"I know of an IFbaptist church who says a person should never come to churches and not be dressed up. Although the thought is nice where does the reasoning come in? I usually think of the pharisee and the poor man in the back."......Deadn
That's exactly right, DEADn. I always try to make it a point to DRESS DOWN for church, so that the poor feel better, and not embarrassed or Ostracized. Poor sisters especially feel inferior when in rags, compared to some of the well heeled stylists in today's Churches.
Then we come to the Priest-Class/Ministry class suit and tie. You can always tell who the Preacher is, Eh? By the uniform...It sets him apart...and then it is often followed by the wanna-be ministry class, who dress likewise.
There is so much Pride in it, and it is so far away from promoting true Christian Body life. Imagine yourself as a homeless married couple, down on your fortune...and dirt poor. Your walking with God, and enter a building where Christian Worship is going on, and everyone is dressed in finery: Dresses, suits and ties; squeaky-clean and rich.
You stick out like a sore thumb, and you are treated that way. Jesus commanded us to go to the hedges, and highways, and COMPEL them....WHO_SO_EVER!! let him come, and drink of the waters. Any deviation of rejecting the desperate poor, because of their poverty, is the same as rejecting Jesus Himself. It is these that ought to made to feel comfortable, and equally loved as my children.
It is these that we ought to go out of our way to honor, with all of our heart, if they belong to Jesus...and if they do, they belong to me; they are mine. How would you like your travelling, poor daughter to be received, and honored, when you are dead and gone. If we refuse...and keep our lives....well..
You then have become a respecter of persons, and an enemy of God....And it is very important to receive these, lepers that they may be, as Jesus did, and does. He rejoices in restoration and the healing of the soul, and this is the nature and the true call of the New Testament Church.
"My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
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:
Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
But ye have despised the poor!".............
In Gospel missions to India, I love to go to the slums and streets, and preach there, and to the poorest church families I can find. It is such a joy, and they are so tenderly meek...and grateful that you love them, and they are often ripe for Salvation.
I have been with Evangelists who loved to display their prosperity; gold watches, and white silk suits, etc. To me, it was profane. I choose Khakis, and simple native wear...not to embarrass them...as one of them..even their brother...which I am.
I want to be on their level in every way, and even descend under them, to the lowest seat, where I may minister to them; wash their feet. I want to live with them, if possible. This opens more doors, than I can imagine.
Jesus never once refused anyone because of their social status; the Gadarene Devil possessed Maniac, to the Prostitute, to the leper.
I have fellow-shipped the leper...by grace. Thus was I. We must treat others, as Jesus treated us...all the way. Grace and mercy...