Why I don’t wear a dog collar (part 3)

We had a friend round one evening last week and I asked her what the local community thought of the church. She said:

it seems much friendlier since you arrived because you are like one of us. You don’t wear a dog collar.

I am sold out on cultural immersion as the only way to make the love of Christ in his death for sinners like me relevant to others. We are to become all things to all people for the sake of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:22), making spiritual friends and sharing the gospel by example and natural conversation (1 Thess 2:8). I can’t do that when I’ve a piece of ridiculous looking white plastic tucked into my collar.

You can read other reasons why I don’t wear a dog collar at part 1 and part 2.

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
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6 Responses to Why I don’t wear a dog collar (part 3)

  1. I didn’t know those things were called dog collars, but I think all the reasons you’ve given in this series so far are good. I think you could even elaborate a little more on the passing comment you made in the first post about the “unhelpful distinction between clergy and other church members.”

  2. neilrobbie says:

    Hi Barry, thanks for the suggestion. I’ll give it some thought.

  3. Simon Young says:

    Hi Neil
    As a Christian who is part of a non-Anglican Protestant Church I have no problems with removing dog collars. The are not in the Bible and are therefore optional. In fact at work I generally do not wear a tie any more (I’m a Chartered Accountant) and no client has ever commented on it!

  4. peterB says:

    As an IT manager, I know it’s absolutely essential to avoid advertising your job to people before you’ve even had a chance to say hello. They just ask me questions about changing the default print settings in Word (or something).

  5. neilrobbie says:

    Hi Simon, good to hear from you. There is a definite shift away from formality in our culture. Some would argue, as I do, become all things to all people. Another reason for the death of the dog collar.

  6. neilrobbie says:

    Hi Peter, I know some clergy who wear the dog collar precisely for that reason, some people will ask for pastoral help who otherwise might walk past you in the street.

    I believe that, in many parishes, the people in the parish know who the vicar is and where to find him, without the need for him to wear a dog collar.

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