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Would Jesus Wear Jeans to Church?

return_to_hades IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 02 January 2011 at 3:06pm | IP Logged
The question caught my attention at the mall yesterday. Although related to God and religion, this topic is not intended much to be about God and religion - more so about faith and appearance. This question was on the poster advertising a church. It is one of those questions that instantly sparks curiosity. So I went up and read the entire poster. Here is what it said.

Outward appearances often don't reflect what's going on in someone's heart and life. This is an age old problem, even as Jesus walked the earth. Many dressed the religious part but were rotten on the inside. Jesus called these people "hypocrites" (Matthew 23:27-28). Maybe you think Christianity and church are scams because you've experienced this hypocrisy. I apologize on behalf of Christians. In addition, maybe you feel as if your appearance or past excludes you from God's love.

But please, don't give up on God just yet! I want to invite you to check out epikos church and hear what Jesus taught, lived for, and died for. I invite you to be part of a church where we recognize that all of us are dependent on the grace and hope offered through Jesus Christ.
So come as you are, No need to dress up or hide your tattoos…


The poster was for Epikos Church: http://epikos.org/index.php

No matter what religion you are, most likely you have had to follow a "dress code" for religious events or religious places. You have also probably seen whispers, gossip, murmurs, frowns and nasty looks being cast upon people who do not follow this "dress code". One school of thought is that this is a religious place/event. It is something that commands respect and reverence. People ought to dress with dignity and modesty to reflect that. It is a fair school of thought that has its own merit.

However, I think stringent application of such "dress codes" and looking down on people who look/dress differently actually alienates good people from faith. Its not a veil over the head or a short skirt that represents faith or lack of, its whats within. Its whether one is well dressed or sports spiky hair and tattoos, but how one conducts themselves that is important. Faith has no "dress code" and is reflected in actions - not clothes.

So what do other people feel about the expectations of stringent dress codes related to faith and worship. Is it right or does it defeat the purpose of faith?

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Mindbender

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Posted: 02 January 2011 at 3:49pm | IP Logged
Yes generally we should not judge by the cover. Hypocrisy and discrimination is still common these days. Humans have their personal likes and preferences and it is fine but sometimes it is carried too far and often interfering with the freedom of others.
But persons attending a church or any place of worship should be properly attired n not dressed outlandishly or scantily.
I think it is quite common for monks and nuns to follow certain dress codes indicating their order.

When the religious leaders themselves are faulty I doubt they are capable of leading anyone. Also politics has entered and messed up some of the groups.

Edited by Summer3 - 02 January 2011 at 3:57pm
*Woh Ajnabee* IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 02 January 2011 at 3:51pm | IP Logged
I do think we're all really judgmental when it comes to religion and faith. We all have a natural tendency to judge how "religious" someone is based on their outward appearance. Its totally wrong and we shouldn't do it, but obviously that doesn't stop us.

I am a Muslim girl who doesn't cover her head and for some reason people who do talk to me and get to know me are always surprised that I'm somewhat "religious". For some reason the fact that I don't cover my head makes me a heathen. And its not just the Muslim community that I'm referring to - even others that are not Muslim automatically assume that I'm a "liberal" Muslim and far from religion. Whatever, I guess.

It happens in all communities and in all faiths. What's surprising though is that people forget that religion does not know national boundaries. Any given religion of people can be culturally very different and wear different types of clothing and dress differently. How can one then judge their outward appearance to determine how religious they are or aren't?

On the other hand, if you argue that someone can wear tiny clothes and still be "religious" - I'd say yes, it is on the inside what counts, and who are we to judge someone else's faith? Having said that, most religions do encourage modesty and most of us wouldn't consider a mini skirt modest. But we're again falling into gray area here since your definition of modesty may differ my definition.

I like the effort that this church is making to bring people back to church.

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RainbowWarriorDemonStar

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Posted: 02 January 2011 at 4:10pm | IP Logged
My friend and I  have discussed something similar quite a few times. She wears a hijab, and according to me she practices her faith well, but she talks about many other girls who wear one who are actually hypocrites because they wear a hijab on the outside, but on the inside they do not really follow their faith. She even tells me she has contemplated not wearing her hijab because she thinks it doesn't make her faithful. I told her I agreed, but I'm not part of that faith/ culture, so I didn't want to encourage something that might not be okay with her family. 

Anyways, I agree that people's outward appearance does not reflect their hearts. A lot of times people look to the dress code so that they feel like their are good people of that faith. I have met some really devoted people who may not wear a salwar kurtha to the mandir or have tattoos and piercings on their body, but they are not living in a pretense. They are trying to be who they in front of God and even outside. I don't think this wrong.

I personally think people need to be modest though. You do not have to wear certain clothes, but short skirts or sagging jeans or any revealing clothes should not be worn in a place of worship. However, I am not at a level to condone or condemn anyone, so if that person thinks it's okay to wear those kinds of clothes, then it's up to them. 

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RainbowWarrior

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Posted: 02 January 2011 at 4:17pm | IP Logged
I don't think I've ever experienced problems when it comes to dressing up traditionally at a religious place of worship. 

Every month on Sharad Purnima when we go to the Mandir or Gurdwara then a lot of the times I come straight from uni so I'm in my skinny jeans and a top. I can't be bothered to dress up traditionally to go to the temple, especially not if i'm going to be back in about an hour or so anyway. Even during Navratri, I'll only bother dressing up on Ashtami.

I can imagine it may be a problem at some places though. I know at my local Gurdwara, clothes aren't such a problem but if for even two seconds your dupatta falls off your head then expect a good scolding from the elders that look after the temple and do seva.

If I do see someone come in the temple wearing a very short skirt then I would probably think 'women, are you crazy?!' because modesty is something that you expect when you're in God's house. But at the end of the day the fact is that I am no-one to judge her and if she's a good person then why should I care? Even if she isn't, then it's none of my business.

This is a bit random but I had to get it off my chest. I hate how we girls get so dressed up for garba/dandia and then so many guys just come in wearing a superman t-shirt and jeans! Grr! Another thing that I hate? When people come to temple for the sole purpose of socialising with boys..very annoying!

Seeing as you mentioned churches, I honestly never realised this was such an issue in churches. At the end of the day, the exterior shouldn't matter..it's what's on the inside that makes a difference.

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DemonStar

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Posted: 02 January 2011 at 4:24pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by *Woh Ajnabee*


I am a Muslim girl who doesn't cover her head and for some reason people who do talk to me and get to know me are always surprised that I'm somewhat "religious". For some reason the fact that I don't cover my head makes me a heathen. And its not just the Muslim community that I'm referring to - even others that are not Muslim automatically assume that I'm a "liberal" Muslim and far from religion. Whatever, I guess.

A friend of mine faces the same problem. She doesn't wear a scarf and neither does she do all 5 prayers on time but that's because she's not comfortable with using the uni's praying facilities and she much rather go home and complete her 5 prayers. There's a name for it I believe, but I've forgotten.
Although she doesn't wear the scarf, she is one of the most religious Muslims I know. She does however always get asked why she doesn't wear a scarf and 'does that mean you're not a good Muslim?'. Stupid questions like that. In college there were a group of girls, who labelled themselves the 'scarfies' and they'd get up to all sorts of things and rarely ever prayed 5 times a day. Not to say that all girls who wear the scarf are like that, because they definitely aren't but as I already mentioned..it's not what's on the outside that matters. There are girls who wear scarves at college and then when they meet their BF they remove them and there are others who wear short skirts and what not but may actually be quite religious, or maybe they are trying to be more religious so we are no-one to judge them. All I can say is..looks can be deceiving.

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RainbowWarrior

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Posted: 02 January 2011 at 4:43pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by *Woh Ajnabee*


I am a Muslim girl who doesn't cover her head and for some reason people who do talk to me and get to know me are always surprised that I'm somewhat "religious". For some reason the fact that I don't cover my head makes me a heathen. And its not just the Muslim community that I'm referring to - even others that are not Muslim automatically assume that I'm a "liberal" Muslim and far from religion. Whatever, I guess.


To be honest, I tend to make some very uneducated assumptions when it comes to Muslim. I always assume that the ones always wear the hijaab and follow dress code are stringent, while those who don't are more liberal. Religious beliefs are interesting and unique to individuals. Sometimes people can be very conservative in one aspect, but take a very liberal stance in others. I think you yourself have some interesting contrasts like that.


Originally posted by *Woh Ajnabee*

On the other hand, if you argue that someone can wear tiny clothes and still be "religious" - I'd say yes, it is on the inside what counts, and who are we to judge someone else's faith? Having said that, most religions do encourage modesty and most of us wouldn't consider a mini skirt modest. But we're again falling into gray area here since your definition of modesty may differ my definition.


I think everyone has the right to determine personally what attire is more religiously acceptable. However, I personally feel the exclusion of people based on clothing that many religions tend to do is not fair. After all only higher powers have the right to judge. And maybe their attire maybe immoral or irreligious in one aspect, but they could well be more moral and compassionate in other aspects.


Originally posted by *Woh Ajnabee*

I like the effort that this church is making to bring people back to church.


Yes, the poster really stood out and I liked their concept. I looked up more on the church and its run by some very young pastors and administration. Very youthful and open-minded, but still very religious. They encourage people to attend volunteer even if they don't believe in God/religion/Christianity. This way they are able to pass on traditional teachings to many youth who feel rebellious towards conventional churches.


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xobile

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Posted: 02 January 2011 at 4:51pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by hindu4lyf


This is a bit random but I had to get it off my chest. I hate how we girls get so dressed up for garba/dandia and then so many guys just come in wearing a superman t-shirt and jeans! Grr! Another thing that I hate? When people come to temple for the sole purpose of socialising with boys..very annoying!


I hate dressing up, I love my jeans and tees. Moreover, even the traditional attire for men is light weight. At weddings our dresses and jewelry may look pretty - but they make you hot, and uncomfortable and even itchy at times.LOL

And Ugh! I know!!! Sometimes it seems like all desi get togethers are some sort of dating convention. Why?? Confused

Originally posted by hindu4lyf

Seeing as you mentioned churches, I honestly never realised this was such an issue in churches. At the end of the day, the exterior shouldn't matter..it's what's on the inside that makes a difference.


I was unaware of it too, but some churches are very strict. You have to wear your Sunday best, that usually means dress very formally and conservatively. They frown on boys with long hair, girls with short hair, piercings, tattoos, ripped jeans etc. I've known quite a few people who chose to be atheist, irreligious or non denominational solely because they found churches to be too judgmental and preachy. They could not make sense why chewing gum or spiking hair made someone sinful.

Also many people from poorer families feel out of place/under-dressed in churches and feel embarrassed over not being able to make the weekly donations. That is why many new churches with new perspectives are coming up to reach out to youngsters and low income or immigrant groups

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