Do you remember when it was quite common for some brethren to be seen taking "one last drag" on a cigarette before entering the building for Bible classes? And then, between Bible classes and the hour of worship, many of these same ones would congregate right outside the entrance door for "another smoke?" But as time passed, through some straightforward teaching (and with the help of the tobacco/cancer connection given wide public hearing), most brethren learned better and we don't see that sort of thing being done like we once did. Most folks do better when they are taught better! And the majority of brethren have finally learned that smoking is indeed an unhealthy, obnoxious habit that is wrong, inappropriate, and improper for a Christian at any time, and is especially repugnant when engaged in around the church building where/when God's people assemble to worship Him. It just isn't fitting.
But replacing one bad habit with another is to do no better...... The "trend" in our society presently is toward "casual dress" and "act as you please" conduct. Unthinkingly, I believe brethren have allowed "the times" in which we live to impact us to a greater extent than we realize, and this has gradually eroded the sense of propriety that once seemed to prevail when Christians gathered for worship. In recent times, more and more church members, brotherhood wide, are developing a "casualness" in attire, even when gathering for the worship of Almighty God, that is cause for concern. And this "casual approach" spills over into the area of deportment. Thus, it is not unusual to hear laughing and incessant chatter right up to the very moment of beginning the worship hour. If you doubt what I'm saying, "tune in" to the noise level just before worship in most every congregation.
In Leviticus 16, concerning the entrance of the high priest, Aaron, into the holy place, specific instructions were given by God through Moses as to how he was to dress (verse 4) and what he was to do! Though admittedly that context does not apply to us today directly, yet it does inform us of God's interest in such matters. (And remember the principle of Romans 15:4). “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence of all them that are about Him,” Psa. 89:7. "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,” (Psalm 29:2, NKJV). Remember, "the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him" (John 4:23 NKJV).
Additional insight into the principle of "proper decorum" is seen in the Lord's parable concerning the marriage feast a king had for his son, in Matthew 22:1-13. Without delving into the meaning of all the teaching of the context, I want us to take note of the one thing that pertains to this article: Jesus told of a man who came to the feast without wedding clothes on. When the king came in, he saw the man, and inquired of him, "Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes" (verse 12, NASV)? The man was speechless because there was no valid explanation to be offered. Acceptable conduct in those times required proper attire for such occasions. Thus, the man was immediately and harshly expelled from the feast (verse 13).
In like manner today, even "common sense" tells us that we should "dress and act" to fit the occasion. One does NOT gather for the purpose of worshipping Almighty God in the same kind of clothes he'd go fishing or golfing in! And one does NOT "holler and cheer" in the assembly of worship as he would at a ball game! The word, "decorum" means: "a standard or code of what is proper, fitting, and established; conduct appropriate to established principles or circumstances; propriety; quality or state of being in accordance with a standard of what is fitting; proper behavior." The principle of acceptable decorum in the assembly of the saints would include appropriate dress and appropriate deportment. If not, why not? Think about it