Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Friday, December 28, 2012

Exclusive, Divisive, Intolerant

Does holding two different views mean that the people involved have to be divisive and intolerant? Well, if one of them is me, then ya, that would seem to be the case. But that isn’t because of the view that I hold. It’s because I’m a jerk. Yet many people say that Christianity is in and of itself divisive and intolerant.
Jesus died and rose again, thereby defeating sin's most perplexing consequence, and He did so for every single person who's ever existed. What more, Jesus invites every single person who's ever existed to take Him up on His offer of forgiveness for their sins. Because of that, Christianity – the religion based upon the teachings of Jesus the Christ can hardly own the accusation of being intolerant or not inclusive. Rather than complain that Jesus is the only way back to a healed and forgiven relationship with our Creator, we should be happy that there is ANY way back.
Beyond that, the fact is, every single person on earth holds a view on religion that is exclusive, even if that view is irreligious or anti religious. Everyone’s truth claims are based on fundamentals. Even the person who says “There is no truth,” is saying, “And that’s the truth.”
Jesus, the King of king, Lord of lords, true God, Creator of everything that is seen and unseen stepped down from His throne in Heaven, came to earth as a human being and gave His life so that His enemies might live forever in Paradise. He gave His life for you and for me and allowed humanity to do its absolute worst to Him so that our sin and rebellion against Him could be forgiven.
All who come to Him will be saved.”
Anyone who believes in Him will not be condemned.”
Jesus forgave the very people who were killing Him. He took the lowest position in society at that time and washed the feet of the man who He knew was about to betray Him. Christ will include anyone who is willing to place h/her trust exclusively in what Jesus did for that person while He was on the cross. So inclusive is Christianity that because Jesus died for His enemies, He asks us to be willing to live for our enemies by loving them as He loves us – i.e sacrificially.
Christianity can only be intolerant to the degree that the message of Jesus is ignored. Some day evil and all those on the side of evil will be defeated and removed from God's Kingdom. Until we do something to rectify the situation, we stand condemned. It's up to us to receive the offer of freedom.
The cure for intolerance is for all of us to be aware that everyone lives by the belief that s/he is right on many, many issues. Global warming, vegetarianism, which type of vehicle to drive, where to volunteer, whether to go to Church or not, which school to attend, what type of clothing to wear, what part of the city to live in, and on and on. Even those who tell themselves and anyone else who will listen, “I know there is no absolute truth,” feels superior to those who disagree.
The Truth that Christians claim to have access to is not their own truth but the Truth of someone who came, “Not to be served but to serve, and to lay down My life for many.”

Atheists seem to be telling Christians that respect and tolerance means never talking to others about that which Christians consider the most important thing in life. Yet if we Christians claim to love others, then we can't NOT talk to others about Jesus' offer of forgiveness.
Ideas do not lead to intolerance.
Humans lead to intolerance.
Neither religion nor the lack of religion poisons everything.
Humans poison everything.
The degree of human corruption is so great that even the purest philosophy to ever exist cannot wholly remove it from our character. That will only be accomplished when our Creator and Saviour arrives for the second time to make things right by removing all wrong. 

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