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Should Christians Wear “Formal” in Church?

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Around the world, many people dress “properly” when they go to church, meaning wearing expensive stuff like suits, dresses, and jewelry. Especially pastors and preachers are expected to wear expensive. I don’t like this for the following reasons:

1. The poor are alienated. Some people are basically so poor that they don’t afford a suit, and the preachers silently distances themselves from them. I know a man in Sweden who told a minister “Thank you so much that you wear normal clothes when you preach, I always feel excluded when the pastor wears a suit.” Clothes are symbols, and “formal” clothes are symbols of wealth. It just doesn’t match with James 2:1-7.

2. It’s based on the thought that church is something you “go to” at a specific time at a specific day, while the Scriptures says that the believers are the church at all times. We are not in God’s house more when we are dressed up in church compared to when we are naked in the shower. Thus, it doesn’t make sense to wear differently than usual when you “go to church” because you ARE the church 24/7.

3. Above all: it’s simply not biblical to dress expensive when you go to church. Some people try to create a theology around it, claiming that it’s honoring God and stuff. But the Bible never says that, and we never read that the disciples dressed in a certain way during their meetings. The only time the New Testament talks about expensive clothes and jewelry is when it forbids us to wear it (1 Timothy 2:9, 1 Peter 3:3)!

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3 Comments

  1. mike says:

    Outstanding Post

  2. […] series, as well as its sequal God vs Poverty and several other texts published on this blog like Should Christians Wear “Formal” in Church?, It’s Time for All Christians to Become Vegetarians and Seven Reasons Why Inequality Sucks. […]

  3. […] I wrote three years ago about how absurd it is that Christians often are expected to “dress up” as they attend church meetings, wearing clothing that’s more expensive and “proper” than what they normally wear. The reason this is absurd is that the Bible never commands it but, on the contrary, prohibits Christians to wear expensive clothes – at all times, not just at church meetings. I’ve made a video when I discuss this: […]

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The author

Micael Grenholm - a Swedish charismactivist residing with the Jesus Army in the UK.

Micael Grenholm - a Swedish charismactivist residing with the Jesus Army in the UK.

Check out my YouTube channel!

A Living Alternative

God vs Inequality

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