Traditionally speaking, people still dress up for church. Now I believe in excellence. Believe we should give God our best...that's biblical.
However, I also think that sometimes we SHOULDN'T dress up for church. Here's why:
1) If you were to appear in court as a defendant, your lawyer would advise you to dress up for court. It could only be "putting lipstick on a pig" but why do lawyers advise even their guilty clients to dress up?
2) If you were going on a job interview, it might be a good idea to dress up? Why?
3) If you are in business and you are meeting with a client, you probably would dress up. Why?
Dressing up creates an initial favorable impression on people. It says to them, "This person has it together!"
Now imagine it's Sunday morning and there is this unspoken rule that we dress up for church. Imagine on this particular Sunday there is a guest who is struggling in their faith journey and they are wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Might they look around and think, "These people have it all together. I can't fit in here."
Now we know church people don't have it all together but sometimes we give off that impression to people. Our intention might be to dress up for God, present ourselves in an excellent manner for worship. But we must not intentionally or unintentionally signal to people that there is no place for them in God's house (By the way, God is not impressed with dress; he looks much deeper).
Oh you think I'm being overly dramatic! Invited anyone to church lately? Perhaps the first objection people give, "I don't have anything to wear." The assumption is often, "If you go to church you got to appear to have it all together."
Am I saying you should not dress up for church? No, I think presenting yourself beore God with the right motivation is important: dressed in a suit or not.
In order to reach people for God, people need to see our flaws and forgiveness. Even if I am wearing a suit on a particular Sunday, I need to break the stereotypes with common language, transparency and sensitivity to people who are beginning a relationship with God.
Sorry, gotta go take my suit to the cleaners!