Monday, October 27, 2008

My Issue with the Issues

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!!!


Anastasia-Jane said...

I believe that whatever Bible helps you to understand is the one you should use. I have been to many different churches in my life and they all used a different Bible. Did I learn at each church.. Yes!! Were these churches full of saved people.. Yes!!
AS far as clothing. I would love to wear long skirts but I don't look good in them. I currently live at about 8000 feet and it is cold in the winter. I lived in Colorado for a while too. Layering, leggings and I always had gloves in my pocket. However, this is a dry cold and it won't seem as old as living in a place that has high humidity.
I think that if God felt that what you were doing was wrong. He would lay in on your heart to change. Whether it be head covering, wearing only dresses, or reading KJV Bible only. We each have to listen to that quiet still voice inside of us. That voice was left by the Savior to lead, guide and direct us. I believe that everyone is different. And the main thing is to love God with all our heart soul and mind. And to love each other as ourselves. The rest is negotiable...

Kristi said...


I think you hit the nail on the head! So much so, that I've decided to write an entire post on what I discovered as I mulled over your response.

Thanks for the tips about living in the cold weather!!! I don't usually get cold easily, so I am not terribly worried about it, plus, I stay inside most of the time anyway!!!

Humble wife said...

Interesting post. I see and have had most of the discussions in my head a few times.

I wear skirts and some dresses and jumpers. I read KJV only because I studied the versions and took a few tests on Chick publications about things left out(not trying to debate...just how I got where I am).

I homeschool...but we began homeschooling 15 years ago, before we were saved. We continue because we have seen the success, and the anti God sentiment in schools...such as evolution as this is a direct conflict to God.

We live in the country and are rural but have over 250 homeschool kids in the county and get together for organized PE, and recreation 2 times a week, and other things here and there.

I have even begun working out in a jumper...:)

What can I suggest? Don't take the blog world too serious. How many perfect Christian women seem to come out of th computer - they do so much, never complain, have a zillion kids, a bible study at home, attend church 5 times a week, clean the church on Friday, write their own home school curriculum, and on and on...Think of the last time you saw a messy room on line?

So keep working things out in your writings and your prayers...funny how we are all on our own leaning curve as those who have a cookie cutter pattern of biblical woman that is well read proverbs 31:10- above rubies so rare...we do have to strive towards the His time.

Just my thoughts...and boy it is Friday so, I have to climb over the clutter to find the

Kristi said...


Thank you for your comment! I truly don't mind a little debate (ask my husband...that's all I like to do!!!) but that isn't really on topic!

Do you have a link for those tests you mentioned? I would like to take them. I saw a video series over at Candy's site, that explained about the KJV, but how do we know that what was "left out" was ever meant to be there in the first place? It comes down to the official manuscript that is translated and that is what is up for debate. I read something that said that people who believe in the KJV are able to believe that there is an infallible Word of God version in English and that the KJV is it. Believers in the "modern" translations claim only that it is the Word of God and useful for doctrine and reproof, but only the authentic text can be considered the infallible, inerrant WORD OF GOD. There is the verse in Acts that refers to Easter (which I have heard debated both ways!) and the other random bits that are harder for the modern reader to understand. However much I am still on the line, I am learning to prefer the KJV. It sounds less like the fiction book I bought at Target and therefore forced my mind to pay attention, yet the words are simple enough that I can usually understand without hours of mind-numbing analysis. My only current objection to the KJV is that there appears to be a "current" version that is not correct and that makes it difficult for a novice like me to find a good version of the Bible. My KJV is a pocket sized one and while great for travel and church, it is very difficult to study...but that is what I am putting on my Christmas list, along with a bunch of the things from the vision forum catalog!!!

It is really interesting to me that as I find myself wanting to wear dresses more, my husband (who didn't care at first) now enjoys seeing me in skirts. He claims that I act different toward him when I am in skirts- I am less confrontational and more submissive. These changes can only be OF GOD! So, I continue to wear them, though I only have one appropriate skirt, I wear pants out often, but only because I know that if I am going somewhere with my mom, it makes her feel uncomfortable. Once I have a wardrobe, that will no longer work. The long skirt that I have is one that I made and I made it very poorly so the buttonfly looks like it is gaping open...not a very modest thing to have happen!!! I have so much sewing to do, so until I get it done, I will continue to wear pants in public. I can't wait to get my skirts/dresses done though!!!

As far as homeschooling goes, it is the desire of my heart, but right now I am fighting it so hard because though it is what I think is best for my kids, my daughter is four and is SO FAR BEHIND because I haven't spent the time I needed to. I'm not talking about the "she'll grow out of it, just keep doing what you're doing" stage, she has some of those, but she should know her alphabet and she doesn't...not because she can't learn it, but because Dora hasn't taught it to her yet...that's my job, and I'm not succeeding at it. That is the main reason I am considering outside schooling, for the experience for her (be it bad or good) and so that I can continue to get on my feet with parenting properly. I am hoping to make serious progress this year so that I am ready to pursue "school" in earnest instead of public school, but that is in God's control.

Nice knowing that I'm not the only person who has lost her kitchen!!! LOL!!!