Thursday, March 15, 2007

Flip Flops Or Not?

Last night the ladies class broke out in decision of dress at church.

The class is based on one of our elder's wife's book that she wrote and she is trying it out on us. She knew that this chapter is based on her opinion and expected discussion but I wonder if she expected what she got.

I was sitting toward the back of the class and the women at the front of the class got into the discussion and just about took over the class. It did seem that the older women (over 70) were close to the front of the class and those closer to my age range were nearer me. The teacher made the comment that when we come to church we should be dressed in our finest and not wearing flip-flops and holy jeans.

Now, anyone who has shopped lately know that flip-flops have become the hottest fashion statement among the young. Flip-flops are worn by brides, and prom queens and anyone who is anyone. College kids live in flip-flops both sexes although the girls flip-flops have more bling. What college kids call their finest is not what the over 70 crowd calls their finest. And you will never convince the young girls to wear those moo-moos that some older women wear any easier than convincing the older women to go out and get a tribal tatoo on the upper arms and butterflies tatoos on their ankles.

The real question is:
Does God care about what we are wearing to worship?

We are to dress modestly and that can be a concern. Even at church I have seen way too much "skin" above, below, and squeezing out the middle of their clothes on the girls and that is a major concern but not just for worship but for life in general.

God sees our hearts. What about our clothing at worship?

What does God think when the coal miner rushes in to worship before he has the opportunity to go to the house and clean up? What of his clothing? What of his heart?

Where do we put him to sit?

What of our college age students no longer under their parents supervision but coming to church dressed in their flip-flops and jeans and tees ? What of their hearts? Can they be of service to God? Does their attire interfere with their ability to worship?

What hinders YOUR worship?
When my ability to worship is hindered because the girl in front of me is wearing her jeans when I am wearing my bling maybe, my mind is on me instead of on God. I should come dressed to worship God not to parade my bling.

Maybe, we should be dressed in sackcloth and ashes.

*moo-moo: flowing full length gown with a rounded yoke around the neckline attaching yards and yards of fabric gathered at the yoke. Usually has a large hibiscus or tropical flower or bird appliqued on the yoke.
*bling: jewels and decorative adornment
*tribal tatoo: decorative pattern repeated in a band like a bracelet around the upper arm usually, sometimes, the wrist, ankle or finger.
*sackcloth and ashes: coarse cloth sometimes made of goat hair which is symbolic of an outward sign of mourning and humbling self before God. Person may have rolled in ashes to show how repentant or sorry they were.


  1. Amen, amen, and amen, Darla! Man, I hate I missed that discussion.
    I'm with you on the skin showing in the middle and for the very reason you mention.

    I'd like to think that people would consider presenting their best to God in everyday dress, not just at worship, but I'm afraid that doesn't happen. Our church family is pretty good, as far as I can tell, not to be too caught up in the class system of how and where people sit according to their dress, and I think that is due to our economy and population. I do, though, get distracted by some, and I just have to refocus.

    Man, I hate I missed that class!!
    Great post!

  2. Ditto. I, too, agree about the skin the middle. That just doesn't seem modest, although there are some who might be able to get away with it and still be modest. I wouldn't agree with the ladies who think you should "dress in your best" to come to worship. I've heard that from other women also and I think it is what that generation was taught. The men of that generation think they have to wear a suit to be presentable. If that's the way they feel, then they should dress accordingly, but that is tradition, not scripture. They shouldn't bind it on younger people who feel that bringing a contrite and open heart before God is what He wants. I think the scripture pretty well indicates that when God looks at us he sees our hearts, not how we're dressed. I think we have to be careful to not dress in such a way that we give the wrong impression of how we live - certain styles represent certain lifestyles (for example, Goth). Plus, certain styles, even if not dressy, call attention to the wearer. I think we're to avoid that if possible. The church in Georgia where we used to go catered to college students. We never turned anyone away because of their attire and we tried to not be fixated on it. They were there among other Christians trying to live a Godly life when they could have been out partying like most of their classmates. There were times the older ladies raised their eyebrows at what one of the students was wearing, but they got over it. What if they had made them feel unwelcome and the students just quit coming because of it. In big cities where there are a LOT of visitors, this is just not an issue anymore. I've had a homeless man sitting next to me. He smelled horrible, looked horrible, but he was there trying to learn. I think God was thrilled, not insulted at his dress. If these people saw only Christians dressed to the hilt entering the building, do you think they would feel welcome? I think this is putting fine dress out there as an attribute. I don't think God is happy with this. I guess the bottom line in my thinking is "what does your attire say about you". Is that image an acceptable one for a Christian?(Sorry, you hit a nerve. I agree wholeheartedly with you.)

  3. Yes, Linda, it hit a nerve with me also, and several others in the class.

  4. Women are such beautiful an complex gifts from God. At least that is what I tell myself. I think that it is funny that we spend our time talking about things that are such non-issues. I mean - all we are told is to dress modestly. Anything more is going where the bible doesn't speak. Why do we spend so much time nitpicking over clothes when God's word is so much richer than that? It that the influence of our soicety creeping into the church? I don't seem to remember Christ speaking on this topic. Why don't we model him and spend our time more in the word? Women - we are so silly!

  5. Good comments from all. I agree that we should not dress up or down to impress or draw attention to ourselves. God is not looking at clothing, but the heart.

    "In vain do they worship me..."
    They worship with their mouth, but their hearts are far from me"

    Get the heart right and that will satisfy the Lord!

    The heart of a well dressed person can be far from what the Lord desires, just as the heart of a person not so well dressed can be well pleasing to the Lord. It is not the clothes, but the heart.

    We dress to impress others! Not God!

    this is a man's point of view.
    Raised in the dark ages!

  6. I read your blog. We do get a lot of comments when we are talking about dress. I agree with you. Itis good for my age group to hear what younger ones think.

  7. I'm doing my best to love people past what I see . . and pay to all get out that God does the same with me!

    I think class was a case of people not seeing the forest for the trees. There are people under all those 'inappropiate' clothes. People God loves. Who really IS our example?