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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Separation, long hair and long tongues

"I cut my eye teeth on preaching against THE BIG FIVE—dancing, drinking, smoking, gambling, and theater going. I heard messages against these things by the dozen. I heard very little about gossip, covetousness, a hateful spirit, etc. I observed that people who adopted this separated life often become pharisaic and proud of their separation, and I heard very few sermons against such pride. For example, one preacher I knew observed that while some women thought separation meant wearing long hair, they often had tongues as long as their hair!" -- written by John Piper's father in 1981

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Flesh Tank and Peashooter Regulations

6 comments:

clinch64 said...

A lot of these types also believe it is possible to lose salvation, yet they never think they could lose their own.

amity said...

True enough, but John Piper's father was not in a very Christian spirit the day he wrote it, perhaps? He probably had better moments, of course!

Haven't met a 100% Christian so far. If one has convictions about long hair, for example, does one need to be scoring perfectly on all the more basic issues before one acts on one's convictions about hair length? Or are we all just doing the best we can at the moment and trusting God is not done with us yet?

Jim1927 said...

I have had "good" intentions to get a haircut for 6 months now.........but winter is here and it gets cold around the neck.........

Long hair! I don't recall ever preaching on the virtues of long hair. God invented the mirror for beard and frontal trims, but my head gets in the way for trimming the back of the neck............

Cheers,

Jim

R. L. Vaughn said...

Amity, I think you bring up a good point about one not needing to score perfectly on all the issues before one acts on one's convictions on other issues (whether hair length or whatever, which is by the way discussed in I Cor. 11). If we wait till we get everything right we'll never get anything right.

But I took away from what the elder Piper wrote something of a different angle -- that it is rather easy for us to set up a mark of fulfilling the external while hiding our pride, covetousness, greed, etc. This seemed to be one of the most condemned traits of the Pharisees -- they made clean the outside while inwardly there were dead men's bones.

amity said...

That trait is not exclusive to those who attempt to "separate" themselves by their practices, though. It is a pretty universal human weakness, involving most of us at some time or another, so not sure why we would wish to attack those who "have long hair" etc.

R. L. Vaughn said...

I expect Mr. Piper is like most of us -- he spoke of that which was a part of his own experience. As far as "attacking those who have long hair", I doubt that was his intent. Whether it was or not, it is not mine; for, in fact, I believe that women wearing long hair are in so doing being faithful to the teaching of I Cor. 11.

Any thing we use to try to make this illustration could, I suppose, open us to the charge of "attacking". If we condemn the Pharisees for omitting the weightier matters of the law while making broad their phylacteries, and enlarging the borders of their garments, it's not really about attacking them for the outward, but about doing this in conjunction with leaving off the other; that is, trying to make the outward substitute for the other. At least that's the way I see it.