Disability Faith and Acceptance – W Graham Monteith

Disability Faith and Acceptance by W Graham Monteith – a book summary

I’ve read a few books about living with a disability, and some of my blogs will share a summary of each book. If you like the summary, please buy the book and read it. This book summary is for Disability Faith and Acceptance by W Graham Monteith.

Disability Faith and Acceptance by W Graham Monteith – Kindle edition on Amazon.com.au

Disability Faith and Acceptance by W Graham Monteith – Book on Booktopia.com.au



  • Most disabilities can be overcome, but at quite a cost financially.
  • Job
    • A poem about a man who has to come to terms with a disability, his own righteousness and the supposed neglect of God.
    • Job finds it very difficult to accept that he has been disabled by God and now he questions God’s justice and the value of life itself.
    • In the Book of Job, chapter 2, we learn how he suffers physical pain in attempting to cure the sores which had appeared all over his body. We find repeated evidence that he was suicidal.
    • Job is struck by the loss of confidence that he has in his friends, his prosperity, and his closeness to those whom he had previously trusted


  • More and more people drift from institutional religion as they see the suffering of the world unfold before them on the television screen.
  • Disabled people cannot dare to have faith without asking these ultimate questions and finding solutions that reinforce their faith.
  • The Bible offers much evidence that the people of God could not come to terms with disability.
  • Leviticus 21:17-23 None but the perfect could act as priests.
  • It seems quite clear that the language of the Old Testament speaks in such a way that the disabled are excluded from the cult and from many roles in society.
  • We live in a society that is just as impatient with the imperfect as in biblical times.
  • How far are Christians willing to go to look behind a person’s stigma, blemish or disability?


  • John 9:1-9 It is not acceptable to the modern mind that sin causes illness, nor is it healthy to think of the sins of parents visited upon their children. The way Jesus handles this question can be a great source of comfort to parents who are confused and bewildered by the birth of a malformed child. Jesus states quite categorically that sin does not come into the reckoning. In this passage, it is suggested that God has caused the blindness for his own purpose. This is an incorrect interpretation. The passage concludes that God’s glory can be shown in this situation, but this is not a reference to a pre-ordained disability nor to suffering which he put before Jesus as material for a miracle, but to God’s control of the situation as revealed in his Son’s compassion and ability to pronounce forgiveness of sins.


  • Luke 4:16-19 Within the miracles of Jesus, we find fairly consistent reference to impairment.


  • Abortion. Psalm 139:13-16. You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb. when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there – you saw me before I was born.


  • In the book of Job, we find negative references to the prenatal state
  • Job 3:11 I wish I had died in my mother’s womb or died the moment I was born.
  • Job 10:18-19 Why, God, did you let me be born? I should have died before anyone saw me. To go from the womb straight to the grave would have been good as never existing.


  • The church tends rather to attempt to find authority in certain areas of life where it claims to have an exclusive comment to make. Pro-life organisations in this country and the ‘moral majority’ in the USA are setting up a strong and well-orchestrated campaign against permissive legislation governing abortion.
  • The general consensus is that if a disabled person admits eugenic abortion is justifiable, he is therefore undermining the value of his own life.
  • Since I consider that a disabled person is only complete when accepted and loved by others, so I adhere to the position that the embryo can only be accorded the status of life when it becomes viable.


  • Christ had great sympathy for the disabled.
  • Romans 8:28 We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose
  • Society must move towards a radical acceptance of the recognition of disabled people’s rights which allow them to take an equal place in society.
  • The public responds in different ways to different events. The disabling of a policeman, or a soldier in a war, for instance, attracts a great deal of money from public donations. So does the individual “miracle cure” which is only available in another country.
  • The brand of evangelism found in Joni is significantly American.


  • On the cross, God himself became the victim. In this helplessness, bearing in his sorrow the lifeless limbs of his Son, he became a paraplegic. God enters into the suffering of the disabled and through his Son redeems them so that they may beat the worst horrors of disability


  • Matthew 10:38. Whoever does not take up his cross and follow in my steps is not fit to be my disciple”. Sermons often proclaim that each man and woman has his or her own cross to bear. The cross was not something that Christ took up because he had no option. Christ could have walked away from Jerusalem, or he could have defied his Father.


  • The mishaps of life are random and blind in their injustice to all. They are not examples of God’s way of allowing us to participate in the suffering of Christ. The Church must endeavour to dissociate itself from this way of looking at suffering.
  • Mark 2:2-12 The full weight of Levitical law had come to rest upon Jesus. He had lifted the burden from the disabled to carry it himself. Jesus continually released people to become free to worship God and be integrated into society; but each time he did so, he reinforced his own isolation and unacceptability.
  • Any homiletic that presents God as one who is a panacea for all ills is bound to fail.l Any interpretation of the Bible which is literalistic is often an insult to the intelligence of disabled people, and when we portray Jesus as a good example of how we should bear our suffering. we in fact drag him from the cross and reconstitute him as an unthinking martyr.


  • Luke 19:16-24 The disappointed host who could not find guests at his banquet sent his servants out to the highways and the byways for the poor and the lame, and according to Christ’s parable, they came back with so many that the banquetting hall was filled. The church in this country at least does not appear to have the ability to extend Christ’s invitation. There may well be two reasons for this: the disabled may not wish to accept the invitation, and it is more likely they cannot.


  • Isolation: disabled people are very isolated and find their main source of entertainment comes from either self-made activities, the television, or close family. Isolation is basically caused because of the barriers of ignorance.
  • Communication: there are insufficient communication between disabled people and those who control institutions in society, including the Church
  • Access: If congregations are going to be welcoming fellowships it is necessary that the buildings are also welcoming. Congregations ought to counter this tendency by having a disabled person on the planning committee.
  • Benefits: These should be redistributed more to help the poor in our midst.
  • Religion: Religious activists should be all-inclusive
  • Communication: Their isolation may be broken by the willingness of congregations to listen, to share and possibly to receive the satisfaction of a positive and mature feedback


  • Looking at someone’s disability can lead a person to misjudge that character of that person.
  • Tied in with the whole attitude of pity is a perception of weakness. Weakness is likely to be one of the last of their characteristics.


  • It would be the mark of a caring Church to solemnly declare that they must embark on a project to welcome disabled people with faith and acceptance into fellowship with Jesus Christ.


Please read the book ‘Disability Faith and Acceptance’ by W Graham Monteith. Click here for information about the blog WheelchairJohn. More information about me is found at johnduthie.com

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