|An inclusive Jesus?|
Gal 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Acts 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” 4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.”
When my Father lay dying in the Hospital, the people is his ward were all the same.... they were given food, and some anti-cancer medications but there was a sense of the inevitable and the solemn and quiet spirit to accept it. Where will our Spirit go to when we die? will we be accepted by God?
We live in a world where Gay people are routinely excluded from communion in the christian church just because they were gay. We longed for a world where God is inclusive.
As a result, we often create a god of our own desires - a god of love and inclusion, whereas many other Christians create a god of a roaring judge with the fires of hell and condemnation.
Who is right? perhaps neither.
We live in an age of Post Modern and Progressive Christianity which frames God as inclusive of all peoples, traditions and faiths. When we believe that God is inclusive with no hell, neither would there be a Good News nor would Jesus have died for us.
The bible speaks of much narrower terms of being in Christ, of being owned by the God of Israel as opposed to other gods.
God is indeed inclusive for He welcomes all and deny none who chose to worship Him. Are we included in His kingdom? The evil one does not care whether we are gay or straight but he wants your soul.
When Israel worshipped other gods, they were told by the Prophets and Judges that they were departing from God and indeed acted like a prostitute seeking other men. The picture of spiritual inclusivity is a picture of a prostitute in a dark lane seeking whosoever that might come to pay for the services. God is asking us today to be faithful to Jesus.
It was ironic that Jesus met the divorsee in Samaria. Jesus did not include her faith as equal (even though the Jews and the Samarians shared scripture), but pointed to the church where Christians worship God in truth and in Spirit through Jesus Christ.
The grace of God is inclusive. In Gal 3:28, it did not matter whether they were slaves, free people, male or female. They became one in their identification of Christ as Lord and Saviour.
In Acts 10:1-6, Cornelius was already a God fearer. He was a Gentile, outside of the Jewish faith yet worshipped the God of Israel. There was no grace under the law to bring Him in to the promises of Abraham but grace is found in Jesus Christ. Cornelius still needed to be saved even though he worshipped God! and he found his salvation in Jesus Christ.
As GLBT peoples, we yearned for God to be inclusive in view of the churches who had excluded us from her gates. God is indeed inclusive for He never rejects people as the church does. He welcomes all who seek Him in truth and in spirit in Jesus Christ.
Jesus does not comdemn sin per say because if He did so, the religious people, the people of faith would be the greatest sinners. His only condemnation is our unbelieve in Him as Lord and Saviour.
Are we taking away the glory and majesty of the One God of Israel? The Glory of God is personified in the necessity of Jesus Christ to die for us and who rose again to bring us home to God. It required an individual response to worship Jesus and be baptised into His name.
We have a narrow highway to heaven, but a mass transit slow train to hell. The question is what do we tell those in the train. I rather tell of the bright lights of heaven and the overriding grace of Jesus Christ to save, prosper and bless us, that we might be a blessing to others.
Do we include Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our lives? There is grace, God's supernatural abundant grace in Jesus Christ. Jesus wants to be included in our lives. Jesus actually owns yet, but He gives us freewill to include Him in our busy lives.
We have many religious churches who are beginning to accept GLBT folks. But what the Gay community needs is to include Jesus and reject the condemnation of society, family and church.
Are we inclusive of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in our lives? It does not really matter whether the churches and their perception of God as inclusive or exclusive!