Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
January 5, 2013
Last Updated :
July 1, 2014
God Looks At Our Heart And Not At Our Physical Appearance, Our Body Is The Tabernacle And Temple Of God's Holy Spirit, Some Legalistic Churches Turn Paul's Long Hair Comment Into An Immovable Commandment, Grievous Yoke Of Bondage Hoisted On Church Congregants, Legalistic And Carnal Or Spirit-Led, Facebook Timeline Critics Please Stay Away, The Correctors, My Critic's False Accusation Of Being Proud And Unteachable, Correctors Always Attack When One Does Not Agree With Them, Suffer Not A Woman To Teach, Honor And Respect The Spiritual Elders, Learn From The Elders In Quiet Spirit Of Meekness, Know-It-All Attitude, Humility In Our Understanding Of God's Word, My Critic's Double Standard And Hypocrisy, Breaking One Law Makes Us Guilty Of Breaking All, Hypocrites Who Say But Do Not, Great Respect For Apostle Paul, Not Every Word Is "Thus Saith The Lord", No Biblical Commandment Mandating Short Hair, In Nature The Male Lion Has A Large Mane, Jesus Is The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah, We Are Not Old Testament Jews Who Are In Bondage To Jewish Customs And Traditions, Love Is The Fulfillment Of The Law, Legalism Makes Us Cold Hard Critical And Judgmental, God's Love Makes Us Patient Merciful And Forgiving, Closing Remarks, Reading Resources
In thinking about this issue, and the legalistic approach that this young woman has taken regarding a man's physical appearance, I was reminded of something that the Lord said to the Prophet Samuel, when He sent him to anoint David as the next king of Israel. Consider the following verse:
"But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7, KJV
While this woman is criticizing and judging men based upon their physical appearance, and likewise criticized me because I use images on my Facebook timeline in which Jesus has long hair, as the previous verse clearly demonstrates, what is important to God is the condition of our heart. What we look like on the outside is secondary. It is just the tabernacle or physical temple of our spirit, which is the real us which dwells inside our flesh. This is made so evident by verses such as the following:
"Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body."
John 2:20-21, KJV
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV
"And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."
2 Corinthians 6:16, KJV
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
2 Corinthians 5:1, KJV
Sadly, this woman is not alone in her legalistic approach to God's Word. There are some churches and denominations which likewise take that one verse from Paul's Epistle, and turn it into a hard and fast rule. They turn Paul's opinion regarding men with long hair into an immovable commandment and law, and a grievous yoke of bondage which they then hoist upon their poor congregants, even though the Bible does not require any such thing. They judge and condemn any man who has long hair. People who do this are legalistic and carnal. They are not Spirit-led. They rely upon the harsh, cold letter of the law instead of upon the Spirit. I happen to know a few of these people, because they have even criticized me on my Facebook page, simply because I happen to have a long beard.
It particularly irks me when some women do this, because it is clearly not their place to judge and criticize one of the Lord's servants. If some of you women don't like my physical appearance, if it offends you so much that I sport a beard, then simply refrain from visiting my timeline. My gosh; there was even one fellow who repeatedly kept making sharp jabs at me because he did not like the "Fool for Christ" jester hat that I wore in one of my older profile images. He found it offensive, and so he kept launching critical barbs at me; that is, until I finally had enough of him and blocked him. Folks, I do not put up with any degree of nonsense on my Facebook timeline. If you do not like me, or what I believe and preach, if you do not like how I operate my timeline, if you do not like my appearance in some way, then please do us both a favor by simply staying away. I am too busy on the wall of the Lord's Service, and I have no time for you. Thank you.
Sadly, in the case of the young woman who criticized me as a result of my using images in which Jesus has long hair and a beard, even though I took the time to share with her some of the very same information which is included in this series, she did not receive it in the least. In fact, I suspect that she did not even make any attempt to read it or understand it. I have met so many people like this before. As I mention in a few other articles, I refer to these people as "correctors". These people are so convinced of their views, and so convinced that they are right about everything, that all they do is go around trying to correct other people. When one does not agree with them, they do exactly what this young woman did to me.
After I shared some of the previous information with this woman, her response was to leave a new comment in which she claimed that she knew beforehand that I am -- in her opinion at least -- "unteachable". She claimed that this is because I am too proud. She then warned me to repent. My jaw dropped upon reading her vicious remarks. Let me explain to you why I had this reaction. First of all, just the fact that she used the word "unteachable" exposes her primary motive, as well as her own attitude. As I explained a moment ago, this woman is a corrector. Her primary motive in visiting my timeline seems to have been to only correct me regarding certain things that she does not agree with. She did not come to fellowship or to learn anything herself. She simply came to correct what she viewed as errors on my part.
When I failed to bend to her, ahem, "superior knowledge", and instead chose to share with her my own observations based on my understanding of the Scriptures, this young woman reacted in the very same way that other correctors likewise react. In other words, she immediately went into attack mode with her unfounded accusations. Needless-to-say, I blocked her. As I said, I have both seen and personally experienced this many times before. Unless one agrees with a corrector and admits that he is wrong, the corrector will immediately reveal his true colors, and will launch his verbal barrage of vicious words. He will falsely accuse you of being proud, stubborn, self-righteous, unteachable, and whatever else comes to mind, before he marches off in a huff of self-righteous indignation, totally convinced in his own mind that he is right.
The irony of this situation is that while this young woman so adamantly defended her own position by clinging to the Apostle Paul's solitary remark regarding men who have long hair, she likewise exposed her own hypocrisy by apparently ignoring what Paul clearly advocated regarding women who usurp the authority of men in order to be teachers, as we see by this verse:
"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."
1 Timothy 2:12, KJV
In other words, when she accused me of being "unteachable", what she really meant is that she was upset because I was not willing to accept what she wanted to "teach" me. Keep in mind that, going by her profile image, she may possibly be around a third my age. Please do not misunderstand my comment. I am not saying that it is not possible to learn new things from people who are younger than ourselves. God can obviously use whomever He likes. However, at the same time, in examining the New Testament, it becomes evident that this is not how He usually chose to operate in the First Century Church. Quite to the contrary, those Christians who were young in age, or who were young in the faith, were expected to show honor and respect for the Elders of the Church. They were supposed to sit quietly at the feet of the Elders, and learn from them in a spirit of meekness. Consider the following verses:
"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."
Hebrews 13:17, KJV
"Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren . . . Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine."
1 Timothy 5:1, 17, KJV
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."
1 Peter 5:5, KJV
Obviously, this woman did not do this in the least. In fact, she did the exact opposite. Even though I have known the Lord for about fifty years now, and have studied His Word for over forty of them, she demonstrated absolutely no respect for the spiritual insight and wisdom which I have gained during the course of my life. She in fact rebuked me, told me that I am proud, and warned me to repent. That woman had a very proud, know-it-all, "I know what I am talking about" attitude. Well, consider this verse:
"And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know."
1 Corinthians 8:2, KJV
As some of my longtime readers will already realize, I do not pretend to know everything. I have publicly acknowledged in my articles -- such as in "Humility in Our Understanding of God's Word" -- as well as on my timeline on a number of occasions, that I find myself engaged in a continual, and in fact lifelong learning process, when it comes to God's Word. Furthermore, I am not afraid to change my beliefs, and what I teach, if the Lord reveals to me that I have been in error regarding something. In fact, on a few occasions now, I have mentioned to my readers and friends that at the moment, I am actually engaged in a major re-evaluation of certain beliefs which I have embraced for over four decades. Once the dust settles, I will be commenting more on this subject at some point in the future.
But concerning this young woman who criticized and rebuked me, if I were to take the same legalistic approach as she has done, then I would have to say the following to her:
If you are going to take the Apostle Paul's personal comment regarding his preference for men to maintain short hair, and turn it into a hard and fast rule, a rigid commandment, and an unbreakable law which can't be violated, then in order to maintain balance and uniformity in your position, you also need to take the very same approach, and do the very same thing with everything else that Paul ever wrote. This simply means that you hold to a double standard, and are likewise a hypocrite, because you are trying to teach me, and others, when Paul clearly states that you are not supposed to teach anyone, because you are a woman. To reiterate, Paul taught that women are supposed to keep silent in the Church.
Furthermore, if in your legalistic approach to God's Word, you treat all of Paul's teachings as unbendable commandments and rigid rules which cannot be broken, then as the Apostle James informs us in the following verse, if you break even one of the "Pauline Laws", then you are guilty of breaking all of them. Not only that, but because you so adamantly promote the belief that men should have short hair, while at the same time you refuse to stop teaching as Paul says you should do, you are a hypocrite just like the Scribes and the Pharisees who Jesus rebuked in the twenty-third chapter of Matthew. Why? Because you promote one of Paul's teachings which you agree with, while you totally ignore and refuse to do another. In other words, you say, and do not. Consider these verses:
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
James 2:10, KJV
"Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."
Matthew 23:1-3, KJV
As I mention in a number of articles, I have great respect for the Apostle Paul. He was both an excellent scholar of God's Word, and a mighty soldier for Jesus Christ. He did much more for the Lord, and sacrificed more for the Lord, than I could ever hope to do. Paul lived during extremely perilous times, took many risks, and according to tradition, ultimately gave his very life for the Cause of Jesus Christ. Clearly, the man is to be greatly respected. However, this does not mean that every word that he uttered, and every single word that Paul wrote, was "Thus saith the Lord". He did express his personal opinion on occasions.
As I have clearly demonstrated by way of this series, there appears to be no law, commandment or Biblical custom which mandates that a man must have short hair. Other than Paul's one solitary comment, I found absolutely nothing to indicate that for a man to have long hair is a shameful, disgraceful or dishonorable act. Jesus does not teach this anywhere in the Gospels either. Quite to the contrary, the four Gospels reveal that Jesus constantly fought against the harsh and demanding legalism of the Scribes and the Pharisees, and He exposed how they placed their own customs and traditions above the very Word of God. As I've already explained, that is why I suspect that Paul took the approach of telling his readers to look to nature; that is, because even he realized that there is no such law in the Old Testament Scriptures.
You will recall that earlier in this series, I mentioned that upon looking to nature as Paul advises us to do, the very first thing that entered my mind are lions. The male lion has a huge mane, while the lioness obviously does not. If that point is not enough to convince you of the weakness of Paul's questionable position -- besides all of the other Scriptural evidence which I have provided for you in this series -- then please consider the fact that Jesus Himself is symbolized as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in the Book of Revelation. He is depicted as an animal which possesses a large mane. Consider these verses:
"And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."
Revelation 5:5-10, KJV
There should be no doubt that the previous verses describe Jesus as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who took the Book out of His very own Father's hand, who sat upon the Throne. In thinking further about this issue, it occurred to me that even if an Old Testament commandment regarding men keeping their hair short did exist, as I mention in other articles, we New Testament Christians are not Old Testament Jews who are in bondage to the customs and traditions of that era. We are only bound by the moral laws of the Levitical and Mosaic Code, which even Jesus and the Apostles stated can be summed up in the following manner:
"Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Matthew 22:36-40, KJV
"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
John 13:35, KJV
"Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
Romans 13:10, KJV
"But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."
1 Corinthians 12:31, KJV
"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
1 Corinthians 13:13, KJV
"If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:"
James 2:8, KJV
"And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."
1 Peter 4:8, KJV
"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
1 John 4:8, KJV
When all is said and done, that is what it really comes down to; God-inspired love. While this series has concentrated on the issue of whether or not it is permissible for men to have long hair, I hope that you realize that the debate regarding long hair or short hair is just a symptom of the disease. As I explained at the beginning of this series, the problem we really should be concerned about is actually legalism. It is because this particular woman is so bound by legalism, that rather than treat me with love and respect, she came down on me with the cold, hard letter of the law, even when there is really no such law. Legalism only causes us to be cold, hard, critical and judgmental. On the other hand, God's love makes us patient, merciful and forgiving. Legalism chooses to stone the adulterous woman, while love motivates us to forgive her, and to simply tell her to sin no more. Can it be any simpler and more straightforward than that?
With these thoughts I will bring this series to a close. I trust that you have enjoyed it, learned something from it, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, etc, I would really appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thank you so very much! May God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this series, or which contain topics which are related to this series. All of these articles are likewise located on this very same Bill's Bible Basics website:
Are Christians Obligated to Keep the Sabbath?
Faith and the Shroud of Turin
God's Golden Teeth, or Satan's Delusion?
Humility in Our Understanding of God's Word
Love, Mercy, Forgiveness and Chastisement
Love, Roman Catholicism, Water Baptism and the Holy Trinity
The International Jew and the Protocols of Zion
The Royal Law: Thou Shalt Love
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