Beckett: Christianity’s Inclusivity

But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, how to destroy Him. Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed Him, and He healed them all and ordered them not to make Him known. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, My servant whom I have chosen, My beloved with whom My soul is well pleased. I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets; a bruised reed He will not break, and a smouldering wick He will not quench, until He brings justice to victory; and in His name the Gentiles will hope.”

Matthew 12:14-21; cf. Isaiah 42:1-3

People who hate Christianity love to lie about how “exclusive” and “intolerant” it is. And it is true, to an extent, but not the exclusiveness and intolerance they think it is. Jesus Himself excludes unbelievers from the midst of His Church by separating the goats from the sheep (Matthew 25). And both Christians and God do not tolerate sin, for sin is damaging, and it kills (Romans 6:23). Indeed, Jesus finds sin so intolerable that He died to take our sins away! So, of course we’re exclusive! The children of disobedience will be cast into the lake of fire, for they have no place in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:8). And of course we do not tolerate sin, for it is damaging and murderous, and Christ has not freed us to live freely in sin but to live free from sin (Romans 6:1-5).

At the same time, however, Christianity is the most inclusive and tolerant religion on the planet. For it is not a religion for one ethnic group of people, but for all people—it brings the hope of Jesus Christ for all Gentiles. As Isaiah also prophesied, “The LORD has bared His holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (52:10). Even the Apostle John sees this, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands (Revelation 7:9). And Christianity is for every single sinner, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son for this reason: that all who believe in Him might not perish but have life eternal” (John 3:16; my translation).

Jesus is King of all peoples of the earth. All are invited to the banquet, yet not all come to the feast (Matthew 22:1-14). Christianity is accused of being exclusively bigoted, yet it is they who exclude themselves from the nation of priests because of their bigotry! Were it not for Christ’s inclusivity, this mestizo (mixed Hispanic) pastor would not be a Christian, nor anyone else in all of Christendom, for we all hail from nations of Gentiles!


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