Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our Clothes reflect our heart's condition

This is a conversation that took place between a pastor and a young man. The context of this story is mine of course. The conversation is about dress codes, which is a sign of your spiritual condition according to many spiritual leaders here.

Pastor: The thing you talked about, that dress codes are not important is misleading.

Young man: What I meant was dress codes are not to be an issue of...

Pastor: You try to do your own church with people wearing torn jeans and stuff like that. Dress codes are important. For example, When a minister comes over or we go over to see that VIP, we wouldn't want to go and meet him in shabby looking clothes do we? No. We have to dress our best. Because of that we also have to dress our best when we go to church. We are coming to meet the king of kings. So that equals showing God respect.

Young Man: If our dress codes show that we respect God, how would we approach God at home? What about when we sing praise in the shower, or get up form sleep and pray? Do we still need to dress up because God is omnipresent!

Pastor: ..........(long pause)......(longer pause)......

The conversation continues on...but I will skip to the the conversation below

Pastor: You see what you wear shows your heart. It is the reflection of who you are inside good and bad.
Young Man: I don't agree with you on this. For me a person's heart is shown by his lifestyle not the clothes he wears.


Scott said...

So you live in Malaysia? Is that your nation of birth?

This post is something that I have had to confront in churches around my home as well. I have found it primarily in old dying churches where tradition trumps genuine spirituality.

Tremonti said...


Yes. I live in East side, an island called Borneo. We are still struggling with this here. People understand Christians to be people who don't smoke, don't drink, don't go to pubs. And I hear someone tell me that we have to sneak into the cinema because people who are training to be pastors can't be seen in these places. It's a funny world we live in.

It's interesting when you mentioned 'old and dying churches'. I think this sort of thinking will lead a church down that road.

Mason said...

I find it very frustrating and disheartening when I’m confronted with attitudes like that of the pastor in your example. There are certainly churches like that around me, and some more in the middle, and many who could care less.
I think that acting like you have to put on your ‘Sunday best’ really has no biblical support, and tends to repel outsiders who see it as one more thing that makes us different (in a bad way), youths who see it as unnecessarily repressive, and people like me who tend to normally dress nicely enough because that’s my look but still find it frustrating and legalistic.

For the most part I could not care less what people wear at church with me. I don’t think it dishonors God not to dress like you are going for a job interview every Sunday.
However, all that said there still should be lines. If what you are wearing offends others you should think long and hard about your motives and what it is worth to wear that. More importantly, modesty still matters. Not in the sense of dressing up, but in not being revealing in an inappropriate way.
So for me at least, wearing a t-shirt and jeans - fine by me even if you are preaching, wearing a super low cut top, or a t-shirt with an offensive message on it - not ok.

Hopeful Theo

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I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations