Readers' Forum

Dress Code Discussion

Dress for the Lord

Concerning a "church dress code" (see January Readers' Forum): As a pastor, I have given much thought to this matter over the years. While I have not been fervently dogmatic concerning this matter, I often refer to a particular example found in Scripture.

In Genesis 41 we find the Pharaoh sending for Joseph who is in a prison dungeon. We read: "...and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh."

It appears that for some people, going before an important person evokes a certain degree of respect that demonstrates itself in how one presents themselves. How much more so when the important person is the almighty God?

Van Morris, pastor Calvary Christian Center Mt. Washington, Ky.

Make Sure All Can Afford It

Dress codes are being input to many schools in the local area. This is being done to stop conflicts as to words or pictures on tee shirts, hats, or coats.

I feel that each church has the freedom to set up a dress code for leaders that serve during services.

What this dress code requires should be voted into the church by all members and if need be the cost of robes, coats, and ties should be covered by the church if a person is unable to buy items needed to fill the duties of pastor, deacon, choir singer, and even down to the person that cleans the church.

The question I would ask Jessica and others in her church is: "Would a person from the poor part of town not be able to serve communion, because his best is only worn shoes, jeans, and a work shirt?"

Church membership in Columbus has people in income levels from very rich to very poor. With 84-plus churches and missions, none I know of has a dress code.

Jimmy Marcum Southside Baptist Columbus, OH

Youths Need Reining in

Seven years ago, I would have considered a dress code in church not only silly, but legalistic. It's been my experience that reasonable adults are well able to look around and see for themselves what is appropriate. Our pastor has even gone out of his way to share his opinion-that commenting on a new Christian's clothing choices may be a discouragement. Better to let that new Christian mature and choose the appropriate for himself. And I agree with this-as regards adults. Unfortunately, our teens' clothing is getting smaller and smaller and they don't seem to be able to see for themselves that it is inappropriate. The schools do not allow things like short skirts and spaghetti straps in the classroom because they are a distraction. For the same reason, I would applaud any church that required modesty of its members.

Lisa Bluford Chattanooga, TN

Modesty in Women, Masculinity in Men

Women are to dress modestly as 1 Timothy 2:9 states: "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel." What a women wears to church should be modest which will honor her husband and the Lord. But I Peter 3:1-6 clearly states that the Woman of God will make it a priority to lead a Godly life and have a Godly attitude, which will effect what she wears. A woman can encourage sexual sin in the heart of men of all ages if she does not consider the above commands by both Peter and Paul.

Men, according to I Corinthians 11 are to be very careful with the length of their hair. "1 Cor 11:14 says: "Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?" The implication is men are to be masculine and not feminine. Role identification is clearly taught in Scripture.

Here is the problem with the dress code: Who will police this action? Who sets the standards? How much does culture play into our understanding of "proper dress"? As a pastor I say give God your best! If the best you have is a nice shirt and dress pants then give God your best. If you have a suit - wear it. But if all you have is a nice pair of blue jeans and two pair of sneakers-then wear the best pair.

The issue at stake is much deeper than a dress code. It is about allowing the Holy Sprit to convict men and women, in His timing, and allowing them to grow and come to convictions not forced upon them by heavy-handed "do gooders."

Pastor Bradley S. Darr Craig Bible Church Craig Alaska

"Anointing" Slipping Away

Enclosed please find the Pulpit Helps Survey 2006

Since I retired from the ministry, September 2005, I would not be qualified to answer some of the questions.

As I reviewed the survey, I thought of the spiritual condition in our nation. I have been a believer since August, 1936. Many changes have taken place since that date.

One thing lifted to my mind: The need in our lives of a fresh "anointing from God." Ministers of my acquaintance carry on their mission but fail to sense their need of the "anointing." Ministers may be well trained scholastically but their vessels may have little oil. The person called by God to preach, anointed for that ministry, becomes a channel through which God reaches out to the lost. That "anointing of God" is slipping away, it seems, and the interest of life becomes attracted to other things. There is a great need of "anointed servants." Some thoughts in print would be a fresh reminder.

I have been a subscriber to Pulpit Helps for several years, and I always look forward to receiving my copy.

Robert Worley Richmond, Virginia

New/Old Puzzle Challenge

I worked the new (old) puzzle, and it's a toughie! Took some real ingenuity and research to pull it through, but I did. I think they used to insert a Scripture verse to help out occasionally, before, but none this time. A real challenge!

AliceMae Favro Clover, S.C.

Editor's response: Not quite right: the answer IS the Scripture verse. To you and all our puzzlers: Welcome back to the full-strength addictive challenge!

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