Dear Friends in Christ,

We hear a lot today about "tolerance". It has become a buzz in the news media,
entertainment, the workplace and even society. You can hardly watch TV or turn
on your radio without being confronted with pleas for a "more tolerant" society.
The pressure is also on individuals to push the limits of "personal" tolerance to
unprecedented heights by accepting "everyone's belief" as being politically correct.

But as with most buzzwords, you can't simply look in the dictionary to understand
"how" the term is being used. Tolerance (the "true virtue"), is defined as...showing
patience, kindness, longsuffering and forbearance toward people we disagree with.
But today we're not deemed "tolerant" unless we formally and fully agree with
practically eeeevery alternative lifestyle and worldview.

More specifically, the postmodern definition of tolerance says it's OK to hold "any” opinion or belief you like - BUT! - it's best to "refrain" from criticizing others' ideas, and it's "most" certainly forbidden to "publicly disapprove" of anyone else's behavior or value system -- "especially" if you do so on MORAL or BIBLICAL standards.

Above all, if you want to be thought tolerant today, you must NEVER, NEVER
suggest that ONE belief system or "standard of righteousness" is UNIVERSALLY
true and morally binding for EVERYONE!

Every voice and every opinion now demands "equal" treatment. EVERY
aberration "expects" to be formally validated. EVERY form of behavior or
"misbehavior" is supposed to be accepted as "NORMAL". No matter how
divergent (conflicting) -or- discordant two or more opinions might be, no matter
how "bizarre" or "irrational" someone's worldview is, we're supposed to embrace
them ALL and treat them all with equal respect, as if they were uniformly credible
and profoundly valuable. In such cases where EVERYONE'S RIGHT!....I ask then,
why the need for laws or law enforcement?

Of course, that kind of tolerance doesn't "really exist". Even the "most vocal"
proponents of tolerance have a breaking point. In fact, if you want to see just how
INtolerant this culture really is, here's a simple test....Stand up in ANY open forum
and simply declare that JESUS is the ONLY Savior, -OR- quote one of His "firm"
teachings that says: "WHOEVER" does not believe is condemned already, because
he has not believed in the name of the ONLY Son of God. (John 3:18)

In short, the "new tolerance" is "not really" tolerant at all. It is dogmatically
INtolerant of all universal truth claims. That's because ABSOLUTE truth cannot
exist in a society where ALL ideas are deemed EQUALLY VALID. To achieve
this new standard of tolerance, every significant distinction between truth and error
must be "erased". ANYTHING can now claim to be "true" as long as it doesn't
profess to be "exclusively" or "universally" true.

Sadly, this new notion of tolerance has even taken root in the CHURCH. The
symptoms are impossible to miss. Many congregations are losing their taste for
ABSOLUTE TRUTH and SOLID authoritative Bible teaching. They're hostile to
clear, definitive teaching and skeptical of "traditional" and "orthodox" DOCTRINE.
They scrutinize the theological landscape for 2nd, 3rd and even 4th opinions. They
show "very little" or NO interest in defending GOD'S TRUTH....the church is
"satisfied" to allow God's truth to CO-MINGLE with error all in the name of
"tolerance" and a "false standard" of "politeness".

As a result, many Christians (including a host of Christian "leaders" who should
know better) have lost interest in contending earnestly for the truth once for all
delivered in the Scripture. Their emphasis on tolerance simply won't allow for a
spirited "defense" of God's truth. It doesn't seem "nice" to refute ERROR in plain
language, so they focus instead on the slivers of "common ground" that "every"
side can affirm.

Is this kind of loose grip on biblical truth what God expects from "HIS" people?
Should we take such a selective and politically correct approach to interpreting and
teaching Scripture?.......Of course, the answer is NO! That kind of theological
openness "cripples" ALL "confidence" in God's Word and "forfeits" the
transforming blessings of TRUE Bible teaching in favor of "semi-religious"
platitudes. Without the firm foundation of God's Word there's NO "real"
assurance of SALVATION, no "true victory" over SIN, no "sure hope" of HEAVEN.

So how do we respond to this trend?...We need to FOLLOW THE PATTERN
Christ exemplified throughout His ministry (IF indeed we ARE followers of Christ).
He did NOT engage in "endless conversations" about "subjective interpretations"
of the Scripture -OR- "agree to disagree" on FOUNDATIONAL doctrines.
He did NOT give equal time to every spur of the moment teaching, nor did He try to
find "common ground" with theological opponents. Simply put, Jesus did NOT
"tolerate" FALSE TEACHING!!!.....And we should NOT either!!!

That doesn't mean that Jesus was INtolerant....As a matter of fact He was the very
model of true tolerance. But "study" the Gospels and you'll find that "HIS"
tolerance was exemplified in His "patience" and "compassion" for people, not
"leniency" toward incorrect beliefs and doctrinal error. He ministered to ALL
KINDS of people, with no regard for social standing, wealth or race. He brought
the SAME truth to the religious and political "elite" as He did to the beggars,
cripples and outcasts. His kindness toward spent and burned-out sinners was
never ending.

However, Jesus did not extend that "same" patience to HYPOCRITES,
LIARS, and FALSE TEACHERS. It didn't matter if it was the pious "double
standard" of the Pharisees (do as I "say" & not as I "do") -OR- the demonic
lies of a possessed man, Christ did not tolerate the "corruption" of eternal
TRUTH. When faced with false teaching and religious error, He was QUICK
to "correct". He was "eloquent" but NEVER "arrogant", He was FORCEFUL
but NEVER "unloving". When declaring truth or refuting false teaching, He
was FIRM and UNCOMPROMISING but always "gracious". In fact, Christ's
example makes it clear that correcting error is one of the "most loving" acts you
can demonstrate toward mankind.

In summary: Christ's ministry lays out a "perfect example" of how SERIOUS
defending the "truth" was and still is...We have a lot to learn from how Christ
dealt with hypocrisy, lies and false doctrines. His bold example shows us clearly
"how" and "when" we need to defend God's truth and the NEED for "believers"
of today to continue to confront and correct false teachings and beliefs.

(Matthew 11:12)....From the days of John the Baptist til now, the Kingdom of Heaven
suffers (allows) violence and the violent take it by "force"..... Sometimes we DO have
need to be "radical"... (in other words) ... Sometimes It's OK Not To Be Nice!

Views: 18


You need to be a member of Black Preaching Network to add comments!

Join Black Preaching Network

© 2024   Created by Raliegh Jones Jr..   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service