The Tension of Intolerance
One of the ironies embedded in how many people think about faith today is that those who insist on tolerance of all beliefs don’t tolerate those who have exclusive beliefs. The fact is, we’re all exclusive in what we believe, just in different ways – which is why condemning other people for what they believe always leads to persecution, oppression, and violence.
In Revelation 2, Jesus commends the church in Ephesus for not tolerating falsehoods and behaviors. However, Jesus is not calling the church to condemn unbelievers – just the opposite. Jesus calls the church to not tolerate any kind of teaching or life that does not lead to love of those who believe differently or fall short of God’s standards. Since we all fall short in how we love, we need to come humbly before God in repentance and ask him for the grace to do so.
One of life’s greatest mysteries is that exclusive faith in Jesus empowered by the work of the Holy Spirit, despite how conterintuitive is might seem, offers us the greatest hope in a world marked by intolerance.
Instead of looking at how others around you should change, ask God how he would want you to think and act differently so that others can see God’s love more clearly.
To hear more, listen to our recent sermon from Revelation 2 here.