When I was a little boy, most likely 80% of men used a tie and coat to our church, as well as 90% of ladies used gowns. By the time I was in secondary school, 40% of men wore a tie and coat, and 50% of women put on church dresses, most of both genders being elderly and middle-aged. Every person else was clothed in “service casual.” Pants were rare. T-shirts are even rarer. Even shorts were not seen out of the baby room, also in mid-July.
Today, in the church I attend, no guy uses a match or sports jacket unless it’s a special occasion. And also, ties are seen less than coats. I would claim less than 5% of females wear outfits on Sunday. Shorts, sandals, and t-shirts are commonly used in the summer. My son, who is very young, wonders why he needs to “dress properly” for the church when I tell him to wear better pants, as well as a better tee shirt.
In the tiny Protestant denomination, I come from, no pastor I recognize preaches in a layer or connection on a typical Sunday. Pastors, praise employees, as well as various other system individuals, who dress practically like everybody else minus the tee shirts, shorts, and sandals.
These changes in what individuals use to church reflect the larger social modifications over the previous fifty years pertaining to apparel. The whole of American culture has clothed down. This has generated mostly generational arguments over appropriate church attire. Those that favor more official dress suspect casual clothes show an ill-mannered, profane perspective toward God. Those that favor informal gowns feel it mirrors a more authentic technique to God. Does either have a biblical situation?
Does God tell us what we should use in church?
The dispute over official against laid-back church clothes is a reducing one for at least 2 reasons:
- the pro-formal event is reducing, as well as
- the pro-formal remnant is so outnumbered, it barely seems worth the initiative to argue.
Most individuals that lament the casual pattern came of age in a period where public wear general was more formal. They, like most individuals in every era, just presumed their own cultural standards. It just wasn’t “right” to put on informal clothes in certain locations, especially in church.
So, as the social clothing norms transformed, and people, commonly younger people, started wearing informal clothes to those areas, consisting of a church, it felt “incorrect.” It seemed like a kind of disrespect, even disobedience, toward the older generations. In church, it seemed like disrespect, also rebellion, toward God.
But is this true? Absolutely, on the micro-level of wicked individuals, plenty of rebellion toward seniors and God took place, just as it has in all generations. The pro-formal gathering had their generational expressions of disobedience. Yet from a biblical viewpoint, there is no compelling exegetical instance to be made that a more formal outfit is de facto more considerate towards God than a laid-back dress. Church clothing is a choice developed by society, as well as custom.