By Victor Ochieng
There is this picture that has been doing rounds on social media of someone apparently reporting at a COGIC gathering dressed in some Halloween-like outfit.
Bishop Elijah Hankerson, being part of the COGIC community, has been receiving the picture, with a good number of people asking him the question, “If you all have so much power and are so holy; then why was this able to take place at your meeting?” The picture was allegedly taken during the November 2017 (110th Holy Convocation of the Church Of God In Christ in Saint Louis, Missouri).
Having been asked that question too many times, Bishop Hankerson did a blogpost in which he answered all who wanted to know. First, he sought to make it clear that he didn’t know the person in the picture, nor does he know the circumstances under which the photo was taken. With so many church people celebrating Halloween, he said he wasn’t sure whether the attire was actually a Halloween costume or not.
“At first, I would assume that it is someone ‘special.’ I have seen ‘special’ people do things like this before. However, some have told me that it was a warlock and others have said that it is a ‘flaming homos*xual.’ But, the fact remains that I cannot put a handle on ‘who’ it is, nor the circumstances that would cause this person to adorn themselves in this manner,” Bishop Hankerson wrote.
But even if you don’t like such outfits, there is almost nothing you can do about it. People are saying they’re free spirits; ooh, you can’t judge me; ooh, it’s your thing, do what you want, and so on and so forth.
However, when it comes to such gatherings, it’s important to at least maintain a certain level of decency for both men and women. “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes” (1 Timothy 2:9).
If men and women would take seriously the line that says “not draw attention to themselves,” we wouldn’t have people dressing in the manner in which the person in the picture did.
Again, when it comes to a gathering that’s called “holy,” it’s important to at least set some standards. Someone coming into such a meeting dressed like the person in the photo only works to take away the little respect that would be given to such a gathering.
In fact, if you look at the photo, there are some three women seated on a bench, looking at the person in total surprise. One of the women is even appearing to be feeling sorry for the person.
If COGIC wants to remain respected, its gatherings should remain holy.