The Spat in the Hat

Sometimes, as the senior pastor of this amazing congregation, I’m forced into debates I don’t like. At all. This is one of them. However, if I don’t address this, I will be forsaking what God has called me to do: to lead this body of believers into understanding and applying God’s Word as it relates to us here and now. So I will wade in, kicking and screaming …

This Sunday my text will be Esther 2:19-23. As we continue to explore the depths of this great story, my intention is to focus on the wisdom of Mordecai as he learned to always THINK AHEAD – both for his sake, and for Esther’s sake. And ultimately for the sake of the people of God.

As the Holy Spirit has been dealing with me this week, He has forced my hand to make an application of this text as it relates to a debate which has arisen among some of our church members regarding the propriety (or not) of men wearing hats in a worship service. What are we to do?

You may be thinking, in regard to your particular position on this issue: “Most people at FBC Paducah see this the way I do.” If that’s what you’re thinking, may I say something to you in love? You’re making a factually incorrect assumption. We have about as many opinions on this as we have people, all the way from “that’s the most disrespectful thing I can imagine” to “who cares, as long as they’re wearing pants.”

You may also be thinking that this is only a generational issue. That’s true in part, but not entirely. These emotionally-charged issues are deeper than older vs. younger. But I would say this: if we don’t learn how to work through controversies like this as a family of faith, then we will quickly lose one of our greatest assets, and that is the fact that we are a multigenerational church called to serve Christ together in love.

So, on Sunday, we will drink deeply not only from the Old Testament Book of Esther, but from the New Testament Book of First Corinthians. We need you to be part of the journey. You matter.

Maybe you’re not worked up about hats, one way or the other. Fine. But you will be able to apply this teaching (“Lord willing,” said the pastor, humbly) to other areas of church life and ministry about which sincere sisters and brothers in Christ find themselves in disagreement.

Please be in prayer for an outpouring of God’s Spirit “for such a time as this!”

If you were thinking of skipping or sleeping in, don’t.


Pastor Charles

Posted in Blog Posts
5 comments on “The Spat in the Hat
  1. Cindy Childs says:

    Hat or no hat, it brings me joy to be lead in worship week after week by such a talented group of musicians. In a world where so many people (young and old) have just decided not to attend church at all, it’s refreshing to know that they want to use their God given gifts to bring glory to God and keep the church alive. Their excitement is contagious!

    • Brian Brown says:

      Well said. I was always taught growing up that one does not wear a hat anywhere indoor, much less in a church. But the church is the people, not the building. I’m just glad that we are there to worship together, and I’m certain that clothing is not the primary concern of our Creator. Let’s put first things first. Him. His glory. His grace. None of us are worthy, and for much more important reasons than what we wear when we worship Him.

  2. Pastor Charles:
    I too have some views on hats-First, I haven’t worn a hat im perhaps 50 years, though I still cling to two once-fine felt hats (Stetsons, from now departed men’s stores downtown) that I purchased long ago. It seemed that men’s hat wearing went out of vogue about the time I finally could buy a couple. I have worn “baseball” billed caps at times through the years outdoors, and various doctors used to advise me to get a sombrero type hat in the past years when I did follow an active outdoor life. I never got any wide shady hats, and now have to regularly get minor skin cancers on my facial and ear areas cut,burned,or frozen off. My loss in my dermatologist’s gain!

    Frankly, I have not been aware that anyone is wearing a hat in church. But I do have a view that men should remove hats, caps, elastic headbands and such as a mark of respect. And at graveside services for the deceased to hold ones head covering. In my earlier years in FBC it was deemed very correct for ladies to wear hats (and sometimes gloves) to church, but I thought that practice had passed away too. I suppose I am not very observant.

    I think that Professor McElroy and I were the only men in the congregation to wear a tie . And now he is gone- Incidentally, I was very fond of Wayne, and always addressed him as Professor, never as “Wayne”-he used to protest, but I always assured him that as a dumb old mountain boy I was taught to respect the learned professions.

    I certainly do not profess to know the Lord’s preference, but I suspect that He looks more at out hearts than our heads.

  3. Sarah says:

    Just thrilled to be there.

  4. Tim Carner says:

    I was raised to remove your hat or cap at the dinner table, during a prayer, the national anthem and before entering the church building. It was and is in my opinion a matter of respect. Not only head wear but clothing in general should be reverent to God who we worship. If casual clothes is the best you have fine but if it’s not I feel we should present ourselves in the best we have. Many sportscasters on Sunday dress better than some church members. Search your own hearts and follow the way God leads is my advice.

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