Tolerance

One of the big watchwords we hear today is “tolerance”. This is defined as accepting anything and everything new we see and hear and learning to live with it. There are different things we have preferences for in life. When it comes to sports, some people root for the University of Michigan, whereas others favor Michigan State. Some people like Coke, and others like Pepsi. Some like chocolate, and others don’t. These tastes are simply personal likes and dislikes that we can take a casual “live and let live” attitude towards. Tolerance as defined by many today, however, involves not sports,pop, or food, but matters like homosexuality, abortion, religious views that contradict the Bible and so on. We are told that we must do this to embrace different points of view including cultural and sexual perspectives we aren’t used to. We see this mentality especially evident at college, where diversity is seen as a virtue. What does the Bible say about all of this ? “There is a way which¬†seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). There are many things that our politically correct culture views in a positive light. Drugs are thought of as a way to get high, but result in addiction, disease, and ultimately death. Homosexuality often causes AIDS and other sexual diseases that result in death. Abortion leads to a guilty conscience among women who undergo the procedure and can in some cases result in suicide. There are many other examples to show that this is true. But the danger in tolerance and political correctness doesn’t just lie in the world. The church increasingly embraces this mindset. A so-called “Christian gay activist” named Matthew Vines wrote a book in which he claims that homosexuality is not a sin. This book was published by a Christian publishing company. We see this spirit because as Hosea puts it: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me:¬†seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6). There are some churches that don’t teach their members and especially those our age, what God says regarding political correctness in the Bible. This is especially true of those who are our age as young people and young adults. As a result these people are led away from the church and into beliefs that are contrary to Scripture. We should be aware of this mentality and study the Bible to see what it says and how it applies to the circumstances in our lives. God promises those who are faithful eternal life. There will be persecution because those who advocate this type of tolerance have and will continue to prove themselves intolerant of the Bible and what it says regarding their worldview. But if we by His grace and Holy Spirit are faithful to His word, He gives us this promise: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). Not only has God made this promise, He will also fulfill it. May we be aware of tolerance and use spiritual discernment in what we hear and see.

Kevin Rau

Jehu

Throughout our lives we have answered to various kinds of authority: parents, teachers, bosses, and ministers among them. As long as they tell us to do things that are in accordance with God’s laws, we must listen to them. Ultimately, however, we owe our chief allegiance to God and are commanded to walk in His laws and ways. Not everyone either in Biblical times or today held or holds that view as we understand it. One of these men who didn’t obey God’s laws was Jehu. “But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart; for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin”(2 Kings 10:31). Jehu was the man God used to rid the kingdom of Israel of wicked king Ahab and his family. He even did a seemingly good thing and gathered all the worshipers of Baal together in the temple for what was supposedly a feast to Baal, but was instead a means used to kill them all (verses 20-25). Furthermore he broke down the image of Baal and eradicated the worship of that idol from the land of Israel (verses 27, 28). Did this mean that his heart was perfect toward God or that at least there was some sort of common grace in his life? Verse 29 shows that this was not the case. “Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel and that were in Dan.” In other words, Jehu replaced one kind of idol worship with another and as was said above, had no regard for the laws of God whatsoever. What about us? Do we obey the laws of God and take heed to what they say, or do we follow popular trends and political correctness? Do we worship God or trust in ourselves and our own abilities? Many around us today, including some churches, choose to follow the politically correct way of doing and saying things. Others emphasize trusting in one’s own talents, whether academic, athletic, musical, or anything else they can find to put their trust in. There is, however, only one way of doing things and that is what God reveals to us in the Bible. The only way of finding true peace is in the way of obedience to God. The first verse and chorus of the hymn “Trust and Obey” puts it this way: “When we walk with the Lord/ in the light of His word/ what a glory he sheds on our way/ while we do His good will/ He abides with us still and with all who will trust and obey. Trust and obey/ for there’s no other way/to be happy in Jesus/ but to trust and obey”. When we do this by God’s grace and Holy Spirit, we will have the strength we need and seek to go about our everyday lives no matter what may happen to us.

Kevin Rau