This is the response to the comment I submitted, dealing with the article about censoring cowboy culture. Stephanus Blignaut is a missionary in South Africa. In my family, we have a very soft spot for missionaries, especially those in Africa. During the late 1940s my uncle and his wife were missionaries to Sudan. His oldest son was born there. As long as he lived, my uncle always had a special love for Africa and the people. He came to believe, though, that simply telling people about Christ was useless, unless you first gave them food, medicine, clean water, and a safe place to live. Once their needs were met, then they could see Christ in you. He spent the remainder of his life encouraging this specific missionary style.
NOTE: I have broken the email into easier to read paragraphs. I’m also using it as a an excuse to throw in some photos of my favorite opera singers, in cowboy garb!
To recap: This is a copy of the email I sent to Blignaut:
I read the commentary about cowboys. I live in New Mexico and have friends who are cowboys and Texans. What was written would be considered ‘fighting’ words, insulting to everyone here. I gather my former priest, who is known as the Pistol Packin’ Parson is NOT a man of God? He wears a cowboy hat, boots, buckle, and locks his side arm in the sacristy safe when he officiates. I’ve read some stupid things in my life, but to condemn an entire culture of people because they don’t meet with your self-righteous, holier than thou standards that are found NOWHERE in the Bible I own, is, well, if it weren’t so sick, it would be laughable. Please, don’t mess with Texas or New Mexico, or even Arizona.
Also, your ignorance is showing. Fake country music singers who pretend to be cowboys aren’t the real thing. Just because someone sings country music doesn’t damn an entire social strata of very good men – very good men. You are condemning the very heart and soul of the Wild West America, and I find the article one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever read.
Christ doesn’t give a damn what we wear. He didn’t like hard-core, self-righteous bigots, rather feasted with sinners, ignoring the saints. Lord have Mercy! I cannot imagine people being subjected to legalist Calvinistic teachings about the Bible which have nothing to do with Christ. John 3:16 suffices. This is just sad.
I have been a believer all my life. My blouses are low cut, I wear sandals, no stockings, and don’t mind flaunting the fact that I am well endowed. If a man has a problem with that then he needs to grow up and realize that women are not sex objects, but people of intellect who have minds, and are not required to submit to pathetic little patriarchs. Thank heavens for the Episcopal Church where women can be priests, and women are the equal of men!
Thank heavens my Christ never banned make-up, nail polish, pedicures, lipstick, shaved legs, perfume, bathing suits, boobs, low-cut blouses, and short skirts. He never mentioned heels, matching hand-bags, or jewelry. I suspect the only reason godly patriarchal men get all hot and bothered about it is because they are too damn cheap to pay for decent, attractive clothes for their wives and daughters.
This is so sad, tragic. Christ is not about rules and regulations but love, faith, kindness, freedom, and basic human decency one to another. He lifted up the fallen women, forgiving her sins, making her one of his inner circle. He empowered women, making them apostles. The first person to see the Risen Christ was that same sinful, fallen woman – the one you would cast stones upon as being impure and not a virgin.
I have never left this sort of a comment before, but I can’t get over the pure hatred of women. I can’t get over the ignorant bigotry waged against an entire American culture, of men and women who are literally the salt of the earth. Obviously you know nothing about the American West, cowboys, and the history of this nation. I’ve read some bigoted and insulting things in my day, but I think this is one of the worst.
It dawns on me that the term ‘modesty’ is about behavior. A person can walk down the street – stark naked and be modest. The most godly man in the world can be the most immodest. It is about humility, not outward signs of piety that prove they are more righteous than Christ.
I’ve been working on a book about the history of fashion for several years. It never fails to shock me about the abject ignorance so-called Christians exhibit when they think they know all there is to know about why fashions were described in the Bible. I bet you don’t even know that the description that Paul gave, for the well-dressed Christian woman was almost verbatim to the demands that the Emperor Augustus put on respectable Roman women – almost down to the very words. Paul was not describing good Christian women but well-dressed Roman women of the era. It was called: FASHION.
Please forgive the rather angry tone of this comment. I just can’t believe what I’m reading. Never have I encountered such legalistic idolatry.
I do forgive the spirit with which you wrote. In fact I didn’t have anything against you while I read it. I noticed that your last name is Reidhead. To me personally, I respect the Reidheads.
In fact a Pastor Paris Reidhead I consider one of the pearls among the men of God. He is sure one of the greatest men God used in my life bringing me to the stand where I am today.
Oh, that there would be more men like Brother Reidhead. He had no time for the world. And no speck of Phariseeism in his bones.
Yet a man of high standard. God knows we need more men like brother Reidhead.
He was a Christian before he was an American. And he certainly did not agree with what modern Americanism has evolved into. May God help more Reidheads to become like the Reidhead I know. (NOTE: My uncle was one of the most patriotic men I ever knew. He loved this country.)
May God even make you a truly God-fearing Reidhead like Brother Paris Reidhead.
This man was of impeccable standard and standing, is he by any chance family of yours?
Here is a link to his sermons, you will find them of incredible help. We wanted to send you a link to sermons of Paris Reidhead. If you google Paris Reidhead sermonindex you will get to it.
There are also some of his sermons on YouTube. One of his famous sermons is Ten Shekels and a Shirt. Hope it will be a blessing to your heart.
OK you don’t feel very enthusiastic about the article, and it might be that the spirit of the article annoyed you. I will look at it again to makes sure that it is in the right spirit . But we must understand that in our search for the most correct truth we are going to run across some things that are not so welcome at that moment of time in our life.
I realized the hammer might have hit the nail on the head as I read your letter with every thing you said. And squirm as you will, if you don’t hear the truth now, you will hear it at the judgment throne. Better to hear it now than when it’s too late. I guess that sounds very confrontational but please read on.
If I believed something wrong I would like to be told so and helped to the right place and not left to myself to die as I am. May The Lord help us and you to keep learning always more of His Truth.
Many Christians only belong to a Christian fashion and have the “Love, Joy and Peace” sign on their front door. But on closer inspection there is nothing of The Lord Jesus truly and concrete in their lives.
They look like the world, dress like the world, talk like the world, behave like the world, taste like the world, smell like the world and think like the world.
I guess what I want to say is that our definition of the world, love to it, and friendship with it, must be the same as that of The Lord Jesus otherwise we might have the wrong Jesus.
Satan offers a wrong jesus to the world. Is it not important that we make double sure of the true nature of the Jesus we follow? Whether he is the one the Bible speaks of or a false one. That responsibility remains with every individual. For that we will each give account.
There are different “jesus’s”. There are many false ones of different shapes and colors formed by the imagination of men, but there is only one true one. They love their own fancies so they create little “jesus’s” that fit into their little boxes.
Of these little “jesus’s” we must be very careful for there is only one true Jesus Christ. The true Jesus saves from sin.
He does not save men and women into the world but out of the world.
This America has produced some of the greatest men of God, like Charles Finney, David Brainerd, Johnathan Edwards, D.L. Moody, A.B. Simpson, R.A. Torrey, AW Tozer, Paris Reidhead and great Christian women like Fanny Crosby, Isabel Kuhn, Darlene Rose. You will do well to be influenced by these great American Christians.
They held onto the right Jesus. Our honesty with these things are of impeccable worth spiritually. For they literally can mean the difference between eternal life and eternal death for the world and nominal Christians.
Nominal Christianity never truly came into a relationship with Jesus Christ Himself.
Christ condemned Phariseeism very very hard. And rightfully so. But He also condemned the world for He Himself declared that the love of the world hates Him and friendship with the world hates Him.
Do not forget that it is Jesus Himself Who said this – the same Jesus of John 3:16. There are too many so called Christians who have never gone through with the Christ of true Christianity. (NOTE: This is NOT the John 3:16 I know)
They love things that Jesus had to die for. This worldly Christianity has no place in eternity. Make no mistake about it, hell is for Pharisees and the World.
Then there is truly born again Christians who are genuinely saved from their sin and forgiven.
Take notice, they are saved FROM their sin. There is the idea of taking out and being put in to something else. It can never stay where it is.
By what you wrote it seems as if you have no proper understanding of what sin is, or the world, or the love of the world. You seem to think these things are wonderful and great.
And you must remember, America will not be in Heaven. Only some saved Americans. Saved from their sin by only, only, only the blood of the Lamb. Nothing else. Not even modesty can save anyone. Modesty is only something that naturally will follow when Jesus saves.
So we need also to heed the Bibles’s warning to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith. If the kind of faith we have makes us stay put in the world, we are probably holding onto the wrong Jesus.
Those who truly are born again but get stuck in the world to never really come out of it are probably not in danger of hell but, friend, they are in danger of losing all their rewards in eternity.
And if you truly are a born again person, then I caution you to search out Scripture and not to listen to the opinions of men and humanism on the meaning of holiness and sanctification
. For those who are bought by the blood will go on the road of holiness and sanctification. Only the pure in heart will see the kingdom of God. They only are made pure by the blood of the right Lord Jesus.
They know and understand that it is not their works that saves them but the Blood. But the cleaning power of the blood will now have a power in their lives to draw them from the world to Christ and make them like He is – holy.
Remember that He said that He is a consuming fire. And He said “Be holy, for I am holy.” If the blood of Jesus does not save out of the world which is unholy then it’s probably the fake jesus. This is why we need to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. This is a Bible command.
Lastly, I have nothing against a true cowboy, whose job it is to be a cowboy.
But forgive me if I have no respect for the modern fashion and image. The poor world of the wanna-be’s is totally different than the real world. I myself worked on my fathers cattle farm for many years before I went into ministry.
To the real thing, the real job, I have no objection. But to the cowboy image I will remain opposed till doomsday comes. For it is no different to idolatry in the fake world of wanna-be cowboys. Is there not a cause?
For any truly born again man or woman of God there must be a cause. Christ is the cause. The real cause.
When He comes in, the world goes out. I remember bringing the cattle in for dipping, dosing, burning, weaning, tagging, and sorting. I tell you what, cattle farming is my thing. I am thrilled by it.
If The Lord did not call me to ministry I would like to be right back on a cattle farm. But any way, what I wanted to say, is I remember when we brought in the cattle and they get dipped and treated for ticks with Deadline on their backs, the ticks start falling off not long after that.
So it also is with the sins of the world when Jesus washes us, the world and worldly things and the love of it start falling off and die, to stay dead and not return.
There is a problem with the type of Christianity that stays in the world and befriends its frantic thrills and follows its image and loves the cocktails it mixes up to catch all the worldly lovers into a deeper net that will eventually be dragged into hell itself.
Satan is a real enemy.
Don’t miss-reckon yourself with him and his abilities.
You better know that what you believe is right, for, I tell you again, it will influence your eternal future forever.
So don’t get me wrong. I love real down to earth cowboys, but I cannot stand, and never will be able to, what wanna-be’s have twisted it into in the secular society with the image.
All they will ever have is a sick fashion of image.
Somehow this thrills the world. But it cannot thrill a true Christian.
No, Jesus thrills his soul.
Always and only Jesus.
And I am thrilled that His blood washed away all my sin that once was taking me to hell.
Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you walking daily by the Saviour’s side?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white – pure and white in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright?
Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin and be washed in the blood of the Lamb. There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean. Oh, be washed in the blood of the Lamb!
Make sure you find the right Lamb and be washed in His precious and costly blood.
Oh be sure, be sure, be sure. Whatever you do, be sure. Your blood, dear friend, is in your own hand.
The Jesus of John 3:16 is also the Jesus that said “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (NOTE: John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.)
And Paul warned, be not fooled, God is not mocked.
Those who criticize holiness nearly always have the wrong Jesus.
The right Jesus, when you have Him, He will start making this world grow strangely dim. A
ll the many things of this world among which two of them are fashion and the wanna-be cowboy image.
Sorry, but it is the truth, don’t you think?
Consider it carefully and prayerfully before only Jesus.
Not your own opinion and not that of others. Dare to ask Him for His own opinion.
Do you think if Jesus comes back today that He will wear a cowboy hat, a big buckle, and slick cowboy boots? Carrying around with Him the image of a cowboy? Some think yes, he’ll even have dark glasses on and pull a packet of Marlboro cigarettes from his pocket.
Some Christians have a bracelet around there arm that says WWJD.
Many of Those same fake Christians never stop to ask, “what would Jesus do?” I trust that you are truly different and like Paris Reidhead be someone that is truly honest to seek the true purity of Jesus, that which is brought when we are genuinely washed in the blood of the Lamb.
To God be the glory.
Kind regards, and the Lord’s speed to you,
Stephanus and Rose
Because the letters and the response are so long, my letter in response, will be posted on Wednesday. I will mention that Paris W. Reidhead was my father’s oldest brother. I spent a heck of a lot of time with him, over the years. I think you know my response. It was rather like one of those Loyd Benson JFK moments.