Dress Down?! Nope!!

by Lester Young

There’s still a view, even today, among many that ‘true’ Christians should not have much money, nor be concerned at all about money. What’s more, I’ve heard people (some seemingly otherwise reasonable and level-headed people) say that Christian preachers should not be dapperly-attired. One even went so far as to say that they thought a well-known and particularly well-dressed preacher was going to Hell because, and I quote, “His suits are too nice.” As the world-famous actor and philosopher Bugs Bunny would say, and I quote again: “Wha…???????”

Where do such schools of thought come from? No, it isn’t from the Bible. The Bible does not teach against money; It warns against the love of money, declaring that such love is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Loving money (or anyone or anything else, for that matter) and giving it a place in your heart higher than where you have God situated, is none other than covetousness – and covetousness is simply idolatry by another name (Luke 12:15, 16:13-14; Ephesians 5:5).

Indeed, material blessings are promises of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 28:1-13), the blessing of Abraham that all who are in Jesus Christ are a legitimate party to (Galatians 3:13-14). Of course, although promised, provision from the Lord (2 Corinthians 9:6-11; Philippians 4:19) – be it the new birth, healing, finances or anything else – is both received and realized through faith. If you don’t believe in it or aren’t believing for it, then you don’t ever have to worry about being bothered by it. But I digress…….

Back to this ‘clothes’ thing. Let’s just start with Jesus. (Sidebar: No, He wasn’t poor. He had money flowing into and out of His ministry.  You don’t hire someone to handle your organization’s finances if you’ve only got 37 cents total between you and your twelve employees. Judas was the Lord’s treasurer – he held the money bag [John 13:29]). The Lord wore a one-piece woven cloak, very high quality and desirable. This was clothing for the well-to-do and people of note. That’s why the soldiers cast lots to see who would take it. And, by the way, they also divided up the rest of his garments – which means that He wasn’t wearing any threadbare or worn-out apparel. Simply put (and tacky as it may have been), they wanted His stuff.

But let’s go back even farther. When God picked Aaron (Moses’ brother) and his sons to be His priests, He told them exactly how to dress. Exodus 28 describes their outfits – and, let’s just say, they weren’t sporting anything from K-Mart. Purple, scarlet, gold; and precious stones like emeralds, sapphires and diamonds…these folks were off the chain! And God revealed exactly why He wanted them dressed so elaborately: “for glory and for beauty”…and “to consecrate him (or, separate him unto God), so that he may minister to Me in the priest’s office” (Exodus 28:2, 40).

Being a priest was – and still is – a very special office of honor. He represented God to the people, and conferred blessing upon them in God’s Name (Deuteronomy 21:5). God wanted His priests looking good, really good, when they executed their duties. They were His ambassadors. Well, does God change? Has He ever? No, not at all (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). In Christ, we’re kings and priests today, and ambassadors for Him (Revelation 1:6, 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:20). We represent Him to the world – a hurting, confused and broke world. If all we’ve got to show is something threadbare, who would want it? They’ve already got enough of that on their own without Him.

There’s nothing at all wrong with dressing well and looking good. In fact, God really does want us that way (3 John 2). It shows the world He cares about His people and how they live, and that He cares enough to do something about it. It shows them that He’s not only a great God, but He’s a good God, too! We should be living exactly the way God wants us to live, in every area of our lives. We should be looking good, really good, because the world’s watching.

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2 Comments to “Dress Down?! Nope!!”

  1. I see your point, Lester. I don’t have a problem with preachers dressing dapperly. I do have a problem when in some churches, there is no accountability regarding where and how finances are being spent. I have visited a couple of churches where the finances were tightly held by a husband and wife team, and they had multi-million dollar homes, they drove luxury cars, whereas the majority of the church members who were required to tithe, were people of meager means. There was no financial annual report — it was closed even to the church members. There’s a danger when there is no financial accountability, and it is not a good witness to the unsaved world in these cases. But where there is full disclosure of where the tithes and offerings are going in a church, then by all means, the pastor must be clothed well and taken care of.

    • Amen, Dee…accountability in all things is certainly part of our reasonable service and faithfulness to God, and especially for those who are in positions of leadership and authority. To not be so only gives the world more ammo in which to throw rocks at the Church. Where there is sincere faithfulness (to and in whatever the Lord has called us to do), the Blessing is promised to abound! As always, thanks for the wisdom…

      Lester

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