The New Jesus and a Love Called Tolerance

by Paul Proctor

What is the Truth? Does it Change?
Have you heard? There's a new Jesus in town and he brings with him a NEW gospel message. It is a message that teaches a permissive kind of love...a love called "tolerance"...a love that hears no evil, sees no evil and frankly never brings evil up for discussion lest the offenders become the offended.

Discussing the evil in our world, that is the sinful nature of man, is a risky venture nowadays, especially for any Christian or church seeking to be loved and accepted BY that world. But then that's not really the great commission, is it...that you and I go out into the world and seek its love and acceptance in the name of Jesus? No, the bible assures us that because of Christ the world will hate us.

John 15:19 says: "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."

We cannot pursue both the love and acceptance of the world and be the "living sacrifice" God calls us to be. That's two entirely different agendas. If we try to carry out both simultaneously the two will eventually conflict forcing us to choose between them. Today's seeker-sensitive church growth movement is, in my estimation, the unfortunate result of such choices. A healthy church simply preaches repentance and faith in Christ and trusts God for the outcome.

"And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15)

What is the complete message of the Great commission?
You see the great commission involves a good news/bad news kind of message. To preach repentance we have to make perfectly clear what it is God expects man to repent of. We can no longer assume that the lost know they are sinners, especially among today's adolescents who are growing up in an increasingly scripture-free environment. Yet, more often than not, that is exactly what we do.

We forget that today's young are coming of age in a much different world than most of us did...a country where biblical instruction like the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount have been strategically replaced with a multicultural value system. Multiculturalism basically means almost anything and everything is permissible.

So, how can one repent of sin if he or she is never taught what sin is? This is the bad news part of the message we are called to proclaim and more often than not what makes being a faithful witness for Christ in this day and time such a challenge. After all, there's really nothing that dangerous or difficult about telling someone "Jesus loves you", especially if you're talking about the NEW Jesus.

But, those who endeavor faithfully to present the bad news concerning "the wages of sin", as well as the good news about "The Way the Truth and the Life", will likely be marked and marginalized as narrow-minded extremists who "promote negativity" and intolerance.

Unfortunately, these accusations come not just from secular society but from those who embrace the new Jesus and preach the gospel of tolerance. This, I believe is why the church is in such a decline today, because we don't want our relationships, our reputations and our rosters to suffer over an ugly little three letter word called "sin", even for the cause of Christ.

Unfortunately, without the bad news the good news has little or no effect. That is the primary reason for the Law and the prophets and men like John the Baptist who preceded our Lord's coming with stern and intolerant warnings like, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of God is at hand!"

Those warnings and commandments from God were given to prepare a lost world to receive the Lamb of God and must continue to prepare His way in our sermons, our Sunday schools, our bible studies and our personal witnessing so that the Good News of God's forgiveness in Christ Jesus will be recognized for the Amazing Grace that it is.

How do we know if we are "Saved" or "Lost"?
Like my pastor says, "you can't know you're saved until you know that you're lost" and it is those intolerant commandments that have become increasingly ignored over the last half of the 20th century that show the lost just how lost they really are.

This is why we have such insanity in our schools today and why Jesus is mocked by the MTV generation. Young men who commit heinous crimes like those of Littleton, Colorado have no fear of God because the world around them has no fear of God even though the bible clearly teaches that "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" and "the beginning of wisdom."

So, they act on the values or lack of values that the WORLD has taught them. In most cases, commandments like "Thou shall not kill" are nowhere to be found anymore for young people like these to refer to.

The bottom line is; they're simply not exposed to anyone or anything that provides moral boundaries and statutes for them to follow and learn right from wrong, which probably explains why we see so little grief or remorse on their faces when they turn schoolyards into killing fields. Life is just meaningless entertainment to interactive game of mock survival where right and wrong simply doesn't exist.

As most of you know a concerted effort was made decades ago to remove the Ten Commandments from every schoolhouse and courthouse in America? There was an agenda at work. It wasn't to stop legalism or uphold the separation of Church and state. That was merely a front. It was to undermine the gospel and make the grace of God IRRELEVANT so that one day when generation X Y & Z came along and someone from your church walked up to them and said God loves you and wants to forgive you, they'd respond by saying "FORGIVE ME...FOR WHAT? I didn't do anything wrong. I'm no worse than anyone else! You're just being intolerant!

But, Proverbs 14:12 reminds us: There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

"….As we have said before, so now we say again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed (damned)" (Galatians 1:9)

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