Uncompromising and Intolerant

I try not to watch too much television. Due to the cultural rot portrayed on the screen, I find it a waste of time and a depressing influence on my spirit and mind. It’s Satan’s propaganda campaign; “Give up; the rest of the world has surrendered, and you can’t win.” But there are rare gems of truth to be had in unsuspecting moments, if you wait for them.

Despite all of the uproar over the Harry Potter series, there are a few gems even there. One such is a statement to Harry by Dumbeldore, the headmaster of Hogwarts school: “But dark times are coming. Soon we must all face the choice of what’s right or what’s easy.” It is a statement that Christians would be wise to consider. The times are dark; we face that choice.

God never allowed compromise in His word or relationship with His chosen people. The first of the Ten Commandments is “You shall have no other gods before me.” Before the Hebrews entered the Promised Land, God told them to “drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you,” and  destroy all vestiges of their pagan worship, because failure to do so would result in the remaining inhabitants being ‘thorns in your side‘. God ends the command with the ominous promise, “And as I plan to do to them, so I will do to you”  for failure to carry out His command (Numbers 33:52, 55, 56). When they inevitably failed to obey and incorporated pagan Baal worship into that of the Law, God carried out that promise, first through captivity to Assyria and then to Babylon.

Christians can also be seduced by the siren call of compromise. The world has taken the message of the Gospel and twisted it, turning it back on us to silence us. We are told that we have no right to judge anyone else because we’re all imperfect. We’re told that all God really wants is for us to love Him and love each other, no matter what form that may take. Besides, since His grace covers us all, it doesn’t really matter how I live my life, if I do so in a loving manner.And the best way I can do that is by simply accepting people the way they are (or choose to be).

Through ignorance of God’s word, we buy into that message because it sounds right, finding proof texts to back it up, while ignoring, dismissing, or arguing strenuously against other scripture that doesn’t support the theology. In our failure to proclaim the whole message of God, we compromise with those who want to define our message while trying to shut us up. We surrender to the demand to be ‘tolerant’.

Jesus will have none of it. To those who say Jesus is only one way to God, and that all others are just as legitimate, He says this: “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). He claims stands on the validity of His authority as the Son of God. There is no one else who can legitimately made that claim. He goes on to say that we must “enter through the narrow gate… for the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13,14). There is no room in those statements for our opinions. We don’t get to choose our own path; it’s His way or the highway (to destruction). Any attempt  to plant one foot in the world and one in heaven is considered spiritual adultery; we literally ‘cheat on God’ (James 4:4).

For too long Christians, particularly in America, have chosen what is easy. In our failure to stand up and boldly proclaim the whole truth of the Bible, we have steadily given ground to those who practice evil and call it good- expressed as “just the way I am”, “born this way”, or even, “God wants me to be happy.” We serve no one by failing to tell others of sin and the need for repentance, obedience and submission, out of fear of being considered intolerant. Matt Barber put it this way in his column Jesus the ‘Intolerant Bigot”: “The Gospel of Christ doesn’t care about tolerance. It cares about truth.” It’s time for the Church to choose what’s right, regardless of the consequences. The reward will be: “well done, good and faithful servant.”