Now that I have your attention and have alienated more than half of my readership…
I was watching Tosh.0 the other day (yes, I am aware this is not wholesome television, to say the very least, but I am going somewhere with this), and the host, Daniel Tosh, did a bit with this “metal club” (as in music, not building material) from a high school. He asked the students if they were Satanists (the predominant view being that all metalheads are Satan worshippers). One member said they were and he asked why, to which she replied, “because it’s the only religion that accepts everybody.” Daniel then threw out that Christianity does that and she fired back, “except gay people.”
Ugh. That was awful. I could see myself in that young woman, a bit. I have never been a Satanist, but, for a time, I did choose Wicca over Christianity, partially for its perceived inclusiveness. I really wanted to explain to her the flaw in her thinking, but being that she was on a television show, I couldn’t do that. Instead, I will use my blog to counter the pervasive viewpoint that Christianity is an exclusive club only accepting people of a certain pedigree.
It is true that some of the more vocal “christians” (please note the little ‘c’) that get a lot of attention in the media portray a very distorted picture of Christ’s church. One of the consequences of this is that the public sees people, supposedly speaking for Christ, spouting messages of hate that give the impression that Christianity does not accept gay people, women who have abortions, criminals, sex workers, and the list goes on and on. However, this portrayal is 100% false because Christ said:
“For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:13b NIV
Similarly, the Apostle John wrote:
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” 1 John 1:8-10 NIV
Christians are a rag-tag, mish-mash of darn, dirty sinners. What sets the Christian apart is the recognition that they are a sinner and having a relationship with Christ that helps them work each day to overcome their sinfulness and bring glory to God. It ain’t easy, folks. Don’t be fooled by those masquerading as the hands and feet of Christ waving homemade signs of hatred: you are welcome at the feet of the Lord.
I imagine there might be some of you out there that still think Christianity is really only for the “goody-two-shoes” type and those who believe themselves to be “better” than the general population, while these people may exist within the Christian church, we Christians are much more diverse than that.
Let’s take a look at some of the people in Christ’s lineage (Matthew 1:1-6):
- Tamar (Genesis 38): uses deceit and commits adultery to conceive children in Christ’s lineage
- Rahab (Joshua 2; 6:17): prostitute
- David (the great King David): adulterer and rapist (2 Samuel:11); Before anyone gets upset about me calling King David a rapist, read the Scripture. They may not have called it such back then, but Bathsheba was not in a position to say “no” to the king, making their “encounter” rape by today’s standards.
This is a small sampling of the short-comings of the individuals in the bloodline of our perfect Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. There are many others in his lineage that are also less-than-perfect. I am in no way suggesting that the choices made by the three individuals above were acceptable, rather, they highlight the fact that Jesus is quite literally, for EVERYONE. He’s not only for the person who struggles with lying, but also for the rapist and the murderer.
Satanism may accept everyone, but Christianity can provide forgiveness for everyone. Regardless of what you have done or what you continue to do today, Christ is here to release you of your burdens and provide you the strength to work daily towards a new way of being. The kind of being that accepts everyone, flaws and all.
So whatever you are struggling with today, come.
Christ does not expect you to be perfect, but He can make you perfect in the eyes of God.