Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The sin of exclusivity.

Well, it's happened again (and again and again): "The Church is so exclusive. They should acknowledge that we are all unique. Stop excluding gays! Stop excluding women! Stop excluding me!"

Oh, dearling.

There is a world of difference between being "exclusive" in the sense of "not allowing you in the club" and being "exclusive" in the sense of following a very specific (and dare I say narrow) way of life. That way of life, which is in part what Christ is ("I am the Way"), is open to anyone with a heart of adventure and a hand to the plow. It is a straight path, a narrow path, but anyone and everyone may enter upon it. And anyone and everyone who falls off the path may return to it.

In fact, the Way has accommodated through history human beings of every imaginable talent, gift, sin, past, parentage, state of life, and class. He--and his faithful sheep--delight in variety and the high adventure of the universal family.

There is not one human person excluded except by his own decision that his way is better than the Way.

But that Way does, yes, exclude other ways. "There is no other name under heaven by which we are saved." Just as my marriage to the Scientist excludes "all others," our union with God excludes all other gods. Not because God is a spoilsport or party-pooper, but rather because there is only one of Him. The others are false gods that cannot save, because they are simply creatures themselves, passing fancies, or--worst--nothing at all (as in, evil). So, sacred cows, idol worship, sexual pleasure (as an end in itself), child porn, gluttony, hatred... yes, these, among other things, are excluded from the kingdom of God.

Because if they weren't, to hell with the kingdom of God. To hell with it all, because there would be no meaning, no transcendence, no hope of the eternal. It's either Christ or ... whatever.

3 comments:

Melanie B said...

"Because if they weren't, to hell with the kingdom of God."

Amen!

e2 said...

Pace Flannery O'Connor!

audrey/boge said...

I really loved this post!