Thursday, September 26, 2002

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Matthew 6:25

I find it ironic that just before going to worship Jesus, millions of Christians ignore what Jesus said and worry about what to wear to church. When I walk into a church, other than my home church, I'm stuck by how carefully people present themselves on Sunday morning. Jen has a couple of posts "ranting" about people who don't take dressing up for Church seriously (rant 1, rant 2). One of my favorite rants is that we don't take not dressing up, seriously enough.

How is it that we expect people to have special church clothes to honor Jesus when in preparing the way for Jesus, John the Baptist preached:

John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.
Luke 3:11

Jen points out that "your clothing sends a message to people about who you are". And I couldn't agree more. One of the things it says about you, is witch tribe you belong to. I belong to tribe geek. Why does the church send the message that I should look like someone from tribe Gap to worship Jesus?

And they sang a new song:
"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Revelation 5:9

So why are we expected to look like just one tribe on Sunday? The was a picture in the church where I grew up of the graduating class of a mission seminary school, somewhere in Africa. Two rows of beaming black men on fire for the Lord. They looked positively joy filled. But it stuck me as odd they were standing there in polyester suits and ties. So we were helping to spread the Gospel in Africa by training pastors, a great thing. But we were also spreading our culture of pastors wearing suits and ties. I wonder what other cultural baggage we were passing on.

With due apologies to Sprite, we should be saying to our culture "your image is nothing, it's your thirst for the spirit that matters". Instead church is often the place where people are the most image conscious.


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