92 Comments

Wanted: An Old Fashioned Church.

I wanted to share with you a fantastic open letter written by Ingrid Schuleter that I encourage you all to read. I can think of a few churches that should receive this letter.

Wanted: An Old Fashioned Church

To Whom it May Concern:

I’m looking for a good Christian church. I don’t want to sing songs off a wall, the same five notes, over and over and over and over again while I am lightheaded from standing so long. There’s a record of the hymns of God’s people that spans 2000 years. Why are we so arrogant as to think we don’t need those wonderful songs any longer? Have we gone through more suffering, more affliction, more pain for Jesus than those who wrote these enduring hymns? Does a semi-secular song writer in Nashville with a multi-million dollar music contract have more to say to us about God and the Christian life than the 17th-century hymn writer who lost four children and his wife during the 30 years War?

I don’t want to have my eardrums bashed in by the three kids in the “worship band” who can’t be bothered to bathe, shave, dress or comb their hair on Sunday morning. If it’s really all about the God that Scripture describes as ineffably holy, shouldn’t that be reflected in attitude and dress for those who serve in church music?

I don’t want a vampy “praise and worship” leader who is flaunting her wares at every male within view as she does her worship moves on “stage”. If we are to worship God in spirit and in truth, as Scripture tells us, than what’s all the flesh about? Can we no longer discern the difference?

I don’t want to see people in beach attire with their backsides peeping out of their shorts because they think that God isn’t worth their best efforts at dressing. “God doesn’t care about clothes, only man”, they say. But the real reason is that it’s just plain easier to cruise into church in jeans or whatever is still lying on the floor from the night before. Dressing up for worship of the Lord would cost them something, however little, and they don’t want to pay it.

I also don’t want to see all the variations on lovers’ back rubs where Chuck and Sue take turns massaging each other’s neck and shoulders during the sermon so everyone behind them is completely distracted. Behavior affects other people. Are Christians so self-absorbed that they never think about the people behind them trying to hear the message?

I don’t want to hear announcements during “worship” about the youth group pizza blast and laser tag event next Tuesday night, the need for grills for the upcoming church fun fest or jokes about how Bill burned the wieners last summer at the church picnic. Why can this not be put at the end after our “worship” is completed?

Continue reading here.

92 comments on “Wanted: An Old Fashioned Church.

  1. This person is looking for exactly what I was looking for until just last year. And I found it! Not in the apostate Roman Catholic Church and not in one of the thousands of faiths that have sprung up in response to the apostate Roman church.

    I found it in the Holy Orthodox Christian Church, which has preserved unchanged the faith of the Apostles since Pentecost. It is the most holy, reverent, exciting, dynamic, Christ-centered faith I have found.

    Come and see!

  2. Wonderfully written. So refreshingly honest and so sound.

    Exactly what many of us are crying out to God for.

    Thank you.

  3. although i agree with some of the points, it sounds like the worship service ms. schuler is looking for an experience that will edify HER rather than hundreds of other young people or new Christians. let it never become about self for the Church will continue to die.

    also, those worship team kids who looks like they fell out of bed like that- they spend twice the time you or i do in the bathroom to get to looking like that!!

  4. i agree with Sarah, I think there are some truths in Ms. Schulers letter, I disagree with many other points in the letter as well. I think most of it is petty criticism, that continues to divide the church. I think it echoes a poetic longing for the heart of every believer to consider there worship experience under the word and spiritual song. We must remember that we are the church when we gather, not in a building that houses us. Plow and plow with the Word of God and then you will have hearts turn to a reverence of the Lord. God looks at the heart, not what we wear! Tell that to the homeless man that walks into Jim Cymbala’s church..Jim writes in his book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, pg142-143.

    “David sensed the change in me. He moved toward me and fell on my chest, burying his grimy head against my white shirt and tie. Holding him close, I talked to him about Jesus’ loves. These weren’t just words; I felt them. I felt love for this pitiful man. And the smell…I don’t know how to explain it. It had almost made me sick, but now it became the most beautiful fragrance to me. I revealed in what had been repulsive just moments ago. “The Lord seemed to say to me in that instant, Jim, if you and your wife have any value to me, if you have any purpose in my work-it has to do with this odor. This is the smell of the world I died for.”

    Does the Lord care what we wear? Yes I believe He does; I believe we must wear our best of what we have and what we can afford. If I lean over and hold my wife’s hand or put my arm around her during a message that speaks to us! maybe we should consider that there could be a man and a wife feuding, and it could be a reminder for him to forgive, to love and lead his own wife!

    My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the find clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place”, while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there”, or “sit down at my feet”, have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? James 2:1-4

    I think Eph 5:23-33 sums it up.

    We must remember to offer God our obedience rather than our sacrifices. Ms Shulters letter sounds like more of a sacrifice than heartfelt obedience.

    Plus watch out for those old fashion church’s, you may sit in someones “seat” like I did couple of weeks ago…I got daggers thrown at me from a elderly woman! LOL! I didn’t know! Boy she was upset with me…I could tell.:) But no harm no foul!

    Blessings
    Mike

  5. Apologize for spelling Ingrid Shuleters name incorrectly! Sorry!

  6. I can’t speak for Ingrid but personally I believe that she was not talking about a homeless man coming in or someone wearing jeans because thats all they had to wear. The majority of youth today just want to look cool and are more concerned about popularity than doing what God would have them to do. Most people can afford a simple modest dress, skirt, or pair of khakis. You don’t have to be rich to dress appropriately. My husband gets his church clothes from the Salvation army thrift store! The point is if we are there to worship the Lord its not about a fashion show or being cool its about God and being obedient to Him. Our culture has completely forgotten a little word called modesty. We should be more concerned about causing our brothers to stumble than worrying about whether or not we look “hot”. Simple modest attire should be the norm for worship.

  7. When I go to church, am I worshiping God to “get something” out of it? Is that my motive? Or am I going there to WORSHIP HIM? To offer my best to HIM? Too many me-centered churches with little or no expository PREACHING from the Bible creates weak, flaccid and numb “Christians” who offer polluted and confused sacrifices to the LORD. And there will be tares among the wheat! There will be a great falling away. Jesus asks, “will I find faith in the world?” A revival, if we are to see revival, has to bring proper worship back to GOD. How do we know what God expects of us in our worship, and in His church? Read what He says in Malachi:

    Malachi 1:7-14 – “Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts. Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name [shall be] great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen. “

  8. Ingrid is right on the mark with this, so many professing believers have forgotten what ‘reverence’ means. We take lightly the holiness of our Great and Awesome God. To fall down prostrate before Him is unheard of in this self-centered society. To cover one’s self in dust and ashes would be too demeaning to the ego. When a truly godly man or woman, such as Ingrid, brings to light our Christianity ‘lite’, the first accusation that flies out of many mouths is, ‘this person is causing division’. NONSENSE! It is not about us, it is about worshiping a HOLY GOD!!! Where is the fear, where is the reverence due? How many truly understand the character of God, His mercy, His holiness, His grace, His power, His patience?
    Re-read Ingrid’s post, she does NOT say putting an arm around a loved one is taboo. She says,” I also don’t want to see all the variations on lovers’ back rubs where Chuck and Sue take turns massaging each other’s neck and shoulders during the sermon so everyone behind them is completely distracted.” Let’s refrain from adding to or taking away from the original post!
    When we ‘read’ more into something that what’s actually there, that may be where the accusation of ‘division’ comes from.
    We would all be blessed by studying each character of God; Paul Washer has a study entitled ‘the One True God’ which will bless all who partake of it. His sermon, ‘the ten indictments’ will also bless all who hear.

  9. i wish every church in canada and the usa. would get this sent to there pastors, and then have the pastors preach it till there voice is gone, then mabay people will get the mesg.

  10. I do not write this with the intention to cause division or strife, but when my Lord places a message on my heart I cannot keep quiet.

    Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
    James 1:27

    It breaks my heart to see that in a world where majority of the global population lives in poverty and war, where orphans are ignored and widows are left vulnerable, where most children don’t even have the luxury of clean drinking water, where women are raped and husbands are killed… Those who claim to be FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST actually waste their precious time, a limited commodity given to them by God, complaining about having to “sing songs off a wall, the same five notes, over and over and over and over again.” Really? I don’t think this is the great tragedy that our Lord is mourning over. What did Jesus spend His time on Earth doing? Did it have anything to do with correcting music or clothing choices among His followers? I just don’t understand the church’s preoccupation with petty matters that aren’t given ANY attention by the Savior they claim to worship or the scriptures they claim to follow. Is this really the message you want the pastors to preach “till their voice is gone?”

    What message did Jesus preach until HIS voice was gone? Can’t you hear His holy voice, while He knocks so persistently on your door? Read your Bible. Align your heart with the true and scriptural passions and sorrows of God. Make a real difference in this world, and eternity, for Christ!

    But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
    John 4:23

  11. I don’t overly agree with this…some points yes. But I think we all have to remember that God doesn’t need us to stand up and sing, sit down, stand up… He just desires us to willing meet with his people to learn, to build each other up, to reach out to the people around us. I think God wants us to let go of all the earthly things we cling to, like our belief that “church has to be THIS way, or else its not honouring God” and embrace worshiping God how HE wants. Not how we want.

  12. zhara, i gess you don,t read your bible, what ingrid is saying is we go to church to worship the kings of kings, we don,t go to here drums so loud we have to plug our ears, to see young people with jeans on with holes in them caps on playing noise called music. or women dress like someone on street corner, minnie skirts, so much makeup on thay look like a christmas tree. men whereing old boots and looking like a hermet, young people with the center of there jeans almost touching the floor.. anyone comeing to the temple of lord can do better than that. and you and everyone else should know that.. we are bring the world into the church. that is not what GOD wants..

  13. I grew up in a church that reverance was taught and displayed by the way folks dressed. I’ve recently started attending a church where the majority in attendance dress in shorts and any old way. I also remember that back in the day that some (not all) would get into taking too much “pride” in what they wore by making fashion statements to the opposite effect…thus making those that couldn’t afford the same feel bad. In my oppinion modesty really IS the best policy. Yes we’ve become too casual these days – it seems, and at the same time you want folks not to be bound by any bondages especially during worship. So, the answer – be modest, not fashionable (or a hottie) and yet don’t get on an ego trip with your clothes or anything else for that matter. BALANCE…just sayin….

  14. Dear Ingrid Schuleter,
    My dear lady, OH HOW I AGREE. Those who dissagree with you must have been born in the 60′s or 70′s. it seems that those who were born in that era have no clue the difference between the Holy Spirit and fleshly emotions. I’m 67 born and raised in the church. My dad was a Nazarene Pastor. The church today has gone from pleasing God to pleasing people. No respect for God or the house of God. If Fanny Crosby could see what is giong on in the church today she would be heart broken. Please dear God come quickly.

    Doris

  15. Brother Aaron, expository preach is great on Wednesday night. That’s what Wednesday night is for, prayer and Bible study.We can’t learn enough about God’s word. But Sunday morning and Sunday night should be topical preaching.Good old fashion down to earth PREACHING. We’re getting an awful lot of head knowledge, but nothing to stir the Holy Spirit to convict us in the areas in our lives that need cleaned up. I’m learning a lot, but I’m Spiritually starving to death.

  16. Targeting folks who were born in the ’60s or ’70s isn’t fair! Many of us born during the early 60′s (1960 to be exact ) feel the same way about you do. Please don’t make generalizations toward anyone born in a different decade…”tradiionalism” can be taken too far.

  17. First of all please read my post as it’s written. I said ” it SEEMS ” I did not say they don’t have a clue.It seems kinda funny you calling yourself an ” old timer” when you were born in 1960 and I was born in 1944. My oldest daughter is only 6 yrs younger than you. Anyhow, being in church all of my life I have seen many changes but never have I seen a change that has brought the kind of change that is in the churches today. During the 70′s is when I noticed the human emotionalism taking over and the Holy Spirit of God leaving. I’ve been in both kinds of services and I do know the difference. I will agree with one thing, we can take tradionalism too far.

  18. “God doesn’t care about clothes, only man”, they say. But the real reason is that it’s just plain easier to cruise into church in jeans or whatever is still lying on the floor from the night before. Dressing up for worship of the Lord would cost them something, however little, and they don’t want to pay it.”

    This bit is completely absurd and ruins the whole piece. This is dangerous ground the writer is treading, taking her man made traditions and accusing those who dont follow them. There was a group in the first century who did this too (hint: it wasn’t the apostles or early church fathers). It is sad that this leaven is so common place in the reformed churches.

    Then reformed institutional Jesus said to the crowd – whoever would come after me must put on dress clothe and sit in a pew for an hour or two.

    Selah.

    -Jim

  19. I believe in dressing up properly for the house of God. I am 47 and my parents raised us up to have decorum in public. Mostly it should be the attitude of a person’s heart. I honestly believe the outer dress of a person reflects the inner attitude of a man or woman who fears God and reverences HIM with all the respect and awe due his name. It’s a privilege to come before God in a public setting..

    Now with all that said, does that mean that we have to be properly dressed in order to worship God?? No we don’t.. We can come before his throne of Grace no matter how we are dressed.

    Personally for me,, I was very tomboyish and although I wore dresses growing up, I always hated wearing them and especially stockings–ESPECIALLY when it’s winter time and that gush of cold wind just stings.. I personally like to dress decently and also be comfortable…

    For men, I’m sure there are many who hate wearing ties..

    What I wonder is, how did the first century church dress and come together? Did they wear their normal clothing as they did all day because they just couldn’t wait to worship the Lord in prayer and in the breaking of bread together or were they caught up in dressing up in a special way or they could not meet together?

  20. VERY WELL SAID! Thank you for stating your comment like you did.

  21. We need to be careful. And think. Does God care what clothes we wear when we come into His presence? Absolutely not (He looks upon the heart). BUT…our attire, body language, speech, behavior can either have a positive or negative influence on our brother’s growth in the knowledge of Christ, as well as a reflection of Christ Himself since Christians are supposed to be representing Him. It is up to me to do all I can to not offend my brother’s conscience. If he/she believes it is a display of greater reverence to wear our “Sunday best” to church, then it is up to me to do that for his/her sake. Not to insist “well, God doesn’t care, so you shouldn’t either, so I’m going to wear my shorts and tank top and you’d better not give me any haughty looks”. Prideful attitude there! Just as I may worship the Lord in my pajamas in bed at night, I wouldn’t go to my job in my pajamas, nor would I appear that way in public. And I would certainly look like a complete idiot is someone snapped a picture of me in public in my pajamas and ran it in the local paper or on the evening news. Then to say “I am a Christian”? To the world, I would be poorly representing Christ. It’s just basic common sense to do that which is most appropriate so that I neither offend my brother, nor bring shame on the name of Christ. With all this in mind, if someone does come to church in, say, shorts, it is up to me not to judge them. But to maintain my own behavior and attitude right before the Lord.

    As for the original post, I too miss the old fashioned church. Not because it was “old fashioned”, nor because it was “more conservative”, nor because the music was “different”, but simply because it represented a time when God wasn’t my buddy, or D.J., or home boy, but rather the Almighty and All-Holy Creator, Savior, and Supreme Judge of the Universe. And His Holy Word was held in one’s hand as the greatest gift one could possess, and through which one lived daily. When holiness was sought (not mocked and ridiculed like today). When people looked forward to worship (yes, actually worshiping God) and fellowship, rather than to hit the church exit just as soon as they possibly could to get on with their football or shopping. It was from that old fashioned church that people showed Christ to the world in speech and behavior. It was from that old fashioned church that people had compassion on the poor and needy, and cared for widows and the elderly. It was from there that missionaries went worldwide out of love for the lost, proclaiming the uncompromised truth of the Scriptures.

  22. Just to be clear, I too miss the old fashioned church. Not the one founded in the 1500′s reformation but the one founded in the book of Acts. -Jim

  23. I agree with Doris on all points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What have they done to the churches??????????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And shame on the traditional ones for trying to go with the flow and keep up with them!!

  24. “Why are we so arrogant as to think we don’t need those wonderful songs any longer?”

    The same reason we are so arrogant that we can set up religous denominations, senior pastors, clerygy-laity, church “services” (religous theatre) and spurn the teachings of Christ and the apostles. I ma finding that most banter from reformed people against seeker sensitive, emergent, etc is not much different than the pharisees banter against the sadducees.

    -Jim

  25. fleebabylon said: ” I ma finding that most banter from reformed people against seeker sensitive, emergent, etc is not much different than the pharisees banter against the sadducees.”

    Wow…that is a pretty generalizing, critical and hypocritical statement…considering you are doing this very same thing to us who are Reformed.

    And about the clothing issue, you sarcastically mentioned above: “Then reformed institutional Jesus said to the crowd – whoever would come after me must put on dress clothe and sit in a pew for an hour or two.”

    The truth is that if people have a true deep, heartfelt, love and respect for the Most High…they would reflect this in all of their behavior. Paul admonished Christians to dress appropriately as well as behave appropriately. There *is* proper behavior for a Christian and that is *not* asking too much nor “bantering”. Of course, no “dress clothes” can truly reflect a person’s heart…but just as you wouldn’t wear sweats or jeans to a wedding ceremony (unless that is the attire/theme of the wedding), you wouldn’t wear them to church…It doesn’t make one a better Christian…It should just reflect a person’s heart (as should one’s clothing at all times).

  26. “The truth is that if people have a true deep, heartfelt, love and respect for the Most High…they would reflect this in all of their behavior. ”

    The scary thing is that someone would equate wearing a suit or tie with heart felt worship as was implied in the OP. Hope you will not be of the same religous mindset that is based more upon the “dress up for the show” traditions of churchianity than on the word of God. To say that wearing jeans is not decent is absurd. Praying you wont be bound by the traditions of churchianity Katy. God bless -Jim

    —————-
    “Paul admonished Christians to dress appropriately as well as behave appropriately.”

    He doesnt tell them to dress up in suits though. I know many dress up out of a pure heart, but if they look down on those who wear decent jeans and a dress shirt or something like that you can be sure they are hypocrites is the order of the pharisees. On the other hand there are those who dress up in immodest jeans and are lacivious, I am sorry if I made it sound like I am sticking up for that. That was my point in the comment about the pharisees banter against the sadducees. There is error on both sides, yet if we follow the spirit of dressing modestly we do not error. The OP suggested otherwise. Hope you can see that. Modesty is based upon the word of God and not causing others to stumble, the comment in the OP is based on the empty traditions of churchianty and not on the word of God.

    God bless you Katy – Jim

  27. Jim,

    I don’t look down on those who wear jeans to church, at all. I honestly don’t notice a lot of what people wear….but when it is obvious that people dress in a way that doesn’t show respect. I feel like so many can have such a flippant, casual attitude about going to church, rather than deep love, respect for, and a true heart-felt desire to worship and fellowship.
    I agree there is error in honestly each of us, in our sinful state…

    If people were dressing “down” (so to speak) because that is all they had…I think it is completely understandable….but just not dressing up because one is too lazy to is a shame. To be honest, my husband wears jeans and dress shirts (and sometimes a tie). Often, my boys will wear the same. We don’t have a lot of dress pants here….I don’t have a negative view of jeans…I guess I just feel that so many can treat the time of worship too casually and disrespectfully and that bothers me. But I do know, also, that some of the same people that are dressed up are not there with a right heart, as well….as clothes don’t make the person.
    I suppose my thoughts were against seeing girls in shorts (or skirts) that are super (duper) short or low cut shirts….or too tight jeans. Often, many teens dress this way to church and their parents dont seem to mind…boggles my mind!

  28. “I suppose my thoughts were against seeing girls in shorts (or skirts) that are super (duper) short or low cut shirts….or too tight jeans. Often, many teens dress this way to church and their parents dont seem to mind…boggles my mind!”

    On that one we agree!

    For me though it would be a sin to wear dress clothe to fellowship, it feels so fake. I question why believers would dress different when going to a sunday service then when coming over to my home for bible study, a meal, out to evangelize, etc. I assume true believers to dress modestly all the time (even a modest pair of jeans) so what is the difference is my question. I view dressing up as an outward symptom of the inward reality of sunday religion, that is, we are something on Sunday that we are not the rest of the week. For example, if you and your husband came to pray at our house every Wednesday and wore jeans I would question “why” if you wore dress clothe on sunday at service.

    I write this a home churcher who has spent more time in the back allies and streets of Detroit over the past five years preaching to gang members then in a steeple houses sitting through sunday service (that usually resembles a roman catholic mass more than it does a living new testament body). In that sense a dress shirt and a pair or jeans (same thing I wear to work) is very modest and appropriate dress.

    To be clear I am not coming against those who dress up, but questioning the reason for it in many. Maybe Ingrid just mis-stated her position in the OP and only wanted to stress modesy, but it doesn’t read that way.

    Thank you for the kind response anyway Katy, I appreciate much of what you write here.

  29. I think a LOT has to do with how a person is raised. My dad especially being in the army always wearing suit type pants taught us to always dress up for Church… shoot, I can remember when my brother John was grown up and on his own wearing jeans. He’d come over to visit at home and my dad would somehow always mention (I thought rudely) that he didn’t care for him wearing jeans all the time. I saw nothing wrong with it myself and this was at home.

    As far as it goes for Church, if it’s on a Sunday I believe one should dress up appropriately. If someone doesn’t but they are still modest I don’t think we should place the emphasis on their dress but look to Christ and love them regardless.

    I think for some people like Ingrid I get the impression that they are raised to be very appropriate in their dress and have proper decorum.

    I don’t think it proper if your status is to “look down” on others simply because you were raised to obey a law or rule in your family. It’s trying to fit people into your expectations.

    My father did that often as if his opinion was always right and that everyone else was wrong and would complain and carp some. He would complain when people had trees cut down in their yards or if someone didn’t like something he liked —it’s a matter of PREFERENCE and it doesn’t make it wrong. We all have to be careful in that area.

    LOVE should be what drives you really. I’ve met people who are very sophisticated and seem to have this air about them that they think everyone should be the way they were raised or else they are improper…

    It should be the attitude of our hearts and if Christ is reigning in our hearts.

  30. I agree Linda :) That was well put.

    Thank you Jim for your kind response as well! :)

    Warmly,
    Katy

  31. Why do seniors always dress in the most beautiful clothes when going to the prom. ?
    Why do people dress up so proper to see the President.?
    Why do people have on their very best to go to a banquet.?
    And I could go on and on. So why don’t we give God and the house of God as much respect. ? Jesus is the one who died for us yet all He get’s is the crumbs. Shame on us !!

  32. “So why don’t we give God and the house of God as much respect. ?”

    Because those who worship the Lord worship in Spirit nad in truth. Doris, do you dress up and sit in a pew on Sunday morning?

    Kindly – Jim

  33. Yes I do sir. I grew up in a Nazarene Pastors home and I was taught after what Jesus did for us He deserves our very best even in our dress. I’ve been commeneded for it and have been told I look like a real lady and I represent Jesus well. Btw, all of my clothes are second hand.

  34. Doris –
    Good for you! I encourage you to remain true to your conscience to honor the Lord and to represent Jesus to the best you are able. That’s what we all must do.

  35. Can’t remember who said this but I thought it was well put –

    “If your clothing is a frame for your face from which the glory of Christ springs forth, it is of GOD. but if your clothing is just a frame for your BODY it is sensual and God hates it.”

  36. “. I grew up in a Nazarene Pastors home and I was taught after what Jesus did for us He deserves our very best even in our dress.”

    I feel sorry for you on both counts, there is no point in continuing this conversation. May Jesus lead you away from the teachings of the pharisees. I am not saying you cant dress as you see fit, but just like the OP, to do so with that spirit is a lot like Mark 7:9.

  37. This is a very interesting conversation on an ooooold post…back to 2008.

    These topics burden my heart greatly. I agree that we should dress appropriately and respectfully at church. However, the second we start focusing on what people are wearing, we lose the Gospel.

    We could dress in 3 piece suits and beautiful dresses and be horridly offensive to God in our unrepentant pride and self-righteousness. If we think our appearance, the way we dress, or our decorum does anything to establish standing with God, we are sadly mistaken. All our righteous deeds are filthy rags (Is 64)…all our righteous deeds. Not the bad deeds, but the righteous deeds. If our focus becomes about what we wear vs what others wear, we’ve lost the Gospel.

    Mature Christians should be mature enough to dress “appropriately” to church. I define appropriately as Paul & Moses do: don’t dress like a prostitute or one of the opposite sex (1 Tim 2, 1 Pet 3 & Deut 22). That leaves a lot of freedom. There are so many lost souls and baby Christians who don’t know any better and need our guidance to learn to back away from worldly standards and fashion styles. This requires relationships and teaching and discipleship…it requires the gospel first. When the heart is changed, they will begin to desire to dress different. But we must be cautious of letting that pendulum swing to far where then these same ones begin to find merit in the way they dress.

    If we reach a point were we see merit and holiness in our attire, we are just as bad as those who dress like slobs and prostitutes. Our only hope is to be centered on Christ. We need to put on Christ (Col 3, Eph 4 & 6, Gal 3).

    In Christ alone,
    -atg

  38. Linda said:

    “If your clothing is a frame for your face from which the glory of Christ springs forth, it is of GOD. but if your clothing is just a frame for your BODY it is sensual and God hates it.”

    That was brother Paul Washers wife. Thats not really the problem on this thread though, all comments are based on the assumption that people are dressing modestly. The issue is dressing up. Dressing up and dressing modest are two mutually exclusive issues as far as this thread goes.

    The pharisees liked to dress up.

    God bless -Jim

  39. Very well put, ATG. A good balance.

    I don’t know if this has already been expressed, so forgive me if I’m being redundant here. But I offer this thought. There are those of my parent’s generation who put on their “Sunday best” for church, not thinking it in any makes them more “holy” or righteous, but because it is their way of having reverence and respect for God and Who He is. It also is their way of saying, “By going to church, I stand out to the world as a Christian. I therefore don’t want to give them a negative impression of Christianity by sloppy attire, lest I give Christ a bad name”. It is an honorable concern. For them, to come to church in work or leisure clothes.is not only to give Christ a bad name, but to show that worshiping God is no more important than cutting the lawn, or going fishing. Their concern is not on themselves looking good to the world, but on not making Christ look bad. I believe so much of the church today has lost this honorable and commendable mindset. Not that we have to dress to the hilt on Sunday whether we want to or not, that’s missing the point. But those who do put on their “Sunday best” should not be judged by appearance as “stuffy”, “proud” or labelled a “pharisee”. That’s an unrighteous judgment.

  40. “But those who do put on their “Sunday best” should not be judged by appearance as “stuffy”, “proud” or labelled a “pharisee”. That’s an unrighteous judgment.”

    However, those who write things such as this quote from the OP invite the label.. teaching the doctrines of reformed churchianity as if they are the doctrines of God.

    But the real reason is that it’s just plain easier to cruise into church in jeans or whatever is still lying on the floor from the night before. Dressing up for worship of the Lord would cost them something, however little, and they don’t want to pay it.

  41. My Concern is for someone who is not saved and is poor with raggy smelly clothes or just plain dress and walks into a Church and sits down how are we going to view him? Are we going to see past his dress and see his need for the Gospel? Are we going to view him and judge him??

    Btw, didn’t James say something about this?

    Jam 2:1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.
    Jam 2:2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in.

    Jam 2:3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,”

    Jam 2:4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

    Jam 2:5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

    Jam 2:6 But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?

  42. fleebabylon, I don’t understand. Why do you feel sorry for me on both counts ? And what spirit do you think I have.?

    Thank you RS. People can come to church how ever they so choose. That’s between them and God. As for me, I have a deep conviction that I owe Jesus my very best in my service to Him and in my dress. I want to give of my best to the Master. I don’t have to answer for anyone else but myself.

  43. A couple of verses come to mind: “And whatsoever ye do in word or in deed do all to the glory of God.” and “Avoid the appearance of evil.” and “Be not conformed to this world…”. The churches are conforming to this world to gain numbers in people and money. The main job of the church is spiritual. The great commission: “Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature ….” I totally agree with the writer, even if I myself fall short many times. We should dress in our cleanness and best manner to show reverence to our Creator and Savior when we go to church to worship Him. When is the last time your heard, “A Mighty Bulwark is our God” by Martin Luther in church. There are so many powerful, uplifting, and beautiful hymns. I do not believe Christian rock edifies the body of Christ which is the church. Another verse comes to mind: “You cannot hold hands with Satan and with God”. “Satan walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour”. “Those who follow Christ will be persecuted.” “The elders are suppose to teach the younger ones.” “The natural man received not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them because he is spiritually discerned.” “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.” “Not to add anything to the word or take anything away.” “Fornication is a sin against your own body.” Preachers are afraid to preach the gospel, “which is foolishness” to the world. Preach the word, sing spiritual songs, if it drives out all your church members; perhaps, they were never saved or born again to begin with. Churches are not suppose to be “social clubs” that are conforming to the world and whose main mission is meeting the physical needs of the world. We are to “put on the whole armor of God” b/c we are fighting a spiritual war with Satan and the world that has rejected God. This is no small matter, but “with God all things are possible”. If your clothing causes a person to lust, you should rethink your wardrobe. “Pray without ceasing.” We as Christians need to stop attacking each other and just pray about everything. If you are saved, you are indwelled with the Holy Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit convict. The closer you try to get to God, Satan will be there attacking you all the way, but call upon Jesus to protect you and overcome the wiles of Satan. Finally, I have been distracted by people cracking gum in church and even talking while the preacher was praying — the is not of God, Satan is in the mist. Even after asking them to stop talking and looking at the gum cracker several times they did not stop. Or the church is all about legalism and control and not letting the Holy Spirit do the work of conviction. We are in the last days. All my verses are paraphrases from the KJV of the New Testament in the Bible.

  44. To repost a previous point:

    “I question why believers would dress different when going to a sunday service then when coming over to my home for bible study, a meal, out to evangelize, etc. I assume true believers to dress modestly all the time (even a modest pair of jeans) so what is the difference is my question. I view dressing up as an outward symptom of the inward reality of sunday religion, that is, we are something on Sunday that we are not the rest of the week. For example, if you and your husband came to pray at our house every Wednesday and wore jeans I would question “why” if you wore dress clothe on sunday at service. ”

    Jesus, in His earthly ministry, met a woman who was very confused about religious traditions, this is what He shared with her:

    John 4:23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    Unlike modesty, dressing up is never taught in the NT, and is more closely equated with the pharisees than anything else. Again, I dont judge anyone who dresses up, but what was said in the the OP and on some of the comments sure give us reason to pause. It shows that many people who pride themselves in their doctrinal purity may not have a clue what church is and what worship is.

    -Jim

  45. As I have stated before, my reason for ” dressing up” has everything to do with the House of God. If I were to go see the President, I would not wear jeans and sneakers, nor would I wear short’s. I would wear the very best that I have out of respect for the office He holds. So why shouldn’t I do the same or much better for the only person who died for me, Jesus. And yes, it does come from my heart.

  46. “As I have stated before, my reason for ” dressing up” has everything to do with the House of God.”

    The house of God are His saints, not a building that is called a “church”. God does not dwell in templese built with human hands though churchianity keeps constructing them in the hope that he will. If you are truly converted you are just as much in the house of God when meeting a couple of sisters for coffee (and probably more so) as when you go to a building set aside for religious purposes on Sunday morning. Do you dress different on Sunday morning then you do the rest of the week, from your next sentence I would think yes? Why? Do you only “really” meet Jesus on Sunday morning? That is old testament at best, roman catholic at worse, but still misses the mark of what Christ died for either way. Honest questions.

    “I would wear the very best that I have out of respect for the office He holds. ”

    John 4:23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    -Jim

  47. I miss worded my first sentence;
    I meant to say,My reason for dressing up has everything to do with giving respect to God and the building in which I worship Him.
    How would you dress to go visit the President ?

  48. “and the building in which I worship Him.”

    So you only worship God at a special building?

    “How would you dress to go visit the President ?”

    How would you go when you are visiting your friend?

  49. fleebabylon, honestly,,how do you dress when you go to church? How do you dress when you visit your friends? I think you are being a bit disingenuous to Doris. why all the badgering?

    Most people dress nicely going to Church and when they get home get into some casual comfortable clothes… It doesn’t make us hypocrites to do so

  50. Linda-

    “I think you are being a bit disingenuous to Doris. why all the badgering?”

    I am sorry you feel that way, she came back and posted to me though so I find your comment a bit disingenuous too. The logical conclusion on saying I dress up to worship God on Sunday is that I am not “really” worshipping God on other days, when I am not at a building dedicated to religious purposes. My questions are all very valid throughout the whole thread and the only reason nobody can answer them is because of blinding tradition. This has everything to do with what the Church is, what true fellowship is, and what God requires of us. What is sad is that nobody can have a biblical conversation with me about it.

    Linda, if you came to my house for bible study and break bread with us, would you dress up less then you do on Sunday? If so, why? Being able to look at these things honestly could help a lot of church goers be freed from unhealthy doctrines of men adn experience new testament christianity.
    God bless -Jim

    A friend of mine wrote this

    When Jesus is your life…
    then it is completely natural to talk about Him and the things which He is interested in, at any time. It would be completely natural for you to “have church” at any time, on any day or night, or while you’re driving along with the saints in your car (like we did yesterday).

    If He is not our life, then it won’t be natural, rather, it will be forced and unnatural : we will think that to talk about Jesus is for specially allocated “religious” times.

    When Jesus is our LIFE, then prayer and worship and fellowship is as natural as breathing.

    Life in Jesus is always a principle of LIFE.

    Only His Life begets Life. The flesh profits nothing.

    I’ve got to add one more thing as my wife and I are talking about this tonight. The reason nobody can answer the question about why they would not dress up the same when coming to another believers house to pray or study is because they are trained by organized religion to think that is not really church. Like the roman catholics have a strange affection for religious icons, so do protestants for their buildings. They even call them churches proving that they do not have a clue what the body of Christ, the ecclesia really is.

    Is your life not lived in spiritual worship for God the father through Jesus Christ everyday?
    Is he not really present where two or three are gathered?

    The Lord is calling many to finish the reformation in their lives and get rid of roman catholic practices. Praying that some would think about my questions and I am sorry for sounding like I am picking on you Doris.

    God bless, seek out God on these things and use His word only to judge, not your traditions that you were raised with.

    -Jim

  51. James 2:2-4–”If there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?”

  52. fleebabylon, I find it ironic that you are judging her faith by how Doris dresses is all

  53. How much should worship be sacred and expressed in holiness, and how much should worship be contextually influenced and aimed at reaching the secular culture. While it is impossible to remove all cultural influences out of worship, the church should never purposefully shape its worship to resemble customs of secular culture (especially the unholy culture of pop-America). Worship to a holy God, by a holy people should always be holy in its nature, practice, expression and in outward form.

    A. Worship is holy by its very nature because worship is a sacred and holy act that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and is directed to a holy God. That is, looking at the theology of worship, we learn that worship comes from a heart that has been sanctified by the truth. Worship takes place when God meets man in their cultural context and then sanctifies them by the truth that they may move into the presence of God who dwells in heavenly places. Worship, in other words, is leaving the courtyard of this world through the veil of Christ Jesus into the holy of holies.

    B. Worship must be holy in practice because God does not receive the praises of men when they harbor sin within their heart (Ps 66:18). Those who seek to worship God must first acknowledge, confess and repent of their sins, before they can left up their praises to a holy God in an acceptable way (John 5:24).

    C. Worship must be holy in its expression because it is a fearful thing to enter into the presence of a holy God. Worship is never a causal affair, for we are not entering into the presence of merely a man, but a transcendent and holy God.

    D. Worship must be holy in its outward form because God many have died (both in the Old and New Testament) because they did not approach God in a holy and acceptable fashion. If the outward form of worship did not matter, why did God tell Moses to take off his shoes when Moses came close to the burning bush?

    It is a false premise to think that worship needs to be “culturally contextualized” to be more effective in reaching the culture. This is because what is meant by contextualization is not making the gospel plain and easy to understand, but making the gospel more appealing and attractive to society by integrating secular sounding music, a hip and cool Jesus, and trendy fashions into worship. The more secular the worship, it seems the more society will worship. The problem, however, is that true worship will never be enjoyable by secular culture. Churches can aid the unconverted in enjoying a secular style of worship that appeals to the senses, but they can never cause them to enjoy and delight themselves in the holiness of God. If anything, the world should feel uncomfortable and convicted in the presence of God. Holiness in worship may not equal the antiquated and puritanical costumes of the past, but holiness also does not include the desire to mimic the pop culture of Hollywood and MTV—a culture that is so overtly associated with rebellion and ungodliness. Those who want to know where the dividing line is (the line that separates holiness form worldliness), are generally those who want to see how close they can come to that edge. Rather, the church should desire to be pure in every detail of its worship—everything that is questionable, offensive, risqué, edgy, or even a little shady should be avoided (1 Thess 5:22).

    May the Lord help the church from being conformed to the world, and may God’s people forever seek to worship in purity by the power of the Spirit and the enlightenment of His Word.

  54. I have to comment that I *do* dress the same daily and at church. I wear skirts and tops every day and use those very same ones to wear to church. Back in the day, people had every day clothes and church clothes. Their every day clothes were worn and beaten up from working hard through the week (doing all they did to the glory of God) and they desired to save one set of clothes for an actual time of fellowship/worship with other believers. They would wear these clothes to attend other social events too. It wasn’t a matter of always thinking you were high and lofty….it was just a way to try and show respect. Their hearts weren’t in the wrong place…(albeit some may have been…but not all folks). It’s not about thinking you are better than anyone else because you have better clothes or are dressier than another person.

    fourpointer, I believe in context, that verse is referring to people who have dirty rags for clothes (and are poor) and playing favorites with the wealthy due to that. People choosing to dress sloppily for church just because they are too complacent or lazy to actually dress decently is a completely different subject. Can you say that you would attend a high scale restaurant with your spouse in your work clothes?

    I’m not saying people should dress to the nines…All I believe is being said is that appearance can be a reflection of the heart.

  55. God bless you for taking the time to answer in an honest, intelligent, biblical, and Christ honoring way sister Katy. Your views are in-line with many sisters I know who we home fellowship with. As I said before, I am not judging those who dress up, but the unbiblical reasoning that is often behind it.

    “All I believe is being said is that appearance can be a reflection of the heart.”

    For sure, but Jesus actually speaks against those who dress up and never against those who do not (again, assuming both parties are modest). That is why I lean to one side over the other on this issue.

    Luke 20:46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,

    Matthew 23:5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,

    In Christ -Jim

    ————————-

    Todd,

    “May the Lord help the church from being conformed to the world, and may God’s people forever seek to worship in purity by the power of the Spirit and the enlightenment of His Word.”

    For sure, and may he keep us from the customs of roman catholicism, and the error of the pharisees. The reformation took many customs of romen and many church people make void the commandments of God by the commandments of the institutional church.

    Also, you said:
    “D. Worship must be holy in its outward form because God many have died (both in the Old and New Testament) because they did not approach God in a holy and acceptable fashion. If the outward form of worship did not matter, why did God tell Moses to take off his shoes when Moses came close to the burning bush?”

    Are you refreing to dress here? We are to dress modest but beyond that any command to dress up is a doctrine of man and not God.

    In Christ -Jim

  56. Jim,

    I definitely agree with you there…but I do believe Jesus was in all actuality speaking of those who dressed up without having the loving, humble, God-honoring heart to go along with it. :) But I do totally understand what you mean. :)

    I think, as Christians, we need to make sure our hearts on right first and foremost….and the dressing of our bodies will fall in line with that. :)

    Kindly,
    Katy :o)

  57. Katy,

    The point James was making was that we are not to judge others simply because they don’t wear the shiny clothes and fancy jewelry we think people need to wear in order to worship God. In fact I don’t recall anywhere that the Bible says we are supposed to get “dressed up” for church. “Come unto Me all who are weary and heavy laden–just make sure you’re wearing your best.” All those who came to Jesus Himself to worship Him came as they were–not with expensive clothes but in what they had.

    Fact is, clothing can become a source of pride–not only in those who wear t-shirts and jeans but in those who “dress up”. They tend to look down on those who don’t meet their standards. There is even a church in our area who will turn people away for not dressing up fancy enough. We should dress in a way that does not draw attention to ourselves. We should also not look down on others for not living up to any man-made dress code.

  58. What do you do when you are in a place like Africa where even the pastor may only own one set of clothes to do his farming in, and then one set that he wears whenever he is not in the field? Anything wrong with this? No, of course not. The position of the heart has nothing to do with what he is wearing unless his purposes for wearing one set of clothes over another are motivated by something that is not Scriptural. If he chooses to wear the best he has, then let him do so in a way that does not reflect dismay or looking down on another who does not “wear” what he deems to be the best available.

    I believe where the line must be drawn further is when a person comes into church with the intention of showing off what their finery or even flaunting their body and being a distraction to others. The person who does this is wrong. I have been in churches out west where everybody wears their cowboy boots, jeans (of course, and a hat!) to church, and some of them even pack a sidearm! Nobody thought a thing about it. However, a person who had walked in with an Armani suit and $300 wingtip shoes would be VERY much out of place and would bring attention to themselves.

    On the other hand, I have been to churches where jeans were anathema, where men and women had to conform to a certain dress code even to sing in the choir. Yet, one of the young ladies would get up to sing a special in a dress that left little to the imagination.

    fleebabylon, I think that there is definitely a misperception of what church is just as you have said. I think though that you may err on the wrong side of the equation. Three sisters meeting for coffee is NOT church, although it may be a time of worship. Likewise, the use of the verse from Matthew 18 about where 2 or 3 are gathered together is probably one of the most misused and abused verses. In context, the passage is referring to the matter of church discipline. Jesus does not have in mind here a natter over your favorite mocha or latte.

    While I am in full agreement that “church” has nothing to do with a building, but everything to do with the people who actually make up the body of Christ, I also want to make sure that in our striving to get away from “organized” settings that we have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. By all means, we must seek to remember 1 Cor. 10:31 and in all things do it to the glory of God, but not to the forsaking of the assembling of ourselves together as more and more are doing. Sadly, many are not avoiding meeting together because of issues with flags or pictures on the walls, but because they simply do not want to be in submission to the elders in a local gathering of believers.

    TJM

  59. Brother-

    Sorry if I came across wrong. What I meant by this “If you are truly converted you are just as much in the house of God when meeting a couple of sisters for coffee (and probably more so) as when you go to a building set aside for religious purposes on Sunday morning.” is that what takes place on a typical sunday morning service is no closer to a NT gathering then what takes place when just a few brethren are gathered together to fellowship. Sunday morning, even in most reformed churches is not the “gathering together” that the apostles taught. It is no closer than sisters meeting for coffee, and it may be further imho.

    “Three sisters meeting for coffee is NOT church”

    If by church you mean it is not the NT weekly meeting that we see in scripture than I agree, and again apologize if I made it sound that way. However, it is Church in the sense of brethren gathered together. We truly are the Church, not a building or institution, so 2 or 3 gathered is the the Church even if there are no elders there at the time. Of course it is not the full expression of the Church though as in the larger assembly.

    “Jesus does not have in mind here a natter over your favorite mocha or latte.”

    And Jesus never has in mind denominations, the made up position called senior pastor, men using religious titles, dressing to impress, a clergy-laity divide, saints being stunted in pews rather then built up through a many membered body functioning in its gifts, etc.

    Peace in Christ to all true brethren trying to walk in the light that they have on these matters. I would only the charge that so many traditions come from Rome and not the apostles or our Lord Jesus Christ. These traditions keep many saints from walking in the same reality the early Church did.

    God bless you JM. -Jim

  60. Amen TJM. What may be acceptable in one country– in fact even from state to state –can be quite different. And besides, I don’t recall seeing a formalized dress code anywhere in Scripture.

  61. fleebabylon, I agree with what you have stated. We have become a system in many cases that resembles the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. Very sad indeed to see how far we have come from the picture of a New Testament church, and how close we resemble the traditions of Rome in far too many areas. Thanks for your clarification.

    Every blessing, TJM

  62. fleebabylon said, “And besides, I don’t recall seeing a formalized dress code anywhere in Scripture.”–Great point. I wholeheartedly agree….

    THIS is why I look back to the Church in Acts.. They MET eagerly and with great JOY to pray and break bread to grow and fellowship with one another. I’m certain they weren’t even thinking about dressing up as we do. I’m pretty sure they didn’t go and put on their Sunday dress. I believe that they went and gathered together with what they had always dressed in..

  63. I agree TJM…we definitely need to dress in a way that does not draw attention to our bodies and that in certain places, certain manners of dressing were viewed differently. I do understand what everyone is saying about there not being a dress code for church…and I agree. I don’t mean to sound like I am judgmental at all.
    I always just saw it as a respectable thing to do…but my husband (and sons) wear jeans and dress shirts to church. Maybe I am wrong…I don’t know?

  64. Katy, maybe part of our problem is the way we view worship. If we believe that we are only worshipping God on a Sunday at a gathering in a particular building, then it does make sense to dress the best. However, Scripture makes it clear that ALL we do is to be done to the glory of God. Further, worship collectively is to be but a reflection of what has taken place Monday – Saturday in our own personal and family worship. If our lives have reflected true worship through the week, then our hearts will be in the right frame of mind to worship collectively with our brethren. Further, we will come to such gatherings dressed in a manner that does not bring any attention to ourselves or distract from the purpose of that gathering, namely, worship of the true, holy, righteous, sovereign God of the Universe.

    Therefore, women will not dress provocatively in any way, children will not be allowed to wear t-shirts that bring attention to a fad or with words that do not exalt Christ, and men will not dress down simply because they are doing so in an effort to get away with whatever they can in order to be as casual as the hip-cool-relevant “pastor” types that “grace” our screens. However, that kind of attire will ALWAYS become more and more acceptable when that kind of attire is allowed through the week. So, you see, we have brought these problems upon ourselves and our churches because it is acceptable for men, women and children to dress during the week in a way that brings attention to themselves; therefore, they have been taught that they have a “right” to go to church in the same way.

    Further thoughts are always welcome.

  65. Yes, I definitely see what you mean TJM. It all has really given me something to think and pray about. Thank you (to each of you). :)

  66. TJM, wonderful explanation. I agree

  67. TJM-

    You write so much better than I do:

    “Scripture makes it clear that ALL we do is to be done to the glory of God. Further, worship collectively is to be but a reflection of what has taken place Monday – Saturday in our own personal and family worship.”

    This is why I originally questioned the idea that we should dress up for Jesus when the dressing up being mentioned involves Sunday only. The OT called for one day a week and ten percent of our increase. Jesus calls us to forsake everything we have or we can not be this disciple. If we are not really living for Jesus the rest of the week then no amount of dressing up can cover over the lack of reality of Christ within us.

    Of course there are two sides to this issue (at least), one is being modest and not dressing sensually, not trying to be cool, etc. The other is not dressing to impress or show off. What Peter writes here flies in the face of the idea that we should dress up our very best like we do to go “see the president”. For every church tradition that is unhealthy there is a clear word in scripture to steer us back in hte right direction.

    1Peter 3:3 Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear– but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

    Likewise

    1Timothy 2:9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness–with good works.

    From Matthew Henry CC:

    “Under the gospel, prayer is not to be confined to any one particular house of prayer, but men must pray every where. We must pray in our closets, pray in our families, pray at our meals, pray when we are on journeys, and pray in the solemn assemblies, whether more public or private. We must pray in charity; without wrath, or malice, or anger at any person. We must pray in faith, without doubting, and without disputing. Women who profess the Christian religion, must be modest in apparel, not affecting gaudiness, gaiety, or costliness. Good works are the best ornament; these are, in the sight of God, of great price. Modesty and neatness are more to be consulted in garments than elegance and fashion. And it would be well if the professors of serious godliness were wholly free from vanity in dress.”

    In Christ -Jim

  68. @fleebabylon/Jim

    I wasn’t specifically referring to dress in worship in my last comment here last week. I was moreso addressing the seemingly endless pragmatic approaches taken by ministries today to “win the world.” Look at nearly every church in America today. They are, by and large, chock full of “praise bands,” “worship teams,” rock-style music, “casualness,” “coolness,” “trendiness,” programs galore to meet the needs (individually) of every person there, “come as you are” attitudes, “relaxed,” have a cappucino, lowered lighting, skits, dance (interpretive or impromptu), several minutes of announcements of all the activities which are going-on (or will occur), updates on other “outreach” ministries the church may be involved with, and very little, if any, reflection upon, prior to the worship service, what’s about to take place – namely communing with a three times holy, holy, holy God.

    Now, do I believe how one dresses for worship is important? Yes, and I concur with the comments already shared by TJM, Katy, yourself, and others. My point was more dealing with the comments of the original post/topic as it relates to proper churchmanship, worship, and the regulative principle thereof.

    Todd
    Texas

  69. Fleebabylon, Sir, would you mind answering the question for me ?
    If you went to see the President, how would you dress ?

  70. Doris, I would like to answer this question as well. I was raised with this type of mentality about dressing up to meet the President or the Queen of England. The point that we forget is that they stand on formality when it comes to meeting with them. However, the reality is that we who are true believers are children of the Most High God. We have the distinct privilege of coming into His presence ALL the time ANY time no matter what we are wearing. The point is that if I were to go as a British citizen to meet Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I would be REQUIRED to dress in a certain manner. BUT, if I was one of her children or grandchildren, no such dress requirements would be made of me. Further, to finish the analogy, God does NOT require a certain dress standard of us in order to come into His abiding presence. Hope this will help clarify a few thoughts others have expressed as well.

  71. “Fleebabylon, Sir, would you mind answering the question for me ?
    If you went to see the President, how would you dress ?”

    And this is the crux right here… the president is my father. He adopted me into his family about ten years ago. I am no longer a servant in bondage to religion, to types, to forshadows, and most of all the commandments of churchianity. Christ lives within me and my life is hidden in him.

    So, to be clear on your analogy: A stranger (religious church memeber) dresses up to go visit the president but a son abides in his house always. All true believers are sons and daughters of the living God.

    Heb 12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.

    Eph 1:5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

    Gal 3:24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

    Matthre 22:17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

  72. TJM & Fleebabylon, I think you guys have done an excellent job in describing the concern of where our heart is in regard to such issues. I think this scripture from Isaiah brings it full circle to see how God calls us and how we come…

    [55:1] “Come, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
    and he who has no money,
    come, buy and eat!
    Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
    [2] Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
    Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.
    [3] Incline your ear, and come to me;
    hear, that your soul may live;
    and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    my steadfast, sure love for David.
    [4] Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander for the peoples.
    [5] Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
    and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
    because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has glorified you.
    (Isaiah 55:1-5 ESV)

    Come to Him WITHOUT money and WITHOUT price..

    Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread…

    for the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for HE has glorified you…

    What a savior we have.

    In Christ’s love,
    atg

  73. I have a better understanding now. Thank you guys :).

  74. If you went to see the President, how would you dress ?

    Apples, meet oranges.

    Besides, that would depend on what the situation is. When the Super Bowl champions (or World Series champions, or NBA champions, etc) meet the President, they wear their uniforms. However, for a State dinner, one would dress up. Because that is the requirement. However, God does not have a set of requirements for what we are to wear to worship Him. Otherwise, He would have cast away many who came and worshipped at His feet.

    What you have presented, while a fine human sentiment, is nothing more than that–sentiment. Show me the Scripture that says we are supposed to wear our fanciest clothes to church. Until then, your argument is invalid.

  75. TJM, re: your point about the Queen. You are exactly right about the way her children can come to her in private (I presume — never having been in their private apartments, who knows? :)).

    So we can conclude that we can come to the Lord privately wearing whatever we happen to be wearing. I’m not sure that’s relevant to this discussion. For public occasions designed to honour her, her children do dress formally. Whether that is done because she requires it or because they wish to do so to show respect to her, I do not know.
    ***

    Does God have expectations? God has expectations about EVERYTHING. :)

    The most obvious ones have been mentioned (though I’ve not read every comment). We should not tempt brothers or sisters by wearing things that tempt them to think thoughts they should not think — it is uncharitable (even if it is THEIR fault for thinking that way).

    We should be serious-minded (please don’t wear a Mickey Mouse shirt to preach, and if you don’t know who I’m talking about, you are fortunate). Does this mean a tie? Where I live, it does when I’m preaching — but we had a man in our church who couldn’t for health reasons, and it didn’t stop us from having him preach. That would have been silly. For him, it wouldn’t have been serious-minded for him TO wear a tie.

    We should be doing all things decently and in order — that is going to be, in many cases, culturally-driven as to what is decent and orderly. It would be entirely appropriate for a man to wear a kilt to our services, but in Liberia, it would presumably be attention-getting and not orderly (and probably way, way too hot besides). I wear a black suit for funerals, and I dress up for weddings, too — especially when I’m the one that’s hitchin’ ‘em. It’s expected, so it would be disorderly and uncharitable to do otherwise.

    We should be charitable in our dress. I believe a woman’s long hair is a covering for her. When we visit a fellowship that believes an external head-covering is required for a woman, my wife wears a hat or scarf. It doesn’t mean we believe as they do. They don’t require it. We just do it out of charity for their honestly-held convictions. Love covers a lot of problems.

    Our church has no dress code. But there are too many passages that mention appearance for us to say that the Lord doesn’t care about it. It is therefore incumbent on us to study what He says, and examine how we should apply it. That often means asking, “How does this apply within my culture?” In rare cases, it may mean saying that my culture is so corrupted in this area that I have to go counter-cultural.

    More could be said, but it comes down to this. Christ needs to be the Master of our appearance. If He isn’t, we haven’t really given Him mastery of our hearts. If He really is the Master, it IS going to impact what we wear when we meet together for worship. Not because of hard and fast rules, but because there are Biblical principles that apply, and we’re going to want to apply them the very best we can to honour Him. Because we love Him.

  76. Jon Gleason, thanks for your comment. My point may have been overlooked for I was in no way, shape, or form allowing for the wearing of WHATEVER floats your boat to church. I, for one, believe and have taught in each church I pastored that there is a set of principles which should govern every aspect of our lives, including in what or how we dress. Yes, everything should be done decently and in order. The point was not to give free reign for women to wear what is immodest and that gains attention to their body or their dress style. It was not to give free reign for children to wear whatever grunge strikes their fancy this week. Nor, was it to give free reign to pastors to wear Mickey Mouse shirts or shirts stating things like “Jesus is my homeboy!”

    I am afraid that our position on what we wear seems to come more from a distinction between clergy and laity than it does from Biblical principles. The clergy is “expected” to wear certain attire that shows they are “clergy” and everybody else is to wear something about the same or less. I actually have been in preacher’s and missionary meetings where it was actually stated, “The visiting preacher or missionary should NEVER outdress the pastor. It is our responsibility to talk with the pastor to find out what is the acceptable attire and conform to that!” This sounds more like, “Well, the deacon can’t outdress the robes of the bishop, and the bishop the archbishop, and the archbishop the cardinal.”

    The reason and mode of our dress should reflect our heart before the Holy God of the universe. If we can honestly stand to preach in a dress suit or a pair of cowboy boots and jeans, or a pair of khakis and polo shirt, then do so and preach to the glory of God. If we are only wearing those items because we are forced to do so or because we are seeking to undermine whatever system we are in, that again devolves into a heart issue. Again, consideration should be given as to what is the normal attire in the area you live. There was a time NO gentleman would have considered gracing a business establishment or a place of worship without a cane, pair of gloves and a tophat! Such an entrance today would only bring attention to the wearer just as a lady who walked in wearing a Victorian period dress with gloves, chic hat, and a parasol!

    I must conclude as I have stated previously that our collective worship is to be a direct reflection of what our private, personal, and family worship has been through the week. My responsibility as a pastor, missionary, Bible teacher, or just a father and husband is to bring my family and my fellow worshippers together for the purpose of glorifying God. For some – they will wear a suit but some won’t. This does not make one right or the other wrong. One esteems one day above another, and I believe Scripture while laying out principles governing what we wear every day is present allows us the liberty to make those decisions provided it does not infringe on the liberty of others, nor infringe on those Biblical principles which are to govern every true Bible believing Christian.

    TJM – Mark

  77. Hi, Mark. First, I wasn’t clear — the lower part of my comment wasn’t addressed to you personally. You’ve never struck me as a “Mickey Mouse t-shirts are ok” kind of guy. :) Instead of using *** to set it off, I should have said something like “To all”. Sorry about that.

    The only thing addressed to you personally was that there is a difference between public and private, corporate and personal. I do think your last paragraph in your most recent blurs that a little too much, but I recognize that you’ve got a valid point that corporate worship must reflect private worship.

    Romans 14 is indeed one of the passages that bears on dress, but not the only one. Sounds like we’re agreed there, though perhaps not with the same emphasis. I do think many things are culturally determined, and that within a particular cultural environment, there are things that are not simply a matter of one person esteeming the matter while another doesn’t. I suspect you do, too.

    I also agree the clergy / laity divide is a problem in this area. On the other hand, functional divide is not necessarily invalid, and sometimes cultural norms are better followed, sometimes better rejected. If unbelievers have unbiblical expectations, I’m not necessarily going to fight them — the Gospel is my battle on that front, not their expectations of me. Where reasonably possible, I’ll usually accept those expectations, even if totally unnecessary. If believers have unbiblical expectations, it may be better to teach than to affront. So expectations, even unbiblical ones, can influence what we do if not what we think is necessary for us to do.

    -Jon

  78. What I’ve been trying to say is;
    There is an appropriate attire for every situation/event. I would not wear a bathing suit to a night out with my husband or to a banquet dinner. Nor would I wear any one of my skirt suits that have been given to me to help my husband in the auto body shop. For all of these, I would wear the appropriate garb.So to go to the building that has been set aside for nothing other than worshiping God, I choose to give of my best to the Master even in my dress.It seems as though we have lost respect for the sanctuary of God. And to me, that is very sad. No one deserves our fullest respect more than Jesus. And that includes the way we dress.

  79. And to add one more thing; In the time in which we live, almost everybody has at least one car, one computor, one i-pod, and I think everyone(or almost everyone ) owns at least one cell phone. So please don’t tell me people can’t afford to buy something nice for church.

  80. The spirit of religion (not the James 1:27 kind either) rear its ugly head again.

  81. “It seems as though we have lost respect for the sanctuary of God”

    Or that our understanding of the santuary of God is based on roman catholic tradition instead of the NT.

  82. I know nothing about the Roman Catholic tradition. I was boen into a Nazarene Pastor’s home. And we didn’t dress our best because of any Bible teaching, we were taught to give of our best to the Master even in our dress and all of our clothes were given to us. Down through my whole life to this very day,(68) yr’s I have always chosen to go to church in my “Sunday best” out of respect to the only one who died for me….Jesus. And it’s not because of any Bible verse.

  83. “I know nothing about the Roman Catholic tradition. I was boen into a Nazarene Pastor’s home.”

    It sounds like you practice it every sunday..

  84. It’s a fine tradition, Doris. It has its origin not in Catholicism but in the Old Testament, where particular apparel was appointed for the priests (and we are priests), and where beauty and excellence were part of the construction of the tabernacle and the temple.

    It is only tradition, and not an authority that we must follow, but it is a good and honouring thing to the Lord if done out of love rather than out of law, or out of a desire to draw attention to ourselves. We are commanded to honour and respect the Lord, and the way we dress can and often does convey to others something of our heart attitude. It is one of the ways we communicate.

    If our “Sunday best” is showy, that communication can be just as negative as if it is sloppy, but it is absolutely true that the way we dress communicates something. The Lord sees the heart, but we want to communicate truth to those around us as well, so it is good for us to consider what we are communicating, and the heart attitude we are encouraging others to have.

  85. Thank you for your post, and I agree with it 100% Jon.I couldn’t care less to be showy or draw attention to myself. Jesus gave His best for me, and I owe it to Him to give of my best to Him.

  86. “and I owe it to Him to give of my best to Him.”

    So you are saying that you only give him “your best” on Sunday. Why not give him “your best” all week? Jesus said that unless you forsake everything and pick up your cross every day (not just Sunday) you can’t be his disciple. The OT commanded one day a week and ten percent of your increase. Jesus rightfully demands everything.

    I am not being rude but the problem with many comments here is that people have been raised in churchianity (that may mix in a little OT or RCC) and not new testament Christianity. Being the church 7 days a week where all are brethren is completely lost to “going to church” one or two days a week and listening to a clergy man speak. Although such an environment almost demands that we play dress up (just as we would to go to an enthusiasts meeting) Jesus never does. Modesty (out of a desire not to tempt brethren with lust or promote vanity in our own hearts) is the rule.

    Again, I could really care less how someone dresses – like Doris or like me is fine to the Lord but it is the reason that matters. God doesn’t want women wearing costly pearls and gold or showing off and being prideful. He demands and deserves our “best” (which is a humble submission to his will for our lives NOT A PIECE OF CLOTHING) seven days a week, not just on Sunday.

    In Christ -Jim

  87. “It’s a fine tradition, Doris.”

    Are you speaking as a prophet Jon? Although outward dress can be a sign of an inward love for Jesus, more often than not dressing up is condemned and is a matter of vanity, empty tradition, and worse of all often is used to fill in the void of new testament reality in the life of a church goer.

    Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

    Luk 20:45 Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.

  88. Sir, you’re making quite a show of your knowledge of God’s word. However, not a bit of it applies to me and my heart felt intention so really I have no clue who you are talking about. In my last post I said I couldn’t care less to be showy or draw attention to myself. I just want to give Jesus my very best whether it be in church or where ever I may be. Does that sound better to you sir. ? Now how many Scriptures can you find to pick that apart ?

  89. ” I just want to give Jesus my very best whether it be in church or where ever I may be. ”

    Actually, two posts ago, you said “I have always chosen to go to church in my “Sunday best” out of respect to the only one who died for me”

    My question is valid, simple, and not meant to offend you. If you dress up when you go to church to “give Jesus your best” – why don’t you dress up the same way the rest of the week to give him :your best” all week? It’s a fair question. Do you walk in the presence of Christ all week or just on Sunday? Is it just Sunday that Jesus wants you to be dressed up for him? Honest questions..

  90. Did you read my post September 17,2012 , 9: 28 am ? Read it. It should answer your question.

  91. Where today in the Minneapolis area….out of the Cities included….might I find such a church? I would go to one in a heartbeat. Give me some names. Please.

    Thank you,
    Jill

  92. Am I the only one who doesn’t notice what people are wearing in church? I’m not bothered by it because to be honest, other than myself, I hardly notice what anyone else is wearing. Maybe it’s just me, but when I go to church my mind isn’t focused on what people are wearing.

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