It was over 5 months ago that I blogged on "What Does a Clerical Collar Say?" -- and with 30 comments (and still climbing), this post remains one of Paradoxology's most frequented.
After reading a recent post by Rick Saint (pictured below) on what is obviously still a hot topic, I decided to bring on "Part 2" of the clerical collar discussion. I loved what Rick had to say. Check it out:
"The whole issue of wearing clerics has been interesting with me.
I come from a pentecostal/charismatic background. I attended a traditional pentecostal Bible school for both my undergrad and M.A. My father was prominent pastor in the same denomination, although I usually attended charismatic/word of faith/vineyard churches.
With that being said, I am now ordained in a sacramental church (similar to Charismatic Episcopal Church) that is both liturgical and Spirit-filled.
The interesting thing I found out was that wearing a clerical collar usually attracted the unchurched although some "very religious" Christians were turned off by it. I even saw a difference between wearing a colored clerical shirt and wearing my "black and whites". When I would wear my black clerics to places such as hospitals, etc. it was normal for strangers to speak to me, ask me for prayer, etc. I guess those who were in need could recognize me for what I stood for and would ask for help.
As far as those "very religious" Christians are concerned, I had to make a decision... was it more important for me to reach those who did not know Christ or upset a few people who were already on their way to heaven? For me the answer was simple."
I suppose that, like Rick, I might also be more inclined to begin wearing a collar for the sake of the unchurched, rather than concerning myself with what "religious folk" might think. Some of you may remember that I've been toying with the possibility of wearing a clerical collar -- something which was common in my own faith tradition a century ago (Free Methodist). In addition to a couple of leaders in my church who are encouraging me in this direction, and even "daring" me, the words of my friend Pavel (aka Addai, of TheOoze fame) continue to haunt me: "wearing a (clerical) collar is like telling the world, 'the kingdom of God is open for business.'"
And so I'm asking myself afresh, "who did Jesus primarily seek to proclaim his kingdom to?"
I think that Rick's conclusion is starting to sound more and more persuasive. What are your thoughts?