Men Wearing Shorts

Now the Lord is that Spirit:
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2 Corinthians 3:17

Some Christians believe that since women should not wear pants so likewise men should not wear shorts. Some even sincerely believe that the Bible has such a sanction. Of course some Christians would find such beliefs laughable but we must not discount human ingenuity in devising man-made rules and regulations hoping that by adhering to such requirements would distinguish them from other Christians. This explains why monasteries and nunneries have quite a following of people disillusioned by the hypocrisies of fellow followers. The Scripture has something to say about this in Colossians 2:23, “Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”

There is no end to adding man-made rules and regulations for believers to follow. If you were unfortunate enough to have joined a cult, such man-made regulations would be strictly enforced upon you. This is not to say that a Christian should live his life carelessly without giving regards to his testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ as a shinning light in this sinful world. Whatever standards a Christian chooses to practice for himself, they must be derived from convictions based on the Scriptures. He must however, not expect other Christians to adopt the exact same standards he believes to be true and good for himself. Otherwise, he would be no better than the brother of the prodigal son who kept his fathers commandments for the wrong motives. Given a chance, he would rather join his prodigal brother in lasciviousness.

So if a Christian genuinely believes that man should not wear shorts, then he should not wear shorts. But he must never look with scorn upon another brother who does not hold to such a position when there is no direct commandment from God on this matter concerning a man’s attire. It is very common for many men living in the tropical region to wear shorts because of the weather and the humidity. British soldiers in the Far East used to wear short trousers as part their uniform. Boys go to schools in shorts and even men in the armed forces wear shorts during physical training exercises. It would be ludicrous for a Christian man to refuse to take part in certain activities just because he believes that he should not wear shorts due to his religious convictions.

I used to know of a young man who was very zealous for the Lord. During his school days, he was influenced by the pastor that men should not wear shorts. But while in school during physical education, all male students are required to wear shorts. So this young man approached the pastor to write a letter to the school to excuse him from wearing shorts. Of course his case was thrown out as there was no justifiable ground to support his case. Today, as far as I know, this young man is no longer in church. The last time I saw him was when he was with some street friends from the same camp in the armed forces.

It is very dangerous to indoctrinate impressionable young people when there is no scriptural basis to conduct oneself in a certain way. They become easily stumbled when they have to confront the real world in order to make a living in this untoward generation. There is no way he can reconcile the great gulf between the world’s standards and the man-made rules and regulation erected by church leadership whose expectation is totally unrealistic. God knows, how many Christians have become disillusioned by ridiculous man-made rules and regulations that do not make sense at all.

On the other hand, if a Christian wears shorts to worship in the house of God, this would certainly bring upon himself questionable motives with regards to his attitudes towards God. It is not surprising that fellow Christians would look upon such attire as a mark of lack of reverence and view this as disrespect for God. Certainly, such a person would never wear shorts to a wedding banquet or to a business meeting and why should he think that God expects anything less. The same applies to those who come to church sloppily dressed in jeans with T-shirts tucked out wearing only slippers or sandals. Unless that is the best clothes he can put on, he should never take worshipping God with a “could not careless attitude” and expect others to excuse his poor demeanor in the house of God.

I once invited an ex-convict who was just released from prison to go to church. He didn’t want to go to church because he did not have the proper clothing that he felt would be acceptable to visit a church. The author of Hebrews have this warning for believers, “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28 & 29). Liberty is never a license for treating God with disrespect.