(Originally written in 2006)
A few months ago I saw God on My Side, Andrew Denton's film documentary about his visit to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in America. It features interviews with a wide-ranging group of people: puffy-haired 70's style evangelists, a passionate flakes-of-gold-on-your-hand-that's-God's-anointing Pentecostal, an Arabic Christian, a media-savvy laidback Phd in Theology, an Australian from UCB, a woman who has been married 9 times (or was it 10?), an end-of-the-world expert...every stripe of Christian imaginable...oh, and a ventriloquist doll!
Have you ever looked around and wondered at the hugely diverse - and often embarassing - array of people that make up the Church?
Even in our city there are Christians who believe and do things far differently from ourselves and in our hearts we subtly add to Jesus' requirements for Church membership: Yes, sir, as soon as you get the right theology/worhip with your eyes closed/get a haircut we'll be glad to consider you a brother in Christ!
We need to remind ourselves that Jesus' requirements are far simpler: if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Rom 10:9). There are no other requirements to join God's family.
You can choose your friends but you can't choose your relatives. Let's love our brothers and sisters in Christ whether or not they are like us or make us feel good. Let us love them because they, too, trust Jesus.