Yes, I wore a Purple coat today for this Women’s Wear Pants to Church Day thing. Camille did as well and so did one other guy who I told about it. One guy wore a purple tie and, as I said a week or so ago, I automatically assumed he wore it for the same purpose that I wore the coat. He did not. The purpose of this was unity, not divisiveness. People can wear, and are allowed to wear, anything they want to worship. Are we so wrapped around the axel about what other folks can or cannot, should or should not wear that we forget our real purpose as Christians, as Disciples of Christ? Would we rather sit in congregations of 50 or 60 folks in starched shirts and recently dry-cleaned suits who talk a big talk but do little or have congregations of 250 or 300 folks wearing dirty jeans and muddy work boots who go out everyday, live like Jesus, and try to change the world for good? I think if I really learned anything today it is that the clothes we wear for the few hours on Sunday we are in church or traveling to and from means far less than what we do in the hours of the week we are not in Church. You want to wear pants to church? Great, now go out this week and do some good in your community. Want to wear dresses? Great, now go out this week and do some good in your community. Want to wear a suit and tie? Great, now go out this week and do some good in your community. Want to wear jeans and broke down boots? Great, now go out this week and do some good in your community. Sure, I wore a shirt, jacket, and tie to church today. But what did I do good in the community this past week? More importantly, what will I do good this coming week?
I posted that on Facebook this past Sunday. If you don’t know, a small group of LDS women put together a day where they would all wear pants, instead of skirts, to church. This is the second year they did this. I have nothing against them wearing pants. I feel like people should wear whatever is comfortable to them. If a person is not comfortable in a certain item of clothing how can they really come to church and worship God?
Now, the main point I made in the above post is that Christians must take a hard look at what we really believe. Does it really matter what people wear? I say that it does not. It matters what people do. A man could go to Joseph A. Bank clothing store and spend $3,000 or more on a single outfit. Boy, will he look classy at church that coming Sunday (if he even goes to church at all). But what else has he done? What did he do this week to give back to the community? Maybe he should have thought about spending $300 on those clothes and given the other $2,700 to his local food bank, his church, or some other organization and had that money benefit his community. Actions like this were originally one of the main reasons for this Wear Pants to Church Day idea. We need to stop thinking of ladies who wear pants as folks who either don’t know any better or who don’t have anything better. The fact is, “Sunday Best” can mean a lot of different things and those things can depend on the person. Clothing does not matter. Actions matter.
What did I do in the community this week? Well, I did a little bit, but not as much as I could have. Everyone needs to ask that question. What did I do this week? Sadly, I think the huge majority will come back and honestly answer that they did not do as much as was within their ability (because let’s be honest, virtually none of us could do as much as we’d like to do if money and time were not limiting factors). But beyond that, I think many would look and see that he or she has done absolutely nothing to benefit the community this week. Even among church going people. But you sure looked good in that suit on Sunday, didn’t you brother? Might have looked good in that fancy car, living in that big house.
This is what Christianity is really about. It’s certainly not about what you wear. I can honestly say that I don’t think Jesus or God care one bit what I wore last Sunday or what I wear this Sunday. Truthfully, the heart of Christianity is not even “salvation.” Salvation is simply the result of everything else. Christianity is about change. Changing ourselves for the better. I’m probably about to use a bad analogy here, but I think salvation (that life in heaven and all that) is something like water. Hydrogen is not reactive. Neither is oxygen. You have to add an energy source to get them to react; in a chemistry class we once used a match. The two elements bond together and you have water. Christianity should be about that energy that allows us to change for the better. It can’t be simply about salvation or the end result of the above equation. Otherwise we simply have the various elements of our own lives (represented very simply by oxygen and hydrogen) but nothing to cause the change to water. We must be certain we are giving people that change they need.
If the reason for wearing pants to church is to make people feel welcome and realize that all types of clothing should be acceptable on our brothers and sisters, these children of God, then I am all for it. If there is some other agenda, well, we might need to reevaluate. But if we see people in church wearing whatever they happen to be wearing, how about we not worry about trying to change his or her clothing and make sure we have changed his or her life for the better? There are far more important matters within our churches than making people feel uncomfortable or somehow ostracized because of what they are wearing. These are all children of God. We must treat them as such. Christ taught us in Matthew 25 that we will be judged in the end based on how we treated those around us. He taught that we are to treat all persons the same was we would treat Him. The weakest of my brothers, Christ said. Brothers and sisters, those weakest are not just the homeless or the prisoners. Those “weakest” are everywhere and everyone. They are sitting there in our own congregations. They are walking the streets of our towns. They might even be wearing $3,000 outfits. The truth is, we need to focus on changing souls rather than changing clothes. Clothes mean nothing in this great journey to salvation. Using the Gospel of Jesus Christ to change people for the better means EVERYTHING in this great journey of salvation.