Participants: Dwayne Lemon, Lance Wilbur
Series Code: TKS
Program Code: TKS000043A
00:28 Hello, I'm Dwayne. And I'm Lance.
00:30 And we'd like to welcome you to another episode of TKS,
00:33 a True Knowledge of Self
00:34 where we get to know ourselves from a biblical perspective.
00:38 As we're going to continue in this episode,
00:40 our discussion regarding cultural expressions
00:42 specifically in the area of fashion.
00:44 I just want to kind of highlight the ideas
00:47 that we've been touching upon thus far
00:49 and we'll bring Dwayne into the discussion.
00:52 We started out by, obviously, highlighting a verse
00:57 that you're going to read in a few moments.
00:59 But then we looked at modesty as well,
01:01 so we looked at this principle
01:03 that we cannot be both at the same time,
01:06 we cannot simultaneously be friends of the world
01:10 and friends with God.
01:12 If we're a friend of the world, we're an enemy with God.
01:15 And if we're a friend of God,
01:19 then we're an enemy of the world.
01:21 And so this fundamental principle kind of feeds into,
01:25 infuse our decisions in our expressions.
01:29 And when it relates to fashion,
01:30 we've talked a lot about modesty as well
01:32 and we're going to kind of talk some more about that.
01:34 We also talked about this idea
01:37 and we reminded our listeners and our viewers
01:39 about a principle in 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 20,
01:43 the idea that our body is a temple of God
01:46 and that He desires us to glorify Him
01:49 in our body and in our spirit.
01:51 In fact, we were bought with a price,
01:53 the verses say there.
01:54 And because of that, we're not at liberty to do
01:56 what we want to do with our body.
01:58 And we talked about it
01:59 in the context of the recreation.
02:01 And now we're talking about this
02:02 in the context of cultural expression.
02:04 So share a little bit more,
02:06 read that verse for us from 1 John.
02:09 And then, you know, continue to touch upon
02:12 these subjects of modesty,
02:13 and how we can apply the principle
02:15 and acknowledge the fact
02:16 that although God allows for expression,
02:20 God allows for individuality, God embraces, and desires,
02:25 and has created beauty,
02:27 there are still guidelines that He gives us
02:28 so that we don't go to either extreme
02:30 or we don't end up engaging
02:32 or indulging in destructive behavior.
02:36 In 1 John 2, the Bible says in verse 15,
02:39 "Love not the world,
02:41 neither the things that are in the world.
02:43 If any man love the world,
02:44 the love of the Father is not in him.
02:46 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh,
02:49 and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,
02:51 is not of the Father, but is of the world."
02:54 And so it is that Christ was pointing out
02:56 that worldliness, you know, these things,
02:59 lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes,
03:01 and the pride of life, they are not of the Father.
03:04 They are not connected to God. They are completely worldly.
03:07 They are from beneath.
03:08 They only belong and are connected to the things
03:10 of Satan.
03:11 Well, when we think about this,
03:12 another point to consider is why.
03:14 Why should I make these changes?
03:17 Why should I even,
03:18 you know, attempt to take heed to these counsels?
03:22 And by no means, do we,
03:25 you know, we do have to guard against legalism,
03:27 we do have to guard against pharisaism
03:29 And I think there is something
03:30 that's clear that guards against it.
03:32 I like the words that Jesus used
03:33 of the reasons why He served His Father.
03:35 Because when Jesus lived on this earth,
03:37 He is the Son of God.
03:39 But when He lived on this earth,
03:40 He functioned as the Son of man as well.
03:42 And He was willing to humble Himself
03:44 and be a servant.
03:45 Well, the Bible says in John 8:29, Jesus said,
03:50 "And He that sent me is with me.
03:52 The Father hath not left me alone,
03:55 for I do always those things that please Him.
04:00 And Jesus' life of being a servant unto His father
04:06 was based off of a love relationship
04:08 where all He wanted to do was please His Father.
04:12 This is important for us
04:13 to understand as children of God.
04:15 Our desire is to please Him.
04:18 The Bible likens us being married to God.
04:20 And when you think of a marriage,
04:21 and I'm married and, of course, you are as well.
04:23 May 25th of this year,
04:25 I'll be privileged to have been married
04:27 to my bride for 18 years.
04:28 And I praise the Lord for it. Hey, you got me beat.
04:32 And, you know, it's beautiful, man.
04:34 I mean, I love talking about family.
04:36 That's another thing that I'll hope
04:37 we can get a chance one day,
04:39 you know, really talk about is the true knowledge of self
04:41 of understanding ourselves as husbands and fathers,
04:44 you know, in the home
04:45 because there's a lot to be said on that.
04:47 But I will say that, you know, my love for my wife
04:50 is of such a nature that I love doing things
04:53 that put a smile on her face.
04:55 I actually enjoy it.
04:56 I mean, I actually get a lot of enjoyment planning
04:58 and putting together surprises for her
05:00 and all those type of things.
05:02 And never did I have to feel like,
05:03 "Oh, man, I got to please my wife
05:06 or I got to stop doing this
05:07 because this might hurt my wife."
05:09 I mean, back in the days, you know, I can say we
05:12 because, you know, I know your story.
05:13 We were players.
05:15 I mean, we were individuals that did not know
05:17 what it meant to just stay with one person
05:18 but, you know, can kind of go around
05:20 and be with this, that, and the other.
05:21 But when I met my bride and when I met my husband,
05:24 you know, Jesus, when I met the Lord
05:26 and entered into a relationship with Christ
05:29 and experienced the power of transformation,
05:32 and then I met my wife and got married to her.
05:35 I didn't feel like, "Oh, man. I can't commit adultery.
05:38 I got to stay faithful.
05:40 I mean, those were the last things
05:41 on my mind.
05:43 All of my "I got tos turned into I get to."
05:45 I get to stay faithful. I get to please my wife.
05:48 I get to do these things.
05:50 So it is that this is what happens
05:52 when an individual, you know, loves their spouse
05:55 or in this case, loves God.
05:57 When you love God,
05:59 you want to do the things that please Him.
06:01 You want to do the things that can make Him happy
06:03 and put a smile on His face.
06:05 That's right. It's important.
06:06 So it's from that context,
06:08 this is why we obey these councils
06:09 that we're talking about.
06:10 We obey these councils because God is making it clear
06:13 that, "Listen, I love you Lord,
06:14 and that's why I do the things that I do."
06:17 Well, when we think about this dress or fashion
06:20 and all these things,
06:22 God gives us counsel in His word
06:24 because we love Him,
06:25 we want to do the things that please Him
06:27 and we don't want to do the things that displease Him.
06:29 So this is the reason
06:31 why we're going over the subject
06:32 of biblical principles for fashion
06:34 in comparison to worldly.
06:36 Well, we covered modesty in brief.
06:39 We covered it, you know, things like the cuttings
06:41 and carvings and so on.
06:43 But another item that really has to be addressed
06:46 when it comes to hip-hop culture
06:48 and generally the fashion culture at large
06:50 is adornment.
06:52 You know, adornment as it relates to,
06:54 you know, a lot of the jewelry and these type of things
06:56 which is very much a part
06:58 of not only just simply hip-hop culture
07:01 but it's connected to what's typically called
07:03 the pride of life.
07:04 You know, this is where everybody gets to show
07:06 as has been stated in times past the bling, bling.
07:08 You know, this is where everybody gets to say,
07:10 "Look at my big fat ring, my neck chain, earrings,"
07:13 or whatever else they like to wear.
07:14 And the question is,
07:16 what does God say on this matter?
07:17 What counsel does the Lord give as it pertains to,
07:20 you know, adornment and all these things
07:23 as it pertains to jewelry?
07:24 Well, the Bible gives us several verses.
07:26 Now, for our viewers, what we want you to do is
07:28 you want to grab your pen and paper at this point
07:32 where I'm going to give a few verses
07:35 that we can take down and review them
07:37 in our spare time reading.
07:38 But there is one verse that I'm going to,
07:40 kind of, hone in on
07:41 and really see what God is saying to us on this point.
07:45 A few verses that we could consider is, number one,
07:47 1 Timothy 2:9.
07:49 We read that earlier
07:51 and it did talk a bit about jewelry.
07:53 1 Peter 3:3 as well.
07:57 I definitely would like to encourage you
07:58 to do a comparison of Revelation 12:1-4,
08:03 and then also Revelation 17:1-5.
08:06 And you'll see that
08:08 when you look at that comparison,
08:09 they're both talking about symbolic churches,
08:11 but one is adorned with things that are natural.
08:14 The other one is adorned with a lot of the artificial.
08:17 Then, of course, Genesis the 35th chapter,
08:20 Exodus the 32nd chapter,
08:23 Isaiah 3:16-26 which is really profound,
08:29 Hosea 2:13.
08:32 But then there's Deuteronomy 7.
08:34 Now Deuteronomy 7, I have to admit,
08:36 this text of scripture got my attention
08:39 because I remember years and years ago,
08:42 you're talking over 20 years ago
08:44 when I came into the church, 23 years to be exact.
08:48 My elders, I had mentors and they would...
08:50 I love jewelry especially silver.
08:52 Silver was my thing.
08:54 I mean, I didn't like gold or anything else.
08:56 I didn't like wearing wood stuff
08:57 but I loved silver.
08:58 So I would have silver rings, silver earrings.
09:01 I mean, if people look closely,
09:02 they could still see the piercings on my ears,
09:04 you know, neck chains, all of it.
09:06 And I remember when my elders were studying with me,
09:09 they were trying to show me
09:10 that God did not want His people
09:13 to adorn themselves in this way.
09:15 So I said, "Well, you know, you all need to prove that."
09:18 And they said, "No problem." So we sat down.
09:20 And I mean, they pulled out every Bible verse,
09:24 every historical reference.
09:26 They pulled out all sorts of inspired quotes
09:30 from inspiration Spirit of Prophecy.
09:32 I mean, just a ton of information.
09:34 We studied for three hours.
09:36 And I remember at the end of it all,
09:38 they said, "Dwayne, what do you think?"
09:40 And I was like,
09:41 "Well, I really appreciate all this information
09:43 but I still don't get it."
09:45 And you know, and I was making it clear
09:46 that I don't see what they see.
09:49 But there was one verse that did catch my attention.
09:51 It was Deuteronomy 7:25 and 26.
09:55 And when I looked at this,
09:57 I said, "Wow, this is pretty interesting."
09:58 And here's what it says.
10:00 In Deuteronomy 7, and just the background real quick,
10:03 you know, God was instructing the children of Israel
10:07 that when they overcome a nation,
10:09 when they take over the land,
10:10 that God was telling them what to do with the things
10:13 that they come in contact within the land.
10:15 So not only were the people destroyed or any of that
10:18 but there were also things
10:19 that were possessions of the heathen.
10:21 And God was giving them instruction on what to do
10:23 with these possessions.
10:24 Well, in verse 25, here's what the Bible says.
10:27 It says, "The graven images of their gods
10:31 shall ye burn with fire.
10:34 Thou shalt not desire the silver or gold
10:39 that is on them."
10:42 Now let's pause right there. Yeah.
10:45 It just... this is... I don't know.
10:47 Some people might read this
10:49 and think it was just a single fold instruction
10:51 but it was actually twofold.
10:53 The first instruction was the graven images
10:56 that you come in contact with, the various statues, the idols.
10:59 God says, "Burn them down with fire."
11:01 But I don't know about you,
11:03 I know you've been to Chinese restaurants,
11:05 Indian restaurants
11:07 and have you ever been
11:08 in the Chinese or Indian restaurant
11:09 and seen a little idol
11:11 that's typically on the counter of somewhere?
11:14 What is, I would have to say 100% of the time
11:18 on those idols?
11:20 Yes, jewels or money, or something,
11:22 some kind of adornment of some kind.
11:24 Absolutely, you know,
11:25 you usually going to see a ring, a neck chain.
11:28 There's something that's going to be on them
11:30 outside of the money.
11:31 And that is what we typically call jewelry.
11:33 Well, notice what the verse says again.
11:35 "The graven images of their gods
11:38 shall ye burned with fire.
11:40 Thou shalt not desire the silver or gold
11:42 that is on them."
11:44 Well, what's the 'them'? It was the graven image.
11:47 So what's the silver and gold that's on them?
11:50 That's the jewelry. Yeah.
11:51 So God is saying, "The silver or gold that's on them,
11:54 I do not want you to desire it."
11:56 Then it goes on to say, "Nor take it unto thee,
12:01 lest thou be snared therein,
12:03 for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God.
12:06 Neither shalt thou bring
12:08 an abomination into thine house,
12:10 lest thou be a cursed thing like it,
12:12 but thou shalt utterly detest it,
12:14 and thou shalt utterly abhor it,
12:16 for it is a cursed thing."
12:19 So God's word, I mean,
12:20 when I looked at all of these verses
12:22 and saw the weight of scripture,
12:24 the Bible emphatically speaks
12:26 that God does not want His people to adorn themselves
12:28 with these various articles of jewelry.
12:30 He does not want it.
12:31 It was not His will for His people.
12:33 When I looked at this verse in particular,
12:34 it just kind of brought it home in a very powerful way.
12:37 And so it is that we must understand
12:39 that God wants to make it plain.
12:42 "I have a design for My people."
12:44 It's not that He doesn't want us to be adorned
12:46 but it's what we are adorned with.
12:48 So now let's look at 1 Peter 3 and let's consider it.
12:51 In 1 Peter 3, while God does not want us
12:54 to adorn ourselves with the artificial,
12:57 there is something that He does approve of.
12:59 And let's notice what the Bible says here.
13:01 In 1 Peter 3,
13:03 notice what it says in verses 3 and 4.
13:07 Well, I guess we can go ahead and look at verses 1 to 4.
13:11 "Likewise, ye wives,
13:12 be in subjection to your own husbands,
13:14 that, if any obey not the word,
13:16 they also may without the word be won
13:18 by the conversation of the wives,
13:20 while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
13:24 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning
13:28 of the plaiting of the hair, and of wearing of gold,
13:31 or of putting on of apparel,
13:32 but let it be the hidden man of the heart."
13:35 So we're talking about an adorning now,
13:37 that's different.
13:38 "Let it be the hidden man of the heart in that
13:41 which is not corruptible,
13:43 even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,
13:48 which is in the sight of God of great price."
13:52 This is a value system that God is trying to put
13:54 towards His daughters and towards our sisters
13:57 is that while we put these things on,
14:00 many a times, we're trying to look good
14:02 in the sight of others.
14:04 But God says there is a kind of adornment
14:06 that looks beautiful in the sight of God.
14:09 And that adornment is a meek and quiet spirit.
14:12 And this is what the Lord wants
14:13 to bring to our attention of biblical adornment
14:16 in comparison to a lot of these artificials.
14:18 And I think, you know, this point needs repeating
14:21 because in a previous episode, you showed this point
14:25 from a different perspective from the sanctuary.
14:27 And we saw that all of the precious jewels,
14:30 all of the gold, all of the expensive items
14:34 were inside the sanctuary.
14:36 And if you are just a passer by and looking at the sanctuary,
14:40 it was kind of draped and outwardly covered
14:42 in very common things.
14:45 It didn't look like something that you wanted to go in
14:47 because there were, you know, millions of dollars
14:49 worth of goods inside.
14:51 It looked like just some kind of common tent,
14:53 you know, with low grade drapings on the outside.
14:59 But when you peel back the layers
15:00 and if you got a chance to go inside,
15:02 you saw all of this immaculate beauty.
15:04 So here again, it's really the character
15:08 that are the true riches.
15:10 And the outward adornment is supposed to be neat,
15:14 you know, beautiful, still clean,
15:17 and something that you desire.
15:19 But the adornment is supposed to be inward.
15:25 And so it's kind of in the world,
15:28 it's kind of the opposite
15:29 where the inside is kind of not really a concern.
15:32 It's the superficial, it's what you present.
15:34 And there's more concern in all this energy,
15:36 and money, and devotion
15:37 put into how we present ourselves outwardly.
15:42 And really we're broke down, and hurt, and miserable,
15:45 and struggling inwardly.
15:48 And there is no amount of money
15:51 that you can spend to address that.
15:52 And this is why God wants to take our minds off
15:54 of being what's typically called men pleasers.
15:57 You know, and this can apply to both men and women.
15:59 You know, we don't want to live a life
16:01 where we're constantly trying to please those
16:04 whom we come in contact
16:05 with more than we're trying to please God.
16:07 God wants us to understand that He should come first.
16:10 And Jesus spelled it out in very forceful language.
16:13 One time, Jesus was giving counsel
16:14 about the qualifications of discipleship.
16:17 And He said in Luke 14,
16:20 something that is pretty strong language
16:22 but He was trying to get a point across.
16:23 And this can happen, and I'm thankful
16:25 it's happening in many lives including my own,
16:27 and I'm sure yours.
16:29 But the Bible says in Luke 14:26,
16:32 when Jesus was giving a counsel
16:34 as it relates to being a disciple
16:37 and what is involved,
16:38 He said something in verse 26
16:40 that if you read it just for face value,
16:42 you would almost think to yourself,
16:44 "Did He just say what I think He said?"
16:46 Which is this, it says, "If any man come to me..."
16:48 Luke 14:26, "If any man come to me
16:52 and hate not his father, and mother, and wife,
16:58 and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea,
17:02 and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple."
17:07 I mean, you read something like that,
17:08 you're thinking, "Is Lord promoting hatred?"
17:11 You know, He just said,
17:13 if any man comes to me and hates not,
17:14 does not hate his father, mother, brother, sister...
17:17 Well, we know the Bible is very clear.
17:18 The Bible tells us that,
17:20 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, this is right.
17:22 Honor your father and your mother."
17:23 So by no means was Christ saying,
17:26 "Do not love your parents."
17:27 But he was making a point.
17:28 And this is why we have the Bible,
17:30 and this is why you have to compare account
17:33 with account to get clarity.
17:34 Scripture is always the key that unlocks scripture.
17:37 So when you compare Luke 14:26 with Matthew 10:37,
17:42 you get some clarity.
17:43 So notice.
17:45 In Matthew 10:37, speaking on the same vein
17:49 of what we just read here in Luke 14:26,
17:51 let's notice the switch of language
17:53 that I think will make it more clear.
17:55 One verse, Jesus says if any man hates not father,
17:59 mother, brother, sister, yea, even his own life,
18:01 he can't be My disciple.
18:02 But when you look at Matthew 10:37,
18:04 it says, "He that loveth father or mother more than me
18:11 is not worthy of me.
18:13 And he that loveth son or daughter more than me
18:17 is not worthy of me."
18:18 So what Christ was trying to teach is
18:21 that if you're going to be a true disciple of Christ,
18:24 it's not that God does not want us
18:25 to love mother, father,
18:27 brother, sister, or son, daughter,
18:28 or even our own lives, but He says,
18:30 "But when you love these things more than Me,"
18:34 that's when it's a problem.
18:35 And the reason why is
18:36 because that's how sin came into this earth
18:38 in the first place.
18:39 It came as a result of a man
18:41 who loved his wife more than he loved God.
18:44 When Adam saw that Eve fell into sin,
18:46 he had a choice.
18:47 He didn't have to join in sin with her.
18:49 Eve was deceived but Adam wasn't.
18:51 And Adam could have made
18:53 an intelligent or more intelligent decision
18:55 by saying, "I'm going to stand on the Lord's side.
18:57 I will not sin against God."
18:58 But his commitment to his wife was stronger
19:02 than his commitment to the Lord.
19:04 And as a result of that,
19:06 it birthed sin into this entire planet now
19:09 of which we are still inflicted and affected
19:11 by it today.
19:13 Christ wants to solve this issue.
19:14 He needs to raise up disciples.
19:16 He needs to raise up workers that will go forth
19:18 and give the straight testimony to the people
19:20 so that we can be a people prepared to meet our God,
19:22 for He is coming again.
19:24 But at the same time,
19:25 Jesus says, "But you cannot put even family before me."
19:29 Well, when it comes to fashion, many a times,
19:32 family and even strangers can come before God
19:36 because God's word can be very clear.
19:38 God will say, "I don't want this type of adornments.
19:41 I don't want this and I don't want that."
19:43 Not because He's trying to punish us
19:45 but actually He's trying to do something else.
19:47 It's found in John 15.
19:50 In John 15,
19:51 the reason why Christ gives all of these counsels
19:54 is because the Bible says something beautiful in John 15.
19:58 And this is why Jesus makes these statements here.
20:01 He says in John 15
20:03 and we are considering verse 11.
20:06 It says, "These things have I spoken unto you
20:10 that my joy might remain in you,
20:14 and that your joy might be full."
20:17 The reason why Christ gives the instructions
20:20 and the counsels that He gives in His word
20:21 is not to take away our joy but to enhance it,
20:24 and to preserve it, to make sure that it remains
20:27 and does not go away.
20:28 This world is fickle, it is deceptive,
20:31 and it is sinful.
20:32 And even if we experience any type of good feeling
20:35 from the world, it's always temporary.
20:38 And that's why you got to keep feeding it.
20:39 And I remember that in hip-hop culture, it's like,
20:42 you know, you can go on that high for a minute
20:44 while you're listening to that song
20:45 in the club bouncing your head,
20:47 dancing, and expressing yourself.
20:48 But it was like once the music came off,
20:50 you almost hated your life.
20:52 You know, sometimes, you literally were not happy.
20:53 You would have to go back home
20:55 and you needed the thrill, the drug
20:59 again to turn the music on
21:00 and blast the beat or whatever, to take our minds away
21:03 from the realities of our world.
21:05 There is a way that God functions by this
21:08 but it's more long lasting.
21:10 It is more fulfilling.
21:11 There are sins in the world
21:13 that we need to get our minds away from.
21:14 But God gave us a beautiful medium,
21:16 it's called sacred music, not hip-hop music.
21:18 It's called prayer,
21:20 and not these false forms of meditation.
21:22 It's called praise and thanksgiving to God
21:24 who is worthy rather than praise
21:26 and thanksgiving to man who is very unworthy.
21:28 It is even dressing in ways that we can honor God
21:32 and receive the benefits of health, true happiness,
21:37 being able to represent ourselves
21:39 as children of the Most High God
21:40 in comparison to looking like some of the things
21:43 that are connected in this world
21:44 that represents thug life, gangster living,
21:48 and literally harlotry.
21:50 God is saying when you follow My counsels,
21:53 this is how My joy remains in you
21:56 and that joy will be full.
21:59 And now what we want to,
22:00 you know, stress is that there is no expectation
22:04 that people are going to all of a sudden
22:06 hear some of these things and then just dress correctly.
22:09 Right, there's ton of education that you need.
22:11 And do talk correctly, all this stuff,
22:12 yeah, there's lots of education.
22:13 And God is not saying, "Do all these things
22:16 that I want and then come to Me,
22:18 you know, and clean up your act and then come to Me."
22:20 I remember when I first came in to the church
22:23 when I first started visiting and participating
22:26 in church services, the only...
22:32 You know, the only clothing that I had,
22:35 that I thought was like church worthy
22:38 was the same clothing
22:39 you would wear it to like a club.
22:41 You know, it was like a club clothing
22:43 or maybe you would go to a job interview
22:44 or go to court.
22:45 You know, that's the best I could do.
22:48 And so I literally had maybe like one or two pair of pants,
22:53 you know, some borderline work boots,
22:56 and you know some sweaters,
22:59 you know, I had a bunch of clothes
23:01 that I would never ever wear right now to church
23:04 under any circumstance,
23:06 unless you know my house burned down, I had no clothes,
23:08 and I just had to go to church.
23:10 So that's not what we're saying.
23:12 We want people to understand
23:14 that although we're laying out all of these standards
23:16 and the bar is set very high.
23:19 When God sets a standard,
23:20 He sets it very high because He is the standard.
23:23 But He doesn't leave us there and say,
23:25 "Well, just get your way up here
23:26 and then everything will be okay."
23:28 He says, "Listen, acknowledge your condition,
23:32 acknowledge your situation,
23:33 acknowledge your need, independence.
23:36 And I will do all of these things
23:39 through you and in you that I'm calling you to do.
23:43 You don't have to do it.
23:44 All you have to do is cooperate, choose.
23:46 And I will teach you, guide you, instruct you,
23:49 hold your hand literally and to be where I am."
23:53 Now this is an important point for the church now
23:56 because we have to understand that Christ...
24:00 You said it earlier, Christ meets you
24:02 where you are and then He brings you up.
24:05 Well, the truth of the matter is,
24:06 is that, that means some people are going to come to the church
24:08 and they're going to wear miniskirts.
24:10 Some people are going to come to the church
24:11 and their cleavage is going to be low,
24:12 or their clothes are going to be tight,
24:14 or the brothers might come
24:15 and they may look thugged out
24:16 with super baggy clothing hanging off their back side
24:18 or otherwise.
24:20 What we have to do is understand,
24:21 this is where this person is at right now.
24:23 They need love and they need education.
24:25 And then through those mediums,
24:27 they will be brought up to God's standard.
24:29 But we should meet them and love them where they are
24:32 and accept them where they are.
24:34 It doesn't mean you have to put them in office.
24:35 But if they want to come to church
24:37 to hear the message of God
24:38 that they may come to know Him and live up to His standard,
24:41 we should not do anything that hinders that.
24:43 And shame on many people in the church
24:45 that have done that.
24:46 They literally will put down an individual
24:48 because they're coming in looking like the world.
24:51 And we forget, "Well, wait a minute.
24:53 You are like the world and Christ came down
24:55 and He was able to minister unto us
24:57 and to bring us up now to His high ideal."
25:00 So this becomes a lesson for us in the church to understand,
25:03 "Meet people where they are, just don't keep them there.
25:05 Love them enough to tell them the truth,
25:08 but at the same time exercise wisdom and discernment.
25:11 There's times and places for these things.
25:13 You know, how are you going to go
25:14 and tell somebody how they should dress,
25:16 you don't even know their name yet, you know.
25:17 Some people do that.
25:19 You're coming to church, "Young man,
25:20 you look like a thug."
25:21 It's like, my name is Dwayne.
25:23 You know, let's get to know each other
25:25 and maybe through relationship,
25:27 eventually, you can tell me I look like a thug
25:29 and I need to change, and I'll accept it
25:31 because you're meeting me where I'm at.
25:32 So this is also a point of education for the church
25:35 that even though God has a blessed high ideal
25:37 and He enables us to live up to every ray of light of it,
25:40 He meets us where we are
25:42 and He's patient with us where we are.
25:43 And we have to be able to do that
25:45 even with our brothers and sisters
25:47 that might come to the church
25:48 demonstrating the street fashion
25:50 of hip-hop culture.
25:51 And eventually, in God's timing,
25:53 He's going to give us wisdom to know
25:55 how to call them up a little higher.
25:57 That's right. And this is the key.
26:00 God is not interested in alienation.
26:04 God is not interested in pushing people out
26:06 and only accepting those who qualify.
26:09 He is eventually going to have to judge the world, right,
26:12 and separate those who have accepted
26:16 from those who have rejected.
26:18 But no one is qualified.
26:20 No person, whether accept or reject,
26:22 is qualified to get what God is offering.
26:25 It is what was referred to as the grace of God,
26:28 it is the gift of eternal life that He is offering everyone
26:33 who's worthy of death.
26:34 You know, the wages of sin as we looked at in Romans 3,
26:39 or Romans 6 rather.
26:42 But we have to look at this concept
26:47 and not isolate these independent things.
26:50 We've been talking about a lot of subjects
26:52 through the course of many episodes.
26:55 And it must be stated that these things are not...
27:00 These aren't checklists.
27:02 It's not, "Do this and then you get to this level.
27:04 And then do that and then you're at the next level.
27:06 Do this..."
27:07 When we embrace God and we embrace Christ,
27:10 we receive Him completely.
27:13 We receive all of His counsel.
27:15 And He's slowly but surely,
27:17 as we are into His marvelous light
27:19 and escape from this world of darkness,
27:21 we begin to embrace the truth.
27:23 And that truth is complete, the truth is whole.
27:26 And God begins to introduce these subjects and themes
27:28 as we continue.
27:30 So I want to encourage you to persist,
27:34 come back, invite a friend.
27:36 You need to continue to join us with these various episodes
27:39 because we're going to be going into some very important
27:42 and increasingly practical subjects,
27:44 because we have to understand
27:46 that although there's the world out there
27:48 and all of these culture
27:50 and all of these standards out there,
27:51 God has a higher standard
27:52 and He wants us to come up to it.
27:54 But we have to accept and not reject.
27:56 I want to encourage you to remember Proverbs 2:6
28:00 which encourages us and tells us
28:02 that "It is the Lord that gives wisdom
28:05 and out of His mouth comes knowledge
28:06 and understanding."
28:08 God bless.