[Part 6 of 7 - Tough Love]
Christians are often accused of “living inside the box,” or separating ourselves from reality, living in our own little world where everybody should go to church and live by the same moral code.
To a degree, I believe this is true of all of us.
When someone comes along that disagrees with our faith, often our first thoughts are disparaging towards this person, at best.
It shows itself more radically when a church brings out a bullhorn to a public event and begins to shout through it, mostly about the torment of Hell that awaits all that don’t believe. They are trying to scare Jesus into someone with threats of Hellfire and brimstone.
That rarely works.
This age is an age of tolerance and ubertolerance.
Christians are accused of intolerance, but most Christians are actually very tolerant of other views. If a Christian personally knows an Atheist, the Christian doesn’t turn his nose up or make a cross out of his fingers at him as he walks by. Christians often converse with members of other faiths and cultures without even mentioning religion. That’s what tolerance is, tolerating others’ worldviews.
Ubertolerance is a hidden movement underneath the tolerance movement that says that Christians should not only never bring up their faith to those who do not share it, but they should change their faith to make all the other worldviews okay in the eyes of God.
Like we’ve ever had the power to do that anyway.
Now, I can tell the difference between the two. Tolerance I can get behind. It’s always a good idea to respect other cultures and faiths. That doesn’t mean a rational, mature discussion isn’t allowable, as long as all parties agree.
But ubertolerance is the opposite of tolerance. It’s the world doing to Christians what they don’t want Christians doing to them.
Unfortunately, this has brought about a consequence that neither side wanted: splinter churches with radical agendas and a lost faith.
Some churches become so cause oriented, so anti-tolerance, that they lose respect for non-Christians and lose their faith in a loving God.
The best example of this would be Westboro Baptist Church, which is largely made up of a single family (a large family) who is very radical indeed. They picket the funerals of dead soldiers who’ve been returned from Iraq, with signs that say “God Hates Fags” and “Your Son is in Hell.” They believe that because homosexuality is accepted so much in America, that everything that America does, every person in America, nay, every person who isn’t a member of their church, is “fag-enabling” or a lover of homosexuality.
They have gone the farthest away from Scripture and yet still try to use it for justification of what they’ve done.
Children and teenagers from Westboro are often quoted as saying that it would be just fine with them if everyone else died and went to Hell and that, if by some chance they were wrong, they would still do what they do anyway.
That is the extreme example, one very sickening and frightening, but are we acting the same way?
Even if at only a fraction of the intensity?
Have you ever wished Hell upon someone in your mind? Have you ever not witnessed to someone because you didn’t like them? Have you ever given up on witnessing to a person because they claim to be a homosexual, an atheist, or a Wiccan?
Have you shown true intolerance, one that says to the unsaved that they are not worthy of your respect, your love, or your God?
Don’t be afraid to answer truthfully. We’re all guilty of it. We’re all guilty of unlove, ungrace, and uncompassion.
Now it’s time to change all of that.