When I first started this conservative Christianity journey, like I have said before, I was really skeptical of the whole thing. I didn’t understand the claims or positions of the different groups. One thing I have found since discovering Conservatism that disturbs me is the number of ways to “classify” a person. Perhaps I am still looking in on a totally foreign concept, but I almost feel like I am changing religions, that I can now be in the ranks of “super-Christians” or some other such nonsense. I have noticed (at least) four groups of people who move in these conservative circles: one, the KJV only believers, two, the modesty and femininity are the hallmarks of the female species, women and girls wear exclusively long(ish) skirts or dresses, and three, women (and girls) shall keep their heads covered at all times and four, always home school. Along with these four main topics there seem to be at least a few other issues like diet and church preference that further divide us.
I look at all these topics, not because I disagree and find fault in these issues, but because I agree with these issues and find fault in their practice. I know (or at least I am very confident) that none of these women’s blogs would argue that any of those things are essential for salvation, which rules out “legalism” as a method for adding anything except grace through faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, but I wonder about legalism in the way we live our lives. Is it purely from the Bible or is it a way to unnaturally separate ourselves from the world and be proud of it?
I am really fighting this: am I wearing modest (long) skirts and dresses out of submission to my husband (who doesn’t care if I wear pants) and God who declares that I should be MODEST/CHASTE and FEMININE? Is a long skirt the only way to accomplish both of those things? Can I wear a well-cut, not skin-tight, pair of pants and a nice blouse and still be feminine? Am I wearing those clothes merely to be different and to be accepted by a particular group in society? I want to throw out my pants; I only wear them because they are easy and “modern” so I won’t make other people uncomfortable by my appearance (like my mom, for example). I want to dress my daughter in pretty feminine clothes, but she wears mostly pants. How does all this dress-wearing work in winter? We are moving from Washington state (semi-mild winter) to Colorado (not so mild winter) and we are moving in JANUARY!!!
Then I look at the King James Only debate and while I was completely convinced not too long ago, I have since begun to think differently. I DO find the KJV harder to understand. Yes, the words themselves are simpler, but the order of the words makes it difficult to understand the sentence. I read the NKJV, as does the pastor at my church and I enjoy it. My version pulls from both the “oldest” text that the NIV uses and the more historical version that the KJV uses, in the notes whenever the texts disagree, the NKJV translators included an asterisk and then writes out what the other version said. If I am unsure about something, I will usually take it to the KJV because I do believe in the historicity of the text forming the KJV. However, I did ask my sister who took the Christian Apologetics Master program at Biola University and her belief is that the only infallible Word of God is the original language and that the translations that we use are still useful for doctrine and correction but as they are translations cannot be considered in the same class as the inspired word of God. We know there are mistakes in the KJV, sure many of them were typos, but how many misprints are in the original text? None. I don’t mind using the KJV and I don’t care for the NIV or any of the ultra modern New Living Translation because I think they inhibit a person from truly understanding. When you don’t have to think when you read, you can easily pass over a passage, but when you have to work at understanding it, your brain recalls better. See? I’m up in the air here as well. This one feels a little less “important” because it is a pretty private issue, I think. It is easier to keep this decision between God and me.
Then we have head covering. I used to think that women should cover, but I kept going back and forth and while I think that it can be beneficial, I don’t think that at this time, God is calling either me or my daughter to cover our hair, our bodies, yes.
Finally, home schooling. Honestly, this is my plan, but I am having my doubts about whether I can do it. This is supposed to be my “test” year because Jordyn is in preschool right now. I am doing NOTHING. It seems like she is learning NOTHING!!! Perhaps, if we are in a good school district, we will try Kindergarten for her. She is really excited about “going to school” and I think she would like it. My daughter has a tendency to be shy and she doesn’t really have other kids to talk to, so school might be good for her. I know what I want. I want to use The Well-Trained Mind and give my kids a great academic life. What I am doing is letting them watch countless hours of Dora and all her Nick Jr. buddies. How do I get there?
One trend I am noticing is that I need to “fix myself” first. I think God is working hard on me now because so many aspects of my life have been either put under a microscope or thrown into the flames. I can only come out better since God has begun a good work in me and will be faithful to finish it! Praise the Lord for that or all these musings would be depressing indeed!!!
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