Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Coat and Tie Worship

The MMI Weblog quotes John Macarthur as saying, "Some people ask, why do I wear a tie? Because I have respect for this responsibility. I wear a suit because this is a more elevated experience for people. I’m trying to convey what people convey at a wedding: this is more serious than any normal activity."

John MacArthur has it right and wrong all at the same time!

He is right in stating that worship is serious. Waiting on God is serious stuff indeed. And an easy way to look serious is with a coat and tie. But a coat and tie doesn't make worship serious. It is only a surface thing, and has the danger of creating an attitude that "serious worship" only happens when we have the proper uniform, whether it's a coat and tie, robe, or Hawaiian shirt.

There are lots of other ways to do "serious worship." Some appear formal, some informal, some may even involve laughter and joy.

Where John MarArthur's statement really goes wrong is when he separates worship and the “normal activity” of God’s people. Worship is not part of some separate universe, reserved for a particular time, place and set of circumstances. If wearing a coat and tie reinforces it as separate from “normal” then it's time to cut off the ties and give the coats to Goodwill.

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