Old-Fashioned.

OLD-FASHIONED…That’s Me

It’s really no secret….I’m a “old-fashioned” girl.  I love “Little House on the Prairie”, the thought of quiet, country living, and as long as I could take penicillin and air conditioning, I would probably be willing to live back in time as Laura Ingalls Wilder did.  I also like my share of city lights, chain restaurants, malls, and latte’s, but when it really comes down to it, I much prefer the simpler life.  Thanks to my Dad, I learned to appreciate the great outdoors, old times, and the loooonnnnngggg Texas drawl he exhibited so well.

I guess because of my roots, I have come to appreciate the old-fashioned way, but to many in today’s world, being old-fashioned is a bad thing. 

Even in our churches, we are seeing movements where it seems that every traditional  aspect of our church heritage is being questioned, and in many cases condemned.  We sit too much, we are too complacent, we are too organized in our services, we dress too formally, we have too many services, we use music in place of the message, we “perform” instead of practice our faith, etc., etc., etc.  It seems to me that “modern” movements within the Christian realm are forgetting about the foundations that our church forefathers worked so diligently to put in place.

I agree that in many, many cases the church “sits, soaks, and sours”, and is out of the will of God because there is no evidence of real commitment to our Christian faith and duties.  Yet, it still seems beyond me to visualize all of our traditions and old-fashioned ways gone. 

Christian “buzz” words like “modern”, “contemporary”, “emergent”, and “missional” are not new to the Christian faith.  If you really look at it, they are just a new expression of what we all should be doing anyway.  Why is it that we have to re-label the values that are traditional, and then call the old-fashioned ways bad? 

Isn’t it good to meet together, pray for one another, encourage one another, respect one another, reverence God in our clothing, sing and worship to our Lord, and exhibit an organized environment focused on reaching others for Christ?  These traditions in our churches are what is being called “out-dated”, “unfruitful”, “boring”, and “outside of God’s will”.  It’s like there’s an attack, a revolution among our Christian brothers and sisters who, I believe, have good intentions, but instead are helping to create an atmosphere of controversy and condemnation with our church family.

It is sad to me to see our churches being portrayed as buildings where worldly people just attend a good “show”.  It’s no wonder why the unsaved people don’t want to hear the message!  We can’t even agree among ourselves. 

New ideas, and new movements toward furthering the gospel of Christ can be good, but only when the focus is on Christ, and not in the condemnation of others who are responding to God in another way.  God gave each of us a particular gift and purpose.  We are all different, yet part of one body.  When one part starts tearing down the other part, it only causes harm. 

I am noticing brother against brother, sister against sister, and even minister against minister and, honestly, I am embarrassed and ashamed.  Our focus needs to return to Christ, who administered the ways of “old”, and who is never changing, and who we should all be “fashioned” like.

Is there a way that we can all work together toward this effort?  I believe so.  I ask you to examine your heart and mind before you respond,

“…laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking…” 1 Peter 2:1

“…He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct..”  1 Peter 1:15

“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully…when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.  For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps, “Who commited no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”” 1 Peter 2:19-22

“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.  If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability, which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified…  1 Peter 4:9-11

As we look for new ways, new ideas, new directions, let us not forget the benefits of “old”.  There is wisdom we can gain from respecting our early churches and the traditions that come over time. 

Let’s encourage each other to respond to God’s direction, in ALL His different ways. 

The problem is NOT the traditions OR the new ideas, it’s the ATTITUDE of the people who don’t practice the Christian faith as they should.  From generation to generation I expect this will always be a problem.  Until we learn to be “…doers of the word, and not hearers only..” James 1:22, the church will experience seasons of drought. 

Let us respect the ways of old, acknowledge the fruit they have brought over time, and the wisdom we, today, can benefit from them.  On the same token, let us praise those who aren’t afraid to initiate new ideas, those who respond to the modern world and all its’ benefits in order to bring more people to Christ.  Both ways can be useful.  Both ways can be effective.  Both ways can be honorable. 

My clothes dryer is a new, advanced, modern way of doing laundry.  It can dry clothes at an unbelievable rate.  It takes static out, and leaves my clothes wrinkle free.  Yet I have to respect the aged clothesline.  Clothes that are dried outside smell so good!  You can literally smell the warmth of the sun and the natural, God-breathed air.   

Both ways achieve the same result….dry clothes.  Right now, I exclusively use the clothes dryer.  However, I think I will ask my husband to set up an outdoor line as well. 

Why?  Because I have found that it is when we take the time to reverence the things of “old” that we learn to appreciate the advancement of time and all its’ improvements

So…if, in this new age of technology, where dryers are ultra-sized, energy efficient, time saving mechanisms, you drive past my house and see “bloomers” on a line, I hope you will laugh with me, not at me.  

The Lord calls each one of us in a different way, and when we respect our differences, the whole body is complete.   Let us, as believers, remember to “…speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among (us), but that (we) be perfectly joined together in the same mind…”1 Corinthians 1:10 

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21 Comments

Filed under Attitude, Bible, Church, Contemporary, Ethics, God, Love, Morals, Obedience, old-fashioned, Traditional, Wisdom

21 responses to “Old-Fashioned.

  1. Kari

    AMEN sister!! I agree with you totally! Jeremy and I have had many conversations about how not all the “old” things are bad and should be swept aside. However, I do agree that not all the new things are bad either. Thanks for your enlightenment!!

  2. Well said. If we could all learn from this, what a church we would be. I know that’s illogical, but nothing is logical in what we are doing to each other now. Praise His Holy Name!

  3. The beautiful thing about the Christian faith is that God does work through our diversity. God uses this diversity because, there are people that I will reach that the Christian Biker never will and vica versa. There a droves of people that will never step into a contemporary church, and others who will never find their place within a more traditional setting. Some are drawn to rigid litergy and pipe organs…others to electric guitars and ministers who prepare that nights sermon on their way up to the pulpit. I have personally worshipped in all of these from a sincere heart before the Lord.

    More importantly, however, I do agree with you on a much more fundamental level. Often I feel grieved when I read some post that are slamming something that God may be doing but doesn’t meet the expectations of the author. There is a distinction between being a “critical thinker” and just being “critical”, and I guess the inability of some to distinguish between the two is where I take my issue.

  4. Wow…that was so well put and kind of help me get a handle on feelings that I have not yet been able to articulate. Thanks for being led by God and for sharing the wisdom that He has given you. Btw…do you really wear bloomers? lol 🙂

  5. jowiki

    I think some of your points are very valid. I totally agree that we should be in constant examination of our attitudes as we try to get back to the ‘old things’. What I think is interesting is that many in the newer movement, which I would say is different than the traditional in many aspects, are trying to get back to older ways – but just older than what we have accepted as tradition. I really enjoyed reading this. Keep blogging you have a very talented way of expressing your point of view (a signature of a great blogger 🙂 See ya later – Josh

  6. I had to read through your post a couple times to I think really try to get the tone of where you are coming from here. Through cyberspace and words on a screen you can’t really decipher what your heart is in saying these things.

    I do agree with you that not all the old should be pushed aside. The great reformers are some of the very reasons as to why we have such a strong foundation, although I think that as we research some of the reformers we would not agree with as traditional or old school.

    The barrier I believe, especially as Southern baptists are th dogmatic attitudes that let divide our family and congregation. For whatever reason we have let the type of song, and the kind of attire somehow hinder the relationships that God has commanded for us to love and nurture. I don’t really see it as a battle between old school and modern, but more the attitudes and the dogmatic practices of thinking that just because its different it is somehow sinning.

  7. The prevailing theme here is “attitude”. It’s the constant public bombardment of “they’re wrong and I’m right” that has lead to the tearing down and ineffectiveness of our ministries.

    There’s no question that changes need to be made. However, we should carefully consider the impact of the way we move toward them, and the judgment we make on others. Who are we to say that one ministry is to be favored over the other? Who are we to publicly comment against someone/something so as to cause discord? Who are we to purposefully exaggerate our opinions so as to “prove” a point in rebellion?

    It’s the prideful intentions in our actions that destroys the message. If we could just learn to respect the diversity in God’s plan, maybe then God would bring another Great Revival. One that would reach the old, the young ,the middle-aged, the traditional, the contemporary, the theologian, the musician, the biker, and even all the Southern baptists!

  8. Oh…and to Cherie, I’m not sure I want to answer the bloomers question!! 🙂

  9. jowiki

    Ok I am just going to go out on a limb here and ask if you are thinking of something specifically or are you just talking in general. To me I am having a hard time understanding what you are saying and maybe if you said specifically what you are thinking then I would better understand it.

  10. Yes I am thinking of some specifics, but it is a culmination of many instances I have witnessed over a long time period. It is just a burden I have felt over time, to see us Christians in discord.

  11. jowiki

    Well I am sorry that you are feeling that way. If i can help then let me know. Like my mom would say…’Don’t worry about it, it will all work out in the end.’

    Josh King

  12. Long before the old was old, it was new…………and long before the new became new, it wasn’t new yet………so let the old join the new and be a newly old attitude.

    Think on that for a while…….

  13. Kari

    Kenya- That is way too much to think on…you have this unique way of saying things that makes me have to read the words 50 times, allow my brain to stop spinning, and then allow my mind to process. Go girl!

  14. Dale

    Julie,

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I too think it is important that we not try to push our position, but rather adhere to God’s position. A person once asked me how he would know if he was being led of God to do something. At first, I thought, “How do I answer that question?” Then, as usual, God took over when I had no choice but to acquiesce. His word came to me that says, whether therefore you eat or drink or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. That’s when it hit me, if what we do brings more glory to self, how can it be a directive of God? Like Buddy, each of us have a God given ability to reach different people. Freddy Gage was able to go to bars, set up church, and do wonderous things to bring the lost to Jesus. Whereas, should I try to emulate Freddy rather than be led of the Spirit, I would only reap condemnation from both the saved and lost. It isn’t required for everyone to agree with me, but it is required that I’m loved in spite of me. As well, I’m not required to agree with anyone, but I do have to love them if I’m to meet with the expectations of the One who loved me enough to give all so I could have what I did not deserve. My eyes fill with tears as I type this knowing that christians all over the world spend more time fighting about what doesn’t matter while satan uses the fervent desire to push personal positions to be used by the lost to justify their lack of acknowledgement toward God. I suppose it doesn’t really matter in what key one sings the song, so long as the message remains true to a Holy God. What we can’t prove without question in God’s word, let Jesus put in order when He comes. For that which leaves no question, stand firm on the love of God, with compassion toward men, and tears for the lost just as Jesus had when he wept over Jerusalem. So, thank you Julie for being one who is more interested in God’s glory than personal position.

  15. Kenya… you just gave me a headache….

    I do have one concern beyond the bloomers thing though. Julie you say “Isn’t it good to meet together and …reverence God in our clothing”. I am really concerned about the alternative…that definitely sounds way too contempary for me. 🙂

  16. Wow! I am so amazed at the conversation this blogging thing can generate! Thank you so much to everyone for all your thoughts.

  17. satisfiedhousewife

    Hi Julie,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday and for your comments. I like this post – I am the same way – “old fashioned”! No one taught me this either….I just wish we lived in a more moral, respectful and simpler world than we now live in. I am slowly starting to look back into the way they lived back then and at least trying to get back to basics in my own life.

    These “new” movements sometimes aren’t good. Even though the “older ways” aren’t good either, because the life of God is not in them due to complacent Christians, but this is one thing that we must remember:

    “Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways [from] the ancient paths, to walk in paths, [in] a way not cast up; To make their land desolate, [and] a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head.” Jer. 8:16,17

    “And [they that shall be] of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:12

    “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein].” Jer. 6:16

    It’s not that the “old timers” were wrong so we have to find a “new and improved way”, but that we must RESTORE the TRUE old paths of righteousness. (from generations of old, Isaiah 58:12)

    We must look to the Word of God to find those ancient paths, and walk in them again.

    Know what I mean? We can’t change the way God ordained things to be, we can’t create “new things” that attract more non believers – no, that’s not it either…we need to just be the church, return to God and let Him restore us to the bride He has called us to be.

    Blessings,
    Jen

  18. Pingback: Insulated. « God Is…

  19. Julie

    Thank you Jen. I appreciate your thoughts and look forward to visiting your site again!

  20. Allison P

    Hey, Julie, just stumbled onto your blog by various co-workers that we have shared in the past….. great wording, I just recently attended a “Change the World” conference in Tipp City, Ohio….
    It was the most awesome time for me personally, their theme on their literature was “Live Simply so others can simply live”
    Right on what your talking, would share more, but I am at work.

  21. Julie

    Hi Allison! 🙂

    So good to hear from you and to know that you are reading! I would love to know more about the conference you attended. How’s the bank? I miss seeing everyone!

    Come back again!
    Many blessings,

    Julie

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