As I continue to read through the book of Romans I find it amazing the struggle humanity has had regarding the matter of who belongs to God and who does not. By no means is this simply a contemporary issue. For centuries, long before Christ graced us with his presence, there has been a battle to clearly define who is in and who is out. It is not wonder those outside of the church only see the church as a place of exclusion, because for centuries that is the sad legacy which we bring.
Paul speaks to the church in Rome and to us when he warns quite strongly against such infighting. With the words of one of the more famous passages of Scripture Paul declares all of us have fallen short or the measure God has put in front of us (paraphrase of Rom 3:23). There is a great equalizer which exists in our world, and it is sin. To some it might be heresy to say but everyone, even the Pope has sin in their lives. That means short of Jesus Christ we all miss out on the fullness of life God calls us to.
I wonder what would happen if the church of Jesus Christ spend as much time, energy, effort and resources focusing on what brings us together as it does on what separates us? Would it be possible to recognize that all of us have some faulty understandings of God and what it means to be a follower of God? It matters not our political leanings, it matters not the label we have chosen or has been applied to us. What matters is that God is God and we are not. What matters is that Jesus Christ is the great equalizer, not the starting point of division. It is not our responsibility to determine who is a part of the Kingdom of God and who is not. Our responsibility is to be Christ to everyone, and let the only One who is just make the judgments.