Christian Men Should Wear Suits and Ties to Worship: A Response
If you haven't already, go read Wes McAdams' article entitled "Christian Men Should Wear Suits and Ties to Worship." Below is my response.
It was the Summer of 1996. I had only been baptized for a month. I had been on fire as a Christian, reading everything I could get my hands on and going to every youth activity that was scheduled.
I was sitting about 15 minutes before services talking with one of my friends when one of our deacons came and asked if I'd like to serve on the Lord's Table.
I was so excited. Me? On the Lord's Table? So soon? I was thrilled that they would ask.
The people who were serving in the service met back in a back room before heading out to worship. I walked with confidence and excitement down the long hallway to the back.
And then, before I even got through the door good, a gruff man said, "He can't serve. He's not wearing a tie."
I was fifteen. A brand-new Christian. On fire for the Lord. And you could have knocked me over with a feather. The one Sunday I don't wear a tie.
I could have been bitter. I could have taken it personally, whether it was meant to be personal or not. I could have left that church.
But I didn't do any of those things. I'll tell you what I did do: I remembered it, even 18 years later.
So bravo, Wes McAdams, for speaking up and addressing an issue that I have felt strongly about for a long time.
Our judgmental attitude that we wear to worship to look down our nose at people who aren't dressed as nicely as some is a far more serious issue than what we are actually wearing to worship.
I have always worn a tie to Sunday morning worship, and being a minister, I probably will never stop doing so. Why? Because I think it's professional and respectful.
But how can we judge others based upon what they are wearing? How can we impose tradition as doctrine when there is no such thing?
I am not saying that our dress shouldn't be respectful, because it should. We should take the worship of our God seriously and not just throw something on and come to church.
But for us to pass judgement on others? I think the Bible has stuff to say about that.
Ask yourselves this question: are you pushing people away or bringing people to God with your comments about dress? Have your comments ever left a sting that lasted 18 years like mine did?