Central church of Christ Central church of Christ
10th & Bell
Shawnee, Oklahoma

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Bulletin for Sunday 06/12/2005

AMONG FRIENDS with Robert Prater

As the warm summer weather arrives, issues about dress and modesty often arise. Especially concerning what we wear to the worship services. We live in a time when great emphasis is placed upon casual dress. A recent article in the newspaper brought some thoughts to mind concerning our appearance at worship. The article was discussing the more casual dress that is readily accepted in many places of worship and talked about Americans "rolling out of bed on Sunday morning and slipping into their jeans and T-shirts" to attend worship. Statements from various religious leaders were quoted and analyzed - some indicating they were just glad to have worshippers no matter how they dressed, while others desired the dress to indicate the importance of the occasion.

God in His infinite wisdom did not give us a dress code. Therefore, few spiritual leaders want to take on the task of trying to set arbitrary standards of dress. (However, if they do set general standards of dress for public worship, I believe they should be respected and followed - Hebrews 13:17) Still, the best approach seems to be simply teaching on modesty and to set good examples of standards and then allow others to choose whether or not they are dressing modestly and appropriately.

Now, even though God hasn't given us a specific 'dress code' He has given us some basic principles for men and women to go by. All of us are obligated to meet the standards of decency that God has set for us. One principle is that we must dress modestly. Both the Apostle Paul and Peter commanded women to adorn themselves modesty. (1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3-6) Immodesty is uncharacteristic of Christian purity. Young women are to be chaste. (Titus 2:5) Young men are to be pure. Our dress is to portray an image of godliness. Sadly, our culture today encourages and promotes that which is sexually provocative. Much of the current styles are geared toward glorying in the fleshly display of the body and to leave little to the imagination such as low cut blouses, skin-tight clothing, bikinis, mini-skirts, short-shorts, and pants you have to pour your body into! The idea seems to be let as much show and/or hang out as long as the bit of clothing does not fall off. As Christians, we must never forget that our appeal is not the flesh, but the Spirit. (Gal. 5:16-24) If God has blessed us with a beautiful body, we must learn to use it for creating faith, not lust.

A second principle is our influence on other people. We should always be concerned with the influence and potential problems our dress may cause in the minds of others. We don't want our clothing to cause someone else to stumble over temptation. (See Romans 14:13; 1 Cor. 8:9) We need to learn to ask questions like, "Will my clothing today be a hindrance to someone's faith or will my modesty be an encouragement?" And don't ever think for one minute that the moral values of the church are not held up for the public review. Dress, behavior, and attitudes are carefully observed by the world. Christians are to let their light shine before the world so that God may be glorified. (See Matt. 5:16; 1 Cor. 10:31)

A third principle is the appropriateness of the occasion. In Exodus 3:5, God commanded Moses to remove his sandals at the burning bush because he was standing on holy ground. Obviously, coming into the presence of the Almighty God requires dress that shows respect and reverence. When we gather to give glory and honor to God Almighty serious consideration should be given to the activities at hand. When we assemble to worship, we are appearing before our Lord in a special sense. The apostle Paul recognized the sanctity of the worship assembly in 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 14. Until recently the world recognized that clothing which may be proper for one occasion is completely out of place for another. What you wear to bed is not what you wear to worship God. The clothes you wear to play sports or to wash the car are not what you would wear to worship our Lord. Now there is certainly plenty of room for tolerance and 'style' preferences concerning this point. It is sometimes hard to draw a line and say, 'this is appropriate dress for worship' and that is inappropriate." Let us always be slow to condemn another. (James 4:11-12)

Some will argue it's not the dress that God looks at but the heart. True, God does look at man's heart and not his clothes, his fame, or his fortune. But how man wears his clothes, uses his wealth and influence, and shows his love and respect for His God does matter (because it often reveals what is in the heart - Mt. 15:18-19).

Please don't interpret this to mean we are discriminating against someone that does not have lots of nice clothes. James clearly warned against showing favoritism to those who arrived at worship in fine clothes. (Ja. 2:1-4) Instead, this is an effort to help correct a trend that American culture has set that "anything goes." We should all want to show the world by our outward appearance, that we worship a God who deserves our best. Friends, let's encourage one another to remain committed to the higher standards and principles given by the Lord, not only in dress, but also in all areas of our Christian lives. robprater@sbcglobal.net


Members at Central have until June 12 to submit any written, scriptural objections to those whose names have been proposed for addition to the present leadership. Any such objection should be given to one of the present elders. Tentative installation is planned for Sunday, June 19.


Dear Church Family, We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for all your many thoughtful expressions of concern during Dwyane & April's illnesses, especially your prayers. Those who spent time with us at the hospitals during the surgeries will always be remembered for their love & kindness.

Dwyane & Marcia [Dennis]

To the Church: Thank you so much for the wonderful funeral service by brother Robert in honor of our dear "Will". Thank you for the delicious food served, and all the beautiful flowers. Thanks to all the singers who sang the beautiful songs. And thank you for the many cards, visits, and other expressions of love from our church family.

The Autrey Family


Fay Crosby's sister, Nora Cole, has been released from the hospital.
Martha Chaffin is returning home Saturday after spending several weeks with her daughter, Christina Best, who has been ill in Webb City, Missouri.
Horace Roberts is doing much better than he has been in quite some time. He is enjoying getting up and about some each day.
It was good to see Harvey and Carletta Moore back from Houston. He is doing well but will have to continue his medication.

Youth News
Bob Stephens

The youth will be heading off to Burnt Cabin this Sunday after morning worship. Don't forget to pack yourself a lunch for the trip. If you were unable to make the campers/parents meeting last Sunday night and have any questions, please call me, Robert or Steve and we'll try to help you out. We have, as of today, nineteen campers and eight counselors going to camp next week. Please keep us in your prayers the next couple of weeks that we may have a safe week full of fun and learning of God's word.

Congratulations to Bryce Dean! Bryce's baseball team, the Bethel Bulldogs, won first place in a tournament in Chandler this past weekend. Bryce is the son of Greg and Annalisa Beal. Bryce also won a game ball for several outstanding catches he made at short stop. Way to go Bryce!

Coming Youth Events:

June 12 - 18, Burnt Cabin Church Camp

June 20, Monday, AWTG @ Tecumseh


June 12 - 18, Burnt Cabin Youth Camp

June 19, Appointment of additional elders & deacons

June 19, Singing Class, 7 p.m.

July 11 - 15, Central's Vacation Bible School, Bible Safari - "Where Kids Are Wild About God."

July 17, Wedding Shower, Adam Beard & Misty McClendon, fellowship room 2 p.m.

July 31, Eastside, MWC, celebration of redecorated auditorium, singing from 6:15 - 10 p.m. or later; song leaders call 732-0393

August 6, Adam Beard/Misty McClendon Wedding

"God is preparing His heroes.
And when the opportunity comes,
He can fit them into their places in a moment.
And the world will wonder where they came from."
A. B. Simpson -- 8^{)


Bible School 118
Worship Service 179
Sunday Evening 156
Wednesday Evening 133
Contribution $4,616.15


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Announcements:Bob Perry
Opening Prayer:George Mastick
Song Director:Steve Kelly
Scripture:Nathan Kelly
Sermon:Dwyane Dennis
Closing Prayer:Adam Beard


Gerald SmithDale Beard
Bob BivinsLynn Harmon


John AylorJim Carpenter


Steve KellyTracy Gettle


Foyer:Steve & Mary Kelly
Elevator:Tracy & Mary Gettle


Paula HarrisBarbara Vanlandingham


Jim Pettyjohn


Opening Prayer:Joe Magee
Song Director:Steve Kelly
Scripture:Chad Beard
Sermon:Dwyane Dennis
Closing Prayer:Glendon Combs



James ReevesRoger Farris


Classes for all ages

Song Leader:Burl Vanlandingham
Scripture:Ryan Parman


Tracy Gettle
If unable to serve this week, notify Frank Romberg - 273-1297

Central church of Christ ~ Tenth & Bell ~ Shawnee, OK 74801 ~ (405)273-3065
Contact us at tenthandbell@shawneecentralcofc.org
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