"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the
life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." (John 14:6) This
verse has gotten Christianity into hot water with the world throughout the
history of the Christian Church Age.
This verse was what gave the Romans their excuse for
throwing Christians to the lions. It has served as the main reason for
Christian persecution wherever it might be found.
This verse is the one that is behind the UN's hatred of
Christianity, and is the main reason that in Canada, the Bible has been determined,
under certain circumstances, to be 'hate literature'.
Jesus' claim that He is the only way is what upsets the
world. To the world, Christianity is 'intolerant' because it teaches the
only one way to salvation is through Jesus.
To a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., that means that
they are excluded, since they don't worship Jesus as God. Therefore,
Christianity is an 'exclusive' religion, and people don't like to be
excluded, even when they CHOOSE to be excluded.
It is absurd, really. Consider the premise for a moment.
The 'hate speech' argument is based on Jesus not letting Muslims, Hindus,
etc., et al, into His heaven just because they don't believe in Him.
So, from the secular perspective, if the 'mythical' Jesus
won't let unbelievers into His 'mythical' Heaven, that is 'intolerance' and
'hateful'. Leaving aside why Jesus would exclude unbelievers for a second,
one has to wonder why somebody who doesn't believe in Jesus would want to
go to His heaven in the first place?
Whether or not Christianity is intolerant depends on what
the word 'tolerant' means. And in an age of propaganda, words are not very
precise. Remember, in the name of 'pro-choice', it is a crime to offer a
different choice that abortion within 100 feet of an abortion clinic.
'Militant' means any terrorist who isn't for the moment, targeting YOU. Or
it means 'radical', as in 'militant feminist'.
So, 'militant' -- depending on political worldview -- can
mean either a crazed terrorist murdering as many innocents as possible or,
a group of angry women carrying signs.
"Tolerant" -- and its derivatives -- is a word
From the perspective of Biblical Christianity, there is
no more tolerant worldview than that of Christ. Christianity teaches the
obvious truth that all men have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.
Even atheists recognize 'sin' -- even if they rename it.
Were it not for sin, societies wouldn't need police protection. Nations
wouldn't need armies. Religions would have no reason to exist and no
'hammer' with which to keep the faithful in line.
Sin exists. All religions offer a remedy. Some require
you to go out and knock on doors and proselytize new members as a means of
salvation from sin. Others, like Islam, might require you to go out and blow
up a school bus as a means of salvation from sin.
Some require you to keep certain church laws and
regulations in order to be saved from sin, while others require an outward
act of penitence.
Even secular society has a remedy for sin. When a convicted
criminal serves out his sentence for a crime, he is said to have 'paid his
debt to society'. He can never be punished for that crime again under the
law. There is nothing intolerant about the recognition for sin, or the
existence of a sin debt.
Jesus offers all men the free gift of salvation for the
asking. They need only accept the gift of Pardon offered and trust in His
Shed Blood as full payment of their sin debt.
If they accept the gift, they are imputed with the Righteousness
of Christ and have therefore paid their sin debt and are eligible for
Heaven. Their 'debt to Heaven's society' is paid, and like the convict
whose sentence is served, they can never be punished for that crime again.
If they reject the offer of Pardon, then they stand
before the Righteous Judge with that debt unpaid. Nothing intolerant about
Not too long back, Bernie Ebbers, was sentenced to 25
years in prison for his role in the Worldcom embezzlement scandal. Ebbers'
lawyers tried to mitigate his sentence by pointing out the millions of
dollars Ebbers contributed to philanthropic efforts.
The judge was unmoved by Ebbers' good works, and imposed
what was tantamount to a life sentence for the 63 year-old executive.
(Ebbers won't be eligible for release until he is 85 years old.)
Was the judge intolerant because he refused to consider
that Ebbers gave some of the money that he stole to charity? One would have
a difficult time making that case, and Ebbers' subsequent sentence proves
it. Besides, Ebbers wasn't being judged for what he did with the money. He
was being judged for stealing it in the first place.
Ebbers tried to buy his pardon using stolen money that he
gave to charity. The judge saw right through him. Standing before the Righteous
Judge arguing our good works without paying for our bad works is equally
Jesus is Divinely fair in His judgement. His Pardon is
based on the fact He has already paid for the crimes, and offers His
payment on our behalf.
Nothing intolerant about that.
The Bible gives us a genuine basis to recognize hypocrisy
and confront it for what it is. Because the Bible upholds the dignity of
all persons as image-bearers of God, we have a basis for a genuinely
diverse culture. When faithful to the Scriptures, Christianity is tolerant
in the appropriate sense of the term.
As noted, it all depends on the meaning one assigns to
the word 'tolerant'. When tolerance means that we are to accept all beliefs
as equally true and valid, Christians must respectfully object.
The notion that truth is a social construct is what gives
the world a reason to hate Christianity as 'intolerant' and 'hateful'. To a
Christian, truth matters. To the world, the truth is whatever they want to
believe is true.
In the sense of 'Christian intolerance' the word
'tolerant' really means 'pluralist'. 'Pluralism' is a curious philosophy,
in that it holds that a number of simultaneous and conflicting truths can
exist at the same time with each separate truth remaining equally true.
Pluralism holds that distinct cultural beliefs are true
for that culture--but not for cultures that operate out of a different
"paradigm" (like Christianity.)
Pluralists say that truth is a "social
construction." It is created through social consensus and tradition,
not discovered in reality that exists independently of our beliefs. Truth
is, therefore, subjective interpretation, rather than facts based in
To the pluralist, all religions are equally valid and all
religions lead to God. All gods are equally 'god', which is the logical
equivalent to saying there is no God at all -- and then making a religious
worldview out of it.
Therefore, defining 'tolerant' as the semantic equivalent
to 'pluralist' means that Christianity is intolerant because it stands or
falls on that central truth that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the
life, and that no man comes to the Father but by Him.
Under the Romans, Christianity was outlawed because it
was 'hateful' and 'intolerant'.
Under revived Rome, the Apostle John says the Tribulation
saints will be persecuted and put to death for refusing to accept his
universal symbol of religious pluralism, what we call 'the Mark of the
The Mark of the Beast isn't merely an economic system,
although John says that without it, no man would be able to buy or sell.
John also says that it will become a universal,
pluralistic religious system saying that, he will "cause that as many
as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
Those who don't accept voluntary inclusion into the
pluralistic religion of the false prophet because of their faith in Christ
will be executed for their intolerance.
(As a side note, the 'Tribulation Saints' are those who
are converted by the 144,000 Jewish evangelists sealed by the Holy Spirit
(Revelation Chapter 7) and not the Church Age saints. During the
Tribulation, power is given to the antichrist (and Satan) "to make war
with the saints, and TO OVERCOME THEM," -- something not possible with
Church Age believers Personally indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.)
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome
THEM: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the
world." (1st John 4:4)
This is part of the continuously unfolding tapestry of
Bible prophecy for the last days. Religious pluralism, in some form, is the
universal religion of the antichrist.
Christianity is not the only faith that makes claims of
exclusivity. So does Islam. So does Judaism. Exclusivity is a fundamental
of each faith.
All three are currently engaged in a global war aimed at
wiping each other out. Whether or not they succeed, there is little doubt
that 'fundamentalism' is rapidly becoming a dirty word in these last days.
The false prophet is depicted by John as having,
"two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." The Lamb is
symbolic of Christianity, whereas the dragon is another name for Satan.
Logically, the pluralist religion of the antichrist will
be some counterfeit form of Christianity that includes all other faiths
under a single religious umbrella. We are getting closer, but we aren't
The problem is, one cannot reconcile 'tolerance' with
'faith'. 'Tolerance' (religious pluralism) dictates that there are many
truths. The indwelt Church stands as an obstacle on the path to religious
pluralism during the Church Age, until it is recalled at the Rapture.
The reason, in part, is because faith recognizes only one
truth. One cannot have 'faith' in conflicting truths -- the Bible says,
"faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)
Each of us goes to work each Monday because we have faith
that our paychecks will be there Friday. Not just that we will be paid, but
how much we will be paid. If that paycheck was only there sometimes, and
the amount reflected the whim of a different paymaster each week, who would
keep showing up for work on Monday?
Our work is the 'substance' of things hoped for (our
paycheck) and the fact we show up each Monday is the unseen evidence of our
faith in payday. Do you follow?
One cannot be 'tolerant' of conflicting 'truths', any
more than it would intolerant to refuse to go to work without faith in
payday being the same 'truth' every week.
Faith and tolerance are polar opposites. That doesn't
make Christianity intolerant of the world.
It makes the world intolerant of Christianity.
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I
came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance
against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter
in law against her mother in law."
"And a man's foes shall be they of his own
household." (Matthew 10:34-36)
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