Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Church Clothes

I try to avoid conversations/arguments that try to define "church clothes." Having grown up as a drug baby - my parents drug me to Sunday school, drug me to morning worship, drug me to BTU, NBC, VBS, the list goes on - I understand and appreciate the concept of "Sunday's Best" attire. In a nutshell, God is awesome, and we should dress our best to present ourselves before the King. But being stuck between generations, I'm also stuck between the traditional and contemporary concepts of the proper church uniform.
For certain, I disagree with the misconstrued notion of "come as you are." Yes, the Bible says "come as you are," but that command was directed towards those who labor and are heavy those with sinned sick souls... And each person who "came as they were" ... none of them left the same, because it's impossible to have an encounter with Christ and not experience a change

But as far as church clothes are concerned...what exactly ARE church clothes? If I had my way and money was no factor, I'd have a closet full of St. Johns, Shellie McDowells, and Christian Louboutins that I'd wear every Sunday. Not because that's church attire, but because that's how I like to dress. I like the way I look and feel in knits, hats, and pumps. But that's just me.

Now, I have a couple hats. I have a few knits. I even have a St. John (just far), and a closet full of pumps, but that's not all I wear, nor is that all I desire to wear. However, I can honestly say that there aren't very many items in my closet that are inappropriate for church, like that pair of skinny jeans that hug my curves like oh my gawd...that one Tommy Hilfiger mini skirt that I wore to homecoming my freshman year at UIUC...a couple cocktail dresses, a few halter, one strap, and strapless tops, and of course my swimming suits.

But here's the thing. The church is not where you go. It's not confined to the 4 walls of a building, tabernacle, temple, mosque, hall, or worship center. There are no geographical boundaries for the house of the Lord, nor his gates and courts. Therefore, everywhere you are, everywhere you go, you should be entering His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. The church is not where you go, it's who you are!

Now, after having given this "church dress code" some thought, I've come to find that there are certain ways to tell if your attire meets the dress code for church, whether you're dressed in Sunday's best or dressed in Saturday's leftovers.

  1. Ladies and Gentlemen: If your underwear can be seen, you are in violation of church dress code. This includes visible panty lines due to your clothes being too tight. This included the panty peek that occurs when you take your seat. And this includes the unsightly boxer/brief/tighty whitey that poisons my eye with saggin jeans.
  2. Ladies: If your mid-section shows at any point during worship, you are in violation of church dress code. Lifting your hands in total adoration should not expose skin.
  3. Ladies and Gentlemen: If your clothes are too tight, you are in violation of church dress code. Maybe I'm the only one, but I'm not saved enough to not be distracted by body cuts that can be seen in muscle shirts. My Gawd. Smh. And ladies, we know good and well some of our clothes can cause a weak soul to sink, taking focus off the Savior and tuning in on our sexy. *points to self* Guilty! That is not ok *in my Auntie Dee voice*
I say all this in fun, but in all seriousness, it is my belief that Christians ought to LOOK like Christians. When I leave my house on Sunday mornings (not so much on Tuesdays though), everyone I pass on the street knows I'm headed to worship. Don't get me wrong. Let me be very clear in stating that it's NOT about your clothes. Dressing a certain way does NOT make you any more Christian that the next person, but I do believe that once your soul is changed, once you are saved on the inside, there ought to be some outward sign as well.

What's your take on church dress code? How do you determine if you attire is appropriate?

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