I have noticed that people like “inclusivity”, even inclusivity beyond the standard conception of the term–”radical” inclusivity.
I’m personally all for it; that’s why I think everyone should become an Orthodox Christian. Yes, I think that Orthodoxy is for everyone–I would never trust anyone who believes that it just isn’t right for them (those people are probably ignorant and basing their answers on experiences that reduce the fullness of the Faith to specific incidents and pre-conceived notions about the Church and themselves which are less than accurate). Yep, it’s right for you: you, who are reading this sentence at this moment. However, don’t expect to be anything but who you are when you join. I told you I’m for inclusivity, right? Become a true member of this Body, and you’ll indeed find yourself becoming more you (who you were created to be) than you have ever been before. You’ll get to know yourself in ways you could not have imagined, no matter how ugly and how beautiful.
You’ll find that the radical inclusivity of Orthodox Christianity extends to include all of your life. Your former compartmentalizations and secular removal of faith from your daily life will be systematically wiped away when you work in concert with the Church (that is, her members through all of time). Whether you are changing a tire, fixing up a meal, falling a sleep, or talking to your mother, Christ’s presence will not leave your heart and your thoughts. People will look at you funny when you live a lifestyle that attempts to be pleasing to God.
With the fruit of the Spirit (that’s a singular, fruit), you can unite yourself to the crucified Messiah at every moment of your life, and forever. How inclusive is that? The rest of your existence will be consumed by Christ’s radical love for His creation–life in all abundance.
You’ll be overjoyed to witness your sinful, independent, greedy, vain-glorious, lustful, lazy ways washed away in the waters of renewal. Orthodox Christianity is so inclusive that you will be given strength to fight back all of your evil passions, not merely one or two big ones.
Are you a murderer? You’re invited to the Table.
Do you hate and mistreat animals? Have a foretaste of the Kingdom.
Do you lie constantly and bad mouth your friends or enemies? Come to the Fountain.
Do you live in sexual licentiousness? Don the robe of gladness.
Do you make excuses for a life that you know is less than pure, less than enlightened, less than good? Receive a new name.
Nota bene, this radical inclusivity requires one thing: when God reaches out His mighty arm to grab your wrist and pull you up from the dark pit of death by His grace, you have to put your arm out for Him to grab. You have to turn toward Him when He looks into your eyes and heart. When He speaks, listen. When He commands, conform to His good will. When He dies and founds a Church on His Body broken and Blood shed, trust Him, and unite yourself with His people, the New Jerusalem, and work symphonically and cooperatively with the Man who shares your own Body and Blood, yet sits triumphantly at the right hand of the eternal Father.
When inclusivity is watered down to accepting people “as they are”, or rather, “as they come”, without any sort of mutual understanding of expected effort, then we take the dead man and leave him rotting in his tomb. That’s how he came, isn’t it? Real inclusivity takes the dead man and revives him, or rather, resurrects him in glory. And this is no metaphor. Real inclusivity is a perfect love which transforms. The inclusivity of the world is a common cemetery whose “love” is built on a foundation of face-to-face abandonment. May God have mercy on our easily deceived souls.