I have been writing this post in my mind ever since I read a comment at a friend's blog. The commenter basically questioned why Christians call people sinners when they don't agree with the Christian's beliefs and why Christians tell people they are going to hell if they don't believe in the Christian God. The commenter went on to propose a "leave me alone, and I'll leave you alone" type of tolerance.
The saying "Tolerance is the last virtue of a completely corrupt society" immediately came to mind. Sadly, this commenter seems to reflect the views of many people: "Don't tell me what I am doing is wrong. It may be wrong for you, but that doesn't mean it's wrong for me, so just leave me alone."
Let me tell you, I can sympathize with this commenter in one way. I have seen plenty of Christians who are hateful when they see something wrong in someone else's life. I don't think that is right, either. There are ways to tell people they are wrong without alienating them, and we shouldn't stop loving people when they refuse or cannot see where they are wrong. After all, if you are like me (and you are), we all have plenty of our own sins to occupy us. We have no room to hate, dislike, or despise others for their sins.
Another point I would like to make is that in God's eyes every sin is abominable.
We I tend to think that I am pretty good because I don't [fill in the blank]; the truth of the matter is that just one sin makes me hideous in God's eyes. Additionally, as my pastor says, "Any Christian can commit any sin that a non-Christian will commit, given the right provocation." Becoming a Christian did not make me any less of a sinner. The only differences between a saved sinner and an unsaved sinner are their final destination and the Christian's desire to avoid sin.
Taking into consideration those two points, the truth of the matter is that there are times when "tolerance" is simply not an option. Here are some issues that are non-negotiable for a Christian.
- Jesus Christ is the only way to get to Heaven. There are no alternatives. Good works won't save you; no other god [so-called] will save you; church membership won't save you. If a person does not accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, he will go to hell when he dies. God has said that even the world around us testifies of Him, leaving us without excuse.
- All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. This includes Christians. We are nothing special; we are sinners just like everyone else. The only difference is that Christ has saved us from our sins and has given us a hatred for sin.
- Anything that God has called sin is just that - sin. It doesn't matter how we rationalize it in our own minds; God said it's sin. Lying, gossip, gluttony, envy, idolatry, drunkenness, stealing, coveting, murder, homose*uality, adultery - these are just a few of the things that God calls sin.