Monday, June 15, 2009

To Robe or Not To Robe

To robe or not to robe, that is the question! While many people feel that the robe (for the clergy) is a sign of office, respect, and dignity, I feel that it is a poor theological statement to wear one! I'll tell you why in a moment, but first, rest assured that even though I don't feel that wearing a robe is in line with my theological beliefs, I do wear a robe at times. For special occasions (such as funerals, weddings, baptisms, and communion) I don the robe (howbeit reluctantly.)

So, why do I have a problem with the robe? I feel that Scripture clearly states that ALL Christians are in the priesthood. If we are all priests, then why should only the preacher be wearing a robe? Shouldn't we all be wearing one? Seriously, I feel very strongly about the message that wearing a robe portrays. Just because I have a fancy diploma does not make me special! I see too many people equate the robe with some kind of "special" power! I am not a super Christian, I have the same struggles that every other Christian has. We are in the same boat!

Anyway, I quit my rant against robes this way--if being "all things to all people" means that I must sometime go against my theological standards (against wearing a robe) so be it. I don't like it, and I probably never will, but I do want to be the Pastor that my congregation expects.

If you have a good theological reason for wearing a robe, I loved to hear it. Let it not be said I am not willing to listen!


Rosella said...

Yeah, about this. A robe makes you more anonymous..not Tim the guy that wears Tabasco ties or pink shirts, or had his ink pen run in his, he just becomes a talking head that has the respect of his congregation to speak about Christianity and proclaim the gospel without all the trappings of the modern day interfering. Not too theological, I know, but practical none the less. It doesn't make you smarter, but it commands respect and gives the allusion of knowledge. It would obviously be up to the wearer to make that illusion true or untrue. It's just what it is. M.D.'s wear white coats so we know what to expect of them. Preachers wear robes. It is not theological. Many things in life are not theological, they just are.
I don't think you will ever like wearing one and won't do it often, but I thank you for trying sometimes...I appreciate that. The rest of the time...come as you are.

Amy Florence said...

And it hides when your shirt starts to come untucked, or when your tie makes your collar wonky...but again, not theological.