Tolerance? Check It.

by Andrew Bonaventura on January 29, 2016
Category: Enews

Our culture has made a god (as in idol-god) out of the tolerance concept in effort to make everything equally valid, promote the belief that it doesn't matter what one believes, and disapprove of one way ever being solely correct. Don't get me wrong; I deeply believe in respect, understanding, and love between people, and am so grateful for this great nation where we have the freedom to worship as we choose. I do not want that freedom ever changed. Yet, while I agree understanding between people is needed, I would drive us to check our spiritual thinking when tolerance is made king.

As followers of Jesus, our devotion is first unto HIM, and we must make no excuse for the fact He is the only way, truth, and life (John 14:6). No one comes to God except through Jesus Christ and what He did in the cross and resurrection. This is God's gift of grace and mercy to us, and we must receive Jesus by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16-17, Romans 10:9-10) as the only way to be saved from sin and hell. The Bible is so incredibly clear --- this is the only way, the one and only way. This doesn't compete against loving unbelievers or people of different faiths, but it rather heightens and enhances it by basing our love for them in Jesus, in truth, and upon the right foundation! The most loving thing you could ever do for an unbelieving or different-faith neighbor, relative, or co-worker is to help him/her come fully to Jesus.

This may be hard to internalize at first reading, but really think about that. It absolutely would be the most loving thing you could ever do for them. If I know the one and only way, but do not share it with people who don't have a relationship with Christ, then it would not be loving of me because I'd be holding back the most important truth they could ever know.

I think of my conversations with a Sikh man I got to know over the past few years at a local gas station. Yes, a bit awkward at first considering the vast differences between the faiths we discussed, but I felt such concern and compassion for his life that I was compelled to share Jesus with him several times. Subsequently, he and his wife came out to HOPE a couple of times and clearly, very clearly, heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. All praise to Jesus! I don't know if they have given their lives to Christ, but I do know I was faithful to invite them to new life in Jesus Christ in a loving, appropriate, gentle, but direct way. I wasn't aiming to be tolerant of my Sikh friend, but much better, to truly love him!

I encourage you to keep building relationships with people who need Jesus and let the Lord lead into whatever is next on HIS agenda. Jesus above all, not all above Jesus. Just pray, listen to HIM, and follow. Jesus is Lord, not tolerance.

Yours in Jesus,

Andrew Bonaventura