People Claim Jesus Was “Inclusive.” Did Jesus Really Accept Sin?
Lately, much has been made of the word “inclusive.” We want to make sure no one is excluded, unwelcome, or alienated. We want to be one big happy family that gets along all the time. And in order to do that, we are hell-bent on accepting people – and their views – just as they are.
So dedicated are we to this idea of universal inclusion that we stand ready to revise centuries of tradition, values, and faith in order to ensure everyone has a seat at the table. For Christians the struggle to rightly live our faith each and every day according to the transcendent truth of Scripture has never been more difficult.
How do we “love your neighbor as yourself” in a culture that says unless you celebrate and advocate for my sin you are a discriminatory bigot? That might be the question of the century for every Christian. And some Christians have decided the only way to “love your neighbor” is to joyfully accept, celebrate, and endorse his sin. So whether that sin is homosexuality, co-habitation, gambling, or any other form of sin – they cheer.
This theological error has resulted in an entire group of people that believe it is biblical to be homosexual and a Christian. Did we ever think we would live in a day when people believed they could call themselves a Christian while living in sin?
But this struggle is real. And for those of us that refuse to celebrate sin in order to be compassionate, and to share the message of the Gospel that Jesus stands ready to forgive sin and offer grace; we are hated. The LGTB community in particular can’t figure out why we don’t follow the example of these “progressive Christians” and simply accept gay people. They accuse us of being intolerant, bigoted, and discriminatory. Well, it seems to me that we are simply following in the footsteps of Jesus.
Whoa. Did I just call Jesus an intolerant, discriminatory bigot?
By today’s standards and definition I believe that’s exactly what Jesus would be called. Jesus was by far the least inclusive person to live. While liberals like to claim Jesus was inclusive and approved of everyone they are just revealing how little they know of the Biblical Jesus. They only prove that the word inclusive doesn’t mean “what you think it means.” I, like blogger Matt Walsh, am tired of hearing about this “inclusive” stuff. Walsh responds to a commenter by saying:
“I’m tired of hearing this “inclusive” stuff. Yes of course the Faith is made for people like you. It’s made for all people. It’s not a cult or a club. There’s no entrance exam or membership fee. Christianity is for everyone. If that’s what you mean by “inclusive,” fine, but a better word would be “universal.” In any case, that isn’t what you mean, is it? When you ask for an “inclusive” Christianity, you ask for a Christianity that, rather than calling you to serve it, bends down and serves you. You’re asking to be “included” in the Faith on your own terms. That’s just not how this works, brother. As Christians, we have no authority to “include” you in that way. You must include yourself.”
So was Jesus inclusive? Let’s see:
When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, He told her to “go and sin no more.” (John 8:11).
Zacchaeus was called a sinner, and only after he repented and promised to restore those he cheated did Jesus say salvation had come to his house. (Luke 19:1-10)
When the rick young ruler wanted to be forgiven and enter Heaven, Jesus told him to repent of his sin of greediness. When the rich young ruler walked away, Jesus let him go; He did not accept his sin. (Matthew 19:16-23)
Even the parable Jesus told of the prodigal son ends with the son apologizing, asking forgiveness and repenting for his sins (Luke 15:11-24).
The two thieves crucified next to Jesus were treated differently. The one that asked for mercy and repented was granted eternal life. The one that arrogantly demanded to be saved was not. (Luke 23:39-43)
There can be no doubt that Jesus loves people, especially sinners. But there can also be no doubt that Jesus never once tolerated sin, never ignored sin, and never condoned sin. The idea that Jesus was somehow “inclusive” of all sin and lifestyles is not just theologically erroneous, it is heresy.
Matt Walsh does a great job of addressing this point as well:
“By the way, Jesus never uttered the word “lifestyle,” much less did He preach that they all ought to be tolerated. Recently, we’ve started referring to sins as “lifestyles” and pretending that this rhetorical maneuver somehow changes the morality of the issue. It doesn’t. A sin is still a sin, and He instructs us all to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11), which often means dramatically altering our lifestyles. Indeed, when people came to follow Him in Scripture, He told them to first leave their earthly pleasures behind and then continue along the road (Luke 18:22). He made it very clear that there is in fact a correct lifestyle, a correct way to live, and that way is narrow. Matthew 7:13 tells us the broad and “inclusive” road is the one that leads to damnation. You must choose, then, to walk through the right path, the narrow path, but it will be difficult and demanding, and it will not and cannot be widened to include you.”
The Gospel has no room for people that wear their sin like a badge. Whatever the sin, it will not, cannot be tolerated. While we sometimes like to rank sins and give more weight to some rather than others. God simply sees sin and condemns it all. So the person that lives a “good” life but tells a white lie once in a while faces the same eternal fate as the murderer. For this reason it is neither loving nor compassionate to twist and pervert Scripture to make it accepting of people’s sins. We are only assuring them a place in hell when we do that.
If we truly love people we will love them enough to share the truth with them. The truth is that there is a Savior, Jesus Christ that stands ready to forgive sins. And since we are all sinners we are all in need of His saving grace. When we come to Him broken and humble, repenting of our sins, He will forgive our sins (1 John 1:9). But it’s also true that if we refuse to repent of our sins and continue to live – and die – in our sins that we face the wrath of a holy, righteous God.
If we really want to “love your neighbor as yourself” and fulfill this great commandment given by Jesus, we will lovingly tell people the truth; and we will do it with grace and mercy. In this we can truly be inclusive in the same way Jesus was inclusive.