Thursday, July 21, 2016

Denying in Practice What One Affirms in Theory

Our entire culture has taught us to hate Christ's exclusivity. They don't mind having a Jesus. They just don't want the One in the Bible who is exclusive. Christians, who believe in the exclusivity of Christ, as much as they want to affirm it, have not gone unaffected by this culture-wide effort to present exclusivism as unloving.

Hence, any argument that presents Christ as excluding people from the kingdom, simply because those people did not believe in Him, seems very cold and hateful to people, who think that Jesus just loves everyone the same, and would never judge people or send them off to eternal torment.

Many Christians have been so influenced by this that they have begun to question the doctrine of eternal punishment, and even the doctrine that God has wrath or hatred for those who reject Christ. Indeed, the common phrase that can be heard echoed throughout the church today is that God hates the sin but not the sinner, a concept the Bible never teaches.

But even more than this, the influence of this sort of thinking that hates exclusivism is evidenced when it is applied to questions like, "To whom should I give kingdom resources?" If one suggests, as the Bible teaches, that those resources are to be given exclusively to Christians because they belong exclusively to Christ, the hatred for exclusivism that has been bred in us comes to the fore.

"It just seems so selfish and unloving." "It doesn't sound like my Jesus." "My Jesus gives to everyone, regardless of religion or creed."

Of course, the largest sentiment is that if we do not practice inclusivism, because the culture sees inclusivism as loving and exclusivism as unloving, we will get a bad name in the culture.

But it is precisely this idea that undermines the theory. If Christ's blessings of salvation belong only to Christ and those who are united to Him by faith, then exclusivism is the nature of the kingdom blessings, including the physical blessings of the kingdom that foreshadow the physical world that will be inherited in Christ to come (Luke 18:28-30).

The problem is that we have already been taught to loathe this idea. We have been taught that love is acceptance. Love is inclusive, not exclusive; and because of this, to be exclusive is to be unloving. To withhold what someone outside the faith might need is selfish and unloving.

The problem is that their greatest need is to be saved, and God/Christ withholds this from them if they do not faith. Being saved is the water bottle of life itself that Christ refuses to give the unbeliever. And if we conclude that such a thing is unloving, we have rejected the testimony of God that exclusively offers salvation in none other but in Jesus Christ His Son.

If withholding physical resources, like bread and water, from unbelievers is selfish and unloving, then withholding the bread and water of life from unbelievers, just because they don't have faith, must be seen as the greatest act of selfishness and unloving behavior.

This is actually why Christians are fudging on the doctrine of eternal torment. They need a Jesus consistent with what our modern culture has brainwashed us to believe about exclusivism. Jesus cannot be exclusive. He cannot withhold what is needed by the desperately needy just because they do not have faith. Otherwise, He is unloving. So we need another Jesus. One that does not exclude. One that includes everyone. And in order to get that, we need a God that does the same.

Christians who have already compromised because of a culturally philosophical, and unbiblical, idea of love, vary with one another on where they fall in terms of compromise. Some still hold strong to the theory that Christ is exclusive when it comes to salvation, but not when it comes to kingdom blessings/resources, simply because the modern Westerner is trained to compartmentalize and have all sorts of conflicting ideas running around in his head and in his practices. Others see the inconsistency and start changing the nature of salvation, the nature of judgment, the nature of Jesus and God.

My point is simply that a change has taken place, and it is a change that is changing the nature of our Lord and His gospel. It is a subtle change that has taken place over time, and continues to take place as we speak.

As such, the greatest persecution of those who hold consistently to Christ's exclusivity will not likely come from the world, but from within the church that has been thoroughly convinced, and will not hear otherwise, that to exclude one from kingdom blessings because of their unbelief is to be selfish, unloving, and unChristlike, the latter claim only made possible by replacing the biblical Christ with an antichrist.


  1. "If withholding physical resources, like bread and water, from unbelievers is selfish and unloving, then withholding the bread and water of life from unbelievers, just because they don't have faith, must be seen as the greatest act of selfishness and unloving behavior."

    What do you mean by "the bread and water of life"? If you mean the gospel, then I am shocked. We are called to share the gospel, and there is no prerequisite for who we share it with. God regenerates the heart and gives the gift of faith, but we do not know who. We are just called to obey.

  2. The bread and water of life is salvation. Faith in the gospel is the means to receive salvation. God/Christ withholds salvation from all who do not have faith.