(The writer prediction came true in 2005� when the Upset at the casual style of dressing that many Catholics opt for even at religious functions, the Archbishop of Mumbai, Cardinal Ivan Dias, has issued a dress code that might just bring back the old formal style of dressing for Sunday mass http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1167737.cms)
In many secular institutions, there is dress code for the students. What if we make dress code for the Churchgoers? In this modern world, the churchgoers wear very fashionable and sexy dresses. Today, many Churches and Fellowships become the fashion den. Some of the non-Christian fundamentalists protested the fashion show, FTV, World Miss contest etc. But some Christians continue to wear very informal and sexy dresses in the church. The Christians are supposed to be decent in their dress and in speech.
In retrospection of the ancient Christians, the ancient Christians were God-fearing people reverence to God with their proper dress and heart. But the attitude of the churchgoers had drastically altered, alluring the fashionable dresses. If the attitude of the fashionable youngsters does not change and continue to wear the obscene or improper dress in the church, the situation will compel the church elders to make dress code for the churchgoers.
Should there be dress code for the churchgoers? What kind of dress should be used? What kind of dress do you wear to go for an interview? What kind of dress do you wear to meet a VIP? Many churchgoers including the Messenger, Pastor, Ushers etc wear informal dress in some churches. We are in Jesus and we are free to wear any kind of dresses. But should we wear obscene dress as our freedom in Jesus? The Bible says, “Be careful however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling to the weak” (Icor.8:9) I have seen even the messenger of God and ushers who wears T-shirts, Jeans pant etc. Actually, Jeans pant, T-shirts, Mini-skirts etc are not permitted to wear even in some secular institutions. Some of the churchgoers wear for church the same dresses, which they wear for partying in the pubs.
Many non-Christians wear more formal dress for marketing than those churchgoers who go for church service. The psychologist says that a man can make out his attitude and temperance from his dresses. You may have good attitude and temperance but wearing improper dress send out an erroneous message from you. It is advisable that we don’t send out the wrong message to others from our improper dress. Besides the dresses, improper or odd hairstyle is another important aspect that sends out wrong message to others.
Are you trying to pollute the minds of other people with your informal and scanty dresses? You may be free to wear any kind of dresses but it gives very bad influences and image to other churchgoers. “Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes some else to stumble. It is better not eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall” (Rom.14:20-21) It is applicable to our dresses also. We are indeed free to wear any kinds of dresses but according to the time and place. Otherwise we may cause our brother to fall with our improper dresses and hairstyle.
How can a messenger of God wear T-shirt and Jeans pant while delivering the message of God? Does he have only that dress? A servant of God should wear the best dress that he has got and deliver the message of God with reverence.
Those who live in the city had seen that even the salesman wear very formal dresses with neck tie. The Bible says that we should give our best to God. So we should give our best to God in our dresses, offering etc. If you wear a formal dress to meet a VIP or going for an interview, why not going to church? Who is VIP? Is he more important than God? Many people have wrong concept about VIP and God. Unconsciously or consciously, many people thought that they should honor VIP more than God with their dress. To whom should we give more honor and reverence, either to God or man?
Some churchgoers may think that giving their whole heart to God is more important than wearing a formal dress in the church. But wearing an obscene and sexy dress, you are leading the other people into sin and discourage the other churchgoers no to attend next Sunday service. As a Christian, we should not seek only for our own good. “Everything is permissible-but not beneficial. Everything is permissible- but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others” (Icor.10:23-24) You may be more comfortable to wear Jeans pant, T-shirts, Mini-skirts, shorts, gowns etc but for the sake of God and other believers, it would be good to wear a formal dresses in the church.
The two important attributes that we should wear formal dress is “To honor God and No to cause other to fall” If you wear formal dress for an interview or meeting a VIP but no for going to church, there is some thing wrong with your attitude in worshipping God. In I Tim. 2:9 also says, “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety” One of the problem today with the churchgoers in many churches is irreverence to God with their casual wear. Let’s give the best to God and reverence him with our right attitude and dresses that we wear.
Written by Thohe Pou: on 22-11-2003
(Posted in www.kuknalim.com on 30th Oct.
Copyright @thohepou 2004