Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Would Jesus wear slacks?

Here's the thing.

On Sunday, I had an unusual morning in that I was not preaching or leading the service. So I arrive at church in a joyous and free demeanor in my jeans. For some unfathomable reason, our dress code is that we wear non-jeans and we look what, in dreadful modern sartorial vernacular, is called 'smart-casual'. A mark of my 'gas-mark three' evangelicalism perhaps?

As it turned out, my Sunday was far from a rest. Trevor, who was due to lead the service, was called up to the band due to a lack of a guitarist and I was sent in to bat with 30 seconds notice to lead the service and communion.

All went well as it happens. Not bad I thought from a standing start. Give yourself a pat on the back.

This was the feedback. (This of course did not come to me directly-we are remember Anglicans).

Could I please not wear jeans when I minister communion?

Three people fed this back to our church office.

Fawn slacks yes jeans no?

Now of course I know that some might be offended by my jeans. Maybe I do indeed look offensive in jeans. Many under 40 would suggest the reverse and are deeply offended by the very existence of the slack. What if I too am deeply, unbearably traumatized by the beige slack?

(I could at this point make a case for liturgical robes as some might but I won't)

But my big question is why no jeans?

Can anyone tell me where in the New Testament there is a distinction made in dress between slacks and jeans at the Lord's supper? Khaki allowed but denim bad. Sounds a bit Levitical to me?

Is this a real issue that should concern me or is it, as I suspect, religion?

The preacher as it happens was wearing a T-shirt and 3/4 length shorts? Mandated dress for bread and wine but not for preaching God's word?

Should I wear jeans next time or return to beige slack mediocrity?

What trousers would Jesus wear? Linen perhaps given the weather

Views please


rodneyolsen said...

Hezekiah 3:18-20

And it was upon that day that the prophet spake unto the crowd saying, "Wear ye not the cloth of denim upon thy loins for it may offend the weaker brother. Thou shalt pay attention to the law of the beige slacks and submit to the authorities in all matters of dress. Thy integrity shall not be judged by the level of thy commitment but rather by the wearing of clothes that have been set down in the code as pleasing to the assembled brethren."

tallandrew said...

I've always thought that golf clubs (and I am a member of one) were an example of 'religion' - salvation by works. You walk in and see a great long list of things you are not allowed to wear. No jeans. no denim. no combats. shorts must be tailored. All shirts must have a collar.And to cap it all, I walked into one golf club once (not mine) and saw a big signs saying "shirts must be tucked in at all times". Salvation by works. Rules decided by 'respectable' old men on a committee which had no relation to real life. We are destined to fail.

Wayne Massey said...

Jesus wears (he is still a human) board shorts!

David Cooke said...

Thanks for the thoughts. They made me smile!

I think you can guess who! said...

I would be interested to know if the same three people had any views concerning the video clip from SEX AND THE CITY which featured within the sermon/talk?

The series is outlined:
"The narrative of the show focuses on Carrie and her three best friends. The women discuss their sexual desires and fantasies, and their travails in life and love. The show often depicts frank discussions about romance and sexuality, particularly in the context of being a single woman in her mid-thirties."

But then you'd probably have to be a regular jean wearer to watch that sort of stuff.

Perhaps the advice should be that if you're going to do the magic bit with bread and wine, you should wear full wizard's robes!?

Personally, I will be playing keyboard in full lounge suit when next on the rota - so as not to offend.

adam said...

Ahhh, now does it come down to expectations? I believe that as the preacher was the "Youth Minister" people have somewhat low expectations that can work both in his favour (when it comes to what he wears) and to his detriment (when he hopes people might actually listen to what he preaches)!

Now you are "respectable" and "a member of the clergy" certain things are expected of you in the clothes department, but in return people take heed when you speak (at least sometimes!?).

The "Youth Minister" in 3/4 lengths

Anonymous said...

What was King David wearing when he exclaimed, "I will celebrate before the LORD. I'll become even more undignified than this"?

Would I wear jeans when eating supper with my friends? Yes.

Smart dresser said...

we all have to wear a uniform which comes with the authority and responsibility of our position. Police officers, teachers, etc.

Perhaps it is right for people up the front with positions of authority to dress smartly.

PS I'm not allowed to wear jeans at work

David Cooke said...

The first case for the slack. The case being that breaking bread is 'work' and that dress is linked with authority.

How does anyone feels this measures up?

I will think on that. My question did ask for a biblical mandate in the NT and,of course, some have a set dress for their workplace. Did Jesus think of it as 'work' and what about 1 Cor 11. What's going on there? Also, is the call to be 'smart' a call to tradition rather than Scripture and there is indeed a strong call to tradition in some streams of the C of E. Not in ours though I would argue.

Thanks for all the thoughts.

smart dresser said...

1 Timothy 3 says about elders being respectable, but in whose eyes? We all have different ideas about what is respectable. Romans 13 talks about submitting to authority, but does the priest in his own church exercise his own authority to wear what he likes? Does he get his authority from his congregation or from the church authorities? If the latter, then he is 'at work'. Romans 14 says about not living to ourselves but to others and not causing them distress. Does adapting our dress to give a good impression help others and if that's the case, it can't be too much trouble to wear something else. I wonder what Jesus wore to the wedding at Cana? I've not seen any jeans at weddings I've been to.

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