All the talk today in the Church is about inclusivity. Everyone is welcome. No questions asked. It’s kind of like the U.S. Army’s policy of “Don’t ask. Don’t Tell” before Obama repealed it and made everyone know that Gay is OK.
Today everyone is welcome and no one is challenged to repent. Repentance is too negative and too judgemental, you see. It’s not OK to judge…even though Jesus did quite a bit of it. Before we heard about “who am I to judge?”, Jesus was commanding his disciples to do just that: “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” (John 7:24) It’s only a mindless age that doesn’t judge. It truly is.
Nevertheless, if you were to simply understand the Gospel through the lens of the Vatican Press Office, you would think that inclusivity was a new dogma of the Catholic Church and it would be a mortal sin to exclude anyone. But the reality is that while the Gospel is about invitation to eternal life, there is, sadly, a catch. And that catch is the consequence of exclusion. Jesus spoke more about hell than most topics he engaged in. And what is hell? It’s about exclusion…eternal exclusion. The Lord was deadly serious about warning us of this exclusion to the point of shedding his blood on the Cross to help us avoid it. And thank God for that! But there is a difference between wanting no one to be excluded and creating a facade that no one can be or should be excluded. Big difference.
The Gospel message is a WARNING:
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 22:11-13) – NIV
Notice the very violent nature of Jesus’s response? The King did not politely ask the fraudulent guest to leave, did He?. He was actually quite violent and exclusionary about it. And yet, is this the message coming out of the Vatican Press Office? Uh no. It’s not.
And St. Paul gave us some examples of the people who would indeed be excluded. Check it out:
The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor 6:7-11) – NIV
St. Paul makes it very clear that not everyone is welcome into heaven; that indeed the Gospel message is not a mindless inclusivity that is being bandied about at the Vatican’s Press Office, as if it were Church teaching. On the contrary, for unrepented sin like “men having sex with men”, the consequences are all about eternal exclusivity. Now who is truly the villain here for not pointing out this truth? Do you hate me, as St. Paul says, because I tell you the truth?
Any bishop or priest who denies that there are eternal consequences to unrepented mortal sin, like men having sex with men, is a liar and knave. There is no “walking with” those who walk in darkness. There is, on the contrary, an urgency to warning them of what their conduct will mean if they do not repent — immediately.
For these priests and bishops who have bent to the world, we should have nothing to do with them and resist them to their faces.
I find it instructive and revealing that the passage from Corinthians above starts with lawsuits….which helps us all identify the wolves in sheep’s clothing.