For such a long time the siren cry in our culture has been one of inclusivity – radical and uncompromising inclusion of everything. The call has gone our far and wide and can be heard from many voices. Secular voices preach this with an almost religious fervour. And the church, the church has often taken up the call. Consider the theme for the Anglican Church of Canada General Synod this year – ‘Cast the nets wide, cast them wider still’.
But, I wonder, what are we fishing for? And what will we catch? Are we fishing in dangerous waters?
For it seems to me that inclusivity is a concept that is wearing increasingly thin. It is becoming more and more obvious that inclusivity is no more than a ruse, something that will not long outlast the dominance of the spirit it helped usher in.
What do I mean? Well, let’s consider two examples:
The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the US is a deeply inclusivist Church. They included a practising homosexual Bishop in New Hampshire, arguing that it was within bounds to include this behaviour at the highest level in the Church.
As a quick aside, I hold to the teaching that homosexual orientation as such is disordered (not in and of itself sinful, though perhaps a product of the fall). However, acting out on it is sinful – no more or less sinful than any others, but sin nonetheless.
TEC, having cast the nets wide, were they able to cast the same net wide enough to include Fr Lawrence, an orthodox priest, to be Bishop in South Carolina? No, it was not to be and consent was denied (on a technicality to be granted, though that technicality would have never been an issue without the large ‘no’ vote).
So why could the inclusivity not extend both ways? One argument heard is that the ‘real’ problem is the ambivalence of Fr Lawrence to fully commit to the institution of TEC. This is no more than an attempt at smoke and mirrors. Why the ambivalence? Could it be that the institution is controlled by folk who appear increasingly unable to affirm the fundamentals of the faith? That is to say, the ambivalence has a direct causal relationship to the orthodoxy of the priest concerned.
But, this orthodoxy, why so ‘exclusivist’, why so ‘intolerant’ of other viewpoints? Well, if you would like a comprehensive demolishing of the god of tolerance, look no further than here. The current definitions of ‘inclusivity’ and ‘tolerance’ are no more than flip side of the same kind of sloppy and specious reasoning that only holds together by relying on laziness of thought, or a wilful denial of reason.
Let’s look to another example of the death of inclusivity. If you follow this blog, you know I have been chronicling the descent of the UK into totalitarian ‘tolerance’. Inclusivity is wearing thin there, too. Now, the latest example can be found here. For previous entries see here and here.
There are in this case no prizes for guessing how ‘public benefit’ will continue to be redefined. Of course, this isn’t exactly the end of the world, just another step in the chilling of Christianity in the UK. It seems that inclusivity doesn’t quite stretch as far as it once used to.
No, it appears that the inclusivity that we have been asked to sign up to is one simply of the current zeitgeist – the spirit of this age. The spirit, however, is jealous for its space, and will not long tolerate opposing forces. Those who do not bow the knee will soon find that the much vaunted inclusivity does not stretch to include them.
Of course, the normal blame will be invoked, cause and effect will be confused, and the dissenters and exclusivists will be increasingly marginalised, the irony lost on those pursuing ‘inclusivity’ at any price.
Oh, and yes the church will be invoked in this. Expect to see the counterfeit church continue to rise, and be made clear. ‘Useful idiots’ who will prostitute themselves before the world, to win men’s favour at eternal cost to themselves. Many of the worst barbs and slings will come from those wearing the cross.
The church, the confessing church, will increasingly become a lighthouse in the gathering gloom. To warn of dangerous waters, and guide to safe harbour those who will heed. Believe me, there will be many that will not heed. Those who hold much truck with the world will not see until it is too late. Nevertheless many who have lost favour with the world will find favour with Him. For, a lighthouse is what we are called to be in this age. Do you see it?
Peter – it is called cultural Stalinism
For nearly my entire lifetime I’ve been watching as fundamental freedoms have been eroded to nonexistence — more rapidly in the UK, but also markedly in the US. The polity that gave birth to “the rights of an Englishman”, a concept which revolutionized political thought all over the world, is now a major source of complaints to the European Human Rights Commission. And over here, of course, our computers are no longer ours, we have to pay taxes for a decade after we leave the country, and by next year we’ll all be flying in the nude.
*Of course* the Church has to be destroyed or coopted; we can’t have any actually independent source of moral suasion, now, can we?
Good post Peter and sadly but oh so very true. Lord have mercy on us all and may we in spirit and truth, be and become the lighthouses of warning fulfilling the place of righteous watchman, regardless of the cost, but to the great glory, honor, and praise of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Blessings in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Greetings. The inclusive “dont hurt anyones feelings” is ever so detremental to the truth that will make folks free. Great insightful look at an increasing problem.
Have a great day in Christ Jesus.
Pauline – indeed!
Craig – It is amazing how the push for more ‘rights’ and ‘freedoms’ has led to less of both, eh? It’s just like the enticing freedom of sin…..
Phil – You’re welcome – it is lighthouse time, and there will be a cost. But, oh, the reward! 🙂
Wannabe – You’re welcome too 🙂
timbob – Yes, one of the last remaining sins, the sin of offending somebody!
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of man-
There are only four things certain since social progress began:-
The dog returns to his vomit and the sow returns to her mire,
And the fool’s bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins,
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as water will wet us, as surely as fire will burn,
The gods of the copybook headings with terror and slaughter return!
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Yes, we see it Peter, we do indeed. The day darkens quickly don’t you think?
It seems all around is greyer and duller increasingly, as compromise spreads like a fire through a dry stand of timber.
May we be that lighthouse and be ready for the status quo church to try and extinguish the Light, but thanks be to God who is greater than all, the gates of hell shall not prevail.
Blessings to you Peter! I pray all is well!!!
Thanks for that white rabbit – wondered if you were still about 🙂
Thanks Susan – I shall try to get over to your site shortly!
Yes Peter I am still around but I am just a bunny rabbit and as God said to his people:
And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when none pursueth. (Lev26:36).
That’s fine, articulate rabbits are very welcome!
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