Many in society today want to view themselves as “tolerant.” By that, they usually mean “I accept people for who they are without passing judgment on any action or lifestyle choice.” But the biblically informed Christian cannot, in good conscience, approve of all actions or lifestyle choices; the Bible clearly delineates some lifestyles as sinful and displeasing to God. When a Christian’s convictions clash with the standard of tolerance set by society, the Christian is often labeled as “intolerant,” “bigoted,” or worse. Ironically, those who claim to be the most tolerant are the least tolerant of the Christian worldview.
Sometimes the conflict between Christian convictions and secular standards of tolerance involves a Christian business being forced to photograph gay engagements, bake cakes or provide flowers for gay weddings, or rent rooms to gay couples. Other times, the conflict is not as public, involving personal acquaintances who disagree with a Christian’s conviction against getting drunk at a party, for example, or cohabitation before marriage.
A general principle that covers many issues was expressed by Peter before the Sanhedrin: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29). Whatever pressure society brings to bear, the follower of Christ knows who his Lord is and chooses to obey Him. In a sinful world that hated Christ, this will naturally lead to some conflict. The “tolerance” espoused by the world leaves no room for Christian convictions, but, for the redeemed who walk in the Spirit, Christian convictions are indispensable. The Bible says there is a
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