At Landstown Community Church, we have a strict non-discrimination policy. Let me explain.
We are opposed to all sin. If the Bible says it is sin, we do not discriminate. No sin is acceptable for followers of Jesus Christ. Sin is defined as missing the mark. It is not measuring up to the standard. What is the standard? If the standard is my next door neighbor, I probably measure up pretty well. If the standard is my brother or my sister, I may be doing pretty well. I may even measure up fairly well if the standard is the pastor. How many people do you know who think they’re doing ok because they think the standard is some person or some man-made requirements?
Is the standard society itself? If society says it is acceptable, does that make it acceptable? The standard for the definition of sin is the character and behavior of the Son of God. Holiness is the standard. Not a fake exterior holiness, but a quality of life emanating from the heart and soul of the person. It is God-likeness.
The apostle Paul writes in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We do not discriminate between sinners. Since “all have sinned,” we are all in the same boat spiritually. As someone has said, the ground is level at the foot of the cross. Paul says a little later in his letter to the Roman believers, “The wages of sin is death.” All of us stand under the penalty of death. No one is exempt. But the next statement is also true: “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Just as we do not discriminate between sinners, we do not discriminate about the solution to our sin. The apostles Peter and John, speaking to the rulers of their city, spelled out the solution to the sin problem. They said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” If there is only one name that carries salvation from sin, we cannot discriminate and allow for any possible exceptions. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” If there is only One Way, we cannot discriminate by allowing for any other “roads to God.”
After Jesus was crucified by the Romans and was raised back to life by the power of God, Peter told the people that they needed to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.” Again, we do not discriminate with what our response needs to be to the fact that all of us are sinners and there is only one Solution to that problem. Everyone needs to repent, to change their thinking about their sin and to commit to changing their behavior. To recognize that Jesus provides the solution to my problem but to then refuse to do anything about it results in darkness enshrouding our hearts and minds. Paul tells the Ephesian believers that “you should no longer walk as the rest of the [unbelievers] walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart (refusal to repent).”
We do, however, discriminate between saints and sinners. We discriminate between light and darkness, between day and night. We discriminate between those who have repented and surrendered their lives to God through Jesus Christ and those who have not. We discriminate between those who have humbled themselves before God and received His cleansing from sin and those who refuse to humble themselves and insist on going their own way. We discriminate between those who see their need for salvation and have cried out to God for mercy and those who think they can make it on their own. We discriminate between those who accept what God says in the Bible about their sin and those who think they know better. We discriminate between those who see themselves as God sees them and those who insist that they are smarter than God, who believe that God’s standards are outdated, and that they can redefine and rewrite what Almighty God has instituted. And in these and similar ways we insist on our right to discriminate.