Marco Polo is a classic kids game – a combination of tag and hide-and-seek – with the added challenge of not being able to see and only relying on what you hear to figure out your friend’s location so you can tag them to be it. Whenever It says ‘Marco’ everybody else is supposed to reply ‘Polo’. It’s a surprisingly fun game – that is, when everything is fair.
But sometimes I think Christianity is playing a weird version of the game. Firstly, they have to figure out who can – and more importantly can not be ‘It’. You see, if everybody could be it, then it might be awhile for them to get around to your turn, but if you eliminate all the girls at the pool party, then you just increased your chances of being It. (It also helps to install a rule like ‘boys can’t swim with girls and girls can’t swim with boys’ early on so that no girls would be tempted to show up at the pool party.)
Now that you only have boys playing the game, you still have the problem that it might be awhile before it’s your turn to be It. You could eliminate all the progressives that are apt to change the rules to the newer variations. Then you could eliminate the moderates that are apt to change the rules that you like to ones they like. Then you could eliminate the semi-conservatives that don’t follow all the rules you like.
That leaves all the conservative players to follow the traditional rules of the game. But with so few of you and so big a pool – you need to set limits. Perhaps you’ll only play in the south end of the pool or on the left side or only on the south and left quarter of the pool – anybody outside of that region is eliminated. But even so – you might not be It.
Maybe if you excluded all the girls, progressives, moderates, semi-conservatives, and everybody not in the south-left corner who was not right handed (like you are), didn’t have brown hair (like you do) and didn’t interpret the rules of the game the way you do from playing the game – then you might be It, but you’d have nobody else to play with.
So here Christianity is – having set in place rules that make it extremely difficult for women to participate beyond the spheres of cleaning, cooking, and childcare, having eliminated progressives from leadership, in the process of replacing moderates with conservatives, and preparing to elevate conservatives to higher and higher standards – but narrowing the definitions of what’s acceptable and adding reasons to disqualify people left and right so that the few that remain will have the benefit of all the prestiege, power, and wealth of being the best of the best Christian leaders. But can’t they see that this system will inevitably exclude them too?
Jesus a different kind of guy – he paid the price for each and every sin, bought every sinner, and re-wrote the rules to include everybody. The truth is, we are all It and Jesus is hoping that we will find him.