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Vantage point

Pluralism and hunger

Pluralism. Our nation has it.

Some think it means an all-inclusiveness that respects people of all races and religions. To others it is a byword for political correctness — an attempt to legitimize odd (or sinful) lifestyles.

To one it’s a campaign, to another a curse.

The dictionary defines pluralism as "a condition in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups are present and tolerated within a society" (American Heritage Dictionary).

Pluralism can be what makes America great … and it can be the source of America’s decline.

Christians need to take it for what it is — opportunity. When people with different lifestyles enter our churches, many Christians are offended. Should a woman with tattoos, a man with earrings, or a youth with green hair and body piercings show up on the front row in one of our services there would be plenty who would react: "Well, I never ... !"

That’s the problem. Some people warm pews, piously agree with the need to evangelize, then get put out when the unseemly and unsaved show up in our showpiece sanctuaries. They "never" really come in contact with the lost, hurting and rejected.

With the radical, even distasteful, appearance people can have today, it is easy to sit in the seat of the Pharisee, judging people legalistically by their appearance.

I have been with missionaries in many parts of the globe. The appearance of idol-worshiping pagans can be grotesque and distasteful, yet these are the people we send our missionaries to reach. Is it hypocritical to approve of foreign missions but disdain the neo-pagan of the U.S. because their presence shocks our sense of decorum?

These are the people Jesus came to reach — and we are now His hands to touch them. There are hungry people today who are disdained by professing Christians. "Well, I never … "? Perhaps it really means, "Well, I never really wanted those kinds of people in our church."

Pluralism merely tolerates. Christianity must embrace. There are souls beneath those rough exteriors.

People are starving today — physically and spiritually. May God help us if we refuse to feed them because we don’t like the way they look.

— Ken Horn

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