What the heck is exclusion and how does it pertain to everyday life? Asking Mr. Webster, he said that it is the act of barring, prohibiting, omitting, or rejecting and that sounds like drastic things to do to others. I wrote a post about being judgmental and said I would follow up with this post about exclusion and am therefore doing so now.
I then ask – if anyone has had this happen to them in their life, being excluded? I have, and it is NOT nice to feel that you are being ignored, or worse, in a negative way. In one instance in my life, I was, not made to, but did feel like I was being excluded from a group for reasons that were not fair to me, but that is another subject in the future. Let me say this: It is not right to exclude others and it sure in heck is not right to be excluded by others either!
I was reading a book on spirituality for a book study group, where we went over and somewhat dissected different portions of the book. In it, a statement was made about exclusion. This was in regard to being excluded by a religious group towards those not in the community of the same faith.
This can be a touchy subject for some, or for certain groups. Do we look at OUR group or community as being the correct one, the better one, the one and only one? That can happen, and I hope your group does not feel that way or present yourselves as such. How can we have an open door policy and say we welcome ALL if we exclude certain people?
How do you think a church community would welcome these following two types of people? The first type would be three convicted persons where one was a rapist, the other a pedophile, and the other a person convicted of homicide. All three were convicted and served the time that was made by the judge. Now, think of three different people in the same church that have done the same actions, but are unknown to have committed the same acts. Would people of the church exclude any of these?
This is somewhat of a no brainer. If we do not know that the second group committed the acts, how could this fit into the equation? In the first group we might or may not know of the acts, but let us say we found out, somehow. Some would have a hard time with the pedophile one, but some would give an honest response to the other two suggesting they did their time and paid back to society for their crimes.
I then ask, would we as a group, really include the three convicted ones into the fold? Some probably would not answer the question, basically, because we do not really know. We know how we feel but might not be able to speak for others in the group. That is an honest answer, I feel.
Those are somewhat more extreme examples, and there are better ones to contemplate that would be more of everyday occurrences.
Someone I know went to a church that was of another faith. It might have been a wedding. Anyhow, he took communion and when he went up to the altar to commune, someone in the back, pointed him out and loudly said, “He is taking communion and is not a ——— (meaning not someone of that faith). He felt embarrassed, because his religion believed that if you can take communion in your own church, you can take it anywhere. He also felt excluded and ostracized.
I tried to explain that the church rules dictated that he was not allowed to take communion in that church because he was not a member of that faith. He did not understand why not, and it did have a meaningful thoughtfulness to him about that religion then and probably still does. Quoting someone, again, that I respect, “On the other hand, a commitment to rules to the detriment of a person’s relationship with Christ is also not helpful.”
We as society members have different ways of believing things and sometimes let the rules dictate just how we react with one another. Maybe, we should change the rules! I look at rules as guidelines that you can follow. I said, “can follow” not MUST follow. My church has statements and messages that give this guidance to those that follow the religion, but they are not classified as rules. A friend of mine told me that our church hierarchy has sort of a “washy- washy” attitude, regarding certain things, in what they put out in those statements, and I feel I agree, somewhat, at times.
The thing is, they (the hierarchy) made a stand but gave leeway to those that read their statements and to either follow or not follow what was written. If you follow them, great and if you do not, so be it. At least you will know what you do is either well thought of or not, by the higher ups. Will you be excluded if you do not follow the guidelines? I doubt it very much and that is why I like the statements overall. They give us an idea of what the church I follow, believes in, even though the overall practice of following what is written is not a mandatory dictate or rule. I believe that many faiths and holy places of those faiths are not really following the dictates of God, but instead the dictates of human leaders that made the decrees.