Change for Inclusion
When Jesus met the Syro-Phoenician woman he changed his theology. She wasn't allowed to receive bread. So she asked for crumbs. He changed his mind and gave her bread. This is in the character of someone who, not thinking equality with God something to be clung to, gave that all up, emptied himself and suffer unto death in order to reconcile all to God. Barriers were leveled between all of us. Paul follows in this spirit and changes his theology when it is revealed to him that his persecuting the church is actually his persecuting Jesus. Barnabas was the same when he went up to Antioch and decided that the Spirit was at work in the Gentiles he met there. The bible is full of stories like this. And most of them have to do with this theme: those who were once excluded are now included. Period.
Inclusion is the heart of the biblical narrative. Exclusion is not. We won't change our theologies locked up in our ivory towers, isolated from life, ghettoized in our agreeable clusters. Here is where our theology becomes cold hard fact that can heartlessly call itself right and with a wave of the hand send all those who differ in thought and life to eternal torment. The spirit of Jesus challenges us to relax, change or even reject our theologies for the sake of inclusion*.
*I realize some are going to mention the child-molesters and those who deny Jesus, etc‚Ä¶ But in my opinion this is often an anxious attempt to find at least one small corner of solace where we can keep our divisive and exclusive theologies.