Thursday, November 13, 2014
Don’t let the title mislead you; this article is not about the flavoring liquid we put on foods or salads, such as Ranch or Thousand Islands, but rather about how we dress ourselves. I realize I may be opening a can of worms because this can be a controversial and dividing issue, but on the other hand, even if I only provoke you to form your own opinion and choose your side of the issue, I don’t believe that is such a bad thing. I felt prompted to write on this matter as I recently saw a young preacher on TV delivering a sermon to his congregation while wearing just a shirt and faded jeans. I bet that as soon as you read this line you immediately thought of your arguments pro or con. In fact, I would not be surprised if the opinions are evenly divided among our readers. Feel free to reply to this article to express yours. The question is this: If you think it is perfectly okay for ministers to dress casual while preaching in church, you are on the Pro side. If you think they should wear a coat and tie, you are on the Con side. If you don’t care either way, don’t bother to reply….. just kidding. Although I am on the Con side, I will try to be fair by presenting an equal number of arguments on either side of the issue but keep in mind that in the end, we can all say like Paul, “The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.” (Philippians 1:18)
Pro: (1) What they preach should be more important than what they wear. (2) Jesus dressed the same as all other men in his day. In fact, He was a carpenter. (3) They want to be the same person on Sunday as they are during the week. (4) If we can approach God just the way we are, why would wearing a coat and tie be so important? (5) They should want to look more like those they preach to so that they can better relate to them. (6) It was the hypocritical religious Pharisees who dressed impeccably and they don’t want to be perceived as such. (7) God looks at the heart, not on the way people dress.
Con: (1) If we knew we were going to be in the presence of a president or Governor, would we dress casual? (2) Through Moses, God commanded that His priests should be dressed extravagantly and much different than those they ministered to. The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:9 that God’s true followers are members of a royal priesthood, among other things. (3) If the way we dress is important, even crucial, when interviewing for a job, why would it not be important in church? (4) When ambassadors from a foreign country visit another, don’t they dress their best? Are Ministers, not God’s ambassadors? (5) When pastors even get complaints from their own members because they are underdressed, can they just ignore them and keep doing their own thing? (6) Priests used their priestly garments while ministering in the temple, much differently than at home. (7) If we make a sincere effort to adorn our houses so others can see them at their best, why should we not want to do the same when we go to church?
Memory verse for the week: (John 12:26) “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”