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« Christian Worldview in Decline | Main | Religious Addiction »

December 05, 2003

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The police and other authorites don't often treat an uniformed pastor with respect, but they repond well to a clergyman likewise dressed in clerical black shirt and collar.
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correction, the police often don't treat non uniformed pastors with respect. (Don't like them being on the scene of an accident, forcing you to beg, plead, and fight for your rights). While uniformed clergy, they make way for.

This is basically social psychology at work (the uniform is a ingrained badge of authority. And various professions that deal with emergencies also wear uniforms and respond well to them).

The curse of living halfway around the world is that you guys have these great conversations while I'm sleeping! =)

One concern I have with donning a collar is the reinforcement it provides to the perceived clergy-laity disparity. I've worked hard in our church to help people overcome this notion that the ordained ministerial staff somehow exist on a higher plane than the average Christ-follower (because it almost invariably throws their ecclesiology out of balance). I've taken this to the point that I ask adult church members to call me by my first name instead of "Pastor" (out of deference to what I see as the principle behind Matthew 23:8-12). I still use "Reverend" on my business cards and offical correspondence, particularly when communicating with local national agencies; clergy are generally well-respected in the country where I serve and I'm not above using that influence if it helps advance the cause of Christ.

Blessings to all of you on this Lord's Day!

that picture is the first time i saw women wearing clerical collars. i knew cognitively that it happens. but i never saw it. so it took me a minute to realize what i was looking at. it just seemed like a blouse with a little different design - especially the one in the middle of the photo.

for whatever that's worth to this awesome conversation ...

and i'm still jealous of pavel.
pray for me. ;)

Neo -- Blessings to you as well this Lord's Day!

Well...when talking to my wife about the wearing of a clerical collar, she was actually VERY supportive...until she found out that I meant other than just on Sundays. Whoa! She had some pretty adverse ideas about it all (mainly believing that it would allienate people from me even more than what I currently experience -- e.g. people 'clamming up' when they find out that I'm a "P-A-S-T-O-R". So what do you all think? Does she have a point?

QUOTE
She had some pretty adverse ideas about it all (mainly believing that it would allienate people from me even more than what I currently experience -- e.g. people 'clamming up' when they find out that I'm a "P-A-S-T-O-R". So what do you all think? Does she have a point?
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Demeanor is really everything. I suppose if you went around with a frown on your face you might get some of that. Some Catholic clergy in my hometown well quite frankly seemed unhappy, and fostered negative responses. But on the other hand, I can think of some Episcopal priests that use the collar all the time, and are pretty jovial
and seem to almost get positive reactions from the people they meet. I think the collar is badge or sign of authority, but how you personally carry yourself will affect if people will see you as a negative one, or one who is truly "fatherly".

i go totally bi-polar on this one, in one moment I am in love with the vision painted in hebrews of a fellowship of priests under jesus the high priest, and the idea that one person would be more of a priest than any other is really offensive ... then 30 seconds later i am living in the old testament, and there are those who seem to be set apart for service, and it seems perfectly right and reasonable that the set apart ones should wear a collar or a robe or whatever.

I guess that means I'm with Michael. =) I can't imagine making a change like this in the church where I'm currently serving...although I'd consider it were I to change churches, particularly if the church I went to felt it necessary or appropriate.

I'll tell you one thing, though...it sure would make picking out my clothes in the morning faster and easier!

Daniel aka NeoTheologue

Hey bi-polar Michael! :D j/k I'm tracking with you here. The issue of "priesthood of all believers" is an important one. But let me ask you, 1) is this important for non-church people? and 2) do you think it's possible for the ministry of ALL believers to be working, while the spiritual leader of that community of faith is somehow "set-apart"? Must these be mutually exclusive?

btw, Michael -- can I expect to see you at the upcoming Emergent Conference again?

Daniel -- LOL! The "wardrobe" angle was also on my wife's "negatives" list -- maybe 'cause we JUST bought me a load of new clothes! ;)

Chris: Yes, I'm planning on being at the Emergent/YS San Diego thing.

Now you guys are making me jealeous too! ;)

I don't see how we would be able to swing going to the San Diego conference, though I would love to... :(

you'll have to tell us all about it!

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