How much time do you spend getting ready to go to church on Sunday? Some churches appear to be more of a fashion show with people making fashion statements with the clothes they wear. Some purchase and wear the high-end brand named clothes. There are those who paint their face on and spray every hair in place. After all, they muse, they have an image to uphold. At the very least they can not let someone else look better than they do! It's comes down to a "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality.
How many times have you heard, "This is God's house and you should dress appropriately." Of course, that brings to mind the question, "Does God really care what we wear?"
As with most every other accepted church practice in today's modern church, dressing up for church is the result of Christians being influenced by their surrounding culture. It appears the church has always been influenced by the culture around it instead of influencing the culture around it. The church should be the influences! Here I go again, I digress.
The "Sunday go to meeting" attire we see so common in our churches today has nothing to do with Scripture, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Does God really give a hoot about what you wear to church? The Bible speaks of dressing modestly. As long as everything that's supposed to be covered up is covered up who cares what kind of clothes you wear? Does God expect us to dress like we are entering a beauty contest? I sure don't see that in Scripture! All this differs greatly from the simplicity of the early church.
Many, today, believe it is irreverent to dress in an informal manner when going to church. Doesn't that sound like something the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day would say? Especially since they liked to stand on the street corners with their long robes on to be seen by men. Obviously this is man's idea not God's.
The early church met from house to house. Do you really think they dressed up in their Sunday go to meeting clothes? It was an informal gathering. Do we dress up for the informal gatherings we go to? I don't even wear a tie to our gatherings. Jeans are common place in our gatherings. It sure is more comfortable, too!
While we're on clothes, what about the "clerical garments" that some "clergymen" wear? You know what I'm talking about? The clerical robes and other garments that some ministers wear. Can you guess where this had its origins? If you said paganism you are correct. They wear special garments to set them apart from the laity. I don't recall reading about any of the early church apostles wearing special clothes to set themselves apart from the "common person". Paul would have balked at such a thought!
Of course Jesus and His disciples never wore special clothing to impress God or to distinguish themselves from the people. In fact, that's what the Scribes and Pharisees did. They wanted people to see and acknowledge them (Luke 20:46).
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with dressing nice. The questions we should ask ourselves are 1) Are we dressing up to impress God? 2) Are we dressing up to impress others? 3) Do we look down on those who don't dress up for church? 4) Do we understand man looks on the outward appearance while God looks on the heart?
Let's follow hard after God - not man.
Until next time, let's enjoy the journey!
This blog post is another in a series looking at the practices of churches today and how they line up with the New Testament. Perhaps this series could be better called, "Kicking Over Sacred Cows". For further reading and research, I recommend the book "Pagan Christianity?" by Frank Viola and George Barna.
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