Saturday, June 27, 2009
New Tolerance says that all values, all beliefs, all men's opinions about what is truth and all lifestyles are equally valid. To criticise any of them is to be "intolerant." So people who believe in New Tolerance think Christianity intolerant. But in calling Christianity intolerant, they are not being tolerant. Which means that all beliefs are equal, but some are more equal than others.
Tolerance, said James Kennedy, is the last virtue of a depraved society. When you have an immoral society, he said, that has blatantly, proudly violated all the commandments of God, there is one last virtue they insist on: tolerance for their immorality. (So if you say what they have done is wrong, they are not the villain: you are.)
There is a new civil right: a right for a person's feelings not to be hurt. If you criticise a person's conduct, you are hurting his feelings. You are intolerant. You are demonstrating hatefulness to him, and that is a "hate crime."
David Reagan says New Tolerance is not only turning society against evangelical Christians, but fuelling outright hatred and persecution of evangelicals.
The reason, of course, is simple, he says. Evangelicals stand on the word of God as their authority for all things, and because they do, they feel compelled to speak with moral indignation against the sins of society.
And society responds by shouting "Bigots!" Evangelicals are written off and publicly denounced as "Bible-thumpers," "red-neck zealots" and "self-righteous prudes."
Second, he says, New Tolerance has been adopted by many mainline Christian denominations, which has resulted in diluting their stand against the sins of society.
John 3:16 has been replaced as the central verse in these churches with Matthew 7:1, which says "Judge not, that you be not judged."
The result is. . . pastors are unwilling to denounce gambling, abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, pornography, or any other societal evil.
Someone needs to point out to these preachers that Matthew 7:1 applies to motives - not to words and actions. God alone knows motives, but we can certainly judge words and actions against the standards of God's word. And, in fact, we are required to do so. The Bible tells Christians to test all things, ourselves included (2 Corinthians 13:5 and 1 John 4:1). And Jesus Himself commanded us to judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24).
Third, New Tolerance has resulted among mainline, liberal denominations in a growing acceptance of other religions as legitimate avenues to God and salvation.
The attitude is normally expressed in the following manner: "There are many roads to God because He has revealed Himself in many different ways." Because of this apostasy, many Christian leaders are now taking the position that it is wrong to send out missionaries because they violate the cultural sensitivities of foreign peoples and because they communicate the idea that there is something superior about the Christian message.
All of which makes a liar of Jesus, who said "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me" (John 14:6). It also makes a liar of the Apostle Peter, who proclaimed in Acts 4:12 that "there is salvation in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."
Time, says Kennedy, to stand up for Jesus Christ and show some backbone while we still have a place to stand.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
We can talk about the objects of prayer, such as confession and restoration, for physical or spiritual or emotional healing, for a financial need, for a broken relationship to be healed, for salvation, for spiritual growth, for the spread of the gospel, for a friend in need, for the leaders of our church, for the leaders of our nation, for our friends, and, yes, for our enemies.
Prayer may be as varied as the needs of the heart. The true measure of prayer is not its form or content or style or location or length or beauty of expression. The real question is, Does it come from the heart? Is it sincere? Are we truly seeking the Lord? If so, then we may claim the promise of James 5:16 that the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective. . .
If we pray from the heart in Jesus' name, then the Father is pleased and he inclines his heart to hear us when we call on him.
Ray Pritchard has some good suggestions. He says. for instance, that some of us who know a little theology would do well to get an advanced degree in "kneeology." And a good question. What would happen in our churches if every day every member was prayed for by someone?
You can read the whole thing by clicking here.