Inclusive and tolerance is really neither.

I’m not often the guy who jumps on band wagons or speaks into political matters, but there is one subject that our country has fallen prey to over the past five years.  The word is inclusive.  I would like to suggest that it is ‘little brother’ to tolerance.  Both words are pure at the core of their meaning; however, this purest form is not what our country is pursuing.  In fact, I believe it is quite the opposite.

The latest company to publicly fall prey to inclusive and tolerance is Target.  You may read their official statement here.  I will not instruct you where to shop or how to process your emotions when you read such statements.  I will not engage in boycotts and petitions because I think those things have the wrong motives and ask the wrong questions.

I will give you the definition of inclusive found in Webster’s dictionary.  Inclusive is defined as: “covering or including everything; open to everyone and not limited to certain people; including the stated limits and everything in between.”

I will also submit to you the definition of tolerance from Webster’s dictionary.  It reads, “willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own.”

What I find most interesting about both of these definitions is they are meant (again, in the purest form) to find the commonalities in humanity.  Our country has fallen prey to emphasizing the difference among people and expect each person to conform to the opinions and stands of a small percentage of the population.

As a country, we have emphasized inclusive and tolerance to an extreme.  I think when we say inclusive and tolerant, we really mean that you should think like I think and we will get along just fine.  The extreme has actually become exclusive.  There are laws being written that are exclusive.  There are court hearings for exclusive matters.  There are public restroom battles that only hear an exclusive group of people.

As a country, we are hurting.  We have lost all sense of right and wrong.  We, the church, have chased people away because they would not conform to our opinions and stands.  We, the church, taught our personal preferences as if they were found in the Bible.  We, the church, need to pray for those who are hurting.  We, the church, need to pray for the sense of right and wrong to return to our country.

Those are all important topics of conversation, but let me ask you this question.  Leading up to that question, every one of you would agree that you want guests at your church.  Is the church you attend, or lead, inclusive?  Are you inclusive in its purest form?  What if a transgender man visited your church and walked into the women’s restroom?  The truth is that we probably won’t have that guy visit our church in the near future, but it’s a hard question.  One that we need to be prepared to handle.  I’m most certain my initial reaction would not re-present the love of Jesus.

Isn’t that what we’re called to do?  Aren’t we supposed to love people regardless of their sinful choices all the way to the cross of Jesus?  This mission that we’re on will become harder as our country drifts further from the truth of God’s Word.

Prayer changes courses and people.  I want to challenge you today in three areas:

  1. Jot down a list of people who are in habitual sin and begin to pray for them daily.
  2. Begin to pray daily that your level of love for people will lead them to the cross of Jesus.
  3. Educate yourself if you choose to jump into a controversial topic.