Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
1. Of a style or method formerly in vogue; outdated.
2. Attached to or favoring methods, ideas, or customs of an earlier time:
Oh man here I go! I will launch into the untouchable depths of the foundation of the church. “We are old fashioned around here!” said the pastor of the church so out of touch with the world around him. Does he even know what he is saying? Does he even care that he is preaching and proclaiming a great message with outdated methods and ideas? I think not! I know I wont ever change his mind but maybe I can help a person that is struggling with leaving the old ways behind. Maybe, ok lets get started.
Ok here is the way we need to view old fashioned. It is an adjective that describes a noun, or pronoun. It is merely a descriptive word. It defines anything or anyone. What it does when used is to describe something or someone as out of style, outdated, or something from an earlier time. Example;
“He wears clothes that are old fashioned.” In this sentence clothes are being described as being outdated, out of style or from an earlier time. Are you with me?
Now here is the $1,000,000 question. (no you will not get paid if you answer correctly) Only the person making the statement or their subsequent followers make this assumption. In other words the man they are describing might not believe his clothes are old fashioned. WHAT? No! If the statement is made then it must be true. Oh but it is true to those that believe the clothes are old fashioned but not to those that don’t. What am I trying to say that is so confusing? Just because someone believes the clothes are old fashioned doesn’t make them that way. But what if everyone believes they are old fashioned except for the man wearing them? Then in the eyes of all the people that see him the clothes are old fashioned. The description is held to be true only in the eyes of the ones that believe it is true.
Why is this the case? Because there is no ultimate universe truth code that lists all the old fashioned clothes that can be checked off a list. Also (are you ready for this mind blowing ideology?) There is no set time limit understood and accepted by the world that states how old a style of clothes must be to be accepted as old-fashioned! In fact there is no standard to follow in describing something old fashioned at all! To describe something old fashioned is simply the idea held in the mind of the individual doing the describing or the group agreeing with that person.
Ok let me go deeper. The oldest known church hymn found with musical notation was written in the late 3rd century. (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2013/04/the-oldest-christian-hymn-with-music.html) So is that old fashioned church music? I mean it is 2,010 yrs. old so it must be old-fashioned right? So when is the last time you heard it sung at one of these so-called old-fashioned churches? Ok lets try another one. “The Old Rugged Cross” was written by George Bennard in 1913. Now there is an enormous group that would describe this song as a good old-fashioned church song, but it is only 100 yrs. old! Compared to the other song it is not that old! So why is it considered old fashioned and widely accepted to be sung in churches this coming Sunday? No answer just yet cause I need to keep digging this hole I am getting into. lol “Amazing Grace” written by John Newton was published in 1779. It was written some 130 yrs. before “The Old Rugged Cross” yet it is considered by many to be an equal hymn in acceptance for churches to sing. REALLY? A song written 100 yrs. ago can be on the same equal acceptance field with a song written 230 yrs. ago? Now I am totally confused!
If I have a style of clothes that was popular to wear in 1983 that same style would be considered old fashioned today 30yrs later! Ok for the critics I know styles come back around, but I am trying to make a point here so follow me! If I wore 80’s style clothes today people would say, “He is so out of style!” It would show I am out of touch with the style and culture of today. But you know what is funny that is considered a bad thing for anyone and everything accept for the church! The church and its congregations today want to thrive off of making the statement, “We are still old fashioned around here!” My question is this……… “Are you 2,010 yrs. old fashioned, 230 yrs., 130 yrs., or 30 yrs.?” I need to know so that I can decide which cultural style I need to go back to so I can understand what in the world you are talking about!
This idea came out of a struggle I had for many years in trying to hold on to the methods and standard I had been raised up with. My need to be as I had always been was becoming harder and harder to maintain as the world around me changed. How do I remain effective in the ever-changing culture of society but still hold to those old fashioned roots that I have to keep visible in my life? This struggle brought me to the fifth building block of how I survived religion.
Building block number five – “Old Fashioned Is False!”
Now I know I lost a few of you with the first three paragraphs and now I just lost a great number more but the truth is sometimes a little hard to swallow.
As I stretched on out into my middle to late 20’s I was faced with a great deal of hurdles. In 1997 I was 26 yrs. old and now had my fist child. My daughter was born on a beautiful June evening in our local hospital with friends and family all around. Now the true level of responsibility was about to set in. I now had another mouth to feed and a life that I would have to guide in truth and knowledge. I of course comforted myself in knowing I would just raise my daughter like my parents raised me. But no comfort was to find me with that ideology. Why you would ask? Because although my parents did a great job in raising me, I disappointed them on many occasions. Was this the same path my daughter and I would travel? Was it going to be that my wife and I did just as our parents did with us because that must be the right way? I mean we need to hold to those old fashioned standard and principles because well that’s just how it must be, right? WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!
How much sense does it make to try and use the exact same methods and principles used on me to train a child that was made up of a total new DNA? Was my daughter destined to be exactly like me? No, impossible because she has half of my wife to make her up too. So do I mesh what my parents did and what my wife’s parents did and use that to raise and train my child? Please understand that this was giving me a headache and my daughter was only a day old! What was I going to do? My daughter was 24 hours old and I know beyond a reasonable doubt that I am already failing her as a father! Why did I feel this way? Because I had an overwhelming idea and pressure to maintain! If I deviated from the old path what outcome would I have? I am not smart enough to know how to raise a child so I must stick with what I know works right? But does it work? My parents did their best and I still made some big mistakes, so how do I know what to do?
Whew! Way too many questions so lets fast forward past those first couple days of fatherhood so you can see how I found the fifth building block that lead to my freedom.
Jesus made this statement to His disciples in John 14:12 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Greater works? Wouldn’t you agree with me that what Jesus did during His time on this earth was pretty amazing and mind blowing? How would this band of misfits He has put together ever do anything greater than Jesus? It is really simple when you think about it. They believed that Jesus had equipped them with everything they needed to succeed!
What I decided was I had been equipped with everything I needed to succeed as a father. I didn’t need to just simply follow an old path or a set of rules that were old fashioned. I could change things and adapt methods of parenting that my parents never used. How was this possible? Because I had a foundation that allowed me to build my own house not just move my parent’s house onto my foundation. I had the tools necessary to be a great parent. My wife had the tools to be a great mom. Together we would find that we could build a tremendous family on the foundation we established together and with our own ideas even if they weren’t the same as our parents or even if they didn’t meet their approval.
With this understanding I became free from the idea that I had to stick with all the same methods of my parents or my wife’s parents. It loosed me and allowed me to become the father God had designed me to be. I don’t think about a situation with my children and ask myself, “How would my parents handle this?” I ask myself, “How would God have me to handle this?” Now that is building on a firm foundation.
So what does this have to do with that pastor or congregation that is proud to make the statement, “We are still old fashioned around here!” It has to do with this….. That church and its leaders are out of touch with this generation, and they are trying to maintain a building on a foundation that is superficial and collapsing! The foundation is there but they are only interested in keeping what they have always had. What is the level of old fashioned that they are striving to keep alive? Is it 2,010 yrs. of old fashioned, or 230 yrs., or 130yrs or 30 yrs.?
I know what you are thinking, “It is ridiculous to try and maintain something 2,010 yrs. old.” I agree. So why is it ok to try and maintain 230 yrs. or….. you get the picture now. Do we hold on to old things just because they are old? How old is old fashioned? What time limit do we put on it? Who is the final authority? Who is it or what denomination is it that decides which methods, styles, attitudes, actions or anything else is old fashioned enough?
So I end with this. If you read this and say, “Well I know I am old fashioned because I hold to the standards established long ago and I refuse to go with this modern church and its methods.” I have the following questions for you to ponder and answer to yourself:
1. Who was the first person to establish the standard you follow today and was it old fashioned when they established it or was it modern in the time they lived?
2. How long do you expect the people that follow you to maintain this old fashioned standard that you hold onto so tightly?
3. Was the “Old Rugged Cross” hymn old fashioned in 1913?
4. Would you feed your family meat and bread that was EXPIRED?