Draft: Is Our Sunday Best Really Best?
When I began attending church, because of 'a girl,' back in high school the concept of appropriate dress came up. Appropriate Dress? Now as I look back I think just how horrendous of an idea that is. Actually I kind of thought it back then too, but it just seemed like typical rebellion then. I believe my first sunday at the small Baptist church, in a small town, I wore a sweater, and *GASP* ... jeans. The girl, who's father was youth minister at this church, later told me and admitting she was under apprehension about my attire, that her Dad commented that "he has a nice shirt on" when she brought up my wardrobe choice to him. His response at the time seemed like a relief, and now seems like symptoms of a long drawn out cancer of the church. Currently, I've not researched enough to even take much of a stab at knowing where or when such ideas of dress code started. And a talk about dress code can go into many directions. But for now and in this simple informal post, I'm just focusing on the thought that one may not be "dressed up enough" for church. So in this post I'm not considering things like modesty or inappropriate images/words into account, though tentatively, I think the only thing that would bother me is the modesty issue due to it being such a stumbling block for men directly and for women indirectly.
When you personally go to God in prayer, are you always wearing your Sunday Best? I would hope not, for you surely aren't praying nearly enough. So the misconception that dressing in your Sunday best for church surely was born out of a combination of vanity and pride towards our fellow man rather than any consideration for God. The God of 1 Samuel 15:22 surely doesn't render much value from how one is dressed when coming to him in worship, whether you chose the 2 piece suit or khakis. In fact if anything, the concept of "Sunday Best" has contributed to the barrier between church and the outside. A person considering church, shouldn't have to give a seconds thought about whether they 'have something appropriate to wear."
And even if you are one that feels like you haven't ever put pressure on anyone to dress a certain way, haven't you though by the way you yourself dresses. Verbal speech isn't nearly the motivator or influence that action is. So what should you do? Dress down or dress up? I can't necessarily answer that for you, but certainly would suggest you giving it a few minutes thought while you get ready for church. Are you dressing up to impress others, to make yourself feel good? Should that really be a consideration at all, or is even the consideration of your dress as you prep for church a stumbling block, perhaps one of the most overlooked ones. All this playing dress up simply increases vanity, pride, and the power of the clique that makes it hard for those outside your circle to enter in, which is totally the point of Jesus.