177 thoughts on “Children in Suits”

  1. Wow this post has been up for 10 whole minutes now.

    I guess I’ve finally found one time of day when some of you aren’t hanging out waiting to be first. πŸ™‚

    1. I’m envisioning them all with the the parted, tapered, slicked down hairstyles. Would I be correct?

    1. I could have been one of the kids in that picture.
      It gave me a permanent distaste for dressing up. Now I only wear a suit for funerals and job interviews.

      1. This is how I feel about dressing up too, and I am a lady. Dresses and skirts only if absolutely necessary.

        1. This describes me and my husband too! We only dress up when absolutely necessary!

  2. Yeah. I’ve always found this just a little creepy, especially when more than one boy child wear suits that match the clothes of more than one sister.

    1. My Mom made flower pattern jumpers for my sister and her. My dad brother and I were priviledged to get matching ties.

      Yeah those were the days. . . . . . πŸ™„

    2. Yes! We had a family at our church that did this for special services like Christmas. The mom made the dresses for her and her daughter-black velvet with a shiny formal print and then she made matching bow ties and cummerbunds for the dad and son out of the same shiny material.

  3. Well, since the ultimate goal of every preacher is to replicate himself, then this is chicken soup for their soul.

  4. Scary. . .Seriously. I have boys. None of them have ever worn a suit to church. When my husband was little in Fundyland, his suits were really “70’s plaid” style (and this was in the 80’s–you can always find some great polyester at the Salvation Army). For “mog-wives-in-training”, the acceptable attire in the 80’s and 90’s for church was some sort of long floral dress w/ a big white collar.

    As an interesting fact, I read recently that fewer than 25% of American men even OWN a suit (including a suit that they never wear and doesn’t fit). . .So, probably fewer than 10% wear a suit regularly (I’m guessing a large portion of that number would account for Fundies?) πŸ™„

    1. Oh yes, the long floral dress with the big “peter pan collar.” After bringing home our first daughter, we received quite a few in the bags of hand-me-downs from well meaning fellow church members. They never made it out of the bag. (Note: Such dresses are to be worn with a very large bow in the hair.)

    2. I loved floral dresses! I didn’t like the huge white collars, but I had several dainty crocheted ones that I liked. And yes, I wore the big bows in my hair too.

      1. bows, check. Big white collars, check. Frustration I can remember to this day when a breeze would blow big white collar up and smack into my excessively red, excessively applied lipstick, check.

      2. Oh Geez, the huge collars with equally huge bows, the loud floral prints and the white lace socks with the patent leather shoes, it was all horrifying. Now, you won’t catch me at church in anything other than a t shirt, blue jeans and flip flops so you can see my foot tattoo. πŸ™‚ My long haired boys and long haired and long bearded hubby look much the same way!

  5. I know of one MOG who while pastoring a church, had an affair with a woman in the church to whom he was not married. Church officials were summoned, and since it basically boiled down to “he said, she said”, the pastor quietly resigned with his reputation basically intact. This pastor had four sons, all of whom entered the ministry. And while there is no evidence that any of the four inherited their dad’s penchant for infidelity, their personalities in other respects replicate their old man.

    1. Adding suits to this…it reminds me of a fundy relative way back in 2001 telling us how wonderful it was that W. was requiring people to always wear a jacket and tie in the oval office to “restore its dignity” after the whole Lewinsky incident. My demure little mother looked at the woman and said “well, that’s all very nice, but unless it was a long tie, neither it nor the jacket was going to interfere with what Bill and Monica were doing in there”. πŸ˜›

      1. Dignified is as dignified does.
        When somebody puts on an impeccable suit and goes to work and writes a brief saying it’s fine to torture detainees and to hold them for years without trial, I’m not impressed by their decorum.

      1. Clearly it’s been a while since you have heard a fundy sermon… Just check last week’s SOTL sermos for examples of all kind of non-sequitors coming out of one of two bible verses.

        And you are worried about one little side issue here?

  6. Prescription for crabby boys: Make them wear constriting, uncomfortable while going to a place they can’t have ANY fun. To outfit a kid in a suit weekly would make ME not want to attend church.

  7. the two on the left are wearing VESTS. I really, sincerely hope that they are vests pertaining to a 3-piece suit, but something tells me otherwise. I am seriously concerned for their upbringing. Nothing raises red flags like a cardigan vest.

    1. I really preferred to put my sons in vests. I thought they looked sharper and more comfortable. Buying suits or suitcoats all the time got expensive, especially considering my boys wore husky sizes back then. (This has since been corrected; as they have gotten taller, they’ve also gotten much thinner.)

  8. Where I’m from, the cardigan vests are just outfits for the boys too lazy to put on the jacket. They are “a little less spiritual” than the jacket, but they are still spiritual and don’t cause concern in my circles.

    1. @Waldo, “…the cardigan vests are just outfits for the boys too lazy to put on the jacket. They are β€œa little less spiritual” than the jacket, but they are still spiritual”. HILARIOUS!

  9. my brother was nicknamed “suit boy” after we started going to a more laid back church

    1. If you’re going to say people shouldn’t judge people on what they wear, then it has to work both ways. It’s funny how more ‘casual’ people want the more ‘formal’ people to accept them and not comment. Then they turn around and make fun of the ‘formal’ attire. When I was a kid I enjoyed dressing up for church. I always liked the idea of wearing a tie, and I enjoy wearing a tie to work as well. Just because even a kid is wearing ‘formal’ attire, doesn’t mean they are being forced to. I’ve attended churches that wear a wide variety of attire, and someone shouldn’t be made to feel uncomfortable if they want to dress more formally.

      1. I don’t like to hear of anyone being mocked or snubbed for what they wear to church – whether informal OR formal.

    2. Yes, people can be narrow-minded in the other direction, too.
      That’s one thing I love about my current chruch: Some people dress up in the traditional “church” uniform, others dress very casually, most people are somewhere in between, but it’s all according to people’s own preferences, and I’ve never heard any member criticize anyone else’s attire.

  10. M-O-g-i-t’s
    They had a 9 yr old they brought up on stage at the conference. Suit, tie, haircut… the whole nine yards. Young Fundamentalist Jedi, the KJB is strong in these indeed.

      1. No, just a visual aid For Tim Rabon.
        “Visual Aid: He was looking for a 7 year old boy in the audience but he had a 9 year old he had come up to the pulpit. (He was in his Fundie uniform.) He used him as a visual representation of Joash. (then he gave him such high hopes saying…)if the Lord doesn’t come in 25 year he may be (preaching) on the Sword’s platform.” **I guess everyone has to have a goal in life** πŸ™„

        1. THE INfamous fundy dresscode was where i never complied in spirit. I was ignored, shunned, looked up and down in a very disapproving way from the then uber-fundy pastor. I dress like I feel like it and so do my boys! I shower often and so do my boys and our clothes are clean and in good repair and am very friendly and loving to those who accept it. I just wish the huge amount of people that feel the way I do would just be themselves instead of letting the years of brainwashing make them worry about others thinking them rebellious. I don’t have a problem with you if you really enjoy dressing up, go for it but let the others dress more casual!!!

  11. Look out for Boy #3. His tie is SHINY. He could be a future TV evangelist and he is carrying a messenger style bag not a Bible like the other boys. He is too contemporary. Probably a visitor.

  12. Bible Baptist Church of Oak Harbor, Washington has a page for preachers in training with a pic of some preacher boys in suits. Ewww.. Sorry kids, rather see you in jeans and a T-shirt.

    BTW boys and girls, it’s 5:36 am and if we had a prize for posting first on Pacific Time, I’d be FIRST! heh, heh, heh!

    1. Since Darrell lives in the Eastern time zone, you could reply to a post before he posts it if you get up early enough. :mrgreen:

  13. Ahh the memories! Growing up as a fundy kid in the late 70’s, I had a stunning salmon colored leisure suit when I was about 7 or 8. And by stunning, I mean, “Why for the love of God would anyone ever made such a thing and why would my mother have ever put me in it?”

    It has been interesting watching this play out in our own family. Us, decidedly non-fundy for many years now, going to family events such as weddings, etc. My boys didn’t own a pair of dress pants until they hit high school so they would show up to a wedding wearing a nice pair of jeans and a casual shirt while their fundy cousins were dressed in suits and ties. Even when when my boys and the cousins were all about 5 years old.

  14. please tell me you all don’t agree that we should approach God in a casual way! Say it ain’t so! And clearly approaching God in attire that fits the “casual dress” section of the school handbook would fit that description, come on now, can I get a Haymen!

    1. Absolutely, we should not approach God in a casual way. In fact, Job 1:21 should be our guiding principal every Sunday.

  15. someone mentioned plaid 70’s suits above – I should scan a pic of me and my brothers from said timeframe in our wonderful plaid 70’s suits.

    1. Bring it. I’ll raise you 3 identical girls in homemade floor length dresses and matching BONNETS!

  16. I’ve heard of some preachers who brag about mowing their grass in a shirt and tie! I’d LOVE to get a pic of that! πŸ™„

    1. That would be pretty much a death sentence where I live.
      It was 105 degrees here yesterday, and humid, too.

    2. My pastor growing up always wore a 3 piece suit. And I mean always. No one ever saw him without one on. He would come to church work day in a 3 piece suit and then put a one piece work coverall over that and work like that. No joke.

        1. Nope. I remember him in his 3 piece suit, with work overalls over the top and a paint brush in his hand. It was so ridiculous, but that was him.

    3. That was my ex-fundy pastor too. He wore a dress shirt and dress pants at ALL times. His wife always wore hose too. He bragged about that all the time–said it was important to “look like a pastor/pastor’s wife” at all times. πŸ™„

      1. I live in AZ. Pastors don’t wear suit jackets outside in summer, and pastor’s wives don’t wear hose in summer. Not even fundies. Well, some fundies might, but not the one from the local “fundie lite” church. My own decidedly non-fundy pastor has been known to wear shorts, even. :mrgreen:

        1. Or….The fundy women who get on Facebook in the dead of winter to brag how they shoveled their entire driveway in their skirt and heels.

  17. Aah, suits. Haven’t worn a suit in…let’s see…February. Haven’t worn a suit *in church* since…well, there were two weddings in the last few months, but they don’t count. Must have been…last June? I think I can say the same for dress shirts, too. Dress Code is high on the list of things I’ll never ever miss about Fundyism. πŸ˜€

    1. I wear suits when I coach basketball games, just to look more professional. I’ll also wear a suit to funerals, and I’ll probably wear a suit of some sort when my kids get married.

      1. I used to wear a suit when I coached, but it wasn’t comfortable because I sweat them out every time. A decent pair of pants and a polo are professional and allow me to be me.

  18. Anyone have a picture to share of their “girl” fundy days?? I have a few, but i look so ugly, i can’t bring myself to share them.

    1. The ones of me in a polo shirt and camo-patterned culottes (a last ditch effort to put the “cool” back in “culotte”) shall stay classified. πŸ˜†

      1. Those are very scary . . . not that I want to make feel bad or give you the impression that I was dressed any better.

  19. I admit (and somewhat remember) that fancy clothes for children are horribly uncomfortable (I have to wonder if it’s because children can’t properly articulate “it itches and the tag scratches and this part is too tight while that part is too loose” yet, so clothing makers just make whatever they feel like!), but I also must admit that little boys in suits is kind of adorable.

    Suit jackets might be carrying things a bit far, though. How about a nice, loose vest? And for little girls… c’mon, there’s much cuter dresses out there than those awful flower explosions.

  20. Sorry, Darrell, I’m not with you on this one. Wearing a suit to church may not be necessary, but what’s wrong with sticking on a tie? There was a time, not so long ago, when people made an effort to dress up a little for public gatherings. It was a sign of respect — in the case of church, it was a sign of respect for God. We’ve lost all that, and personally, I think it’s a shame. Everybody is “casual” nowadays, as though somehow that lends to being more “authentic” in the presentation of oneself and in the pursuit of one’s relationships, even professionally. Nonsense. We’ve lost our dignity as a culture.

    It impresses me, when I go to a city, to see businessmen and -women strolling along the sidewalks dressed up. I was brought up to believe that doing that contributes to a person’s self-image, and I firmly believe it’s true. I don’t think churches have to be legalistic about it, but I don’t think it should be discouraged, either. People dress up for weddings; isn’t a church service more important than a wedding? Kids shouldn’t be made to think that looking respectable isn’t important.

    OK, time to throw your brickbats at me, everyone. I’m not apologizing for being a curmudgeon.

    1. No brickbats. I don’t have any problem with folks wanting to dress up for church, as long as they are doing it for the right reason – to honor God rather than to be seen of men. I do have a problem with those who make it a requirement and tell you that you’re not spiritual unless you do.

    2. To me, it’s more important that kids be brought up not to think that people are respectable or not according to how they dress.
      I have much more respect for an honest ditch-digger than for a dishonest business executive or a dishonest minister.

    3. Sorry, Darrell, I’m not with you on this one. Wearing a suit to church may not be necessary, but what’s wrong with sticking on a tie?

      Where did I say that there was anything wrong with suits or ties?

      I still wear them when I visit churches. I happen to like them.

      This wasn’t a diatribe against suits, it’s just unusual to see kids so young so dressed up these days. And that was the whole point of the post.

      You can set your phaser back to stun, sir. πŸ™‚

    4. I have to admit that after I wasn’t required to wear a dress/skirt/denim skirt/keds to church anymore (or for that matter, anywhere), I loved to wear them (minus the denim skirt and keds). It’s the whole “don’t walk on the grass” thing – tell someone they can’t, and they will. In this case, stop requiring someone to do something, and then they will want to.

      Again, favorite excuse of all time: “Well, we have to draw the line somewhere.”

    5. Here is my brickbat:

      β€œit was a sign of respect for God… We’ve lost our dignity as a culture.”

      Pretend for a moment we are GOD, and we are listening in to one ant telling the other the above statement. This is beyond silly. As GOD, I would repeat what we hear the prophets saying over and over: β€œIt is not your incense or your plaid suits that impress me…”

      It is especially ridiculous for those of us coming from churches where many people owned only one shirt, where the minister did go everywhere with his one suit, because it was the only pair of pants he owned…

    6. Weary Pilgram, my pastor agrees with you! And my pastor happens to be a Catholic priest. He sent a news letter attached to our program a few Sundays ago saying that we should dress to respect the Lord No shorts or jeans esp when we have to appear on the platform. My wife was nopt hasppy about it but I being an older coger like what he had to say.cept now in the real hot summer days I will no longer wear shorts to church.

    7. This is a very interesting blog post and comment to me, as I just had a conversation with an ex-bf about this. He gave almost identical reasons for wearing your Sunday best as WearyPilgrim did, down to the “what would you wear to a wedding” argument. He’s not really a fundy, although he did enjoy attending one fundy church I had recommended to him (though not others). I’d describe him more as a religious conservative. When I told him I was leaving my fundy church and that I was leaning more towards a very contemporary worship crowd, if any at all, he really resisted the idea of this and advised me not to. (Not that it matters what he thinks.)

      I think even amongst non-fundies, there is an expectation for wearing your Sunday best, that church time should be special and ceremonial, that there is a particular look and feel and vibe to a religious service, that going modern is just pandering to kids, and that this really does equate spirituality. At the same time, there is also the argument that God isn’t worshipped in just one place and time, that we shouldn’t focus on appearances and that religion should be as real and sincere as you are in everyday life.

      I agree with what was said above: do what you do to the glory of God. But don’t tell me that there’s only one way to do it.

    8. I prefer to prepare my heart for and during worship. I have heard many a woman in an overly sugary voice say she is “dressing for the Lord”. I prefer bringing my joyful, genuine contrite heart to the Lord and I think he accepts me too. And the Bible story about the well-dressed man who is obviously well to do (a potentially great tither) and the man dressed in rags should be treated equal in the church service. Also even a murderer shaves and gets a haircut and puts on a nice suit when it’s his day in court in order to “appear” to be something he is not, and it obviously works or why would their lawyers suggest they do it? I’m just saying, people should come as they are if they want/need to.

      1. Personally I have never worn a suit to church. I don’t even wear a tie to my own church, though when I was growing up it was expected of you. I do, however dress neatly, with clean clothes. and I would occasionally put a tie on if visiting a different church. I don’t mind people wearing suits and ties, but I don’t think people who do do are any more spirtual. I will say though that I am not happy with young people appearing in tattered jeans etc but maybe its because I’m now 50, and I grew up in an enviroment where Christians were “expected to LOOK like Christians” and old attitudes are hard to break…..

  21. There’s a family in my church that have 2 boys, ages 11 & 7. They own suits & usually only wear them for special occasions, like Easter. However, the oldest boy actually chooses to wear his suits most Sundays just because he likes to dress up. The family is in no way fundy & neither is he. He just likes to dress up for church. I like that he’s the one making the decision for himself.

    As for other men in our church, it’s really just the elders that wear suits every Sunday. With long hot summers nobody really wants to add extra clothing.

  22. I get my 2 kids special outfits for Easter, and yes, sometimes they match. I think my son was 5 & I got him a little jacket. He thought it was great.

    I choose 3 things for him to wear Sunday morning, and he picks what he wants to wear. I’m surprised that sometimes he picks the more dressy outfit. But usually it’s the polo and shorts.

  23. I am with WearyPilgrim on this as well. While I know many are “taught” it is the only attire acceptable in church, many do it from personal preference/choice. My youngest son (5) likes to wear suits because his older brother does.

    To all our Catholic friends, I don’t hear anyone complaining about “priest – o – gawd” being required to wear their garb/robes/uniform. Just sayin’ not hatin’

    Wear what you want, remember Who you do it for, that’s all. Even society puts some guidelines on things we attend, i.e. business formal/casual/etc. I would respect that as a businessman, and I would also respect anyone who dresses up for the God they love.

    1. Your right about the key being remembering Who we are doing it for. I personally feel the Father’s love when I am able to worship him casually dressed, because I know he loves and accepts me no matter what. Those who experience God’s presence better dressed up should continue to do so.

  24. We had two little boys in our church — twins — whose father was the funeral director in town. Daddy was always in a tie when he dealt with the public, and the boys emulated that. They always — ALWAYS — wore ties to Sunday school and church. They’re now in medical school, and they still wear ties. In fact, one of them, when he did an internship, was told that he didn’t have to, but he replied, “Nope. I like to wear one. I think it looks more professional.”

    Kids — boys and girls both — LIKE to dress up on occasion. Tell me it doesn’t look nice?

      1. Maybe it’s time to re-introduce the “tie-it-yourself” bow tie to doctors, instead of the “flapping-in-the-breeze” variety…

  25. There’s a happy medium for everything. I wear a clerical collar and a Geneva pulpit robe every Sunday for worship, except in the summer when it’s hot, when I wear the collar and a jacket. If it’s REALLY hot, I’ll wear a long-sleeved white shirt and tie. I think there is a certain dignity to the pastoral office that should be upheld. At the same time, I think that I and my congregation should be comfortable when it’s warm.

    When I’m out on my rounds, I always put a tie on, summer or winter. To me, it’s just plain respectful, and frankly, it bothers me that some pastors don’t do it. “I don’t care how I dress” =
    “I don’t care about you or what you think.”

    1. Respectfully…
      I’ve never seen my pastors wear a tie on Sunday. (We have several on staff.) The only suits and ties I’ve seen on them are when they were involved in a wedding. Does that mean they care for their church body any less? I don’t think so. How you act and speak to individuals carries a far greater weight to me.

      There isn’t anything wrong with a pastor/priest wearing a tie. But I don’t believe not wearing one makes them care any less for the people in their church/parish.

    2. If dressing up is the ministerial “uniform” for your culture then by all means dress up.

      Honest question, do you think Jesus walked around more “dressed up” than his followers? From the description of the clothes they took from him at the cross I would tend to think not.

    3. β€œI don’t care how I dress” = β€œI don’t care about you or what you think.”

      I am all for people wearing as dressy of clothes as they’d like for church. Your statement here is very correct, but not at all in the way that you meant it. Some pastors choose to wear a polo and nice jeans, for example, because the people they’re trying to reach would be offended if they showed up in a suit. Thus, they’re intentional in their choice of casual dress. Is there anything wrong with that?

    4. Pr. WearyPilgrim, your liturgical attire seems to indicate to me that your service has some degree of reverence and respectability. There is nothing more galling to me than the Fundamentalist service with its shouting preaching and hoarse singing in a dreadfully ugly church, and it makes no sense to me to claim that such an occasion merits dressing up.

      Also, why would God endorse a particularly mid-20th-century American style and yet look down on more recent innovations in high fashion-like pink shirts? πŸ‘Ώ

  26. The key issue is WHY you dress up for church. My girls love to wear their pretty dresses, while I prefer nice jeans. Too many years of FundyU forcing me to dress up 24/7 made me hate it. I’m finally getting to where I don’t mind putting a dress on every now and then. Now if I do dress up, it’s because I want to…not because my position with God will be judged. He’s more concerned with how I treated my family than my dress code on Sundays.

    1. You’re spot on, Rebel. It’s ’cause we want to, not ’cause we have to. And as strongly as I feel about this subject, you’re also right about the Lord: he doesn’t judge us on the basis of how we dress.

  27. Ok, why is nobody noticing the Bible covers in hand?!?! I personally know that not one of these little guys can read a lick but hey, they’re bringing their Bibles. Anybody wanna toss any bets out there as to whether or not their is a NASB inside one of those covers? I think it is funny to because of Darrell’s previous post about Bible covers.

    1. You may know those boys, and know that they have Bibles in those bags, but I just saw kids in suits holding little briefcases. I figured they probably brought their lunches.

  28. When it’s 110 outside, and little boys are wearing suits, and it’s most of the little boys in the church, I really think that most of them are being forced to. Not right. πŸ™

  29. I am on my way out of Fundyland, but some things I will probably maintain, one is wearing skirts instead of pants. I am more comfortable in the skirt. I never wear dresses other than jumpers and they are denim as are the skirts. But as some have said it’s a choice, not because the fundies say that’s the only acceptable way to dress if you’re female and that pants are mens’ clothing and women have no business wearing them.

    I have often complimented a little boy in a suit at church since it made him look like “the little man.” But I remember one of my fundy pastors telling about how when he went to Bible college he sat in the class with the young men who were in training to be pastors. He was particularly impressed with one of them who had a booming voice and he thought this guy would make a great preacher one day. But a few days later this boy had dropped out of school. Why? Because he refused to wear a tie every day! This pastor thought that was so stupid, to drop out because of this little thing.

    Fast forward to the present day, in his church he will not allow any man up on the pulpit who is not wearing a suit and tie. The choir men must be in suit and tie and the women must not be wearing denim anything. πŸ™

    1. I’ve been to some of the poorest sections of South Africa. Where neighborhoods are nothing but tin huts, and people live in the more meager of conditions. If you go to their village church, anyone who preaches is expected to wear a coat and tie. Why? Because it shows respect for the house of God. It shows respect in what he is doing. It also shows the people that you respect God. It may be more of a social, or cultural norm. At some level it is about a respect for the day that is set apart different from any other day to praise God.

      1. And I grew up in some of the poorest parts of the Caribbean where my (very fundamentalist) father refused to wear a suit or tie for about 8 years because he didn’t want anybody to feel like they were excluded from coming to church if they couldn’t afford nice clothes.

        I think perhaps we need to revisit the book of James and think about why we’re judging the spiritual intentions of people by the way they dress. In a word: don’t.

        If you want to dress up as a way to show your respect then do it to the glory of God. And if you want to dress down to show that none of us are better than any other and the ground at the foot of the cross is all equal then do it to the glory of God. Whether you eat or drink or whatever your wardrobe to it to the glory of God.

        Amen? Amen.

        1. When I went “soul winning” I would dress down somewhat (still in a skirt though) because sometimes we visited poorer neighborhoods and I didn’t want the people we were inviting to church to feel that everyone in the church was rich and they wouldn’t fit in. Another woman had the opposite idea so she dressed to the 9’s to go out “soul winning.” I think the poorer ladies we visited felt intimidated by her. πŸ˜•

        2. This.

          I still remember a conversation I had years ago with my (very fundy) parents. I was still in a fundy church at the time, but they had left that church while I was in college and starting attending a church I consider in its own class of ultra-conservative fundyism.

          Anyhow, they had somehow gotten connected with a less-fortunate young man who I believe had recently gotten out of prison. He had expressed interest in coming to their church, and my mom’s comment was – and it still kills me – “yeah, we bought him a suit so that he could come to church.” They were quite pleased with their generosity, too.

          And they wonder why I’m no longer fundy?

      2. Bob the father wrote, “I’ve been to some of the poorest sections of South Africa. Where neighborhoods are nothing but tin huts, and people live in the more meager of conditions. If you go to their village church, anyone who preaches is expected to wear a coat and tie. Why? Because it shows respect for the house of God. It shows respect in what he is doing. It also shows the people that you respect God. It may be more of a social, or cultural norm. At some level it is about a respect for the day that is set apart different from any other day to praise God.”


        No. It shows the clery is considered a separate and higher class than the laity.

        It was not the social norm until some missionaries erroneously taught it.

        Does this mean an impoverished man who lives in a tin hut is unable to preach to his own countrymen until he dresses up like an American businessman?

        Where is this even remotely biblical?

        1. It’s not Biblical, it’s trying to turn them into American Culture fundys.

        2. In Ireland, if a Christian went door-knocking while wearing a suit he would probably be mistaken for a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon!

  30. I go to a large church in a beach community where the atmosphere is very laid back. The pastors wear jeans unless there is something special planned. Shorts and flip-flops are not unusual in services. The church is adding many young adults who feel comfortable in the casual atmosphere. One of the pastors sums it up that “we don’t take ourselves seriously but we take the Gospel very seriously.”

  31. The men is our church who take up the offering all wear suits. So the best way for men to avoid being drafted for that duty is to never wear a suit.

    1. I noticed WOMEN taking the offering at our new church the other Sunday. That was the very first time I’ve ever seen that in a church. :mrgreen:

      1. In my church we sometimes have women take up the offering. Not sure why more churches don’t do this. Is it a “man thing?” ❓

  32. I remember all the terrible dresses we had to wear. πŸ™„ I didn’t know we were freaks until I started going to public school… I don’t like to dress up now either, but I never connected those dots until now. I *hate* pantyhose and slip on flat shoes the most.

    We always went to fundy church, fundy private school and everyone dressed the same. My friends now don’t believe some of my stories about those years. I didn’t get to live in reality until I was about 16 and never did learn how to wear makeup because we weren’t allowed. Now I’m 30 and still don’t use it often.

    I think I can dig up some scary pics from the early 90’s when I was still being brainwashed. πŸ™‚

    1. I got looked down on at church because along with my denim jumpers (with a tee shirt underneath lol) I would wear cotton socks and flat shoes rather than the fundy ladies’ panty hose and high heels. In the winter I wore heavy socks I made myself. So my legs and feet were not freezing and theirs were, and I wasn’t risking a fall on those atrocious high heels. πŸ˜€

      1. In my fundy circle, high heels are the fashionable thing the teenaged girls wear but the adult ladies do not. They are “worldy” and pumps (those are the flat shoes, right?) are godly and becoming of a Pro 31 woman. Or something like that.

      1. Sorry about that! I couldn’t think of anything and it just popped into my head πŸ™‚

    2. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, so I never really learned, and to this day, barely wear any, although I’d love to get a makeover someday (from someone who REALLY knows what they’re doing – like the make up artist on What Not to Wear) and figure out how to do it right!

      1. The ladies in my fundy church wear tons of makeup and many of the older teens also. I just don’t like makeup I think it’s a pain.

      2. I have had a few ‘makeovers’ but with no instruction. Thankfully I have great skin and don’t need much. I can manage a bit of mascara and lipstick when needed.

  33. I don’t understand why people treat the Sabbath as just any other day. It is a special day set apart, and should be treated as such. People get dressed up more for a job interview than they do for church.

    1. So I take it that you put on your clothes with tassels on the corners and go and make your animal sacrifices on Saturdays?

      Jesus Christ is Lord also of the Sabbath. And again, the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. You really need to revisit both your exegesis and your motivation on this one.

      1. I didn’t realize the Ten Commandments had been nullified. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” I think it’s very biblical to respect the Sabbath as holy above other days.

        1. You didn’t know that Christ died and wrote us a new covenant with His blood!!??

          I’ve got some great news for you, my friend! He is Risen!!

        2. If the Ten Commandments are still in effect than so is the rest of the Law. Good luck keeping all those commands and have fun buying clothes without mixed fibers. Or, you could just read tge NT where Peter and Paul decide to tell the new Gentile believers only three things they have to follow. Also – all things are permissible.

        3. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Col 2:16-17

      2. The New Covenant fulfills the law. The law has become obsolete except as a tool to show that we are sinners. When God Himself dwells in us, our works will supercede the law’s expectation. Instead of just tithing, the early Christians shared all they had. Instead of just meeting on the Sabbath, they also met regularly for meals and community between Sabbaths.

        We have exalted our organized church meetings and traditions associated with them almost to the point of idolatry. Yes, I attend a local church, but it is a tool in my lfe…. Not an end-all in my relationship with Christ.

      1. You have these great habits of putting words in people’s mouths, and talking down to people. Sounds like standard fundy soul winning.

        I’m surprised that you don’t think we should observe a day set apart each week to worship the Lord.

        Obviously the Sabbath was important enough that Jesus wanted those to observe it the right way, and not the way of the Pharisees.

        Acts 13:44 “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.”

        I guess these early church members were just misinformed to think that they should observe the Sabbath.

        1. I think the New Testament makes it clear that what is important is that we worship God cellectively. It’s doesn’t matter one bit where, when, and how many times a week we do it.

        2. Mark 2:27 ESV
          And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”.

        3. @Bob the Father–you’re assuming that one way to show reverence for the Sabbath is through how one dresses. Nowhere in Scripture does it say there’s a proper way to dress to observe the Sabbath.

          Newsflash: First-century Christian men did not wear suits to church. In fact, Christian men did not wear suits to church until a couple hundred years ago.

          The place we observe Sabbath is in our hearts, whether we are wearing a suit at church or sitting buck naked at home. And it doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday or Sunday. God is only looking at the state of our hearts.

    2. I can’t stand when people bring up business dress and church dress, these are two unrelated things altogether!! If some job requires me to wear a uniform or some kind of dress for work that they are paying me for to promote their company image that is one thing. My personal relationship with my Savior who loved me first just as I was and is worried about my heart condition is a totally different thing!!! Now cults do require people to dress a certain way, I have had un-saved people tell me my fellow church family look like a cult or like they are from the 1950’s or something.

  34. I’m a fan of kid #3. His KJV is almost touching the floor. Future rebel rockin’ the suit.

    1. Bound to be attending a local FundyU in 12 years, where he is studying as a “Preacher Boy.”

  35. Arghhh, the memories. Mine was powder blue polyester and had been worn by two cousins and a brother before it got to me and I don’t reckon it fit any one of us.
    One Sunday, I was about 9, mom refused to believe me when I said I didn’t feel too good. We’d just struck up, “Just as I am” when I er…… explosively de-compressed into those powder blue pants.

    We all had dark colored suits after that.

  36. As a Bible college student, it slowly dawned on me that there was an obvious difference between my suit and a real suit (several hundred dollars in fact).

    I am sad to say that even though I have abandoned fundamentalism, I find myself judging folks in my current church for not wearing their finest to service. I can’t believe that it is so hard to shake the habit of adding to the Scripture (where in the Bible does it say that we ought to wear only our best clothing when we come to worship?). God forgive me for thinking that I am better because I’m better dressed.

    1. I had the same realization once I entered into the business workplace. It was finally time to get rid of the Goodwill junk and get some real clothes.

      I can’t believe I went so long wearing the stuff that I did while in the IFB. πŸ™„

      After I became employed and had to wear a suit every day to work I needed to be able to dress “relaxed” at church…I just needed that. The suit and tie at church gives me too many really bad memories and feelings from the IFB cult I left. 😑

    2. Yes. Slacks and a matching sport coat do not a suit make. Thankfully now that I’m in the “real” workforce my dress code is significantly lower than it was while I worked at Fundy U, so I didn’t need a wardrobe upgarde – if anything I left half my closet boxed up. If there’s a meeting at work I *might* wear khakis, depends on if there’s an outside consultant or vendor coming and how well I know him. Otherwise jeans and a polo shirt is standard fare all week. Since this is a big sports town, it’s not unusual to see people wearing local team shirts or jerseys on Fridays or even on other days if there’s a big game against a rival that day. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone in a tie, much less a suit, and that includes the president and the VP.

    3. As much as I hardly ever wear a suit since un-fundying myself, then moving to Asia and coming back even less fundy, I did get a tailor-made suit while I lived overseas. I was completely amazed at the difference in how that felt from the junk I used to wear.

    4. @Rick Rod, “I can’t believe that it is so hard to shake the habit of adding to the Scripture (where in the Bible does it say that we ought to wear only our best clothing when we come to worship?)” – I find this in myself.

      “God forgive me for thinking that I am better because I’m better dressed.” – I slip into this thinking too. Thanks for your honesty.

      I actually like a dressed-up, formal atmosphere (as long as it’s not cold but joyful), but I have given up my preferences to reach out to our community and remove a barrier that might exist between them and hearing the Gospel. I am willing to become all things to all men that I might win some.

  37. My husband’s parents would give him 25 cents if he would wear his sports coat ALL DAY SUNDAY. Church was required, but since Sunday was extra special holy, they’d pay him extra if he’d stay dressed up all day.

    Our owm son wears shorts to church on Sunday in the summer.

    1. thanks to my parents’ ever evolving rules to be more holy, they decided we all had to stay in our church clothes all day long on Sunday. That totally was un fun. Especially since it was a day of rest, my parents literally took a nap all afternoon until evening church started.

      1. I see someone still hasn’t figured out what Mommy and Daddy Sunday “quiet-time” was actually all about. … πŸ˜†

      2. My parents tried that one too. It only lasted for a month. They thought we were having to much fun in the afternoons. This was accompanied by not being allowed to play with toys. We could only read or sit. If I remeber correctly this was during one of their no TV in the house binges which if I also remember correctly, typically happened after they came back from leadership conferences at πŸ‘Ώ Chuckie Phelp’s πŸ‘Ώ church Trinity Baptist in Concord, NH. πŸ˜•

        1. One of my parents’ rules was no secular books on Sunday: I could only read Christian ones.

  38. My son typcially wears shorts (or jeans) and a polo to church but has requested to wear his tie (I like to dress him up for Christmas and Easter and for portraits so he has a tie) to (public) school. I do NOT want to teach him that clothing = godliness. Or that God will love him better the more uncomfortable I mean dressed up he is.

  39. I don’t own a suit, and have told my wife that if she buries me in a suit I will haunt her! I hated wearing suits when I was little.

    1. I think it’s just a sign of the times, changeing fashion. Suits are going the way of hats, canes, always carry an umbrella…
      Someday caretakers in nursing homes will be grumbling about having to help us change our jeans and be grosses out by the tramp stamps on wrinkled old backsides. LOL

      1. Personally, if I ever come across a sweet cane I plan on buying it. I think they look cool. Maybe something like the cane Dorian Grey had in ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’.

      2. I always wonder if people with tattoos think about how they’ll look when they’re 75. I’m pretty sure they don’t.

  40. There are a wide variety of styles in my church – from full suits to spaghetti straps. But my family grew up with Fundy-lite rules, and we still feel the expectations a little. I got a shirt for my brother to wear to church – can’t upload a pic, so I’ll describe – it’s all black except for 2 white details on the front – a white tie printed on the t-shirt, and the words “This is my church shirt”. He wears it every week without fail, usually with shorts unless it’s really cold. We all love that it both meets and mocks those strict expectations – and most at church love it as well.

  41. I saw this basic theme repeated a lot in the comments, so I think it would be worthless to reply to individual ones about it; I’ll just reply en masse.

    Here is the idea: “Well, my son always WANTS to dress up in a suit and tie.” This is supposed to make the concept the picture is trying to portray void in their particular circumstance.

    Well, I don’t think it does. . . .

    You see, fundies have two main ways of rearing children. First, and most often used, the parents and authority make their children conform to dress and behaviour (bonus point for KJV British spelling :mrgreen: ) standards to maintain a high level of spirituality. As we know, this way is relatively noticeable even from the inside, and is easier to repair during post-IFB reconstruction. Second we have the more dangerous training tactic. The parents and pastor/school administrator/whoever create an atmosphere where the child sees that the only way to be spiritual is to measure up to all of the written and unwritten rules.

    This is where the preacher boy stock comes from. They don’t have to be told to dress up on Sunday. They want to. Why? Why would any 8 year old want to wear a suit and tie? Because that’s what the spiritual people do. They see the “backsliders” in the last pew wearing their sinful jeans and polo shirts, or even worse –gasp– *whispers* a t-shirt! They have no desire to turn out like them. Nope. They want to be just like all the spiritual people. And all of their training and experience tells them that the way to be a spiritual person is to dress right, talk right, and act right. Sure. They may want to dress up, but it’s because they feel it’s the way to get in with God, and it’s sinful not to.

    I’m not just speculating here. I lived that. I was preacher boy stock. I loved dressing up. But why? Because only the unspiritual people didn’t wear suits on Sunday. I was not unspiritual. Therefore, I needed to wear a suit. I “wanted” to.

    I am not saying that no child has pure motives for wanting to look his best for God. The motives are very pure. But the children trained in the second style of fundy upbringing have a mistaken view of what God wants from worship. God doesn’t want a whole bunch of well dressed people to get together and look down on the world (which is what the well-dressed kids of upbringing style 2 [my former self included] invariably do). The parable of the Pharisee and the Publican comes to mind. I was so busy being thankful that I wasn’t dressed like the bus kids that I didn’t ever stop to think about how I was just as much a sinner as they were.

    I hope I’ve made some sense here. One of my pet peeves is when fundy adults manipulate children’s pure intentions like this.

  42. Yes, Tchaiko, you do make sense, and so does Sarah, who is absolutely correct in saying that clothing equals godliness. I wasn’t suggesting otherwise in my original post, and I’m sorry if it came across that way. The point I was trying to make is that I believe there is a certain self-respect and respect for others that is displayed in the way one dresses in particular contexts. That’s all. I understand very well that God looks at the heart, not at what one wears. But our culture, which in the past forty years has come more and more to assume a “Who gives a shit?” attitude, has manipulated us into thinking that nothing means anything anymore. Witness the number of people who no longer stand when the American flag passes by in a parade. It’s sad. We don’t respect one another, we don’t respect ourselves, we don’t respect anything.

    I’ve said enough. I’m old, I’m tired, and the sermon’s over.

    1. A lot of people don’t understand about removing hats out of respect either. That one’s always bugged me. But then there’s the people who not only take their hats off, they ignorantly demand that every woman in the vicinity take theirs off too! Well, if a woman is dressed identically to a man in a sweat shirt, jeans, and baseball cap, maybe they have a point, but a woman in a sundress and straw hat does NOT take her hat off! *end rant*

    2. I do apologize, WearyPilgrim, if my post seemed like an attack on your position. I believe that there was only one phrase of yours that I was addressing: “and the boys emulated that.” I cannot say that the reason for their dressing up wasn’t their desire to be like their father, but I can say that it is also very, very likely that there was a desire for maintaining spirituality by dressing up. However, as I don not know the church or these wonderful children, I cannot be dogmatic. I agree with you about respect. I am wary, however, whenever a child “wants” to do something that most fundies have to force their kids to do.

    3. I think it’s a sign of spiritual growth to as you stated “not give a shit” about useless rules and “standards” that make hypocrites feel better about themselves. I find it’s the clothing nazis at my church that disrespect me as a person when I smile and say hi to them and they pretend they don’t see me and never smile at me first.

  43. Typo: Sarah is absolutely correct in saying that clothing does NOT equal godliness. My bad. Sorry.

    1. Just so you know, it’s not really your bad: it’s George’s fault. All typos are. 😎

  44. “Give no thought…to what you will put on, for after all these things the gentiles seek.” Someone once said that. For a reason.

    And here is where I am going to contradict a lot of people. We don’t ever “dress up” for God. He saw us born naked, He’ll see us die naked. He doesn’t care. Rather, we dress up for people. And there is nothing wrong with this. My church is in the ghetto. I prefer to wear khakis and a button down (partly because of my business and role in the community, which requires some dignity). When I go to church, however, I frequently wear jeans and a t-shirt. Why? Because the people at my church are dirt poor. That’s why my pastor dresses down too. I went to preach at a nursing home, and I dressed up, shaved, and side-parted my hair. For the people. Because I don’t want to be a stumbling block to the gospel.

    Time to re-evaluate our priorities, folks. God doesn’t care about how we look, he cares about who we are. That goes for fundies and escapees alike.

  45. A couple of things:
    A) I LOVE the Bible covers. You aren’t leading your family as a man unless your kids have some kind of themed Bible covers. Boys usually have camouflage Bible covers, girls usually have something in pink.
    B) I wear suits to funerals. I haven’t worn a suit to church in years. It’s important for me to be the same man at home as I am at church. I won’t be putting up a facade on Sunday, no matter what.

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