Sunday’s Explore God question was a tough one: Is Christianity too Narrow? At the crux of the question is this: what are Christians supposed to think of non-Christians? And here’s the challenge- because Christianity presents an exclusive way to salvation (Jesus Himself says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me”) the tone and tenor of Christians can sometimes be off-putting. In an attempt to honor the teachings of Jesus, we can paint ourselves as “insiders” and others as lesser-than, as outsiders.
There has to be a better way.
Jesus also said, “I have other sheep that are not (yet) of this pen. I must bring them also” (John 10:16). Let those words soak in for a moment. There are people, in our lives, who Jesus views as “his sheep”, who are not yet in the fold. So are they really outsiders?
Jesus has indeed made a narrow way- it’s through Him. Yet in a beautifully divine twist of irony, that narrow way is at the same time open to all. It’s a narrow door, but it’s wide open. And we want as many as possible to walk through.
So the best question and challenge becomes this- what’s the most winsome way to make this known? Through painting others as outsiders, as lesser than? Hardly. When I meet someone who was brought to faith in Jesus Christ through another’s judgment of their life, I’ll perhaps rethink this. But I’ve never heard that testimony. Instead, we give love, grace, and mercy with reckless abandon.
Just like Jesus did for us.
Remember the empty chair, and let’s prayerfully look for the Holy Spirit to open doors this week.
You can hear last week’s message here.
Peace to you,Pastor Brian