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The Suit and Tie

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I have been wondering what the deal is with the suit and tie in our churches.

Where does this come from as far as the scriptures are concerned?

 

When we go out visiting, I have often felt that the shirt and tie combo really causes people to be defensive, many think us to be Jehova's Witnesses at times, and for some reason it just seems to cause people to get defensive.

Where do we get this idea that God wants us to wear shirts and ties and suits at church or when doing ministry?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I agree with Salyan's explanation above. At least for me and in the churches I've been a part of, it is about giving God your best. If you wear greasy coveralls every day to work and your best clothes are pressed jeans and a polo, awesome. Sport it proudly on Sunday! However, if you wear a coat and tie to work every day, and you still wear jeans and a polo to church, what's that say about where God ranks in your life? I think it's all about your attitude and showing reverence and deference to a holy God.

I never wear a coat and tie out on door-knocking/soulwinning though. Not only is the heat and humidity oppressive, it makes people think I'm another Jehovah's Witness pushing bad literature.

 

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If the weather is conducive I will wear a coat and tie door-knocking. But to avoid mistakes, I have a selection of silly ties, dinosaur ties, Peanuts ties, reptile and monkey ties, even patriotic ties. No one thinks I am either a LDS or JW. Sometimes I wear a fedora or bowler hat. I also wear suit and tie in hospital visits, because it gets me more easily into rooms where otherwise only family might be able to go. I LOOK like a preacher, and that's important there, I believe.

Sadly, most people I see at weddings, funerals and church are sloppy, overly-casual, sometimes outright inappropriate and immodest. No one seems to have any respect for anything anymore. Have a fellow at our church who for a long time wore the same pair of pants in the evening service, and they had a hole just below the front pocket, and over time, I watched that hole expand until I had to tell him it was immodest for the amount of leg he was showing. It was like, Well, these are no good for anything else so I will wear them for church. Weird. Just being a good example doesn't cut it anymore.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Many men in this neck of the woods don't even own suits anymore. Church services, weddings and funerals are attended in the best of everyday wear or sometimes something a bit nicer; maybe a pair of dress pants and a polo shirt.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

does this leave the poor

 

I've been to some small churches where most of the folks are poor and can't afford a nice suit and tie, but one thing for sure you could feel the presence of the lords spirit in a church filled with mostly poor folks hearts on fire for Jesus . Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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does this leave the poor

 

I've been to some small churches where most of the folks are poor and can't afford a nice suit and tie, but one thing for sure you could feel the presence of the lords spirit in a church filled with mostly poor folks hearts on fire for Jesus . Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From what's mentioned of this matter in historical accounts it would seem when Christians assembled they would wear their better clothes. It seems over most of history those "better clothes" were most often their best everyday or work clothes because they didn't own any other clothing.

Our church first began having an early morning service on Sunday (8:00) because so many folks were working third shift on a Saturday night. They would get off work at 7:00, drive the 40 minute drive to church and attend in the clothes they worked all night in. That was the only way these folks were going to be able to attend Sunday service. (We still have the 8:00 service, and the "regular" 10:30 service, but work conditions have changed much over the years so now it's rare to have someone coming straight to church from a third shift job)

There should be no prescribed, or expected, "uniform" for church attendance. Folks should dress decently as they can and folks shouldn't dress in a blatantly disrespectful manner, but that doesn't mean every man must find a way to have and wear a three piece suit and tie.

Outside of church, sharing the Gospel, leading a Bible study, visitations and such, a persons attire could differ based upon circumstances and preference. For instance, I'm not going soul winning in the park on a sunny August afternoon when it's 98 degrees wearing a suit, coat and tie. At the same time, I'm also not going to be wearing a tank top, running shorts and flip-flops either!

When it comes to our attire, wherever we go, modesty, decency and respect should be considerations in what we wear.

 

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does this leave the poor

 

I've been to some small churches where most of the folks are poor and can't afford a nice suit and tie, but one thing for sure you could feel the presence of the lords spirit in a church filled with mostly poor folks hearts on fire for Jesus . Amen

 

Well, that's not really the case though, is it? See, I live in a very small, rural, agricultural community. A lot of the people are on disability or retired on a fixed income, and can't afford a nice new suit of clothes of dress. But we all know, with the prevalence of thrift stores, you can purchase a nice, sometimes VERY nice suit of clothes and dresses for pennies on the dollar. My first suit I got as a pastor was a thrift store suit, which was three-piece, dark blue, with the tags still on it-it was brand new, I got for $17. Thrift stores are where my wife and I get a majority of our clothes, and we get some beautiful things, sometimes, again, brand new. I recently bought a shirt for $4, that had the new tags on it, for $45.

So honestly, if someone wants to look nice, they can. If someone wants to give their best, they can.  That being said, no, I don't expect everyone to go buy a suit and tie-I would prefer the ladies be in dresses, or at the very least, modest, (though even that can be a continual fight during the summer, one I am currently having with a young lady who, despite counseling about it, has no problem wearing as little as possible on hot days), but these days, unless you live nowhere near a thrift store of any kind, saying I can't afford a nice outfit is an excuse. If someone wants a suit and can't afford it, I will take them and get them one at the thrift store. I have, I will again. If a lady wants a nice dress or three, we will take her to the thrift store and buy her some. My wife finds beautiful dresses there, for a song. 

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I have never found a suit I could wear in any thrift store. When I've looked for suits in such stores either they had none or only a half dozen or fewer and nothing I could have worn.

The thrift stores in this area have very little when it comes to men's clothes, outside of t-shirts.

I've known many poor families over the years that can barely keep themselves in work clothes. They can't spend money on a suit, even if they could find one, and then not be able to buy clothes for work.

That said, if you are referring to some who aren't as poor as they let on, that may be another story. Or, those who are poor but choose to blow their money on non essentials. Such as one single mom I knew who would get their welfare payment and use it to buy herself beer and cigarettes and then buy one jar of peanut butter for her children (son and daughter) and one loaf of bread if there was still enough money left.

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I have never found a suit I could wear in any thrift store. When I've looked for suits in such stores either they had none or only a half dozen or fewer and nothing I could have worn.

The thrift stores in this area have very little when it comes to men's clothes, outside of t-shirts.

I've known many poor families over the years that can barely keep themselves in work clothes. They can't spend money on a suit, even if they could find one, and then not be able to buy clothes for work.

That said, if you are referring to some who aren't as poor as they let on, that may be another story. Or, those who are poor but choose to blow their money on non essentials. Such as one single mom I knew who would get their welfare payment and use it to buy herself beer and cigarettes and then buy one jar of peanut butter for her children (son and daughter) and one loaf of bread if there was still enough money left.

Certainly your areas need to be considered. I know at my size it can be hard to find suits to fit me--us big men rarely give up any clothes until either we can't fit them anymore, or they are too worn out to wear. Usually if I find a few suits in my size at one time, I figure someone died.

Had one man who wanted a suit, so I took him out and helped him pick one out from a thrift store, as well as a nice shirt and tie. Then he never wore them and got mad at me, saying I was trying to make him imitate me. But it was HIM who asked for the suit. Go figure. Another I took and got him a suit, which he wore once, then his wife accidently destroyed it. he got another, though he seems he doesn't know how to fit himself, always too small, even though he's not a big feller.

But we DO have to drive an hour to get to Reno for the thrift stores, but there are tons of them there. If you need some, let me know sizes and I'll send you some. 

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Eight years pastoring.  Suit and tie twice. (Borrowed both times; glad to return them afterwards)

 

suit and tie just not me.

 

shotr sleeze shirt and everyday jeans or khakis.

 

many in congregation dressed better than me, many worse.  Services were great, people saved, congregations flourished.

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