8th of an 11 part series
A large part of my life involves serving on the staff of my local church. There is an ocean of great faith communities around the world. Each one has a unique expression of their beliefs that sets them apart from all others. One particular distinctive of City Church is that we are radically accepting of whoever chooses to come through our doors. This makes for a particularly eclectic group of people. If you were to stand in front of our audience during any given service and look across the faces staring back at you, you would see a pretty fair representation of our city. This is not an easy thing to accomplish.
The thing about radical acceptance is that you either give it to everyone or you give it to no one. The moment I decide that I will extend radical acceptance to one person but withhold it from someone else, what I’m extending is neither radical nor accepting. It becomes conditional and subjective according to my own likes and dislikes.
I’d love to say that being a part of my church’s staff has magically erased my personal biases. It hasn’t. But, I hope I’m moving in the right direction.
My friend John told me once that the more conservative one is in their understanding of what the Bible teaches the more liberally we treat and accept those around us. Now that’s radical.
These days I’m spending more time getting to understand God and the Bible than I ever have before. What I see on the pages of Scripture keeps driving me back to the reality that I have been radically accepted by God. Because this is true I have no room to exclude anyone else.