Tuesday, May 10

True Christianity Cannot Be Tolerant of Other Religions

Depending on what we mean by "tolerant." If we mean gentle and kind. That should go without saying. It should, but perhaps it needs reiterating. But if it means viewing them as equals, then no we must not, we CANNOT view them as equals since no other Jesus Christ has been offered as the sacrifice for our sins and Savior of the world.

The Lloyd-Jones quotation yesterday and this one today combine to reinforce what men of God have taught regarding the exclusivity of the church if she is to be useful, that is, if she is to fulfill her God-given role. I quote these in light of the seeming wholesale departure by many into a more "enlightened" approach to evangelism. It is not new, nor is it the church's commission to create any kind of culture or societal bridge into the world unless that bridge is Jesus Christ, and him crucified! Jude exhorts, And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh (Jude 22–23). So, there IS a place for ministry with "teeth." Snatching someone from the fire is never a calm prospect. But it is an emergency, and they need help . . . now! If the church doesn't give a clarion call to those within her hearing, then how will the troubled know what to do? Hear what another defender of the faith, J. Gresham Machen wrote:
But when I say that a true Christian church is radically intolerant, I mean simply that the church must maintain the high exclusiveness and universality of its message. It presents the gospel of Jesus Christ not merely as one way of salvation, but as the only way. It cannot make common cause with other faiths. It cannot agree not to proselytize. Its appeal is universal, and admits of no exceptions. All are lost in sin; none may be saved except by the way set forth in the gospel. Therein lies the offense of the Christian religion, but therein lies also it glory and its power. A Christianity tolerant of other religions is just no Christianity at all.                                       
J. GRESHAM MACHEN, “The Church: Doctrinal & Intolerant”

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