I was in a church a while back where there arose a discussion about the laxness of the dress code. A certain couple felt all the male leaders and the men on the platform should wear a coat and tie, and the ladies should wear dresses to set the example for the rest of the church because dressing our best was what honored God. In addition, this couple felt that their displeasure with those who didn’t dress this way and their campaign to improve the dress code of their church also honored God.
Their campaign consisted of writing letters to leadership, talking personally to all those who did platform ministry and threatening to withhold their tithe if the church didn’t raise the bar concerning the dress code.
Compare that with this story from my first church.
A lady named Rebecca had finally convinced her husband to come to church. His primary resistance was…he had no clothes to wear. He was a former gang member, so his clothing style was that of a gang-banger. But she had convinced him that our church was different. Everyone comes as they are. So he agreed.
But when they drove into the parking lot that Sunday, the first few men he saw wore a shirt and tie, and he refused to come in.
He told his wife, “I’ll wait in the car.”
When Rebecca came into the church she looked downcast. One of our ushers, who happened to be the only person in the church Rebecca’s husband knew, also happened to be dressed in a three piece suit that day. He had just bought it for a wedding he had to attend and was showing it off…just to be humorous.
He noticed Rebecca’s downcast look and asked what was wrong.
After she told him, he went into the restroom, took off his suit coat, his vest, his shirt and tie, and hung them over the stall. All that was left was a flimsy tank top tee shirt which he pulled over his pants. Then he went to the car where Rebecca’s husband was sitting.
In a few minutes they both came through the church doors with their arms around each other’s shoulders and smiles on their faces.
That Sunday, our head usher took the offering wearing a tank top, with upper-arm tattoos and a hairy back on display for all to see; and Rebecca’s husband gave his heart to the Lord.
1 Samuel 16:7 ~ “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”