Do you ever wonder about... stuff? Inconsequential, unimportant, details of life, things that don't really matter, but are you curious about why this habit or how that mannerism came into being? Sometimes I notice things and ponder them for a while.
Recently, I spent time with a friend who is blind. We were chatting, and somehow I started commenting about men's jewelry. A Lutheran pastor whom we both know happens to wear four rings on his fingers. Four! I said that I can't think of any Baptist pastors who wear anything beyond a wedding band. Come to think of it, the male clergy with whom I've been acquainted seem to fall into two groups. The "liturgical" ones are likely to wear jewelry and show a little more style in haircut and clothing than the "fundamentalist" pastors.
Am I getting myself into hot water yet? I don't mean to insinuate anything negative or positive; I'm just writing about what I think I've noticed. These comments are subjective and are based on my personal observations in a limited geographic region.
The liturgical pastors may take a liberal or a conservative view of Scripture and theology. Either way, they are still more stylish than their fundamentalist counterparts. Around the Pacific Northwest, the fundamentalists are currently leaning toward more casual attire. Blue jeans and open collars are proudly worn at Sunday services, without hiding behind a pulpit. (Pulpits and other churchy furniture are passe, as well.) Liturgical pastors might wear an extra ring or two, as well as a gold chain on the wrist or neck.
Fundamentalists, in my limited experience, do not own man-chains.
So, what do you think? Have you ever noticed pastors wearing or not wearing bling? Oh -- that brings up another point. The men I've been referring to would generally be white Americans. I'm not trying to be exclusionary, just trying to simplify my little study. How come it's okay for some clergymen to wear jewelry and have interesting hair styles, but not okay for others? What else defines these micro-sub-cultures? Any ideas?