Church Attire – Human Tradition or Biblical Principle?

The Underground Church

illinoisguy

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I guess every preacher and congregation must make their own decision as to whether or not to run off people over standards that are not even in the Bible, such as men must wear a suit in tie in church, women are not allowed to wear slacks, etc.

The very few mentions of dress codes in the Bible may be cultural things that are not a requirement for today - such as, women to wear veils in church, 1 Corinthians 11, or "Let thy garments be always white," Ecclesiastes 9:9.

Personally, I think the loosening of the standards about suits and ties, and woman's slacks, is appropriate for our day and age, but I don't advocate taking things too far with our Christian liberty and becoming irreverent with our dress.

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have very little influence in society." - Mark Twain
 

Twisted

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I guess every preacher and congregation must make their own decision as to whether or not to run off people over standards that are not even in the Bible, such as men must wear a suit in tie in church, women are not allowed to wear slacks, etc.

The very few mentions of dress codes in the Bible may be cultural things that are not a requirement for today - such as, women to wear veils in church, 1 Corinthians 11, or "Let thy garments be always white," Ecclesiastes 9:9.

Personally, I think the loosening of the standards about suits and ties, and woman's slacks, is appropriate for our day and age, but I don't advocate taking things too far with our Christian liberty and becoming irreverent with our dress.

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have very little influence in society." - Mark Twain
Twain was a better "Christian" than most. In case it wasn't noticed, my comments are aimed at LEADERSHIP. Ignorant hayseeds (like Tarheel) can wear whatever to attend. When they get some learnin' and growin' they'll come around. We used to say that Momma would have taught you how to dress, but that was ages ago. Momma comes to church half-naked now. (more "old paths" I guess)
 

Binaca Chugger

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Don't worry, Twisted. You can wear your clown suit to "D" Sunday School.
 

Binaca Chugger

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I wear suits to church. I think it is appropriate for me. Sometimes, on Wednesday night I don't have time to go home between work and church, so I show up in my work clothes. Nobody cares either way.
 

ALAYMAN

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In my agreement with Ransom I probably rushed the gun a little bit in interpreting his response. He probably used "old paths" in the sense of regarding what people before the 1800s wore, ie commoner clothes. Whereas I initially thought he meant the "old paths" in the sense it is used by those who hold to high extra-biblical standards. In that sense some of these skinny jeans folk have that same culturally conditioned pedigree requirement, albeit a dressed-down version.
 

Ransom

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In my agreement with Ransom I probably rushed the gun a little bit in interpreting his response. He probably used "old paths" in the sense of regarding what people before the 1800s wore, ie commoner clothes. Whereas I initially thought he meant the "old paths" in the sense it is used by those who hold to high extra-biblical standards.
Your second guess was the correct one. "Old paths" as in, returning to an older custom.
 

Walt

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"Dressing up" for church was a non-starter. People didn't have a closet full of clothes to wear until the mid-19th century when mass production made them affordable. (The clothes hanger wasn't invented until the 1860s.) They typically had two sets of clothing, one for work (that got dirty and worn out), and one for doing business in town, say (that was kept neat and clean).

It was the Industrial Revolution that made "Sunday best" possible: since a machine could make good-quality clothing, the new middle class could distinguish itself from the peasants by dressing up in richer-looking clothes. Churches initially resisted people coming to meetings in "Sunday best," for the same reason James resisted showing favoritism to rich people dressed in fine clothes: one's choice of fashion has always been a way to flaunt your weatlh.

Ironically, the current trend in evangelical churches toward more casual dress is a kind of return to the "old paths."
I fail to see how you can say dressing up is a non-started. Just because people only had one set of clothes -- that means that they were always wearing their best.

Why shouldn't we dress up out of respect for the Lord Himself and for the occasion/place?

It's only been recently that some have decided that it doesn't matter if one dresses correctly for the occasion.
 

Walt

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I said nothing of the sort. I just think this idea of wearing a suit and tie being the only way to dress scripturally is ignorant.
It is also ignorant to make up words that no one has said: one should dress up and make an effort to dress well - that may not be a coat and tie for everybody and in every situation.
 

Walt

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I've always worn jeans to services - even in my IFBX days. For work, I had to wear business casual, and I would always say that you wouldn't expect a mechanic to wear his work clothes to services, so why should I? :D
I wear business casual for work, and then go to an extra effort of a tie when I go to church.

This doesn't make me more holy - I do it out of respect for God, the church house, and the preaching of His word.
 

ALAYMAN

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Why shouldn't we dress up out of respect for the Lord Himself and for the occasion/place?
Primarily because there is not enough biblical clarity and commands to determine with adequacy and objectivity what constitutes "dressing up for God". Not to mention other issues that attend such cultural baggage, like a tendency to judge others on an artificial external standard. Don't get me wrong, if a person wants to dress up in a suit and tie because they believe that it is more honoring to God then more power to them. It's just that they should not judge others on the basis of their own standards of piety.
 

FSSL

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In the IFB circle, dress has always been one of the most important issues.

You wouldn’t receive comments from the pastor for wearing Executive Business wear... you would catch flack for wearing casual.

So, yes... there has been a rampant violation of the principles laid out by James.

Uniforms hinder the gospel
 
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Ransom

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I fail to see how you can say dressing up is a non-started. Just because people only had one set of clothes -- that means that they were always wearing their best.
By the same argument, they were always wearing their dirtiest, grubbiest clothing.

"Best" is relative. If you don't have another set of clothes to compare to, there can be no "best." Your argument is nonsense on a definitional level.

Why shouldn't we dress up out of respect for the Lord Himself and for the occasion/place?
Because worship is regulated by the Bible. Where does the Bible suggest that the right way to worship is dressed in our best clothes "out of respect or the Lord Himself"?
 

Twisted

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Some preacher at an independent, fundamentaL, Bible-believing BAPTIST church.

He appears to have just come in from cleaning the garage, but at least he put a "jacket" on.

 

UGC

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"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth."

Isn't the whole world gonna see these 2 guys coming on behalf of God in the Tribulation? Who do they think they are dressing like that, rappers?
 

Twisted

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"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth."

Isn't the whole world gonna see these 2 guys coming on behalf of God in the Tribulation? Who do they think they are dressing like that, rappers?
During the Trib, could sackcloth be a PREMIUM material?
 

UGC

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During the Trib, could sackcloth be a PREMIUM material?
As premium as the iphones and internet people will probably still have to watch them spit fire
 

Twisted

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As premium as the iphones and internet people will probably still have to watch them spit fire
I get it. The guy dressed like a bum is a forerunner of the two witnesses.

Who knew?

The things you learn here on the FFF!
 

UGC

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I get it. The guy dressed like a bum is a forerunner of the two witnesses.

Who knew?

The things you learn here on the FFF!
Literally the only arguments I've ever seen from "culturally" conservative Baptists on these topics are setting up extreme example strawmen that don't exist in 95% of non-IFB churches.

"If it doesn't look like us, it's a Backstreet Boy concert with bums and BMX bikes flipping through the air! Us versus everyone!"


Btw this guy looks like a hipster from my perspective. I'd wear a suit and tie over this (unless I had to wear one every time "OR ELSE" get pitchfork and torched for being a "bum").

But honestly if this is the style of some people in his town I don't see an issue: he's not flashing tattoos in a tank top or something. No knee holes. Both his jacket and shirt have collars. The belt is inappropriate imo.

Maybe the way he shows God honor is by putting in more thought into his wardrobe instead of just throwing on a suit, which all look the same and might be lazy in this way before God.
 
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