Was Jesus exclusive?
Is your church exclusive?
What do I mean by this?
I am not merely speaking of whether or not it is difficult to become a member of a particular church, although that’s part of it. We live in a day where the number of members determines success when it comes to the Church Inc; of course it’s not hard to become a member.
But is it more difficult to actually be accepted and made to feel apart of something?
And I am not merely referring to church as the place we meet on Sundays, but rather the actual church which includes all “believers”, every day of the week (aka Body of Christ).
Should Christianity be exclusive?
Did Jesus exclude anyone? I know some of you are trying your best to find an example where he did, because that would make things so much easier for some of us wouldn’t it? And maybe some of you will find some convincing examples in scriptures.
But I argue that Jesus was never exclusive, but rather was so inclusive that the only ones excluded were the exclusive, which just so happened to be the religious people.
I was at a conference not too long ago where we discussed how and if it is possible to include everyone and anyone. This is actually more difficult than it appears to be. For by being totally, unconditionally inclusive, there are those that are excluded. For example, the moment you accept ____________ you exclude those who do not accept _____________.
The religious elite were so disgusted and appalled by who Jesus chose to spend his time with that they wanted nothing to do with Jesus.
Even when it came to the exclusive religious people Jesus still wasn’t excluding anyone, but rather they excluded themselves. I think it’s interesting what Jesus says in Matthew. He is speaking to the exclusive religious people and the experts in the scriptures and says, “tax collectors and prostitutes will enter into the Kingdom of God ahead of you.” He doesn’t say that the excluders will not enter the Kingdom God, but rather that the worst of sinners are entering before they are. Brilliant.
Your thoughts? Was Jesus exclusive or inclusive and which should we be?