My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

25 October 2005


Here's the sermon from Sunday morning. I was fairly nervous preaching this passage, because of the sensitivity I wanted to have to deal with "gray hairs" and "glory" - but even more because I desperately want people to get the heart of this passage, that through Christ, God's wisdom transforms everything and sets the church free from thinking and acting like the world.

(I'm not sure why, but the mp3 cuts off the intro & scripture reading. Oh well.)

1 comment:

Ellen Olivetti said...


I listened to your sermon yesterday and want to say that I agree with the underlying message of what you said, but I did think the outworking of that got to be a little legalistic. Of course, I dye my hair so I have a vested interest in you being wrong on this one, but, really, I think the blanket statement about dyeing hair is pretty close to legalism.

I think Christ has set me free to dye my hair or not to dye my hair. I do not dye my hair to try to make the world think I am younger. I dye my hair because I LIKE IT THAT WAY BETTER. I wear black and blue clothing more than yellow and orange clothing because I LIKE THEM BETTER, not because they make me look younger or to please the world.

I think the only issue that matters here is that God looks at the heart. And there I agree with you - we are free in Christ not to have to measure up to the world's standards.

One thing I thought of as you mentioned not dyeing hair is the use of make-up among Christian women. I noticed you didn't touch that one. I would never say Christian women shouldn't wear make-up (for the same reason I would never say they shouldn't dye their hair) BUT I do think that issue is related. I do not wear make-up most of the time. Am I more sanctified that those that do? Aren't women who wear make-up all the time trying to measure up to the world's standards and look better and younger? I think the principle is the same. Whether you wear make-up or not, whether you dye your hair or not - the issue is why you do these things. Do you do them because YOU like the way you look better and you want to look nice for your husband? Or do you do them to fit into the world's thinking on beauty?

After hearing your sermon, I was in a department store which was teeming - literally - with women trying on this make-up and this rouge or that mascara or touch-up cream. And I thought - I am free from the world's view on beauty. I think I must have saved thousands of dollars over the years by not feeling bound to wear make-up at every turn. I'm free in Christ not to have to wear make-up but I also think, if Christian women wear make-up because THEY like the way they look better and not because they are trying to fit into the world's idea of beauty, then they are free in Christ to wear make-up. Same principle, I believe. In the end, it is a matter of the heart and I think the church is wrong to impose these limitations on believers that I think the Lord does not impose. I am free in Christ. I'm free to have gray hair or black hair, wear make-up or not, cut my hair or leave it long, wear blue or red or pink clothes - I am free in Christ not to have to pattern myself after the world.

I am 54 years old and I do not try to hide that fact - couldn't if I tried. I'm not ashamed of it, in fact, I believe the Bible does talk a lot about the benefits of being older. I think people can respect me because I am older whether or not I have gray hair, don't you?

Anyway, though I love to hear you preach and I agree with you about 95% of the time, this time I think you may have stepped over into the world of legalism. I could let my hair be gray and inside really be bitter against becoming older and that, I think, would be much more displeasing to God.

In Christ, I am free - free to dye my hair!