If we are talking about Reformation vestments then by far the most common clerical uniform was a white surplus, with hood and scarf, like an Anglican clergyman taking Morning Prayer. The Anglican and Lutheran churches were by far the largest Reformed churches, and they wore those things, so that was far and away the usual look of the Reformation. Calvin's Geneva had a white surplus, belted, and a hat, so they followed suit in wearing white.
The wearing of black academic robes is a little odd because of the association of that colour with death.
The argument for a clerical uniform comes in principle from the priestly robes in the OT, which were twofold: To make them look good; and that the people would respect them. God therefore wants his officers to dress well, look good, and command respect by their clothing.
The OT robes were garishly coloured by our standards, but beautiful in their own right.
Hooker would argue for continuing with the white surplus because one should not break with tradition except for a very good reason so as to avoid unnecessary trouble. In your particular situation he would argue for going with what the people know and like, while observing the biblical principles of looking good and gaining respect.
I would have said symbolism, until I read Kuyper. What would you say?
What do you consider the strongest argument, found in your present study, for clerical clothing?
What do you consider the strongest argument found in your present study for clerical clothing?
Now please don't anyone panic that hell has frozen over, but I'm pretty sure I'm finding myself seriously rethinking something because of something I read on the inter webs. Eerie, isn't it?
Now, who would have thought you could save a man's masculinity just by changing the color of his dress? Good save, brother. 😜
He does, and sees these garments as prophetic and ceremonial, fulfilled and done away with in the coming of Christ.
It is true that one finds in the Word of God one finds symbolic and prophetic worship in the old Testament that pointed to the coming Christ. In that worship every vestment and each part of the vestment were prescribed, with a designation of the spiritual meaning hidden in every part. However, in the New Testament one finds that announcement that in Christ the symbolic had become reality, and that thus the ceremonial service lapsed and in fact could not be maintained without denying its fulfillment in Christ. In the Old Testament one also finds a special generation of priests in the family of Aaron and the whole tribe of Levi, but in the New Testament there is no mention of such a class.
Great post, Jody. But we've gone from white choir robes to darker burgundy robes because I thought the white robes made the men look a little "femmy." How's that for deep theological consideration?
I have great appreciation for Kuyper.
Does he address the fact of Jehovah's design of special and required clothing for the Levitical priests?
>>Do you know jack Collins? Obviously not.
Dear Mr. "A,"
Actually, I know Jack quite well. Out of the heart the mouth speaks.
But assuming you deny Jack is known by his words, I also am the man who vetted Jack, then recommended him to help with the work that later became the ESV. I regret doing so.
Dear Mr. Mould,
Thanks for the question. Let me clarify. No, I'm not confusing Jack with Frances. Jack has nothing to do with Covenant or Wheaton Colleges, either. I'm using all these institutions as placeholders for the places where men who want to claim to hold to inerrancy for the sake of their associations and employment while denying it in their convictions about Creation hang out.
Are you confusing this Jack Collins with Francis Collins of Biologos? This Jack Collins from Covenant has had nothing to do with Biologos, to my knowledge. That was Francis Collins.
I agree that such agreements can be signed, although I'd suggest we send a follow-up e-mail to Google's headquarters/legal department specifying what we mean by this and that word in the contract. Or, having a page on our church web site defining the terms of our various contracts and sending each software company/cloud agency notification that our user agreement is bound by the terms of what's on that page we put up.
Your comment was very helpful, and I thank you for it. I kept working and working on a response, and, finally, it blossomed into another post! So let's carry on the discussion over there.
Sorry, Lucas, I just saw this:
I agree that it's not discrimination, really, for us to base our hiring practices upon Biblical standards. But what this membership application points out is that the basis for our laws has shifted and will continue to shift from Biblical standards to... something else. So while I agree with what you say, I don't see how it helps.
I agree that the basis for our laws is shifting. For this very reason I disagree that what I wrote is unhelpful. Signing this agreement (and others like it) is helpful in that it establishes a consistent practice which, if ever challenged, has a sound argument in its favor calling into question the legitimacy of such regs. Ironically, we deny ourselves a seat at the table by choosing to not agree to these terms.
The nice thing about a nebulous blob of clay is that it can still be shaped. These PC-driven regs/clauses are still blobs of amorphous clay. The best way to keep them from setting is opposing the tide by accepting the terms so arguments will be based on law. At that point, courts and lawmakers are faced with a conundrum: to give teeth to the regs they'd be faced with the unsavory task of weighing in on a theological debate. If we don't accept such terms, we establish an accepted practice that will eventually snowball into precedent, which will require clarification from courts, which will lead to "lawful" persecution.
Wise as serpents.
Very helpful. Let's have more of this sort of exchange.
Well, lots of fine comments are coming out now and I'm grateful. This is yet another example of what Tim has often said: Many times, the comments are much better than the post. My post was vegetables and the meat and potatoes are coming in the comments.
Let me make a few comments here that may not yet be obvious. (1) There were differences among the Puritans and Davies makes that clear. Some allowed only extemporary prayers. Some had both kinds. We should follow the example of those Puritans who had both free and set forms of prayer. (2) The Puritans and the Anglicans, at least some of them, listened to each other and modified things accordingly. (3) Scripture does contain some set forms and we should use them (the Lord's Prayer, the Aaronic blessing, etc.) and they set the precedent that set forms can be used in public prayer, even the non-inspired ones from the BCP or in other liturgies. (4) But there are also plenty of examples of free prayer in Scripture and JJ has pointed out several of them. Thus, we need not shun free prayers. (5) However, those who engage in free prayers should follow (at least some of) their Puritan forefathers and engage in preparation for their free prayers. (6) Those who grew up in a free prayer environment, read through the prayers found in such places as the BCP. They will help you pray and give shape and orthodoxy to your free prayers. Many of us older Christians must frequently admit, that often we don't know how to pray. Sometimes we will find our deepest longings and yearnings in prayers that have been prayed by the church for years.
1 John 5:14-15 is very important. It commands us to pray according to God's will. How do we do that? Well, Scripture has told us many things that are the will of God for the believer. So pray for those things, in private and in public. Many believers have often urged us to plead the promises of God, and give Him no rest.
*smiles* Well Fr. Bill, the disciples asked the Lord about prayer in response to seeing him praying Luke 11:1). Unless we're convinced that Christ consistently used set prayers, then the Lord's Prayer shouldn’t be considered an example of a set prayer. I have a hard time believing that the Lord continued all night (Luke 6:12) using set prayers – especially when there were serious and specific needs to pray about regarding the choice of the disciples! And did Christ use set prayers in John 17 or in the garden of Gethsemane? Or were set prayers used at Pentecost - “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer...And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen” Acts 1:14,24?
On the other hand, set prayers are the common practice of Romanism, Islam, apostate Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism – have I left a major false religion out? And I’m surprised you use Hinduism as an example of free prayer given it has a long has a long history of “chanting mantras.”
I think as Christians we should rejoice in the freedom of knowing God (John 17:3) and having the ability to converse with God in a personal way with “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings.” And if it’s dishonoring to speak “from the hip,” as you put it, then we condemn Christ - “Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death” – and Paul for teaching that “we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”?
May I say that although I use the BCP 1662 in modern English all the time, that I have no objection in principle to a less liturgical form of public worship, such as the Presbyterian one.
A few misreadings on your part continue ... :) Apologies for any caused by the brevity of my replies or any shortcomings.
The Puritans complained that it was the BCP that "broke men's wits" by not leaving enough time for a long sermon, not the Puritan "Long sermon with a short prelude".
The point about the Lord's Prayer is that the Lord said "Say, our Father...", which is a command. This is the Luke version I think, without checking. That makes it mandatory to say the prayer as is, while leaving room for it to also be a pattern.
The point about reading scripture is not primarily that it is better than a sermon, although it is because it is the pure word of God and a sermon may not be, but that scripture IS sermon. The point is made against those who think that a clergyman's sermon is better than the reading of the Bible. It answers the objection that the poor congregants listening to Morning Prayer are missing out on a sermon by pointing out that the many Bible readings set down in the tables are in fact sermons, and sermons of the purest kind.
BTW are you Afrikaans?
It seems to me that the Scriptures feature set prayers like the Psalms and the Lord's Prayer, and also feature many praying rather extemporaneously. And so I wonder; do we "need" to choose one or the other? Personally, having grown up Methodist and being a Baptist now, I've seen the strengths and weaknesses of both up close and personal. Maybe we should ask God about the matter!
Hi Roger. Several comments relative to yours.
"That many people think that set forms are not from the heart." No disagreement from Jody and I here. Many people do think this way and Jody and I think they are wrong. I can remember Garrison Keillor jesting that read prayers were unmanly. Many of the Puritans agree with us. One thing that is clear in the book by Davies is that there were some Puritans who mixed set forms with free prayer.
"That the Lord's Prayer shows that set forms of prayer are fine." Some Puritans disagreed and said that the Lord's Prayer gave the pattern for prayer, but did not intend it to be simply repeated.
I'm sure you'll understand if I don't comment when you speak of Puritans "breaking men's wits" and getting folk into a "catatonic state." We have long sermons over here in Zambia and I've not gone catatonic yet. Never saw anyone with their wits broken, either. I'm afraid you've got a straw man there.
"That hearing Scripture read is better than a sermon." If you think this, well, we really do disagree. I'm very grateful for regular Scripture reading. Clearnote Church does it and our Baptist church over here is just past halfway through Deuteronomy just now. A chapter a week, morning and evening. "Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching" (1 Timothy 4:13). There's a difference between reading and teaching.
"That Puritan objections to a prepared liturgy are entirely without substance." They never objected to a prepared liturgy, just to the Anglican one. They came up with their own prepared liturgies so how could they be against them? They disagreed with the enforcement of the BCP on everyone and they disagreed with certain parts of it.
Thanks also for correcting Jody and me for our misreading "country" instead of "county." I misread it also.
With gratitude for your thoughtful response, David
You've highlighted one of the ways the amorphous use of "discriminate" can be read against Google. It's especially interesting given recent events where those in authority are bullying Christians into providing services against their conscience...Google, as you've noted, is explicitly doing the very same thing. I'm not sure I'd want to use this against Google since it would be worked against those who refuse to provide services in good conscience.
Conversationally, I think you're right that Google's use of "discrimination" is not inherently violent, and if Google's interpretation can be made conversationally, a more compelling argument is that "basis" refers to standard, and discrimination isn't the standard we base our decisions on: they're made on the basis of Scripture.
I would still argue that following biblical standards is not illegally discriminatory, even using the language of existing regs. Every employer may determine what qualifications are necessary before hiring an applicant. They may have educational requirements, experience, certifications, industry-specific recognized practice competencies, and more...any combo of them. Many of these standards are neither regulated, nor considered an area where the law speaks. Similarly, 1 Timothy 3 is an example of what is provided as qualifying within the Church. The government/courts may disagree in their hearts...but when forced to argue the case, they'd have to enter a theological debate. That's a quagmire.
I may be wrong here, but would love to see an attorney's opinion. Thoughts?
Leadership is also female, too; the Elect Lady of 2 John is charged in verse 10 with keeping false doctrine out of her house, implying she had authority to do so. The verses...
[NOTE FROM TIM BAYLY: I've removed the rest of "Shibboleth's" final sentence because it misrepresents Scripture in support of a lie. We don't allow such attacks upon the integrity of God's Word here on Baylyblog.]
I wrote his office expressing similar sentiments. No reply was received. I have read in the paper that he is still pursuing this. And it is sad to see the Republican majority acting as Republican majorities do when then get in power - like Democrats. The motto seems to be "Intrusive government is good when we do it." Add mass transit to the education endless money bucket.
One of the current pet peeves I have is their desire to punish the drivers of the DUI scooter. Let's make it harder for those who may be trying to move ahead in a bad situation. Oh, I am sure there are many high-minded arguments supporting licensing of the DUI scooter. I see it as more nanny state intrusion into our lives.
Such a helpful and encouraging post, Mr. Bayly. Thank you for thinking about this issue and speaking on it. We talk about the eroding of parental rights a lot in our family and it's a little overwhelming to know what to do. This is helpful. And, yes, we would move to Indiana in a heartbeat if it began pursuing such wisdom.
Spot-on, brother. This may look good to Governor Pence on paper, but it is yet one more camel's nose into the tent of liberty and family.