Debate on Church Attire:

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by Salty, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    DEBATE ON CHURCH ATTIRE: SHOW UP OR SHOW RESPECT?

    Orginal letter

    DEAR ABBY: Can you please settle our question about what is proper attire for church? Are short shorts, tube tops and flip-flops suitable for a house of worship?
    -- DISMAYED IN MARYSVILLE, MICH.

    DEAR DISMAYED: I was raised that a person should dress "respectfully" in the house of the Lord. That means fully shod and covered up enough so that it doesn't distract the other worshippers. However, dress codes have been greatly relaxed in recent decades. Each congregation has its own standards and, in the final analysis, it is up to the clergyman and governing body to decide what is or is not appropriate.




    Dear Abby column from some time ago:

    DEAR ABBY: May I respond to your reply to "Dismayed in Marysville, Mich.," regarding attire in church? As a priest and pastor, I'm appalled at how some people come dressed for Sunday worship.

    You said that "Dress codes have been greatly relaxed in recent decades," which I find to be inaccurate. What has become relaxed is the attitude, the respect and reverence people have for worship and church buildings. From brides walking down the aisle chewing gum to funeral pallbearers wearing tennis shoes, to members wearing flip-flops, shorts and tank tops on Sunday, the lack of respect and reverence to worship is disgusting.
    These same people would never allow their children to play in a sporting event out of uniform, or apply for a job interview themselves dressed inappropriately. Sunday worship should be no different!
    -- PRIEST IN OHIO

    DEAR PRIEST: I also said I was raised to believe people should dress "respectfully" in the house of the Lord -- and that means fully shod and covered up enough so it doesn't distract the other worshippers. However, reaction to my reply varied sharply. Read on:

    DEAR ABBY: More important than what people are wearing is the reason for being in church in the first place. Maybe it would be better if we could all enter God's house blind. If we can't see what people are wearing, we can leave our judgments and prejudices outside and use the time to learn more about God's purpose for our lives. -- DIANA IN CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA


    DEAR ABBY: Satan wants to embarrass the church, so he sends people dressed any kind of disrespectful way. They'd be sent home from their jobs if they dressed like that. Women: Cover up! You are worth more than your skin.
    -- PASTOR'S WIFE IN ST. LOUIS


    DEAR ABBY: That we worship is more important than what we wear. That letter reminded me of the story of the old cowboy who visited a new church in his jeans and boots. After the service, the pastor greeted him and remarked, "We enjoyed having you here today, but before you return, you should have a talk with God about proper attire in church."
    The next week, the cowboy returned wearing the same clothes, so the pastor approached him again. "I thought I told you to speak with God about what to wear when you came here," he said. The cowboy responded, "I did. But he said he didn't know because he'd never set foot in here!" -- IOWA COWBOY

    DEAR ABBY: My pastor says no one would consider dressing casually if they were going to be in the presence of our president or any other dignitary. Why would we consider anything less for our Lord? Makes perfect sense to me.
    -- BARBARA, MORGANTOWN, PA.

    DEAR ABBY: I have seen people come to church straight from working in their yard, without changing or washing up. When I was a child living in the country, men came to work wearing overalls, but they were clean and, most of the time, new. Today, there is no excuse for slovenliness in public, much less in God's house.
    -- LILLIE IN SPRINGFIELD, MO.

    DEAR ABBY: Church is where you go to give praise to the Lord, not check out what others are wearing. If "Dismayed" feels put out because someone isn't dressed the way she'd like, then maybe the services should be held at Macy's so she can feel more comfortable.
    -- MATTHEW IN PEORIA
     
    #1 Salty, Feb 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2010
  2. StefanM

    StefanM
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    I think church attire should be conservative and respectful, keeping within acceptable cultural bounds.

    As for me, I generally wear slacks and a button-down shirt or sweater on Sunday mornings. Sometimes I wear a tie. On Wednesday night or Sunday night, I may wear a button down shirt with a nice pair of jeans.
     
  3. Jon-Marc

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    I wear a suit on Sunday morning and evening and dress more casual on Wednesday evening, but I would never consider wearing flip-flops or sandals to church any time--unless it was the accepted practice there. I have noticed that at this church where I'm going that men in suits is normal.

    I have gone in shorts and maybe even sandals, but only because others (including the pastor) did it on Wednesday evening. It felt strange and made me self conscious. I guess I'm just too old fashioned and agree with the ones who ask why we can't give God the same respect we give to our boss or "important people". Isn't God important to us?

    Of course, I also agree that God looks on the inside and not on the outside. I suppose I just have mixed feelings about attire. People judge us by our clothes and other posessions, but God sees our intentions.

    At the risk of being offensive, let me ask a question. If you are in the shower and sing a song of praise to God, is He offended because you are not dressed properly? Does God care (as people do) how we are dressed? Yes, when with others we should not dress so as to attract attention or sexually excite others (and some clothes can do that), but other than that does our attire really matter as much to God as our intentions and the condition of our heart?
     
    #3 Jon-Marc, Feb 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2010
  4. SolaSaint

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    AMEN Brother:thumbsup:
     
  5. JohnDeereFan

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    How we dress shows our attitude toward what we're dressing for.

    I always think of Jacob in Genesis 35:1-3, where he instructed his family and those with him to go and make themselves pure and change their clothes, because they were going to the House of God to worship.

    This passage indicates three attitudes I believe we're supposed to have when we gather for worship: reverence, humility and gratitude.
     
  6. StefanM

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    One argument that I don't like is the argument that if we wear our best for the President, why should we wear less for God?

    Of course, a church service is generally not as formal of an occasion, culturally speaking. Beyond this, God is our Father. The President is a stranger. Do you think that the President's daughters wear their best outfits every time they come to see their father? No. They dress up when it is culturally appropriate.
     
  7. JohnDeereFan

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    The difference is that Oba-Mao only thinks he's God. God really is God.

    Father or not, God's authority and holiness require that we show Him reverence and respect, not casual familiarity.
     
  8. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Didn't we just have this discussion???
     
  9. mcdirector

    mcdirector
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    more than once even . . .
     

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