I was appalled and heartbroken upon reading this story about a boy with cerebral palsy who was escorted out of an Easter worship service for "being a distraction." After the opening prayer, the boy said his "own kind of 'Amen.'" The ushers promptly bustled the boy and his mother out of the sanctuary and stuck them in an overflow room for the rest of the service.
Yes. Don't you know that verse in, um, Proverbs: "Let nothing distract you from having your perfect, little worship experience." Hmm. I don't know that one, either.
Oh, well. Usher? Please take these "distractions" to a separate room where they won't bother anyone!
I think what's most telling about this situation is how the church has responded. Instead of offering a personal, sincere apology to the mother and her son--the church has released "Official Statements." Ugh. Here are the church statements in italics, with my comments in parentheses:
It is our goal at Elevation to offer a distraction-free environment for all our guests (and we won't compromise this Christ-centered goal by allowing children to come to Jesus).
We look forward to resolving any misunderstanding that has occurred (which is why we're offering this "Statement" instead of a sincere apology).
Everything we do is about ministry (as long as "ministry" doesn't deter us from our highest goal of offering a "distraction-free" environment!).
We focus specifically on our worship and children's ministries (since focusing inclusively on ALL of God's children would just be too much like Jesus).
This young man and his family were not removed from our church, (they were just removed from the main sanctuary so they wouldn't bother any of our easily distracted church folk).
They were escorted to a nearby section of our church where they watched the service in its entirety (and best of all, they were hidden from view, so nobody knew they were there at all! Praise God for the Distraction-Free Church Zone!).
"Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." --Matthew 25:40