The most important implications of Christ for the church is that the church is not exclusive but inclusive. The primary message is that we are all brothers and sisters and that we are one. The local church can only be a microcosmic manifestation of the pre-existing reality of that unity… a living example… a visible picture of what it looks like and means to be One.
Those who cried exclusivity and established boundaries and drew lines of distinction and erected walls of separation are clearly those Jesus challenged. It was those who wanted the people of God to be distinguishable by means other than unity that Jesus undermined. It was those who opted out of the family because of segregationist theology that are the divisive.
I know there will be those who will challenge this claim with impressive, approved and authorized theological arguments. But I am convinced that the motive of these arguments is the same as the Pharisee’s and that the tenor and tone of the words are practically identical. It exposes the same theological anxiety Jesus confronted and that can still be detected in some of the New Testament writings and certainly is alive and well today.
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