Religious hoops. Steps. And other obstacles.

September 13, 2011 — Leave a comment

I once preached in a church that had very strict guidelines concerning what you were and were not allowed to wear. Pretty much, if you had skin showing, whether on your arms or legs – you were wrong.

I’m not one to judge how somebody interprets and applies the scripture: so I didn’t in this instance.

I had just preached on baptism in Jesus name. That night we baptized quite a few people. There was a single file line to the steps of the baptistery. Each individual was either dressed in a specialized baptismal robe, or in clothes they had brought for the occasion.

One guy came out of the bathroom dressed in nothing but extremely short jogging shorts. The kind of running short that flares up on the sides to the waistband. He took his place in line and the contrast between him and everybody else was dramatic. I watched. And 10 minutes later he was baptized and had his life changed.

Nobody said anything to him about his apparel. Even though this was most certainly a place where those shorts were frowned upon.

I was half expecting somebody to at least put a towel around his waist: but nobody did anything but rejoice with him for his life changing decision.

In Exodus 20:26, God told His people not to place steps in front of the altar. The altar was the point of contact between God and man. God believed the altar was the place of alteration. But no steps were required to get there.

Alterations shouldn’t be required before the altar. Desperate people shouldn’t have to jump through religious hoops to experience salvation.

Clear, straighten, and smooth out the pathway to Jesus.

Whosoever will – let him/her come!