People long for acceptance and a sense of belonging, they congregate in a vast number of groups. And despite media headlines sowing division, there is nowhere people are more accepting than in Christianity.
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”
Jesus said accepting and loving one another was the second greatest commandment for Christians behind the first, which is loving God.
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
– Matthew 22:39
A basic tenet of Christianity is about acceptance. No matter who you are, what you are or what mistakes you have made, God wants to love you and have you as part of his holy family. He sent His son Jesus Christ to redeem mankind for the mistakes it has made (sins) because God does not want to be separated from any of His creation if it can be avoided.
Jesus said all who come to him and seek communion with God are accepted welcome forever.
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
– John 6:37
The same type of acceptance is expected of the Christian church.
“For God shows no partiality.”
God holds no favoritism over sex, gender, creed, nationality, or any other way human beings try to categorize themselves.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.”
If you believe everything you read in the media, they would have you believing that Christianity is a judgmental, bigoted, and intolerant group. While there may be some people who call themselves Christians who have these faults, these exceptions do not define Christianity as a whole, and certainly not what the Bible teaches.
“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.”
– James 2:1
God’s words in the Bible teach love, acceptance and the high value God sees in every human being.
The Bible teaches we are not to judge people on their appearances, whether they are rich or poor or by any other standard.
“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
Right judgment is defined as the loss of living that God has established in the Bible. These are the only standards for judgment. Even then, Christ warns to be careful with how judgment is applied.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
– Matthew 7:1-2
“You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”
We are to help the needy, sick, poor, widows and orphans as well as treat strangers and immigrants well, even those who are imprisoned. We are to show empathy to others.
“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
– Hebrews 13:3
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
–2 Peter 3:9
God only wants humans to do what is right. Not to murder, lie, steal, cheat, or harm others in any way. Such behavior is evil to God and is called a sin. God does not want to lose connection with a single human being. But, God is holy and cannot be in the presence of evil and sin – sinners.
God’s law requires that a price be paid for sin. Yet, God provided a way for the penalty of sin to be paid for all time through the blood and the death of Jesus Christ. Now, all one needs to do is repent of their sins, stop sinning further and put their faith in God and Jesus. For that alone, they will be forgiven of all wrongdoing and be worthy of all the glories of everlasting life, peace and love.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
– John 3:16