Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why do we Dress up for Church?

About two weeks ago my family and I decided to study why we dress up for church. We knew that it had to be more than just a tradition - because we all know traditions have to have a beginning somewhere. We knew that it was to show respect towards God and Christ, but we also knew that nothing we can do of our own merit can please Him.
Many of the modern ideas are something like this: "God looks on the heart, not the outward appearance.. right? So really, we shouldn't have to worry about what we wear." But no. We knew there had to be more to it and we all began studying. It was somewhat difficult to find Bible verses talking about mans outward appearance towards God on Google or anywhere else, but not impossible. I want to share with you some of the thoughts and scriptures we compiled that night. Before I go on to that though, I want to say tell you something my Dad said. It is so true, since we, as men, look on the outward appearance. He said; "What we wear, paints the very picture of who we are."

 To begin, let us look at the verse I found as I studied. In Revelation 19:6-8 we read:
"Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying out,“Hallelujah!For the Lord our God    the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult    and give him the glory,for the marriage of the Lamb has come,    and his bride has made herself ready;
to her it has been granted to be clothed    with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints."

What stuck out to me  in this verse is the part where the Bride is mentioned as getting ready for her groom. She is ready in bright and pure linen representing righteousness. I thought that this verse went along well with what we were studying. It surely didn't condemn being dressy. Are we not the Bride of the Church? Like many things in the Bible our "dressing up" is a representation of the righteous deeds of the saints.

We see in John 21:7 that Peter put on his outer garments when the Lord came into view. He got dressed for Christ.
 "That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea."
Another passage, which is very long, is in Exodus 28 where God himself is telling how Aaron the Priests garments are to be made. There is sooo much detail in this! When you read this passage it is obvious that God is commanding/telling Aaron to "dress up" for Him.  I encourage you to follow the link to read this passage. It is to long to post here. ;)

 Exodus 19 leads us to see that Moses is commanded to prepare the Israelites to meet God. They are to clean themselves and to put on fresh clothing.
10 the Lord said to Moses: “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and prepare for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 You shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch the edge of it. Any who touch the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch them, but they shall be stoned or shot with arrows;[a]whether animal or human being, they shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they may go up on the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people. He consecrated the people, and they washed their clothes. 
The Bible doesn't condemn dressing up for Church or God, but rather encourages it. What he does condemn is being vain and only dressing up to please man. (Ouch!)
These verses encouraged us to see why we dressed up for Church. We didn't like the modern quietly said idea of  Church being a fashion show, and like I said before, we knew there had to be a background behind the tradition of dressing up for Church. I know that this is probably not the best blog post that could have been written, but I think that the scriptures speak for themselves. God's word does not turn back void and I hope he used this compilations of thoughts and scriptures to help you understand why we dress up for Church.

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