Are Christians Intolerant? (3)

judge.jpg By the prevailing definition, Christians must be intolerant because Scripture cannot be changed nor ignored (2 Timothy 3:16,17; Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18,19). The prophet Jeremiah was told to stand before the nation of Israel and speak, “all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word” (Jeremiah 26:2). We are taught not even to “think beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6).
Men protest the teachings of Christians as intolerant, bigoted, and the result of an empty head. Television shows and movies commonly portray Christians as ignorant and prejudiced without any knowledge of Scripture. The sinners will then quote the Bible and “shame” the Christian into admitting his “error.” Except that the sinners and the Christians will most often misapply the Scriptures cited because the writers generally have no idea what Scripture really teaches.
The most popular area discussed on television dramas are Christian’s views of homosexuality as being sinful. The sinners will quote, out of context, some passage from the Old Testament to prove that the Christian is being inconsistent and irrelevant.
Christians who actually know the truth realize that these writers were misapplying Scripture yet again. We no longer live under the Old Testament, so citing passages from the Law of Moses does not mean that Christians are ignorant, it means the accuser is uninformed. Homosexuality is also condemned in the New Testament as being unnatural and sinful, but this is never mentioned on television shows (Romans 1:24-28).
Most often when Christians are being charged with intolerance and bigotry, it is because the person making the charge is ignorant of what Scripture really teaches. Wrenching “Judge not lest you be judged” out of its context (Matthew 7:1) and misapplying it does not change the fact that Scripture means what it says./1
Whether a Christian is intolerant or not depends on the individual. But we must understand what we mean by this statement.
We are to be judged as individuals since we are all made up of weaknesses and strengths. We all have our own beliefs and opinions. Some are wrong and some are right. One individual is open-minded on a variety of subjects while another is not. We are all the sum total of our experiences, knowledge, and teaching. Not all Christians, or sinners, for that matter, are ignorant nor prejudiced. We are all individuals.
Concerning Scripture, we are told that many will misuse Scripture (2 Peter 3:15,16). For their own reasons, they take Scripture and claim it means things God never intended.
Scripture means what it says. God has already decided this. Christians who know the truth know they have no right to alter Scripture in any way. Even if they tried, it would never impact what God has already set in stone (Psalm 119:89). The meaning of Scripture is “locked in a box,” so to speak, and we do not have the ability to alter or change it, only proclaim it boldly in love (Ephesians 4:15).
Those making charges against Christians must understand the following points. First, Scripture cannot be changed by man because it is written and owned by God (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Second, Christians are commanded by God to teach to the world only what Scripture teaches (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 4:2,3). Third, Christians cannot tolerate error just because it makes sinners happy (Galatians 1:8-10; 2 Timothy 4:3,4).
Standing firmly by what Scripture teaches and proclaiming it to the world does not make Christians bigots. Instead, it means Christians fear God more than men (Acts 5:29).

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