SOME YEARS AGO, F. Lagard Smith wrote an interesting book entitled When Choice Becomes God.
The book focused on the debate over abortion in America.
Modern people want absolute freedom to do anything they desire without having to face the consequences of their actions.
This is especially evident in the lack of restraint in today’s culture.
Brother Smith pointed out that the abortion issue is really just a symptom of a far deeper problem: America’s infatuation with choice.
“Liberty” is the watchword of secular society.
I believe this obsession with individuality also shows up in commonplace things like people’s attitudes towards the clothes they wear.
It seems there is a growing belief among Christians that what they chose to wear is NOBODY else’s business.
I don’t find a lot of hard and fast rules about clothing in the New Testament, but I am convinced that what a person wears is an expression of their faith in Christ (or lack thereof).
While the Bible does not specify the length of hemlines, there is definitely a connection between people’s religion and the way they robe themselves.
In the Old Testament, the Jews were commanded by God not to wear clothes that would obscure the physical and functional differences between the sexes.
There was a covenant stipulation and not merely the mores of a patriarchal society.
As covenant people, Christians should also be concerned about what their clothes communicate.
Clothes can say that a person is available, loose, materialistic, or defiant.
They can also make positive statements about a person’s upbringing, self-respect, and thoughtfulness of others.
- Do your clothes indicate that you are seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?
- Do they suggest that you have died to self in order to take up your cross and follow Jesus?
- Does your attire convey the idea that you are more concerned about others than your own personal comfort?
Paul admonished Christians not to overdress for Christian assemblies (1 Tim. 2:9-10).
Some have mistakenly concluded from this that wearing a suit and tie is the antithesis of God’s desire for worship.
Suits and ties are limited to rich people and highly formal events.
In fact, they are the working clothes of a large segment of our population.
Paul was warning against wearing extravagant clothes and accessories that make an individual stand out in a way that might distract others.
Clothing is a matter of culture and tradition to a certain extent.
Christians should make it their aim to dress appropriately for corporate worship according to congregational and community standards.
The first century world tended to overdress to impress, but 21st century society is more prone to underdress.
Just as shorts and tank tops are out of place at weddings or funerals, so there are clothes that are out of place in the regular services of the local church.
I have no desire to become the enforcer of a congregational dress code, but I do want to encourage parents and individuals to give more serious consideration to their dress in and out of assemblies of the church.
Whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of Jesus.
Being “comfortable” is not a Christian’s first consideration when deciding what to wear.
Next time you lay out your clothes, ask yourself three questions:
- Are they decent?
- Are they appropriate?
- Will they offend or distract?
“God loves you and I love you and that’s the way it’s gonna be!” – Mike