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Stop dressing so tacky for church
Remember when people used to dress up for church? Casual Friday has now morphed into Sloppy Sabbath.
April 19th, 2014
08:00 PM ET

Stop dressing so tacky for church

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - If the Rev. John DeBonville could preach a sermon to lift the souls of churchgoers across America, his message would be simple:

Stop dressing so tacky for church.

DeBonville has heard about the “come as you are” approach to dressing down for Sunday service, but he says the Sabbath is getting too sloppy.

When he scans the pews of churches, DeBonville sees rows of people dressed in their Sunday worst. They saunter into church in baggy shorts, flip-flop sandals, tennis shoes and grubby T-shirts. Some even slide into the pews carrying coffee in plastic foam containers as if they’re going to Starbucks.

“It’s like some people decided to stop mowing the lawn and then decided to come to church,” says DeBonville, rector at the Church of the Good Shepard in Massachusetts. “No one dresses up for church anymore.”

Church leaders like DeBonville have harrumphed about declining dress standards for Sunday service for years, while others say God only cares what’s in someone’s heart.

But which side is right? What does the Bible actually say about dressing properly for church? And does Jesus provide fashion advice anywhere? Wasn’t he a homeless, Galilean peasant who wore flip-flops?

The answers to these questions are not as easy as they may seem. The Bible sends mixed messages about the concept of wearing your Sunday best. And when pastors, parishioners and religious scholars were asked the same questions, they couldn’t agree, either.

Wearing ties on first dates

There was one point on which both sides did agree: People are dressing sloppier everywhere, not just church.

Take a trek to the supermarket on Saturday morning and you’re bound to run into a sleepy-eyed woman in slippers and rollers at the checkout counter.

Pajamas in public: The battle of 'appropriate' vs. 'comfy'

Or take a walk outside and you’ll be greeted by teenagers slouching around with their jeans sagging over the butt-cheeks.

Even corporate America isn’t immune. Casual Fridays has morphed into casual every day and even tech tycoons like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wear bland T-shirts during public presentations.

It’s a sharp departure from another era in America before the 1960s, when people wore suits, dresses and white gloves in public.

The Rev. Gerald Durley, a sharp-dressed civil rights activist in Atlanta, recalls taking his future wife, Muriel, on their first date. When he showed up at her house, her father opened the door, looked at him, and took him aside gravely, “Young man can I talk to you for a minute.”

“He told me, 'If you’re going to take my daughter out, you can wear one of my ties,'” says Durley, a retired Baptist pastor.

Jennifer Fulwiler, who wrote an article for the National Catholic Register titled, “Why Don’t We Dress up Anymore,” says her great-grandfather would put on a coat and tie just to go grocery shopping.

The reasons why people stopped dressing up could fill a book. Yet Fulwiler offers one explanation that’s seldom mentioned – lack of gratitude.

Fulwiler’s revelation came one day as she watched scruffily dressed people board a plane. She flashed back to a black-and-white photo she had seen of her grandparents boarding a plane in the 1940s. Most of the passengers were dressed in suits and ties and dresses because air travel was such a privilege at the time.

“We dress up for what we’re grateful for,” she says. “We’re such a wealthy, spoiled culture that we feel like we have a right to fly on airplanes,” says Fulwiler, author of “Something Other than God,” which details her journey from atheism to Christianity.

Church is like air travel now – it’s no longer a big deal because people have lost their sense of awe before God, Fulwiler says.

Yet some of these same people who say it doesn’t matter how you dress for church would change their tune if they were invited to another event, Fulwiler says.

“If you had the opportunity to meet the Queen of England, you wouldn’t show up in at Windsor Castle wearing jeans and a T-shirt,” she says.

The church customer is always king

Shouldn’t people have that same reverential attitude when they show up at church to meet God, some ask? After all, doesn’t your dress reveal the importance you attach to an occasion?


Just what do you mean, 'dress festively'?

That sentiment, however, is seen as hopelessly old school in many popular megachurches across America. Casual Fridays has morphed into casual Sundays.

And many of the popular megachurch pastors are middle-aged men who bound onto the stage each Sunday dressed in skinny jeans, untucked Banana Republic shirts, and backed by in-house Christian rock bands. They’ve perfected a “seeker-friendly” approach to church that gets rid of the old formal worship style with its stuffy dress codes.

But there’s a danger in making people too comfortable in their clothes on Sunday morning, says Constance M. Cherry, an international lecturer on worship and a hymn writer.

Some churches have embraced a business-oriented “the customer is always right” approach to worship that places individual comfort at the center of Sunday service, says Cherry, author of“Worship Architect: A Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services.”

“Many young people and boomers judge the value of worship service based on personal satisfaction,” Cherry says. “If I get to wear flip-flops to Wal-Mart, then I get to wear flip-flops to church. If I get to carry coffee to work, I get to carry coffee to church. They’re being told that come as you are means that God wants you to be comfortable.”

What the Bible says

The Bible says that’s not true – people had to prepare themselves internally and externally for worship.

In the Old Testament, Jewish people didn’t just “come as they are” to the temple in Jerusalem. They had to undergo purification rituals and bathe in pools before they could enter the temple, says Cherry, who is also a professor of worship at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Both Old and New Testaments suggest that people should not approach God in a casual manner, Cherry says. Psalms 24 urges the faithful to “ascend the hill of the Lord …with clean hands and pure hearts.”

When Jesus taught in the synagogues, he also observed the rules and decorum of being in God’s house, Cherry says.

Cherry isn’t calling for a restoration of first-century cultural norms, such as women covering their hair in worship, or a rigid dress code. She says churches should meet people where they are, and make even the poorest person feel welcome.

She just says that preparation for worship should give less thought to people and more thought to the divine.

“There should be some sort of approach to God that will include certain steps to honor the God that is not our buddy but fully The Other,” she says.

Others back up Cherry’s call to keep the Sabbath special. Dressing up really makes a difference on Sunday, they say.

“It puts you in a different mindset,” says Tiffany Adams, a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who grew up wearing jeans in church. “It actually sets the Sabbath apart from every other day.”

And there are still pockets of church culture where no one has to persuade people to look sharp on Sunday.

The African-American church is one such place. Many of its members still insist on dressing up on Sunday because of the historical struggles of blacks. Sunday morning was often the only time in the week that a black person could assert their dignity, says Durley, the Atlanta civil rights activist who also is a retired Baptist pastor.

“On Sunday morning, when you put on your tie, your shirt and put your palms together and slicked down your hair, you were no longer the hired help, you were a trustee, a deacon or you chaired this board and you dressed accordingly,” Durley says.

What would Jesus wear?

There are others, though, who say God cares more about the person’s soul than their style. No one wears a bracelet today asking, “What would Jesus wear.” Clothes just weren’t important to Jesus or the early church, they claim.

The early church was anti-hierarchical and adopted a “come as you are” approach to worship, welcoming outcasts and the disenfranchised who often couldn’t dress in fine clothes, says Carl Raschke, a religious studies professor at the University of Denver.

Raschke cites Mark 12:38, where Jesus mocks the fine clothes worn by the Pharisees, a group of elite Jewish religious leaders of his day.

Others cite James 2:2-4, where the writer of the New Testament book criticizes early Christians for discriminating against poor people visiting the church in dirty clothes and favoring the man “wearing a gold ring and fine clothes.”

“Adopting a dress code would not only be suicidal for American Christians who are swimming against the stream of casual secularism, it would be antithetical to what Christianity sees increasingly as its abiding mission – to reach those who are marginalized and ‘don’t fit in,’ ‘’ Raschke says.

Some people, though, remain convinced that casual Sundays are getting too sloppy.

“The casualness of Sunday church attire has gone too far,” says DeBonville, the pastor of the Massachusetts church. “It’s about respect and honoring God.”

When DeBonville looks across the scruffy fashion landscape of America, he sees only one profession that’s holding the line against tacky dress.

It’s not the preachers or priests, though. These people belong to another profession whose members aren’t exactly known for respect and honoring God.

“The last ones wearing shirt and ties are the politicians,” DeBonville says.

Easter is supposed to be about the renewal of hope, but when asked if the spread of sloppy Sabbath can get any worse, DeBonville sounds gloomy. Yoga pants in the pews, pajamas near the altar – will everyone soon start showing up at church dressed like “the Dude” in the film, “The Big Lebowski.”

Nothing would surprise DeBonville anymore.

“There’s growing casualness everywhere,” he says. “I don’t know if it can get much worse.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Church • Easter

soundoff (1,006 Responses)
  1. ruleux

    I'm not entirely sure when the Religion of Christianity took over and we stopped attempting to be Christian (following Christ). Do we really think the first century had a dress code? Did Christ not heal someone based on what they had to wear or withhold miracles because their dress didnt fit some odd sense of uniformity. Griping about what people wear to dress is not about honoring God but men. God is with us all the time not just when we are in Church. So should we dress in "Church" clothes all the time?

    April 22, 2014 at 11:46 am |
    • lewcypher

      which god?

      April 22, 2014 at 11:59 am |
  2. jefnvk

    I didn't give up on religion because of any active disbelief, although I consider myself rather agnostic. I gave up because of petty arguments like this. I'm one that 99% of the time, dresses more formally. I'm sitting at my desk in a bowtie right now. The fact that things like this is what churches want to concern themselves with, though, is what drove me away. You should be happy that people are showing up to hear the message you are spreading, not bashing them for not appearing just as you would.

    For all I know, God is mad we aren't all showing up for worship dressed in Roman tunics.

    April 22, 2014 at 11:09 am |
  3. bryanmaloney

    What's all the kerfuffle about? We are in WalMart's world! People will dress for WalMart. The website "People of WalMart" is a fashion guide, after all.

    ALL HAIL WALMART! WalMart is mother. WalMart is father. So WalMart dress will be church dress.

    April 22, 2014 at 11:06 am |
  4. Dayo Adewoye

    The sloppiness in our dress could be a reflection of a sloppiness in our general approach to life. Truth is relative. Relationships are inconsequential. We don't ponder deeply about significant issues like justice, love and character. Modern culture is so casual itself – very little is of relevance after a year or two. Might this not be the disease of which sloppiness in dress is but a symptom?

    April 22, 2014 at 10:46 am |
  5. lewcypher

    C'mon people, it's 2014.
    Religion and the worship of gods is just a perpetuation of our ancestors ignorance.

    Do something useful and quit playing with imaginary friends.

    April 22, 2014 at 10:06 am |
  6. mkurzawa30

    Moving on with the times is definitely difficult to understand and I get the need to question if it is a path we don't want to go down, i.e. casual dress everywhere. I will say, I am a stay at home mother with not much income, I don't have dressy clothes and can't afford dressy clothes for my kids either, so when we found a church where we could dress down, we haven't missed a Sunday in three years. Casual doesn't mean sloppy, I may be wearing jeans on Sunday with either boots or sandals but I wear my nicest shoes and shirts and take the longest time fixing my hair and making sure my clothes are clean and ironed. It's the nicest I look all week and I feel proud. My children wear casual clothes as well but I do try to get them outfits that are nicer but can still be worn to school, casual skirts and leggings etc. And hair done nicely. Don't judge. We love going to church and casual dress makes going with an joyful heart easier.

    April 22, 2014 at 9:13 am |
  7. Reality

    And the simple solution? Stop wasting your time going to your church, temple or mosque. Added details are available.

    April 22, 2014 at 7:53 am |
  8. basehitter

    A guy comes home with two black eyes. His buddy asked " what happened" ? He said, "I was in church, when we all stood up, I noticed the woman in front of me had her skirt stuck in her butt crack, so I pulled it out and she smacked me". "So how did you get the other black eye"?, his buddy said. "Well, I figured she wanted her skirt there so I pushed it back in"

    April 22, 2014 at 7:08 am |
  9. basehitter

    That picture must be representative of attendance in most churches these days.

    April 22, 2014 at 6:58 am |
  10. freedomnurse

    The papacy admits to "changing" the Sabbath: Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 153. “The church after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath or seventh-day of the week to the first, made the third commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s day.” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04153a.htm

    Note that in holy scripture the Sabbath is NOT "the Sabbath of the Jews" but says "[T]he seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God..." Exodus 20:10.

    This was predicted before the coming of Jesus, Daniel 7:25 states "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." Since the Sabbath is the only commandment that is both a time and a law, the one who speaks great words against the most High must be the papacy.

    April 22, 2014 at 4:59 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      All those predictions are explainable as being falsified:
      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Failed_biblical_prophecies

      April 22, 2014 at 5:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Are you a 7th Day Adventist or something?

      April 22, 2014 at 9:15 am |
  11. shakespearelovermorgan

    I find it incredibly ironic how un Christ-like the sentiment of this article is. God doesn't care what's in your body but what's in your heart. That's what this pastor should be focusing on.

    April 22, 2014 at 1:35 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God doesn't care what is in your body?
      Then why all the dietary restrictions in the OT?
      And He seems to care a whole that if you put a penis in your body....

      April 22, 2014 at 9:17 am |
      • shakespearelovermorgan

        Sorry that should have said "on" I missed the type and "in" certainly changed the meaning.

        April 22, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
  12. 2aslan78

    While I agree with the idea that people should go to church in reasonable dress, I find that musing about it on a forum, let alone one affiliated with CNN, is a disgusting waste of time. As a matter of fact, during the time of Christ there were two groups of people whom Christ himself couldn't stand: the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Both of these groups made a big deal out of getting all gussied up to go to temple, of making a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig deal out of their dress and their length of their prayers. Christ chastised both groups BIG TIME, saying that what is in a person's heart is more important than how they dress. Any reader can easily glean from this article that the author, or at least some of the people who have been mentioned in this article, would prefer having three-piece Armani wearing, disingenuous bureaucrats in his congregation than poor common folk with worshipful hearts and a desire to form a relationship with the almighty. And again, people like this wonder why many people stay away from church. Alright, theo-nazis, time for you to do what you do best-get angry...I'd love to hear some condescending, egotistical, snarky, holier-than-thou sentiments.

    April 21, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
  13. atibacreeseacreese

    Nice article but seems to have missed the bigger picture, Sunday is not the Lords day of worship or Sabbath. Genesis and the Commandments indicate the 7th day is the Lord's Day, which on every calender on earth is Saturday. So my question is if almost the entire world has ignored God Sabbath Day Commandment, why should anyone care what they wear to church? You get no credit for wearing a tuxedo in church on Sunday because God was there on Saturday and no one showed up!

    April 21, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
    • kenmargo

      You're really going to open yourself up for an argument now!

      April 21, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      What about the vast majority of humanity who don't believe in the bible? What do they wear, and when are they supposed to wear it? And why would a god care?

      April 21, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
      • kenmargo

        The religious leaders are trying to get (con) people to see the importance of church and worship. The religious leaders see the writing on the wall. Church is losing influence and their is nothing they can do about it.

        April 21, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      From Wikipedia

      For most Christians, Sunday is observed as a day of worship of God and to rest, due to the belief that it is the Lord's Day, the day of Christ's resurrection. Sunday is a day of rest in most Western countries, part of 'the weekend'. In some Muslim countries, Sunday is a normal working day whereas Friday is the day of rest, when Muslims go to jummah prayer.[citation needed] According to the Hebrew calendars and traditional Christian calendars, Sunday is the first day of the week. But according to the International Organization for Standardization ISO 8601 Sunday is the seventh and last day of the week.

      April 21, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
      • Akira

        That's so weird, because our calendars all have Sunday as the first day of the week. Even though I personally consider Monday (bleh) to be the first day, most likely because it is my first work day of the week.

        April 21, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
    • freedomnurse

      You are correct. Sunday is the first day of the week. We know this because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, and Easter is celebrated on Sunday. The Sabbath is the Seventh day of the week, the day we call Saturday.

      April 22, 2014 at 4:58 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        You call yourself a nurse-hahahahaha...any nurse with a half functioning brain would know that no-one returns from the dead after 3 days, not even your imaginary friend jesus.

        April 22, 2014 at 5:13 am |
  14. dappledview

    There is a difference between dressing up and dressing expensively. You go to church dressed nicely, not dressed to kill. You don't have to be rich to dress nicely.

    April 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
    • Akira

      You can akways go up to the person whose attire is offending you and offer to but them done clothing that meets with your exacting view.

      Actually, I don't think God, and especially Jesus, cares one whit.

      April 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
      • Akira

        *always
        *buy

        April 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
    • kenmargo

      A bigger issue is the lack of people that show up in church.

      April 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        People not showing up in church? That's a GOOD thing.

        April 21, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
    • crittermom2

      That's absolutely true. I know a number of people who shop at consignment stores near expensive neighborhoods to get some nice things cheaply. I don't think this is as much about how much you spend as how neat you look.

      I conduct job interviews sometimes. Yes, we are mainly interested in your qualifications and how well you present yourself. I am not so concerned that you showed up in an obviously brand-new suit (though I'll tell you that other members of the panel do make ... IMO ... too much of a big deal out of that). However, I once had a candidate show up in a t-shirt that said:

      I don't have a drinking problem.
      I drink, I get drunk, I fall down.
      No problem.

      He did not get the job.

      April 22, 2014 at 10:39 am |
  15. henrystockwell

    To me, dressing up for church is a sign of respect for God and His house. One need not put on a three-piece suit, but instead should be clean and neatly dressed. Jeans and a t-shirt do not count as "neatly dressed". I believe a shirt with a collar and some slacks along with some dress shoes do just fine. No need, necessarily, for a tie and a jacket, but if you want (I wear a suit and tie to church), then go for it.

    April 21, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
    • Akira

      Sure. That's your personal dress code.

      It's not God's.

      Why do you attend church?

      April 21, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      You think the creator of the universe gives a crap about what coverings some insignificant mammals on a tiny planet off-centre of a meaningless galaxy, set amongst billions of other galaxies wears? Really? Really? Your god doesn't care about childhood cancer, or Alzheimer Disease, or killing hundreds of thousands of people in tsunamis – your god cares about what people wear?

      You actually believe that?

      April 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
      • kenmargo

        You can add starving, homeless, racism, unemployed etc. The more you listen to religious people (Include muslims and jews) Their god sounds just like us humans, self centered and egostistic.

        April 21, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • kenmargo

          egotistic.

          April 21, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
    • shakespearelovermorgan

      Don't get God confused with the other members of the congregation. Let's get real: God doesn't care what you wear and if you're dressing to impress God you need to re read your gospels. I go to show respect to the church and the people in it but I respect God in my relationship with Him and through prayer. Don't conflate the two.

      April 22, 2014 at 1:38 am |
    • jefnvk

      Funny, I know any number of people that would tell me that polos and slacks belong on the golf course, not in church, and that ties and coats are the minimum. What makes you think your dress code should be the one that applies?

      April 22, 2014 at 11:06 am |
      • bryanmaloney

        White tie evening wear and gowns or no admittance!

        April 22, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • jefnvk

          Meh, white tie and gowns would only be acceptable if church was after 6pm. Morning suits, though, that is a trend I could go for!

          April 22, 2014 at 11:34 am |
  16. kenmargo

    Money talks PERIOD. If people spend all their money on suits and dresses, they won't have any money to put in the plate. So make up your mind, money or suits/dresses.

    April 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
  17. lpreyna

    God has not changed, he required his follows to give their first fruits, the best they had when making sacrifices. For Jews it included bathing and being clean. Jesus admonished the Pharisees and Sadducees because the dressed to bring glory to themselves, they purposely prayed on street corners to make themselves appear more holy yet robbed their own people who traveled to the temple to make the required sacrifices.... The fact that people nowadays choose to not dress up clearly indicates how they feel about God. Remember, God promises that soon he will remove all the wickedness from the world, he is going to heal the sick, raise the dead, give everyone their own homes and more food than they could ever eat. Yet more importantly is the fact that God gave his only begotten Son as a sacrifice to buy back man from the inherited Adamic sin so that all those calling on the name of God would be saved. We owe our very existence to God, the least we can do is show appreciation and honor to God by wearing our very best clothes. People dress up for weddings, funerals, award ceremonies, anniversaries, and court... So there is no excuse... And just because a preacher says its OK doesn't make it OK with God. Remember Jesus said there will be those who upon his return say Don't we prophesied in your name and don't we do great works in your name? And Jesus said he would tell them get away from me you workers of lawlessness.... For those who claim to believe in God and the Bible, and the hope found there in then there is no excuse for not dressing up.

    April 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
    • igaftr

      excuse?

      Did your god not tell you to sell your possesions and donate the proceeds to walk closer to him?
      Would he not prefer you show up in a burlap sack, and donate the money you wasted on your fine frockery to a WORTHY cause?
      If all the people in the pews were blind, would it matter what you are wearing?
      You dress up to impress yourself, and others. Your god says on many occasions that material things are trivial and distracting, that your heart and deeds are what matters, not the packaging you put on.

      Are you sure you follow Jesus, because it sounds like you have not actually heard a word he allegedly said.

      April 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        God did not say we sell all our possessions.....the whole point is this....is God important to you? do you come to Him carelessly or with reverence? Whats more important....?

        April 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • Akira

          Is Jesus not God?

          April 21, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Jesus is God..yet He did not tell us to sell all of our possessions and give to the poor

          April 22, 2014 at 2:02 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "yet He did not tell us to sell all of our possessions and give to the poor"

          Yet greed is a sin and in saying what you have you have contradicted your own book of fables. Kudos for once again showing your blatant ignorance of your own holy book. Btw: No need to capitalize 'he', that would be indicative of respect being warranted and your imaginary friend doesn't merit respect nor would it if it were to magically appear this minute-in fact it would be arrested and sent to prison for its crimes against humanity.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:06 am |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          Your bible disagrees with you, or have you not read Matthew.
          19:21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

          April 22, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • kermit4jc

          no..YOU cherry picking disagrees with me..in Matthew 29 Jesus is talking a a rich man who is trying to justify himself..Jesus is making a case that we cannot save ourselves..indeed..keep reading the passage..the disciples were astonished..they thought "Surely this man is blessed...he is saved" but Jesus replies that for man it is impossible...but not for God to do

          April 22, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
    • jbhollen

      I'll make god a deal. I'll dress up if he purges church leadership of child molesters, mega preachers with private jets, mega preachers with wives and girlfriends, etc., etc. Actually – this is tongue in cheek. If he got rid of all these snake handlers there would be no one left to pick the pockets of the parishioners.

      April 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        Let him who is without sin cast the first stone......

        April 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Great response! Although I doubt you know this, you quote John 8:7 which is part of the "Story of the Adulteress" (John 7:53-8:11). Did you know that although this is in your bible and often quoted in church and in conversation as the inspired word of god, the entire story was added to a transcription of John (probably by a scribe) in the late 4th or early 5th centuries? It does not appear in any earlier copies and is largely accepted by theologians as fraudulent? They never tell you this stuff do they? All you need to know is that it is 100% true and the inerrant word of god.

          April 21, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          oh knock off the stupidity. "they never tell you this stuff" they DO tell us......

          April 22, 2014 at 2:03 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Sin is only pertinent to Christians, not the other 5 billion on the planet who don't share the belief. So we are all without sin-it is an invention by your ilk to make you feel less of a person and make you be subservient to your wretched god.

          April 22, 2014 at 7:16 am |
    • Apollo to Zeus

      @lpreyna
      Allegedly.

      April 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      My best suit is made from blended fabrics, but my sweatpants are 100% cotton.
      If the rules of dress for attending a house of worship are carry overs from the Old Testament, I've got quite a conundrum!

      April 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
    • Akira

      No, the way people dress today is indicative of many things, but not necessarily how they feel about God; that is your opinion, and nothing more.

      When one starts making value judgements on what someone else wears to church, maybe they're not getting the point of Jesus's teachings, which decidedly was not this. And it it bothers them so much that all they do is check out what other people are wearing, they probably aren't getting anything out of the service and should probably stay home.

      April 21, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
  18. Apollo to Zeus

    I was just thinking the other day that a dress code is really what religion needs to keep people from flocking away from it.

    April 21, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
    • snuffleupagus

      Apoollot to Zeus. Agree, thosae flocking christiand do need a dress code, just like their. "emperor" wearing his new clothes.

      April 21, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
  19. kudlak

    This article has one thing right: With so many different kinds of churches around these days, faith customers know that they can easily take their "business" elsewhere if anyone hassles them about how they dress. They also know this about what they believe vs what individual churches lecture about proper belief. If you don't like what the people at your present church think about gays or you're being wealthy, then it's a rather simple matter to find a different church that matches your att.itude. There's plenty more choices nowadays. You can even opt out of church completely.

    April 21, 2014 at 11:24 am |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    what are the odds of a little girl in india having a miraculous vision of the virgin mary?
    what are the odds of an aboriginal tribesman having a miraculous vision of the monkey god hanuman?

    There is no miraculous supernatural god. It's regional fairy tales put into impressionable minds by parents and elders and the rest is just the randomness of human nature.

    April 21, 2014 at 11:01 am |
    • kudlak

      How about an Amazonian tribesman dreaming of a Norse frost giant?

      April 21, 2014 at 11:43 am |
      • whippstippler7

        Ever lick an Amazonian Toad??? Norse frost giants would be the least of your worries!

        April 21, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.