Wednesday, March 20

Jesus, Exclusivity and Tolerance

The 'problem' of tolerance has come up a few times in the Sunday School class I'm currently teaching, 'Intro to Revelation'. I didn't want to deal with it from the hip, so here's the outline I came up with for last Sunday's lesson, which was well received. And if you're really interested, here's the mp3 of the class.

  1. Jesus is the only way to the Father
  2. But, we Christians have really misrepresented Him
    1. We claim things in His name that just aren't true and do things that are wrong
      1. e.g.: Pat Robertson, slavery, colonialism, religious wars, Westboro Baptist Church, etc.
    2. Those things don't invalidate our beliefs, but some humility is called for
  3. And, too often, our approach has been Pharisaical
    1. We have spoken the truth in self-righteousness, not in love
    2. We are more interested in who is 'right' than love
    3. The Gospel is not that the good are in and the bad are out
      1. The Gospel is that everyone is lost (Luke 15) and can be found by Him
      2. The Gospel is that the sick need a physician, not the healthy (but no one is healthy -- Luke 5.27-32)
  4. So, I tend to be noncombative
    1. I advocate a strategy that begins with love and prayer and listening
    2. But, I'm a conflict-avoider. Some of you might be more effective in a more confrontational mode. But there for sure has to be love.