Nick's Poetry Corner, with Weird Al and the Elders

Dress up, dress up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the pew,

Lift high your noble necktie, the sign of great virtue!

From tailor unto tailor, my wardrobe shall I fill,

‘Til every closet swelleth, and what a cleaning bill!

Dress up, dress up for Jesus, respectable in slacks,

Wear the Lord’s Table Uniform, or else be turn-ed back.

Ye that are men now suit up, and go to every pain,

Let none ignore this mandate, lest your service be in vain.

Dress up, dress up for Jesus, Stand in his strength alone!

Except for your fine jacket, so your worth is clearly known.

The shield of faith might fail you, affluence never will.

So wear your clothing proudly, your spirit though it kills.

Dress up, dress up for Jesus, the strife endeth right soon!

For what you wear at service, you can change after noon,

Unless you serve at ev’ning, and then you must take care,

Professional’s our mantra, diff’rent we’ll never dare!

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About Nick Gill

orphan-poet-adoptee-soldier-prodigal-servant-husband- counselor-desperate seeker after my Father's face "I feel my body weakened by the years as people turn to gods of cruel design. Is it that they fear the pain of death, or is it that they fear the joy of life?" - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Posted on 5 May, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I’m getting ready to participate in a workshop at a preacher training school in another country. I’m wrestling with the non-conformity in me that wants to make my presentations without a tie. Problem is, this will be a first impression for most of them, and I don’t know that I have the credibility to pull it off.

  2. It kinda makes me nuts when I see young preachers in foreign countries dressing just like American preachers. How are they going to preach the gospel of Jesus when their clothes are preaching the gospel of the American Dream?

    You didn’t make this bed by any stretch (those who went before and set the expectations of your audience did that), so I would hardly presume to suggest how to deal with it in that context.

    I wonder, though: does freedom beget freedom? Might your example set one young man down the road towards understanding that the clothes don’t make the disciple?

  3. Nick,
    I laughed when reading your poetry. I can understand both sides of this issue but lean towards the point you’re obviously making. There may be some legitimacy to the point that our dress reflects the importance that we give to an activity. However, “dress codes” that demand ties for the assembly of the saints emphasize the wrong thing. I suppose that John the Baptist would not be allowed to preach in many assemblies today.

    One of my main concerns is that humble visitors may feel uncomfortable when seeing everyone else dressed in semi formal attire. I usually recommend looking descent (for example, avoiding loud tee shirts or revealing clothing) without demanding ties or jackets.

    I think the text to apply to this issue is 1 Corinthians 8 and 9, especially 9:19-23. We don’t want our dress to be an issue, so we adjust.

    I don’t know where Tim Archer is going, but in Latin America, very few wear ties. I often go without.

  4. How true, very funny.

    I too share concern for having folks in far away lands who are teaching God’s word look “American”. There is much they would be better off without, suits and ties being one thing.

    I can not believe that 1st century believers dressed any different when they assembled for worship than any other time. In my view, at least some of the time, a suit and tie only exposes some of our Pharisee leanings.

    Love your blog.

    His peace,
    Royce Ogle

  5. Gardner,

    I was afraid you’d be mad at me, but I held off writing this for two weeks! At the men’s meeting where the “dress code” was issued, we weren’t told that you can’t come to church without a coat and tie; just that if you weren’t wearing a coat and tie, you wouldn’t be chosen to serve. I was hoping that it was done privately (in a men’s meeting rather than in the assembly) in order to placate a couple of busybodies.

    Then the new month rolled around, and I noticed that the deacon who coordinates our serving roster scheduled 6 men who always wear suits. The closing announcement by one of our elders was a commendation for the reverent and professional attire.

    I wanted to puke.

    I wanted to scream, “Has anyone even READ James 2?” Isn’t that exactly what we are doing, giving preferential treatment in the assembly to a group of men based solely upon their outward appearance???

    The concerns of the humble should outweigh the scruples of the complacent. That’s all I’m saying.

  6. It amazes me that men who are charged with protecting the flock are blind enough to trot out the sort of tripe you’ve described, Nick. Your application of James 2 is precisely correct, in my ex-theologian and rather worthless opinion. Obviously, one who wears a dress isn’t qualified to do the humble work of simply passing out the Lord’s Supper. Sexism and externalism are two great stones pulling the churches of Christ under water into a half-baptism . . . one that experiences death, but lacks resurrection.
    Co-puking,

    Ben O.

  7. Ex-theologian, my butt. God makes men what they are… you can ex- yourself till you are blue in the face, but we know better. 🙂

  8. Nick,
    I’m pretty much with you on this issue and many others as well, usually those that deal with the evils of sectarianism and emphasizing a pure heart. On the other issues, we’ll keep on lovingly expressing our differences. You’re a good iron sharpener.
    God bless

  9. What a GREAT poem. You are winning me over with your poetry!

    Funny stuff

  10. Oh, that was good. The church of Christ I am a part of (a Brazilian immigrant congregation) hasn’t gone down that road. Most of us try to dress nicely, but rarely not even business casual. I’ve probably preached in my jeans…yes, I think I have, but it really wouldn’t matter. This is a rare position in churches of Christ, I know. It isn’t even a position, as it hasn’t been discussed that I know of.

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