Friday, June 07, 2013

Clean Shaven and Well Dressed

Genesis 41:14 KJV
Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

Even though Joseph was to go up “hastily” to Pharaoh he still took time to shave and change his cloths before entering into the presence of one so highly positioned. Culture has changed even in my lifetime. What was once a given, that a person presented himself well before authorities such as judges or people in higher offices, has loosened over the years. I remember when an iron worker I knew well was going to trial for getting into a bar fight and badly hurting some men, even this
  • Bearded
  • Rough and tumble
  • Hard hitting
  • Union construction worker
shaved[1] and wore a suit and tie before the judge and jury. It was common courtesy but it was also an attempt to appease the court. Everyone knew the court would look more favorably upon his case if he were clean cut and well dressed. It implied you had some social skill and respect for society. 

Today such respect is seldom demonstrated. People think of authorities as no better than themselves and so do not believe they ought to have to “put on airs” for the high positioned. They truly have no social graces. 

Enter the Christian. It is obvious that Christianity has been influenced by this low view of social grace and respect. Christians dress as casually and sometimes as immodestly as does anyone in the world. T shirts are frequently the attire of the modern pastor as if to say even God doesn't deserve more.

Some would argue that dressing well in the presence of others is just a cultural thing. To that I argue:
  • If it is cultural it is cross cultural and multi generational since it even existed in Egypt four thousand years ago
  • If it is cultural it is a piece of culture I will fight to maintain
Christians should be salt and light, influencing the culture and not chameleons changing to blend with the culture.  

[1] I do not mean to imply that wearing a beard is in any way disrespectful. But a beard, in order to look respectful, must be well kept.

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