Everyone Belongs & All Are Welcome — but No Trespassing

So a sponsored ad from a church kept popping up in my feed.
They were getting ready for something big. I relented and clicked on it just to see how this church was going to handle gathering in the midst of the pandemic.

But instead, I got sucked into their “about us” and “what we believe” section.

They state that it’s a church for people who normally don’t have a church and that it’s a church that loves, and I quote, “everyone.”
That regardless of their spiritual upbringing/background (if they have one); regardless of gender; regardless of socio-economical status; regardless of generational status — one will find acceptance at the church.
Nice.

Then you go to what they believe and they have a huge section dedicated to same-sex marriage, and that was where the definition of “everyone” didn’t really mean everyone.
They explain that no man-made government can define or take away what’s already been defined in the Bible by God.
They skirt the topic saying it’s not about human sexuality but more about where one’s soul is oriented towards.
And that more than anything else, we (“everyone”) need Jesus. (Can’t argue with that).

But it totally negated the “everyone” part in their core values (at least for me).
Like, we’ll genuinely love everyone regardless of who they are unless/except…

Most of the times, for too many of our churches “all” doesn’t mean “all” and “everyone” doesn’t mean “everyone.”

I know I got some blindspots too. We really do try to mean “all” when we say “all” but there’s a lot of able-ism going on with us. We haven’t taken into consideration (yet) of those who might not be “typical” when it comes to ability.

It’s hard work to be inclusive — but hard work that’s worth it; hard work that we’re called to engage in; hard work that reflects what the kingdom of heaven is and looks like.

Which is why many of our churches will skip the hard work and just put it out there that everyone is welcome, but never really mean it.

I don’t know when I took this picture or where this place is or if I even took the picture. But I remember taking it (or saving it on my phone) because it reminded me of so many of our churches:
Everyone belongs and all are welcome. But…
No trespassing.

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