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Author Topic: Non-believers being more insistent on dressing up for religious services  (Read 1495 times)
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« on: March 10, 2012, 12:06:36 pm »
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Has anyone noticed this is often the case? Just something that came to me, I remember getting in arguments with John Dibble about it, who basically was saying that he didn't even believe in God but it was still inappropriate for me to be wearing band shirts and ripped jeans to church. And Mikado in IRC sort of expressed similar sentiment, it shouldn't be banned but he'd prefer people not wear jeans to church or synagogue even if he wouldn't attend either anyway. And on DU I've seen similar sentiment, "I don't even believe in God but dressing the way people do to these megachurches is so trashy, I know I would never do that when I went to church growing up". Meanwhile though most people who go really don't care, unless they're olds or extreme legalists.

Anyone have theories as to why this is?
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2012, 12:24:32 pm »
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I can tell you exactly why I think this way - if you believe that there's an all-powerful superbeing that rules everything and demands your worship and respect and you believe you should worship and respect it, then you should act in a way that respects it. Human cultural norms throughout history have had some emphasis on specific types of dress for certain situations, and not adhering to these norms is oft considered disrespectful. You treat worshiping your deity like going to a concert, and dress accordingly. This is an indicator to me that you don't give a damn about God, and just want to go out and have fun. You make church service about you. I still think you don't take your professed beliefs seriously. Heck, have you even finished reading the Bible cover to cover yet? You've had ample time since we had that conversation, but you probably haven't bothered - is the word of your god too boring for you to bother? I don't really give a damn that you don't dress up for church, I give a damn that you don't take your own beliefs seriously. Intellectual sloth like yours is a blight upon humanity.
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2012, 01:39:10 pm »
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I don't always abide by this rule, but I still agree with most of what Dibble said.
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2012, 05:48:01 pm »
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At risk of going on a slight tangent (that dressing up is part of, but hits on a larger point), I think Dibble hit on something very important here that is a major problem with American Christianity:

This is an indicator to me that you don't give a damn about God, and just want to go out and have fun. You make church service about you.

Many people seem to view the concept of church as though they're going out and purchasing a product, selecting only the pieces that they want. We've deleted so much of the difficult part, anything requiring some degree of personal sacrifice. Even the Catholic Church has wattered down the church disciplines for laity to where any remote degree of effort makes following quite easy. We've deleted almost all of our days of fasting and abstinence from meat. We've made receiving the Eucharist so easy that it is the norm to receive it every week. By doing this, we have removed much of the constant reminder of the pain and suffering of Jesus dying on the cross for us. Everything now is a celebration, which isn't necessarily all bad but it needs to be done in context, remembering just why we're celebrating. And that's the Catholic Church....let's not even get started on the Protestants!

By relaxing the rules so much, we have set up a scenario where we take the view that it's all about us all the time. We choose what type mortification to practice (if any). And by doing that we are no longer subject to obedience to things we cannot control nearly as much. It's really individualized. It's like we're ordering a plate of self-help with a side order of forgiveness and an Our Father.

Heck, have you even finished reading the Bible cover to cover yet? You've had ample time since we had that conversation, but you probably haven't bothered - is the word of your god too boring for you to bother? I don't really give a damn that you don't dress up for church, I give a damn that you don't take your own beliefs seriously. Intellectual sloth like yours is a blight upon humanity.

This is something to keep in mind, but not really a huge deal. For example, St. Thomas ą Kempis argued:

Quote from: St. Thomas ą Kempis "The Imititation of Christ"
What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God.

It's important to try and understand one's faith, but way, way less important than actually trying to live it.
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 06:18:12 pm »
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Out of curiosity, TJ, what are some impediments to receiving the Eucharist that in the past made it the norm in the RCC to receive it less frequently?
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 10:12:11 pm »
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Out of curiosity, TJ, what are some impediments to receiving the Eucharist that in the past made it the norm in the RCC to receive it less frequently?

You were required to have fasted from midnight the night before. Now you only need to have fasted an hour (which a lot of people ignore and eat breath mints or gum while sitting in the pews).
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 10:31:57 pm »
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I personally wear every day clothes to church. Growing up, I was expected to wear nicer clothes, but I've realized it doesn't really matter.  I'm not going to wear a graphic t-shirt to church (not on the outside, at least), but I don't wear a suit either.

But, then again, I'm not that religious. I'm agnostic. I go to church because it's actually somewhat fun. The minister is a hardcore NDP member, so it's fun to listen to his sermons. Also, my church is inoffensive. Even my Agnostic girlfriend (who wasn't raised in any church, really) enjoys going with me.
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2012, 10:37:50 pm »
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Dibble, it's pretty hard to argue the message from the New Testament is that outward appearance and dress are quite important in God's eyes. Not to mention what Jesus wore.

I haven't read the entire Bible cover to cover (how many Christians have?) though my church does have a little devotional packet called "Leap of Faith 2012" (basically Lent, but they're not calling it Lent because that's too mainstream/traditional religion) that includes the entire Gospel of Mark in readings throughout 40 days. So I'll have read the entire Gospel of Mark by the end of it.
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2012, 11:29:49 pm »
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I really don't understand any sort of preoccupation with clothes in religious services.  I mean, if wearing fancy clothes when you go to church makes you feel closer to God, by all means, go ahead.  But I don't think it should be anyone's business to care.
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2012, 08:50:43 am »
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Quote from: St. Thomas ą Kempis "The Imititation of Christ"
What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God.

It's important to try and understand one's faith, but way, way less important than actually trying to live it.

How will you know how to live the faith if you don't haven't even read the book on which it is based? I suppose you could let some preacher tell you how, but what if he's got it wrong? It's blind acceptance of an authority figure - unlike some people who have actually been killed for possession of a Bible translated to their own language, BRTD has free access and yet by his own admission he can't be bothered to take the time to read it. I'm not saying he needs to be Bible expert but it seems to me that common sense dictates that if you're going to bet your eternity on the contents of a book that you should read the damn thing.


I haven't read the entire Bible cover to cover (how many Christians have?) though my church does have a little devotional packet called "Leap of Faith 2012" (basically Lent, but they're not calling it Lent because that's too mainstream/traditional religion) that includes the entire Gospel of Mark in readings throughout 40 days. So I'll have read the entire Gospel of Mark by the end of it.

1. Only one in ten American Christians have read the Bible, but how is that relevant to you? If most Christians committed murder I don't think you'd say that murder is acceptable. The sloth of other people does not justify your own.

2. So you've read a packet that constitutes a mere two percent of the Bible and took you forty days to do it? Oh, yeah, that takes some real devotion right there.
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2012, 03:51:10 pm »
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If you go to a service say every decade or so for whatever reason, it is less of an inconvenience to affect the "appropriate" sartorial presentation, than if you go every week. The dry cleaning bills are also less. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2012, 04:05:04 pm »
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Not to sound all Nasostolgic here, but dressing up for church was a great way of instilling pride and reverent behavior in people. It's a shame it has gone away.

I don't go to church, but I wear dress clothes every now and then.  It's like cooking a very good meal for yourself (which was also a Sunday tradition). It is very self-assuring.
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2012, 05:22:05 pm »
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Not to sound all Nasostolgic here, but dressing up for church was a great way of instilling pride and reverent behavior in people. It's a shame it has gone away.

What the hell? Churches with people dressed up tend to have them just standing around and not doing anything and not being reverent at all. As opposed to all the people I saw today in torn jeans waving their arms in the air, often swaying with their eyes closed, and sometimes jumping around. They seemed a lot more excited and worshipful than any formal dressed up church.
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2012, 06:32:02 pm »
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Not to sound all Nasostolgic here, but dressing up for church was a great way of instilling pride and reverent behavior in people. It's a shame it has gone away.

What the hell? Churches with people dressed up tend to have them just standing around and not doing anything and not being reverent at all. As opposed to all the people I saw today in torn jeans waving their arms in the air, often swaying with their eyes closed, and sometimes jumping around. They seemed a lot more excited and worshipful than any formal dressed up church.

You would really hate hesychastic practice.
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2012, 06:41:18 pm »
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Reading the Bible cover to cover isn't really necessary to be a good Christian, but shouldn't at least reading the New Testament cover to cover be?  (Assuming you're not from the Catholic tradition that actively discourages reading the book)

EDIT:  For the record, my Bible is 2,700 pages long, including a 2,100 page Old Testament and a 600 page New Testament.  The New Testament alone is a far less daunting feat than reading the entire thing.
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2012, 06:41:18 pm »
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I'm more of the school of thought that holds that band shirts and ripped jeans are never appropriate.
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2012, 07:06:22 pm »
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Reading the Bible cover to cover isn't really necessary to be a good Christian, but shouldn't at least reading the New Testament cover to cover be?  (Assuming you're not from the Catholic tradition that actively discourages reading the book)

Personally I think if you ignore the OT you'd be missing out on part of the intended message. Things regarding bloodlines and whatnot are probably not too central in regards to the moral aspects, but considering that more than half of American Christians can't even name half of the Ten Commandments (which are part of the OT that supposedly still applies in most Christian theology) I think that they need to read it.

Quote
EDIT:  For the record, my Bible is 2,700 pages long, including a 2,100 page Old Testament and a 600 page New Testament.  The New Testament alone is a far less daunting feat than reading the entire thing.

The Bible isn't that daunting. Depending on translation the Bible usually has somewhere between 770k to 790k words. I read the Song of Ice and Fire series, which contains one million more words than that, in the span of about five to six weeks. Granted I read somewhat fast and I dedicated most of my free time to it at the time, but I think that it shouldn't be a problem for someone to read the whole of the Bible in the course of a year doing it casually.
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2012, 07:55:45 pm »
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Not to sound all Nasostolgic here, but dressing up for church was a great way of instilling pride and reverent behavior in people. It's a shame it has gone away.

What the hell? Churches with people dressed up tend to have them just standing around and not doing anything and not being reverent at all. As opposed to all the people I saw today in torn jeans waving their arms in the air, often swaying with their eyes closed, and sometimes jumping around. They seemed a lot more excited and worshipful than any formal dressed up church.

You would really hate hesychastic practice.

So that's some type of prayer in quiet thing? I don't mind that, it has its place, but doesn't need to be in church. If I'm going to church I want something to happen.

I'm more of the school of thought that holds that band shirts and ripped jeans are never appropriate.

So what would you wear to a hardcore show or event like Dude Fest?

BTW I think the big issue with reading the whole Bible isn't that it's so long, but that long parts of it are so pedantic and boring. My church planting pastor buddy once talked about this if you read all of Exodus, it starts out exciting of course with all the plagues and the burning bush and whatnot, but then the second half is basically long detailed instructions about building a tent, the Tabernacle. There's a lot of other such things in the Old Testament. Thew New Testament though is mostly devoid of this type of content, even if Paul can get a little rambling and uninteresting sometimes.

And there's a Catholic tradition that discourages reading the Bible? I know this was done in the Middle Ages to keep the masses in line, but would any priest today seriously tell the laity they should not read the Bible?
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2012, 08:05:06 pm »
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Not to sound all Nasostolgic here, but dressing up for church was a great way of instilling pride and reverent behavior in people. It's a shame it has gone away.

What the hell? Churches with people dressed up tend to have them just standing around and not doing anything and not being reverent at all. As opposed to all the people I saw today in torn jeans waving their arms in the air, often swaying with their eyes closed, and sometimes jumping around. They seemed a lot more excited and worshipful than any formal dressed up church.

Being excited and emotional isn't at all reverent.  It's actually the opposite of it and something our culture needs a little bit less of these days.  If you are going to behave that way in church, then you need another activity in your life that is meditative to replace it.  The problem is there's a good deal of people who don't replace it.

The ideal Christian church, in my opinion, would be centered around the old Catholicism in Latin .  There could be Bible study during the week so you know what it all means, but either an understandable dry mass or an entertainment show both take away from the spirituality of it all.   Church should not being entertaining.  It should be quiet, boring, and purposeless because that's where you find what you need; when all your worldly things are pushed aside for some good old nothingness.  It's like taking a shower.  A great place to think as nothing is happening.  

If that is not what you look for in church, then perhaps it's not a church you are looking for.
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« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2012, 12:05:57 pm »
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That sounds pointless. See I'm reminded of this video I once saw from a church in Las Vegas. The pastor was a guy wearing hipster glasses, a varsity jacket and holey jeans, and he was on a stage without any type of religious iconography, so he basically looked like he was on a Comedy Central stand up show or something. And he basically gave a sermon like a stand-up comedian. He'd just throw in all these funny stories and amusing personal anecdotes and then sort of relate them to something in the Bible, most memorable part: if you feel unimportant because your job is just something like valet parking don't because you can be "parking cars for God!" and even Jesus would need a valet when he went around preaching in the modern era.

Now if all churches were like that and most people growing up went to one, I'm sure there'd be far less cases of people falling out and quitting going. I think churches would like that.
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« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2012, 12:10:43 pm »
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Has anyone noticed this is often the case? Just something that came to me, I remember getting in arguments with John Dibble about it, who basically was saying that he didn't even believe in God but it was still inappropriate for me to be wearing band shirts and ripped jeans to church. And Mikado in IRC sort of expressed similar sentiment, it shouldn't be banned but he'd prefer people not wear jeans to church or synagogue even if he wouldn't attend either anyway. And on DU I've seen similar sentiment, "I don't even believe in God but dressing the way people do to these megachurches is so trashy, I know I would never do that when I went to church growing up". Meanwhile though most people who go really don't care, unless they're olds or extreme legalists.

Anyone have theories as to why this is?

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« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2012, 12:38:26 pm »
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you sure are stuck on the subject of clothes, more than any girl I've known

Keep in mind that BRTD obsesses over pretty much everything. If anyone disagrees with him on pretty much anything there's a 90% chance he'll make a poll on it, or at least a thread.
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« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2012, 01:29:00 pm »
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I can tell you exactly why I think this way - if you believe that there's an all-powerful superbeing that rules everything and demands your worship and respect and you believe you should worship and respect it, then you should act in a way that respects it. Human cultural norms throughout history have had some emphasis on specific types of dress for certain situations, and not adhering to these norms is oft considered disrespectful. You treat worshiping your deity like going to a concert, and dress accordingly. This is an indicator to me that you don't give a damn about God, and just want to go out and have fun. You make church service about you. I still think you don't take your professed beliefs seriously. Heck, have you even finished reading the Bible cover to cover yet? You've had ample time since we had that conversation, but you probably haven't bothered - is the word of your god too boring for you to bother? I don't really give a damn that you don't dress up for church, I give a damn that you don't take your own beliefs seriously. Intellectual sloth like yours is a blight upon humanity.

AMEN!

I don't know how many non-believers are like this, but I'm sure that some of them don't like going to church exactly because they see people who don't dress up for it (thus indicating that they don't take church seriously).
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