May

17

2012

Joe Carter|1:55 AM CT

Megachurch Pastor Provides Fashion Advice for Preachers

The Story: The Houston Chronicle notes that Ed Young, a best-selling author and megachurch pastor in Texas, has launched a website---PastorFashion.com---to "motivate and empower pastors and church leaders to not only set the standards in faith, but the trends in fashion as well."

The Background: The website, says the Chronicle's Ken Chitwood, provides "fashion tips for the faithful, videos on how to tie a tie and answers to vexing questions about pant rolls and hoodie etiquette." For instance, the most recent video on the site deals with "skinny jeans, testosterone and how to deal with both."

"This is a site where pastors can go to get tips on looking their best," Young told the newspaper. "Pastors represent and communicate the message of Jesus, we ought to look as good as we can," he said. "When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you stand up and stand out in the world."

Young says the emphasis is on "relating to the world, being 'in' but not 'of' it, and seeking to set the trends as a means of connecting with, and changing, culture."

Why It Matters: When I first stumbled across PastorFashion.com in February I assumed that it was obviously---obviously---an elaborate parody of pastors who confuse what it means to be in, but not of, the world. But, no. This is for real. Young's focus on fashion provides a prime example of Carter's Law of Pastors and Prepositions: As the celebrity of an evangelical pastor increases, the risk of confusing the prepositions "in" and "of" rises exponentially.

Should pastors care about their clothes? Of course they should. As Abraham Kuyper said, "In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare,'That is mine!'" C.J. Mahaney, in applying Kuyper's claim, says, "there is "not a square inch" of our lives---including our closets---with which God is not concerned." But as Mahaney adds, "Even more, he cares about the heart behind what you wear, about whether your wardrobe reveals the presence of worldliness or godliness."

The line between worldliness and godliness isn't always apparent, though it becomes clearer when we spend more in the Word than in the pages of GQ. For while it's not a sin for a pastor to arraign himself in Armani, it's infinitely more important that he adorn himself with the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11).

Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

Categories: Current Events
  • DaveL

    Ugh.
    Thank goodness the power of glad-rags can be relied on, rather than the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • E. K.

    Need Ar-More Of God-Mani?

  • Brett

    Yet another example of Ed losing his path. More and more examples of how it is becoming about 'Ed' and not about HIM. The man lives to be in the limelight.

  • CitationSquirrel

    This story saddens me so much. Everyday, thousands die without ever knowing Jesus or hearing the Gospel. But, what is Ed concerned about .... fashion. It is shameful.

  • http://thekingsfellowship.com Steve, Winnipeg, Canada

    Setting aside the ridiculous notion that pastor/preachers should be trend setters and ignoring Ed Young altogether, there might be some value in fashion advice for ministers.

    When I was in seminary there were guys so poorly dressed that it was a distraction. It wasn't about $ either, most of us were on shoe-string, sacrificial budgets. Some can be called, gifted and godly but a little obtuse when it comes to what they wear. A little practical guidance could help.

    Even the old fightin' fundamentalist W A Criswell gave advice on what to wear in his old handbook for pastors.

    That being said, I'd rather not stand out (for good or bad) because of fashion.

  • FISH

    I have to admit that, as woman, I was relieved when this site first went up that every pastor I know and respect said, "What are spanx?" Whew!

  • Ayehus

    I wonder how many people are gonna comment with fire and brimstone without realizing that it's satire...

  • http://christopherstukenberg.com christopherstukenberg

    Wait, I thought this was an April Fool's joke... wow

  • http://geeksofchrist.wordpress.com Mickey

    The Bible does mention that the Bride of Christ is to be "adorned for her husband"

    I guess I was just hoping that was a metaphor for something spiritual, not physical. Y'know...because brides wear girl clothes and I'm a dude.

  • Lindsay

    Ewww. Whether it's parody or not, the fact is that it takes time to put together these videos, a website, etc. Time that could be much, much better spent.

    • Anar

      Hi Lindsay,

      Do you know what verses I turn to when I think about ways of spending time better? It's Ephesians 5:16-20.

      We don't often think of making melodies to the Lord as a good use of time? Paul says it is up there with the best uses of time. So making parody or serious fashion tip videos if they are done "to the Lord with your heart" can't be all that far down on the good uses of time list.

      • Susan

        Interesting ... verse 17 in Ephesians chapter 5 says; "do not be foolish".

      • Anar

        Yes, "do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is..." My point was that in our culture, which verges on making an idol out of timeliness, we don't typically think of making melodies to the Lord as being a wise use of time and we often dismiss it as foolish. Yet, that is the will of the Lord. Likewise another aspect of how we reflecting God's creativity and beauty through fashion would seem to not be a waste of time like Lindsay suggested. It is discouraging to see too many negative comments about a pastor engaging culture in what I see as a God honoring way. This is something amazing and something we should all learn from. Maybe he makes mistakes as we all do, but I think retreating from cultural engagement is a bigger mistake.

  • MissV, Raleigh NC

    Don't forget the $15,000 Rolex and Rolls Royce.

  • acm3

    Definitely grieving this. I'm a bit of a pharisee though. I agree with you Mr. Carter the armor of God and I would add the fragrance of Christ.

  • http://highplainsparson.wordpress.com Riley

    Sort of makes me long for the days of the plain Geneva gown. Those days are gone never to return, in most churches, so it makes "dressing" more complicated for pastors. How to look good and professional without drawing attention by what we wear? Those who by personality are more style-conscious than most will end up drawing unneeded attention to their dress, while below-average dressers among us will also draw attention in the wrong way.

    • Anonymous

      Being part of an Anglican church, my pastors most often wear a clerical collar, etc. on regular Sundays and slightly fancier garb on the special days in the liturgical calendar. Must take the pressure off!

  • http://bold-and-underlined.blogspot.com Joel Delgado

    Before I moved to San Antonio recently, I was a member of Fellowship Church in Miami. We should be trendsetters in ALL areas of our lives and how we conduct, carry and present ourselves matters.

    How we dress for a job interview matters and it matters when we are presenting the Gospel to people. We are ambassadors of Christ during our time here so we have a responsibility to display Christ-like qualities. Whether we like it or not, how we present ourselves to others is the FIRST thing that registers to most people. People will often times either tune in or tune out to you based on appearance. It's unfortunate, but true. How are we projecting ourselves to world in both our actions AND appearance?

    A couple years ago, Pastor Ed gave a series of talks titled "Fashion Police" that talked about not only outward appearance, but talking about equipping ourselves with the armor of God and teaching directly out of Ephesians 6. Before you make snap judgments on him, I strongly recommend checking it out some time.

    Bottomline: It's not about one or the other. It's about BOTH. We should care about our outer AND inward appearance. Not one or the other. We should honor God with both. And that's not for pastors, but for all of us who proclaim Christ's message.

    I hope this comment clarifies some things and I hope we all think a little more about how we are projecting ourselves to the world.

    • http://highplainsparson.wordpress.com Riley

      How one dresses when proclaiming the gospel is indeed something to put some thought into. It's not as important as what one says, but it needs to receive a little bit of attention. Also, how we dress should be calculated to not draw attention to what we are wearing.

      • http://bold-and-underlined.blogspot.com Joel Delgado

        Absolutely, I agree 100%.

  • Andrew B.

    Too much emphasis on things that moths will corrupt and thieves can break in and steal.

  • Jeremy Taylor

    “No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save.” - James Denney

  • MIke

    I don’t think Ed is intending for people to take this seriously, looks like a simple joke. It also matches perfectly with his Swagger Coach video. I think this is just Ed’s sense of humor.

    • Joe Carter

      I too thought that was the case, which was why I didn't write about it back in February. But in his response to the Houston Chronicle Young makes it clear that he is at least somewhat serious.

      • MIke

        Got you, his “somewhat” language leaves him a little wiggle room, but it is certainly a slippery slope. I guess his rationalization is similar to an argument I heard Horton articulate a couple years ago. He said you would not take your Doctor serious wearing shorts and flip-flops, so why would you expect less from a pastor. Clearly, they are coming from different perspectives.

        • http://www.terryishee.wordpress.com Terry Ishee

          ...but I wear shorts and flip flops every Sunday!

          • MIke

            Well...I hope you have pretty toenails. If not, I am sure Ed will have a video to help you out!

  • JJSurma

    I'm sure Ed loves Jesus and I know he wants us to represent the Kingdom well, so as much as this hits me wrong I'm not at all going to tear Ed down...but who can argue with what Matthew 6:31-32 says about this? I would also say such a pursuit is a slippery slope to some real vanity issues. I mean, when you're high-styling do you look in the mirror and say thank you Jesus? SMH...sad.

    • Joe Carter

      I should clarify that in no way am I trying to tear down Young. I honestly don't know much about him. He could be the next Charles Spurgeon for all I know.

      But I think a mild rebuke is at least warranted when such influential pastors do things that take the focus off Christ and give the world a reason to think that Christians are a bit silly.

      • Richard

        I attended his church for a few years and can say clearly that to suggest he even might be the next Spurgeon is an insult to Spurgeon :)

        Seriously though...

  • Russell

    "fashionista" is not in the list of 1 Tim. 3:1-7 or Titus 1:5-9. Enough said.

  • Joe Carter

    I should also add that I think the problem is less about Ed Young—we all can get wrapped in silliness sometimes—but in his elder board (assuming his church has one). The wise men in the church should have taken him aside and lovingly told him that this sort of thing wasn't the best use of his time or energies.

    • http://ontheirshoulders.com Aron Utecht

      Last I knew, he had no Elder Board - the paid staff makes all the decisions. A fellow pastor had attended a conference he spoke at, and he relayed this to me.

      His church's site doesn't list them that I could find.

  • Karen

    I guess John the Baptist didn't get the memo.

  • http://nohappinesslikemine.blogspot.com Heather E. Carrillo

    WOW! This is pretty bad. I mean, it wouldn't be an issue at all if he just was interested in men's fashion as a hobby. But to link it so close to his calling...I don't know...

  • Jonathan

    'Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets. Luke 20:46

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  • http://tielyguh.blogspot.com/ Jay

    Well said, Joe.

  • Pastor Iulian T.

    I live in a country in Eastern Europe. I am a pastor in the capital of the country.
    To survive I pray God every day for food for all our needs. In this way I served God for last 20 years.
    The last suit I bought was 12 years ago. I wish I can buy a new one, but I have no money for it. This summer I will officiate 2 weddings in my church. I felt a little embarrassed to be in the same suit all weddings in the last 9 years, but...
    After all we have a mandate from God that has nothing to do with clothes but with the good news that Jesus is Savior!
    I'm so happy to have Him!!!!

    • FISH

      Yes. Thank you! This is so refreshing.
      And, thank you for your ministry.

    • Susan

      My dearest brother in Christ,

      Your comment is the most precious in this entire thread and has brought tears to my eyes.

      You have no reason to be embarrassed about anything.

      I apologize and ask you to forgive the church in America for our times of shallowness, self indulgent behavior, ignorance and arrogance. Pray with us for an "Awakening to Righteousness".

      May God grant us mercy...

      • http://ontheirshoulders.com Aron Utecht

        Pastor,

        You have no need to be ashamed. It is we who should learn from you, and should be ashamed of how silly and off the mark we can be.

        Thanks for your faithful service. Keep preaching Christ!

  • http://www.covenantcaswell.org John Carpenter

    Of the top 1000 things I have to be concerned with, clothes don't make the list. Sorry, not interested -- except in what this shows about distorted priorities.

  • Robert

    This has to be a joke...it simply must be, no one is this pretentious.

    I love Carter's law, that's getting uses again.

  • Bill

    Um y'all, I think you need to go to the website and actually watch some of the videos... these are clearly a joke! I think Ed is playing y'all!

  • Josh

    There is nothing wrong with a pastor giving advice on how to look professional and well dressed. When a pastor speaks against dressing promiscuously no one has a problem that... do they? Why is such a big deal that he wants preachers to look professional. So much hypocrisy going on here. Everyone judging Ed Young because he wants to look good. Man looks at the appearance God looks at the heart. This rings to be most true in these comments.

    • Phil

      Looking good is not the issue. The issue is investing time and money into something that is of this world. What if the money spend on the videos, time, and resources actually went towards something that mattered in light of eternity? 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.

      • Anar

        Did building the Ships of Tarshish matter in the light of eternity; did raising the camels of Midian matter? There was lots of time that no doubt went into completing those tasks.

        Who are we to decide what is of this world or what is of God? Let Him be sovereign over that, and let His Word speak into that. Let's worship Him. Let those gifted in fashion pursue good fashion out of worship.

  • Peter

    My theory: Ed Young is conducting a spiritual/ecclesiastical/social experiment, and the goal is to analyze the critical comments that are coming in from all corners of the web (and the church).

  • Josiah

    He has posted 7 times since the blog opened in February-its gotta be a joke.

  • Jason

    If it is not a joke, after listening to a few videos... ah, what? "a hole nother level" is right, SAD, a lesson on buttons and tie knots. Tatoos... can't wait, thanks for posting. Please help me not to sin!

  • KcWiSs

    Ed young is known for his creativity, so fashion is just part of who he is. I don't think there is anything wrong with fashion advice from him. It's about presentable to the people your ministering to. I'm sure ed young wouldnt care what you wear if you're ministering on the streets. I read an article about this pastor in Indonesia, he got tattoos so he could reach out to the gangs. Every pastor, christians and pharisees (lol) had something to say about that. And at the end, thousands came to Christ and thousands were freed from their abusive lifestlye.

    It's not the clothes, tattoos or money that matters. Is the purpose for those things that matters. If it helps a person minister to certain groups of people, then it shouldn't matter. It's only a problem, if that precedes the purpose.

  • JRJ

    I kept this quote, though I forgot to jot down where it's from:

    “Let your wife worry about your clothes. Buy books and study. We don’t need any more well-dressed, hip, funny, heretics. Who cares how you say it if what you’re saying is wrong?” - Matt Chandler

    Not to reduce a woman's usefulness to fashion but let's be honest, guys, your wife does have better taste.

    • http://highplainsparson.wordpress.com Riley

      Um, no, she doesn't. Honestly.

  • http://Www.corinthtoday.org Paul Cummings

    I would probably do something dumb like this if I didn't have a pastor mentor who is about 20 yrs older than me.... Wonder if Ed has someone like that?

  • Tommy G.

    Whenever I think about dressing for success I'm always reminded of John the Baptists' clothes ... and I'm not sure how many garments Jesus had? I'm in favor of our clothes not becoming a distraction. It just seems like such a non-issue to me.

    • http://www.thekingsfellowship.com Steve, Winnipeg, Canada

      The Lord did have a seamless garment worth arguing and gambling over.

      I have no great point with this, I'm just sayin'

  • http://ontheirshoulders.com Aron Utecht

    In Charles Hambrick Stowe's biography of Charles Finney, he tells of a story of a pastor who concluded a meeting in prayer but was rebuked by a congregant for his ruffled shirt and gold ring. (p. 58)

    The pastor in response threw himself across the pulpit and wept openly.

    Ironically, I think some of Ed Young's attempts are the logical extension of Finney's approach.

  • http://www.haroldsays.typepad.com Harold Cameron

    Is Pastor Ed Young really serious? I checked out his pastor's fashion website and I don't know whether to laugh or to feel really frustrated/angry or both. I will go with laughing out loud and forget the frustration or anger part as love covers a multitude of sins so I am just going to cover the brother in love and let God work out his will in regards to his potentially offensive content of the site.
    I do think within the framework of what he is sharing that perhaps there is some truth for us to give serious consideration to in regards to a pastor's fashion but his website takes the issue to an extreme that we just shouldn't go to. When a pastor preaches the Word of God from the pulpit...keeping in mind who he is representing and what he is preaching when he is in the pulpit, I have wondered if dirty well worn sneakers, jeans with holes in them and an old sloppy looking shirt were appropriate. We get dressed nicely to go for a job interview, for certain social events and yet some pastors dress like they don't care about how they look when they are preaching from the Word of God. The bottom line of me though is even if the pastor dresses "street" I go to church to worship the Lord, hear his Word and be fashioned more into the image of Jesus Christ so I do not let how the preacher is dressed distract me from that goal...and I do not sit in my church seat judging him or condemning him while he is preaching because of how he is dressed. And if it ever really did bother me to the point of distracting me from being able to listen to him preach God's Word I would approach him in love and ask him about his thoughts concerning how he dresses as the pastor - why he dresses the way he does and how he feels about how he dresses possibly impacting some people in a negative light. And one final thought...who attends the church might make a difference also...that is "the audience " the pastor is preaching to. I am not going to stake my life on that thought but it might be one worth at least giving some serious consideration to.
    But seriously this is one website I would definitely put on my "over the top" list of Christian based websites. Still laughing. God bless!

  • Chris

    The good:

    He offers some general good advice such as the first physical (note: not spiritual, heart issue, motivational, etc.) concern with clothing is fit, never wearing a graphic t-shirt or pleated trousers, and avoiding square-toe shoes. A hearty amen should resound from the sartorial heights of heaven.

    But, the bad:

    The pursuit of fashion vs style (passing trends vs timeless quality). Some of Young's advice is good, but much leans toward the trendy and transitory. Continually buying cheap popular crap because it's popular is neither good style nor good stewardship.

    And then the ugly response:

    Gnosticism is not the proper response. Many of the comments seem to say, "Spiritual things matter, physical things don't (or at least, not as much)." How do you view the tailor in your congregation who sells suits for $2,000, or trousers for $200? Do you tell him that his work is worthless and he should get a new job because it will all be burned up some day and we will wear holy spiritual Levite 501's in the clouds? If clothing doesn't matter, you might as well. And you might as well tell your general contractor to use the cheapest and worst quality materials possible when he fixes your house. It'll just burn up some day after all.

    Another flavor of comments seems to say, "Oh, you watch movies? Wouldn't it be a better use of your time to read your bible? Oh, and you bought a candy bar too? You should have given that money to feed starving kids in Uzbekibekistan." Thanks. Thanks for being the "best use of your time" police. The general assumption of these kind of comments smacks of, "Everyone is an idiot except for me. I know how you should use your time much better than you do."

    Quipping aside, I think Young comes across as silly to most people on this issue, whether he intends to or not. Not a funny silly, but rather a silly that shakes your head in confusion. His efforts seem well intentioned, but lackluster. If I want style resources without theology, there are a trove of menswear and men's style blogs that already provide this for me.

    And if I want a style resource with good theology, well, I'm still looking.

  • Jason

    I can't wait for the lesson on tanning!

  • Richard

    Carter - you've been had. This is humor, but as an object lesson to come. It's bait for all the busybody blogs which are more interested in the horizontal than the vertical. We blog like we stand on a rock pile ... we can't resist to throw rocks from our seat of judgement at the rest of the Body of Christ. Forgive us for our righteousness as well as our sins.
    -Richard

    • Candace Donley

      SO true Richard. Great point!!

  • Candace Donley

    Honestly it really shocks me that believers would want to encourage & pass along this article. Pastor Ed Young is a man that GOD has called & appointed to lead His church. Pastor Ed preaches God's word, he reaches the lost, and they meet Jesus. It's just hard for me to sit back and not be hurt by these kind of actions, especially when people do not know the heart behind the pastor. The bible clearly tells us to encourage and pray for our pastors/leaders daily & to stand up for them when it is necessary. This is one of those times. So I just have to ask what's your motive in sharing & "liking" this article? As Christians we are to encourage one another & build the body up, yes we are to be accountable but not by sharing an article about a pastor and a concept that you know nothing about. It doesn't strengthen the body. It creates useless chatter & discussion among believers. As a member of Fellowship Church, I can say that "pastor fashion" is not a focus there, nor something that is promoted. Of course we are to look our best in God's house, but God doesn't look at the outward appearance, he looks at the heart. It breaks my heart that people can have such a firm belief about something they really know nothing about. Where is the article, Gospel Coalition about the 3,000+ people that were baptized last year, or the over 1 million meals that we fed to orphans in Haiti, or the countless pastors who came to our C3 conference and returned to their cities with a renewed passion under Pastor Ed's leadership? It's sad that people would rather read articles like this that create dissension and division among the body rather than unity. Make better use of your time by putting your hands to something for the Kingdom not bashing other men of God. Look at your own heart & motives before judging someone elses. And remember, as believers, we are on the same team.

  • Dave

    Matthew 6:31-33

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  • http://ontheirshoulders.com Aron Utecht

    The more I think about this, the more it bothers me.

    Yes, it is good to remind pastors to dress appropriately for their task.

    But it takes huge resources to build and maintain a website, research 'the topic,' and put the videos togetehr. I think this is a colossal waste of time and money that could be used toward legitimate kingdom needs.

    Moreover, nonbelievers look at this stuff and don't take Christians seriously. The implicit message is, 'I don't have enough faith in my substance so I have to rely on gimmicks.'

  • Bob Ford

    I've not looked at the site; however, I'm really afraid to look there 'cause I'm sure if bibbed overalls are ruled out, I'm gonnuh wonder if I really am saved. The man who led me to Christ was wearing them when he told me about Christ. "Lions and tigers and bears oh,my!" Ed Young Jr., really?

  • Chris

    Joe,
    I have always respected your insights and love for Christ, but brother- this is NOT real. I know nothing about Ed Young, but this is parody of the best kind: self inflicted. http://pastorfashion.com/post/great-fashion-takes-swag

    C'mon Joe, have a laugh.

    • Debbie

      What about Ed Youngs sexperiment? He and his wife had a bed hauled up on the roof of the church a couple of months ago and they stayed in the bed all weekend to promote his new book. And a couple of weeks ago they had a "bring your dog" church service. What's so surprising about a Fashionista website? You have to look nice to fly around in your private jet. I know it all sounds like a joke but sadly it is all true.

  • Anar

    Christians have given up science to the academy, film to Hollywood, music to the record companies, politics to the newsmedia.

    I'm very much in favor of Christians taking things like fashion back. Whatever is lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

    Christians have Christ whom all things were created through and for. Excellence in fashion should be an obvious thing many in the body should pursue. We should be applauding and encouraging those like Ed Young gifted in this.

    Don't you know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit? Look how the temple was adorned. Look how terribly intricate the fashion rules were for the high priests. God loves beauty. Beauty is worship.

    Certainly we shouldn't worry about what we wear as Jesus said, but can't we glorify God by reflecting his creativity as his image bearers. I'm confused why so many comments are opposed to Ed Young's approach?

  • Anar

    I've never understood why so many pastors wear suits and ties? Isn't that the western business uniform, what is the point in aligning with that aspect of a specific culture?

  • Nate Dodson

    A simply gray, navy, or black three-button suit. Flat front khakis and a crisp well-fitted button down or polo. They looked good in 1920, 1950, 1980, and 2010... and it will look good in 2040. These pastors who preach with skinny jeans, white belts, tattoos and leather bracelets won't be taken seriously in 30 years.

    I think pastors and church leaders should exercise wisdom in their clothing choices. I don't think wisdom is found in investing in fleeting trends. (You do know fashion trends are a racket designed to keep you spending money on new clothes every season, right?) Not only do you tip your audience off to the fact that you are overly-interested in fleeting things, but following fashion is a time-suck that no pastor needs to be bother with in my opinion. Keep it clean and simple and just move on. Vanity is still vanity, even after you convince yourself that your vanity is for the glory of God.

    • Anar

      "You do know fashion trends are a racket designed to keep you spending money on new clothes every season, right?"

      Shouldn't that mean that Christian should try and make the trends instead? That way the fashion trends can be less a racket designed to get money and more about the beauty of God's creation and the creativity we have as image-bearers. Just giving up by resorting to always the same simple suit, khakis, and polo effectively passes fashion over to the secular world that would have more sinful motives such as greed, lust or vanity. Fashion does not have to inherently be equated to vanity, it often is because there are not enough Christians influencing that sphere of our culture. Why retreat?

      • Nate Dodson

        "Just giving up by resorting to always the same simple suit, khakis, and polo effectively passes fashion over to the secular world that would have more sinful motives such as greed, lust or vanity."

        I agree. My first inclination is to say, "They can have it." In a perfect world I don't think "Christians" and "trends" are even in the same universe. This goes back to working out the "in" and "of" that comes with navigating culture. We can attempt to set our own trends, but the world won't want them. They won't want them because Christian "fashion" will seek to glorify God and create community, not glorify self; and certainly not greed, lust, or vanity (therefore the world will have little use for them). We'll end up being the modern equivalent of Quakers.

        Fashion, unlike most other arts, has little redeeming quality because it is completely consumed in the self. Expressing one's self, drawing attention to one's self, and defining one's self. Even Christians get caught up in fashion trends within their own church circles and these become a form of Pharisaical piety - a quest for elevating and glorifying the self. Even the clothing I listed above can be worn for the right reasons, and it can be worn for the wrong reasons. Believers tend to have a mindset that says "He must increase, and I must decrease," and I think that tends to leave very little room for trendy fashion. I mean, the guy who said "He must increase, and I must decrease" was very well-known for his horrible fashion sensibilities. People still flocked to hear him preach though.

        I believe there is plenty of wiggle room in the "How should believers dress" conversation. On a personal note, when I was a youth pastor, I tried to dress trendy and cool because I thought I was making God look trendy and cool by proxy. I've moved away from that mindset for lots of reasons that I won't go into. In my short lifetime I haven't seen anybody who has successfully used their fashion sensibilities to minimize the self and glorify God. Most of them tend to start out with good intentions but ultimately tend to cheapen the faith (see this article). This makes me prone to say that it can't be done, though I may be wrong.

        • Anar

          Thanks for your response. I disagree that fashion is completely consumed in the self. Or rather that it has to be. Why couldn't fashion for the Christian be an act of worship, adorning their body, the temple of the Holy Spirit? I agree there are many mistakes made by those Christians pursuing fashion, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. I think that means we should be attracted more to working this out instead of less. That is why I am encouraged and uplifted by seeing a pastor like Ed Young discussing this sphere of culture.

          Also, following your comments and many from others, is it wrong for Christians to be working in the fashion industry? Because I know a few that strive to honor God through this line of work.

  • Dave

    Absolutely ridiculous. The website, this Gossip Coalition piece and all the comments. No wonder people despise Christians. People are homeless, impoverished, hungry, hurting, sinning and being sinned against...people are in need of the good news of Jesus...and the debate here in America...is about fashion. Absolutely ridiculous.

    • MIke

      Dave, just to highlight one of the main points of the post, “an elaborate parody of pastors who confuse what it means to be in, but not of, the world.” It is sad that it needs to be addressed, but in addition to the areas you highlighted, this IS part of the world you and I live in. As ridiculous as it is, it would be more ridiculous to avoid it.

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  • http://highplainsparson.wordpress.com Riley

    I'll keep my Geneva gown, thanks.