More Information About Us

The purpose of this page is to give you more information about our beliefs concerning certain topics. I had learned certain teachings while attending the United Pentecostal Church for 17 years. Most of these teachings I accepted blindly without any study of the scriptures on my part. This was not wise of me but I have since began studying these topics with an open heart.

Also, you must understand that no person has taught me what I share with you on this page. It has been through bible study, prayer, and fasting that I came to understand as I do. I desire to know the whole truth concerning these issues and I believe that God is able to help anyone understand the scripture who seeks Him with a sincere heart and in faith.

My intentions with this page is not to speak with a heart of malice. I have many friends who are still members of the UPCI and I respect their opinions, but I respectfully disagree on some issues.

Concerning Hair:

It is generally understood by members of the UPCI that women must not cut their hair, men must not have hair too long, and men must not grow facial hair. There are variances among churches concerning the mens hair and facial hair but women cutting their hair is strictly forbidden and frowned upon.

The UPCI website under the modesty section of the doctrine page cites many independent Baptist churches, Jerry Falwell’s Liberty Baptist College, and Sword of the Lord Publishers as some sources for this teaching.

1 Corinthians 11 has been a core teaching for most ministers concerning these hair issues. I was taught from this chapter that it was a sin for a women to cut her hair and that it is shameful if a man has long hair. Everyone around me believed this so I just accepted it as truth and never even gave it a second thought. That was foolish of me.

After studying this chapter in context and looking at other teaching concerning hair I have safely come to the conclusion that these teachings are false. They are steeped in traditions of men and do not stand on solid ground biblically.

Women cutting their Hair  A quick read through 1 Corinthians 11 is enough to show anyone that Paul was not saying it was a sin for a women to cut her hair. As a matter of fact such language is never even mentioned in this chapter. At most it would be shameful for a women to shave her head and for a man to have long hair.

Shame and sin have totally different meanings. Jesus even experienced shame on the cross (Heb 12:2). If my wife shaved her head, yes it would be shameful and embarrassing for her. But, shame is a far cry from sin. The Apostles even rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name (Acts 5:41).

A short and simple study into the Nazerite Vow will help. Men AND women were allowed to take a Nazerite Vow under the law in Numbers chapter 6. During the term of their vow (which they got to choose) they were not allowed to cut their hair. It was to grow out long as a part of their vow.

It makes no sense to tell a women that she cannot cut her hair during the vow if it is a sin already for her to cut her hair. Then at the end of the vow she is to shave her hair off for God. If it is a sin to cut a womens hair then why would God command a women to shave her hair off as part of a vow to him? If cutting a womens hair were a sin then it would be the equivalent of a women being required to commit adultery as part of her dedication to God. God never works like that.

No where in the Bible is there a scripture that says it is a sin for a women to cut her hair. Women who took the Nazerite Vow to God did it all the time. Any vow which includes sin would never be acceptable before God and God would never ask us, or require us, to sin.

This change in my belief alone causes most UPCI members to think I am backsliden and away from God. When a quick study of the scriptures shows otherwise.

Men with Long Hair – The length of a mans hair is definitely not a salvation issue. 1 Corinthians 11:14 tells us that it is a shame for a man to have long hair. As stated above shame and sin are not the same.

Men who grow their hair out long used to be called hippies. We also see bikers and other men who grow their hair out. They have generally been looked down upon by society. When a long haired biker walks into a store most people stop and look because they do not fit the “norm” of our society. So it is safe to say that men who have long hair have a certain amount of shame. Still shame is different from sin.

A look at Sampson is clear enough to settle this issue. He was a lifetime Nazerite and his long uncut hair was a part of his vow to God. Again, God would not require anyone to sin as part of a vow or dedication unto Him. It is just not possible. But shame upon a mans life is different. Again, Jesus Christ even experiences shame on the Cross (Heb 12:2).

Is it appropriate for men in certain situations to have a decent looking hair cut? Sure! But you cannot in any way call long hair on a man a sin. Again, scripture proves otherwise.

Men with Facial Hair – This issue as the others does not constitute sin. In the church I attended there was one man who was allowed to have a mustache because of his cultural background. While others were not allowed to have facial hair and were told that they needed to shave if they started growing it.

Not that I have ever wanted to grow facial hair because I have not, but I walked in fear if I went to church without shaving.

There is no scripture that says it is a sin for a man to have facial hair. Nature itself even teaches us that God gave man facial hair naturally. Men have invented devices to shave it off for various reasons.

Over the course of history cultures have had different feelings about facial hair. Psalm 133:2 even states that Aaron had a beard. There is also much discussion about the culture during the life of Christ. It is possible that He did not even have a beard, but yet there is scripture that foretold His beard being plucked out.

It is clear that facial hair is not a sin.

Concerning Television:

The UPCI rejects the use of television and movie theaters by it’s members while at the same time embracing computers and the Internet. The only exception being that they finally adopted some standards for Internet usage. However Internet usage in the home is still acceptable.

This is a prime example of why churches should not teach against a specific media or technology. The UPCI took a very strong stance against television and movie theaters from the beginning. Now that technology is changing day-by-day they are faced with their families watching content that is far worse than what most T.V. has to offer.

In the church I attended over 80% of the congregation had televisions in their homes despite teaching against it. I should state for the record that I was one of the few that did not have a television and still do not have one. Christian teaching should go deeper than just teaching against a specific technology or device.

Since I work in the technology field I see everyday the transformation that is taking place around us. For several years now we have seen television, computers, and Internet merging.

I can watch television shows on my computer for free by going to YouTube.com and there are many other sites out there that offer the same type of content. Many that even get through standard filters. You can even watch live television on cell phones now.

So by forbidding television they have done nothing to teach their families about the dangers involved in what they see or hear. Now their churches are filled with Internet content and the very thing they wanted to prevent has overtaken them. And most UPCI homes have televisions as well. What have they accomplished?

I believe in turning away from anything that is ungodly and anything that gets in the way of my relationship with God. A few years ago reading news on the Internet got to be an issue for me. It took up alot of my time and fed me with nothing but bad news. I fasted it for a while and eventually broke away from it altogether. So does that mean I preach to the world that if you read FoxNews.com that you are going to hell? Absolutely not.

The same goes for preaching against a specific piece of technology. That teaching is too narrow. We should teach the biblical principles and stop playing policeman for Jesus. Encourage one another instead.

Anytime we make a list of do’s and do not’s we fall into a trap. The best preaching I have heard, (and I even heard it in the UPCI), was that if I will walk in The Spirit I will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. That encouraged me to walk in The Spirit and cultivate a love for God. Which is what WILL keep us from EVERY trap that this evil world puts in our path.

I allow certain movies for my family after we (my wife and I) have read up on them using Christian sites like www.pluggedinonline.com. We can watch them on the computer or we have a big screen projector hooked up to a dvd player, a WII, and a computer.

I allow certain video games as well. We recently went on a fast together as a family and I allowed the kids to decide what they were going to fast. We discussed the purpose of fasting and then everyone decided on their own. My son knew right away that he should fast video games and so for 21 days he found something else to do besides play video games. This was a huge step for him since he loves to play video games. With some simple teaching and encouragement he made the right choice on his own.

It helped my kids grow spiritually. I didn’t force them to do anything, they did it on their own because they love God. This is the same approach and teaching that needs to take place instead of outlawing things like T.V. and empowering religious police.

This is the same approach other church organizations have begun to use and have  been very effective with it. There are real issues with some media content on television, on the Internet, and on cell phones. Any church cannot afford to ignore it. But, they must use wisdom in their approach.

Forgive me if I come across harsh sounding on this matter but I have watched too many people struggle, and even walk away from God, over this issue when simple biblical teaching and encouragement would have led them into a deeper walk with God.

Concerning Clothing:

The main clothing issue that I will talk about here is womens clothing because it is the most taught about issue. The UPCI teaches that is is sin, some even use the word abomination, for a women to wear pants. The scriptures used are Deuteronomy 22:5 and 1 Timothy 2:9.

The way I was taught was that Deuteronomy used the word pertaineth which meant anything similar. Thus, pants on men and pants on women are similar type clothing and are an abomination if worn by women. This was because pants were historically a mans clothing in the United States.

The one book I have that teaches this subject uses only these two scriptures and then uses several pages of anti womens lib teaching to state their position. Not really backed by scripture at all.

Also an important observation to be made about 1 Timothy 2:9 is that when Paul was dealing with modest clothing he never even refers to Deuteronomy 22:5. If Deuteronomy 22:5 actually was intended to deal with clothing differences between men and women then Paul would have referred to it in 1 Timothy or in other writings. He never did.

I started out researching clothing and after praying the first place I ended up was the Garden of Eden where it all started. In Genesis 3 we read about the very first clothing for people. In verse 7 they realized they were naked and sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons (KJV).

Then in verse 21 God apparently did not approve of their fig clothing so He made them their very first set of clothes.

Quote:

21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

The clothing for both Adam and Eve was so similar that the same word could be used to describe it, coats. The New KJV translates it as Tunics. Either way the same word could be used to describe both of their clothing.

This is what God made for them and God did not describe a different set of clothing for each person. I don’t think God was setting up mankind for abomination from the very first by making their clothing similar.

So what was a tunic? Let’s look at history:

Quote:

From Wikipedia: A tunic is any of several types of clothing for the body, with or without sleeves, and of various lengths reaching from the hips to the ankles. The name derives from the Latin tunica commonly worn by both men and women in Ancient Rome, which in turn is based on earlier Greek garments.

My question also would be this: If this was a salvation issue then why didn’t Paul mention this in his writings to the Romans (or anyone else for that fact)? Roman men and women would have been wearing similar clothing by wearing these tunics. If you Google pictures of Roman statues you will see what men and women wore during this time. The clothing was very similar. They were called tunics.

Instead of reading a private interpretation of one verse of scripture and building a doctrine on it we should rather study all the scriptures in context and we will see a clear picture of what Deuteronomy 22:5 is saying. This scripture clearly deals with men and women cross dressing, which is an abomination to God. Sexual perversion is not something God promotes.

If the original intent of the word pertaineth really meant “similar in appearance” then God violated His own laws in the Garden. I don’t think anyone believes that He did.

The real clothing issue at hand is modest clothing, a principle that Paul did address. The term modest means: “marked by simplicity; having a humble opinion of yourself”

Humbleness and modesty is a heart issue not a dress issue. However, all Christians should consider what they wear, but exact types of clothing cannot be dictated to a person. If a person is only wearing something because they are told they have to, or they do it out of fear, then their heart is not right. The heart of leadership is not right either for dictating exact types of clothing for people.

If clothing that was similar in appearance could only be worn by one sex or the other then we have to hold that standard in everything, not only women wearing skirts. Women who wear t-shirts would also be wrong because a T-shirt is historically a mans garment and many pentecostal women wear t-shirts without any problems. God still accepts them.

Ties on men would not be allowed either if this were the case because they would not fall into modest apparel. They are flashy, just for decoration, and do not serve a real purpose as clothing, other than to show off as a decoration.  There are some that will not wear ties at all because they point down to the ground which is the direction of hell. How crazy is that? Good common sense and wisdom is what is needed by all not endless lists which are of no help.

This line of thinking only leads to an endless list of dress code do’s and do not’s. Which is not beneficial spiritually and confuses people.

Many Pentecostal men also want to put the blame on women. They do this by saying that women who wear pants are trying to attract men and this causes men to lust after women. As a man I am accountable to God for what I lust after. Playing the blame game doesn’t get you any points in God’s eyes. Look at Adam and Eve, they tried to blame everyone else for their sin problem and refused to take the blame for their own actions. It didn’t get them any brownie points with God. Men, you are responsible to God for your actions don’t try to blame your lustful heart on someone else.

SUMMARY

In summary let me say this. We are not to allow our relationship with God be reduced to a legalistic list of rules and rituals. This was the issue the Pharisees had. Anytime our Christian walk becomes a list of rules and rituals that we must follow we are reduced to the thinking of the Pharisees. This thinking will get us nowhere. Just look how Jesus dealt with them.

There has been a historical precident set within the UPCI for legalism. If people continue to hold to this legalistic mode of thinking there walk with God will ultimately suffer. The only way to break free from the legalism is to not be afraid of men, but rather fear God. He is the only one who matters. Seek Him with all your heart and allow Him to lead you in all areas of your life. Choose today not to fear what men can do or say to you. You are living for God not men.

Proverbs 3:5-8
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

May God bless and keep you through the power of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross and paid the ultimate sacrifice that you and I could have life and have it more abundantly.

NOTE: The list of all the things that are forbidden in the UPCI are too long to cover on this page. You would never read it all. So, I have chosen the topics above since they are the major issues. But the same principle applies to everything.
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10 responses

30 04 2009
Jami Leigh

Very informative, thank you.

1 05 2009
buildyourhouseontherock

Thank you. We have several people we used to go to church with who do not understand our change of heart. We wrote this to try and help them understand.

7 05 2009
Pastor Rodney Thompson of the UPCI of Dumas, TX

Bro. Raymond I now understand how you believe. We love you and your family.

Love,

Bro. Thompson

8 05 2009
buildyourhouseontherock

Thank you. Your family has always been good to us. Thank you for understanding.

17 02 2010
Bob Grim

Let me add my thanks to you for your courage to stand on what you believe! You have articulated you position very well. God bless you and your family!

16 03 2010
buildyourhouseontherock

Bob, thank you for the kind words of encouragement.

29 07 2013
chat video online

Good day! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him.
Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks
for sharing!

12 10 2013
Sterling

An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend
who had been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me lunch because I discovered it for
him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank
YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk
about this issue here on your web page.

4 01 2014
Web Page

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Cheers

5 01 2014
Ingeborg

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post was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger
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