Excluding the Gospel

My local MP, with whom I am ‘friends’ on Facebook, showed photographs of his attendance at a service at a local Methodist church. This is somewhere about which I have written previously, on account of its historical interest. I looked at its website, and was struck by the curious claim that it is a:

Pending member of Inclusive Church

...having previously claimed it that it...

...is an inclusive, welcoming and family friendly church in a unique building.

'Inclusive' is contemporary code for acceptance of same-sex marriage and gender ideology, which the link to the Inclusive Church organisation surely demonstrates. Its national website lists the churches in each area which subscribe to its tenets, which are mainly Anglican and Methodist. It offers information on its work on 'ethnicity, gender, disability, mental health, poverty and sexuality', so it is certainly not a one-trick pony, though I note the clear absence of anything even close to what we at Salem Chapel might call the gospel- Christ’s sacrificial payment for human sin. Perhaps this is not sufficiently inclusive, teaching as it does that we humans are deeply flawed and spiritually inadequate, condemned by God’s terrifying holiness. Indeed, one of the site’s contributors wrote:

I am a church minister of ___, and over 25 years we had moved from being a conservative evangelical church, to fully inclusive and registering the church for same-sex weddings.

Bravo. Inclusive of everything but the gospel. The message of Jesus Christ is for everybody, and therefore, so too, is church membership. Yet we must guard against confusing inclusivity with self-worship: "I am, therefore I am right". "I feel this way, therefore God made me this way". The gospel calls us to repent and live for Christ, having thoroughly denied ourselves. Self, pride, ambition and conceit must all be excluded if God is to include us in His great salvation.

But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. Rev 2:14-16

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay