The Bible has a great deal of things to say about these things and when we express a biblical view, we are seen to be intolerant. It seems like what-ever we say we are intolerant.
Groups like homosexuals and pro-abortionists are increasingly becoming the oppressors. It seems that we are not allowed to criticise or disagree with such views without being branded as homophobic. Even organisations such as The Barnabas Fund which seek to highlight the widespread persecution of Christians in Muslim Countries are accused of Islamophobia and racism. Christianity can only be taught in schools in such a way that it’s not as important as other beliefs and views, so how are we, as Christians, to be tolerant?
Well, the Bible makes it very clear that while we must be tolerant of one another we must never tolerate sin. This means that we should be clear on the Bible’s view of sin. Of course, we have to avoid the ‘holier than thou’ attitude, but there are sins that the Bible still calls sin, and we must not be persuaded otherwise by today’s society. Remem-ber Jesus was quite clear on this. To the woman who was caught in adultery he said, “Go and sin no more”.
Secondly, although we acknowledge sin to be sin, we show compassion, love and mercy towards sinners. Again, the example of Christ is our pattern. While Jesus did not excuse the woman caught in adultery, he did show compassion for her situation. That’s why he said to the people who wanted to stone her: “If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”. Then he spoke to her in verse 11: “Go and leave your life of sin”. That needs to be our own model.
We can think of many Christians who work amongst the down and outs and those whose lives have been destroyed by sin. There are Christians who work with alcoholics, drug addicts and home-less people; while not condoning their sin they have tried to reach out with compassion as Christ did to broken sinners. This is not weakness. Perhaps we could be frightened that in trying to reach those who are lost in sin that we will be accused of tolerating sin. But Christ was called a friend of sinners in Luke 7 v34. We must not be frightened of what people might say, instead we must see sinners who are lost and need the gospel. Remember how Jesus reacted when he saw the multitude: “He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” Matthew 9.36
Let us love as Christ loved and yet have holy hatred for the sin that destroys so many lives.
Yours in Christ,