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« The Fires of Heaven | Main | Anna Aven: Locating the Narrative in Pop Culture »

May 20, 2004


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>>"hard to think of jesus wearing a clerical collar and trying to be recognized by his dress..."

Jesus did dress as a Rabbai (black), and later recieved purple robes as a king. And in Revelations he wears a robe (Priestly) with a sash that says "King of Kings and Lord of Lords". And he wears a crown. Not Levis and a bandanna.

There are 24 seats at the altar in heaven. 12 for the Pariarchs of the OT and 12 for the 12 patriarchs of the new covenant.

Paul ordains Timothy as a translocal bishop with the authority to appoint Elders and Deacons, and he sets the qualifications of those offices. Including "Not lording over others" and "Of a good reputation". And later Paul says not to grief the leaders of the church because they must give an account for your soul.

Ignatious the 3rd bishop of Antioch and the personal student of Peter sat in the Messiah's seat in the worship assembly. And in the east they wore robes with a notch cut out at the top like a Neru jacket with a white undershirt that makes up the collar look today.

But what is offensive about a collar, in my oppinion, is a fear of God's authority and to a lesser degree: rebellion. Because God's authority does not validate the supremity of the individual.

As Christians we are part of the same family. We all have the same blood and the same Spirit. But like a family we have fathers, uncles and grandfathers. And anyone can tell if your family loves you or not. Its very simple if your leaders love you they are Godly. If not, then they don't love God either.

No Catholic priest tried to molest me when I was a kid. It was the Southern Baptist teacher at the private christian school I was attending. And he wore a tie. Although he was not successful with me he was convicted for his crimes on others. He didnt love me, he loved his pleasures and his desire to detroy. His pleasure was superior to me because he saw himself as superior.

Unfortunately, in the baptist influenced arguments for hyper-equality all the arguments are about *power* and *abuse of power* (hence the dress), that is they are about fear. I dont recall on this thread or associated articles anything about love. And I see that as "The" key problem.

When Jesus explained what the 2 greatest commandments were neither of them had to do with power, but both of them had to do with Love and unity. "The Lord God is One" and "Love your neighbor as yourself".

Hyper-egalitarianism or libertarianism in the church is not the answer because that is not the solution revealed to the Apostles or to Moses. Christianity is a divine revelation, not a natural human sociological development.

Jesus is a king and he came to manifest a kingdom. The former is about promoting and preserving the *self* we are to immolate as a living sacrafice.

The Father loved the Son because The Son did all the Fathers will, and none of his own. The Son loved the Father so he did the Fathers will even unto death.

Together they loved man so the Father offered The Son as a sacrafice. So the Father paid all that he had. So you could say that the Son and the Father loved us more than themselves. And when you actually love someone you will always put their welfare above your own. And if not, then it isnt a mature love yet.

Look at any decent parent and their children and you will see it. Even among pagans. And when you love yourself you will always try to promote yourself above others since you esteem yourself more highly. This is why there will never be egalitarian equality in the church according to God's pattern. You serve what you love.

The more excellent way is *love* and apart from love all your doctrines and practices will be always be worthless abborations empty of Godliness.

We must put to death the sinful desires of the flesh with all its strivings.

DP: I had a funny experience with a collar just this week.. .I was visiting a kid in jail. had on my jeans (attempt at relevancy) stood there waiting with a lutheran youth pastor wearing a collar. The guard came out got him and totally bypassed me. Came back out because he knew there was another pastor waiting and ending up making an announcement on the PA to find me. It never once occured to him that this denim clad, 30 something chick was a real pastor. . It was very funny when he realized he'd passed me 4 times!!

It was just that sort of thing, that caused Bishop Adler of the Charismatic Episcopal Church to begin the practice of wearing the collar.

He actually had a revelation of it's importance while in jail, for protesting against abortion. He received a lot of disrespect from the police at the time. When he was out of collar. And while he was in jail, he found that God spoke to him to use it. Because it was a symbol, of ministry, and God created people to respond to symbols. And the fact he was not being recognized as being a minister was because he was shunning the use of such symbols. He was actually going against how God had created and designed humanity.

By the way concerning the use of the collar.
Like should everyone use it etc.

The one thing it should be recognized is the collar is symbol for being dedicated to God.

It's akin to how things were dedicated to God in the OT tabernacle, and temple. And even has NT parallels (like people selling their possessions and giving it to the Church).

The one thing that should be remembered is dedication to God is not a part time thing. It's also not something that is suppose to be taken back. Like the phrase from childhood, "being an Indian giver". Which is un-PC, but nevertheless still descriptive.

Anyway it's for this reason, that I don't think your casual Christian should wear it. We may be all equal in God's sight, but we are not all equal in terms of our dedication to God, our maturity in the Faith, our understanding of Doctrine and so forth.

So anyway I think it is rightfully only should be used by pastors, priests, chaplains etc. People who really have made this an area of their full time work and dedication.

by the way Fr. Matt, that was a great story/ testimony!

>>The one thing that should be remembered is dedication to God is not a part time thing. It's also not something that is suppose to be taken back. Like the phrase from childhood, "being an Indian giver". Which is un-PC, but nevertheless still descriptive.

Yes, well said, Addai.

Another thing comes to mind. Even in a lot of protestant churches and even low-formality churches when one is baptised they will wear a white robe which signifies martyrdom.

The martyrdom is death to the world and alive in Christ.

Hows that for Relevant! I think the whole thing with trying to be relevant is a lark anyway. It seems to me to try to be syncratistic with the world so they will accept you and think you are cool. But acceptance with the world is unacceptable with God.

Back to the collar thing: I frequently go on patrol in collar if I get bored and the collar does the job for me. People know instantly who I am and what I am really about. They can come up for prayer, confession, solace, and sometimes to vent their scorn for church officials on me. But those people need love and prayer too. I would rather have that then have them go unattended.

This is no flying in under radar or going stealth mode. I have lots of catholics, protestants, wicca, humanists, moslem, and whatever come up to me because "the Law of the Lord is on the lips of the Priests". And I think its a good example to other Christians to stand up and to be counted.

>>I have a qustion.,
To a priest even they are not a bishop they are allowed to wear this clerical collar thing.

Usually, depending on the type of church, from Deacons to the Bishop will wear a collar. If the minister is full time then the collar is full time. So if you are a milkman during the week you dont have to wear a collar.

>>But when it comes to a Pastor especially a Assemblies of God minister is it okay to wear this even you are not yet a Bishop?

AOG church would highly frown on this because they associate it with Roman Catholocism. So they dont like it and prefer the business suit.

>>I need your response. ASAP

Sorry no one answered your question before.

"They can come up for prayer, confession, solace, and sometimes to vent their scorn for church officials on me. But those people need love and prayer too."

Excellent perspective, Fr. Stan. Thanks for the comment post.


I am a young baptist lay preacher I wish to wear the collar but i believe some people in my church might critisize me what should i do I also do not know were to by one

help me

Are there a set of rules one must follow in wearing a roman collar? Must one belong to a main-line Christian Church? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Blessings, Ron Murhon, Sr.><>

Go for it! Will make it SO much easier when I try it in Southern California! I think I'm gonna write a mini-treatise on this for my blog...

I am an editor for which is a social network dedicated to the christian community. As I look through your web site I feel a collaboration is at hand. I would be inclined to acknowledge your website offering it to our users as I'm sure our Pentecostal audience would benefit from what your site has to offer. I look forward to your thoughts or questions regarding the matter.

Vicky Silvers

If you really want to know more about this you may want to read (if you can handle German and lots of Latin) my 1978 doctoral dissertation at the University of Bern, Switzerland, entitled, Die Äußere Erscheinung des Geistlichen im Alltag, published at Stämpfli and Cie AG, Bern.
It deals extensively with the the history and theological aspects of clerical attire outside the liturgical sphere.
Georg Retzlaff

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