My dear friends, don't let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith.
If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him,
and you say to the man in the suit, "Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!" and either ignore the street person or say, "Better sit here in the back row,"
haven't you segregated God's children and proved that you are judges who can't be trusted?
Listen, dear friends. Isn't it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world's down-and-out as the kingdom's first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God.
And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn't it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind?
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)