[forthright] Are Christians Intolerant? (Part Three)

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2007 14:54:21 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Square One

Are Christians Intolerant? (Part Three)
by Richard Mansel

By the prevailing definition, Christians must be
intolerant because Scripture cannot be changed nor
ignored (2 Timothy 3:16,17; Deuteronomy 4:2;
Deuteronomy 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation
22:18,19). The prophet Jeremiah was told to stand
before the nation of Israel and speak, "all the
words that I command you to speak to them. Do not
diminish a word" (Jeremiah 26:2). We are taught
not even to "think beyond what is written" (1
Corinthians 4:6).

Men protest the teachings of Christians as
intolerant, bigoted, and the result of an empty
head. Television shows and movies commonly portray
Christians as ignorant and prejudiced without any
knowledge of Scripture. The sinners will then
quote the Bible and "shame" the Christian into
admitting his "error." Except that the sinners and
the Christians will most often misapply the
Scriptures cited because the writers generally
have no idea what Scripture really teaches.

The most popular area discussed on television
dramas are Christian's views of homosexuality as
being sinful. The sinners will quote, out of
context, some passage from the Old Testament to
prove that the Christian is being inconsistent and
irrelevant.

Christians who actually know the truth realize
that these writers were misapplying Scripture yet
again. We no longer live under the Old Testament,
so citing passages from the Law of Moses does not
mean that Christians are ignorant, it means the
accuser is uninformed. Homosexuality is also
condemned in the New Testament as being unnatural
and sinful, but this is never mentioned on
television shows (Romans 1:24-28).

Most often when Christians are being charged with
intolerance and bigotry, it is because the person
making the charge is ignorant of what Scripture
really teaches. Wrenching "Judge not lest you be
judged" out of its context (Matthew 7:1) and
misapplying it does not change the fact that
Scripture means what it says./1

Whether a Christian is intolerant or not depends
on the individual. But we must understand what we
mean by this statement.

We are to be judged as individuals since we are
all made up of weaknesses and strengths. We all
have our own beliefs and opinions. Some are wrong
and some are right. One individual is open-minded
on a variety of subjects while another is not. We
are all the sum total of our experiences,
knowledge, and teaching. Not all Christians, or
sinners, for that matter, are ignorant nor
prejudiced. We are all individuals.

Concerning Scripture, we are told that many will
misuse Scripture (2 Peter 3:15,16). For their own
reasons, they take Scripture and claim it means
things God never intended.

Scripture means what it says. God has already
decided this. Christians who know the truth know
they have no right to alter Scripture in any way.
Even if they tried, it would never impact what God
has already set in stone (Psalm 119:89). The
meaning of Scripture is "locked in a box," so to
speak, and we do not have the ability to alter or
change it, only proclaim it boldly in love
(Ephesians 4:15).

Those making charges against Christians must
understand the following points. First, Scripture
cannot be changed by man because it is written and
owned by God (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Second,
Christians are commanded by God to teach to the
world only what Scripture teaches (Matthew 28:18-
20; 2 Timothy 4:2,3). Third, Christians cannot
tolerate error just because it makes sinners happy
(Galatians 1:8-10; 2 Timothy 4:3,4).

Standing firmly by what Scripture teaches and
proclaiming it to the world does not make
Christians bigots. Instead, it means Christians
fear God more than men (Acts 5:29).

__________
1/ http://tinyurl.com/cnezb

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