Saturday, July 25, 2015

One of those posts you should read all the way through, if you're going to read it at all. ;)

People say Christianity is intolerant, as those claiming that label refuse the rights of marriage to certain people who love each other.
People say Christianity is intolerant, as those claiming that label insist women do not have the right to reject a pregnancy they are not ready for.
People say Christianity is intolerant, as those claiming that label argue against Islamic beliefs.

You are a homosexual? You're going to hell. Y
ou are a witch? You're going to hell. You are suicidal? You're going to hell. You are pro-abortion? You're going to hell. You have married more than one person? You're going to hell. You lied? You're going to hell. You wanted something that was not yours? You're going to hell. You are afraid? You're going to hell. 

Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, that leads to life eternal. 

Part of the problem I think is that as a church we've muted exactly how intolerant the Bible is. 

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

We find it easy to say The Bible clearly says homosexuality is wrong! I'd say the fearful shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire is pretty clear, too. And yet you don't see much in the news about that. This probably has something to do with the fact that less than 4% of the US population is something other than heterosexual. (It highly depends on what study you look at, but that seems to be the high end of the percentage around the world.) What percentage of the US population (or of any church's population) lies? Or is fearful? Hum. 
Can we quit trying to insist Christianity isn't intolerant? 

They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
There is none righteous, no, not one.

Yeah, try to convince anybody that the Bible is tolerant. We're all going to end up in eternal hellfire.

The thing is, while you're chafing under the labeling of your beliefs as intolerant (and worse things), everyone is missing the point. 

The Bible is an incredible, gorgeous, amazing story. It starts with perfection..and by the second chapter there has been a fall from grace. All is wrong and every single one of us is without hope. 
The climax of the story is that Perfection and Grace came to us and freely gave us Hope. 
There are not certain people who are "bad" and a few special people who've made to level "Heaven." We are all equally condemned, and we are all equally savable. Nothing you've done, nothing you are, nothing in your past, future, or present can keep you out of heaven. There's nothing you have to do to get there. There's nothing you can do, actually. It's already been done. You, no matter what is or has been in your life, were loved so much that God took on Himself the consequences of what you've done so you could still have eternal life. In the end, your heritage or rank or lifestyle or list of good works gives you no advantage or disadvantage. No one starts closer to God than another, and there's no one too far for Him to reach.  

We haven't reached the happily ever after part of the story yet. But it's coming. And that happy ending is possible for everyone.  

For we ourselves also were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 
But after the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; Whom he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

It's not that the Bible dares say certain things are wrong that makes people furious. It's that the Creator of the Universe dared say there is but one way for us to live forever. (A way that involved Him dying to make absolutely free to all of us, but still, only one way.) It is absolutely intolerant of any of us being "okay" on our own. And that thing that resulted in an archangel falling from heaven rears up in us as we look upon the Creator's universe and demand how He could possibly think to decree it so.

No amount of backpedaling or re-writing Scripture on our part is going to change that. We are called to show people the love that brought God down from His heaven so He could bring us back up with Him. No one wants to hear they're a horrible being deserving of punishment. Nobody wants to hear they have a fatal disease either. 

Is not pretending the fatal disease won't really kill people, and ignoring the 100% effective cure we have directly on hand far more cruel than breaking the bad news of the fatal disease in the first place? Should we all just tolerate the unthinkable fate of humanity without God, because it is more comfortable for us all at the moment? 

4 thoughts shared:

Vicki said...

Fabulous song. And the post - YES. We are intolerant, just like doctors are intolerant of disease and suffering, and police are intolerant of crime and unsafe behavior, and teachers are intolerant of ignorance. I've never thought about it this way but I love it!!

Keep preaching!
~ Vicki

Ashton said...

Very, very good & thought-provoking.

wisdomcreates said...

Yes, yes, yes. Thank you. Especially lately, I've been aware of just how much I "blew it". But the way He made for me still stands.

Katherine Sophia said...

Isn't it, Vicki? I kind of love it. :) And yeah - it just hit me how tolerance is not the greatest good, and perhaps we need to start seriously pointing that out to people and trying to show that love and intolerance are not incompatible...while there are times that love and tolerance are in direct opposition to each other.

Thank you, Ashton!

Amen, wisdomcreates. Isn't it an incredibly awesome thing to think about?


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