Orginally published on Thursday, July 06, 2006 at 9:14 AM
by Todd Rhoades
As evidenced in a recent Dear Abby column, it is obvious that what we wear to church is still a big issue for many people. Just look at the responses Dear Abby received. A personal note: it would appear that the people who have an issue with what people wear to church are... um... well, churched people.
Dear Abby: May I respond to your reply regarding attire in church? As a priest and pastor, I’m appalled at how some people come dressed for Sunday worship.
You said that “Dress codes have been greatly relaxed in recent decades,” which I find to be inaccurate. What has become relaxed is the attitude, the respect and reverence people have for worship and church buildings. From brides walking down the aisle chewing gum to funeral pallbearers wearing tennis shoes, to members wearing flip-flops, shorts and tank tops on Sunday, the lack of respect and reverence to worship is disgusting.
These same people would never allow their children to play in a sporting event out of uniform, or apply for a job interview themselves dressed inappropriately. Sunday worship should be no different!
I also said I was raised to believe people should dress “respectfully” in the house of the Lord - and that means fully shod and covered up enough so it doesn’t distract other worshippers. However, reaction to my reply varied sharply. Read on:
Dear Abby: More important than what people are wearing is the reason for being in church in the first place. Maybe it would be better if we could all enter God’s house blind. If we can’t see what people are wearing, we can leave our judgments and prejudices outside and use the time to learn more about God’s purpose for our lives.
Dear Abby: Satan wants to embarrass the church, so he sends people dressed any kind of disrespectful way. They’d be sent home from their jobs if they dressed like that. Women: Cover up! You are worth more than your skin.
Dear Abby: My pastor says no one would consider dressing casually if they were going to be in the presence of our president or any other dignitary. Why would we consider anything less for our Lord? Makes perfect sense to me.
Dear Abby: I have seen people come to church straight from working in their yard, without changing or washing up. When I was a child living in the country, men came to work wearing overalls, but they were clean and, most of the time, new. Today, there is no excuse for slovenliness in public, much less in God’s house.
Dear Abby: Church is where you go to give praise to the Lord, not check out what others are wearing.
Todd’s Rant: Isn’t it funny that the ‘devil is sending people to your church to embarrass your church’ (because of the clothes they are wearing)? Never mind the fact that there’s an actual soul who needs Jesus underneath those skantily clad bodies. Actually, it’d be nice if we could keep all kinds of riff-raff out of the church… you know, all the adulterers, fornicators, liars, cheats and gossips out of the church as well to save the church embarrassment. Unfortunately, many of the people who are upset about how people dress in church would be gone if we did that. :(
What do you think?
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