I have caught a lot of flack over the years for preaching in jeans every single weekend. When I am criticized for not dressing up for church, the logic that comes my way makes no biblical sense.
I dress up for church, so I can give God my best.”
This is stupid. Every weekend people dress up, go to church and worship Jesus, who rebuked religious people for the way they dressed!
Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long. Mathew 23:5
In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Matthew 23:28
It’s like modern Christianity has tried to imitate the very thing Jesus was rebuking!
It’s more Holy to dress down
I cannot tell you anyone in the Bible who dressed up to worship God and was commended for it. However, I can give you great examples of people who dressed down.
- John the Baptist – John wore rough clothes made from camels. Jesus applauded his attire:
Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Matthew 11:7-8
- David – David danced before the Lord in a linen ephod. (2 Samuel 6:14) This would be like basketball shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt to us. When his wife criticized him for it he replied,
I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. 2 Samuel 6:22
Dressing up for church
God does not want you to be distracted by how you look on the outside. That is not what his kingdom is about. He sees right through the finest suit or elegant dress.
When God sent Samuel to appoint one of the sons of Jesse as the new king he gave him this instruction.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 2 Samuel 16:7
What should I wear?
God wants your heart. Wear whatever you want to church. Come as you are. If you normally wear khakis, wear khakis to church. If you are a jeans guy wear jeans. However, if you find yourself putting on somethings special just to look a certain way at church, you are probably missing the point.