Playful, Pius or Remembered Stuff

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I heard Dennis Bartell on the radio this morning, with his little great composer quiz.  The question was which composer was vain about his hair which was blond and flowing.  He was small of stature and his face was pale of pallor, but his hair was outstanding, and he was proud of it.  The answer is Mozart.  Actually I guessed the correct answer, but it got me thinking about hair.

I remember when classical musicians were called "longhairs" with something of disdain in the voice.  But culture evolves, and at my age I can see that culture evolves all too rapidly.  So this "longhair" epithet has fallen into disuse because today it is the rock musician who has the long hair, and it is part of his shtick.  Young impressionable girls swoon over the shrieking rock star as he nearly swallows the microphone and his shoulder length hair flairs around him.  It is far more likely that it would be the fan of classical music (who is usually much older) who might use "longhair" as a derogatory epithet for the rocker.

Then I remember when men with long hair were excluded from proper Christian fellowship.  Now it is quite common.  In fact that same rocker mentioned in the last paragraph might lead a worship team on the stage of a church with "contemporary" worship style.  We are so influenced by culture.  If we are not adopting worldly standards of culture and behavior, we are at least confused by culture, and our senses become dulled.  We major in the minors.

Ray Commeret, a now deceased colleague of mine, was a bit maverick in his methods, and generous in his sense of humor.  I remember the day he drove in to French Creek Bible Conference with a full black beard, rolled down the window of his car, and said in his excellent Brooklyn Jew accent, "Is this the House of David?"  He had just returned from an extended vacation to pick up children at French Creek, and it was obvious that he had not taken a razor with him on vacation.  I understand that he hadn't used his razor yet when he first entered his pulpit after vacation, and his sermon title was, "How Long is Christian Hair?"  I have no idea what his text was, nor just how he preached Christ from it, but knowing his integrity as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, I'm sure it was a legitimate Bible text, and I'm sure he pointed people to the Savior.  Compared to some of the dramatic antics of Old Testament prophets, this was not really far out of line.  He was a living example of how we can major in the minors.

When I look at old photos of myself, I sometimes laugh at the hair.  It wasn't that long, but it was simply old fashioned--and the sideburns!

Somebody obviously thinks that Jesus had long hair.  In fact the famous Salmon portrait of the Christ portrays a rather effeminate, western European face with long hair.  Who is this?  Are we to believe that Christ sat for the portrait?  In what museum might I find the ancient camera that captured His likeness?  And yet every "miracle" appearance of Christ in porch light shadows or burnt pancakes is identified by the same general image.  Why do we reject the rendering of the black Christ?

Scripture says that there is nothing outstanding about His physical appearance.  There is no beauty that we should desire Him.  His human nature must bear the Mediterranean Jewish coloring and bone structure.  I wonder how many westerners would be pleased with his appearance.

I love Jesus because He first loved me, and gave himself for me.  His physical looks will not even be noticed by believers when we see Him face to face.  In that day we will see perfectly, and when we see His face, we will see the lover of our souls, and that is all we will see.

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