Please Be Guided Accordingly

Please be guided accordingly

I was taken off-guard the moment they entered one by one. I knew I was not supposed to stare at people while inside. I should have my full focus on the purpose of my coming here. But by their looks, inside the place of worship, seemed not to coincide at all.

They were a group of young people, four to be exact, probably eighteen years old and above. They wore shorts and shirts appropriate only for the beach. Slowly they entered the church while the choir sang the Gloria.  They settled at the pew in the front row right behind the choir.

By their looks one could say they are not local Parishioners. I was just a kind of shock why they have to make such a dramatic entrance with how they look. My friend who sat in front of me whispered to his wife asking who they were. His wife just shrugged her shoulders and signaled at him to be quiet.

Okay. We were inside of the church attending the holy mass. We were not supposed to judge nor criticize anyone. But here is my take:

The church is a place of worship, therefore, a place of respect too. The church does not stand for its Parishioners. It stands for God. We could talk to God or pray to God anywhere, anytime. But when we CHOOSE to WORSHIP God inside the church attending a HOLY MASS, we must be aware of our every act and make ourselves presentable before God. It is our responsibility to not make the little ones stumble because of our actions. We could not simply say, “It’s the problem of the people why they judge or criticize me, when in fact I just go there to attend the mass. I have clear intentions.” If you have clear intentions, why not make yourself ‘presentable‘? If you have clear intentions, you could have chosen to sit at the rear end pews where people hardly notices you. There, you could pray and worship without being conscious of how oddly you look inside this place.

Other churches have signage at their entrance directing people to attend mass or enter the church in proper attire. This signage specifically states as to what attire are acceptable and what are not. Our local church does not have it. I suppose, it is only on the prerogative of the Parish priest.

After the mass, I waited for my husband outside. He is a choir member, and it is their job to keep the instruments in their proper place after being used. When he joined me, he said those young people were the students of the choir’s music teacher. This teacher came from the other island adjacent to ours. He said they were there because they visited one local beach the day before.

For me, it was still not an excuse why they have to show up with their beach attire. They could have covered themselves with scarf or whatever that would not show any disrespect for the holy mass and the people in there.

Whoever we are, wherever we go, we carry our faith with us. In these days of restless travels, we must always be aware if we have imprinted a pleasant impression on the place we are about to leave. We must not leave it to people to understand us, we must also understand the people in the places we visit. And it is much, much better to leave a GOOD example to strangers who would soon forget our face, but would never forget how we made them feel.

My plea to the Millennials out there: Please do NOT stretch the rules of the church to fit in with your lifestyle.

purposivewriter - nezel yurong

Banned

 

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7 thoughts on “Please Be Guided Accordingly

  1. Nezel, thank you for your interesting post. Based on the tone and subject matter of your posts, I perceive that you are a committed Christ-follower. I would challenge you to find anywhere in the Scriptures where God or Jesus while here on earth or the Apostle as they were evangelizing, planting and building up churches; any of them saying that we have to dress a certain way in order to worship God. For example, in the Gospel of Matthew: “Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax booth. “Follow Me,” He told him, and Levi got up, left everything, and followed Him. Then Levi hosted a great banquet for Jesus at his house. A large crowd of tax collectors was there, along with others who were eating with them. But the Pharisees and their scribes complained to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew [Levi] was writing about himself. One of the hallmarks of Jesus’ ministry was aimed at the religious institution of the day and the leaders [Pharisees and Scribes] who were supposed to represent God. Jesus told them repeatedly that all they did was burdened down with man-made rules seekers of God. God leaves the 99 and seeks just one lost sheep. Should we not rejoice that people who are not yet Christ-followers, come seeking just as they are? After all, the Sovereign God, who sees and knows all, knows us intimately never tells us to worship in a certain way. Our mode of dress means nothing to Him. It is our heart that He is concerned about and for that reason alone, Jesus died. I am just saying … and I look forward to more of you writing Nezel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that great thoughts! You are right I never come across the Bible where there is a ‘specific’ dress code for church goers. It’s the heart that God sees and not the outside appearance. However, there’s a teaching that says we must not lead the little ones to stumble because of our doings. Thus, the church gives certain rules that we may follow this rule much easier. Or else, everybody must attend church in pajamas or in two piece bikinis, or even no clothing at all. I could not imagine it that way. I do appreciate the comment.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Goddard. This is a reply to this statement that you made specifically:

      “I would challenge you to find anywhere in the Scriptures where God or Jesus while here on earth or the Apostle as they were evangelizing, planting and building up churches; any of them saying that we have to dress a certain way in order to worship God.”

      I wanted to ask what your opinion was on Paul’s teaching on women having their heads covered while praying as written in 1 Corinthians:11:4-16. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have always thought that to be a cultural norm for the day. I do not think that God is concerned about our particular fashion or mode of dress. I know that some denominations require this of women. I do not consider this to be a “right or wrong” issue. It is how a group of people decide what is “right” for them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • All the denominations I know of have these rules, even the Islam faith. While new age belief does not, they even have nude moments with the community. It all depends where our own faith genuinely fits. Thus, if one could not adhere to the rules, the faith is somewhat a matter to consider.

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    • Hm, Paul seemed very adamant about it and it seems to have some spiritual significance since he said:
      “10 For this reason a woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.” Also, if everyone else is attending mass wearing suits and dresses wouldn’t that make it the norm, and wearing beach clothes to be seen as improper or going against the norm?

      Liked by 1 person

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