Twenty-five years ago my husband belonged to a Christian singing group that toured the country. The organization had strict regulations on what its members could or could not do. Women were NEVER allowed to wear pants, not even to exercise. They wore culottes (sort of a skirt looking thing with a split legs). Men could not have facial hair and were required to shave every day whether they needed to or not. Sandy Patty was too radical for music. They were only allowed to read the King James version of the Bible. If a member was over their "tour weight", they didn't get to perform. Many people would call their rules radical and legalistic. Since they were performing in churches across the country, they thought it important to be careful to offend no one. They were staying above reproach.
It's a good concept. I understand the theory behind their thinking even if I find the rules outrageous. Many Christians today wish to do the same, keep themselves set apart from the world and above reproach of their fellow believers, but I wonder if we are fooling ourselves.
Is it truly possible to stay above reproach?
My husband and I write programs and musicals for our church. We spend MONTHS researching facts and searching out what God says about things in His Word. We start praying about and for the Christmas musical at least as early as May. We understand the great responsibility and know apart from God our efforts mean nothing, yet not a production goes by where we don't hear criticism about something. We are NOT above reproach. But we feel completely in God's will doing what we do. How do you explain that?
If we stay "safe" as Christians, other believers may say we aren't "relevant". If we try to be "authentic", we're blamed for being "worldly". Why is it so hard for us to see eye to eye on things? How can we miss recognizing God's Spirit in each other? Why does God give us such differing opinions?
What are your thoughts? Have you found a way to stay above reproach?