This discrimination ...
My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn't this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives? -James 2:1-4 NLT
I so wish that these verses were no longer applicable to the church universal. Looking back it is so hard to grasp how masses of people have been discriminated against by church people. In our own country people with dark skins were once forbidden to worship with lighter skinned religious people. It is as if church leaders had never read verses like these. And even today, there still seems to be a divide along racial lines in Sunday morning services.
Beyond race and ethnicity James speaks to his readers, and us, about the power of money in the church. I wish that his rebuke was no longer relevant today. I so long for a day when we really believe that wealth is not important to sustain the church. Unfortunately inflated salaries and ornate edifices require religious leaders to cater to wealthy people. The bottom line, for James and for us, is that we must not be guided by evil motives of discrimination.
Examine our hearts Lord Jesus. Shine your light on our motives. Help us to accept all people in our churches.