It’s All About Respect

Alright as a pastor and someone who is supposed to be a teacher where do I draw the line between “not causing my brother to stumble” and educating people about their antiquated hang-ups? I mean do I always have to bow to what they believe is right or should I be able to at some point in time stand up and say, “I know you have a problem with this, but I can’t seem to see any Biblical reason why this is wrong?

That question came up because one of the men of our church walked up to our guitar player on stage and told him to take his hat off. Now when it comes to hats in church I don’t have a problem with it. Mainly because I know that the guys who are wearing hats in no way associate their hat with any sort of respect issues. They aren’t tipping their hats to ladies or anything it is just a part of what they are wearing. But for some reason some people have a weird way of thinking that is the worst offence that anyone can commit and they think that they have the right to go up to someone and ask them to change it.

Here is the reason that this fascinates me. It is only with hats and not with anything else and they only do it with students because they students are supposed to respect their elders.

So back to my original point if I thought that all people should wear suits and ties to church and that it was disrespectful to come in anything other than a suit an a tie then can I because I believe that way start telling others to wear suits and ties. Or conversely (and this is probably more likely) if I believe that wearing ties is a way of showing off and it doesn’t really reflect who we really are and church isn’t about dressing up, but rather connecting with God and the whole concept of wearing your best isn’t Biblical but from tradition and more people would come if they could wear jeans. If I believe all of that does that give me the right to walk up to someone else and ask them to take their tie off because we aren’t that kind of a church?

I guess I just think that the whole hat thing is silly. I can’t see any reason why wearing a hat is disrespectful to God or to anyone else. What I do think is disrespectful is for adults to come into the youth worship service at 6:15 and sit in the back and not participate or worse talk among themselves. That is disrespectful to the youth and to God and yet since they are adults that is OK.

But back to my question. When do I stop doing things because others believe that they are a problem and start trying to educate people and why they aren’t really a problem? Do we need to take a vote or something? (I remember the church I grew up in voting on whether or not to allow clapping in church. The final decision was you could clap along with the music, but you couldn’t clap at the end of the song. Isn’t that a trip!)

Also how do I convince the adults in my church that these guys and girls in my group aren’t perfect, but they love God and I am much more concerned about where they are with God than small parts of their wardrobe and if wearing a hat is what you want to do and you are praising God then I’m not going to get in an argument over something that I feel isn’t all that important. How do I convince adults that just because the students in our church don’t look at the church in the same way that they do (the auditorium isn’t sacred it is just a room for worship along with other things) that it doesn’t mean that they don’t love God and that they are being disrespectful it only means that they see things differently and no matter what I feel or no matter what the adults feel that different way of seeing things isn’t wrong just because it isn’t how it has always been done.

I can’t really believe I am upset about this again. I just need to understand that it is going to happen and let it go. The thing is I try my best to teach my students to respect the adults in our church I only wish the adults in our church would treat the students with the same respect.

3 thoughts on “It’s All About Respect

  • February 10, 2005 at 2:30 PM
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    You can’t convince anyone of anything. The Holy Spirit has to do that. Sounds like a heart problem. What do you think would happen if we all, who are called by the name of Christ, just loved like we are suppose to? Just loved God like we should. Loved our neighbors as ourselves. You are right it shouldn’t be a big deal. We are all servants. Jesus was willing to take off His Glory to come to this earth, born in a stable, in the middle of dirty animals and poop. Be beaten, rejected, and crucified, by the people he only came to love and save. He gave up every right He had. It is so easy to get side tracked isn’t it.It is sometimes hard to know when to speak up. The Bible says we should edify, lift up, encourage on another in the church. That is always a good time to speak up. Don’t you think God gets weary of things that tear up, hurt and destory His church that don’t really matter. I struggle with when to say something and when not too. I question what motivates my heart to speak up. I don’t know about your facilities but maybe you should find a place where you can be a little more relaxed without fear of offending anyone. God told Moses to take off his shoes.:)

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  • February 10, 2005 at 10:00 PM
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    Shane, amen to that post… i struggled with that all through high school. I just wanted to say i’m right there with you

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  • February 14, 2005 at 2:54 PM
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    That happens in the states too! aaarrrgghh. As a Church Youth Worker it drove me mad, I wrote a whole post on it titled “The heretical nature of Baseball Caps!” I don’t know if these comments will allow HTML, I’ll try: it’s at http://www.oxford.anglican.org/youthblog/archives/000063.html or type Baseball into the search on my blog.Anyway, regards from another Average Youth Minister! Ian

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