Christianity is Inclusive with a Condition

I've heard people say that they don't like Christianity because it's exclusionary. You "have" to believe in Jesus and you "have" to live your life a certain way or you "don't get" to go to heaven.

Here's the first thing I have to say in response to that, this is a misuse of the term "exclusionary". Exclusion suggests that there is no way you're allowed in. When I think of exclusionary, I think of Mean Girls. Not generic mean girls, but the actual movie that depicts a group of girls that create an elite group that can only thrive based on rejecting and excluding others. I truly do not believe Christianity is the Mean Girls of religion. And of course, I'll say that. I'm hooked on Jesus and therefore biased. However, I'd appreciate it if you'd still take the time to hear me out.

I would argue that Christianity is actually inclusive with a condition. Let me explain with a story. When I have people round my flat, my preference is for people to take off their shoes. By the way, when I say "my preference" I mean "my rule". I refuse to spend my days cleaning my carpet because you can't be bothered to take off your shoes. Now imagine I call you up, ask you round for lunch, cook up a storm and as you get to my door I simply say "ooh please take off your shoes as you come in" and then in response you go into a blind rage and start complaining about how I'm excluding you from my flat. In my humble opinion, that would be an odd reaction.

The flat has been tidied and a meal prepared just for you. All I ask in return is that you meet one condition. Take off your shoes. You might have a hole in your sock or maybe releasing your foot from the stink trap that is your shoe might stink up my flat, but that's okay. When I made the decision to not allow shoes into my flat, I took those into account. I'm fine with you stinking up my flat. Or sometimes I might even have alternative footwear ready for you. I've gone to a great extent to prepare my flat just for you.

Christianity is the same way. It is eager to include you on the basis that you meet one condition. And I do mean one condition. Most people seem to think that to become a Christian you need to meet hundreds upon thousands of conditions, but there's only ever been one condition. Acknowledge and believe in Jesus Christ as God, as the Saviour of your soul and as your right standing with God.

Now don't get me wrong, there are rules in Christianity, but that isn't what saves you. Following the rules is simply evidence that you've met the condition of realising your sinful nature, believing in Jesus Christ as your salvation and submitting yourself to His leadership and His ways (aka you've become a Christian). In accepting that condition, you will find that you want to live a life that aligns with Jesus Christ's view of the world. This is where you find yourself saying "I don't want to lie" or "I want to wait to have sex only when I'm married" and it goes without saying "only with my spouse". Even the desire to go to church on a Sunday and make yourself accountable to a godly community derives from a desire to live out the salvation you already have as opposed to an attempt to earn your salvation by following the rules. I'm making the distinction between these rules as opposed to the initial condition for salvation because doing all of the things above is not what makes you a Christian.

Turning up to church early every Sunday, singing all the songs, taking detailed notes of the sermon, knowing all the scriptures and being the nicest person in the whole church, doesn't make anyone Christian. The genuine following of the rules in Christianity happens after and as a result of believing that Jesus, the son of God and God himself lived a perfect life, He followed all the rules, He was crucified for your sake, He resurrected for your sake and He is covering you with His righteousness. He is preparing a place for you in heaven. You just have to believe. That's the condition.

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