“For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool.” (James 2:2-3)
Does your church have a dress code? Is it written down somewhere or is it simply “understood” by all who attend, that when you are present there you should be attired in your “best” clothing? Does that same dress code apply to the midweek Bible study, or any other functions the church may hold during the week, or is Sunday morning the only “special” times for the best you have hanging in your closet?
What about hairstyles, makeup, are you allowed in the building if you haven’t taken a bath for a week? What if someone arrives on Sunday morning drunk or high, are they politely asked to leave? Tell me, can you discern who is seeking the face of God by their appearance?
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
I fear that many who sit in the pews every Sunday morning fulfill only the first part of that verse, and it is why Jesus said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matt. 15:8)
Do you suppose before the Lord walked into a temple each Sabbath, He borrowed some fine linen after He found someplace to take a bath and get cleaned up? “There are missions for people like that.” Ask this question not only of those who sit in those pews with you every Sunday morning, but of yourself also, how often do you speak of the Lord Jesus Christ to others during the week, or is He just like those clothes you have, saved for Sunday morning?
“You should always dress appropriately in the church, it is after all God’s house.” Are you sure about that, are you sure the Lord has even entered through those doors you see as hallowed, and if He has, what has He found? Hypocrites who say they serve Him, but the only proof of that is what happens behind those doors? “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” (Mark 16:15) does not mean drive down the street with your church clothes on to sit and listen to the sermon, it does not mean to look down upon those whose hair is too long, or do not have on the attire that you should think they should be wearing in what you consider that “holy place.”
The model of morality, if you will, in many of these so-called churches has been set by the world, and those who sit in the pews believe themselves to be set apart from that same world they themselves have invited in.
The “appropriate attire” is what proves they serve the Lord, not a contrite and broken heart, and the one who may indeed be searching diligently for the face of the Lord that doesn’t look “right,” who isn’t wearing proper clothing or perhaps hasn’t taken a bath for a week is politely shuffled back out the doors by certain individuals while those who sit in the pews inwardly smirk at this apparition that apparently does not understand that this is a house of God.
Community clubhouses, meeting places for those who have understood those unwritten rules. “They were probably just looking for a handout, or some money, those people need to just keep moving on, we serve God here.”
How much longer do you suppose it will be before these false houses of worship start locking their doors after all the penitents are safely inside, to keep the riffraff out during their “holy time?” Don’t laugh, it will happen, they locked them to keep people out just a few years ago, didn’t they?
Torn jeans, no shoes, a ripped-up shirt that smells, hair that hasn’t seen a comb in weeks. There are places for people like that, right. “Let them get cleaned up and put on the proper clothing, then they will be welcomed here.”
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” (Matt. 23:27)