Here’s my last post on this topic. It’s prompted by a comment from my friend Jed, who asked me if my latest thoughts on authority represent a departure from earlier statements I made about earrings, clothing, and contextualization. I haven’t worked out everything regarding contextualization. It’s a tricky matter, and I’m a long way from understanding how it plays out. However, I can say that in the area of personal style and dress, my convictions have shifted.
I’ve changed my stance toward authority after studying the roots of anti-authoritarianism. An attitude hostile to authority is in no sense biblical or Christian. Instead, it is entirely secular. It springs from the zeitgeist of the 60s and 70s, in which twentysomethings rebelled against anything and everything: God, adulthood, the church, fashion, music, literature, the state, the list goes on. These decades provide the basis for the rebellious spirit so prevalent today. After really looking into this era and its attitude, I have realized that it is sinful and altogether unglorifying to God to adopt an anti-authority stance.
This blog is about ideas. It’s not a journal. However, I should tell you that my research has led me to take personal action. I’m still thinking through how and where I rebel against authority, and I’m working hard to counteract those areas with a sanctified attitude. Where I used to grow my hair long, I’ve now cut it. 60s men grew their hair long to thumb their noses at traditional masculine notions of appearance. I don’t want to do that. Such behavior reflects immaturity and a sinfully undeveloped response to authority and responsibility.
So there you have it. I’m by no means settled on these matters–I’ve got alot of thinking and growing to do. I am committed to a life of self-examination and change, not so that I can proudly survey my life, but so that I can pursue humility and character. This is what God requires of us–not that we grow comfortable with ourselves and then cease to question our practices, but that we continually examine ourselves in order to mortify sin and embrace the holiness of God.