Friday, January 10, 2020

Tolerance Without Compromise

do not give the devil a foothold” –  Ephesians 4:27

A friend sent me a short video the other day where a Muslim-American politician was speaking to a Muslim audience espousing the need to convert the people of this country to Islam.  I suppose that my friend is concerned that there is a real effort in this country to do that.  Then I thought about the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of our country and the fact that we stand on the principle that everyone has a right to believe what they want to believe. But what if they also believe that everyone else should believe the same thing.  That should not be surprising since, as Christians, we believe that our faith is the “true” faith and God wants everyone to embrace the Gospel and salvation through Jesus.

Read the Bible – for the Jews, there were only two types of people – Jews and people who were not Jews.  For us, there are those who are saved and adopted into the family of God by faith and those who are lost and bound for hell.  So – although we Christians, in this country, are to be tolerant of other faiths and non-faiths, we believe that there are really only two kinds of people, saved and lost. Well …. Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs, but by definition has never been a Theocracy, a country under the rule of one religion.  In fact many of the founders of this country were escaping that when they came here as immigrants. But, if you think that everyone should be a Christian, and I do for their eternal sake, then don’t you see a conflict in our religious goals versus our national goals? So what to do.

I entitled this devotion “Don’t give Satan a foothold”, because I believe that our concern or fear about the dominance of other religions in this county gives Satan a foothold in our lives and impacts our faith. When I watched that video, frankly my first thought was , “How do we prevent this?” There seems to be a greater and greater tolerance for non-Christian religions and less tolerance for Christians.  But that is merely a reflection of the founding principles of our country. As a culture, in comparison to other nations of the world, our country is in its infancy. When I was in grade school, I was taught that the United States is “melting pot”, where all cultures, ethnic groups, faiths come together and are blended.  Well that may be true to some extent but many cultures and ethnic groups and faiths want to cling to their roots while embracing the prosperity that can be found here. There will always be tension among groups when that is true and that will always be true. Unless, of course, everyone could find common ground through faith or when Jesus returns. 

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” ― Matthew 7:13-14

Jesus was telling us that many more will reject the Gospel than accept the Gospel. Christianity is not something that is to be imposed on people as in a Theocracy. I am certain you have heard about people being killed because they refused to become Muslim.  By the way – people claiming to be Christians have been guilty of that in times past  as well.  So what are we to do?

As Christians, our place is to be a light in a dark world.  To first trust God and His sovereignty and not men and governments.  We are to put God ahead of our country but at the same time submit to the law of the land, so long as it is not contrary to God’s law.  This county’s moral tide will ebb and flow over time.  People with competing goals and faiths will always be in contention with each other.  In all of that, we must be true to our faith – our witness – and our God.  We must stand on our beliefs and not compromise truth to get along – which is the foot hold that Satan is looking for.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” – Jude 24-25

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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