What Ever Happened to Dress Standards?
By Dr. Jeffery Fugate
In the world of sports there is never a doubt as to what team each fan is rooting for. You can tell by the way they are dressed who they are rooting for. You can tell who they are for by the pair of Red Socks painted on their face. You can tell who they are for by the “cheese heads”, by the “Dog Pound Crowd”, and by many other ways they show their loyalty. There are new fads, fashions, and actions introduced each year to show who your favorite team is.
I often wonder why Christians try to hide their identity. It seems the world is often proud of who they are even if the devil has made a total moron of them. They wear pants 10 sizes too big for them, have hair that is a total mess, have fifteen ear and body piercings, and wear shirts that are too short to cover their bellies! The Christian today wants to blend in with the crowd, rather than letting people know they are Christians by the way they dress. Whatever happened to God’s people wanting the whole world to know that they are born again Christians by the way they dress? What ever happened to being proud of the fact that you were clean, decent, and moral? Since when do the “Brittany Spears’s” and the “Pretty Boys” determine how we dress? Don’t we know that our dress is an indicator of our heart’s condition?
I recall attending a Christian School academic and sports competition at Tennessee Temple University in 1980. At this time, I was a sophomore in high school. The rules of dress and decency were very plain and well written. When each student arrived on campus there were hair and dress checks. I recall getting in the “hair check line.” In this line, a man would run his finger around the ears of the boys to be sure that the hair was not blocked or too long. Those boys who did not have tapered haircuts were sent to the barber shop or sent home and not permitted to compete. The girls, whose dresses or skirts did not touch the floor, when kneeling, were not permitted to compete. The girls whose clothes that were too tight or that were worldly in any way were sent to change their clothes or were sent home. There were no “split or slit” skirts then, but I am sure they would not have been permitted.
Today it seems that our heroes and examples of dress are Hollywood’s harlots or stars! Our patterns for youth activities are of the world. Our language is nothing more than substitute curse words of the world.
Has the Word of God changed? Were the preachers of yesteryear wrong? Were the dress standards that set us apart from the world all a mistake? I do not think so. I believe the Bible is the same, the standards were correct and we are still to be separate from the world in the way we dress. Those were the days when they called preachers like my father, “Culottes Sam”. Today, they call us “legalists.” Do they call people who sell clothing to sports’ fans “legalists?”
Not long ago, a man confronted me about dress standards. He said, “The way a person dresses is just a matter of opinion”. I think the word “opinion” is the wrong word. Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” The Bible also says in II Corinthians 6:16-17, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and / will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”
When I came to Clays Mill Road Baptist Church here in Lexington, Kentucky 13 years ago, I was told that I would never build a church preaching against sin and calling it by name. They told me I was too strict on dress standards. They were wrong! We have held to the same dress standards and we are still growing today. This past Sunday we had more than 1,500 in attendance with 74 saved and 14 baptized. (By the way, 800+ of those rode busses to church!)
God’s people are to be separate from the world. If it was wrong 30 years ago for a lady to wear pants, slacks, and shorts, it is still wrong today. If it was wrong for a man to have long hippy hair 30 years ago, it is still wrong today. If it was wrong to listen to Rock and Roll, Country and Western music 30 years ago, it is still wrong today! If it was right for a lady to dress like a lady, and for men to dress like men 30 years ago, it is still right today! Forget what the trends are, what culture dictates, what the liberals are doing! Let’s get back to old fashioned decency in our dress standards again! While the world may not promote decency today, it still respects it! Let our light shine for Christ! Let everyone know whose team you are on!
Article “What Ever Happened to Dress Standards?” excerpted from “The Church Bus News – Editor’s Notes”. Article written by Dr. Jeffery Fugate.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”