Why I Still Wear A Tie To Church

10742 reads

There are 41 Comments

JD Miller's picture

I am curious as to other's thoughts about John the Baptist and how he dressed in camel hair and animal skins rather than the fancy clothes of the day.  Barnes- a commentator from an earlier generation- wrote:

His raiment of camel's hair. His clothing.  This is not the fine hair of the camel from which our elegant cloth is made, called eamlet; nor the more elegant stuff, brought from the East Indies, under the name of camel's hair; but the long, shaggy hair of the camel, from which a coarse, cheap cloth is made, still worn by the poorer classes in the East, and by monks. This dress of the camel's hair, and a leathern girdle, it seems, was the common dress of the prophet

Poole also comments:

 There are great and insignificant disputes about the habit and the diet of John the Baptist. The evangelists doubtless designed no more than to let us know, that John Baptist's habit was not of soft raiment, like those who are in princes' houses, but a plain country habit, suited to the place in which he lived; and his diet plain, such as the country afforded. In vain therefore do some contend that John wore watered stuff, fine and splendid, as art in our days hath improved camel's hair; and others as vainly contend that he went in a camel's skin raw and undressed: but he was habited in a plain suit of camel's hair, such as ordinary persons of that country used, or else such a rough garment as is mentioned Zec 13:4, used by the prophets. Elijah had much such a habit, 2Ki 1:8

Doddridge calls his garments sackcloth.  These are all older commentaries, not modern ones that are influenced by today's fashions.  Was John the Baptist letting down standards?  Was he a compromiser?  Jesus implied that he was not a reed shake in the wind.  I take that to mean that Jesus did not view him as a compromiser.

I wonder how many of us today would be critical of how John dressed. 

 

Crystal's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

(If ties are out...)What do you recommend for "formal wear" for men?

Remember men, the ladies are out there dressing well. What do we have?

If we go out for a fancy meal and I decide to get all dressed up in a fun, fancy dress I still want my husband to just wear a nice pair of black jeans and a nice top.  Forget the tie or sports coat or suit.  When we go out, even in his nice jeans and nice top, he is still generally speaking one of the more dressed up men there.  

I strongly dislike ties.  I personally don't find them to be attractive on most men.  The term "foppish" comes to mind. LOL     

Joel Shaffer's picture

KD Merrill wrote:

 

Craig wrote:

 

Exactly where did this "Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes" idea originate? Is it a tradition or doctrine? 

 

 

I believe it originated in the Old Testament, where God Himself described His plan for the priestly garments (Exodus 28).  No one is claiming that the passage directly applies to believers in this dispensation; however, it isn't unreasonable to draw some conclusions/principles regarding God's expectations of those who serve Him in an official capacity.   Does it require a tie?  No - but it doesn't mean we approach the subject of our physical appearance before a Holy God lightly.  Furthermore, we're a royal priesthood.   Does our appearance during corporate worship support that statement, given the OT precedent?

Let me ask you a question and if you could explain your reason for your answer:  for you as a dispensationalist that believes "we can draw some conclusions/principles regarding God's expectations of those who serve in an official capacity" from the Old Testament when it comes to dressing up for God, willing to draw some conclusions/principles from the Old Testament regarding God's expectations for his people to care for the poor as well?  

Larry Nelson's picture

 

Jim wrote:

This is for any pastor reading this ...

Have any of you ever said to someone ... "you are irreverent for not wearing a tie"? (or a suit)

I doubt it!

I once was informed by an usher at a local (Mpls./St. Paul area) IFB church that I was inappropriately dressed for church.  He went out of his way to tell me this, even though as a visitor I was a complete stranger to him. 

What was I wearing?  Tailored dress slacks, dress shoes, A long-sleeved, collared dress shirt, and a nice pull-over sweater.  (My transgression was that I lacked a jacket & tie.)

As he lectured me, I couldn't help thinking that if I was an unbeliever I might have been deterred from ever setting foot in church again...

 

Bert Perry's picture

It strikes me that anyone insisting on a tie for church needs to really deal with the clear implication of James 2; we may be a royal priesthood, but God does not set up liturgical vestments, ephod, urim and thummim, in the New Testament.

And I say this as a "fop" (h/t Crystal) who actually likes ties.  I aspire to be as much a fop as Percy Blakeney.  :^)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

JD Miller's picture

Larry, your experience reminds me of Romans 10:3

Romans 10:3 NKJV 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

It looks to me like the fashion police are trying to establish their own righteousness and are at the same time ignoring God's righteousness.

James 2:2-4 NKJV 2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, 3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool," 4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

Let us pay attention to what the Bible says, not to what man says we should do.  I am opposed to ungodly worldliness, and those who insist on a tie etal are acting in an ungodly worldly manner and should be rebuked.  At the same time we should not condemn someone who chooses to wear a tie.  I wore one this Sunday, I did not wear one the Sunday before.  It astounds me how quickly some people depart from the scripture to add rules that actually go against the teachings of God.  I am not one of those guys who thinks all fundamentalists are pharisees, but issues like this are why many people compare them to the pharisees who added to God's requirements while ignoring the requirements that were actually there.  
We as Biblical fundamentalists must have the courage to rebuke such false teaching and to encourage those who have erred to repent for the kingdom is at hand.

Mark_Smith's picture

What about the loss of formality among men in America? Are we losing something as men by not "presenting" ourselves better. Forget church, I am talking about dress in general.

Bert Perry's picture

Mark, as someone who dresses "better than average" a lot of times, I tend to agree that there is an issue--I just don't want it being presented as something one has to do to go to church.  

To draw a picture, if someone pulls me aside and says "I've got a walk-in closet full of clothes and I've got nothing I like to wear", I would be glad to counsel with them and might even point them to a competent tailor if their profession and lifestyle warranted.  One of my favorite articles on the subject, by Jeff Tucker (writer for LewRockwell.com, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, etc..) notes that a good basic wardrobe can fit in 18 inches of closet space.  Mine, including a lot of winter wear--four seasons are more difficult than the warmth Tucker enjoys in Alabama--is about 30 inches of closet space, my wife's about the same.

I think dressing well is nicer, more comfortable, and....cheaper in the long run when you calculate the costs of paying for storage, loss due to mold and mildew, and the like.  But again, it is not a measure of holiness, and if someone tells me it is, I will always point them to James 2:2-4.  God did not institute liturgical vestments for his new covenant priesthood of all believers.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RickyHorton's picture

It is simply mind-boggling the hermeneutical gymnastics that take place when we try to Biblically justify our favorite traditions. 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Bert Perry wrote:

And I say this as a "fop" (h/t Crystal) who actually likes ties.  I aspire to be as much a fop as Percy Blakeney.  :^)

I'd point out that Sir Percy dressed that way when he intended to be taken for a fool or overlooked (or on a date with Marguerite).  When he was serious and getting down to business, he was usually dressed quite a bit more plainly, not even counting his disguises.

I'm old enough to still dress up for Sunday morning (if we are not having ice/snow), but as I come to the Wednesday service straight from work, I just wear my work clothes, as do most others.  We're not trying to be overly casual, but I think it just makes church attendance a part of our ordinary lives.  Respect for God is in our attitude, not what we wear.  If our hearts are not right, we're not fooling God by what we wear.

Dave Barnhart

josh p's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Mark, as someone who dresses "better than average" a lot of times, I tend to agree that there is an issue--I just don't want it being presented as something one has to do to go to church.  

To draw a picture, if someone pulls me aside and says "I've got a walk-in closet full of clothes and I've got nothing I like to wear", I would be glad to counsel with them and might even point them to a competent tailor if their profession and lifestyle warranted.  One of my favorite articles on the subject, by Jeff Tucker (writer for LewRockwell.com, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, etc..) notes that a good basic wardrobe can fit in 18 inches of closet space.  Mine, including a lot of winter wear--four seasons are more difficult than the warmth Tucker enjoys in Alabama--is about 30 inches of closet space, my wife's about the same.

I think dressing well is nicer, more comfortable, and....cheaper in the long run when you calculate the costs of paying for storage, loss due to mold and mildew, and the like.  But again, it is not a measure of holiness, and if someone tells me it is, I will always point them to James 2:2-4.  God did not institute liturgical vestments for his new covenant priesthood of all believers.

I loved that article Bert! Thanks for posting it.

Pages