Undressing Assumptions In A Church Clothing Debate
When theologians and the like remark how society has become more casual, it might be helpful if they explained what is exactly meant by that, to what extent they oppose the development, and how this trend is supposedly harming the individual.
For example, it is probably best for those holding elected, ecclesiastical, or professional office to adorn themselves worthy of the part as they execute their duties.
However, it does not follow that the remainder of us should be similarly miserable if we are not enjoying the same degree of prestige, payment or opportunity.
Relatedly, sometimes those latching onto this complaint insist one can no longer distinguish between men and women in contemporary America.
Yet other than assorted gays, certain men with long hair, and women with eating disorders in serious need of treatment, it is not that difficult to tell the difference between a man and woman in a pair of jeans or slacks.
In a Facebook exchange regarding this issue of attire in the church, for suggesting that there is nothing wrong with the average attender adorning themselves a bit more casually while it is probably better for the clergy to dress a bit more solemnly, it was hinted at that I was undermining my usual position of vocational equality.
But foremostly, the validity of that allegation depends on what is meant by equality.
The pastor is to lead the order of service within the church.
That's why one does not shout out how full of it many of them are in the middle of the service.
However, the pastor is not in charge of my home or what goes on in my head.
That is why in my vocation as a critic under the First Amendment why I am able to convey my findings and conclusions to a broader audience through social media upon my return home.
It was also observed that most dress better for work or a restaurant than they do for church.
However, those particular places have established rules regarding what one must wear if one does not want one’s access to such places restricted or rescinded.
Unless one is on its administrative staff, such regulations do not normally exist for a house of worship.
Do we want to start barring those not deemed “good enough” in terms of outer formality from entering the house of God?
These days, so long as the “strategic areas” of the anatomy are concealed, shouldn’t we just be glad someone shows up at all in light of all the other options competing for someone’s time and attention?
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.