Tuesday, April 17, 2012
"Just So Long As It's Tolerant"
A minister of Protestant persuasion had become involved with an Inter-Faith Group. Common ground and mutual respect were being sought through an exchange involving Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans and others.
He was delighted with the experience, and had come to see North American proliferation of the Gospel as something bullying and unrealistic in light of our current demographics. Coming from him "conversion" sounded like a dirty word.
For any one group to claim the exclusive path to Heaven now seemed most inappropriate to this man of the cloth. The other minister conducting the interview appeared sympathetic.
But I have gone to the fifth chapter of Galatians and have been reminded of the "offence of the cross" acknowledged by Paul. It is not the Cross plus something else! It is the finished work of Jesus which has all our confidence.
And we must remember that Jesus portrayed Himself as the only way (John 14). As Christians we have sold out to the pearl of great price (Matthew 13). The point is not negotiable. In that respect we must remain "intolerant". We hold lives in our conversation, constancy and demeanour. No small responsibility. If so-called Christian pulpits can say otherwise, they need more than a fresh coat of varnish.
As we operate in the fruit of the Spirit, all graces must be extended to all men, inasmuch as we are able. Remember 1 Peter 2:
17. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
Remember, that in early years, Ghandi fell in love with the spirit of Jesus. But he could not abide shallow and insincere "Churchians". If they thought that they could woo him in with their personal sweetness, devoid of the Word of Life and the Spirit of Grace, they were mistaken, and without power.