12 August 2007

Why are we exclusive? Synchroblog

Shutting out all others from a part or share.
Inclusive: Enclosing; embracing.

To which one is Christianity?

I believe this question is more complicated than we initially make it out to be. Western Civilization likes simple answers - black and white - right and wrong - yes and no - this or the other...

But Jesus was clearly not one or the other. Those that were excluded from society were included into his life; a tax collector, a zealot, a prostitute. Yet Jesus also included the power brokers of a religious people if they were willing to follow him at greater peril - Nicodemus, Paul, even the Roman Centurion risked much in going to foreign religious leader and expressing more faith than all of Israel (as stated by Jesus).

And there were those that Jesus excluded; those he called 'A brood of vipers' and 'whitewashed tombs'. He excluded (it seems) the rich man who was too greedy to give up His wealth to follow.

And yet, as we look closely at these passages, we see that it's not Jesus being exclusive toward others, it's others rather, being exclusive toward Jesus. Jesus desires to include us - all of us.

So in short; Jesus is inclusive.

So the question is, why are we exclusive?

Why do we decide who can come follow Jesus and who can't? How are we to decide what behaviors need to change first, and which to let slide?

I had a friend once say that if the church isn't filled with drug addicts and prostitutes we are doing something wrong. It's a bit of a hyperbole, but the searing reality of this statement should smack us into offense or action.

98% of churches have 98% of their congregations from other other churches. The Kingdom isn't being advanced, just inbred. Where's the inclusive in that?

I'm thankful for the new Missional movement that takes our precious time and energy outside the walls of a building, and puts it into the community, the bars, the clubs, the tattoo parlors, the knitting clubs, the alleys, and the homeless shelters - not as para-church sub Christian ministries, but as the main life blood of an inclusive, loving, radical, crazy, people who love the dangerous man-God Jesus.

Other Synchobloggers:

Adam Gonnerman couldn’t resist adding his thoughts

Sam Norton is also “in”

Mike Bursell asks the question, "Inclusive or exclusive: you mean
there's a choice?"

Steve Hayes is blogging his
thoughts "Christianity inclusive or exclusive?

It's a family affair comes Jenelle Dellasandro

John Smulo will be adding his

Erin Word share some thoughts on
Politics of love

Adam Gonnerman couldn't
resist adding his thoughts

Sam Norton is also "in"

As is Julie Clawson

Mike Bursell,muses on yet
another synchro topic

And Sally shares her thoughts


Sally said...

excellent post David- sorry for omitting you from the first lot of Code I'll send out another lot today.

Anonymous said...

Great post as usual David... A question like "why are we exclusive?" does spin your head around if you let it. Think of the potential revolution if we were able to inculcate that kind of thinking in the church. Just that one point.. how many dominos would fall?

- Ross

sonja said...

Whoa ... excellent and thought provoking.

Must be - you got my husband to peek out of his lurkerhood.