Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Chew Gum in Church...did God really say that?

I.         Do not worship any other gods
II.       Do not make any idols
III.     Do not misuse the name of God
IV.      Keep the Sabbath holy
V.       Honor your father and mother
VI.      Do not murder
VII.    Do not commit adultery
VIII.   Do not steal
IX.      Do not lie
X.       Do not covet
11.     Do not dance
12.     Do not chew gum in church
13.     Do not listen to any radio unless it's Christian radio or Paul Harvey
14.     Do not listen to music unless it's Praise Strings or the Continentals
15.     No fingernail's distracting
16.     No reading living bible translations
17.     No magazines unless they are Guidepost or Readers Digest
18.     No hand raising during a song, even if it says, "We raise our hands..."
19.     You shall not need the bathroom during the sermon
20.     Do not play songs during Offering unless people know all the words by heart
21.     Do not bring wrapped candy to church, only silent-wrapper-free peppermints
22.     No peeking during prayer
23.     No drawing on bulletins above .0001 decibels since it may make "noise"
24.     No crying babies in the sanctuary
25.     Do not play games that use poker cards
26.     Do not go to movies rated higher than G and dis on Disney
27.     Do not read books that aren't written by famous Christian authors
28.     Actually, don't read books unless a pastor approves it first
29.     Do not watch Oprah, she thinks she is god
30.     Do not miss evening church to watch the Super Bowl
31.     Do not admit to watching much t.v., especially anything during the daytime
32.     Do not sing a love song, because God should be your only love
33.     Do not have any Santa stuff in the house during Christmas or bunnies at Easter
34.     No abbreviating Christmas with's anti-Jesus
35.     No markings on your car unless it's a fish
36.     No skipping verse three of a hymn...Thou shalt sing them all!
37.     No girls and boys hugging at youth group
38.     No looking at historical art...there may be nude statues in that book
39.     Do not ever drink alcohol.  The bible didn't really mean Jesus changed water to wine, it meant juice
40.     Do not wear make-up you can see, especially lipstick, neutral colors only
41.     Do not hold hands at church, even if you are married...just don't touch!
42.     No jeans allowed in church
43.     Thou shalt not......   etc. etc. etc. 

Oops!  Did I just "type those out loud?"  Guess the cat's out of the bag.  Those aren't listed in Exodus with the rest of God's real commandments.  Sometimes they're taught that way though.

No wonder there is a lot of confusion about what God really says!  Over the years, people's rules have gotten stacked in with God's commandments, and made to sound like they are part of the whole package.  God's commandments shouldn't be taken lightly.  God's law helps us see our need for a Savior.  And they are commandments...not 10 suggestions for a better life, a better you.  BUT, the rest of this list is made up things I actually heard while growing up.  Some are not bad suggestions.  For instance, what kid chews gum quietly? No one wants to try to listen to a speaker while some kid is smacking gum in their ear.  But it isn't a commandment of God with consequences, if broken.  And the need to use a bathroom, even if it is during the middle of a sermon, is not a sign of undisciplined spirituality, but the sign of a small bladder!

If you are someone who has walked away from all things "religious" because you tired of the crazy, extra rules, I'm very sorry. I understand. I pray you don't walk away from the real truths of God and toss it ALL out.  Honestly, the Lord doesn't care if you come to him in jeans or a skirt.  You will not find verses about either in the bible, anywhere.  When the man-made rules and empty traditions are what become important, then that's when it becomes "religion" in the truest sense.  Jesus was actually very anti man-made religion.  His harshest words were aimed at the Pharisees of his day.  They'd missed the point!   It wasn't rules, it was relationship!  Intimate relationship with God.  He isn't asking you to "conform".  He wants to "transform" you and that happens on the inside, out.

Manners matter, yes.  But let's not mistake good manners for holy commandments.  And for goodness sake, dance, raise your hands, read a book, peek during prayer if you want to.  Live in grace!  Live free!  Love God with your whole heart... you can love him, even with gum in your mouth :)

1 comment:

  1. This made me laugh out loud a couple of times. I have heard so many of these "commandments" also! haha Great job! Rhonda