Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Wedding Ring: Is It Worth It? #4


You readers are great! I really appreciate that you take the time to read my posts and respond with your various points of view. You keep me digging to refine my understanding! I'm sitting at my computer, working hard to respond to one of the early comments (I've hardly been able to digest all the ones you've written--some of which require me to seek counsel!) when another one comes in! I count it an honor that you care enough to share your thoughts with me.


This comment came on Facebook in response to my first post "The Wedding Ring: Is It Worth It?".

“Is it worth it?"  This is an appropriate question.  Before I can accurately answer this, I have to address the question that has been avoided:  "Is it right or wrong?"  As a mother of 5 kids, I want my answers to life's questions to be rooted in God's Word.  Once this has been established, we can then move on to the question you asked.  If the wedding band is not a matter of right or wrong, but simply a matter of tradition, then I believe this question has to be answered individually according to where God has placed him/her in life.  We do not wear a wedding band because it is against the rules where my husband has been called to minister.  We try to make a distinction between God's commands and man's traditions.  As far as the person you referred to not being used at IHC, I believe God is using him mightily.  There is a possibility that his ministry has expanded since he has not limited himself to the "chm."  If one is obedient to God, He will use him/her, whether in the "chm" or not.  The "chm" is a small percentage of the larger Christian world.  My question is, "Is there ever a time when leaders need to look at their restrictions and re-evaluate their validity?"  I say, "Yes."  Some of our leaders do not believe the wedding ring is wrong, but keep quiet to keep peace.  There will be a time when we have to determine what we value more:  truth or tradition--since they may not always agree."


Friend, you have offered a thoughtful challenge to my post. Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to give me feedback.

As I read your comment, this is what I see. In the first part of your letter, you carefully lay the legal foundation for your position. You maintain a neutral stance. You say, "If the wedding band is not a matter of right or wrong, but simply a matter of tradition, then I believe this question has to be answered individually according to where God has placed him/her in life." This suggests a concern for more than the raw legality of the issue.  You mention  "...I want my answers to life's questions to be rooted in God's Word."  I would say that is an admirable desire.  In your mind, do you feel the assessment that for Christians there is a category called "tradition" which "...has to be answered individually according to where God has placed him/her in life" is rooted in God's word, or are you just suggesting this is obvious, or perhaps you just chose to believe it?

If your letter had left it there, your position would be much stronger, and I would feel invited to say,“Yes! Let’s discuss this further!”

You next note that your current conduct as regards to this topic is contingent on your husband's work rules, and "We try to make a distinction between God's commands and man's traditions."  This frighteningly echos Rabbinic mindset, and the fact that your behavior is coerced strips it of any moral merit (you didn't chose it as the right thing to do, you were required to do it).

The next part in your response takes a turn... since you believe you know who inspired my post and you believe that the fruits of that person's life will be good... maybe even better than they otherwise would have been, then it must have been worth it.

Please note this amounts to arguing that the end justifies the means.  Arguments of this type are generally considered suspect.

The size of the CHM is irrelevant unless of course you are suggesting that bigger is more valuable.

The last section of your letter sheds much light on which direction you lean but at the same time leaves me puzzled about what you really believe.  Gone is any vestige of neutral language... we are now dealing with merely a restriction that may need to be re-evaluated.  And yet, "There will be a time when we have to determine what we value more: truth or tradition...."  From your earlier formulation, how can there be a conflict between truth and tradition, since tradition is what we are left with when something is not right or wrong?  And if it is a matter of truth, how could we justify before God "keeping quiet to keep peace?"

Does "walking by faith" ever enter your calculations?