Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Come As You Are

At First Thoughts, Collin Garbarino makes A Plea for Bathrobes:

But it’s not just about comfort. Church is a place where you can be yourself. We encourage people to be “authentic.” We tell people, “Come as you are!” What people hear is, “Tasteful clothing is optional!” These days it’s important for everyone to be an individual who’s authentic, so it’s very important for us all to come to church in flip-flops and shorts. We want to show off our individual style that’s just like everyone else’s. And really shorts and flip-flops are so authentic. I mean, really, like, that’s who I am. I wear these to the office everyday. Don’t you?

But we mean it when we tell people to come as they are. The gospel tells us that we can’t clean ourselves up. God won’t be fooled by my bowtie. I’ll still be a mess no matter what I’m wearing. I suppose that there’s a gospel imperative for chucking the dress code. Come as you are. But wait; there’s more to the gospel.

The gospel also says that Christ doesn’t leave us as we are. He clothes us in his own righteousness. I think we can do something with this. I propose an addition to the liturgy (for my Baptist brothers, that’s a fancy word for “order of service”).

When a man or woman enters the church building dressed for a day at the beach or perhaps the gym, let us be ready. I propose that every congregation have white bathrobes at hand. You “came as you are” with bare shoulders or exposed thighs (I’m talking to men too). Your sins exposed for all to see (too many Oreos, tanning bed, body piercings, etc.). In order to symbolize being clothed with the righteousness of Christ, we will cover you with a spotless bathrobe. When we, sinners, come to Christ, he doesn’t leave us in our sins. Shouldn’t we do likewise for our brothers and sisters who come to church dressed in tank tops? After all, didn’t Christ say, “I was naked and you clothed me.” It’s our Christian duty to help. It’s our Christian duty to hand them a bathrobe.

And remember, Church should be comfortable. Nothing’s more cozy than a fluffy white bathrobe.

I’m game for anything that would shame the shorts and flip flops at church crew or at least cover their shame.