Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fancy Dress

Saw an interesting comment on another board
"I preach every Sunday in blue jeans and a t-shirt. Perfectly modest. Do y'all know how many people don't go to church because they're ashamed they can't wear fancy clothes? The Baptist church up the street will ask you to leave if a lady isn't wearing a dress, or a man's not in a suit. Nice witness, there... (not saying all Baptist churches are like that)"
I've heard other people say this about other people. I've never known anyone to say that they themselves aren't won't go to church because of a dress standard. So.... will anyone step up on this issue? Have you ever felt that your church's standards in terms of fashion / expense are too high? Anyone felt that modesty standards were so strong they didn't feel comfortable going?


Michael G. said...

Here are some things we experienced . . .
If a girl visitor came to a youth activity at a Baptist church we used to attend and she was wearing pants, they had extra skirts available to hand out and would ask the visitor to put it on.

At the same church during a men's retreat, mind you only men were attending, it stated in the brochure, "no shorts please". We were playing basketball, but they felt that shorts were not modest even though no women were even there.

When a pastor from the above church called and asked if he could stop by in a few minutes I felt I had to warn him of my appearance. I told him, "You can stop by but I have my loins girded!"

My family started to frequently visit a nearby church. We were invited to a church kickball night last sunday night. When I went to say hi to the pastor and reintroduce myself he said, "Yes I remember you, you wore shorts." I said, "What?" He said, "No, that was great, it was refreshing to see, I wish I could wear shorts on Sundays."

I guess all this to say . . . Some people think that they are being disrespectful to God by not wearing their best to "his house". I think they have it all mixed up. God is within us, not a building. Did the Christians in the NT times put on their best sandals to go to their neighbors house? I see no reason to dress differently than I would if I was going to see my best friend or my family. I am not going to a job interview or even a job, I am going to see my brothers and sisters, right?

When did this all change to what it is now?

CD-Host said...

MIchael --

Welcome and thanks for the post. That's interesting because I can clearly see in that culture that a person having economic problems wouldn't feel comfortable. What did happen to people with only poor quality clothing, did they silently leave or...?

Michael G. said...

There was a large part of the congregation that would shop at Goodwill or Salvation Army for suits for the men and boys. I switched between the two sport coats I owned, wearing one every other Sunday. Many of the women would sew their own dresses as store bought clothes were often not modest enough or too expensive.
Although we didn't have a lot of money I never felt put down due to always wearing the same clothes. One of my closest friends was a doctor who invited men over for basketball on a weekly basis. (I was a rebel and wore shorts when the weather permitted!)