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...