Are Christian T-Shirts OK In Church?

Posted: 07/01/2008 by that's Elbert in Christianity, culture, Fun, Just For Fun, opinions
Tags: ,

I was reading a post on Outraged Richard on which he commented:

With divorce, gay marriage, teen sex, abortion, pornography, drugs, illegal immigrants, bankrupt governments, bursting prisons, and the wearing of cocktail dresses and logo T-shirts to church becoming the de facto standard of societal behavior, what is worth defending about the U.S.?

Readers, I must confess I’m a “liberal” on the church dress code. My son has worn this shirt to church:

Is this shirt inappropriate for church or a Christian religious service?

(I realize that The Outraged One’s post was not directed at t-shirts. I’m simply taking you down my rabbit trail, my thought pattern, etc.)

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Comments
  1. Shirley says:

    I think the shirt is great ! I don’t know for sure, but I think God wants us to laugh a little bit sometimes. Once we start taking ourselves too seriously, the joy is gone.

  2. Paul Smith says:

    Maybe it’s my dirty mind, but I kind of view that in a prurient way, like it would be worn by those who seek out “nice” girls to corrupt them. Not that I’m accusing your son of being that sort of guy, I’m sure he’s doing it with the best of intentions, which actually makes it amusing.

    Also, I frown on T-Shirts in church in general. You’re going to see God; dress appropriately. About the “lowest” I’ll go is business casual, and that’s for weekday Mass, while I’m on vacation, a prayer service, or a quick run to confession. Sunday Masses, while I’m home, get a coat and tie. So, in my opinion, the t-shirt above would be fine (and amusing) at a church picnic or other social activity, but not at a Mass or other worship service. But I’m also obviously more traditional on this question than you.

  3. swampcritter2 says:

    I’m OK with the T-shirts, at least we have a young person in church. Where I go to church, in the summer it’s casual. Rest of the year I usually wear a dress shirt and tie, and a sports jacket about 50% of the time. Most folks don’t really care what you wear, they’re just happy to see you. I am confused however Elbert, about these rabbit trails. Old school, or not?

  4. Shirley, if God made the laughter, I want to share it and enjoy it too. Those people that study that kind of stuff say laughter extends your life. Hopefully I’ll add another 20-30 years on my life.

    Paul, yes, that son wearing it barely talks to anyone, let alone girls.

    swampcritter2, “rabbit trail” might be old school. I’ve heard it most of my life, but it fits so well now. So maybe what is old is now new?

  5. Sir,

    On this matter of a logo T-shirt worn to church by your son, he became a disgraceful reflection of you.

    It is too bad our nation has not become fully Islamicized yet. For if we were, I would march straightaway to the nearest Imam and have you soundly caned.

    Let us tune our ears to what the good man, Paul Smith, says and who leads by example:

    “You’re going to see God; dress appropriately. About the “lowest” I’ll go is business casual, and that’s for weekday Mass, while I’m on vacation, a prayer service, or a quick run to confession. Sunday Masses, while I’m home, get a coat and tie. So, in my opinion, the t-shirt above would be fine (and amusing) at a church picnic or other social activity, but not at a Mass or other worship service.”

    There is a respectability that is required when in a church and during church services, and it demands proper dress.

    Proper dress acts as a dignified intermediary between an otherwise naked bumpkin and the congregation. There must be sufficient preparation done before coming to the house of the Lord. This entails readying one’s spirit, mind, and body.

    Most churchgoers leave the “body” part out. Shame on those who come to church fat, stinking, with their myriad of self induced diseases, and with cutesy logo T-shirts and short shorts.

    Those who refuse to wear respectable dress that can be had at the Salvation Army for a few dollars should throw themselves into the sea. And while they are bobbing around out there, they may swim a few miles and rid themselves of their flab and gluttony.

    Proper dress is also to respect the modesty and mystery of the person:

    http://www.outragedrichard.com/home/2006/07/30/modesty-protects-the-mystery-of-the-person/

    Mystery and modesty, as it relates to a person in solemn contemplation of his beloved, be it his wife or Creator, has been altogether excised from the preacher’s sermon.

    Elbert, I challenge you to do a post on this modesty and mystery of which I speaketh.

  6. kavips says:

    Jumping the thread, I want one of these shirts for my son…

    I think it would be a great magnet for meeting nice people if he strolled through, say,… the Delaware State Fair wearing it….

    But…I can’t leave without a flash thought upon what Outraged Richard posted, (It has to be in snark), above….

    I’m just wondering exactly how Jesus would have scolded Richard, if that had been uttered during the time He was alive…….

  7. kavips, I got that shirt at Random Shirts. I love their Accordion Hero shirt.

  8. Outraged One, you’ve made many good points. I will consider your challenge to a post on modesty and mystery.

  9. Michael says:

    All I got to say is that it depends on the kind of person wearing the shirt, but I could see the older crowd in the church seeing it as offensive.

    Personally, I think that it doesn’t matter whether you wear slacks and a tie or sandals and a t-shirt. I do both depending on how I feel. God doesn’t want to hear about what I wear Sunday, he wants my praise, and as long as I’m giving Him that, I could be wearing a potato sack and be barefoot in my opinion. Once people stop trying to live by rules and just live by GOD, I think we will see a rapid growth in Christianity, but right now so many kids (and adults) don’t accept Jesus cause they think they’ll have to follow 500 rules. I follow 11, all from the mouth of God.

    Another shirt you might like says:
    “(front)Don’t go to church…(back)Be the church.”

    This is just my opinion though, and I’m sure it will make someone freak out and say ungodly things toward me…

  10. Michael said:

    “Once people stop trying to live by rules and just live by GOD, I think we will see a rapid growth in Christianity…”

    I’m sorry to say this, and I mean it in the nicest way, but that is the the most ignorant statement I have ever heard.

  11. Jeremy Sonnier says:

    If you can’t wear it to “church”, you shouldn’t wear it in public at all. Anything less is hypocrisy.

    I refuse to wear a tie to church, as the history of it is pagan, not christian. The suit has more in common with the worldly businessman than the Christian. I wear the same thing to church that I wear anywhere else, a bold, biblical, Christian T-Shirt. Though most of the people at church may not need the message on it, the people at the store or resturant after church do.

    The biblical standard is modesty and distinction between the sexes (no dresses for the men; no pants for the women). If it reveals you flesh or your shape, it is not modest. If its purpose is to attract the eyes of the opposite sex (or even the same sex), it is not modest.

    Recently, I have been debating in my own heart and mind the modesty of T-Shirts(basically, my entire wardrobe). I found this blog when I googled “history of T-Shirts”. It was solely used as underwear until hollywood got a hold of it and began to make questionable movies starring physically fit men wearing them. Whatever my conclusion to this study, I will not be a hypocrite; If it’s wrong to wear it to church, then it’s wrong to wear it anywhere in public.

    As for the person who wrote about God’s sense of humor, be careful of thinking that God is like you. God is HOLY! You CAN have the mind of Christ by: 1) being born again and thereby indwelt by the Holy Ghost (John 3:3-5, Romans 8:9, Ephesians 1:13); and 2) reading God’s Words, the King James Bible daily (Romans 12:1-2).

  12. Corbitto' says:

    I think its funny, but bad taste, and can be offensive to girls and parents of girls. It speaks numbers of the one who wears it too. I don’t think they should get the boot.

  13. Aaron M says:

    “As for the person who wrote about God’s sense of humor, be careful of thinking that God is like you. God is HOLY! You CAN have the mind of Christ by: 1) being born again and thereby indwelt by the Holy Ghost (John 3:3-5, Romans 8:9, Ephesians 1:13); and 2) reading God’s Words, the King James Bible daily (Romans 12:1-2).”

    I find this quote quite funny, Jeremy. I’m sure you’re not the only one who considers “God’s Words” to be the King James version of the Bible.

    Jesus was not a 17th Century Brit, nor did he speak English. The Bible was translated into a format that was understandable for that place (England) during that time period (Specifically 1611).

    Your post bolsters ignorance in saying that the Bible being translated into a format that is relevant for today’s “average Joe” would not be considered the word of God. By saying this, you’re also saying that everyone should be expected to familiarize themselves with Elizabethan literature, and people in non English-speaking countries should learn to speak English to read the Bible.

    You can have your idea of Christianity.

    Don’t try to ruin it for everyone else.

    The Bible is not meant to be an exclusive book, but a means to share the Gospel to all people.

  14. Jeremy said: “If you can’t wear it to ‘church’, you shouldn’t wear it in public at all. Anything less is hypocrisy.”

    Your argument looks suspicious. You are trying to equate church and public as if being in church does not hold a distinctly greater significance than being in public space. People of rational or faithful scruple would not find that to be true.

    Nay: silence, concentration, and prostration before God is what a church space attempts to bring about in its attendees.

    To put it simply, you are missing the importance of how significant occurrences in life call for a genuine effort of respect — and clothing is part of that effort.

    You can argue that public space demands the same responsibility for clothing dressing as does church space because in both settings you are before God, but to do so would overlook the meanings of public and private spaces.

    One should not dress poorly normally and thereby rationalize it as universal wear for extraordinary occasions.

    If you are trying to make the argument that what a person wears means nothing, then you have contradicted yourself.

    If you are trying to make an observation that people poorly dress in public, you would be correct. T-shirts are not a good form of clothing to wear in usual public settings. T-shirts are part of the devolution of society.

    Jeremy said: “As for the person who wrote about God’s sense of humor, be careful of thinking that God is like you. God is HOLY!”

    Exactly. God doesn’t wear tie-die t-shirts, fool. You should better your dress wear, especially at church.

    I shall leave the most valuable tidbit for last and you may consider it as the final argument against all this chatter of dress wear, which very few people will understand: God does not love you as you are but for who you should be.

    Case closed.

    Oh, I almost forgot. Elbert, where is your scholarly work on modesty and mystery?

  15. Oh Outraged one, I dropped the ball on that one! I remembered my commitment to that about 10 days ago. Please have mercy and do not unleash your wrath upon me! I will begin working on it right after my sermon on Sunday. (Yes, I’m preaching this week)

  16. […] have asked our dear friend, Elbert, author of That’s Elbert with an E over in Laurel, Delaware to renounce his belief in dressing down for church. This forsaken man went […]