My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine chothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or Sit on the floor by my feet, " have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen my dear brothers: Has not God chosen thowe who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"Later it says,
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself" you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."A friend and leader in disability ministry who has a son with severe disabilities told me a story the other day. A couple of weeks back, he dropped of his son who does not have a disability at the Sunday school of a church he was considering attending. He asked one of the helpers about whether there was a program for his other son who had severe disabilities. At that moment, the pastor walked by. The Sunday school worker stopped him and asked about whether there was a spot for the son with severe disabilities in the children's program. He responded, "We are not equipped to serve children with autism."
Have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
I wish this were less common than it is. I think that just as faith without works is dead (the next chapter of this section of scripture) I would argue that love with exclusion is dead. This child with severe disabilities is being excluded through no fault of his own. He has done nothing that should cause him to be excluded. But because of who he is, arguably because of the way that God has created him, he is deemed by the church to be excludable. This is disobedience. And as the second quote states, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." Is it not obvious that this church is therefore, this PASTOR is therefore guilty of breaking the law. Yet this behavior is still considered acceptable.
It never ceases to amaze me that people will say things that are so evident of disobedience. I might think disobedient thoughts, but to share them with a parent who has experienced the challenges of raising a child with disability such a dismissive statement based clearly on favoritism is somewhat breath taking.