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Should we dress up to go to church? Hmmm. I have dressed up and dressed down for church. I visited my son who lives in the Seattle Washington area and thought I was dressed down; but, when I got to church I found that I was dressed up. God wants our hearts not our clothes. However I do think we need to be aware of our personal hygiene in church so as not to distract others from the message; come to think of it, when we are in any place where there is a crowd, we should be sure we do not offend by our lack of hygiene. We must remember to emit the fragrance of Christ and not be an odor of the world, literarily and figuratively.

What is the appropriate dress for church? Having clothes on, being appropriately clothed so as not to cause a distraction. And women should be sure they do not wear clothing that is sexually provocative. Men are visual beings (God made them that way), and can be easily distracted by our choice of clothing or lack there of.

Upon visiting churches, I have found that churches that have many members that are poor and unskilled will dress up; and churches that are middle to upper middle class with high skills tend to dress down, at least in New York City and the outskirts of Seattle.

Exodus 21:22-23:13

Today’s Old Testament passages give “flesh” to Commandments five through ten, with a dash of skin to numbers one through four. Responsibility and accountability are found in these chapter and verses, responsibility to God and man, and accountability for actions that violate men and the community’s relationship to each other and God. I don’t know why I never saw this previously I just saw a bunch of rules and regulations to follow but this is all about right living in the midst of community and right actions toward God, who created us and thus the One who wrote the How-To-Manual

And if men fight and hit a pregnant woman and her child is born prematurely, but there is no serious injury, he will surely be punished in accordance with what the woman's husband will put on him, and he will pay what the court decides. But if there is serious injury, then you will give a life for a life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. (Exodus 21:22-25 NET.)

When things like the above happen, people fighting or even rough housing where there are people around going about their daily business, when someone is hurt or injured, the people involved usually try to “excuse” their way out of it. “He/She made me so mad I couldn’t help myself, You just don’t know what they did to me.” The word “Sorry” is bantered about as if just the sound of that word justifies everything. God says, “No, you are not excused by use of the word, “Sorry.”. You must restore to its original state.” In fact, the Hebrew word, shâlam, where shâlôm, the word peace is derived from, implies restoration. Come to think of it, isn’t that what God will do when He ushers in the “New Jerusalem,” bring everything back to the “In the Beginning” state?

Grace and peace,
Ramona

I thought about this many times. Remember , Jesus washed the deciples feet because they were so dirty. I don't believe Jesus cares what we wear but why we come and what is in our hearts. In my opinion jeans and a nice dress shirt is better looking then a tux any day.

Interesting questions. On reflection, I’m thinking that worshiping God “in the splendor of His holiness” has more to do with coming to Him in humility and purity of heart than in our ‘best’ or whitest clothing. It’s in our deepest humility that we most clearly see and exalt His amazing, completely ‘other’ holiness. The verse is all about God—His name & His holiness, which technically cannot be diminished with dirty or casual clothing (His walk here on earth illustrating that). And while it’s traditional to dress in white attire or our ‘best’ for holy occasions (Sundays, weddings, baptisms) I doubt God is honored with any choice of apparel when the heart is far from Him. We see this when we read of Christ denouncing the pretentiousness of the Pharisees who paraded in their splendid robes and phylacteries but whose hearts were hardened with pride and sin. And we read also of street beggars who worshiped and gave glory to His name when they were healed by Jesus. (“He went dancing and leaping and praising God...”) Their clothing is not mentioned, but it’s hardly likely it was even clean let alone fancy. This is not to say we cannot honor or dishonor God in how we dress. But that worshipful honor or dishonor springs from the heart, which God alone can see. Matthew 15 speaks to the priority God gives to internal vs. external things. Speaking of the Pharisees He says:

8 “These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’”

19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

I believe what Jesus is saying here is that external practices and traditions alone are not what honors or defiles—the human heart/mind/motives prompting those actions determines what honors or defiles. I think this would probably be applicable to the tradition of dressing up for church or solemn occasions. Possibly honoring—but also not necessarily honorable, depending on whether it springs from the sinful, prideful heart of a Pharisee. And while the Pharisee might judge others based on these externals, Jesus judges the heart (as well as those who would judge others based on their own inadequate, sin-prone perception).

The appeal or lack of with our dress. I just think of several in the bible who were mentioned in faith that didn't dress up. John the Baptist was one. and he was mentioned as one of the greatest of faith and none greater afterwards. The one with issue of blood..she had literally been bleeding for 12 years. She had exhausted all funds, doctors, etc.. so I am like the others. God looks at our heart. I do personally like to dress up alot of times for church.. when I am not with toddlers in back.. because I feel confident, and love heels..so there is that. But come as you are is what the Lord says..and I stand by that motto too.

In Exodus 21, we just came out of 10 commandments reading in ch 20 btw, so now we have requirements and rules of punishment based on the crime. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, etc.. however, instead of killing human life-compensation is advised more than anything-trying to keep murder off the table unless its an animal and for sacrifice or if its accidental death and they split or choose who (if any) gets the meat.

That goes the same with ch 22, went over rules for stealing and compensation. For example, if animals stray away, then owner pays with best grain or grapes, this goes with burning and if gets out of hand-you pay -they had to breakdown laws for everything.

I love @ the end of exodus about the rest! We all need the rest -the slaves, the animals and us, Yes!!

Matt 24: 1-28
Talks of the temple-destroyed-what disciples don't understand is Jesus is speaking of himself too.
I just wonder when it speaks of end times and the sacriligious object that causes desolation-got me thinking of our new electors in white house-and how our embassy was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalum-hope it stays because the moment some "mockery" is put in its place- be ready for birth pains-signs and wonders to follow..

Ps 29:1-11
we need to Honor the One who rules over all-He blesses His people. He is Mighty and Victorious.

Proverbs 7:6-23

The seduction of sin-it looks enticing-it seems innocent-but in the end it is wrong, and can cause so many to suffer. Avoid it, run! Seek the Father and His ways -be like Joseph-You'll be blessed by running from it in the end.

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