Does Jesus Turn People Away?
The United Church of Christ (UCC) has recently started airing an ad on television to promote their group. The commercial takes place in front of a church building with a bouncer behind a velvet rope at the door. As the commercial progresses, the bouncer is only letting in people who appear to be from an upper/middle class, white society. Meanwhile, he is excluding an African-American male, a Hispanic female, two men who are holding hands, a man in a wheelchair and a man of Arabic descent. Following this, the screen fades to black and the words "Jesus didn’t turn people away" appear on the screen.
First, I feel that this is more than a promotion for a particular religious group. It is an attack on the conservative beliefs of Christians. In the commercial, race and homosexuality are portrayed as equal criteria for determining admittance and this is false! A person’s race is something over which he has no control, whereas a homosexual lifestyle is by the choice of the individual (James 1:17). This group wants to deceive you into thinking that if you stand with the Bible and do not approve of homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27), then you are just as bad as a racist.
Second, the manner in which they use their slogan is also misleading. It is true that Jesus never turned anyone away, but only in the sense that He gives everyone the opportunity to follow and obey Him. Nowhere in the Bible can we find that our fellowship with God is unconditional; instead we find that it is something that requires obedience on our part (Hebrews 3:14). The UCC wants to look like the one group in this world who is not judgmental or hateful and they will do it even if it means teaching what is false.
With groups in the world like the UCC, true Christians need to be as ready as ever to defend the truth about our heavenly Father and His word. Sadly, it is made clear by the commercial that the UCC is so proud of, that if you are committed to truth, you should be prepared to be called hateful and judgmental. It is very distressing that there are people in the world who call themselves Christians who do not even care about the truth of God’s Word.
The real Christians of the world are the ones who are being portrayed by the bouncer in the commercial. The UCC wants to label us and convince the public that the measure of a Christian is determined by how many people he can please rather than by the obedience that is necessary to be a Christian (Luke 14:256-33). However, we as Christians should not be swayed by this and we need to be strong in the fact that we are here to serve God and not man.