Have you seen Christians with Dyed hair, Ripped jeans, locks, guys wearing studs? It is just about being fashionable or is there more to it than meets the eye? Do these things have any bearing on a person’s faith? Is there a Christian way of dressing?
These questions plague the mind when we hear about certain prejudices some Christians hold against fashion.
From observation, one can say that fashion is culturally influenced, faith-based, or a mixture of both, amongst other things, of course. A millennial or generation Z Christian (in some Christian circles) probably sees nothing wrong with dyed hair, cornrows, locks, ripped jeans and other unconventional fashion pieces.
The older generation, on the other hand, may frown at these “objects of youthful exuberance” because it is quite not their taste or maybe because they believe these things represent a person drifting away from the faith and judge wearing of dowdy getups and ugly shoes as a mark of holiness.
Once upon a time, amongst some Nigerian Christian circles, jeans were considered a clothing material a Christian has no business wearing.
There is even a song to sink in the message and it goes thus; “keep on wearing your jeans, keep on dying your hair, Jesus is coming back again.” You laugh, but they were dead serious about this song. Men wear skirts and women wear trousers in some cultures.
Historically, the Corinthian church, to whom Paul wrote about head coverings, believed women with shaved heads are licentious (1 Corinthians 11:6). Which will be seen as absurd in this age.
In light of all these, it can be difficult to come to a consensus on what is fashion right or wrong for a believer. The word, not our prejudices, will point us in the right direction.
The bible is the standard for discerning the hallmarks of a Christian. He is one who has believed the Gospel (Romans 10:9-12, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
He knows that he is saved by grace through faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8). We see evidence of the transformative power of salvation in the believer’s act of good works, conduct and approach to spiritual growth (Ephesians 2:10, 4:17-32, Jude 1:20).
Funny enough, there is nowhere in the bible where clothes are presented as a commendation to God. Misconceptions about clothes/fashion were corrected however, they were never made the standard for determining the salvation state of the recipient of the corrections.There is nowhere in the bible where clothes are presented as a commendation to God. Misconceptions about clothes/fashion were corrected however, they were never the standard for determining the salvation of the recipient of the… Click To Tweet
In the Scriptures, clothes are presented as a means of covering our nakedness whether in a literal or figurative sense (Matthew 24:18, 2 Corinthians 5:3), for showing wealth or a lack thereof (Luke 12:28, 1 Timothy 2:9, James 2:2), as a distinction between sexes (Deuteronomy 22:5) and so on.
We are told not to be so concerned about what to wear that it becomes a source of worry (Matthew 6:25,28,30), to dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9-10, 1 Peter 3:2-5 ), to be contented with our possessions including clothes (1 Timothy 6:6-8, Luke 12:23), not to treat people unfairly because of how they are dressed (James 2:2-3) amongst other things.
In addition to the aforementioned biblical verses, we see conscience at work when it comes to unclear issues like clothing, eating and so on (Romans 14). The bible also tells us to do everything to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31) and to walk in love towards others regards of their preferences (Romans 14:21, 15:1-3).
Above all, our lifestyle as believers should always boil down to these things – our faith in Christ and the ministry to which we have been called (Ephesians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17-20). If your fashion preference is a potential obstacle to the unenlightened and unbeliever, then you should consider toning your preferences down, even if it for some time, for the sake of the gospel.If your fashion preference is a potential obstacle to the unenlightened and unbeliever, then you should consider toning your preferences down, even if it for some time, for the sake of the gospel. Click To Tweet
Conversely, you may have to do some ‘outrageous things’, for example, dye your hair to reach some particular kinds of people.
If you have to preach to a people or group who do not wear clothes or are partially clothed and the only way to reach them is to approach them in the same state, what will your response be?
Read next; Does It Matter How A Believer Dresses?