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Truth & Tolerance

The Bible, unlike some religious texts, calls its individual adherents to battle for truth with theology, not swords. In our daily lives Christians are called to fight ideas, not people. This proper understanding of New Testament Christianity has historically allowed for the tolerant coexistence of people with conflicting ideologies. But this is not what people today mean when they speak of “tolerance.” Moderns understand “tolerance” as agreement or an endorsement. It is true that the Bible calls individual Christians to love their enemies, but that includes a love that will contend with their misunderstandings about God. We can never approve or endorse philosophies and lifestyles that oppose the truth, instead, like the Apostle Paul, we must be willing to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” (2Cor.10:5). But this can never be without the presupposition that “the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world” (v.4).

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  1. God speaks to me through Pastor Mike’s comments here. Yesterday I wrote a letter to protest a teacher distributing Toni Morrison’s book, The Bluest Eye,to a public high school junior-level classroom. My anger at the teacher exposing people’s (older) children to episodes of incest and molestation I feel should be left for college students to read, came through with words that did not honor God completely. He did warn students they didn’t have to read the explicit material. Yet, my own pain came through my words along with a judgmental tone and I see I do need to learn how God wants me to speak to avoid alienating the school teacher and administration. It is tough to stand in the breach in love when it hurts so much to see evil seeping into young people’s lives so “progressively” approved by the State’s Education Core Curriculum Committees. But, Jesus is still the Victor and teaches me how to step forward from here! Thank you Pastor Mike for reminding me, speaking must be done in love.

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