Thursday, June 16, 2011

Would You Move a Special Needs Child to a Separate Room from Other Worshippers?

A friend shared a You-Tube video on Facebook. The video told the story of a woman's experience with her special needs child and a local church this past spring at the service to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.

The child, I'm guessing the age at about 10, has cerebral palsy on the more severe side. During the worship, the child became enthralled with the music and expressed his pleasure loudly. Ushers quickly appeared and escorted mother and son to an over flow room for the remainder of the morning's service.

The charms of our modern world surely reveal our tainted logic, eh?

I guess my initial reaction was strong and negative.

Wanting to understand why such a strong element of controlling the atmosphere in the worship experience is maintained, I visited the church website and found they have a twelve point "Code", separate from their belief statement. The Code outlines their position on many facets of church life and policy which are faced by groups of organized Christians across the US.

Here are several I copied for consideration:

We Are Ruth's Chris, Not Golden Corral
– Simplicity enables excellence. We place a disproportionate value on creating a worship experience that boldly celebrates Jesus and attracts people far from God.

We Are United Under the Visionary – "church name" is built on the vision God gave Pastor Steven. We will aggressively defend our unity and his vision.

We Are All About the Numbers – Tracking metrics measures effectiveness. We unapologetically set goals and measure progress through all available quantitative means.

We Are Known for What We Are For – We will speak vision and life over our people. We will lift up the salvation of Jesus rather than using our platform to condemn.

We Need Your Seat – We will not cater to personal preference in our mission to reach this city. We are more concerned with the people we are trying to reach than the people we are trying to keep.

We Act in Audacious Faith -- In order to dominate a city with the gospel of Jesus, we can’t think small. We will set impossible goals, take bold steps of faith and watch God move.

What do you think about the happening in the Wild Wood?


Jenny said...

Very shocking indeed! However, I have seen a similar thing before though. Some churches seem to prefer that other believers not be distracted by loud praise or singing, rather than appreciating the fact that everyone praises and sings to Jesus in their own way. It is, I think, a shame. Though loud praise and noises can be distracting, it brings a lot of joy to my heart personally when the handicapped praise- because it is always unique! I would give anything to hear my own autistic sister- who is not given to much smiling or laughter- to joyfully cause a riot with her loud praising!

Jimazing said...

I can't help but ask the simple, cliche-ish question, What would Jesus do? Hmmm.

ded said...

Hey Jim! Great to see you commenting here.

WITHSD? ... would be the most relevant and timely, eh?

What is the Holy Spirit doing?

ded said...

Thanks for commenting.

May you hear your sister in praise to Him soon!!

postmodern redneck said...

I think I heard of this incident a few days before it turned up here. At its root, this is a matter of misplaced priorities, and these sorts of things are going to happen whenever human beings try to design and run "the church" according to their ideas instead of letting the Holy Spirit design and run things His way and wait for Him to draw them into what He is doing.

Human beings think size and appearances are impressive. God sees the heart, and desires us to do so.