Oct

11

2013

Melissa Kruger|12:01 AM CT

The Loving Intolerance of God

Tolerance. The modern, cultural elite praise this virtue in every school setting, media outlet, and job training workshop. There seems to be no truer way to love another person than to fully accept everything about them. Christians have often joined the tidal wave of this mainstream value and often long to be known for their acceptance of others' opinions and lifestyles. On the surface it seems to be a positive virtue, one that exemplifies the life of the Christian.

tolerance3

But have you ever considered that tolerance is never encouraged in the Bible? The fruit of the Spirit includes love and kindness, but missing from the list is tolerance. In fact, Christians aren't called to tolerance, because we serve an intolerant God.

Just consider a few stories from the Old Testament:

The Garden: God didn't tolerate Adam and Eve's sin. He didn't accept their lifestyle choice to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He banished them from Eden and left an angel with flaming swords to guard the entrance so they couldn't return.

Noah and the Flood: While the sanitized version of this story is pleasantly detailed in children's storybooks, we cannot forget this story is about immense judgment. Picture a tsunami of destruction instead of a nursery filled with smiling stuffed animals. The flood involved terror, suffering, and death. It was a catastrophic event that only one family survived.

Uzzah: One of the most uncomfortable accounts of divine intolerance is found in 2 Samuel 6. This story recounts Uzzah's attempt to steady the ark of the LORD after an oxen stumbled on the journey back to Israel. When he reached out and touched the ark (an expressly forbidden action), God didn't say, "Well, his heart was in the right place. I know he was just trying to help." Uzzah's instinctive response was met with God's intense anger, and Uzzah was immediately struck down.

We could go on and on throughout the Old Testament, considering Achan, Korah, Aaron's sons, the Canaanites, and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, just to name a few. All perished by the very hand of God. He did not tolerate their sin; he punished it.

Greater Judgment

Lest we somehow think Jesus represents a different God than the one of the Old Testament, though, consider his teaching to the disciples in Matthew 10:14-15:

And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the Day of Judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Jesus claims a greater judgment than Sodom and Gomorrah for those who reject the message of the gospel. He warned many would believe they knew him, only to learn they have been rejected with these words: "Depart from me, all you workers of evil!" (Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 13:22-27) Rather than find welcome into God's kingdom, they would find themselves in a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Both the Old and New Testaments display a God who doesn't tolerate sin. Yet there is one story in Scripture that demonstrates most clearly the intolerance of God.

It is the story of the cross.

Take a fresh look at the terrifying and uncomfortable reality of the cross. Here is an innocent man—whipped, beaten, nailed to a tree, bearing the sins of the world. For you. For me. Is this the picture of a tolerant God who ignores evil? No, this is a gruesome picture of divine wrath and judgment. The story makes no sense if God is a tolerant God.

The cross demonstrates God's character in all its complexity. It shows his love, kindness, and mercy united with his justice, holiness, and wrath. It perfectly demonstrates a God who surpasses understanding. The Lord is giving us a glimpse into the immensity of his love for us. The love of God is not a tolerant love. It is much better. It is a redemptive love.

Tolerance Is Unloving

Sin must be paid for. To tolerate evil is to deny justice. God unleashes his full wrath on evil because he's good. If good tolerated evil, it would cease to be good. Refusal to tolerate sin, then, is an essential part of loving others well. It might be tolerant for a mother to let her children play in a busy street or run with scissors, but it's not loving in the least.

We also should hate sin because it's harmful, even if we don't always understand the harm that may be caused. As a child is unaware that a car may quickly appear, we must understand that we're unaware of all the dangers of sin. God, our loving Creator who understands our frame more fully than we do, bids us to flee from evil and find abundant life in him alone. Life outside the revealed will of God doesn't ultimately fulfill; it leads to misery and emptiness.

As his people, then, how should we live? Romans 12 provides helpful insight:

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. . . . Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." To the contrary, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

God calls us to abhor evil, while at the same time warning us against being agents of his wrath. We should hate the act of stealing while showing mercy and compassion to one who steals. Loving people well doesn't mean we must embrace the choices they make. It means we openly welcome and embrace all who come into our lives with a heart of understanding and the message and hope of the gospel. We love people well when we call them out of sin into relationship with King Jesus. It may not be the world's definition of tolerance, but it's the truest way to love.

Melissa Kruger serves as Women's Ministry Coordinator at Uptown Church in Charlotte, North Carolina and is the author of The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World (Christian Focus, 2012). Her husband Mike is the president of Reformed Theological Seminary, and they have three children. You can follow her on Twitter.

Categories: Bible and Theology
  • http://theoldadam.com/ The Old Adam

    Truth be told...we are every bit as sinful and ungodly as they (unbelievers) are.

    We are all beggars.

    We just happen to know where the bread line is.

    • jeremiah

      Old Adam,

      Do you still walk, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air?

      • anthony

        Jeremiah,
        Truth be told, we are saved sinners (through and in Christ). Until Christ's return, we are still sinners... but also under His gracious sanctification and transformation till then. Under- vs over-realized eschatology?

        • Jeremiah

          Anthony, it is a pretty straight forward question I asked.

          Do you still walk, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air?

          Are you answering in the affirmative? I don't want to put words in your mouth but I would like a direct answer.
          Thanks

          • BG

            Don't create a false dichotemy Jeremiah. Saint and sinner are not mutually exlusive terms...at least not this side of redemption. Whenever any of us sins we are, in that moment, following the course of the world; if you're looking for a direct answer it would have to be 'sometimes'. For all of us.

            • Jeremiah

              BG, I am not creating a false dichotomy.

              My initial response was to Old Adam, who stated that 'we are every bit as sinful and ungodly as they (unbelievers) are.'

              This is what I take issue with, and so should you.

              And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
              in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
              among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the bodyfn and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

              IN WHICH YOU ONCE WALKED
              and then keep reading Eph. 2 and you get to vs 10

              For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

              What Christians walk in changes, new life looks different than old death. This is my point. I hope I clarified things a bit.

  • Hamish Blair

    Some people will say "God is love" and quote John 3:16 etc.

    I ask "What does God love" (not who).

    God loves holiness, righteousness etc. Unfortunately the very things of which I am not (Rom 7:21-23 come to mind).

    Part of the issue here is that because of our desire to promote self-esteem, we are not allowed to tell people they are sinful. So once you remove this you end up in the situation where love=tolerance. Which is utter rubbish as you have pointed out.

    • Jeremiah

      Hamish, when you asked 'What does God love' has anyone responded with 'the world'?

  • John S

    Tolerate used to mean 'bear with' or 'put up with' now it means 'affirm' and 'embrace'. I am glad to bear with those who believe lies and reject Christ, the world however is asking us to affirm their views as valid and true. It is an intellectually untenable position, unless you tolerate every an all religions.

    A man once asked me if God loves everyone the same. His contention was that yes, God loves all people the same only the relationship changes when a person is saved. I think it was the popular idea of 'hate the sin, love the sinner'. But that doesn't exactly fit God's Word, it says he does hate the sinner (not that we should).

    The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Psalm 11:5

    The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. Psalm 5:5

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    The Loving Intolerance of God

    A great title!!

    With well-supported arguments too!! A loving, gentle whack upside the back of the head to many fuzzy, muddle-brained, culture-drinking Christians of which the author and I are not!!

    Just kidding, me too.

  • Eric

    This subject seems like it is cut and dry until it gets into application. It is very clear what we are supposed to love people and hate the sin. Calling all men to repentance. Do you think we are supposed to be doing that? If so in what way? What exactly does a loving intolerance look like for me?

  • Scott Shaver

    How does Ms Kruger handle Romans 12:18?

    • Doc

      How does that verse conflict with anything that was written in the entire article? Just look at the last paragraph. Also, remember, this article is focused on God's intolerance, not ours.

      I don't have to accept someone's opinion(s) or lifestyle in order to live peaceably with that person. Many of my friends think binge drinking and having sex outside of marriage is okay; I am outspokenly against that behavior, and my friends know it, but that doesn't mean I am also constantly in a tangle with them. We are called to be gracious with everyone around us, proclaim the Gospel, and let God take care of the final judgement (that's not to say we shouldn't hold each other accountable).

      Notice that the verse says, "If possible..." meaning that it sometimes may not be possible for peace.... As Martin Luther said, "Peace if possible, truth at all costs."

      If you are ever to choose between peace and truth, choose truth - every time. Truth trumps peace. Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household." meaning that there will be conflict and there will be division. Some people will embrace the truth of the Gospel, others will be offended by it, even within families. There will be trouble. The Gospel is offensive, and people may be offended that we defend it. But if any offending is taking place, it should be from the Gospel, not from us. But we are still commanded to be forgiving and gracious, no matter the conflict that might arise, as much as we can help it.

      And most times, if not all the time, we can not help it at all or do it by our own strength, which is why we must come to Christ continually for the strength to obey and follow Him.

    • henry

      I do not believe you actually read the article. Or at least did not read it well at all. That verse has nothing to do with truth and God's rejection of falsehood/sin. It is a command for us to live as peacably as is possible with others. And yet that verse also contends that it is not always possible.

  • http://suzlt.blogspot.com/ SuzanneT

    What an excellent article, truthful, bold and loving. A much needed heralding/reminder for today!

  • http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com Curt Day

    I would like to challenge the title "Tolerance is Unloving" and the paragraphs that follow. Is tolerance always unloving? Realize that as much as judgment on sin is the beginning of the salvation for the people of God because judgment removes sin, tolerance doesn't imply the absence of judgment. The absence of judgement, that is tolerance, sometimes signals a delay in judgment so that those who are caught in sin have time to repent. If we don't want to think of ourselves as beneficiaries of such tolerance, we can think of the people in Nineveh. That God waited to send Jonah to warn the people of His impending judgment was an exercise in tolerance. And unless we understand God's use of tolerance in dealing with us, hearing that we must abhor evil and hate sin rationalize unloving treatment those whose sins are different from ours.

  • B. Pennington

    Great article. One thing: maybe we should differentiate between the words "virtue" and "value." The two words really aren't synonymous. I think David Wells is right in saying that we don't speak of virtues anymore (absolutes such as humility, diligence, purity, patience, temperance, etc.) . We speak of values (personal preferences).

  • http://bibliablogger.wordpress.com/ Bereket Kelile

    I was just writing on my blog today about how God even refuses to hear our prayers under certain conditions. I was working from the text of Isaiah 59, in connection with other passages. That message also rubs people the wrong way because it does not validate us but challenges us to confess our sins and repent. We are lovers of ourselves in this era.

  • Jeremiah

    I read the article and I get that what is stated is that God is intolerant of people's sin but is tolerant of people.
    Then I read some comments of people saying that God is intolerant of both. We must love people where they are at, and this can be done without endorsing sin in their lives.

  • Michelle

    Wise words from a retired missionary friend ring in my ears as I read this. When I asked her how to share Christ with my lost lesbian neighbor she told me to do the work of sharing Christ and my testimony, to show her Christ's love, and let the Holy Spirit bring the conviction of sin. That was a relief to me. It took so much weight off of me to somehow change her (as if I could anyway, how proud!) and set me free to share Christ's love and live out truth.

    When it comes to changing lost people we can't, but God can. They can "change" their actions before men to appear changed, but God alone can transform their hearts. Our job is to share Christ and his love then let God do his transforming heart work, as only he can do and with perfection! :)

  • Mr. Fanti

    I believe that the last paragraph in the article give us the measure about this issue. Sometimes I perceive that some readers didn´t read accurately the text. Go back there and read as a good reader do!

  • Keeder

    We are a church following Matthew 18 in dealing with sin in the church. It is love that motivates us to do this - for God, for the church, and for the sinning individuals. We desire repentance and restoration, however, we cannot (as is said in the article) "openly welcome and embrace" them until they repent. The Scripture says we must put them out of the church, to reject them, to treat them as unblelievers. This is not our natural desire, but is also one of the tough teachings of Scripture. I was hoping to share this article with the congregation, however, the line I referred to above would only cause confusion at a time when we may need to make a difficult decision.

    • LG

      I think you're confusing the Bible's instruction on church discipline (which is directed at those who profess faith in Christ but are living in unrepentant sin) with the Bible's instruction on loving those who have not professed faith in Christ.

      If your church does not welcome those who sin "until they repent," you're well on the way to an empty building.

      • Keeder

        We are dealing with the former who still wish to attend.

        • LG

          Is there a reason they can't attend? Treating someone as an unbeliever doesn't mean they're not allowed to come to church like any other unbeliever would be able to, it just means they can't partake of the Lord's supper if they do attend.

          If the process of pursuing these folks for repentance doesn't get to the point where they're acknowledging that they aren't regenerate, I wonder if you're not taking it far enough? If they don't see that they're acting like unbelievers, in other words, has there been enough accountability, enough counseling, enough structured discipline? I can't think of a church discipline case at my church where a person has been formally excommunicated but still WANTS to attend. At that point, they're either out of the picture or they agree that they should no longer be called Christians.

          For what it's worth, I think it's clear that the article is talking about unbelievers, NOT the folks in your situation.

  • Dean P

    Scott: I can't speak for Ms Krueger here, but I would respond by saying by showing love to all people. Love is way bigger and encompasses so much more than tolerance does. Love includes charity, self-sacrifice, peacemaking but it also includes preaching the truth of the Gospel, which includes calling someone to repentance and turning from their sin.

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  • Sebastian Gonzales

    The fact is we tend to tolerate our own sin quite easily; we have set up a false theological system of indulgence in which we can sin as much, as often, & as egregiously as we like, & somehow, we think either that we are saved or that we cannot lose our salvation.

    In addition, we think that our lives somehow reflect the holiness of God, & make for a solid witness to the truth, but who wants what doesn't even work for the so-called true believers? How are believers supposed to change the hearts & minds of the world when they haven't even been truly convinced themselves, that is not to the point of doing or living the truth fully themselves. Faith is as faith does. Disobedience is disbelief or is the inevitable result of disbelief.

    Works are said to be the mere sign of faith, but what is sin (especially continual, on going, & undealt with sin, the thing that damns, apparently so many, to eternal Hell) a sign of?

    Paul wrote that we are to judge those in the household of faith & not those outside the faith, but we treat others hypocritically for being sinners even though we supposedly know better, can do all things through Christ which strengthens, & have the power of the Resurrection & the Spirit working in us.

    We are not a peculiar people, we are odd little shameful liars. We think that God's love is unconditional towards us simply because we are believers, but God can take away faith as He described in Romans if we, like the Jews, do not remain in belief.

    Faith is not automatic or guaranteed. God's love is conditioned on doing to others what He has done for us - forgive! Jesus made it quite clear that if we fail to forgive, as He forgave us, the Father will take back His forgiveness.

    Repentance has become a joke. We act as though God is somehow going to make us honest & obedient against our will. We believe that even when we choose not to obey Christ's commands out of fear, neglect, or desire to do what we want He will fully establish His love in & for us.

    Paul said he came to bring about the "obedience of faith," & that obedience is to be in both word & deed. Failing to obey means either we are not saved or are at serious risk of losing our faith.

    No heretic or apostate has ever deliberately turned from God intellectually or consciously. Every liar thinks that he has faith & is obeying God in some sense, but in fact he is serving the world, the flesh, the devil, or some combination or the these three.

    Every fall from grace is a choice to disobey God, & the first choice, the beginning of the fall is to believe that disobeying God does not lead to death: it is to believe that not keeping Christ's commands will not lead to being cut off by the Father.

    Evangelicals have deluded themselves into thinking that they have a God's eye view of salvation, that they know who are or that they are the elect, but no knows for sure who is a saved sheep & who is a self-deceived goat. They don't understand that their response to God's directions over time will shape their destiny, & when a person doesn't think that his actions will determine his future, he is bound to go astray & fail to endure till the end.

    The Jews walked out of God's will, & the Gentiles will either walk in the light as He is in the light, or they will likewise walk away.

    If you walk in the light, then His blood will cover you. His blood on covers you provisionally until & unless you fail to walk in the light. Those who don't walk in the light are liars, but whether or not you walk in the light or not, one thing is for sure: to demand of others what you do not demand of yourself is to live a lie, to be outside the truth.

    Christian truth is always thoroughly consistent; it is to practice what you preach. Truth always encompasses the whole man: spirit body soul, heart mind behavior, emotions, intellect, & will. For a believer to fail to carry through the dictates of Christ is to betray Him & to expose one's own faithlessness.

    To love Christ is to do His will. You cannot truly love Christ in heart & mind with also loving Him in deed. To love Him in truth is to love Him in deed.

    You can make God love you more. God so loved the world that He gave His Son. God's provisionally loves everyone; His grace is extended to everyone, but He only establishes His love with those who not only believe in Christ but who also obey Him.

    These truths constitute the basis for tolerance. We are here to hollow God's Name and to bring others into His Kingdom. Those who do not bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom will have even what they have taken away & given to others. History tends to repeat itself.

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  • http://www.christianvagabond.com Christian Vagabond

    Kruger overlooks the key difference between the Biblical era and our own. Tolerance is rooted in an acknowledgement of privilege. We've had many centuries of western (i.e. Christian) culture dominating and subjugating other faiths. There's always been an expectation that people who immigrate to America should cast aside their cultural traditions to fit in with our own, and the people who have failed to conform to American religiosity have been treated as outcasts. This is not the way a healthy society (let alone Christian society) should treat practitioners of minority faiths.

    In Biblical times the early Christians were under the iron rule of the Roman Empire. They had no power. The concept of ever becoming the largest religion in the world would have shocked them. In the case of the OT, the battles were almost always about land rather than religious beliefs.

    Tolerance in community terms (which is what most people are referring to when they advocate tolerance) is different than tolerance in religious terms. In community terms it means treating your Muslim neighbor with the same respect you give people in your church. It means allowing your Muslim neighbor to run for mayor or own businesses without complaining that the Muslims are taking over the country. It means allowing Muslim children to share and celebrate their holidays in school rather than expect them to give up their holidays and celebrate Christmas along with everyone else. It means making people feel welcome.

    But that doesn't mean that you have to give up on God's "intolerance." If you believe your Muslim neighbor is going to hell, that's fine. But treating them like they're hellspawn is not. If you want to preach the Gospel to them, that's fine, too. The key is that tolerance means treating them the same whether or not they agree to listen to your Gospel presentation. The early Christians lived in a society where they had no expectation of Christianizing the culture. Tolerance is about recapturing that pluralistic spirit.

    • Dan

      Wrong. Tolerance as currently used means full acceptance and approval. Anything less, including a message of sin/repentance/forgiveness, is considered intolerant. To even hold those opinions and publically proclaim them is intolerant. See the recent USF talk as an example.

      • http://www.christianvagabond.com Christian Vagabond

        Are you referring to that woman who said that slavery was no big deal?

      • Lori

        Acceptance and approval are two different things. This piece, and many of the comments, seem to be based on a misunderstanding of basic terms. Christians should be tolerant and accepting; that seems pretty clearly the teaching of the Bible. Approval is a whole different issue.

        The opposite of acceptance is rejection: since when are Christians supposed to be going around rejecting people? We aren't. We are to accept and love people as they are, where they are. That does not mean we approve of everything they do, but it does mean that we don't take a stance of rejection toward them.

        I have a friend who is planning to divorce her husband, because she feels bored with her marriage. I do not approve of her plan. I have let her know that I think she should work to save her marriage. But, I accept whatever choice she makes, and I will not reject her for making the wrong choice. I can accept her without approving of her choices.

        My son was just telling me today that he has heard kids on the playground at school using cuss words. We talked about how he shouldn't judge them (we don't know if they know any better, we don't know what their home environment is like, we don't know anything about their hearts), we should pray for them, and he can understand that using that kind of language--especially on a school playground--is wrong while at the same time accepting those kids, loving them, and being their friend. I pray that he can learn to hold fast to his own values while accepting and loving people who behave differently. And, in all honesty, I'd probably he rather love and accept those kids, even if it means that he incorporates some works into his vocabulary I'd rather he didn't, than reject them with a superior, priggish attitude and keep his vocabulary clean, if those were the only two choices. His heart matters more to me, ultimately, than his vocabulary, and I'd rather have a child with a loving, accepting, generous heart who sometimes uses cuss words than a child with a hard, rejecting, self-righteous heart who never utters a bad word. I don't think those are the only two choices, but if they are, give me the heart that reaches out towards others, please.

        • Dan

          My point: tolerance is being redefined to mean "must approve."

  • John

    The author said "It [loving people] means we openly welcome and embrace all who come into our lives with a heart of understanding and the message and hope of the gospel. "

    I'd have liked to see how the call to "openly welcome and embrace all..." is understood within the context of 1 Cor 5 ( "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?"). "Welcome" and "embrace" all isn't generally understood to mean "mourn" and "put out".

    • Lori

      1 Cor 5 is talking about behavior happening within a church community. It's not talking about judging neighbors outside of that community.

  • http://www.januaryrainstorm.blogspot.com Mark Z

    Whenever I see bumperstickers like the title image, I immediately assume that individual knows very little about any of the religions or viewpoints represented.

  • Allie Larkin

    HE who began a good work in you will finish it.
    I am new, and don't have the reference, but I hold to in times when I stumble.

  • Lori

    I think sometimes TGC, in its zeal to counter anything they see as "liberal," oversimplifies issues. This is one of those times. God *is* tolerant and God's love *is* tolerant. Over and over in the Bible, God tolerates people's sin, sometimes for extremely long periods of time, in order to give them time to repent.

    And, of course, we are not God. What exactly would "loving intolerance" look like in practice? Let's say you have a gay couple living next door to you. How can you be "lovingly intolerant" of them in a way that wouldn't communicate rejection and hatred to them?

    I think tolerance without endorsement and acceptance without approval are better guidelines than "loving intolerance," which doesn't seem to really reflect the character of God or be something that can be put into useful practice.

    • Lori

      Just to add, I do mean that as a serious question: What does this "loving intolerance" look like in practice?

      I'll give you my own life as an example. On one side of me, I have Jehovah's Witness neighbors. On the other side, a man who has numerous girlfriends, one of whom is expecting his baby and whom he is now dodging visits from. Further down the street, there's a gay couple.

      How exactly should I be "lovingly intolerant" of these folks? Should I only talk to them if they are willing to hear the gospel? Should I point out their error and sin in every encounter? Should I close my home and heart to them if they aren't willing to have a relationship on those terms? In the real, messy world of imperfect, sinful people, what does this "loving intolerance" I often hear Christians lauding mean? Because, frankly, I can't see any way to truly love my neighbors without tolerating and accepting them, even if I don't approve of everything they believe or do.

      • EricP

        Excellent points Lori.

        I think we confuse individual, particular sins with unrighteousness. Muslims, JW's, gays, everyone is unrighteous. God's expectation is perfection, holiness. When they compare themselves to God, they should have no problem identifying a multitude of sins.

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  • http://suzlt.blogspot.com SuzanneT

    I'm not sure how the simple point that this article is making seems to have gotten so lost on some.

    We read in 1Cor.5:12-13:

    For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

    The article is speaking specifically to people *within* the church, and an example of "loving intolerance" would be employing church discipline.
    When it comes to "outsiders" (i.e. our neighbors, co-workers, family members, etc) these are those still lost in sin and following wherever the course of the world may lead them. We ought to love and "tolerate" them (as such) through relationship/evangelism. We can even invite them to our churches to hear the gospel preached from our pulpits if they so wish to go..yet much would need to happen (being born-again) before they could be become and act as members.

    Grace & peace ~

  • MB

    Notice that all of the examples in the article involve GOD judging those in sin. I know that we're supposed to strive to be like God, but who am I to judge someone else? I'm steeped in my own problems.

    I know, I know- love the sinner, hate the sin. How many times have we heard that worn out cliche? The fact is, too many of us do a superb job of hating the sin, but a terrible job loving the sinner. God is the only one who is perfect, so let's leave judgements to him.

    • Mike

      I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you."
      (1Co 5:9-13)

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  • I, J

    You begin by discussing tolerance of "others' opinions and lifestyles" but then suddenly switch to tolerance of sin and evil, but you never separate the two. Is it a sin to disagree with you? Is it evil to live in a different culture? A lot of people conflate these things, and it's lead to suffering and death.

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  • http://www.rankingbyseo.biz/ Satarupa Goswami

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