Over 2000 years ago today, Satan was celebrating along with the Pharisees and those in the crowd yelling, “Crucify Him!” The Way was silenced. The “rebellion” was squashed.
Or so they thought.
Not much has changed in 2000 years. Satan and the world have rallied and are still trying to defeat and silence Christians. Their main weapon is stealth and effective.
It’s called tolerance.
Tolerance is everything goes for everyone and must be accepted by everyone unless you’re a Christian. And then what we believe and stand for is intolerance and hatred. The tolerance warriors may get to have their cake and eat it, too.
It’s sad that the government gets involved in forcing a business owner to violate his or her personal convictions. And I’m not talking about basic civil rights. The Jim Crow laws were evil. But the Bible does call homosexuality a sin and if baking a cake for a same-sex wedding violates someone’s religious convictions, why isn’t that person’s rights accepted? It’s not about race, gender or nationality. It’s about choice. The couple made a choice. That choice violated the convictions of the cake baker. Why are the couple’s rights and choices of conscience more important than those of the cake bakers? Why not just find another baker? Instead they chose to financially ruin the baker. And Christians are the bad guys? Yet the government violates my beliefs by using my tax dollars to fund abortions. The Christians are losing on every side.
And we’re called intolerant.
I’ve heard it preached from the pulpit that Christians should stop being known by what we’re against and instead be identified by what we’re for. I agree that love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control should be the hallmarks of our personal resumes (even though I admittedly struggle with one, two or nine of them).
I believe that we need the courage of our convictions to stand against evil. Our seeker-sensitive efforts to not offend are eroding away the moral foundation of our society. As for these preachers, I’m happy to be known by what I’m for: conservative, Christian values, a repeal of Roe v. Wade, the biblical definition of marriage (and just to be precise, that means one man, one woman), and most importantly, a belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. I just wish that all Christian-professing pastors would believe and preach on these things.
So maybe we should just embrace the very thing in which we’re accused.
Stop being afraid of calling evil things evil. Stop supporting businesses that perpetuate what the Bible says is wicked. Stop electing political officials with morally destructive agendas. Stop watching TV shows and movies that rip at the fabric of biblical morality. Stop the silence. That’s the goal of the tolerance agenda-our silence.
A Christian might criticize my opinion and say that it’s a stance Jesus would oppose because Jesus was all about love, peace, harmony, grace, and maybe even tolerance. I disagree about tolerance. He loved people, as all Christians should, but Jesus wasn’t tolerant of sin. At all.
He said this about the religious leaders of His day, “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil?” Matthew 12:34. That’s a fairly strong, intolerant statement.
Jesus also said in Matthew 23:15, “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!”
Sound tolerant? Do we have any preachers today leading people astray?
Jesus wasn’t happy about merchants setting up shop in the temple. These business owners were dishonoring God with their business practices. The Bible says in John 2:13-16, “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!””
Tolerant? Are we Christians supporting businesses with unGodly agendas? (Other than Planned Parenthood which the government forces upon us).
Jesus likened his own disciple Peter to Satan. Matthew 16:23. He spoke the hard truths to His closest friends.
Doesn’t sound tolerant.
Jesus didn’t avoid calling out sin in people’s lives. Chapter 4 of John records, “The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”” He pointed out her sin. He didn’t pass over it. It resulted in her salvation and she converted her village.
A rich young man told Jesus that he’d obeyed all of the laws and wanted to know what else he needed to do for salvation. He thought eternal life was about a do and not a who. Jesus pointed out the sin in the young man’s life. The man loved money more than God.
In John 8, Jesus defends an adulterous woman who the Pharisees wanted to stone to death. When she walked away, Jesus told her to go and sin no more. He called out her sin and told her to stop sinning. At the same time Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of her accusers.
When Jesus sent out His disciples to preach in the nearby towns, He told them that if the people didn’t receive them, then to leave and shake the dust of the town off their feet. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” Matthew 10:15.
That’s a solemn message for anyone who rejects Jesus. And is there a hint or trace of tolerance?
Was Jesus tolerant about adultery? Uh. No. He was less tolerant than the strict Pharisees. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28.
What about divorce? Surely Jesus had some tolerance for it. Nope. “”It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.'” Again, Jesus had a more “narrow-minded” opinion than the religious leaders. Matthew 5:31-32.
Many of the things that the world wants us to be tolerant of are the very things that nailed Christ to the Cross. Yes, tomorrow we celebrate Jesus’s glorious resurrection. But it came at a great cost. Not compromise.
We should honor Jesus’s sacrifice by being intolerant of the sins that He hated. We can still love people as Jesus did. It was His love for them that made Him intolerant of their sins. Are we to sit idly by and tolerate the world and our loved ones as sin ruins their eternal opportunities? That would be a waste of Christ’s work on the Cross.