Tolerance

Psalm 97: 10 “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked”. (KJV

The Jerusalem Bible states: “Yahweh loves those who hate evil, he keeps safe his faithful, rescues them from the clutches of the wicked.”

Or Byingtons translation states: 10 Jehovah loves those who hate evil, guards the lives of the men of his friendship, delivers them from the hands of wrong-doers.

How?

Psalm 34: 14 “Turn away from what is bad and do what is good; Seek peace and pursue it.”

Romans 12: 9 “Let your love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is wicked; cling to what is good.”

Hebrews 1: 9 “You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your companions.”

So what is unacceptable?

1 Corinthians 6: 9 “Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality,10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom.”

Mark 7: 22 “acts of adultery, greed, acts of wickedness, deceit, brazen conduct, an envious eye, blasphemy, haughtiness, and unreasonableness.”

Ephesians 5: 3 “Let sexual immorality and every sort of uncleanness or greediness not even be mentioned among you, just as is proper for holy people;

The moral code of the bible is consistent. It leaves no gaps for personal understanding. We are told clearly that this conduct separates us from God and his son.

What is acceptable?

Ecclesiastes 12: 13 “The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole obligation of man.”

Matthew 22: 37 “He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’38 This is the greatest and first commandment.39 The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbour as yourself.’40 On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.”

1 Peter 1: 10 “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the undeserved kindness meant for you made a diligent inquiry and a careful search.”

So we are encouraged to search for Gods standards, once we have found them keep them and display that in our life. Simple really.

So does a Christian have a duty to tell someone else their way of life is wrong? The individual Christian demonstrates by their behaviour that they are living by Gods standards, obeying his laws and commandments. Like righteous Lot in Sodom they are isolated because of their conduct. Everyone else got on with their lives.

The search for god is personal, his standards are consistent, those who follow God’s standards in the Bible have no doubts about they will live. Now these choices do offend others, Christian tolerance is stating that salvation is available to those who follow God’s standards, it does not involve diluting those standards just to fit.

Go back to Lot in Sodom those residents who engaged in the mobs behaviour had made their position clear, demanded the Lot accede to their wishes, Lot drew a line there.

But also think about the rest of the City the women and the children, those not in the mob, their tolerance of the behaviour of the mob demonstrated that they thought it acceptable.

Christianity today?

Is it okay to dilute those standards, can you accept behaviour the God says he finds unacceptable. He doesn’t reject the person but the practice as Corinthians demonstrates. That includes adultery, drunkenness, greed, idolatry, Christians stop practicing these things to become acceptable to God.

Morality isn’t difficult to understand just difficult to maintain. That is why we have Jesus life, counsel and ministry. He died so we may live but we have to follow his lead and keep God’s standards. It is a fair trade.

Is Christianity a good advert for God and the Bible? I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusion, but the for those who live by the standards God set they put out those who refuse to follow God’s commandments or water down the bible teaching.

Make the choice personally… but as Joshua said “But as for me and my household, we will serve Jehovah.”

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