Should We Dress Up in Church?

I always love when youth question why we do things a certain way in church. To me, that is an important stage in strengthening your faith. I have always cautioned them to be very careful in their search for an answer. Where do most people go for answers? We tend to go to friends, the internet, or even tradition for our answers. Everywhere except the most important place, which is God’s Word. A few weeks ago, we had a good discussion about dressing up in church. There were different opinions, but I think it is great that they are willing to question the why.

So, to address the issue of dressing up in church. We live in a very traditional area where most people have grown up in or around church. So for us to be a church that does not encourage people to dress up can be a little controversial. To me, the first question is does the Bible address the way we dress. Here are a few places to look:

1 Samuel 16:7
1 Timothy 2:8-10
Matthew 23:25-28
James 2:1 -4
Luke 7:24-26
Luke 12:22-23
1 Corinthians 4:11
1 Corinthians 9:22
1 Peter 3:3-4
Isaiah 53:3

Most people say that we should dress up out of respect for Christ. But how do you define dressing up. Is a tie enough? Or do you need a suit as well? Do nice jeans count? Or do you have to have slacks? Flat front or pleated? Cuffed or not? Shirt tucked in or out? What about sweater vests? Just kidding about that last one. But I think you may get my point because I could go on and on. What one person considers dressing up may not be consistent with what other people think. Very quickly you start down a road that leads to legalism and pride. You also start down a road that causes division between generations. What most 20 year olds consider nice, most 50 year olds would not even consider wearing, and the reverse is true as well. What I would wear to a job interview is very different from what an older person would wear. Why, because we grew up in different eras.

When I think about suits, I think about lawyers, bankers, business men, and funeral homes. But yet Jesus was constantly around the sinners of his day. Not the affluent and wealthy. The Pharisees were the religious of the day who were impressively dressed, but Jesus had some of the harshest words for them. I also think that dressing up can become a barrier to reaching people for Christ. I have had people ask me if they have to dress up for our church and then have a sigh of relief that they don’t. Why? Because they didn’t own any clothes that people would find acceptable in most churches. They felt like they couldn’t even attend church unless they bought “nice” clothes. How sad of an indictment is that against churches today. We are known more for what we wear instead of who we love.

To me it’s a matter of your personal conviction, but it’s not something you can force upon someone else. It simply is not directly addressed in the Bible. These are the type of issues that cause division in a church. When we focus on secondary issues, we are distracted from God’s vision for our church. You will never hear me preach against dressing up in church, but you will also never hear me preach against dressing casually. Why? Because as a church we have more important things to talk about. And if it bothers you when people don’t dress to your standards, please take a look at John 7:24. Let’s not focus on secondary issues that do nothing but cause division.

UPDATE: Comments have been disabled for this post. After 9 years of people commenting and discussing, it’s time to turn these off. I encourage you to read the last sentence of this post. Let’s not focus on secondary issues that do nothing but cause division. Thanks and God Bless


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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56 Responses

  1. Jan says:

    i found your post through google. thank you for your wise words and scripture references. can i use some of the information that you posted in a post of my own? i won’t copy word for word, but i’d like to use the same scripture references.

  2. Mike says:

    Glad the scripture references helped. My blog is here to share my thoughts but also to help others. Thanks for stopping by.

    • jolie says:

      helo pastor mike,,i am so blessed the way you discussed and answer some biblical questions..THANKYOU SO you have any free topical preaching outlines and devoionals ,,can you share it with is my facebook
      im from philippines,,,

  3. john says:

    Its about dressing our best not dressing up. Dressing our best will differ for everyone.

    • Nick says:

      This is exactly what I would be getting act. In the article, it questions what is ‘good enough’. It is not a single thing that makes it good enough such as a suit or tie, it is that person dressing their ‘best’ for the Lord. One persons best might be a $2000 suit while another is just some jeans with no holes. Many church’s have become so informal, if you dress up, you feel awkwardly overdressed, and that should not be.

  4. Stella Stefanie says:

    In my church, I have seen people dress very inappropriately for church. Especially in warm weather, when the women come in short shorts, wearing flipflops, and immodest tops. The men are not far behind the ladies, also with shorts, flip-flops, or dirty sneakers. I don't think the question above was for deciding what was appropriate such as suits, ties, or casual wear like slacks and sport shir ts. On approaching friends who are dressed as I mentioned above, short shorts, etc. I am told that God, is glad to see them, no matter what they are wearing. Maybe so, but , would they go to a formal wedding reception dressed that way? I think not. That's when the best bib and tucker come out. Sometimes new duds are purchased for the occasion, and frankly, it makes me sick.

    • latoria says:

      Well, it makes me sick that ppl like u like to major in the minor of others outward appearances. Will those ppl go to hell for wearing flip flops or dirty sneakers?? NO!!!! Get your priorities together so that u can truly be used to lead others to the Christ who is concerned with the cleanliness of their HEART as opposed to their sneakers!!!

      • jasonconaway says:

        I believe the above comment was addressing girls wearing shorts where their butt cheeks and boobs are or are almost hanging out. So don’t get your panties in a wad.

    • AmberNicole says:

      Doesn’t God see them at their worst? When they are in their sweatpants and t-shirts with no make up on? I don’t know about you, but I don’t put on a dress just to pray. Sure, it is a little disrespectful to show up in barely nothing, but God sees us all the time.

      About your wedding argument, you want to dress nice for a wedding, it is a once in a lifetime thing. Church is a little different, because while you should still maintain a little modesty, God sees us at our worst and still loves us.

      • David Cunningham says:

        As for the short shorts and low cut clothing for the girls, I think the verses above were clear. We should dress respectably and modestly but not adorned or be overly concerned about it. So here modesty is the key, there is a very clear line in modesty. As for what “respectable” means differs from person to person. Now the verses above do specifically detail that it is wrong do judge people based on their appearance in Church As Amber said God sees us at our worst and still loves us.

        as for the wedding argument, did you even read the verses? 1st peter 3:3-4 explicitly warns about making our appearance so beautifully adorned on the outside, and while this does not literally mean “Never dress nice,” as even Jesus once wore a wedding robe, it does serve as a warning against hypocrisy. Don’t act like you beautiful and still be ugly on the inside. Some people view how they dress for church as an extension of this and choose to dress casually as a way of “coming as they are”. If you want to do it as a sign of respect then that is fine, but it’s not your right to tell someone the way they dress at church. It doesn’t matter to God, why should it matter to you.

        Personally, if it was my choice (and currently it’s not), I wouldn’t bother trying to dress fancy, not worth it if it matters neither to me nor God. But I’ll make you a deal, If I’m still alive when Christ returns, I probably won’t be able to rent a tux but I’ll at least put on my best suite.

      • All I know is that is our King our savior our friend and He knows us inside and out, but because we love Him i think is a matter of respect and is trully personal to present in front of Him dressed clean and cover up while you pray with others. When you pray in your home is diferent then praying in church with others.if we go see our president how do we dress? God is our eternal president and even He does not juged what we wore is a personal choice and i like to praise Him even in small thingd like dressing diferent in Church then I do at a family piknic.even thou we are sinners and we are dirty doesnt mean that He doesnt want us to clean ourselfs in every posible way.going on the other extreme is dangerous too.but again if He is in our hearts we will find the right answer

    • Linda says:

      My post is 4 yrs. after the above post, but I was searching scripture to shed light on this very thing cuz someone in our church wore pajama bottoms to church and it upset our preacher. He said what is on the inside of us shows on the outside. He said it’s not respectful to wear inappropriate cloths to church. I agree, if people will show respect for a bride at her wedding to dress nicely for it, why can’t we do the same for the one we worship? Is that too much to ask? Sure, if you can’t afford to “dress up”, then at least wear something more appropriate. Your finest, may be my everyday cloths but at least it’s appropriate and not sleep wear, or shows too much skin for church. If you wear something that says, I’m lazy (sleep wear) then are you lazy in the Lord too? If you wear something showing too much skin (Dazy Duke shorts with mid riff top) are you “loose” or Jezebel spirit inside? So, perhaps the pastor is right, what you are on the inside shows on the outside???

      • Andy says:

        I only offer this. If I tried to match my outside with my inside I’d where all dark clothes as hideous as possible. For the last time I checked I’m a sinner. I’m am in Gods presents all the time and clothes aren’t a show of respect. Dressing for wedding is about people’s desire to look nice for other people. Not discounting tradition which is why I suspect most dress nice for certain events. When I go to church its for me and as member of the church I do my level best not to distract others from being there for themselves. Thus I don’t were short shorts and since I’m a 37 year old man that would be distracting. But typically i’m busy working on my insides so I tend to focus less on other peoples outside.

        • Lodown says:

          Why do you call yourself a “Sinner”? Is it because you believe that you are truly a sinner??? Or is it via the years of religious doctrine.

          Please forgive me, for I ask this with no disrespect. I’m simply trying to understand.

          See, I too once was taught that I’m a “sinner”… But then, as I started to gain wisdom, and started to learn who God is FOR MYSELF, I then understood that I WAS NOT A SINNER!! Yes, maybe when I was 18 and immature…smoking weed and hanging out all night … Maybe then I was a so-called “sinner.” But since then, while walking with the “God Of Love”, I’ve always asked myself, EVERYDAY: “Did I do anything wrong today … Did I sin and/or hurt others today.” …and the answer was always NO!!

          I’m 44 yrs of age…with a beautiful wife and 4 wonderful daughters. Married for 22yrs, with NO arguments whatsoever!! I’m not financially rich, but very wealthy with love and happiness!! Lol…so when I look at my life…the wonderful life that God has allowed me to manage…I suppose to believe that I’m a sinner?!?!

          Andy, I challenge you via logical thinking, by asking you to simply ask yourself: ‘Am I’m a Sinner?? Did I really commit a sinful act today/yesterday?’

          Now, if you did, I respect you…but, if you didn’t — then be real and refrain from calling yourself a sinner.

          • Mike says:

            Lodown, we are all sinners – check out You can also read about the theological concept of total depravity. We are born with a sin nature, yet the good news is found in Romans 5:8. While we were sinners, Christ died for us.

          • Lodown says:

            Thanks, Pastor Mike – for the reply…

            Pastor Mike- I ask “you” to please answer this (if you wish to share) logically, truthfully and with all honestly.
            Did you sin today…or yesterday?

            Please pastor, teach me this through your own “wisdom” and not through the “knowledge” of religion…or links.

            No debate, sir… No disrespect!! I just wanna learn; via realistic, logical common sense.


          • Mike says:

            We can sin by doing something wrong, or we can sin by not doing something we should. These are known as sins of commission and omission. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus equates hate with murder and lust with adultery. We all struggle with pride, hypocrisy, greed, and lust, many times without even realizing it until later. The only person that did not sin was Jesus. The rest of us are in a struggle between the flesh and the spirit. Read Romans 6-8 to get a better idea of this struggle.

  5. Mario says:

    I've been studying this topic for a little while now, and I found your post and the verses you share to be an excellent summary! Thank you for having taken the time to consider this issue and share your ideas with the rest of us.

  6. Todd says:

    There is a difference between dressing ostentatiously and respectfully. If the best that you can do is a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, then so be it. However, one should ask themselves if they are giving their best effort for their Lord and Savior.

    • Mike says:

      I appreciate you joining the conversation, but I'm having trouble following the argument of giving our best effort. Our best effort for Jesus does not involve how we look when we come together. In the post, I talked about how we view dressing up differently. If I don't tuck in my shirt, would that be disrespectful? Would $100 designer jeans be just as ostentatious as a $1000 suit? The way we dress can be very subjective, and if we make it the measuring stick for our faith, then haven't we missed the point of loving God and loving others?

      The church I pastor is in a downtown area in a city that has been hard hit by job-loss and poverty. We have many people that attend each week that have never gone to church before because their clothes aren't "nice enough" I have even heard stories where they have been asked to leave churches because they weren't dressed appropriately. I simply cannot reconcile the words of James 2 and how people view dressing up in church today.

      If we want to talk about giving our best to Christ, we should be talking about how we can give our clothes away to those who need them. That would be much closer to Biblical Christianity than the show that most Christians try to put on today.

  7. Kathy says:

    I agree with all you are saying. I had to laugh, though, when I looked up John 7:24 in the Living Bible. It says, “Think this through and you will see that I am right.” They do take some liberties; another translation warned against judging based on appearance. I think I will use the first one to prove all my points from now on.:) Thanks for making my day.

  8. Tina says:

    Thank you for this topic. Most of my Sunday school class and youth group teens come to church in jeans, tee shirts, flip-flops, etc. I’m not going to tell someone to leave because of how they are dressed. Most of the teens are the only ones in their families who come to church. What they are wearing is the least of my concerns for these kids. I’m just so glad they are coming to worship Christ.

  9. Ken Gillett says:

    I am a Children’s Pastor at my church and I personally don’t like to dress up for church. I want others to feel more comfortable coming to church just as they are, so they can hear the word of God. I typically wear shorts and a christian t-shirt with sandals (sometimes flip-flops). There is one scripture I’d like to add…

    1 Corinthians 8:11-13
    11So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

    If what we do causes a weaker brother(or sister)-in-Christ to fall into sin, we shouldn’t do it. I believe this includes how someone is dressed. If women come to church wearing clothes (or a lack of clothes) that cause men to lust after them, then they should probably stop. The same is true with guys though… I find that when a guy dresses up really nice (suit, tie, etc) it tends to distract the women. I basically believe there are two extremes – 1) lack of clothing (looking like prostitutes) – 2) Being too well-dressed (looking like pharisees)

    Unfortunately, my church pastor has asked me to “dress up” from now on… which I must adhere to because God has put him in authority and for the most part, we should obey & respect people in authority. Maybe I should speak to him about it though… I’ll pray about it. 🙂

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for sharing here on the site. It sounds like you do need to talk with your pastor, and it sounds like you will definitely do that in a respectful way. Hopefully you have a good enough of a relationship with him to discuss this. A lot depends on the culture of the church you are serving in. Thanks again.

  10. jim says:

    I must say.. I have had a heart change after studying this issue. I was one who thought it mattered what you wear. The truth is, it doesn’t matter to God.. But it does to us. God created us naked..but we don’t come to church naked. We are all sinners and its because of that we wear clothes to begin with. Here’s where I have a problem. Everything in life has a balance and without balance there will be extremes. I think the bible is clear about dressing modestly, and by us saying it doesn’t matter what you wear to church, are we not teaching there are no boundaries that need to be met. If as you said yourself everyone dressed to there standards, is it not a free for all? Have you now created an environment where there are no expectations. Really…doesn’t the bible say ” to much who is giving, much is expected” There has got to be a balance. I agree how one dresses does not reflect there love for the lord. But I also believe that if we don’t begin to teach how to dress modestly, instead of just saying it doesn’t matter, many woman are being stumbling blocks to thier brothers. By saying it doesn’t matter…aren’t we teaching just that? Instead, why can’t we teach balance? And don’t lie to yourself, if it doesn’t matter..try going to church next week naked, or in your underwear, or a swim suit, or whatever…it doesn’t matter. How silly does that sound.How about a paster or others showering up to do your wedding or funeral like that. We dont go to a funeral for the one who died but for those who are still alive…we dress appropriatly for them. That should be the same for church, dress in your best whatever that may look like. Why can we accept that dressing up for weddings, graduations, funnerals, or just celebrations is expected but when we go every week to church to celebrate christ, ah…just wear whatever…wow somethings not right people. We are missing something…and I really think its as simple as balance…there has got to be balance.

  11. bobby says:

    our church has two worship teams. My team is required to dress for church on Sunday morning Ladies in a dress or skirt and guys nice shirt and slacks. Sunday eve more casual. The other team wears what ever they want which I feel is a little embarrassing low tops see through pants jogging suits and holey jeans.
    I do believe we should wear and give our best after all isn’t that what we expect from God. I’m not saying we have to wear a suit and tie or dianond necklaces but I have noticed that when I buy my clothes a the goodwill store a nice shirt costs the same as a rag.

  12. David says:

    I agree that we should not be going around and judging people on what they are wearing, but sometimes its hard not to! A teenager yesterday was upfront and helping with the service. I appreciate his willingness to participate, but being dressed up in a t-shirt and shorts was a distraction to me. I did not say anything to him, but I couldn’t help but wonder if this kid’s parents ever taught him to dress respectfully and for the occasion? This is our Lord we have come to worship together as a community. I can think of very few more important occasions. Would this teenager wear the same outfit when going out on a fancy dinner with his girlfriend, or to a wedding, or even to a homecoming dance? I realize style tastes are different and that people have varying amounts of money to spend on clothes, but I would hope that we would encourage other teenagers to wear their best. Our Lord is “The Best” and worthy of the honor.

  13. Brian says:

    I am checking out this subject as my son and I differ somewhat on dress. The explanations for both sides are thought provoking. My comment is God saved me and wants me to worship Him. I believe as previously stated that even though God may not care what we wear there are principals in the Bible of first dressing modestly, second why wouldn’t we honour God with our best. Did not Cain give an offering to the Lord and it was rejected. Abel gave one also and it was accepted. Why wasn’t Cain’s accepted. He did not give his best. When we go to Church shouldn’t we give our best in worship, paying attention to God’s Word and wear our best when we go out. Maybe not a shirt and tie but modest clean apparel that would honour our Lord.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for your comment. I agree that dressing modestly is a Biblical principal that we should definitely follow, but I don’t consider the way we dress to be an offering to God. That’s why I don’t think the comparison with Cain works. The question we must ask ourselves is “does the way we dress bring honor to ourselves, or to God?”

  14. Brian says:

    I guess what I was trying to say was Abel gave God his best. I believe and of course I am just speculating but I believe Abel would offer to God the best in everything. As it has been stated that it is a heart thing. The more you study our Lord through the Bible, the more you realize what He did for us. I believe that we just want to give our Lord our best. As we dress up for different events (as previously stated) how much more is God that we should try our best, do our best a dress our best when in worship. Saying that I would add if one doesn’t have a tie or good clothes, make sure you are clean and the things you do have, have them look the best you can.

  15. Don says:

    I think modesty is the key here. I have seen many women go to church with a very nice dress, only to have some eye pleasing cleavage. This is not modest. They should wear a cover up or something. There is nothing wrong with looking nice for church. Just don’t have your assets exposed. Nakedness is not a sin but going out in public naked is illegal and immoral as it may affect someone in an adverse way (i.e. children). Adam and Eve put fig leaves around themselves because they did not want to expose themselves. Therefore, as long as you go to church in clothing that is in good repair and is not exposing flesh that will give lustful thoughts to others then you should be able to wear what ever you want.

  16. Jens says:

    I believe that when we approach this situation asking the question “do I have to dress up for church?” we have already lost the battle. It isn’t a matter of establishing rules or being legalistic about how we dress for church, but it is about establishing a disposition of reverent worship. I would never say that God is going to reject someone because they are wearing flip-flops in church, or even that God isn’t going to accept someone’s worship because they are dressed immodestly. But I do think that God’s grace should keep us with a constant disposition of gratitude, respect and honor. When we enter God’s house to worship him corporately on a weekly basis, we do so to have an encounter with the divine; Jesus’ death on the cross allows us to have this opportunity. This appointment with divinity should be approached with a sense of respect, honoring the fact that God humbled himself to suffer a brutal death on a cross for our sins. Christians should approach Sunday morning worship as a divine appointment, one that deserves our upmost respect. How does this translate to the clothes we wear? It is different for everyone. Maybe you wear your “nice” jeans, or maybe you wear a tie. Reverential dress looks different in different contexts and it would be wrong for me to project my cultural ideals onto someone else’s context. And besides, this shouldn’t become an area of judgement. It is simply important to approach the throne with a disposition of reverence.

    And when it comes to making others feel uncomfortable because they may not “fit in,” it takes a lot more than clothes to make someone feel out of place or unaccepted; my first inclination would be that there is an issue of the heart (pride, self-centeredness) with the church members rather than an issue of dress. Church members should inundate outsiders with a sense of love and acceptance that doesn’t even allow the visitor the chance to make comparisons. Everything about an appointment with the divine should point to God. Onlookers should see a group of people who are gathering together to celebrate something that is entirely out of this world. Our approach to every aspect of Sunday morning worship should inspire awe in the onlooker and make them ask the question: what do they have that I don’t?

  17. Mike says:

    I’ve added some more thoughts about this discussion at

  18. Kevin says:

    Wow it’s one day out of the week just 1 day if you can’t dress up more than normal then you’re just plain old lazy and people can tell that too. It’s really sad I mean now all you see is people in sloppy sweats pajamas jeans and shorts. But if you are poor then that’s another things

  19. Chuck says:

    I don’t mind casual. Respectful and with reverence should be the case. I have two issues though. First, I think a person on the platform should hold themselves to a higher standard. Jeans, tee shirts, and flip-flops are too casual for the platform. And secondly, I have heard no comments about hats. I was taught to take off my hat inside any building, but more especially in church.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for the comment. I actually preached this past weekend in jeans, a t-shirt, and flip-flops. A lot depends on the culture of your church. For us, it’s not that unusual. In a traditional church, it would not be accepted. But here’s the real issue. Is it Biblical? I urge you to read through all the verses above. I still don’t see any example in the New Testament where the way a person dresses is equated to reverence.

      1 Corinthians 11:4-5 address the issue of men wearing hats, but it also says that a women’s head must be covered. It’s funny how we pick and choose verses to obey. Was this a cultural problem, or is it something that should be followed today? I urge you to study this passage to see why it’s there.

      Just because we were taught or we have experienced something doesn’t mean it is Biblical. My goal is to go back to the Bible for our methods. Thanks again for joining the conversation.

      • Rob says:

        Great discussion – and one that has come up a time or two in the church I pastor (we’re in a low-ish income, working class area of the St. Louis metropolis).

        I certainly understand your preaching in casual attire to ease the comfort of casually-dressed worshippers, but could this come at the cost of making a more formally dressed worshipper feel out of place? In the same way we don’t like to feel under-dressed, most also don’t like to feel overdressed. If a man came to visit your church wearing a three piece suit and tie, would he feel judged because of his appearance?

        As a pastor, one of the very last things I want to do is make anyone feel uncomfortable by how they’re dressed; I don’t feel it’s my place to establish a dress code for my church (which happens inadvertently no matter how I chose to dress). This is exactly why I always preach in the traditional alb and stole. Similarly, my choir wears robes. With the choir this is especially important as they sit on the platform, facing the congregation. For the choir, this is a great equalizer as clothing “niceness” doesn’t matter when everyone is covered in matching robes. Similarly, when we, as pastors, wear this liturgical garb, our personal fashion choices are literally covered up by a “uniform” of the church that makes no fashion statement whatsoever other than, “I’m here to serve God.”

        • Mike says:

          Thanks Rob for joining the conversation. I believe there is room in the Kingdom for all types of churches, simply because there are all types of people. What makes one person feel comfortable may make another uncomfortable as you have pointed out. For us, many people in our church are what I would consider “de-churched” and come into our place of worship with bad church experiences from the past. Breaking free from extra-Biblical traditions can be a good thing for them. Again, we are a downtown church in an area with high unemployment and a high poverty level.

          There is also a geographical difference. Not many churches in the south have pastors who wear robes. In an area that has more of a Catholic influence, this may not be an issue. But for us, I think it would immediately create a view that the church is detached from real life.

          Thanks again for your comments, they have added a great viewpoint

  20. Mo says:

    I agree the view of “modest” is subjective to an individual’s upbringing or even the churches culture. Regardless of the reason why people feel it is necessary or the opposite to dress for church; the focus should be to assemble in unity regardless of what the other one is wearing. Yes, I grew up in churches that believe that a suit is better reference than wearing “street clothes”, but I find it ironic that I am the same person when I am in the suit. So does that matter to God if I put on the suit? Well, God sees me naked. So I don’t think it does.

    Honestly, it’s a matter of personal taste. You choose. Isn’t the church a hospital? I guess it’s more than that. It’s a panel of judges sitting in the pews voting to see who is the best dressed. Who really cares? So comparing a formal event like a wedding to the church isn’t quite fair because it is not the same place. The assembly purpose for church is not the same as a wedding. Hey, there is going to be some smooching at that wedding. It shouldn’t be any during church services.

    The Holy Spirit is for all of us that believe and accepts Jesus as our personal Lord and savior regardless of the attire. You can receive the Holy Spirit in the shower, where God can see you without a “suit” or “casual wear”.

    The bottle line is wear what you personal feel is appropriate or modest. It’s not fair to judge others attire with your personal convictions.

    I have one question though: Why do a lot of pentacostal churches require people to dress up for aerobic type exercises? I mean wouldn’t it be appropriate to wear workout attire?

  21. Nick says:

    I find it strange that all of these arguments are based on the “Assumption” of what god thinks. What gives any of us the right to put words in God’s mouth? Just because the individual “thinks” it’s ok to dress up or down does not make them right! But i do know it is wrong to have contention and argue points that would make us take away the peace we feel from the spirit of the Lord. We should be VERY careful on how we interpret the scriptures and assume by our own wants and desires what is “OK” and how we “think” or “don’t think” what god deems acceptable. It has been proven, even here, that all men will take the words from the scriptures to “PROVE” their own ideals and desires. We must remember that we MUST change to God’s standards, and not adjust or assume his teachings to fit our own standards. If we Truly follow the Lord, then do so. But if you keep taking the word of men saying one way or the other, I would advise you to consider the source of what they are teaching. research it, pray about it, and let the God and the Spirit reveal to you what is true. Do not contend with your brothers and sisters, if they bring the spirit of contention then it is absolutely not of God.

    • Brian says:

      That is all well and good what you say. There does not have to be contention. The Word of God gives us guide lines and principals to follow. All we have to do is to follow them. To me when I come to the house of the Lord to worship I like to dress well for Him after all He is God. It does not mean I am getting dressed up to show off. To me it is between God and I. I think none the less of someone with a different view. He loves His children so much that I just believe for me I want at least when we meet on the Lord’s Day to show Him I will make the effort to dress clean and wear my good clothes as that is one of the ways I can make can tell God that I respect Him. Does it make a difference to God. Probably not as He has unconditional love for us. I just want God to know in every way how much I love Him and this is just another way of showing Him.

  22. Lars says:

    Hey, thanks for your post.

    I made a google search on this topic and finally I came to yours 🙂 First I had to go through a handful of pages where the argument was for dressing up, but always based on “our best for the Lord”. With no thought about the origin of this idea. I wonder if this makes the fellowship more artificial than if we didn’t dress up… Seems like 1 Tim 2:9 would point us in the other direction than that of dressing up. And also, I doubt that the first Christians dressed up when they met on Sundays, which would cause them to be noticed in a time of persecution, and also, when Sunday was still a workday, they met before work in whatever they would wear for work later, I assume.

  23. Scott says:

    I think we all agree that modest is appropriate for church. There are two extremes in the idea of dressing up for church: Those that mandate it and look down on poeple that are not dressed up. Then those that let anything go. I ran across a lady that refused to go to church ever again because one day she was running late and came to church in her work scrubs (she was a nurse). People confronted her and told her never come to church like that again. Now she will not go to church again! This hurts the cause to Christ! Those people will answer to God. I believe that the matter of church attire should be a personal one but it does picture the heart. We should not judge and yet we should be trying to please God with what we do! Dressing up for others is wrong but dressing up for God is noble! When I was dating my wife, I always dressed up to meet her because I wanted to win her heart! We as Christians have stopped trying to win the heart of God! We have gotten away from the idea of a self-less relationship with God. If we don’t dress up because we don’t want to then we have a pride problem. If we don’t dress up because we can’t then we do the best we can. God is not just our buddy, He is the God that is Lord of all! He is bigger than the President! Respect, honor and love should dictate what we wear to church. One can fake a pure heart but one with a pure heart cannot fake a heart of sin! Therefore we judge ourselves and see what condition our heart is in and leave other people’s attire between them and God. A godly man makes sure he worries about his own house being clean and just tries to encourage others to fall in love with God.

    • John says:

      I could not has said it better. You are right, when I was dating my wife I would dress as best I could for her. I personally was of the mine set that it did not matter how we dressed. I agreed with the people that feel God sees us naked. But as I read these post I have changed my mined. First thing that got me thinking was when the author told the youth pastor to question his pastor about dressing up. As a youth pastor he is under the senor pastors authority so in essence he has told him to repeal against that authority. I also get the feeling that a lot of the post against dressing up seem to have to me a little rebellious undertone. I my self wear my work clothes to church. I am not rich I cannot afford to buy clothes for just Sunday mornings. But my wife makes sure my best work pants and shirt are ready for Sunday. My pastor dresses well in honor of God. He puts the best toilet paper in the restrooms in honor of God. He sets an example for his small church that God deserves our best in everything. If all you have is flip flops fine. If in you heart they are the best you have that is great. You see it is really not about the clothes but about the heart. Is it really so you don’t offend or is it God is only worthy of Flip Flops?

      • Mike says:

        John, thanks for your comments. Here are a couple of thoughts. First, check out where I share a few more thoughts about this. It’s good to have conversations like these, but just remember that although we may have our own strong personal convictions, we can’t always expect others to share our opinions. If the Bible says it, then I’m 100% in support. But equating the kind of toilet paper we use in church with our level of devotion to Christ is a huge stretch, and it simply cannot be supported Biblically.

        Here are a few other verses that I think are applicable.
        Isaiah 1:13-17 – God wants more than a show of worship, He wants our lives
        Isaiah 58:6-7 – Here is what God really wants – and it has nothing to do with how we dress up for church

        Hosea 6:6 – Again, God desires our lives to reflect mercy

        Romans 12:1 – True worship is surrendering our entire lives.

        I’m afraid that in the church today, we have equated Holiness and devotion with how we look when we come together. Our service to the poor, lost, and least of these has far greater significance.

        And just to be clear, I ask you to go back and reread the comments. In no way did I ask someone to disrespect their pastor. I don’t appreciate personal attacks here on my blog and they will not be tolerated. As a pastor, I understand full well the importance of honor and respect, but pastors do not serve as dictators. They must be willing to talk and share with the people they serve with.

  24. John says:

    I did go back and reread the post. I completely missed the last sentence.

    “Maybe I should speak to him about it though… I’ll pray about it.”

    Now seeing this your reply is sound advice.

    My most sincere apology.

    • Mike says:

      Apology accepted. thanks. I appreciate your reply. I also know the individual that made the comment, so I know a lot more about his situation than mentioned in the comment. Sometimes it’s hard to get a full understanding from a blog post or comment. Thanks again.

  25. Roger says:

    It is true about the word of God, 1st Samauel 16:7 God does look in to the heart of man and woman. So I say to you dress how you feel comfortable on that day of Church service. If you feel comfortable dressing in a suit and a tie than do so, ladies if you feel comfortable dressing in a nice women’s suit do so, however it is not a requirement to dress up in the house of God., The requriement is Love for God and love for one another with a true and repentant heart. Remember God loves you the way you are, he made Man and Women without clothing, because God does not look at the outer appearance he looks in to your heart. God told man how to cloth himself with the resources and animals he created, God did not create man fully clothed, it was the result of disobiedience to God that man saw his nakedness and the devil has played on it ever since. Stay strong in your faith and in the WORD of GOD. GOD BLESS!

  26. Aimee says:

    Found your post…while writing a similar one on my blog, Thanks for the insight!

  27. Mike (Lodown) says:

    It is so amazing to me … How we want others to respect us and look at us with worth… But yet we refuse to respect ourself!!

    It’s not about CHURCH!!! It’s not about GOD!! It’s about SELF RESPECT!!!

    • Mike (Lodown) says:

      Pastor Mike-
      I hope I’m not being disrespectful with my posts… However, It’s just my opinion … moreover, it’s realistically SAD, how folks dress-the-way-they-dress when attending church; and/or a funeral!! Remove religion and it’s nothing short-of being self-degrading, disrespectful and careless!!

      As leaders, it becomes even SAD-DER when we don’t teach our followers about what’s RIGHT!

      Unfortunately, pastor Mike; everything that once was wrong – is now RIGHT!! …and vice versa!! THE NEW RIGHT IS WRONG!!

      It is so sad, as leaders, to see that our main objective is to acquire “members” and/or “money” in exchange for lies!! Not you, Pastor Mike…but you see what’s going on out here with these pastors.

      Pastor Mike-
      You seem to be a good man, sir… I don’t accuse you of nothing malicious.

      But, again…many of today’s pastors and leaders – are lying for the sake of “LIKE”… And it is doing nothing more, than to push us closer-and-closer to a modern-day Sodom & Gomorrah!!

  28. Josh says:

    I have wrestled with attire for awhile. We live in a society where a pair of nice slacks, dress shirt can be purchased for a few dollars at goodwill. Our appearance in these times speaks more of laziness and our lackadaisical approach to God. The same way people can stand during time of praise chewing a jelly donut while sipping a latte they purchased from the church coffee shop. We should approach Him as the King of Kings not our good time buddy. We wonder why His Glory is not manifest among us.

  29. Gordon says:

    Im with Jan (first quote). Im happy to come across this as i was preparing a promo-talk for Sabbath . This will come up one time or another with my youth bible class. Thank you.

  30. Rose says:

    God cares about everything concerning us. He cares about what we wear and how we wear it. He cares how much we give in tithes and offering. He cares about how we worship. What we do and how we do it tells the story of our heart. In all we do we want to show reverence and honor and to our King.

    Sunday Service is a worship service. GOD is the focus of our worship. We go to honor Him and not to please ourselves. We teach others how to reverence God by setting biblical standards “deny yourself”, “God is worthy of our best” Be not deceived, God is not mocked. He knows if you are entering the sanctuary slothfully and irreverrently only caring about what pleases you, or if you are a babe in Christ, lost, or just purely coming as you are. The children of God understands this also and will embrace those who are new believers who does not yet understand the principles of self denial or has no means. The Holy Ghost is a teacher and it is my testimony that He teaches me how to dress appropriately to enter into the presence of the Lord. Even when I am at home.

    It is all about pleasing God in all our ways. With God it is not just about what we do. It is more important how we do it and why we do it. God’s children are not like the world where everyone do as they please. We do things in decency and in order. We are the example that the world see. Christ died for us. It is a small thing to dress up for Sunday worship. I find that people who are resistant to the idea of dressing up for church demonstrates a resistance to being governed even by biblical authority.