There are so many people who claim to speak for “Christianity” that I wish to have nothing to do with. I wish they would go away or that someone with authority would tell them that they are not Christians and that they do not speak for Jesus.
But that’s not going to happen.
And so I am constantly trying to distinguish who I am and where I stand in opposition to these people. I claim Jesus as well, or rather I hope he claims me, but I do not want to be associated with those who are destructive and hurtful. I might even go so far on my worse days to call their actions (if not their persons) evil. And yet we claim the same Jesus.
What is a boy to do?
On the one hand, I do not support their words or actions. But on the other, they likely wouldn’t support mine either. So let me ask you this: regardless of whether or not you agree with me or with some of the names in this title, does your agreement dictate who is or is not a Christian? Are there Christians who disagree with me or I with them? Does that mean they are not Christians? Are there Christians who have done horrendous things throughout the centuries? Does that make them not Christians? Is Christianity predicated on universal agreement with our actions? Is it morally democratic?
Even though I oppose the actions and positions of certain people, I cannot exclude them from the kingdom of heaven because of it.
As if it was my decision to make anyway. But I think we expend vast amounts of energy trying to disallow the perspectives of those with whom we disagree in the hopes that our evangelistic efforts will not fail because of their celebrity. What if instead of this expense we accept these destroyers as fellow destroyers with us, because none of us is above the crest of sin. Nor are we above the authority of others.
Now, I am not saying that we should stop calling these people out. Far from it. When we are actively including even those we find abhorrent into our fellowship we should be all the more diligent in opposing them and calling them to account for their destructiveness because it is our destruction as well as theirs at stake. But we are to do so as fellows, not as others. We may need to articulate how we differ from them, but that difference should never be intended to “other” them.
I am arguing for a radical inclusiveness that transcends ideological boundaries.
Turns out, this is what we see from Jesus and his followers in the NT. People were included into the kingdom of Jesus despite obvious disagreement. Think about Simon the Zealot chilling out with Matthew the Tax Collector. Neither stopped being what they were (or at least the text does not say so), but rather they partook in the same life together, despite their obvious differences and opposition.
But I am also arguing for a change in attitude by both the Fundies and ex-Fundies.
Instead of an attitude of hatred and exclusion our attitude must be that of brothers and sisters. We are family, and like any family there will be those who walk into destruction. But what kind of a family is it that does nothing to help those who do so? They are a family in biology only. So yes, I love Driscoll, Coulter, Jakes and Osteen, even though I think they are wrong and destructive. I count them my family-and I will continue to call them out as such. Not as enemies.