About a million years ago, Carole, one of our long-time Catch members with a very active sense of humor, sent me the following comment that I just managed to dig up (which makes this whole thing go back at least 2 million years!).
“About a million years ago, I had a tee-shirt that said ‘Kill ‘em all – Let God sort ‘em out.’ (I thought it would be the perfect thing to wear if I were ever called for Jury Duty).
I think the message to us in scripture is ‘Love ‘em all – Let God sort ‘em out.’”
Yes, indeed, Carole. That is the message of scripture: “Love ‘em all – Let God sort ‘em out.”
It is truly a freeing concept. For a good part of my life as a Christian, I was burdened by the concept of sorting people out. I needed to find out who was a Christian and who was not. That’s because there was a different code of ethics for each group — a different language, different assumptions, and, of course, a different message. Being around non-christians always made me feel nervous — like being in the wrong club. The Christian club was easy. We all knew what we meant by our Christianese talk. We could take each other’s beliefs for granted. We thought alike. Non-Christians were another breed entirely. We were so … different. We even worked hard at maintaining those differences because that’s what set us apart and made us feel more spiritual.
All of this flies out the window when you let God do the sorting. When you let God do the sorting, you find out what makes us the same. When you let God do the sorting, you find out what makes us alike. You find out what is universal about being human. You also are more likely to find out what a sinner you are versus what a good person you are. You also are more likely to find out why God had to die for you and why He loves and died for everyone. We are all in the same situation: sinful people in need of a savior.
When you let God do the sorting, you are much more capable of understanding grace and why it’s so important. We all are in need of it. None of us have a chance apart from the grace of God, and that is precisely why we turn grace outward to others because it’s the same message for everyone. There are not two messages; there is only one.
Are you going to decide who to love? God doesn’t even do that. “God so loved the world.” That would be everybody. Be happy you don’t have to do the sorting. There really is only one group — all of us without exception — which sets us free to “Love ‘em all – Let God sort ‘em out.” I’m out of the sorting business for good, and believe me, everyone around me is much happier about that.