Jesus taught that all people are the children of God: Jew and Gentile. For those that don’t quite understand what a gentile is that’s anyone that’s not a Jew by birth – this covers all people of every race and persuasion, everyone, everywhere in the world, all of them, all at once, all of them are equally the children of God, no ifs ands or buts. It’s difficult to appreciate just how radical were the teachings of the universal brotherhood of all mankind until you realise that Jesus was preaching this message to a people for whom racism was a fundamental part of their religion. All that were so unfortunate as to not be born Jews were perceived by certain quarters as little better than dogs – gentile dogs. That Jesus invited these dogs to the table of Divine Brotherhood was astounding and this message still challenges people to this day – especially so-called Christians.
He said that we would know his true followers because they would follow his commandments and treat all men as brothers - they would be free of prejudice. They would extend forgiving tolerance and loving mercy even to those whom the world would call enemies but whom the children of the Kin-dom would know to be brothers (albeit brothers lost in spiritual darkness). Frankly, these attitudes are seldom exemplified by alleged followers of the Master – regardless of tradition and, chances are, many would balk at being expected to so live but this is the very price required to stay in the Kin-dom; indeed is the very substance of the Kin-dom. What we do tend to hear from the so-called followers of the Master is castigation, vilification, condemnation, demonization, and a great rush to call fire down from Heaven – none of which exemplify the Masters life, teachings, or values.
It is impossible to reconcile the exclusivism of the traditions with the universal brotherhood proclaimed by the Master. It is a tragic indictment of the traditions and clearly indicates how far they have strayed away from the essence of gospel; they follow not after the Master’s voice, indeed they follow the voice of another. The Master extends his hand to all and welcomes all that have the faith to accept the great truth he lived, taught, and died for; that we are all brothers and sisters, we are all the children of God. In his life he taught us how we proclaim this truth to the world: through loving service for our fellows; through the progressive sanctification of one’s life, and through the consecration of one’s life to the doing of the Father’s will – manifesting His love for all His children.
The traditions have set the bar very low indeed when the benchmark of piety and of being a good Christian consists mainly in regular participation in and observance of religious rituals and tithing. Without doubt this represents the spiritual low-tide mark that reveals just how spiritually impoverished many of the traditions are.