Thursday, June 9, 2016

Just Thinking About.....Tolerance

Tolerance seems to be the buzzword of the current socially accepted, politically correct, modern culture. We are told that everyone should be tolerant of others. Seriously though, no one actually believes that. You don't believe it and I don't believe it. It would be more accurate to say that everyone must be tolerant of what THEY dictate. Am I Wrong? Look at the comment section of any article or post relating to Biblical values, traditional marriage, abstinence before marriage, the pro-life position or anything that has to do with a strong Christian stand in general. You will quickly find yourself immersed in the warm and loving arms of the new and “tolerant” society. All of the sudden, differences of opinion will, most definitely, not be tolerated. Wait one second! I think that’s called hypocrisy. Don’t point that out though. That would be intolerant of you. Manipulation, intimidation and control all in the beautiful name of tolerance.

Is the church immune to this? Hardly! Every day my facebook, twitter, instagram and "conservative" leaning news sites are filled with hateful and disrespectful articles, posts and pictures about the “evil left,” “Those idiots,” and my personal favorite “The demoncrats.” …......Demoncrats???? Really?? I bet Jesus gets a good laugh out of "demoncrats" right? LOL Jesus probably hates those people too right?? Uhh? Maybe not! I’m frustrated and discouraged to say some of those people posting and commentating are called “Pastor.” Sometimes I catch myself saying to myself, “Wow I thought that person was a Christian. Oh wait! They are?! The devil must have hacked their twitter account. I better pray about that.” Sometimes I feel tempted to say the same things. Father, lead me not into temptation!

Wouldn’t it be better if we were ACTUALLY tolerant? And by tolerant I mean intolerant. Huh? I’m just going to say it; I’m not very tolerant about some things as it relates to my life and what I believe the church is called to be. I have strong opinions on what's the best direction for our country and our society. These beliefs are based on strong foundations. I’m not just going to roll over and play dead because someone doesn’t like what I believe.

The thing is, I’m willing to bet you are the same way. There are certain things that you aren’t very tolerant of because you believe it. If you don't have things that you believe in deeply, you are not tolerant, you are weak! So here’s the thing, isn’t real tolerance being tolerant of others intolerance. Wait! Don’t tune out on me now. Is it really tolerant to only tolerate what it is that you believe? It’s not that hard for me to tolerate people who believe like me. So, the only real way for me to truly be tolerant is to tolerate people who don’t believe like me, right?

Let me put it this way, I believe that homosexuality is sin in the eyes of God. I don’t, in any way, hate homosexuals. (This is the part where I say I have people in my life that I care deeply about that are living a homosexual lifestyle which will then cue those who will mock me for saying I have people in my life that I care about that live a homosexual lifestyle. Tolerance is awesome!) Anyway, I don't hate them, I just disagree. I believe that abortion is the killing of an unborn child. I don’t hate people who believe in abortion and I certainly do not hate those who have had an abortion. I just disagree with them. I believe that The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God. I don’t hate people who disagree. I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. You don’t believe that? O.K. Guess what? I disagree with you, with very strong and long thought out reason. However, I don’t hate you and I will stand up for your right to disagree with me. We can discuss it. Put it out there in the arena of ideas and see where it leads. No hatred, no intimidation or belittling others beliefs, but a real robust, uncompromised and respectful debate. If people don't have the guts to discuss their beliefs without anger, hate and trying to shut the voice of the other, as I have said before, maybe the argument is just not that good. I am willing to stand in the arena of ideas because I believe that I know what's true and real. I truly believe that I know what, or should I say who, can fix our country and our society. I'm not ashamed to put it out there.

Why do I think this way? And maybe this is more for the church folk reading this. I think this way because, believe it or not this is what the Bible teaches. The Apostle Paul, who wrote a big chunk of the New Testament, operated this way. He would go in to a place where they were debating ideas and join the debate. When Paul spoke many believed him. Some didn’t. Some tried to kill him. Not very tolerant, but hey, whatever. No plan is perfect I suppose. The point is Paul would go into a place that had 300 “gods.” He didn’t ridicule them. Instead, he said, “Let me talk to you about that “unknown god” you have there. This is what I believe about Him.

Jesus, himself, hung out with the tax collectors, the sinners, the prostitutes, and worst of all, he hung out with the church people too. He had conversations on the ocean fishing, at a well getting a drink and over in that part of the country where that "other" race of people lived. He didn't care. He would listen to them, love them and then tell them the truth. Again, some accepted him, others didn't. The religious people and the government killed him though. The thing is Jesus planned to die. He planned to die for the same folks that were currently rejecting him and his ideas. I think that's called love.

In the end, what an individual believes is up to that individual and that individual can live with the consequence of that choice one way or another. If I’m not mistaken, that is the real definition of tolerance. This mess we have going on, especially in The United States, is ridiculous!! NO ONE can make a case for their beliefs one way or the other because everyone is screaming and simultaneously covering their ears saying, “nana nana nana I’m not listening to you.” Is it not glaringly apparent that the direction our country is going is not working? The only thing this whole tolerance thing has been successful in doing is tearing our country apart. Racism is increasing. Hatred is multiplying! Anger is on the rise! Our cities are being destroyed. Injustice is prevailing. And guess what? Donald can’t fix it. Hillary can’t fix it and even if you are really “feeling the Bern,” Bernie can’t fix it either. Don't be so foolish as to believe that they can! Why, because the problems are not political, they are spiritual. Just to be clear, THE PROBLEMS ARE NOT POLITICAL THEY ARE SPIRITUAL!!! Spiritual answers need a true spiritual answer. That’s what I believe. What if there was a better way? What if we just talked about it? But what do I know I’m just an idiot Bible-thumper right?

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