I still wear a tie to church most Sundays.
My church’s “traditional” (read: Old Folks) worship crowd is mostly cured of the coat and tie habit. Open collars and sweaters are de rigueur. In the contemporary services, Colt’s jerseys or possibly the first t-shirt out of the closet seem the sartorial statements of choice.
Not me. I grew up with a father in the 1950s who was always in a tie – he’d wear a tie for a long car trip … on vacation. He taught me to tie a Full Windsor knot before I was old enough for school. I like ties. Sundays, weddings and funerals are about the only chances I have to wear one. Interestingly, I was once fired from a pretty good job for not wearing a tie. But that’s another story.
As for church, I feel good making the effort to dress up a little bit for God.
God doesn’t care what we’re wearing, I get it, but He can’t mind a tie and shined shoes any more than he minds a t-shirt and sandals. So I’ll go with the tie … for now.
Regardless of wardrobe, going to church implies more than encountering in worship God the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. We also are meeting our Christian brothers and sisters in fellowship.
So consider: Are we at church to see, or to be seen? By God? By others? What do our hearts hope to accomplish? Am I there to get some help for me? Am I there to love God and love others? Am I there to strengthen my faith; to worship, praise and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in communion with fellow believers?
Some churches and TV shows just preach “God” and, let’s be clear, that’s not a Christian message. It’s a God message, maybe, or an idolatrous “god” message, but most likely it’s a push-marketed “See what God can do for you!” message. That makes church about the glory of me, not the Glory of God, and that takes salvation off the table (Matthew 6:1-4, John 3:17, John 14:6). If I don’t hear the J-word – Jesus – or anything about the Father-Son-Holy Spirit, then I’m at a self-help lecture or fund-raiser, not Christian worship.
Jesus preached God’s Glory. He demonstrated selflessness dying on the cross. He instructed us to love God, to love others, and to bear our own cross. With humble, resolute faith in Christ, we are delivered from death and sin.
But the purpose of worship is defeated if we ever leave church thinking, “Hey, I’m glad you got to see me.”
No matter what we are wearing.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) wears Polos and button-downs in the summer.