Leonardo Blair, with the Christian Post, reports:
An Oregon church which came under fire in recent weeks for instituting a ban on fat people as part of a slew of mandatory guidelines to be a part of the congregation's worship team, apologized for the ban on Saturday and begged forgiveness to anyone their rules may have offended.
... "We want the worship team to look the best they can! Remember that the way we look is of utmost importance," the guidelines to would-be worship team members at the Oregon church warned in the document declaring "no excessive weight."
"We are the first thing the congregation sees. People do judge by appearance. We never get a second chance to make that first impression. Please be sure that your style and clothing bring honor and glory to God, isn't excessive and doesn't draw unnecessary attention to yourself," it added.
The document further made it clear that in order to be a part of the worship team, members must be in "100% agreement" with the guidelines to allow the anointing to flow and encouraged those with a weight issue to go shed the extra pounds at the gym.
If lack of discipline where the real concern of the leadership of this church, should weight have been the only consideration? Isn't it true that some of the most gluttonous people among us are skinny? And we all hate them!
But seriously, the local church is supposed to be a place of grace and acceptance, where everyone is made to feel welcomed. It's our love, not how we look on stage, that should be the distinguishing mark of true fellowship in Christ.
This focus on appearance is symptomatic of a problem the plagues so many churches today. These churches seek to create an atmosphere of superficial right-ness. In such a fellowhship, as long as you keep your sins out of view, you fit in. As long as you look good, you're accepted as good.
Churches that create this kind of atmosphere don't really curtail sin, they just force it to go underground. The fellowship produced by such external compliance shouldn't be mistaken for the fellowship produced by the presence of God’s love and grace, where the stigmas associated with being flawed, and the fear of being exposed, are removed.
Do you feel safe enough in your church to go public with your struggles? Does your church obey the admonition of the Apostle James to “confess your sins to one another” and “prayer for one another,” so you can be “healed?" (James 5:16).