Friday, August 27, 2010

Just How Inclusive are You?

"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things that are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God." I Cor. 1:26-29

"Inclusive" is the hot word in our town for the moment. An emotional debate has arisen as to whether or not it is possible for Christians to be inclusive. A neighborhood church has changed into a "community" in order to embrace all who seek to work together to heal the world, setting aside their differences and embracing their similarities.

It's all very loving on the surface, until you bring an Authority into the picture. Then you are ignorant, you are narrow-minded, your system is abusive and your interpretation is subjective. No two people interpret the same way and "the book" you use is not even consistent in its translations. Who would fall for such a system?

In other words, only a fool would believe that the Word of God was inerrant, authoritative, accurate and literal.

Suddenly the love of inclusiveness turns into anger and sarcasm, disrespect and cynicism.

That's what I learned last night about the inclusive world. It's not as inclusive as they would want you to think it is.

A couple of things came to mind as I sat for ninety minutes and listened to my husband and another pastor defend the authority and sufficiency of God's Word, and the life and actions of His Son. First, I thought of this passage from I Corinthians. To the world, our zeal and passion is foolishness. And seeing the disdain on half of the audience's faces when Dave spoke was testimony that his message was considered weak, illogical and, well, foolish.

The second thing that came to mind was the utter lost condition of those who were rejecting the gospel message last night. Trust me, they were bright, intelligent, young, attractive people. Most were probably more educated than I. So why does the gospel make clear sense to me when it is foolishness to them?

Ephesians 2:8,9 tells us that faith is a gift from God, not of works, so that again, no one can boast.

So my next thought was one of thanksgiving for my salvation, followed with a prayer for the salvation of the blind.

And then I drifted on to one more thought. How inclusive am I of God and His Word? Do I pick and choose what I allow to penetrate my heart? Do I claim to be inclusive but when something that I don't agree with or don't understand pushes me to an action I don't want to do, do I make excuses and exclude certain doctrines? Am I truly inclusive in my walk with the Lord? Do I allow Him into every aspect of my life? Or do I exclude Him from some areas?

So then I decided to take my eyes off my neighbor and do some spring cleaning in my own life.

It's been a good discussion...


  1. I live in the area and have been following the story of this church. (Although it can hardly be called a church anymore)
    It's so sad to see how relatively quickly a group of people can be swayed.
    They say they are showing love to all, but it isn't love if it leads away from God!

  2. That's exactly right, Mari! They seemed to indicate that the gospel is not loving because it is restrictive - through Jesus Christ alone. But there is no love in a system that makes man comfortable with their own sin. It would be like seeing someone floating down a river in a raft and smiling and waving to them instead of warning them that around the bend is a waterfall. "But they were having so much fun, why would I want to wreck that?" It makes no sense at all to live for the here and now when eternity is at stake. What they do not understand is that the believer's eternal perspective is what drives their love for the lost and the hurting and the hopeless. It's as if they think they are the only ones who care for the hurting...

    (As you can tell, I'm still a bit stoked...)

  3. Amen Kristen and Mari, It just breaks your heart to think how many are facing eternal death all for the sake of so called "love and peace for all"
    We were there praying for Dave and Dennis and felt they both did a great job with clarity getting the truth out and planting seeds. Its difficult with people who don't take God's word as inerrant, authoritative, accurate and literal. They are the fools, and my Father says so....

  4. There, but for the grace of God, go's kind of sobering when you look it straight in the eye, isn't it?

    Were you sitting up on stage behind the men? I thought I saw you up there...

    Thanks for your prayers, Nancy, and thanks for coming...

  5. K and all,
    It is very sobering when you look it straight in the eye. I found myself thinking over and over...Only You Lord can change the thinking of any C3 member here...Only You Lord can take off the blinders and make them see. It was so evident that the words spoken by the panelists only further confirmed the beliefs held in the hearts of "their" people. My heart and mind pushed away from every word Mr. Lawton said and sang with joy at the truth coming out of Dave and Dennis. Looking around the room I'd say the same held true for the C3 folks but in reverse. I know if my mom and brother had been there they would have been solidly pulled in the direction of C3 and once again I wondered/marveled...why me? They were arguing about God not being loving and I wanted to weep over the mercy He's shown me in allowing me to know Him. I left there profoundly sad and overwhelmingly grateful.

    It did bother me the way they painted themselves as truly loving and caring for others implying that mainstream Christianity does not. Although, I suppose that shouldn't have surprised me given their "I feel it therefore it must be true" take on life.

  6. We should not be surprised at the way things went. Sad yes but not surprised. God is very clear in his word that unless he draws us we will not come. It was very clear to see that the carnal man can not understand the things of God. You can not argue with a foolish man. I don't say that with boasting just the opposite. I was overwhelmed by the mercy of God that he chose me to be his ambassador and for this I am in awe. God was with Dave in a mighty way and truth was clearly presented. The word of God will not return void. Anticipating good to come out of these meetings.

  7. Kristen, we were in the second row in the auditorum, looking out from the stage would have been on the Rt. Glad we were there to support our "kind"

  8. hmmm...sorry I didn't get a chance to chat with you. Thanks for coming. Dave really saw and felt the support.