In recent years, the invitation to “come as you are” has clashed with the urge to dress in our “Sunday best.” Both viewpoints have disadvantages.
According to Thomas Fuller, a 17th-century theologian, “many come to church to bring their apparel rather than themselves.” He warned against idolizing the act of dressing up for the sole purpose of putting on a show. Perhaps this is why there is such a strong “come as you are” culture in today’s church. People used to be preoccupied with looking their best at church only to maintain a professional image. Those who refused or were unable to do so would be assessed as a consequence of the procedure.
The world has changed tremendously since Fuller changed his perspective. Previously, wearing “street clothing” was connected with a lack of reverence for God, but this is no longer the case. In essence, this problem presents a tension between reverence for God and honesty in front of Him, as Jon Bloom puts it in his book Desiring God.
Culture of Religion Liberty
Religious services are infrequently attended by college students dressed in suits and ties or expensive gowns. The culture of Liberty is an invitation to wear anything you want and let God change your heart on campus and at church on Sunday. Church administration often prefer to get their apparels and dressing from reputed designers, such as https://www.wattsandco.com/.
There are at least two points to consider when it comes to church attire, whether in this age or previous ones. First and foremost, maintain your modesty (specifically in terms of drawing attention). We should not go to church to boast about ourselves, but to marvel at God’s glory and love one another. “Hate what is wrong; cherish what is good…” Contribute to the needs of the saints and make an effort to show hospitality is our basic mandate at church, regardless of how we dress (Rom. 12:9, 13). If this is our first concern, we shall dress in a way that is neither appealing nor distracting, but rather conveys a love for the church.
Of course, there are no precise instructions in the Bible on how to do so. Nowhere in the Bible is it written, “Ladies, no crop tops; guys, no tank tops.” The Bible gets right to the point and encourages us to use knowledge to address the problem. When our hearts are set on honoring God, we will welcome both the man with the gold ring and the one with ripped clothes (James 2:2-4).
The second aspect to examine is that our church dress is not made idolatrous. If we can’t bear dressing up for church or think we can’t worship God in formal wear, we may hold too tightly to the comfort of casual attire. On the contrary, if we can’t worship in a casual setting, we may be excessively fixated on the appearance of church.
Dressing Up Hearts Is More Important
Throughout the Bible, the importance of how we dress our hearts is emphasized. We must let go of the idols we formerly worshipped and replace them with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience (Colossians 3:12). We will be able to identify what to wear to church each week in a modest and compassionate manner if we put this first and foremost.
According to the Bible, our heavenly clothes will be the same. As a consequence of Christ’s redeeming death and resurrection, pride, temptation, and attention-seeking will no longer exist. Then everyone will wear just pristine clothing (Revelation 7:9). We must dress in attire that is as pure as our hearts in the eyes of our God. However, until that day arrives, the most important component of attending church is that we properly dress our hearts.
What you wear to church has no bearing on your salvation.
Consider getting up early on a Sunday to go to church. You haven’t attended to church in over a year and think it is past time for you to return. You put on some clothes and go out the door without giving it a second thought. You anticipate an usher to welcome you with warm smiles, a cheery greeting, and a bulletin before leading you down the aisle to a pew next to a kind elderly lady.
When you go through the church doors, though, it’s everything but warm grins. There are no cheery greetings to be found. Instead, you’re greeted with long stares of disappointment as you’re brought to one of the back seats, where you’ll be seated next to a lady who looks at you with derision, as if the seat you’ll be taking should have gone to someone much more respectable.
Stop Judging Others with Respect to Their Dressing and Appearance
What was intended to be a peaceful Sunday morning became a series of uneasy stares all across your body. The clothes you thought were appropriate didn’t quite meet the implied Sunday best dress requirement. And since you didn’t follow the rules, you suddenly feel as though you don’t belong.
Many of us have either been the one who was judged for what they wore to church or the one who judged others. As Christians, however, we should not criticize others solely on their appearance. “Don’t be deceived by appearances; instead, employ smart judgement.” – (John 7:24).
Too frequently, we church-going Christians discourage people from attending services because they are afraid of being judged because of their appearance. I commonly hear, “I don’t have church apparel,” or “I don’t enjoy going to church because I don’t want people to stare at me because of what I have.” So, how do you get dressed for church? Is there a for Dummies book on how to dress for church? Is the church’s premises displaying a dress code?
Because, in reality, church has no specific clothing as uniform or something. Unless the church emphasizes beauty above salvation, there is no Dummies guide on how to dress for church, and there is no dress code listed on the homepage of “God in Christ Community of Faith First Baptist Church.”
Examine someone’s heart when they enter the Lord’s premises.
When they initially walked in, how did they react? Are they actually yearning to accept God as their personal savior, or are they just visiting because they’ve been away for so long? If we focus on these things, we will be able to overcome fear, lead others to Christ, and thereby fulfil God’s mission.
And I say this to those who have their hearts in the right place: don’t use your God-given heart as an excuse to not dress modestly. “God knows my heart,” I always say. Yes, this is right; nevertheless, because God knows your heart, you have an even more responsibility to live in a way that pleases Him.
When we know better, we must do better.
Your salvation, on the other hand, is unaffected by the clothes you put on. It doesn’t matter how you go to church to determine whether you’ll spend eternity in heaven or hell.