*cue Adventist outrage*
I grew up in a church that observes the Sabbath, doesn’t eat pork, and told me wearing jewelry was a sin. While I still do keep the Sabbath- although not necessarily traditionally- my ears are pierced, and I’ve had my fair share of bacon on breakfast sandwiches…sorry Dad.
A few days ago, I saw this posted on Facebook and it literally made me laugh out loud.
“Shoutout to all the S.D.A. girls and boys who had sex before marriage but still can’t eat pork because it’s a sin!!!”
Because I like to occasionally start trouble, I shared it on my Facebook page. The responses were priceless- everything from “don’t judge” to “welp”. The post stuck with me because it highlights something quite common in Christianity. Messed up priorities.
Sex before marriage? No big deal but God forbid I eat a piece of bacon. Sounds silly. And something is seriously wrong if people are more concerned about eating a slice of pepperoni pizza than the choices that can have a long term effect on their emotional wellbeing.
So all jewelry is unacceptable but a diamond encrusted engagement watch (yes, engagement watches are a real thing and I’ve seen some pretty elaborate ones) is okay? If modesty is the principle, why is your gold brooch the size of a fidget spinner?
For the record, nothing is wrong with with any of those things but be consistent. Don’t complain about my 5mm studs when your church hat is blocking my view of the pulpit while your husband distracts me with his lavender suit.
Mixed messages and misplaced focus are prevalent in Christianity and even often in our society at large. People love to complain about what others are (or aren’t) wearing but are quick to ignore the church’s gossip problem. Lots of talk about abortion these days but silence on comprehensive sex education. Oh, too far? My bad.
No shame or judgement here. I catch myself doing it too. Just do better.
We have got to stop worrying and making people feel bad about petty stuff. All caught up with the little things and ignoring weightier matters like justice, mercy, and faithfulness.
And yes, being consistent is a lot easier said than done but at least acknowledge that you pick and choose. That’s the first step.
Accept that some things have no spiritual or moral significance (I know that’s a tough one- especially for the saints). Challenge yourself not to get hung up on trivial matters. And please stop spending so much time on appearances (yours and others) so that you can ignore the mess in your own life.
Don’t be afraid to recognize and call out your own hypocrisy. Laugh at yourself if necessary and then, do better. Also, eat some bacon*. Bacon is delicious.
*Can be substituted with turkey bacon, beef bacon, or Stripples