the bottomline

Dressing Down
Thursday, November 1, 2018 by Dan Allen

Atta Boy Supreme Court of this land I am in. Two people who should have known better tried to appear before the court without wearing the proper attire. Both chief secretaries entering the court were dressed in trousers and shirts with half jackets over them. The one was sporting a bright yellow jacket.

“How are you dressed? There is some decorum in the manner in which one is dressed as the head of bureaucracy ...” declared the bench of the Chief Justice. “They will not come to the court properly attired. So, we will not hear them. You have not come for a picnic.” Right on, brother!

I have long bemoaned the dressing down of pastors during worship services. It started with either no tie or no coat. Moved to jeans as a must and now shirts untucked—that’s the cool look. The argument was—we don’t want to be an offense to those who are coming to church and are not dressed in a tie and suit. We should look like them and they will come. Not sure how that’s working out. Don’t know if a study has ever been done proving that people will only come if the pastor is wearing jeans with an untucked shirt.

In one church (which may not ask me back after this article) it was requested that during the middle of their three services to lose the tie and/or coat. They had no such requirement the second occasion I preached there (maybe they will invite me back).

I’ve often noted that politicians always seem to be dressed up. TV newscasters and reporters do too. No one stops watching them because they are wearing a tie . . . although we’ve long stopped listening to politicians, but that’s for other reasons.

Dress has no bearing on one’s entrance through the Pearly Gates. In fact, God is looking at the heart not the dress. I know all of that and I suppose this aging minister is showing his age. Maybe that’s all it is. I just happen to prefer a tie and coat on a Sunday morning and in my 39–years of ministry I never heard one person say that it offended them so much they would no longer come to church—or that it offended them at all.

Now, Sunday night is a totally different story. Either the tie or coat is gone. I guess I’m inconsistent.

BTW - In this country only in the high churches and non-contemporary one’s will a pastor be dressing the part including some with turn-backed collars or wearing robes. But, of course, they take their shoes off entering the sanctuary. Business casual is worn in contemporary churches and just the nicest shirt and trousers a pastor owns for the village churches. But the women, why they are all dressed to the nines with their sarees.  So colorful and beautiful. Kind of drab on the one side of the church where the men sit on the floor as opposed to bright and beautiful on the women’s side. I, of course, am sporting a tie. The weight of taking a jacket in my luggage when, because of the heat, I’ll have to take it off anyway, is not worth it.


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