Pastor Matt Chandler, of Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas says that being partial to rich people while ignoring the weak and the poor is the same sin as committing murder or adultery.
Based on the book of James, Chandler urged Christians in a sermon called "Judgment/Mercy" not to "cuddle" the rich and instead focus on helping those in need because it really "dishonours God" when His people care more about rubbing shoulders with the wealthy than extending kindness to the poor.
"We hear about partiality, we hear about favoritism, and the unregenerate heart says, 'I didn't kill nobody. I didn't commit adultery. I didn't break any major law.' And James' point is, so what if you didn't murder or commit adultery, if you are showing impartiality, you have broken the law," he said.
"You discriminate; you broke the law. If you are a racist, accidentally or not, you have broken the law. If you avoid the poor, you have broken the royal law of love. You have sinned against God," added the pastor.
Some Christians also believe that it is enough for them to go to church and profess their faith every Sunday, but Chandler says that there's more to living a godly life than that.
"It's a notion that Jesus doesn't demand, he just suggests. It's justification, my faith alone, grace alone and he just suggests stuff. You can not outpreach or over preach 'my faith alone and grace alone,' however King Jesus makes demands. This is a summary of those demands," Chandler said. "Those demands being, to love your neighbour, specifically those who are most poor and vulnerable as yourselves, and to love the Lord your God with your heart, mind and soul over and above by which you love the world."
Chandler even gave an ultimatum to his congregation, saying that if they don't believe in the things he just said, and have no interest in applying these lessons to their own lives, then they have deceived themselves.
"You are here today by the grace of God for me to lovingly tell you to define yourself correctly," Chandler said. "You can say, 'I got no interest in this.' Fine, but quit calling yourself a Christian because you believe in some historic figure. That is not what we are doing here. We are worshipping a Lord and Saviour, not testifying to Theodore Roosevelt or someone like that."