What’s easier? To think of inclusion or exclusion? Or, perhaps a better question: whom do we exclude vs whom do we include?
Within churches, specifically, the question of inclusivity often arises around the interpretation of scripture. We take a look at the Law and from that, we work out what Laws we feel comfortable keeping and which we feel comfortable to break and then we use that as a way to measure other people’s acceptability. Anyone who falls outside of our acceptance is excluded. Everyone else is included. Does that sound true to you?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen into that trap myself over many years. The verses I now use as a plumb line are, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.’ – Romans 8:1-2 (NKJV)
Jesus, from my perspective, is inclusive. He doesn’t exclude anyone. If he did, he would exclude me, and no doubt he would exclude you. But, this is rather liberal theologically speaking, isn’t it?
Perhaps spend some time thinking about who you exclude, and why? Also, think about whether you have been/are excluded because of who you are or what you have done?