KeralaBrethren.net
New User? Register Today!
Registered Users, LOGIN
What we believe (Eng) What we believe (Mal) About Us Contact Us
Forums Home General Forum Youth Forum Sisters Forum Archives (2005-2007) Archives (2001-2004)
Listing of Brides Listing of Grooms
Assemblies in Kerala Evangelists in India Instituitions in India
Christian Albums Christian Songs
Audio Sermons Bible Wallpapers Brethren Links KB History (Eng) KB History (Mal)

K E R A L A  B R E T H R E N
General Forum

Forums Home ::
This Message Forum is to discuss spiritual topics only. Please avoid personal or assembly matters.
Let us use this facility for our spiritual enrichment and for bringing glory to our Lord almighty.
Webmasters reserve the right to delete any topic or posting partly or completely from this forum.
View Topics :: :: Post new topic


Keralabrethren.net: General Forum: Are some Kerala Brethren heretics?

Post Reply
Go to bottom of the page

# 07559 :  Are some Kerala Brethren heretics?

Dear readers, 

There is a strange and unbiblical teaching among the Kerala Brethren and the Pentecostal groups that women are not supposed to wear any Jewelry because it is against the teachings of the Bible. This has been prevalent in Kerala and wherever Kerala Brethren & Pentecostals migrated to since the early 20th century. Many of the known preachers and teachers of today and yester years do not/ did not believe that there is a biblical mandate but it is a ‘good’ practice because it would display our ‘humility.’ But they conveniently forget the fact that there is no such ‘humility’ shown in regards to food, houses, cars, dowry; giving & accepting, even though it is against the law; and giving heavy ‘donations’ to receive admissions in professional colleges or offering bribery.  

‘Heresy’ in the Kerala Brethren teachings? How dare am I in calling this a ‘heresy?’

There is a greater error embedded in this practice and I call it heresy because the Scriptures would classify it as heresy. If this unbiblical requirement of the removal of Jewelry before someone is allowed to be baptized or allowed to participate in the Lord’s Supper is not a heresy, Paul was wrong in reprimanding the Galatians. Let me quote from John MacArthur’s study bible introductory notes - “Paul wrote Galatians to counter Judaizing false teachers who were undermining the central NT teaching of justification by faith [Rom 3:30-31.]   Ignoring the express decree of the Jerusalem council [Acts 15:23-29,] they spread their dangerous teaching that Gentiles must first become Jewish Proselytes and submit to all the Mosaic law before they could become Christians [Gal  1:7,;4:17,21; 5:2-12; 6:12-13.] Shocked by the Galatians openness to this damning heresy [Gal 1:6 – different gospel,] Paul wrote this letter to defend justification by faith, and warn these churches of the dire consequences of abandoning that essential doctrine. Galatians is the only epistle Paul wrote that does not contain a commendation for its readers – that obvious omission reflects how urgently he felt about confronting the defection and defending the essential doctrine of justification.” End of quotes.

Circumcision was instituted by God and there was no ambiguity about it. I often wondered why the Kerala Brethren did not latch on to circumcision as an essential ritual prior to baptism and the Lord’s Supper! After all, God very clearly gave this command to His people. The Kerala Brethren dug up obscure passages from the OT and NT and twisted their meanings and significance and plucked these out of context and misinterpreted with impunity. Even today, some of them publish books defending this damning heresy. Such a one would say, ‘this is how the Holy Spirit revealed it to me so I have a right to follow my way.’ I’d say, as long as such a one would not try to impose his will on others, he would be free of guilt. If it is that person’s individual conviction it is well and good. We see an example of that sort in Numbers 6 where people are given instructions from God how to observe Nazirite vow and God seemed to have favored such decisions on the individual’s part. But that was voluntarily done and no one imposed it. The minute someone insists that one should remove Jewelry to be baptized, or be circumcised or become a Nazirite they become ‘heretics.’

There are Kerala Brethren teachers and elders who are such heretics. Some of them know that this is unbiblical and yet they practice. How dare they deny the baptism or the Lord Supper to the saints of God who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ? They are indirectly declaring that their unbiblical practice has greater significance than our Savior’s blood! How dare are they? If Paul were to write to the Kerala Brethren how would he have phrased chapter 1:6-9? Yes! These leaders who knowingly or unknowingly prevent God’s children from fellowshipping are the ones Paul is saying ‘to be accursed.’ I am not writing these harsh words because I enjoy such writings, but my people became heretics in this regard and it hurts me to see it continuing. It is time that Kerala Brethren abandon this practice – let God’s redeemed be free! Those who recognize this as an unbiblical practice, come out of this heresy and start gathering strictly on the basis of the NT teachings. God will honor your sacrifice. You are defending the truth of the gospel and not afraid to stand for the truth. May God strengthen you! 

Tom J

Post by : tomj  View Profile    since : 26 Apr 2014


Reply by : svarg   View Profile   Since : 7 May 2014 10:20:46 PM Close

hello how are you

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 9 May 2014 8:24:31 PM Close

(edited and reposted)

Dear Tom,

I understand that you feel strongly about the position taken by some KB churches on jewelry - but calling it a "heresy" and labeling some KB teachers and elders as "heretics", is devoid of any scriptural merit.

You brought up the example of the believers in Galatia, to support your stance. However, this example is not at all related to the issue of jewelry. Galatian believers were deceived into believing that their justification needed more than just a simple faith in Christ. Understandably, they were eager to address any perceived shortcomings, before, Paul's strongly worded rebuke, which hopefully set the right perspective on this topic. In contrast, KB churches that insist on removal of jewelry are not at all "deceived". Many of their leaders, after having strained at relevant scriptural passages, especially in the light of known pagan history of jewelry usage (within the malayalee culture), feel they are being true to scriptural positions laid out by Paul and Peter (albeit, rather extreme positions). Nor is their rationale tied to salvation (or justification) of the believers who are wearing jewelry. There is no suggestion (implied or otherwise) that the believers who wear jewelry are not genuinely saved or in danger of losing their salvation (contrasted with Pentecostals).

Limiting jewelry usage or avoiding it altogether is a "cultural posture" among many KBs, coming from some tradition, as well as scriptural direction. You can also add, refusal to visit movie theaters, refusal to drink socially, refusal to play card games, refusal to smoke, refusal to "party" boisterously, refusal to divorce abusive spouses, refusal to date romantically, etc to the posture. Perhaps, the avoidance of jewelry is the most stark, most defining characteristic. When new believers are added to a KB church, there is certain "peer pressure" and "leadership bullying" to conform to the posture that all the other members are complying with. As I stated before, these tactics are well intentioned, since they stem from certain interpretations of some key passages. I do not think, refusing the Lord's table is a correct way to put such pressure, but for some elders, the issue is worth the consequential PR cost.

My own wife, mother, grand mother and great grandmother are/were women who lived in KB circumstances and all of them have or had the wealth to adorn themselves with jewelry, but chose not to. I find it troubling to think that these honorable women, could possibly have been pandering to heretical teachings, rather than conforming to a godliness posture. But knowing their personal godliness, devotion to the Lord and what they achieved with their godly examples, I strongly disagree with the "heresy" assessment implied by your post.

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : beracah   View Profile   Since : 10 May 2014 5:11:39 AM Close

I have been searching Bible and requesting KB Teachers and Elders to show me the Scriptural direction to be administered on believers regarding ornament usage. All the Teachers I met admitted that there is no scriptural sanction for the extreme position taken by some KB churches and their Elders.

I have yet to find Divine approval for “peer pressure” and “leadership bullying” while dealing with God’s people. That is not how an Elder or fellow Christina is advised by Bible to behave with other believers. I have personally witnessed this bullying by KB and I can, with all humility and fear of God, say this that the demands of those bullies were / are “unchristian”.

Apostle Paul was bullied by some during his life time who in his words “think that we live by the standards of this world” 2 Cori 10:2. Paul told them in no uncertain terms of demolishing their arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. Those bullies were looking only on the surface of things. If anyone of those bullies is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that other believers also belong to Christ just as much as they are.

True, depending on cultural postures, without scriptural merit, believers are bullied by some KB and some of their elders. I agree with Br. Tom that this is akin to the Galatian heresy and is taking God’s people captive by denying them their liberty in Christ Jesus.

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : paulthomas1   View Profile   Since : 10 May 2014 2:58:15 PM Close

Moses2006,

I partially agree with you on the context of pagan culture and the removal of jewelery as an outward display of separation from them. However it becomes an absolute heresy at this age when elders refuse believers from partaking from the table because of the issue with jewelery. 

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : tom_s   View Profile   Since : 10 May 2014 9:30:32 PM Close

With respect to the Scriptures, I strongly beleive it is better to  call it as a "heresy" and label some KB teachers and elders as "heretics". It is always good to expose the false teachings.

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 11 May 2014 11:39:13 PM Close

Dear Moses2006, 

I will try to post my response soon. Sorry for the delay. 

Tom Johns

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : mithun2   View Profile   Since : 12 May 2014 6:33:29 AM Close

I have mentioned this in the past in this forum,  Wearing ornaments or Not wearing Ornamnets cannot be considered/termed as Heresy.   Calling a sister or brother  as heretical just because they are  not wearing ornaments or they teach their children to follow this practice is simple incorrect.   if you use this yard stick, then Vegans , non smokers, people who wear only Mundu/Saree should also be considered as hereticals as they practice a particular custom prevailed in their respective area.  

I was denied Lord's supper in U.S at a Gospel Hall, just because I was not carrying a commendation letter and they asked me to sit at the Last row even though I was introduced to the elders by a believer of that assembly.  For them letter of commendation from another assembly was more important than the commendation from their own brother who is in fellowship. I simply will not call this as heretical as this was the custom of that assembly and  I respect the decision of the elders and that custom was required for the functioning of that particualar local gathering.

Allowing/Denying Lord's supper for some one should be considered on a case by case basis and the elders are solely accountable/responsible before the Chief Shephard and none of this forum participants can point fingers on others. 

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 12 May 2014 6:11:27 PM Close

Heresies are teachings or doctrines that contradict the inspired truth revealed in the Word of God. The goal of a heresy (which is truly demonic) is to undermine the Word of God and the spiritual lives of believers.

A local church pursuing a no jewelry stance is a exhibiting a cultural preference for a specific posture (usually to depict godliness). It does not contradict any revealed truths in the Word of God. Its goal is to increase godliness among its women and men. Therefore, its incorrect to call such practices as heresies or its leaders heretics.

Having said that, I do not think denying the Lord Table is an acceptable method to enfore such cultural practices.

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : paulthomas1   View Profile   Since : 12 May 2014 9:04:02 PM Close

mithun2 - I can absolutely relate to your situation. Infact I have had experience were I could not get involved in the kid's ministry even after being with the assembly for 6 months. I was asked for 2 reference letter with my experience in the area of kids ministry. Plus as per the law of the country I had to complete criminal background checks- since the kids club was part of a public school (after class care program).

Having said that - would you deny the fact that it is absolutely wrong in light of scripture - when elders and evangalists spread the gospel and the holy spirit works in somone's heart, gets saved (now they are part of the universal church) and now they get invited to join the local church (leaving and at times breaking family ties, friends and the community they grew up in - perfect example are catholics in kerala who are part of a big community). First couple of weeks pass by and everything is fine, and then comes the topic of jewelery like a lightning bolt - baptism, breaking of bread, marriage ceremonies - if you need to be part of our KB church you need to remove jewelery else please don't come here anymore.

The below is not to you Mithun2 but a general statement:

How should they feel - about this? I am using the word "They" because this cancer is infested in many KB churches (only in the state of Kerala) and have seen people leave and join "Local Church", stay home, or get brainwashed into other communities out of depression or isolation. No one will follow up with them, or talk to them after they stop coming to church - they are branded as outlawed.

Its easier said than done. Families with smaller kids, newely married couples, single women from poor families going though such situation - do we realize how much they are getting affected because of these un-scriptural sanctions imposed by short sighted so called "Elders" who's head is ultimately Christ?

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : guide   View Profile   Since : 12 May 2014 9:07:41 PM Close

If the term heresy is to be used in relation to wearing of ornaments it is apt only to the teaching that believers can wear ornaments and those who propagate this 'pagan' practice are truly the heretics. 

I consider the explanation and stand of moses2006 more appropriate for a child of God. Mithun2's approach is another example of a child of God dealing with unpleasant circumstances.

Dear moses2006

My personal view is that you move the following items from the second paragraph of your posting of 9 May 2014 20:24:31 to the third paragraph. (Please review and comply if you have the leading of the Holy Spirit). I praise God for your respect to those godly men and women of the past.   

"refusal to visit movie theaters, refusal to drink socially, refusal to play card games, refusal to smoke, refusal to "party" boisterously, refusal to divorce abusive spouses, refusal to date romantically, etc"

Let the readers take each item of the above list and compare the benefits (if any) and the consequences of these "social evil" against which the world in general and Kerala in particular is fighting.

Remember many of the young lives are already ruined by these forms of ungodliness.

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : phantom   View Profile   Since : 14 May 2014 6:51:28 AM Close

Heresy is anything that is not taught by scripture or cannot be legitmatly drawn from it. By such a definition and by the admission of many bible teachers, the No-Jewelery is a heresy when (and this is crucial) it is imposed against the conscience of those who do not find it to be a stumbling block. We must be carefuly not to transgress liberty and conscience of our fellow brothers and sisters. If we are willing to impose this rule on them, I would like to see it applied to everything else that is 'ornamental': expensive cars, large homes, excess land, exquisite clothing etc. 

Let us not be hypocritical.

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : guide   View Profile   Since : 14 May 2014 7:41:12 AM Close

Truly it will be hypocritical IF you do not wear ornaments and to others it will be hypocritical if they wear ornaments based on their belief and action (of both the parties) as far as hypocrisy is concerned.

The question here is why do you want to trespass into the independancy and freedom of the local churches? Why the mud slinging done of this forum to the dishonour of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? There are local churches with both practices to accommodate both the parties!!.

I fully appreciate and favour your statement " I would like to see it applied to everything else that is 'ornamental': expensive cars, large homes, excess land, exquisite clothing etc". (ornament promoters are exempt from this). Then this will be a pattern found in the Acts of the Apostles: Acts 2:45, 4:34, 4:37.

Ac 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Ac 4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
Ac 4:37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.


BUT the warning for the hypocrites are found in Acts 5:1 - 11.

 

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : mithun2   View Profile   Since : 14 May 2014 10:07:05 AM Close

Dear brother paulthomas1,  You have asked me few questions and let me try to answer this in a different way, you may not agree to it..but that's okay. Attending  a local church depends on many things and ornamemnt is just one of them. 

 If 90% of  the assembly members are from a  particular  caste , then even if Syrian Christian is invited he will think twice before attending the same. In Kerala, especially at central travancore area, there are separate conventions, funds, assemblies etc by/for these brothers.  if 95% percentage of the people in that assembly are wealthy and living in  2 storey buildings and earning in 4-5 digit salary per month, how does a new believer who is earning just daily wages associates to that assembly.

My suggestion here is that the borther/sister who leads another to Christ should also be very careful in assisting them finding a church.  They should feel welcomed to the church and enjoy the fellowhip there. Caste, language, ornaments, social status of the believers etc are just few of them. There is absolutely nothing wrong in removing the ornaments , but it should be left to the person to decide on it. 

 

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : joyboy   View Profile   Since : 15 May 2014 9:11:14 PM Close

It's not heresy to be modest as Moses' mother/grandmother/etc. were. 

It's not heresy to try not to offend one another.

However, what do you call it when you prevent a brother/sister from being baptized or participating in the Lord's supper because of ornaments? 

What do you call it when you ostracize believers and do not associate with them, and/or look down upon them with moral superiority because of ornaments?

What do you call it when we place emphasis on the outward rather than inward?

If heresy is too strong a word, then whatever word you choose should be almost as strong.  Definitely, It is abominable and abhorrent and shameful.  

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 19 May 2014 3:05:59 AM Close

Dear Moses2006,

Let me quote from your posting of May 9th addressed to me. I apologize for such delayed response.

“I understand that you feel strongly about the position taken by some KB churches on jewelry - but calling it a "heresy" and labeling some KB teachers and elders as "heretics", is devoid of any scriptural merit.”

“Nor is their rationale tied to salvation (or justification) of the believers who are wearing jewelry. There is no suggestion (implied or otherwise) that the believers who wear jewelry are not genuinely saved or in danger of losing their salvation (contrasted with Pentecostals).”

Did I misapply the word ‘heretic’?

In the mid-eighties, my older brother and his wife who were Professors in Trissur area [a city in Kerala, India] started visiting nearby homes and distributing gospel tracts. This resulted in about 10 people getting saved and started attending the East Fort Assembly. These people came from the denominational background and most of them had Jewelry on them. When they expressed their desire to get baptized the elders of the East Fort assembly refused to baptize them or accept them into fellowship. They mandated that they would have to remove all their Jewelry including any symbol of them being married. Among them there were women who got saved and their husbands were still unsaved. Such a measure could very well jeopardize their family life for some unbiblical reason as the removal of these wedding symbols. My brother did not allow these elders to bully these young believers and took them under his wings. He built a tank in his backyard and my father who was living with him at that time [who was a well-known teacher in his home town, before moving to Trissur area] baptized them. The elders of the East Fort assembly informed them that they are no longer welcomed at their assembly. They started meeting at my brother’s house and then on to a bigger place after several years.  

I have shared this story on this site in the past without mentioning my relationship to this group or giving such specifics. Now I did it, because this would allow the readers to assess the real danger of this teaching. Those who think this removal of Jewelry is biblical should read my brother’s book in Malayalam which is available from www.biblestudycentre.net .   There are several other books explaining the clear gospel and other doctrinal subjects also available through this site.

When I used the word ‘heretics’, I was referring to the erroneous application of the biblical teachings. If we believe that the Jewelry wearing has nothing to do with the salvation, why would the church leaders deny baptism and the Lord’s Supper? If they truly believe people can be saved without removing the Jewelry, by denying the baptism and the Lord’s Supper, they are usurping the authority of the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ. If that is not heresy, what else would it be?

I may decide not to have dinner for a period of time and from the savings I have from not eating the dinner will be channeled to help the evangelical work. That is my personal decision. God may honor it. But when I insist that everyone in the church should never eat dinner and if they do, they are going to be ousted from the assembly will be an unbiblical stance. Something that God would have honored would in turn become a heresy when I do that. This is what happened among the Kerala Brethren leaders. Just as the Judaizers insisted that the men should be circumcised before being accepted into the church, the Kerala Brethren insisted that the women should remove their Jewelry. This happened to be the ‘circumcision’ the Kerala brethren leaders imposed on their women. If what happened in Galatia is a heresy, what had been going on among the Brethren is nothing short of ‘heresy.’ Those who teach and implement heresy are heretics. This is why some among the Kerala Brethren are heretics.

“The most destructive dangers to the church have never been atheism, pagan religions, or cults that openly deny Scripture, but rather supposedly Christian movements that accept so much biblical truth that their unscriptural doctrines seem relatively insignificant and harmless. But a single drop of poison in a large container can make all the water lethal. And a single false idea that in any way undercuts God’s grace poisons the whole system of belief”. John MacArthur.

The poison is floating in the Kerala Brethren ‘pool of Siloam.’ Her mission should have been to cleanse, heal the blind, and to explain the way of salvation to all just as it is given to us through the scriptures. Instead her waters are overflowing with this Pharisaical toxin and many sincere souls are groping in darkness by its effects. Some sincerely believe that they are doing something great for the Lord by not wearing any Jewelry when they should be focused on weightier matters.

Some side notes -

The KB teaching with regard to jewelry can also be better assessed against the context of what is done with clear and explicit (sounding) commands in the NT. For instance, John 13:14 “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.” This reads and sounds like a command. It has to do with doing something, a practice. What the practice is is not left uncertain. The gospel clearly says what Christ did. Still we do not practice it. This is to say, when it suits our convenience, we are able to summon highly sophisticated modes of dealing with the biblical text. We ask questions like, “Was this intended as a literal and regular practice?” “Isn’t the Lord teaching us a spiritual lesson of humility, and isn’t that more important than the mere outward action of washing one another’s feet?” See, if we are able not to find a command for the practice of the church in what clearly sounds like one, how much more careful ought we to be to make commands out of what do not sound at all like stipulations of any kind, but general exhortation to godliness? This is not all. “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers.” “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” In fact, there are 5 places where hospitality is commanded in the NT, twice as a requirement for elders (1Tim 3:2; Tit 1:8), and three times directed to all believers (Rom 12:13; Heb 13:2; 1 Pet 4:9). This is a very practiceable instruction. It is commanded. Should we make a rule and requirement out of it? Why is this considered instruction for us to follow voluntarily, but when it comes to adornment, two less absolute sounding instructions (1Tim 2:9; 1Pet 3:3) are turned into an inviolable law for fellowship? What is the basis and procedure for such transformations of biblical instructions?

Or even consider the following one: 1 Timothy 2:8 “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands.” Do the KB or any Brethren teach that men must only pray with lifted hands? Why not? It is not relevant whether I think that this is the intent of the verse. But it is highly relevant that the very next statement, linked to this one, is a proof text for requiring the removal of jewelry: v. 9 “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array …” How is part of the statement in v. 9 a rule for a literal adoption and practice (“no gold”) when its obedience is to be in “LIKE MANNER” as men having to lift up holy hands in prayer? In any case, what is its connection to baptism, or permission to remember the Lord?

Tom Johns

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : guide   View Profile   Since : 19 May 2014 10:14:46 PM Close

Mat. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Mat.7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

[Were those professors wearing ornaments when they were sharing Gospel?]
(good marketing for the books and the website-thanks)
 

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 20 May 2014 2:41:24 PM Close

Dear Tom,

Thanks for your reply. I am going through a hectic schedule at the moment. I promise to write/respond as soon as I get some time.

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 20 May 2014 4:24:46 PM Close

Dear guide, 

Thank you for your posting. 

Dear Moses2006, 

No need to rush. As such my response was delayed by several days and I do understand. 

Tom Johns

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 22 May 2014 9:26:06 PM Close

Dear Tom,

 

The incident at East Fort in Trissur, as you related, is understandably an emotional one for you, especially, considering how your own family members were involved. As I have stated before, I personally do not agree with such tactics (denying baptism or the Lord's Table) - I am for more gentle persuasion that helps teach the scripture as well as, build love and trust. I do think that the local congregation has the right to make a policy on such things, which hopefully is based on sound interpretations of relevant scriptures. Exactly how a church enforces its policies, is up to the leadership in the church. East Fort was somewhat extreme, in my opinion, but at same time it should be noted that I am reading only one side of the story. Even so, the decision to separate from a church should be done more carefully, and definitely not for the sake of ornamentation. Imagine a scenario where an employer asks some employees to leave their jewelry at home (for whatever reason). Would anyone in their right mind leave that job to find another where they could wear all their jewelry? Few people will quit their day time jobs, for silly jewelry's sake! They will rationally consider the paycheck better rewards than external adornment. Why then do we think it acceptable to go against the leadership in a local church, just so some members can wear jewelry from 9 am to 12 pm on Sunday?!

 

You asked, "If we believe that the Jewelry wearing has nothing to do with the salvation, why would the church leaders deny baptism and the Lord’s Supper? If they truly believe people can be saved without removing the Jewelry, by denying the baptism and the Lord’s Supper, they are usurping the authority of the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ. If that is not heresy, what else would it be?" I do not think KB church elders are so daft as to think that believers around the world, who wear jewelry, are in fact unsaved! But, I think you will agree that among the saved, there are those who have a passion for godliness and others who are just carnal and could not care less about godliness. Further, we know that the perception of godliness is subjective, often colored by culture and context. Paul in 1 Tim 2:10 asks (godly) women to assess what is proper for professing godliness and to make this call, within the context of the culture they are part of. As if he were drawing a line in the sand, he states that things like "modest apparel,..propriety and moderation" are proper for professing godliness, where as, things like "braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing" are not proper for professing godliness. The expectation here is that godly women stay on the godliness side of public profession of their selves, disregarding things like "braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing".

 

Similarly, Peter in 1 Pet 3:3 gives women advice on what they need to do to project godliness - project the inner beauty of a quiet spirit, rather than the external. He says this inner beauty is "very precious in the sight of God." We can say that, things associated with external beauty, "arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel" have no value before God. The expectation here is that, such things (i.e. "arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel") should have no value to a godly woman as well.

 

Now, I hope I will not be criticized for stating something obvious, but may be not politically correct these days - Satan is more proficient and effective, dealing with women and their vanity than men. Fact is, Satan can do more damage with 1 woman who wants to project her outer beauty (and embellish it with jewelry and make up) in church, than 10 men who refuse to pray "lifting up holy hands". I am not saying that men are exempt from Satan's schemes, but he finds women's vanity "low hanging fruit" easily manipulated to the detriment of the church. So, it is wise, in the interests of restraining Satan's hands, to limit the things he can go after. And women and their adornment (be that with expensive clothes, flashy make up, type of fit, use of jewelry) is good place for a church to put some extra caution.

 

Perhaps the elders at East Fort were extreme, but they were wise in their decision to restrain female vanity (again, I don't agree with their tactics). They may have had a legitimate concern about women wearing jewelry mingling (or partaking) with women who do not wear jewelry in their church. They had foresight to know that once you allow some women to project their outer beauty without objections, it becomes a slippery slope, for all the other women. Then we have a church where women ignore the directives of Paul and Peter, when it comes to projecting godliness. Gone will be inner beauty and quiet spirit - women will become the exact opposite - not something God and men, want in a church.

 

I mean, don't we all wish Adam was more cautious with what Eve was up to in the area of temptation?

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : moses2006   View Profile   Since : 22 May 2014 9:27:08 PM Close

continued from above:

You said, "Some sincerely believe that they are doing something great for the Lord by not wearing any Jewelry when they should be focused on weightier matters." I think you are gravely mistaken in making light of this issue. Great women of the Lord start by being lowly and having an earnest desire for godliness. And that lowliness first comes in accepting the directives of Paul and Peter regarding a profession of godliness. In the malayalee culture, decorating a woman with jewelry, on every conceivable part of her body is the pagan norm. See for yourself: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmenswomenfashion.blogspot.com%2F2013%2F08%2Findian-kerala-bridal-jewellery.html&tbnid=3H9I4CA88fZEVM:&docid=J50T1brwcdD-aM&h=1600&w=1073. Is this how you want women to come to church? Is this what Paul and Peter, under inspiration on the Spirit of God, would agree as profession of godliness? What "weightier matters" would you entrust to such women? How about this woman, who incidently is not a malayalee, and forgave her family's killers: http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/00368/23TH_CITY_GLADYS_GH_368209e.jpg? Do you not see the difference in godliness projected, both in adornment and actions?

 

 

You said, "In fact, there are 5 places where hospitality is commanded in the NT, twice as a requirement for elders (1Tim 3:2; Tit 1:8), and three times directed to all believers (Rom 12:13; Heb 13:2; 1 Pet 4:9). This is a very practiceable instruction. It is commanded. Should we make a rule and requirement out of it? Why is this considered instruction for us to follow voluntarily, but when it comes to adornment, two less absolute sounding instructions (1Tim 2:9; 1Pet 3:3) are turned into an inviolable law for fellowship?" Hospitality is good and I know many godly believers who are given to hospitality. Back in the days of Paul, there were no lodges and hotels, as we have today. If a believer had to travel from Corinth to Antioch, he would need the hospitality of believers in Antioch for safe lodging. Many apostles and disciples were constantly moving from place to place, teaching and delivering relief. Believers being hospitable, to complete strangers, was a essential must in the effectiveness of their ministry. That is why we have this instruction repeated in many places of the NT. Do we have to be hospitable to strangers today as they had to be back then? Not as much. But should elders of a church or its congregation today, make these instructions on hospitality into a rule of fellowship? That would be absurd! Hospitality (or its lack) today does not pose the same threat to church as the directives of adornment and profession of godliness in 1Tim 2:9 and 1Pet 3:3. Remember, we are in a war with Satan and the world. Lets choose our battles wisely.

 

Finally the question of heresy. As I have stated before, heresies are demonic attempts to thwart the authority of God's Word and thereby hurt the flock of God. Heretics rarely care for godliness as taught in God's Word (they have their own). KB churches are not controlled by demons. A local congregation and its leaders, jointly deciding to forsake the use of jewelry as a response to scriptural direction, is not demonic or a heresy. It is an attempt to stand out from the pagan culture by showing that inner beauty of a quiet spirit, is more precious to them, as it is before God. Due to reasons mentioned earlier, the church has the right to insist that new members who seek to join them, also follow suit and maintain the collective standards of propriety and modesty. Of course, this should be done with a spirit of love, by teaching and helping the new users understand why the church has that stand. If handled properly and prayerfully, I am confident new believers will learn to glorify God in these areas, just as other members. But in no way, can such practices be termed heresies, simply because some vain women are desperate to hold on to their seductive allure by the uninhibited use of jewelry.

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : tomj   View Profile   Since : 23 May 2014 2:59:34 AM Close

Dear Moses2006, 

I read your postings. You are giving more credence to an established human practice than what the Bible teaches. When the biblical passages that are cited by people who promote the ‘no jewelry’ stance are void of merit, you are saying that the ‘local gathering has the right to exercise their rights.’ [Not exact quote.]  

I may write more as time permits.

Tom Johns

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : beracah   View Profile   Since : 23 May 2014 4:22:00 AM Close

This is interesting.. The crux of the matter as made out is:

Assemblies are self governing entities with right to make “godliness policies”. They are entitled to “enact rules” binding on members in supersession of the Scriptures. Wherever such man made rules are opposed to the Scriptures, the manmade rules will have precedence. The Lord will be judging His people on the basis of the rules framed by Regional Authorities. It is a kind Federalism.

Godliness – As I was taught is not the adoption of certain practices generally described as rituals. “No Jewelry” is a KB ritual. If the LORD is not pleased with it, let Him know that it is the collective decision of the leaders!!

When a group collectively decide something, will it become God’s truth and binding rule for the Church of God and the Children of God?

Would elders, who are godly, venture to enact rules, enforce dress code and dietary practices for children of God under their care ignoring the Scriptural guidance under which they have to serve?

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page

Reply by : rein   View Profile   Since : 23 May 2014 9:07:31 AM Close

The strange teaching "Women are not supposed to wear any Jewelry" is not only binding to the Kerala Brethren and the Pentecostal groups, but also some Hindu groups (like PRDS, Brahma Kumaris ) are also supposed to this mad teaching.

Rev 1: 13 And in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; (RSV)

Jesus has a golden girdle round his breast; As He is using gold, is He a holy?

According to these heretic wearing gold cost (ten thousand) is a sin. But wearing a beautiful house, costly dresses and shoes, luxury car which cost 15 lakhs  is not a sin. I have a Pastor. He is always preaching and teaching against using gold by wearing costly (readymade) costumes. And same time he is always using (WEARING) a luxury car which cost more than 60 pavan gold! He has two cars. But according to me he is a good person.

I have a cousin. He is a Pentecost who believes not wear Jewelry. Recently there was a ceremony of exchanging Wedding Ring of his daughter. Wedding ring is gold. Wearing gold (like Jesus) is a sin. So they find a solution. They exchanged two Rolex Watches each has more than 30000 rupees! This is faith. “he that is holy, let him be holy still”

Go to top of the page
Go to bottom of the page


Post reply Here

please login to continue..

Registered Users, Login below:

Username Password
Problem Login?

New User? Register Now

Forgot User Name or Password? Click Here

Go to top of the page

All times are GMT -5 Hours
Forums Home ::



HOME
Back to Top