More Than My Hair Was Cut Last Night!


Spiritual Lessons Learned at the ‘black barbershop’

I went to see my barber late last night.  It is not a “traditional black” barbershop, but it has many of the same elements – except it is physically and morally cleaner.  I was really hoping the dietary laws in the OT would come up again (see my previous post with the picture of the lobster), but when it did, it didn’t turn out the way I expected.

I awkwardly brought up the issue by saying, “Tyrone (pseudo name), if we can just get you to enjoy your seafood without the guilt we will be all right.”  He answered, “I love my seafood.”  “I know,” I said.  “But the last time you said you loved all kinds of seafood even though the Bible tells us we shouldn’t eat it.  He said, “The Bible does say that about shell fish.”  Just when I was about to play ‘Superman’ and save the day, another voice said, “Yes that is true, but what did God tell Peter in a dream?”

And then I thought to myself, who said that!?  Oh, I know that voice.

It was the man who comes into this shop regularly.  Actually, I’ve seen him three times before.  The barber called him “REV.”  He would say, “Hey Rev. how is it going?”  When he walked into the shop, the conversations got cleaner, and some people sat up straighter in their seats. But I was successful in avoiding this “Rev.”

I know it sounds bad, one Rev. avoiding another Rev. But in my lifetime, I’ve come in contact with three Rev’s in the black barbershop: the one who used to be the number runner; the one who drove the big Cadillac and took everyone’s money; and the one who made all the ladies uncomfortable and the husbands and/or boyfriends mad when he came into the shop.  No, I had already ‘pre-assessed’ this guy.  He was probably just another ‘Reverend Bishop Charlatan’ — a democratic, social gospel, Bible-rejecter, who is probably a mason, and striving to become the next ‘bishop’ in the capital district; no, I didn’t want any parts of him.  But here he was expositing Scripture with relative ease and no shame right in the barbershop!

I was in the barber chair, but my Afro was not the only thing being cut down so I could look pleasing in the sight of all – my pride was getting the same treatment, so that I could look pleasing to One.


What happened?  How did I get here?  Obviously, I must have forgotten some spiritual truth, several actually.

Earlier that day I was reading a theological book written by Michael Barrett (I plan to write a book review on this blog when I’m done with the book). He explained that the concept of righteousness could be stative or fientive.  I applied it to something with which I was familiar – grammar.  Stative is like a being verb, “He is tall.”  Fientive is like an action verb, “He runs.”  I understood this perfectly, I thought.  Jesus fulfilled all righteousness (fientive), because Jesus is righteousness (stative). The Bible teaches that I have become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).

That’s fine, but I forgot that Christ’s Righteousness was imputed to my account, not infused inside of me.   The heart of man is deceitfully above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it (Jeremiah 17:9).  My wicked flesh (Romans 7:18-20) led me down a path that convinced me that I was higher than my brother in Christ.

I repented and confessed my sin to God.

Rev. was clearly greater.  Jesus said so Himself, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” (Mark 10:43).  Thank you, Rev. for the lesson in humility; thank you Tyrone for the fresh cut – now I look more pleasing to my wife and children; and thank you God for the ‘fresh cut’ – now I look more pleasing to You.


Brian L. Spivey

11 thoughts on “More Than My Hair Was Cut Last Night!

  1. Nevertheless, I’m bemused by what you are saying. ” My wicked heart led me down a path that convinced me that I was higher than my brother in Christ.” Your heat led you to believe this or was this just your mind and what you may have been taught in some strange way? Is your heart(spirit) wicked? Even after Christ has redeemed you? Even after the WORD resides inside of you, you still have a wicked heart? I’m not saying your incorrect but I’m stymied by your comments in this article or writing. Please brother in Christ clarify this for me. You know you are one of my best friend to ever walk planet Earth but I’m perplexed by this.

    • “We have preached condemnation and sin so long that we do not know how to preach righteousness and to tell the people what they are in Christ” — E.W. Kenyon
      “f you are Born Again you are “in Christ.” You are a conqueror. You are free from condemnation. You are the righteousness of God in Him. You are the fulness of God in Him. You are complete in Him. The wealth of His glory, the wealth of His riches, have never been sounded. You are righteous. There is no sin-consciousness for you. There is no inferiority complex for you. You are now in Christ, the very righteousness of God. — E.W. Kenyon

      “You are in Him. He is in you. His Word abides in you. You are His Righteousness. You are His Life. You can do His works now . John 14:12,13: “Greater things than these shall ye do, because I go unto the Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the son.” You take your place. You use the Name to heal the sick. His death was not in vain. His suffering was not in vain. You stand complete in His completeness, filled with His fulness. You are filled with His holiness. His grace is yours.” E.W. Kenyon

      Besides these quotes do you hold the position that man is a tri-part being and God changed your spirit, and now you spirit and soul is at war (Romans 7).
      We don’t confess our sins because Jesus already died for our sins. Is the acknowledgement of sin in the believer’s life an act of not realizing who we are in Christ?

      James, if have to state my position, I want to make sure that I fully understand your position. I don’t want to set a ‘straw man’ and then knock it down.
      Are the above quotes the powerful Christianity that the minister in Chicago preaches about? This is surely Doc’s theology. I sat under it for two years and then went to a seminary that specialized in this doctrine. I did not waste time to quote Kenneth Hagin, Fred Price, and Kenneth Copeland, I went straight to the source. They have all declared that this is where they got most of their theological ideas from. Just let me know if that is the position you currently hold.

  2. James,

    After some study, I see that you were right. The Christian is not totally depraved. He has been given a new heart. It is the constant war with the flesh we have to contend with. Brothers are important in the Body of Christ. Thanks for the ‘hip check.’
    But one day in the future I want to continue exploring the Word of Faith doctrine. What do you say?

  3. I’m ok with that. However, I’m not under the WORD of Faith Doctrine. My perspective is mine. It comes from my study and life experience and my walk with GOD almighty, walking and talking with him. I don’ t listen to K. Copeland or Fred Price. I do listen to Bill Winston out of Chicago. ANyone who knows him knows that he is different from the rest of those guys. They have some similarities. Nevertheless, very few are tapped in like BW. Listen to him when you get a chance.

  4. Jael wrote,
    wow! that is basically how I felt last night: humbled after realizing my misconceptions! and the lessons in your story bring new dimensions to Luke 15:1-10 about repentance. What is there to repent for if we don’t realize our weakness and have not been torn down with sorrow for our sin? Thank you Jesus for being our Redeemer!

  5. Josh Bates wrote,
    Reprint from FB
    Wow this is great Brian! Many a time I found myself protecting my “heart” and love of God by distancing myself from those I prejudged as Charlatans only to find their depth and humility to be more pure than my own.

    Thanks for taking the time to read the post. I hope we will continue to fatherly and theological discussions

  6. Hi Brian. i was a little put off by your initial comments that your black barbershop was “physically and morally cleaner”. I think you might be harboring some noticeable racial and social biases. I also noticed you said I ” pre-assessed’ this guy” as a “mason” or ” a democratic, social gospel, Bible-rejecter, who is probably a mason, and striving to become the next ‘bishop’ in the capital district. I want to open you to the fact that such traditional religious principles (and spiritual/social stigmas) have done nothing but sow division between the unity of mankind. You should pray on how negative your blog post has appeared to the sensible masses. As someone who is on the boarder of learning about Christs role in the world- I feel it my duty to tell you that such apparent close mindedness-and over general simplification of social attitudes (about your classification of people) does nothing but disservice to the Christian message! It really just sounds like you went in harboring some negative attitudes and the Rev just put you in your place! God bless!

    • Thank you for your comments. Don’t worry, I have very little influence in my small world. Just continue to pray for me that I will live up to the motto of the Reformation — “Always Reforming.” I think it is important to allow some of my readers to see my sinful ways so that they can know we are in this race together.
      The only comment I want to respond to is the one about the barber shop being a clean one. Most of the barber shops I’ve visited in my lifetime have been full of hair, but this establishment has a worker who cleans constantly. It was suppose to be a compliment to the professionalism of “Miles and Styles” in Schenectady.
      Thank you again for your comments. Hope you visit again.

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