I have adopted a practice, recently, that is quite odd to many modern Protestants. So, I would like to take a minute and explain my self.
I have begun to wear a clerical collar, hence the title of this blog. Isn’t wearing a collar a priest thing? Are you going Roman Catholic? No, and no. Well, yes. Priests wear collars, but the collar actually began as a Presbyterian movement, which you can read about here for a short history on the topic. Aside from the history of the clerical collar, I do have other reasons. None of which involve me swimming a river.
One of those reasons is that I am a minister of Word and Sacrament, not just on the Lord’s Day, but also Monday through Saturday. The church has not called me to this vocation just for leading in worship for an hour and a half every week, rather I have been called by the church to be a minister throughout the week.
As a minister in a city, one of my objectives is to minister to the city, which means that the city ought to know that I am minister. Makes sense, right? A police officer is called to protect and serve the city, and when they wear their uniform you know that you can go to that man for protection and service. The police officer has been called to that sort of service under the reign of Jesus Christ. In like manner, I have been called to this service under the reign of the Lord. The collar denotes a man of service.
One other reason for the collar is that I think in this particular time of church history in America, the collar is necessary. Our current culture is deeply secular, trying its hardest to cast off the image of God and the rule of Christ, and it has taken a nose dive in a pile of subjective feelings that it won’t be able to climb out of unless someone throws the repentance ladder down its slippery slopes. The collar is a symbol of objective truth. The reality, despite what people may think, is that God exists and His church is present and Christ rules over all. When the collar is seen, people may think that it is odd, but at least they are thinking.
Finally, it is a reminder to myself. I am servant, yoked by the laying on of hands by the elders who ordained me. I am a servant with vows to uphold to the Master who redeemed me. I am a servant with a flock to lead and guide as I stand in the forefront of the battle. The collar is a reminder, to me, and hopefully to you, of the gospel. We are not our own, but we have been purchased from one owner to Another (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
You can also check this video out for a bit more discussion.