Friday 5 March 2021

Christ the door needs no other gatekeeper

The unconditional love of God

The mission of the church is the same in every culture and country: to demonstrate, through its actions and words, that God’s offer of unconditional love to every human being through Jesus Christ calls us to holiness and hope.The Archbishop of Canterbury

The statement above was made by The Archbishop of Canterbury, that should be the end of any dispute regarding who belongs or not according to whatever beliefs or perceptions we might have. This statement was to address statements made by The Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria.

No other gatekeeper to the door

I am uninterested in joining issues with whatever the archbishop in Nigeria had to say, but it is necessary that the profession of Christianity, being an individual article of faith needs a place and security of expression, that when Jesus Christ professed in his own words, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” [Bible Gateway: John 10:9-16 (NKJV)] He was not asking for another gatekeeper to that door.

Whatever position anyone might hold in the church, their call is to welcome not ostracise, castigate, judge, or condemn. For Jesus Christ did not die on the cross for another man to take away the benefit of that salvation from others.

Know the amazing grace of God

Even if anyone might think themselves bestowed with that power, a humble reflection on what Christ had done for them must every time lead them to fall on their knees for the grace upon them and the mercy of God that they are not consumed as they deny others the pleasure of that grace like the ungrateful servant. [Bible Gateway: Matthew 18: 21-35 (NIV)]

Obviously, there are some that might find some legalism to support the need to cast God’s creatures aside, seeking to ex-communicate, deny them the sacraments and abandoning fellowship with those they deem unworthy of the same sacrifice that brought them into the kingdom of God. That is their prerogative, that you refuse to church with me does not deny access to God.

The many people Jesus met with and bestowed amazing grace on were not the religious folk, but the apparently notorious, the obviously possessed, even the verily dead that were raised.

Full members all

The Archbishop of Canterbury goes on to affirm, “This resolution both restated a traditional view of Christian marriage and was clear in its condemnation of homophobic actions or words. It affirmed that “all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.” [Anglican Communion: Section I.10 - Human Sexuality]

Maybe the greatest call to understanding the unconditional love of God to the devout Christian today is to find ways to express the love of Christ to others regardless of who or what they are. If that is so difficult, then it is a cross to bear, for Christ bore a greater cross than this for the whole world, whilst we were yet miserable sinners. The call is upon us heavy as we might make the burden out of our imperfectness when humanity asks for the better of us.

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