God numbers every hair on your head (Matt 10:30). That much is agreed upon by all Christian denominations. But Pentecostals have a unique belief about those hairs on your head: we believe that God has some special instructions for them. Specifically, we believe that God asks males have a short, decent haircut; for the females, we teach that they not cut or shorten their hair in any way.
This seems like an odd statement: that The LORD of all creation cares about your hair length. But in this blog, I'm going to tackle what The Bible says on this most interesting subject.
How long is long?
There is a fascinating passage in the New Testament about hair. It is found in the letters of The Apostle Paul. If you did not grow up in the Pentecostal church, you may have never heard this preached or expounded.
"Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is…
There are specific passages in The Word of God that I, a full-time preacher, still wrestle with. I don't believe this is bad. It reveals The Bible has even more to teach me in the years to come.
Problem scriptures are, in my opinion, not problematic: they represent future launch points of deeper understanding in His Word. However, there are certain places in Holy Writ that bother me, and I'm not talking about scriptures I don't understand. Quite the opposite. I understand them, and they shake me to my core.
One verse particularly continues for me to be a source of what The Elders would call, "The Fear of God". That verse is the subject of this post.
My biggest fear
A few years ago I was reading through Judges chapter 16. The passage is discussing the fall of Samson - his sin, loss of strength, and ultimately his death. In the midst of this story, a terrifying statement is made:
"... And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him." - Judges 16:20
It was a pleasant afternoon conversation: an unnamed Pastor and I were talking …
Pastor: “We have been stuck at 30 for a while. How do we grow as a church?”
Me: “By reaching the lost. You are in a city with untold masses of people with no Pentecostal background. Many of them have no Christian upbringing to speak of. Reach out to them. Talk to people that God brings into your daily life. You’d be surprised how many will come.”
Pastor: “… (coughing) … Brother, I want to reach out to the backslider.”
Me: “We can do that. You can reach out to them during revival services. Do everything possible to contact them and make them welcome back. But don’t lose your focus on the lost. There are some backsliders who may not come, no matter how much we encourage them to.”
Pastor: “… (Pausing for a moment) … Brother, this church has always reached out to backsliders. I hear you about the lost, but I don’t want to ignore the backslidden.”
Me: “It’s not either-or. You can do both. Call, text, or visit those …