Home > I Might Be Insane > I Might Be Insane: The Kingdom Is Not One Of Clothing

I Might Be Insane: The Kingdom Is Not One Of Clothing

​Clothing is for covering nakedness, keeping warm, protecting skin, and supporting sensitive members. I love clothing for these reasons (there are probably a few more too). I’m a big fan of all the pragmatic uses of clothing. I also love when people choose to express their individuality through clothing choices.

​Clothing has a lot of other social functions that I am not a fan of. Clothing can be a way of boasting about disposable income. Some people convey professionalism and capacity through their clothing. Clothing is used to try to look attractive. Clothing is used to acquire acceptance and respect from others. Clothing is used to receive praise. Social rules which most people understand and accept underly our use of clothing.

​I find these rules to be shallow and limiting of people. The rules divide people based on class, income, social position, culture, power, attractiveness, respectability, career, etcetera. The rules include expectations of “proper” attire for particular places and/or situations. The expectations and divisions of the rules are the source of much judgment of others for the clothing they wear. Clothing is another way for humanity to make presuppositions about others, evaluate who they are, assume things about their life, and judge them for how they cover their nakedness and keep warm.

​Our rules about clothing are silly and unfounded. The only reason these rules exist is because everyone lives as if they do. They have no real grounding in reality. There is no reason these clothing rules must exist, but the rules will continue to limit people, marginalize outgroups, result in judgment, and create division as long as people continue to participate in them and enforce them. For the sake of unity and freedom,  I believe kingdom people should seek to overturn these rules about something as superficial as clothing, but churches participate in these rules as much as the rest of society.

​I was once questioned for my attire (I assure you I wasn’t showing any cleavage or too much leg) at a church by someone willing to have a discussion about it. When I asked him why he believes in wearing a certain type of clothing to church, he said it was to show respect to God. I’m all for showing respect for God, but I don’t know where we got the idea that God feels a lot of respect when we wear a coat and tie. God’s not that petty and narrow minded. In most churches, there is an understood proper and improper attire, but again, these rules are arbitrary, unecessary, promote judgmentalism, and limit expression. I imagine that in most churches if the pastor was to wear footie pajamas while preaching, there would be a negative response from the congregation. Some might think it was just weird, but many would think it was improper. In reality, there is no inherent impropriety in wearing footie pajamas to preach. It’s only improper because everyone is crazy.

​That all said, some people do feel disrespected when someone wears a type of clothing they don’t like. Success in the economic world is often contingent upon clothing choice. I struggle with trying to show people respect and wear clothing others consider befitting for a particular job or circumstance. I can both wisely submit to these rules while acknowledging they are pretend and engaging in non-participation when the opportunity arises. I know and am persuaded that clothing choice is not important in itself, but it is important for anyone who thinks it is important. For if my brother is grieved by what I wear, I am no longer walking in love. Through love, I can participate in the bullshit while still preaching the kingdom of God that is not about suits and shoes.

  1. February 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    “​The real truth is: truthfulness is not indicated by the number of people who believe something to be true.”

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