Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Inclusive or Exclusive?

Slate's Friend or Foe advice columnist passes on the following widely typical platitude about Jesus:

I'm not a Christian myself, but I know that Jesus' message was one of inclusion, not exclusion. It's a shame that Emily has forgotten that lesson as she goes about subtly denigrating those who don't worship in exactly the same manner as her.
Oh, how I love it when non-Christians deliver lectures about what Jesus's message was really about.  But is this correct?

Well, let's take a look at last Sunday's Gospel:

If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
...
In the same way,
anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.
I'd say this pretty much excludes everyone, at least among Friend or Foe's readers.

Perhaps Friend or Foe should repeat the lecture to Jesus about how He has forgotten His central lesson of inclusion...
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