There is much spoken and written these days about the apparent evils of discrimination against people with certain backgrounds or lifestyles. In fact Christians are frequently accused of not being sufficiently inclusive of their fellow human beings, in a society with rapidly changing moral attitudes.
Actually, Jesus was remarkably inclusive in His relationships with people whatever their background, lifestyle or place in society, much to the bewilderment of the religious leaders and even, sometimes, His own disciples. Jesus never displayed the slightest prejudice in relating to anyone because of their race, religion or sex, for example. However, He was not indiscriminate when it came to reflecting on their righteousness or sinfulness, because He knew that the well-being of every human being was (and still is) ultimately dependent on being right with God’s laws.
The Body of Christ is, or at least should be, completely open to everyone who is needing the Saviour, but He has not asked us to be indiscriminate or inclusive in regard to what is right with God and what is not. Jesus broke most of the relational, religious and cultural norms of His day, enjoying the company of prostitutes, tax collectors and adulterers, to name but a few. He was probably the least discriminatory of individuals ever to have walked this earth, but this was never at the expense of condoning people’s sin. We see in John chapter 8 that Jesus was wonderfully inclusive and loving towards the woman caught in the act of adultery, giving her an amazing opportunity to get right with God through His intervention. However He did not leave her unaware of the seriousness and wrongfulness of her sin.
Like Him, the followers of Jesus need to bring a message of God’s radical and unconditional acceptance of all of humankind, while, at the same time, graciously voicing His clear differentiation between what is right and wrong in human behaviour.
Prayer: Father God, Jesus showed us how it is possible to indiscriminately love our fellow human beings whilst clearly discriminating against sin. Help us, Lord, to do this well and wisely. Amen.
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