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Tolerance or Truth?

I came across a blog recently that asked ‘non-Christians’ what would happen if Christianity taught tolerance.  You can read the post here   

This seemed like a good time to ask Christians the same thing.  Before we get too far into this I think we have to define ‘Christian’ I know there are bunches of competing definitions lately, but as I understand Christian defined in the Bible, You must:

Acknowledge your sin and sinful nature.

Repent of your sin.

Understand that “if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9) 

Believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross as payment for sins and rose again on the third day to obtain victory over death and to give eternal life to all who believe in Him. 

Know that it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)

Earnestly pursue holiness and obedience to God’s Word.

Earnestly pursue a relationship with God through prayer, scripture, and waiting before Him. 

So, what would happen?  What would happen if we taught tolerance?

What happens if we never talk about sin or atonement?  What happens if we never say God’s word is clear?  What happens if we never remind anyone that there is only one Risen Savior?  What happens if all we preach is a watered down “Gospel Light” version of God’s word.  What happens if we welcome everybody in love with open arms, but never tell them the truth?  Would we be “tolerant Christians?”  Do you want to be a ‘tolerant Christian”?

I want to see people experience God’s Love through believers across the globe.  I want to see people re-united with God here on Earth and Heaven above.  I want to see people in Heaven.  I want to know that they can stand before God with Jesus at their side, a huge smile on their face, and hear Jesus tell the Father that He knows them intimately by name.  I want to hear God tell them “well done, good and faithful servant” 

Folks, if you are going to ‘water Christianity down’ to make it more palatable….do me a favor and just don’t talk.   If you are going to tell your friends and neighbors that their sin is OK….just be quiet.  If you are going to invite your co-worker to church and then be embarrassed that they heard a message on sin and it’s consequences….keep your invitation.  If you are going to proclaim to everyone you know that you are a FOLLOWER OF CHRIST, and then you live in direct opposition to His Word…please, lose the label.

So, let’s talk.  What would happen if Christ-followers were more tolerant?  For me, I will take truth over tolerance any day.

Please, please don’t take this as “all judgment and no love.”  You must follow God’s words on loving Him and loving your neighbor as you love yourself.   Part of that love has to include the whole truth about following Christ.  Otherwise there is no point.

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9 Responses

  1. That’s quite an intimidating laundry list of qualifications for being a Christian, Mr. “thereisnogray”. What if a guy’s just hitting about .300 – can he still get into heaven, or is he out of luck? I recently read that there are now more Muslims in the world than there are Catholics. Are all of the people of the world raised as Muslims and Jews and Buddhists going to be sent straight to Hell because the haven’t accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior? What about my father-in-law, who is a pretty decent guy, but not a real church go-er.

    I was reminded of the story of “Doubting Thomas” at last week’s sermon. Thomas refused to believe Christ had risen from the dead until he actually saw the wounds. Thomas had spent years actually rubbing elbows with Jesus, and he still didn’t believe! (Is it any wonder that 2000 years later some people are hesitant to make that leap of faith?)

    What happens next in that story is the awesome part – Christ doesn’t give up on Thomas. He doesn’t say, “Well, you don’t believe I was raised from the dead, so your ticket to heaven is revoked”. Instead, Christ goes in person to Thomas and shows him his hands and side. Christ tolerated Thomas’ doubting and gives me hope that he might just tolerate me and all of my shortcomings too.

    There are many things in this world that cannot be tolerated. Some things, which don’t need to be mentioned here, are just evil no matter how you cut it. I’m all for letting people know the truth when it comes to Christianity, but I think there may be a little more gray in there than you may wish to believe.

  2. Glad you stopped by and thanks for your words. I sit here with my hands laced behind my head pondering your remarks.
    Ruminate on this if you will: Thomas still believed in the long run. I suppose he came to the table a week late, but he didn’t deny that he doubted, and he certainly didn’t deny that Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead. As I understand it, God gave Thomas a very active preaching ministry from Babylon to Persia. In fact, Thomas was so outspoken for the truth of Jesus that he was killed in 72AD for his faith.

    Jesus doesn’t give up on any of us. Good thing for me, ’cause I’ve seen my share of falling short. I just want to make sure that in the end, we communicate the truth to those who are seeking.

    As far as your .300 average. No man can know another man’s heart. That’s for you and God to sort out. In the end, which side of caution are you going to error on?

  3. […] or Truth an analogy Posted on April 3, 2008 by thereisnogray Let me try to illustrate my last post with a little analogy.  I know this is open to all kinds of interpretation, but I will try […]

  4. I idn’t see a laundry list of hard to ‘do’ stuff in order to become a Christian, only that we must believe in the One God sent as THE way. I think I have been set to ingore on John Shore’s blog. If you or I are intolerant, then Jesus was intolerant. I mentioned that on John Shore’s blog and it never made it to the coment list (or it made it for 5 seconds). Other comments I tried to make in all sincerety and love for readers who have been deceived into thinking we are sovereign over our salvation by our own ‘free will’, (been there, done that).

    I only said that last bit to encourage your thoughtful and ‘hit the hit the nail on the head’ remarks over there.

    I was going to respond to this response to your thoughtful explanation of election, but did not because it most likely wouldn’t make it.

    “God has willed that all men be saved.”

    John 6:40 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

    It is a self-contradiction on the face because Jesus even says clearly that only those who believe have eternal life. I will try and kindly ask if the author sees the contradiction but it probably won’t stick.

    Anyhow, I had to look around a bit, found you here and am glad to make your acquaintence.

  5. By the way, I sent this blog addess home (I stopped in from work). Would you mind if I linked to you from my own little blog?

  6. Link away, Dan. I certainly don’t have it all figured out. Putting it to words is even harder. But, I am amazed at how Jesus had such love and compassion and in the same breath told people that they must turn away from their sin. We (Christ followers) Need to communicate effectively like that all the time. Thanks for your kind words.
    God Bless

    Jeff

  7. I reckon none of us have it all figured out! Isn’t it just incredibly amazing that God would elect ‘unable’ DEAD folks to something they are unable to to and then even give us the ability? Kind of puts the ‘WOW’ factor in salvation.

    Dan (B4B at times).

  8. […] continued to ponder my recent post on Tolerance or Truth, and the blog that started it all at John Shore’s page.  Perhaps this phrase will make you mad, […]

  9. Dan,

    Sorry, I didn’t realize you couldn’t post a response to that post.

    (Gray, hope you don’t mind me responding here – I just found this post today.)

    I think I’m the “Free-Will” person you’re responding to about John 6:40.

    Of course, John 6:40 does not mean that God will save those who do not believe.

    But it does mean that “whoever” believes can be saved, without conditon.

    God wants everyone to believe, and he will save anyone who **chooses** to believe

    Not everyone does, as in the case of the Pharisees, who rejected the will of God for them

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