Inclusive and Excluded

I got this Facebook message yesterday from one of my readers:
Just ordered your book (see links below). I have been cracking up over the lack of "likes" on my links to your blog and cartoons. It is a testament to how many of my friends and family don't get where I'm at, but love me anyway… Been unfriended already by the rest. Consider myself in good company. Thanks for sharing the insights you've gained along the way.
This is not an unusual email. I get these all the time from people who lose friends for friending the nakedpastor, and who are perplexed that their friends and family don't appreciate my cartoons in the same way they do. Guilty by association. We gravitate towards that which we agree with and drift away from that which we don't. I also often get complaints from people who call my readers my "choir", and that those with a more conservative viewpoint will get attacked if they express their opinion on my blog. Most blogs attract like-minded readers. Those who express their disagreement more than once or twice are labelled trolls. Even though I have my own point of view, what I have always desired and hopefully worked for is unity in diversity. But it seems to me that the more diversity I endeavor to embrace the more excluded I become. It happened in the church and it happens on my blog. Whenever I talk about our unity with all others, someone has to correct me by pointing out that their particular idea of Jesus demands a special and exclusive understanding that attracts a certain kind of believer and disciple. Still, my most vociferously challenged posts are those where I raise my voice for wider inclusion. My z-theory, which endeavors to articulate a more unified theory of spirituality, is especially repugnant to many. It stirred up enough controversy while I was in the church that my superiors, having received heretic-hunters' letters, felt it necessary to call me on it. I personally believe the story of Jesus shows how his inclusivity got him killed. The same with Paul's inclusion of the Gentiles. Down through history the greatest heroes of humanity are those who saw and worked and died for the unity of the whole human race. So I think I'll just keep being in this direction. I already have a book out. For just $9, order "Nakedpastor101: Cartoons by David Hayward", from amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.de.

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