Question #132

Is it okay to wear casual clothes in the worship service?

Some of the people here wear casual clothes. short pants, sandals without socks. flip flops. some wear very sexy clothes. I always wore suit or pants and neck tie. Now I wear athletic shoes and casual. Is this ok? what does the bible say about dress code for church? It seems now a days, anything goes???? I do understand if your so poor, you cannot afford a suit, that what you have it ok. But, what about those who have money, but choose to wear, "casual" or "very casual"????

The Answer:

The question is difficult to answer because it contains no definition of terms. One person’s casual clothes may be another’s very best. Of course, it remains to be shown whether they are the best because it was all that the wearer could afford or because it was the best the wearer was willing to buy.

The real question is whether the clothes that one wears affect the behavior of the wearer. The answer to that question based on research appears to be yes. While some research is to the contrary, most research that was “googled” took the position that what one wears affects both the wearer’s conduct and the attitude of others toward the wearer. In other words, the wearer lives down to the level of dress and others judge the wearer by the wearer’s dress.

What does this mean in relationship to attending worship? God has always required that we offer to him our best. While it may be argued that this relates to offering the best of our self, that doesn’t answer the question – it just moves the question one step further down the road to determining what offering the best of self includes. If one wears the best that he can afford as apposed to the best that he chooses to afford, he cannot go wrong. To the extent that dress reveals attitudes less than “dress clothes” reveals that the wearer has the right attitude. If one wear’s less than his best, choosing casual clothes, it could reveal that the wearer has a casual attitude toward the worship of God.

Has God indicated what His priests should wear when coming before him in worship (remembering that we are all priests, 1 Peter 2:9)? You may read of the God ordained dress of the priests in passages such as Exodus 28:6-8, 36-39; 29:6; 39:2-5, 30; Leviticus 8:7-9. God not only demanded the best – He designed it for them. He has designed nothing for us, but surely He still demands out best.

Someone may say if that is the case then those with tuxedos and evening dressings should wear them to worship. The response is that it is possible to go overboard in either direction.

Clearly this answer may be biased by the training of a generation that when men went to worship they should wear a suit and tie. Today’s generation is different. Even the marketplace has gone to casual dress. However, it is not casual in the sense of whatever you want to wear. It is “dress casual.” Surely that is not too little to expect when we gather to worship the great God of the universe. Some are wearing to worship clothes that they would not be permitted to wear on a good golf-course – no denim and no collarless shirts. Some even wait on the Lord’s Table in T-shirts emblazoned with worldly comments or advertising. Such is surely an insult to the God of Glory.

With that said, what, if anything can be bound? The men should dress in keeping with the solemnity of worship and the majesty of the God worshipped. Women should dress modestly with the same guidelines. That will surely please God. Anything less is open to question. As a Christian, which should I choose?

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)