whbae

Dress code in church?

178 posts in this topic

I see more and more people come to worship hour with very casual attire.  Is it necessarily good or does it matter.  This Sabbath our young minster came to church with sweater and no shirt and tie and went to the pulpit for a few welcome and announcement.  

I know the Bible says God sees men's heart not what one wears.  I can apply this to none christians who does not know Jesus in the beginning.  Once you found Him, shouldn't  we pay our utmost respect to God when we come together to worship Him?  This applies to our conversation during the worship hour and dressing ourselves to present to God.  Some people keep texting or looking at internet with their cell phone during the worship hour.  Do I have any point or being too old foggy fellow!

The Wanderer likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My "good clothes" would be just "casual clothes" to someone else. Who makes the rules on what is "casual?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm from the "old school" where it was expected that we dress in our best when we had an appointment with God.  It doesn't matter if our "best" is a flannel shirt and jeans, or a silk dress.  However, if it's 100° in the shade, and there's no AC, God doesn't want anyone to have a heatstroke from wearing a wool suit and tie.  We need to use some common sense...

phkrause likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose it is not us human beings' judge others.  Mrs. White wrote that we should have a special cloth set aside for the Sabbath.

Green Cochoa likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Be modest. Be clean. Put on the whole armor of God and wear Christ's righteousness. 

Green Cochoa likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who do you want to attend your church?   Do you want the saints who have arrived at a level of spiritual grace?  Do you want the person who just walked in off of the street.

 

NOTE:  If you only have saints worshiping in your church, it probably is not accomplishing its mission.

For sometime, I attended a SDA church where the congregation was invited to text the pastor who was preaching and comment on the sermon.  The pastor would answer, and respond publicly during the sermon.

 

 

GayatfootofCross and The Wanderer like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you whbae.  The context of what you started this thread with was not only current church members, but the local leaders of the church.  Yes, there should be a standard for them and for church members.  I do not see you applying this dress standard to someone walking in off the street.  Who cares what they wear?  I do not and I do not think that was the thrust of your point in starting this thread. 

We go to church to meet God and it is only respectful to dress as well as we can afford to when we meet Him.  I doubt anyone who has told you that you are wrong in thinking a dress code is needed would show up in jeans/cutoffs/shorts and a tshirt if invited to the White House or governors mansion of the state they live in.  Not a one would show that kind of disrespect to earthly authorities.  God deserves no less respect than they do.  He deserves far more than they do. 

phkrause and The Wanderer like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Gary K said:

I agree with you whbae.  The context of what you started this thread with was not only current church members, but the local leaders of the church.  Yes, there should be a standard for them and for church members.  I do not see you applying this dress standard to someone walking in off the street.  Who cares what they wear?  I do not and I do not think that was the thrust of your point in starting this thread. 

We go to church to meet God and it is only respectful to dress as well as we can afford to when we meet Him.  I doubt anyone who has told you that you are wrong in thinking a dress code is needed would show up in jeans/cutoffs/shorts and a tshirt if invited to the White House or governors mansion of the state they live in.  Not a one would show that kind of disrespect to earthly authorities.  God deserves no less respect than they do.  He deserves far more than they do. 

I "meet God" every day, and I dress differently every day. I "meet God" BEFORE I go to church.  Know what I mean?

Sojourner, phkrause, JoeMo and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is easier to wear slippers than to carpet the whole world.

Sojourner and phkrause like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Standards for members and more:

1)  I can agree that a local congregation can have  a standard of dress for people  who ae in the pulpit and/or on the platform.  However, I can also say that it might just be that such would not be necessary as it just might be that all who appear on  the platform would conform to the general standards of the members of that congregation.

2)  However,  I am aware of congregations who have used people on the platform who were   not members of the SDA denomination.  They might have used them to offer prayer,   in music, or in other ways.  I have done this as a congregational pastor, once with the non-SDA spouse of a member.  I can think of current congregations that do such.  So, in such cases, what do you do about dress standards?  Fundamental to this question is:  What is the mission of the congregation and how is it working to accomplish it?  NOTE:  I can remember a time when SDA clergy were expected to wear only black and white.

3)  I can remember a time, when as a congregational pastor, an adult female was showing up at SDA congregations and events topless.      She was the spouse of a Conference employee!  Folks, sometimes things are just very sad.  Sometimes the proper and loving response may be loving and not judgmental.  NOTE:  I once pastored a congregation where two teen, male, members of the congregation were told that they could not  attend church one Sabbath until they removed the rings that they were wearing.  

I could go on and give other examples of situations that may arise in congregations.  But, I will share one true story out of my background as a congregational pastor.  I have been giving Bible studies to a young  married woman.  It was clear that she was about to be baptized and become a member.   A group of 3 or 4 female members of my congregation met with me and asked me to talk to her about the dress that the typically wore to church.  I mentioned to them that the dress she wore to church was the only dress that she owned.  It was the best that she had.  I went on to tell  them that when I visited she and her husband in their home, I sat on the floor, as they only had one chair in the home.  [NOTE: The husband was an active duty member of the military.]  One of the women talking to me   looked at the others and said:  We are going to take her shopping,  She will soon have more than one dress to wear to church.

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It boggles my mind when a person dresses in his best attire for an interview for a job, or meet some low-level dignitary

but puts on less than his best to meet the One to whom the sinless angels bow.

Green Cochoa and bonnie like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't God more concerned with hearts than with garments?

Aubrey, JoeMo, Green Cochoa and 2 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Gail said:

Isn't God more concerned with hearts than with garments?

The heart/mind is what convinces that any old garment is good enough for God. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see both sides of this argument.  On the one hand, I have been often disappointed to see such casual clothing as is often worn to church around here.  On the other hand, I think people understand the reality that no matter how finely they adorn their outward appearance, God sees right through it all.  It almost seems hypocritical to put on the same show for God that one might attempt for a job interview--God sees not as man sees, for man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.

We should dress respectfully for God, but there is a limit to what is respectful to an all-seeing and all-knowing God.  There is no need of making a pretense, nor to dress with extravagant display.  Furthermore, what one considers proper attire, another might disdain or even consider to be of heathen origins (e.g. the necktie).  None should set himself or herself up as the criterion for others in matters of dress, nor should we judge others upon it.  James chapter 2 has some words about this.

phkrause and rudywoofs (Pam) like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The question did not come across as should we want to make a pretense or extravagant display. Or to have this strict dress code that is checked at the door. In any issue an extreme example and argument can be made . No one should be shunned, turned away or made to feel less than because of the way they are dressed.Sometime ago we had three strangers walk into our church . Not very clean, enough gold chains to make a egyptian mummy jealous. Pack of cigarettes  rolled up in their T-shirt sleeve. They were greeted like everyone else and shown to a pew with other members, seemed to sleep thru most of the service.Invited to stay for potluck which they did. What brought them to church is anyones guess but it didnt really matter. There are always incidences like that to be used as an excuse or reason for any old thing is good enough for God. He doesnt care how I look. But some do think the attitude that causes the careless approach does matter. Many people do not have a church background and really dont give it a lot of thought. If my boys could put the thought and effort to be presentable on a date or other activity they could do at least as much for something far more important. Anything is good enough for God didnt cut it.

phkrause and Gary K like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Women should not wear green dresses to church. And men, if they're worth anything at all, should wear only neutral tones--tan, greys and browns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Aubrey said:

Women should not wear green dresses to church. 

I object!  I most strenuously object!  That's a purely anti-Irish sentiment, if I've ever read one!   teehee

Aubrey likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/12/2017 at 10:45 PM, The Wanderer said:

I "meet God" every day, and I dress differently every day. I "meet God" BEFORE I go to church.  Know what I mean?

Yes, Wanderer, we meet God at all times and in all places.  However, Sabbath and church are special formal meetings with Him. 

I talk to God constantly.  He is my constant companion, but I would no more disrespect Him by approaching Him very casually at the formal meeting He has requested we have with Him every Sabbath than I would slap Him in the face.  God knows we have to live our lives here on this earth.  He knows our every circumstance.  He is not unreasonable with us in any way, and I think that in and of itself calls for the very best I can offer Him. 

Gerry Cabalo likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Green Cochoa said:

I see both sides of this argument.  On the one hand, I have been often disappointed to see such casual clothing as is often worn to church around here.  On the other hand, I think people understand the reality that no matter how finely they adorn their outward appearance, God sees right through it all.  It almost seems hypocritical to put on the same show for God that one might attempt for a job interview--God sees not as man sees, for man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.

We should dress respectfully for God, but there is a limit to what is respectful to an all-seeing and all-knowing God.  There is no need of making a pretense, nor to dress with extravagant display.  Furthermore, what one considers proper attire, another might disdain or even consider to be of heathen origins (e.g. the necktie).  None should set himself or herself up as the criterion for others in matters of dress, nor should we judge others upon it.  James chapter 2 has some words about this.

I do not think there is any limit to respectfulness towards God.  Respectfulness is not hypocrisy.  Hypocrisy is showing up dressed to the nines because we want to make an impression on those around us.  We want them to look at us and say how cool we are.  It has nothing to do with respect for God.  Is God a respecter of persons?  Absolutely not, but do you think He sees Himself as being loved and respected if we wear a suit and tie to work and show up at His house in a t-shirt, cutoffs and flip flops?  I do not think so.  God has never shown that such behavior is acceptable to Him.  The priests of the OT, even during the time in the wilderness, were required to bathe before showing up to serve in the sanctuary.  If God would demand that of people living in tents in a desert, then is it not logical that He requires a lot more of us in regards to our appearance?  We certainly are not living in the same circumstances the coi were living under.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While superfluous trimming and ornaments are to be avoided, as opposed to our profession as followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, we would not discourage the exercise of correct taste, neatness, and order in dress. There are those who are careless of their apparel, and are always harping on pride in dress. They think it a virtue to be untidy, and to dress without order or taste. They class decency and neatness with pride, and excuse themselves for their neglect of apparel, even upon the Sabbath, under pretense of carrying out that separation from the world which the word of God requires of his people. If these persons had an engagement to meet a friend honored by the world, and they wished to be especially favored by him, they would exert themselves to appear in his presence with the best and neatest apparel they could obtain. Yet when they meet upon the Sabbath to worship the great God, they think it is of no consequence in what dress they appear, or what is the condition of their person. In His house, which is as the audience-chamber of the Most High, where heavenly angels are in attendance, they assemble with but little respect or reverence. All who meet upon the Sabbath to worship God, should, if possible, have neat, well-fitting, comely garments to wear in the house of worship. It is a dishonor to the Sabbath, to God, and to his house, for those who profess to believe that the Sabbath is the holy of the Lord, and honorable, to wear upon that day the soiled clothing which they have worn through the labors of the week, if they can obtain anything more suitable.  {CTBH 86.2}

Gerry Cabalo, Gary K and Green Cochoa like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Gary K said:

I do not think there is any limit to respectfulness towards God.  Respectfulness is not hypocrisy.  Hypocrisy is showing up dressed to the nines because we want to make an impression on those around us.  We want them to look at us and say how cool we are.  It has nothing to do with respect for God.  Is God a respecter of persons?  Absolutely not, but do you think He sees Himself as being loved and respected if we wear a suit and tie to work and show up at His house in a t-shirt, cutoffs and flip flops?  I do not think so.  God has never shown that such behavior is acceptable to Him.  The priests of the OT, even during the time in the wilderness, were required to bathe before showing up to serve in the sanctuary.  If God would demand that of people living in tents in a desert, then is it not logical that He requires a lot more of us in regards to our appearance?  We certainly are not living in the same circumstances the coi were living under.

I agree with Mrs. White.  She offers plenty on the topic, including a balancing perspective, but the following portion appears to address some of your sentiments expressed above.  By the way, in my part of the world most attend church with less than flip flops--they leave their shoes at the door, and wear no stockings.  Most feet in church are bare.  This is actually Biblical.  Where have Westerners gotten the idea that they are to wear shoes whilst on "holy ground"?

Quote

     Some receive the idea that in order to carry out that separation from the world that the Word of God requires, they must be neglectful of their apparel. There is a class of sisters who think they are carrying out the principle of nonconformity to the world by wearing an ordinary sun-bonnet, and the same dress worn by them through the week, upon the Sabbath when appearing in the assembly of the saints to engage in the worship of God. And some men who profess to be Christians view the matter of dress in the same light. These persons assemble with God's people upon the Sabbath, with their clothing dusty and soiled, and even with gaping rents in their garments, which are placed upon their persons in a slovenly manner.  {CG 428.1}  
     This class, if they had an engagement to meet a friend honored by the world, by whom they wished to be especially favored, would exert themselves to appear in his presence with the best apparel that could be obtained; for this friend would feel insulted were they to come into his presence with their hair uncombed and garments uncleanly and in disorder. Yet these persons think that it is no matter in what dress they appear or what is the condition of their persons when they meet upon the Sabbath to worship the great God.  {CG 428.2} 

     It is not your dress that makes you of value in the Lord's sight. It is the inward adorning, the graces of the Spirit, the kind word, the thoughtful consideration for others that God values.  {CG 429.1}  

     None to Be Conscience for Another, but Set a Worthy Example.--Do not encourage a class who center their religion in dress. Let each one study the plain teachings of the Scriptures as to simplicity and plainness of dress and by faithful obedience to those teachings strive to set a worthy example to the world and to those new in the faith. God does not want any one person to be conscience for another.  {CG 429.2} 

     Talk of the love and humility of Jesus, but do not encourage the brethren and sisters to engage in picking flaws in the dress or appearance of one another. Some take delight in this work; and when their minds are turned in this direction, they begin to feel that they must become church tinkers. They climb upon the judgment seat, and as soon as they see one of their brethren and sisters, they look to find something to criticize. This is one of the most effectual means of becoming narrow-minded and of dwarfing spiritual growth. God would have them step down from the judgment seat, for He has never placed them there.  {CG 429.3} 

If you are convicted to wear a suit and tie, by all means do so.  But I hope you also give latitude toward others for not doing exactly as you do.

Because God looks on the heart, it is not so much the apparel that matters, it's the motivation for wearing that apparel that matters most.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Green Cochoa said:

I agree with Mrs. White.  She offers plenty on the topic, including a balancing perspective, but the following portion appears to address some of your sentiments expressed above.  By the way, in my part of the world most attend church with less than flip flops--they leave their shoes at the door, and wear no stockings.  Most feet in church are bare.  This is actually Biblical.  Where have Westerners gotten the idea that they are to wear shoes whilst on "holy ground"?

If you are convicted to wear a suit and tie, by all means do so.  But I hope you also give latitude toward others for not doing exactly as you do.

Because God looks on the heart, it is not so much the apparel that matters, it's the motivation for wearing that apparel that matters most.

I never have up to now.  Just because I strongly advocate for us showing the greatest amount of respectfulness towards God doesn't mean that I set out to make myself the judge of others.  I have been poor enough to have shown up in blue jeans and clean shirt and was dressed as well as I could afford.  During more prosperous times in my life I have also been judged harshly for not wearing a tie with my suit to church.  I don't wear a tie because having a tight collar creates a gag reflex in me.  Been there and done that on both sides of the issue. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gerry C said below:

Sorry, Gerry, that    is not true today in many situations to include some that are high paying.

Recently, I had the opportunity to observe a group of people interviewing for a well paying job in  a high-tech industry.  All were wearing casual clothing.

Also, I am aware of a situation where Microsoft had selected a good number of people for a position.  All who were selected   had been casually dressed at the interview. 

 

 

It boggles my mind when a person dresses in his best attire for an interview for a job, or meet some low-level dignitary . . .

GayatfootofCross likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Gail said:

Isn't God more concerned with hearts than with garments?

Yes, BUT read what God required of the Israelites when they came to meet with God.  What kind of sacrifice was required of them?  What kind of sacrifice is required of us?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

Mega Footer

You can configure this content inside your ACP under Customization > Edit > Mega Footer.

Mega Footer

You can configure this content inside your ACP under Customization > Edit > Mega Footer.