Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Inclusivity and Exclusivity of the Gospel

By Bruce Atkinson
Special to Virtueonline
May 27, 2014

The idea inherent in the recent popular COEXIST bumper sticker is to regard all religions as equal in the name of inclusivity and tolerance. This is a burgeoning movement that reflects both the current politically correct (PC) Zeitgeist and also the many pluralistic and syncretistic “new age“ attempts to combine assorted religions, picking and choosing elements that seem compatible from among them. However, these attempts to merge or harmonize multiple religious and ideological beliefs must (necessarily) exclude the essentials of Christianity. As I will show, while the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all-inclusive in a number of ways, it is also quite exclusive in another, such that it is impossible that it be incorporated into any endeavor to fuse or integrate these various beliefs without major damage to the Gospel’s essential message.

All Sinners

First, Christianity is totally inclusive in terms of its proclamation of our original status before God. All of us are created in the image of God (with some degree of choice) and thus are important to God. Secondly, all of us are sinners unworthy of salvation. “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and "There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:10, Ps. 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20). Only God’s Son, Jesus Christ (who is Himself God) is excluded from this sinfulness. The rest of us are “all in the same boat” and it is headed for hell. None of us deserve heaven and none of us can possibly be good enough to earn it. Very inclusive. This is the initial bad news of the gospel which often turns people off before they can hear the good news.

Read the full story at www.VirtueOnline.org

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