Views on morality will always be a divisive issue in America. The country was founded by professing Christians who established religious freedom for their Christian faith, and today we are now in a post-Christian society, where for the first time the majority of citizens polled in the country do not identify as belonging to the Christian faith.
Christianity is often accused of being full of bigotry, hate, and discrimination. These accusations are usually in response to the differing views on homosexuality, transgenderism, abortion, and other prevalent moral issues.
However, despite accusations of Christianity being wrongfully exclusive, Christianity actually has the world’s most inclusive message compared to any other religious or social group in the entire world. The following section from the Apostle Paul’s first letter to Timothy makes it pretty clear as to why this is true.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-3
The Apostle Paul makes a couple very significant statements in these verses: “prayers be made for all people” and “God desires all people to be saved…”. Not only are Christians to pray for their political leaders, regardless of their political views (the historical context of this letter comes at a time when the Roman government was mercilessly persecuting Christians), but they are also to recognize that God desires all kinds of people to be saved.
My reason for adding in the word “kinds” in the statement about all people being saved comes from the context of the verses that come right before this passage:
8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,[b] liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound[c] doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
1 Timothy 1:8-15
In this section, not only does Paul list out many of the most well known sins according to God’s holy law, but he then associates himself as being the worst of all sinners. In other words, just when somebody might react defensively towards Paul for directly calling out sinful and despicable behaviors, he makes it clear that he is no exception to that list. He humbly states that Jesus Christ came to save sinners of whom he is the foremost.
When Paul writes later that “God desires all people to be saved”, I believe that he is emphasizing that if he, of all sinners, can be saved by Jesus, then there is hope for even the most evil political leaders who have harmful intentions towards the Christians. This is why I believe it is accurate to interpret Paul’s phrase to say “God desires all kinds of people to be saved”. Christians are to spread the message of hope and forgiveness that they have received to everyone else in the world without discrimination!
No other religious or social group has such an inclusive message as the Christians do regarding their enemies. For Christians, their Master commands them to “love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them”, and for Christians to fail to do this, to them it is SIN. Every other religious or social group has no such teaching that admonishes them for harboring hatred and bitterness towards those who they consider to be their opponents or enemies. Every social group that claims to be “inclusive” is only inclusive towards those who sympathize for their cause, but they regularly display hateful attitudes towards those who oppose their views.
Christians are not allowed to show any discrimination in who they share the life-saving message of Jesus Christ with, because they should readily admit that they are the foremost of sinners in their own right, and if God is faithful to forgive them of their sins against Him, then who are they to say that someone else is not worthy of that same message?
If you are a Christian, then I encourage you to consider how you might be wrongly discriminating who you are willing to pray for to receive the same message of salvation that you had received.
If you are not a Christian, then I urge you to humble yourself and consider the reality of a holy Judge who holds the power to destroy both body and soul in hell, where there is eternal suffering for those who are guilty of sinning against Him. This Judge is the same Savior who is able to forgive you of all your sins through the sacrifice of Himself, Jesus Christ. He awaits you to come to Him in this life in repentance and faith so that you do not face His righteous judgment of your sins at the end of your life.
This message of hope and forgiveness is to go throughout the world without discrimination. This is indeed the most inclusive message in the entire world, and you have an opportunity to be included in it.