Wrestling With A Gospel Of Exclusion
40 Days of Personal Change, Day 27
Elul 27, 5780 / September 16, 2020


Exodus 20:7; Mark 9:38-42; Luke 9:46-49, 11:17-23

One of the great ironies of our time is that the socialist ideology of Karl Marx remains popular even though it has failed wherever it has been tried. The atheistic basis of Marxism and all its variations has doomed it from the beginning. By removing any hope of eternity and peace of mind and heart, all that Marxist regimes have to offer is a vague promise of material prosperity someday – while brutally repressing any dissenting opinions. 

But why do socialism and communism still capture the minds and hearts of millions?

One reason is that Marx has a valid point: societies do trample over peoples’ rights, dignity, and humanity. Who wouldn’t want to bring justice to such unjust systems? This is the power of Marxism. It is a gospel of inclusion that says, “Come, join us! We accept women and men, people of all colors, national origin, and walks of life. All are oppressed by this current system. Together we will overthrow it and make something better!” It’s only afterward, when it’s too late, that followers of this ideology realize they have pursued a mirage – a vague ideal capable only of establishing another version of oppression. 

So why are the people of God seemingly powerless to stop this? Perhaps because the gospel we preach is one of exclusion. 

Yes, we know that in relationship with Almighty God we have peace, hope, and an eternal destiny, but our actions obscure all that from those on the outside. 

We tend to exclude those who do not follow us, but Messiah Yeshua says, “It’s not about following us, it’s about following God; it’s being part of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever is not against us is for us.” (Luke 11:23, Mark 9:40) In other words, they don’t have to be exactly in your camp, but if they’re not opposing you, then they’re an ally.

The Marxists understand this lesson, but the people of God do not. Yes, we understand the transformative power of redemption in Messiah and the joy of being in relationship with Almighty God, but those on the outside don’t see it that way. They see a gospel of exclusion. If they are to enjoy the peace and hope that we enjoy, they must break through the crust of opposition we have thrown up to insulate ourselves. 

Our Father told us to take care of widows and orphans, feed the hungry, heal the sick, visit those in prison. We are doing many good works, but how much more effective could those works be if we did not practice a gospel that says, “I can’t support that work over there because it’s run by Catholics,” or “I can’t support this Jewish charity,” or “I can’t support this Evangelical ministry because they don’t believe the same way I do”?

We are not responsible for someone’s else’s response to Almighty God, but only for obedience to the message the Almighty has given us. That is how we keep the Third Commandment:

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7 NKJV)

We profane His Name by making His reputation one of oppression, exclusion, punishment, and anger rather than compassion, redemption, and bringing the wicked to righteousness. We bring honor to His Name by laboring with Messiah to gather rather than scatter.

Which brings us to the question: if the masses are scattered by our poor witness, then who will bring them together?

Albert J. McCarn
BYNA Executive Director

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