PBW Day #2: Suiting Up

There is no worse feeling for a preacher boy than to have someone confuse him with a lowly layman and therefore he must take great pains to set himself apart from the rabble. As that great preacher Jonathan Edwards once noted “nothing makes a young man stand out from his peers as being serious-minded about ministerial pursuits like the purchase of a second-hand ill-fitting double-breasted suit from a thrift store.” It is sage words like these that have inspired Fundy U to make reading Dress for Success (last published 1988) as mandatory reading for all ministerial students.

In addition to the suit there are other accessories to worry about. What type of cuff links best reflect the Gospel? Do the paisleys on my tie correctly demonstrate my separation from the world? Do my shoes look like I’m ready to hand out a fierce butt-kicking to liberalism? Man is looking on the outward appearance so choose carefully.

One of the most important accessory choices that a preacher boy can make is his selection of a preaching Bible. For to a preacher boy his Bible is not merely (or realistically) for reading the Scriptures but also serves to demonstrate how serious he is about fundamentalism. The Bible must be black and covered with the skin of a dead animal. It must be large enough be noticed when it is waved about for emphasis and heavy enough to be used to thwack wayward bus kids on the head.

By this shall all men know the you are His disciples…

183 thoughts on “PBW Day #2: Suiting Up”

    1. Quite an amazing phenomena isn’t it? You don’t realize how true this is until you’ve been away from an IFB church and then attend one for a day.
      Lets just say I had a rough weekend..all my months of IFB detoxing down the toilet and every trigger flared…remind me NEVER to do that again.

      1. IaHb… don’t do that again.

        If you feel the need to do that again let us know and we will immediately dispatch an intervention team to your location and escort you out of the “Perilous” predicament post haste.

        1. Oh, you wonderful, magnificent friend…thank you. Just the thought of a rescue team dragging me out of an IFB church to safety makes me feel..well…safe. :grin:
          Sometimes its hard when you are the only one in your family whose seen the light..will you come and rescue the hubby and kids too? The kids like candy and the hubby loves to discuss guns…it just might work…

        2. This sounds like a fantastic service! Fill out a profile that allows SFL swat team to monitor the location of your cell phone, and facebook check ins. Any lingering to long or checkins trigger texts with that churchs doctrinal statement, any indictments in the last 10 years of any staff or deacons. If that fails, squad is dispatch to remove safely, and enroll all attendees in an ecclesiasctic history courfse (min 10 hours over the next year), and are given books on how translations and ancient manuscripts work. May need to have a male and female designated huggers once all are safe! Also can flip the flag upside down to indicate distress the remaining members are under, although if memory serves, IaHB may be in the habbit of this already! ;)

        3. IaHb
          Be glad to. Hubbs sound like a kindred spirit… be glad to talk to him anytime. Our Rescue teams are all about the whole family. george is a specialist we bring in on occasion when someone seems to be… stuck. But, yeah we got your back. :cool:

        4. Rob, Ahaha..don’t remind me about the flag thing!I am a closet blonde)
          Love the set up..sign me up!

          Don..your in charge…you know the IFB way, if you think of a ministry or need it means you are automatically in charge of it.
          Congratulations.

  1. *the choice of a white shirt demonstrates purity and a willingness to completely separate from the world. Choosing a colored shirt gives the appearance of compromise.

    *Of course, *the* Bible must be a KJV, preferably one with inspired notes from Scofield. . .There should be a lot of passages underlined, to prove that the preacher boy has been SERIOUS about his study of Scripture, and perhaps some signatures in the front from famous evangelists.

    1. RJW – in my research, I have found that white shirted fundamentalist usually have some sort of school or para-church ministry attached to them, in addition to preaching. Those who wear colored shirts under their suits, and lets be honest, they’re usually some form of jewel tone, or beige, are small time. It’s a well kept secret that if you want to grow your ministry and attract congregants who can afford to support their family (and thus be bigger tithers) you’ve gotta wear the white shirt.

      1. I neve fit the preacher boy mold in fundy u. Even before I started making my break from the lunacy,
        I was one of the few guys who would wear pink shirts into Homiletics.. the instructor was always in white or blue, and he let us know what he thought of these “other colors.” I also wore a black shirt to graduation… we were supposed to wear white. :mrgreen:

        1. Actually white would have a more appropriate color for freedom, er, graduation day. First chapel of the school year (whatever it was called – convo?), on the other hand, would be more of a black shirt day. :wink:

        2. But you see Amanda, he was SUPPOSED to wear white, so only the exact opposite would do to signify freedom. Rebel :D

        3. @Easterlily241: true, true. It could go either way, depending on how subtly you wanted to subvert the system.

    2. About the BIble and underlining… that is SO true! I’ve heard a lot of people at my IFB church say that a sign of a serious Christian is one who has lots of notes, etc in their Bible, and that their Bible is falling apart (no joke). Me… I’ve had my Bible a long time, but it looks almost new. I read it every day, but I don’t write notes in it; I save notes for notepaper. Looking at my Bible, you’d probably think I hardly ever read it, but that’s not true. I just happen to like taking care of it as I take good care of all my things so that they last (not that writing in your Bible isn’t taking care of it, but that’s just my personal preference).

  2. I was amazed at fundyu when I heard first hand from a “preacher boy” about how he taught heresy at a certain church and didn’t realize it until afterward. He was laughing as he said it.

    I really doubted the final product of fundyu ministerial students after that.

  3. True story. Back in my fundie days I knew a guy who spent an entire Saturday going from yardsale to yardsale searching for his “preaching Bible”. You know, the one with the frayed edges and tear stained pages.

    1. Style over substance, appearance over reality, outward instead of inward – I believe in my Bible that’s called hypocrisy!

    2. I have a friend who would go to the library 5 minutes before preaching, just to grab a Bible that would match his black suit (since his study Bible was brown). He would take it out of the library without even checking it out.

      1. He stole Bibles from the library?

        That reminds me of a news story I read a few months ago about the problems bookstores have with shoplifters. The manager of Book People (a large bookstore in Austin) said that the most commonly stolen book, far and away, was the Bible. It didn’t occur to me at the time, though, that it might be preachers pilfering all the store’s Bibles.

        1. I used to work in a Christian bookstore and Bibles were our #1 stolen item. I’ve been told that’s the same at other bookstores, Christian and non.

        2. I used to work at a Christian bookstore and wondered about this phenomenon.

          Research and experience both pointed at those who were on or headed to “skid row” who pilfered a Bible in an attempt to find “loop holes”

          :???:

        3. Maybe they’re looking for loopholes, or maybe they just think a nice new Bible is the book they’re most likely to be able to fence or to peddle on the street for a few bucks.

  4. “Man is looking on the outward appearance so choose carefully.”

    So funny how this works. Of course they preach about how it is the inward heart that matters and that is the only thing that matters, yet all of their standards are based on outward appearance. The mind is saying one thing, but the body is doing another. I leads to this disconnect from truth vs reality.

    1. I know! I used to get that “inward man of the heart” speech all the time from my dad, who would spend as much time as me looking at himself in front of the mirror fussing over his appearance as I did as a teenage girl. I had 3 rings that were very important to me, but if I tried to wear all three at once then I’d get the speech even if I didn’t wear any other jewelry, but he wore 2 rings, one being his huge Bible college class ring, and a tie chain…I should’ve brought it up.

  5. Aaahhhh!!!! This post just brought repressed memories of when I did an pastoral internship at the church I grew up in. Was reprimanded several times for not having my shoes shined and not dressing up enough and barely made it through my summer of :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

  6. I like the reference to the book “Dress for Success”. Fundies love to take “snapshots” of aspects of “the good ole days” and then forever hang on to them. An excellent outcropping of this is latching onto a badly out of date book to support a position about such things like dress or etiquette.

    1. At my Fundy U I had to read that book for an Oral Communications class.

      It talks about how to match plaids and what kind of leisure suit to buy. Oh, and that short men should never carry an umbrella because it makes them look weak. (because a short man who is soaking wet in the rain is evidently a paragon of strength)

      1. That book was immensely powerful in the late 70s/early 80s. If you were applying for almost any job then, you’d better follow every minute detail of the “Dress for Success” uniform if you wanted to be considered at all (because all the Personnel/H.R. people had read it, too). It was such a malign influence on the workplace that I threatened to write a rival book called, “Dress for Failure.” My book never made it off the drawing table, as it were, though.

  7. I think I’m going to be sick. Once “suited up”, all that is needed is the validation. I supposed if he could find a well worn super large print Dake’s bible, he actually might hit someone in the front row waiving it around.

  8. I have to disagree with you all slightly on this one. I appreciate a preacher who will actually take the time to look nice out of respect for the Lord and his congregation before he gets up to preach. If he is preaching wearing a wrinkled, untucked t-shirt, sloppy jeans, and hair that wasn’t brushed that morning, it gives the impression that he just doesn’t give a damn. It’s going too far in the opposite direction of the fundie preacher boys.

    This lack of style seems to be endemic among the “young, hungry, reformed” preacher boys. See Judah Smith, pastor of citychurch.org as an example.

    Of course in the Catholic tradition we don’t have this problem as our pastors wear robes which are color-coded to what season of the Church cycle we are in.

    1. There is a world of space between “slovenly” and “obsessed about my looks”

      Dressing appropriately is part of being a good communicator — which could mean either dressing up or dressing down depending on your audience. But believing that the Holy Spirit is somehow hindered by the color of your shirt or the shininess of your shoes is quite a different thing from merely being appropriate.

      The fixation on appearance with some of these guys borders on self-obsession. I’ve seen quite a bit of that first hand.

    2. This post isn’t against dress codes. It’s against judging people’s spirituality based on their dress codes.

      At my ex-church, there was a woman who could barely walk because she had a tumor the size of a baseball removed out of her stomach. The emphasis on “dress code appearance” was so ingrained in her that she still wore high heals to the service, even though they made her walking much more difficult.

      And I got constant glares at my tennis shoes, even though those ladies knew that I had problems with my knees and walked with a limp.

      1. I can’t even think of going anywhere near a Fundy church anymore, then. I’ve found out the only shoes I can wear that are actually good for my messed-up feet are Skechers Shape-Ups. I wrecked my feet my freshman year at Fundy U, and I’ve had fits trying to keep my foot trouble to a minimum ever since. For the first time in my adult life, my feet are getting better. If anyone thinks I’m going to put on some high heel to keep their artificial standards intact… not happening! :twisted:

        1. Shape-Ups are of the Devil….seriously. The absolute WORST things you can wear on your feet. I personally suggest Vibram Five Fingers, the absolute BEST things you can wear on your feet. I own them and I love them.

        2. I got a pair of “Five Fingers” shoes for my birthday this year. I like wearing them, and they feel great. They never fail to draw a crowd when I wear them, though, so they’re not for everybody.

        3. Here in the UK I found Fitflops. Basically they are orthopedic flip flops. They are actually quite snazzy and expensive, but have saved my feet from the awful curse of plantar faciitus. I’m sure I’d get the “looks” in fundy churches for those!! Tough.

        4. I go to a (barely) IFB church and wear my black mary jane crocs each week to church AND choir. I have received many compliments on the jibbitz on them…Pirates of the Caribbean Jack Sparrow as well as a skull/crossbone on one, and Tinkerbell on the other! :mrgreen:

    3. Morgan, that oh-so-relevant casual look with the screen-printed dress shirts and face stubble is just as cultivated and calculated as the fundy dress.

    4. “If he is preaching wearing a wrinkled, untucked t-shirt, sloppy jeans, and hair that wasn’t brushed that morning, it gives the impression that he just doesn’t give a damn. It’s going too far in the opposite direction of the fundie preacher boys.”

      I’m inclined to agree– at least try to look clean– but somehow none of that seems to have been a problem for John the Baptist.

    5. Morgan, This is another one of my hot buttons, actually may have been one of the earliest issues to get me to start thinking critically about my beliefs and to eventually leave the movement. My present pastor said nearly verbatim what you said about dressing like that out of respect for the Lord. That’s fine btw, but where is there scriptural evidence for such a belief? They are supposed to be strictly following the bible,right? I find nowhere in scriptures where the MOG is supposed to dress so as to please the Lord, as a matter of fact Jesus spoke negatively to the pharisees about dressing to impress. So as far as I know we have no admonition from the scriptures to “dress up” for God and in fact our Lord speaks negatively to those that were dressing for success.

      “Ol” John the Baptist wouldn’t have gotten past the first IFB deacon.

      1. Actually, if you looked in the OT you would find very specific dress codes about what the priest should wear and instructions for Temple worship. Now don’t get all “New Testament” on me that we are under grace now… I know that..! but still if the pastor dresses like he would if he was hanging out on the couch all day I think it shows a lack of respect. We have to look at him. He might look relevant and hip to the hipster crowd, but us older and middle-aged folks just think it looks disprepectful. If you are going to put forth some effort in the sermon, at least try to look nice.

        Like I said, Catholic priests don’t have that problem, neither do other more conservative liturgical traditions. :grin:

        1. As long as professionals in our society dress thusly, methinks preachers should too. It seems appropriate and in line with scriptural respect for the house of worship.

          At the same time, he shouldnt dress that way when he goes to Wal-Mart, or cuts the grass (As some do).

          “All things to all people” right?

        2. I think it depends on your congregation. Ranchers it Montana, twenty-somethings on the West Coast, traditionalists from the South, the working poor in a major city – people prefer different things. In the same way that nurses no longer wear white with a cute little cap, pastors may not always have to be in a business suit. (I prefer it myself, but I no longer think pastors who don’t are compromising. He answers to his people and to his God not to me.)

        3. Morgan, I hear you loud and clear, and don’t want to beat a dead horse here, in fact I agree that the pastor shouldn’t look like a slob, but I’m all about what the Word of the Lord says. I debate calvinsists regularly and was called a “biblicist” by a calvinist, it was supposed to have been an insult, but I rather liked it. What standards do we see set forth in the scriptures that would indicate what the MOG should wear when preaching/teaching. Not awhole lot from where I sit. Jesus was continually admonishing folks to be concerned about the “inside” of that cup, again, pointing out outward appearance wasn’t nearly as important as what was on the inside of that person. If you feel that you should dress a certain way when you attend services at your church then who am I to say otherwise, but please allow others the freedom to “dress” as they see fit and not judge.

        4. “I debate calvinsists regularly and was called a “biblicist” by a calvinist, it was supposed to have been an insult, but I rather liked it.” :roll:

  9. When I attended Jonestown the preacher boys had a liking for pocket protectors for their pens and they had their Bible memory verses on a ring hung through a belt loop…of course KJV.

  10. You forgot the ever-popular Cambridge Wide-Margin Bible. PBs were judged on how wide their blank margins were. Any Cambridge was of course in the upper-tier, but if it was a wide-margin…that was big-time. Mark Minnick bragged about how Cambridge came to him and asked for his personal opinion on the whole wide-margin thing and how basically he was the driving force behind them publishing wide-margin Bibles. Seemed a little far-fetched to me but I know more than a few starry-eyed PBs who were enthralled by the tale.

    And yes, I have a Cambridge. Not wide-margin, I don’t think…maybe it is. It’s smaller, I know; thinner than the big ones. It’s in a box from when I moved from the dorms to my apartment, and I’m pretty sure it stayed in that box for the three years I lived there and is now in a box in storage while I wait to move into my house, where it will likely continue to sit in whatever box it’s in. It’s a KJV, after all…no point in unboxing that anymore. Heck, even my ESV paper version doesn’t see much action – I found it in the backseat of my now-dead previous car this weekend, where it had been for the last month. My ESV and RVG2004 are on my iPhone – why would I need a paper copy? :mrgreen:

    1. I have a wide-margin Bible myself, but it’ll win no points in Fundyland. It’s a screaming pink square TNIV. Love it, love it, love it… and I got it for a really good deal.

    2. I have the real deal, Cambridge, Wide Margin, 9 lb, black, leather bound, KJV, with Carrying case.
      I quit carrying it the day I escaped the cult. I have not even opened it since. I now have an ESV study Bible and a small ESV for carrying. But I spend most of my time using the Online ESV Study Bible. I used to think I was something with my big honkin Cambridge monstrosity… Now I think, How foolish I was. It was not so long ago a couple of years, that I was so pickled with Fundie programming that The name “Don” would make “John” look like a flaming liberal. All I can say is “But for the Grace of God, I would still be in the cult, swilling the kool-aide and watching the shadows on the wall of the Isolation ward.” :neutral:

      1. I also use an ESV. I’m surprised its not used more widely. I went to a couple of bookstores (Barnes and a Christian store), and the selection of ESVs was very limited.

    3. Oh. I remember the Cambridge Wide-Margin Bible speech by Minnick. I also remember him talking about exactly what fine-tip pen to use so that the ink doesn’t bleed through to the other side. He then made a point of telling us how important it was to be writing in our Bibles just like he had done.

      Another day was a story of how he read the Bible on his knees, holding the Bible above his head so that he was in a correct position under God’s word. I think he was genuine, but I couldn’t help feeling like some of it was just need to brag.

      1. Kevin, I remembering hearing that same speech. Thankfully I never drank his brand of Kool-aide. I can’t believe he told students not only what Bible they should use but also which type of pen to use. And what’s worse, students went out and bought those exact things!!

        1. Ever been to his church? If he recommends a book from the pulpit most families will head out to the church bookstore and buy two copies each, just for good measure. It’s weird. :shock:

  11. Wow what a pozer! That is one well orchastrated picture. The SoS on the wall showing his bonafides. The studious pose with the open Bible with pen at the ready. I wish it was in color. The saw-tooth pocket decoration and the Cuff-bling-ks.
    The Pièce de résistance is the “Revive Us Again” in the foreground. This photo oozes schmooze. A master work of Religious Propaganda.

  12. Do those diplomas say Rock of Ages Bible Institute and Rock of Ages College on them? I knew Rock of Ages had a prison ministry but I did not know they ran colleges as well.
    Hmmmmmmm……is Bro. Squeaky-Clean an ex-con?

  13. I perceive an open laptop on the left. It’s not white. What do you think RobM?
    He must be doin’ some sermon surfin’ or checking the latest post on SFL.

      1. ok, I can’t resist. A fundy joke.
        Q: How many fundies does it take to change a light bulb?
        A: None, no one will admit that they can’t see the light.

        1. Change??!??! We can’t change that lightbulb – my great-great grandfather donated that bulb to this church!!!

        2. Hope I haven’t told this one here.

          What’s the difference between a Southern Baptist and an IFB?

          The Southern Baptist believes everyone’s going to Hell.

          The IFB does too, especially the Southern Baptist!

        3. My Presbyterian Grandfather told me a joke about a guy that died and went to Heaven. He took a fabulous tour of Heaven and then there was a door to a room that was closed. The Angel said, “Shhh don’t say anything as we go by here.” After they passed the door, the guys asked what that was about. The Angel said, “Oh that’s the Baptists, they think they’re the only ones here.”

      2. I’m on an area outage for internet service all day so far, but even browsing on my spotty 3g phone I can see there’s no laptop or piano!

      3. I can’t see it anymore…Have i lost my sanctification!? Do I need to confess more? I know! I need to get into a skirt and high heels!

    1. Of course the laptop isn’t white. White laptops are for weirdos who use Macs, or have blue Bibles, or wear colored shirts.

  14. I love it when the whole church has the exact same Bible so the pastor can call out the page number. That is so impressive and it keeps the outsiders outside.

    1. A good take on that…Our pastor does that with the Bibles under the chair in front of us so that those who are unfamiliar with the Bible can follow along.

    2. yeah, our pastor will give page numbers for the pew bibles – That is to help someone who didn’t bring their own or maybe doesn’t know how to look it up. Plus its on the screen too…

  15. It’s ironic that fundies have so spiritualized the attire of powerful men of the world. The suit in American culture is a symbol of *power*, the uniform of politicians, CEO’s and upper management, and wealth. The book Dress for Success is (was) all about projecting the image of power. Heck, choosing one’s “power tie” is part of choosing the fundy PB uniform, is it not?

    Somehow I doubt that Peter or Paul strove to dress like Caesar, and by all accounts Jesus dressed in average everyday clothing, not the clothing associated with the ruling class.

    1. I don’t recall much Biblical description of what Jesus wore, except that he had a garment with a hem, and on the day of the Transfiguration, his garments looked bright and shiny (which I guess means they didn’t the rest of the time).

      It seems like a reasonable hypothesis that he dressed in “average everyday clothing though. Also, remember that in those days, most people didn’t have more than one set of clothes, so they changed clothes rather seldom.

      1. Um, you mean there’s no Bible Reference to him wearing a white robe and a blue sash? I used to have to make my own flannel graph stories for kids church in our financially strapped Fundy Church. If I didn’t color Jesus with Blue and white clothes, how else would they know that’s Jesus??

    2. Congratulations Phil Ray You have said the Secret word: Power
      If we were playing “You Bet Your Life” a duck looking like Groucho Marx would now descend with a hundred dollar bill in it’s bill.

      Power, there it is. It’s not about money per se, it’s about power. Power of others to mold and shape the way they think. To influence their worldviews, and control their weekly if not daily lives. Lord Acton’s Axiom says it best:

      “I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”

      Even the meanest paid preacher in the smallest church in America will not give up “his” calling. No, his calling is to lead his flock… and his flock know his voice, or rather rantings and they follow him. They believe in their lord and even the best intentioned preacher in the world, and the most humble will at some point give in to the seduction of the power. Any lone pastor who is only accountable to God… will eventually become the only god he is accountable to.

      1. I’ve always suspected that the power hungry ones get it growing up as outcasts who don’t ever find something they excel at, and the ability to feel important/powerful/needed is overwhelming.

      2. I’ve always suspected that the power hungry ones get it growing up as outcasts who don’t ever find something they excel at, and the ability to feel important/powerful/needed is overwhelming.

        1. Spot on, RobM. This was my Pastor to a T when I was growing up. He’d tell all of his ‘abuse’ stories and then tell how he ruled all of his 7 children…I didn’t see much difference.

  16. A couple weeks ago, I listened to my church’s youth pastor say to the bus teens, “Every time you go to church, you should always try to look your best.” And what if I don’t? Is there something wrong with me?

    1. And what if someone looks better casually-dressed than they do in a more formal setting?

      I look my best in jeans and a good sweatshirt, sweater, or dressy casual shirt. I look like a freak when I wear a dress. As a result, when I obey Fundy dress codes, I don’t look my best. Talk about an unnecessary double-bind.

    2. @Avgjoe,
      My family and I visited a Fundy church and on the second visit, the Pastor pulled me aside and said “I know you ‘come as you are’, but we are trying to start a Television ministry so you need to dress more appropriatly”…never went back and no one bothered to check on us either.

    3. Someone asked once (I think he meant it rhetorically), “Why do we try to put Jesus in a pair of Levi’s and bring Him down to our level?” To which I reply, wasn’t that the whole point of the incarnation? To bring Christ down to our level, in a sense? Besides, for 10-15 years he was a working-class man. I think some fundies must think he was carving desks in a 3-piece suit. :roll:

      1. I think what Jesus would wear now would be be jeans or other work pants, or a pair of carpenter’s overalls. But who knows? Maybe he’d have saffron-colored robes, a la Hari Krishna.

  17. What is it with these “mogs” prominently displaying every certificate, “degree”, honorary bus captain of the year award, etc. It reeks “egotistic”.

    I have a FB friend from my fundie days that actually took photos of every certificate he owned (also displayed in his living room) for his FB wall- all 29 testaments of mediocrity. Most professionals I know only display one degree at a time, usually their highest earned.

  18. The preaching Bible must also be fexible, so it will flop properly when he waves it from the pulpit.

    My former pastor (not a Fundy) used to refer to followers of certain tendencies as “the limp Bible people,” because he said they were always holding up soft-sided Bibles. He also called them the “Just Church,” because they always began every prayer with “I just” or “We just,” as in “Lord, we just want to thank you for letting us have such floppy Bibles.”

      1. Drives me nuts. I find myself using “just” a lot when I pray aloud!! I became aware of it months ago before it was ever discussed on SFL. Why was I doing that!!?? I honestly do not know why that word slips in there. Was it from hearing others do it? Am I just (there it is) weird? It seems to be a word that “just”ifies my talking to God even though I am “just” a worm and a sinner. “Lord, it’s just me. I just want to ask you a favor if it’s okay. It’s just a little thing, and if it’s a big thing I just know you can do it; just if you want to.” Maybe it’s just because fundies have been so beaten down with guilt they feel they must crawl into the presence of God. When I realized that was underlying my thinking in prayer I remembered that we are invited to come to God both humbly AND boldly. One does not cancel out the other. To eliminate “just” from every other sentence, I had to focus on being bold and being welcomed to speak to my heavenly Father–who was actually thrilled to hear from me!
        Just my 2 cents worth.

        1. Do you also say “God” or “Lord” every sentence? Kate, if we spoke to people like we prayed, Kate, people would get pretty annoyed with us, Kate. Kate, I’m not sure why we feel the need to pepper every sentence with the same word, Kate, but I wonder if it’s because, Kate, we think that God will stop paying attention to us Kate unless we keep saying God’s name, Kate.

        2. Nope, I don’t use Lord or God every other sentence. That always bugged me when I heard people do that. At my church back home there are 3 people who I love to hear pray: 1)Dr Don, retired professor from Moody, talks to God like He’s standing in front of him, no fancy stuff,just simple straight-forward communication. 2)an elderly lady whose prayers are filled with praise and wonder and love of her Father 3)a Nigerian refugee who had to hide out for weeks in the jungle and has now become a proud US citizen and deacon in the church–his prayers are magnificent and rich reflecting his culture and his faith in the God who protected him from the soldiers who destroyed his home. Great accent, too! They are all different, but all genuine. Wow. Thinking about them I miss them.

    1. Yes, what is that? Lord, we just thank you, Lord, for keeping us safe, Lord, and we just ask for traveling mercies Lord, and just thank you for this food, Lord, and just be with us, Lord, and just help us….

      1. That would be using God’s name as verbal punctuation. Seriously, some people say “Lord” every time a comma would come in the written version.

  19. It was three-piece suits in the early 80′s. The fundy school I taught in was all about three-piece suits which the pastor and assistant pastor had, but the school principal did not. Poor guy couldn’t afford such an extravagance on his salary. So at some mandatory parent/teacher evangelistic brag fest they “honored” Mr. B and presented him with a three-piece suit.

      1. @Kate. . .so funny! What an honor! (FYI: I read a statistic that only 20% of American men today even OWN a suit. . .let alone one that fits. . .I imagine the 20% includes suits hanging in the back of a closet, that the owner hasn’t worn for years.) Almost no one wears suits anymore. . .well, w/ the exception of Fundies.

        1. Well, I have to admit that when we go to London and see the businessmen in suits it’s very nice. They do look sharp. Also kids in school uniforms with ties and jackets…including girls (girls in skirts, though). Wait. Is a girl wearing a tie wearing that which pertaineth to a man? :shock:

        2. I love that girls wear (feminized) suit coats/blazers now. And the fact that men wore hose in the Middle Ages :lol: Cracks me up so bad.

  20. “What type of cuff links best reflect the Gospel?”
    Awesome Darrell!

    The funniest thing about the fundy attire for me has always been the jewelry. The American Flag pins, the half-pound gold tie bar, and if they aren’t an iconoclast, the cross cufflinks.

  21. Once I actually heard an older man speaking (in an informal setting) about his disapproval of men not wearing a tie on Wednesday nights. He then said “Where in the Bible does it say you don’t have to wear a tie on Wednesday nights?”

    1. I’ve got a couple of questions for that gentleman:
      Where in the Bible does it say you don’t have to wear a Dunce Cap on Monday morning?
      Where in the Bible does it say you don’t have to wear a tutu and pasties every Friday?

        1. I’ll never forget how surprised I was when, driving through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I saw a sign for an eating place called “The Queen’s Pasties.”

  22. “Where in the Bible does it say you don’t have to wear a tie on Wednesday nights?”

    Sterling logic!

    1. Come up with some bogus, extra-biblical standard.
    2. Come up with a twisted, vaguely biblical logic to support your choice in this matter.
    3. Clam it as an officially Biblical position based on above ‘logical’ connections (usually dubbed a ‘principle’).
    4. Firmly establish everyone who dose not follow this standard as ungodly rebellious sinners.
    5. Put down all opposition by affirming that the Bible dose not in fact address the issue in any form. It never says you have the right to disobey my standard!

    1. I don’t know any way to reply to people who proclaim the above except *headdesk*. Or maybe running as far as I can in the other direction.

    2. RE: JohnRF’s sterling logic:

      Kinda like our funday school teacher last week was telling us about a certain topic he admitted was not taught in the Bible but was, nonetheless, a moral standard.

      Oh really??

        1. Pretty much what y’all were talking about: wearing your best for God.

          You know the line about “If the President of the USA was coing to your house for dinner you’d wear a suit, right?”

          Actually, no, I’d probly wear pretty much what I got on right now.

          “So why won’t you wear a suit to church”

          Nevermind, let’s go back to that “Let this mind be in you” part, I liked that a lot.

        2. A couple months ago, Sword of the Lord had a front page article about clothing. The writer used a recent judge’s demand that people dress up in his courtroom to back up his position that only formal clothing are appropriate in church: if you’d dress up for court, surely you’d dress up for God. The article very quickly degenerated into accusations along the line of “Don’t you want to be your best for God? How can you not give everything for God when He gave up His life for you? Don’t you care about showing the holiness of God to the world around you?” It’s quite the aricle, rather smug, very judgmental, and very 1950s (except he didn’t tell people they should wear hats). :???:

        3. @pw just cause it’s printed in SOL doesn’t make it true. I don’t think a judge can make that kind of requirement of anyone in court (maybe the court employees, and obviously incarcerated people have wear jail issue clothes — sometimes).

        4. The theory that what you should wear in court is what you should wear in church is a strange one. I’ve known several judges (my father-in-law being one of them), and they never wear judge’s robes when they go to church. Police officers wear their police uniforms when they go to court, but not when they go to church. And so on.

        5. There are a couple of young men (18-20yrs) who are volunteer firemen in our church (very good guys). They are always on call on the weekend, so they wear work clothes…y’know jeans, flannel. Several Sundays I have heard their vibrating phones, just before they slip quietly out of the service.

          I am so jealous… :???:

        6. Just received a letter from our local court telling us when to come to court to pick up my son’s first driver’s license, it had in italics to “dress appropriately” I think what they are trying to do is keep miniskirts, torn clothing, halter-tops etc out of the court.

        7. I see where the SOL writer got his idea: judges want people to dress appropriately for court; Christians should then dress appropriately for church. However, who gets to judge what is appropriate? (I’d volunteer for the job, but no one seems to be calling! LOL) For example, courts would have no trouble with a woman in a pant suit, while many churches are very upset about that. And I doubt courts insist that appropriate dress means that men must be in suit and tie. Actually, I think it’s sad (but realistic) that the court has to TELL people, but otherwise, as Greg pointed out, people would be in who knows what get-up!!!

        8. Teh last jury summons I received said not to come in shorts or a tank top. It didn’t say you had to wear a suit or a dress.

        9. I have actually seen someone removed form a courtroom for inappropriate dress.

          Seems the SOL write had a good point.

  23. I recently purchased an Orthodox Study Bible in bonded leather (which is quite large), only because I didn’t want a hardcover. I felt a bit guilty doing so. :twisted:

  24. This is a true story. It just happened last week. I overheard a conversation in which a BJU “preacher boy” was telling another person how he had “witnessed” to his unsaved neighbor. The neighbor told him, “Well, I don’t go to church because I don’t want to have to put on a suit.” (I’m thinking, “OK, here’s the perfect opportunity to say it doesn’t matter how you are dressed, God welcomes you anyway, etc.”) But NO! The preacher boy (who is working towards his doctorate at BJU) said, “WELL…I ALWAYS wear a suit to church because I am going to meet with God and I need to look my best.” I was shocked and saddened at this missed opportunity to demonstrate God’s love to an unsaved person. Instead, his neighbor now thinks God is restrictive and demanding. Thanks a lot for the great testimony, Mr. Preacher Boy.

    1. Yup – there’s fundamentalism in a nutshell: equating standards and traditions of men to the level of doctrine and only caring for a sinner’s soul if that sinner proves himself “worthy” first (in this case, putting on a suit). Instead of exalting Jesus, the preacher boy exalted himself and his own “righteousness”.

      It is because of attitudes like this that I am laying aside my personal preferences for formality — I DO like men and women to dress up, not just for church but for going out to eat, etc. — but my preferences mean NOTHING compared to glorifying Christ by proclaiming His name. I would rather my church be filled with people dressed in jeans or even (gasp) sweatpants HEARING about Jesus, than having a church filled with self-satisfied, well-dressed church folks who have carefully separated themselves from sinners and thus have NO WITNESS at all!

      1. PW, those are some pretty radical ideas you have there, compared to the Americanized way Church is done today. You’ll be labeled a liberal, a compromiser, even a heretic.
        …and I am in 100% agreement with you! Well said sis, well said! :cool:

        1. Thanks, Don! This past year we have been called those names and more, which still bothers me, but I’m trying to focus on what CHRIST thinks of me not the IFB.

      2. PW – We have a few people in our church who wear sweatpants. This does mean that occasionally the congregation is treated with revelations of the more fleshly nature.

      3. Thank you for helping me break through some of the assumptions I grew up with. Because I do naturally like dressing up (and seeing others do so), this is one of the last IFB blinders to fall from my eyes. I’m so used to equating the FORMAL way with GOD’S way! What a perversion of and addition to the Word.

    2. When I’ve invited people to church and they asked about what to wear or said something like what this neighbor said, I’ve always said, “Wear whatever you want to wear. Church is not a fashion show.”

      But then, I don’t go to a church like the one where the Pastor told Smith to start dressing better so the church would look better on TV. At my church, those who find it more appropriate to dress up, dress up, and those who don’t, don’t. Neither faction criticizes the other (at least, not within earshot of me).

      1. That’s what we prefer. My husband has said that he likes to see some people in suits for those visitors who DO come dressed up – we don’t want them to be embarrassed or feel overdressed. But he also wants some people in casual clothes so no one is ashamed of not looking spiffy enough. It’s not a fashion show, and we want the unchurched or the poor and needy to come and hear the truth of Christ.

        Maybe in heaven, I’ll get to enjoy a beautifully exuberant service with stained-glass windows glowing with living colors and people dressed in gorgeous clothes shimmering with God’s glory while a 100 piece orchestra thunders the praise of God with no squeaking microphones or off-key trumpet. But until then, we’re not here to build a beautiful edifice or produce a flawless performance. We’re here to tell the lost and hungry that Jesus is the Savior.

        1. “Maybe in heaven, I’ll get to enjoy a beautifully exuberant service with stained-glass windows glowing with living colors and people dressed in gorgeous clothes shimmering with God’s glory while a 100 piece orchestra thunders the praise of God with no squeaking microphones or off-key trumpet.”

          or maybe a hard rock band will thunder the praise of God… ;)

          or a jazz ensemble, or a bluegrass hoedown, or an african folk group! or something that doesnt even exist yet…

      2. Also, the Preacher Boy who thinks he only meets God at church has huge doctrinal errors. God is at church, but no more so than everywhere else.

        1. If everyone would quit calling a building “church” it would go along way in stopping much of the foolishnes that passes for worship

        2. Yeah, that was my other thought about the conversation. The unbeliever now has the impression that you can ONLY meet God in a certain building and while wearing certain clothing. Major heresy.

        3. Even worse I know of folks that believe you can only get “saved” at the “altar” at “Church.” I know a fellow and that was part of his testimony; that if he hadn’t gotten to the Altar that Sunday morning then he would have died and spent eternity in hell.
          Here in the rusted buckle of the Bible belt of the South you can’t spit without hitting an IFB bunker. The “Churches” per capita is ridiculously whacked around here.

        4. @Don

          That is such an oddity down there. I lived in Greenville, SC for ten years, and it was absolutely hilarious how many churches there were. If I had to find a church back there today, it would be so tough, because many that have thrown off some of these outward barriers don’t line up with my theology. I might have to go Camille’s route and find a good Presbyterian church. :shock:

  25. Don, I know what you mean. This has bothered me for awhile. I’ll have to admit that many years ago, when I was still relatively young in the Faith, this was a crisis for me. I almost laugh now, but at the time, it was almost life-or-death. Certain evangelists I had heard mentioned about people who “thought” they were saved, but were not, & then had to admit before the whole congregation they were not, by “coming down front”, or be lost forever. Of course, me being an introvert & always questioning myself, I feared that must be me, & battled with that for a long time. I thank God for Godly men & women, as well as a precious wife who were a great help & support, & helped me see the Bible truth. But, it still bothers me to hear people badgered to “walk down front” or they can’t be saved. OK, venting over! God Bless.

    1. David, this sounds like me! I was haunted by wondering if I was truly saved, especially since some people told me, that if I questioned, I WASN’T saved, and I needed to publically admit that I WASN’T. I’ve wept and agonized over this! Finally, I decided to rest on “He that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”, but it’s a very sensitive area for me! I can go round and round on this: did I really trust Christ as a young child? did I really repent? if I don’t remember the day, was it real? if I’m questioning, doesn’t it mean I don’t have faith? All I can do is cling to Jesus.

      1. PW,

        It’s interesting that the very verse you quoted, Jn.6:37, became a very important text for me personally as well. What else can we do, what better place to be than clinging to Jesus, knowing we are KEPT by the power of God! Thankfully also it’s not according to our works, but His grace. Look & live, that’s all He requires & all we can do. God bless you sister!

      2. I’m right there with both of you. PW, I did basically what you did, after having talked to different people and pastors about my salvation, I simply fell back into the arms of Jesus and trusted His Word. Of course Jesus is the “Word”

        I recently was studying in Hebrews 4, where it talks about a Sabbath Rest for the people of God. v-9 “there remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”

        Of course I’ve never believed in having to “work” to get to heaven, I have always understood that it was a total work of God, but boy knowing that “I” can rest or “not worry” about it and just rest as God did on the seventh day, Wow, what a wonderful picture.

        Ain’t God Good!

        1. Ditto! The older I get, the more I love Him! Instead of loving Him because I know I’m “supposed” to, I really do because I know my need for Him.

  26. Note: the above picture is not me. You can find the man in the picture by searching for “Evangelist Justin Cooper” on Google.

  27. Interesting that people who so vehemently frown on pulpit robes or any kind of liturgical vestments have such rigid ideas of their own about what should be worn in the pulpit.

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