hangs loose down to at least the knees, if not ankles. Elsewhere in scripture we find the men girding their loins for certain activities (certain work, or running). I see this as them taking the hanging of their robe (or coat in Gen.) and tying it (with some sort of belt) up so it did not get in the way, or be tripped over if running.The closest thing we find to pants in scripture would be the linnen breeches for the priest. But they are specified as being to the knee, not to the ankles. I see them as being worn UNDER the robe (or coat) in such a way as to cover in the unfortunate event of the wind or something causing the robe to come up, making them immodest. I do not see it as being something that was to be seen. If we look at the Bedouin Arabs today we see much the type of coats that I see in Gen. It is my understanding that until the last 100 years or so the Jews dressed much in this way (until the western worldly ways seeped in). This would also be much the way Jesus himself dressed being a Jew. Would we not stand out as a peculiar people more if we put aside the worldly attire and dressed as Jesus did? Would the world not see a bigger difference if when they met us on the street we were wearing what our Lord wore? Would it not make us much easier to spot?

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While I agree with your two questions being immodest, there have been other topics on this board that do have room for discussion. Some believe that all organized sports for women are wrong, and others believe that some organized sports for women are wrong. Then there are some who believe that no organized sports are wrong for women. We have also recently had topics on earrings on women and high heels. Since I have been a member of the board, I have seen many topics discussed that the Bible is not clear on, yet people take a hard stance on them and judge anyone who does not agree with them.

As I said, there are some things where there is room for discussion, but more often than not there are those who are not really interested in discussing those but more interested in expanding an issue as if it must also give acceptance to the idea, for instance, that women can wear bikinis in public simply because they think it's okay.

The most recent posts I recall touching on women and earrings is a good example. The thread topic was about men and a piercing but someone kept attempting to tie that to women and earrings. It's difficult, if not virtually impossible, to actually discuss a particular point when there are those who want to bring several other side issues into the mix.

The point I'm trying to make is that if we are truly seeking the truth of a matter we shouldn't see so many other things tossed into a discussion that really are not related, are not on point, or have been clearly shown through Scripture to not apply.

I'm not sure how clear this is coming out written, I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say.

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