"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Intolerant Tolerance

Scripture to reflect upon for Truth Tuesday: Joshua 24:15
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

I’ve been giving some thought lately on a very taboo topic. It’s one that is making a lot of political headlines, social screaming, and now being crammed down our children’s throats in the schools as a way of teaching “tolerance.” Little do these people know that they, themselves, are being intolerant of those who hold differing viewpoints...the viewpoints they don't agree with.

I pride myself on being extremely open-minded. This particular topic has been one I never really needed or cared to choose a side on. I just felt it wasn’t that big of an issue for me. But recently I had to make a decision, whether the world hated me for it or not. I had to determine if I believed the bible to be true or not. If what it says is the absolute truth. If God Himself is true. And if I am to believe that, then I also have to believe that my opinions and my beliefs are not going to be popular. In fact, Jesus said that the world would hate us if we followed Him. It didn’t mean “Him,” it meant His ways. If we chose to go against the grain, against the flow, against the norm and mainstream.

The world is changing quickly and forcing things on us as a society that is biblically immoral. I’m hearing all too often these days from non-believers how Christians justify their so-called “hate” on certain labeled groups based on what they read in the bible, or what their religion believes. I’ve always defended the groups who stand firm on the foundation of their beliefs, whether it's right or wrong. Trust me, I don’t justify any hate behind the principles, but I think Christians are getting a bad rap. I don’t believe that Christians hate the people…they hate the sin. Sure, there are extremes on both sides, and that is where I draw the line. But we are all too often criticized as being haters, intolerant, or close minded when we openly discuss our viewpoints. Even if we are asked, such as Ms. California was asked about her opinion of gay marriage in the Ms. American pageant. When she gave her answer, one of the judges publically called her vulgar names and she suddenly became the shooting target of the month. Why, then, ask anyone what they believe if you don’t care to hear their honest answer? Why is it that if I don’t believe what you believe then I am the one who is intolerant? Why aren't those who disagree with my viewpoint the intolerant ones?

According to my Apologetics Study Bible article, Should Christians Be Tolerant, written by Jonathan Morrow (pg. 1346), he explains, quite brilliantly:
“The new definition of tolerance is a mood held by most people on the street and in the classroom which says expressing a difference of opinion is itself an act of intolerance. Today, you can be labeled intolerant simply by arguing for an unpopular viewpoint even if you do so respectfully. This is especially true when it comes to ethics and religion…Tolerance is defined this new way because society now places less emphasis on truth. This is largely due to the widespread belief that truth is unknowable and thus not worth arguing about. If truth doesn’t matter, you can believe whatever you want. All views can be accepted equally, because no view describes anything real. Our ‘truths’ do not correspond with the way things actually are. This belief is self-refuting.

The Bible says Jesus is the way to God…Christians will inevitably be seen as intolerant as long as intolerance is defined as holding our beliefs to be true and contrary views to be false. We must love our neighbors by telling them things they don’t want to hear. In doing so, we must not come off as arrogant, condemning, or mean. We need to give answers for our hope, yet always with gentleness and respect.”

NOTE TO SELF: What do you believe that doesn’t align with God? Are you standing on a principle or idea that is worldly, or Godly? Are we going to stand up for the truth, or let the world dictate what the truth is? Read your bible and know in your heart what God’s truth is. Believe it and don’t be ashamed of it anymore!

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