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Greg Locke Says Autistic Children Are Demonized: ‘Ain’t No Such Diagnosis in the Bible’

“With that being the case, why is #disability ministry rare in our churches,” Nash asked. “How many churches have disabled persons in prominent places of leadership, such as those who are #deaf or #autistic? It’s certainly not because they do not possess the talent or ability to lead. How many churches have accessible seating, entryways and bathrooms? If church is for everyone, shouldn’t it be accessible for everyone, regardless of ability? How many churches welcome those with disabilities that cannot sit still for a traditional service or remain quiet?”

Nash shared that not only disabled people are affected, but their caregivers and family members are as well, saying, “Too many times, disabled persons are treated as a nuisance and distraction instead of a child of God that is worthy to be there, just like everyone else. Meanwhile, the disabled, their parents and #caregivers are left spiritually homeless, because few #churches are willing to make accommodations so that the ENTIRE family can worship together. They are shunned in society and also in the house of God.”

“I have talked to #church leaders over the years and some have no desire whatsoever to reach out to the disabled and their families,” Nash shared. “‘We are not equipped for that here,’ they say. They won’t even share information from the pulpit about #autism for Autism Awareness Month.”

“The truth is that in many #churches, there is a quiet acceptance of the idea that those with disabilities do not belong and that their condition is caused by sin or demons to be prayed away,” Nash said, referring to Locke’s sermon. “This stigma and ignorance has to stop! While Greg Locke’s comments are abhorrent, they are in lock step with the inaction of the #church body AS A WHOLE to reach out to and support #disabled persons and their families.”

Nash concluded her Twitter thread by challenging others to make their churches more inclusive for those who are disabled, saying, “While we are speaking out on Greg Locke, let’s look within and find ways in which we can make our own churches more inclusive for #disabled persons and their families. We have to do better. Let’s start today.”