I have heard this nonsense many times before. As I have stated elsewhere in the past in the blog, I have students in one of the classes I teach interview their pastor about ministry to persons with disabilities. I have the students ask...
Is ministry to persons with disabilities a priority at our church?
If it is a priority, what is the evidence that people with disabilities are a priority?
If it is not a priority, why isn't it a priority?
But this pastor sees no need to invite people with disabilities to church.
Luke 14 is a passage that is often cited as important in supporting ministry to persons with disabilities. But the part of Luke 14 which has always impacted me is verse 23. The NIV says, "Then the master told his servant, "Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full."
How do you compel someone to do something? Actually, the first question is probably why would you have to compel people who have been devalued to come to a wedding banquet? Perhaps because you have participated in their devaluation. You see the starting point in disability ministry is to ask those who you have devalued for forgiveness. To compel you to come, I begin by saying, "Please forgive me for how I have treated you in the past. I have not acted as Jesus would call me to act toward you. Please forgive me. If you are able to do that, would you please give me the opportunity to serve you...." and we go on from there. Also note that the passage says, "Go out... and compel." This is not a wait for them to show up. This is a go out and convince them to come in. You have to do something! Not sit and wait.