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Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 1:18-20
Christians and Religious Tolerance
1. Tolerance means acceptance, approval, compromise and even endorsement. [To many, tolerance = love]
a. Tolerate: "to endure or resist the action of (as a drug or food) without serious side effects or discomfort : exhibit physiological tolerance for 2 a : to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction" (Merriam-Webster).
b. The free exercise of one's conscience is called "hate" and expressing a faith-conviction as "hate speech".
2. To the faithless, "tolerance" means acceptance (or at least, silence), even to the point of changing your beliefs to accommodate them.
-Illus: Hillary Clinton: "She told attendees at the sixth annual Women in The World Summit that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” for the sake of giving women access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth.” (The Daily Caller, Kerry Picket, 4/23/15)
3. In the church, faithful brethren continue to stand against the sin of religious tolerance (i.e., compromise) by other brethren for generations (worship, work and organ. of local church, to denominational practices today, moral compromises, etc.), cf. Gal. 2:5.
a. "I don't know how we're supposed to be an example or reach people if we are turning them away." (cf. 2 Tim. 4:2-4)
b. Many brethren practice open fellowship without rebuke and disciplinary correction of error, cf. Eph. 5:11; 2 Jno. 10-11.
4. The word "tolerate" is used once in ESV, Rev. 2:20: Christ is against it!
I. JESUS DID NOT TOLERATE SIN. Hab. 1:13
A. Jesus Said "take these things away" (He did not say to accept, compromise and tolerate sin), Jno. 2:13-17.
B. Jesus Openly Challenged Sin and Error, Matt. 15:7-14; Matt. 23.
II. CHRISTIANS CANNOT COMPROMISE WITH ERROR (SIN), Gal. 2:5; Rev. 2:2.
A. Because Religious/Doctrinal Error is Sin against God, Gal. 1:6-10; 2 Jno. 9.
1. Resurrection is past already, 2 Tim. 2:16-18.
2. Jesus did not come in the flesh, 1 Jno. 4:1-6.
B. "Becoming all things to all Men" does not Mean Accepting or Compromising with Sin, 1 Cor. 9:19-23.
III. WHAT ARE WE TO DO? 1 Cor. 5:9-10.
A. Let Our Lights Shine, Matt. 5:14-16; Phil. 2:15.
1. Live our faith and our conscience, cf. Rev. 13:14-17. cf. Dan. 3:12, 16-18
2. Be evangelistic, 2 Tim. 1:8-10; Acts 17:6. Do not be ashamed.
-Sinners in the world will never be converted by seeing Christians compromise their faith for their convenience and safety.
3. Fight the good fight of faith, 1 Tim. 6:12.
4. Do not become bitter or antagonistic, 1 Pet. 2:12 (2 Tim. 2:24).
5. Do not take vengeance, instead, love your enemies, Matt. 5:38-45.
B. Engage in and Support Honorable Bible Study and Discussion, Jude 3-4; 2 Cor. 10:3-5.
1. Know the Bible and its opponents, Eph. 3:3-4 (5;17).
2. Speak the truth in love, Eph. 4:15.
- Even then, some (incl. brethren) will count you as an enemy.
C. Identify and Refuse Fellowship with False Teachers and their False Doctrines, Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Tim. 2:15-18; 2 Cor. 11:3-4, 14.
1. "Judging" v. righteous judgment, Jno. 7:24; 5:30.
2. Suffer for righteousness sake, Matt. 5:12; Rev. 2:9-10.
D. Do not become Factious in Spirit and Action, Lk. 9:49-50 (Matt. 10:16).
1. Do not defend a person, a church, a magazine, a college, etc. instead of defending truth and those who stand in the truth.
2. Keep a spirit of salvation for the lost, not destruction, Lk. 9:51-56.
1. Following Jesus makes you different from the world, and the world hates you for it, Jno. 15:18-19.
2. Be patient: Victory is assured, Rev. 14:12-13.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: May 14, 2015