Hi Jean-Pierre, great article on a very relevant subject. Thanks for sharing and for the invitation to engage. I put together a couple of thoughts on the topic. Would be great to hear what you think…
I think the Bible gives us ambiguous moral standards. I’d nuance that statement a little by saying that it gives us relative moral standards. Most of the verses relating to what we are to wear are from Pauline epistles, letters that Paul wrote to the church that were often in response to an issue or circumstance that the church in that location were facing at the time. The difficulty for us is we need to reconcile three cultures: the ancient culture to which these letters were addressed, Kingdom culture which God aspires for us, and the modern culture in which we live. I don’t think Paul intended for us to read his letters and think that we were meant to maintain 1st century dress standards for eternity. In fact, there is nothing in the Bible that says to me that what we wear is of any eternal consequence at all.
Have you tried wearing track pants to church? When I was a new Christian I wore track pants to church (actually, I still do). I’m sure people were thinking it was inappropriate because some people even came up to me to tell me I shouldn’t wear trackies to church. But… that’s who I am? I wear trackies everywhere I go. How can I be disrespecting God if I come as who I am, as who He made me? Wouldn’t it be more disrespectful to make myself look good for man at the expense of covering myself up for God? Today, six years later, I lead a ministry and preach on some Sundays. Those Sundays I preach are the only Sundays I don’t wear track pants. The reason? Because I don’t want to cause my brothers and sisters to stumble (I don’t want to distract anybody from what God wants them to hear).
That being said, if I ever heard clearly from God, or had it articulated to me clearly by man, that wearing one thing or another would bring people closer to God, I’d wear that item/outfit all the time, forever.
Just as a closing thought, on the general topic of attire, I like to remember that wearing clothes (or covering our nakedness) was the very first thing Adam and Eve did after eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, a.k.a. the first non-original sin. Anybody who wants to get legalistic can remember that, technically, we should all be walking around naked.