The moral tone of our nation as a whole has declined dramatically. When religious institutions sanction same sex marriages, are we intolerant or “sinner-friendly”? It seems that we sanction outright blatant sin, and are intolerant over petty complaints.
For example, a church member who complained about the conduct of the greeters in the church said they were abrupt and uncaring. He was counseled that we cannot know the heart of another individual, and to assume that a person is cold or uncaring because of how they greet us is really unfair. It was a wise word of counsel.
Being intolerant defined
We cannot judge another’s heart by outward appearance, or even actions at times. Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). We fall into this error because of intolerance. When people don’t act according to our expectation, we tend to form a value judgment not based on Biblical principles. We also judge by outward appearances.
The definition of the word “tolerates” is to lift up, to bear up under; to endure, to resist, without injurious effect.” We are hardly lifting up others when we are so quick to criticize or judge their appearance or their actions. God is great at disguising things. The prophet Samuel would have chosen Eliab to replace king Saul. He judged him by his outward appearance. But God said, no, this is not my choice, neither any of these brothers that are here. So he asked Jesse, “Is there not another?” Why yes, come to think of it, young David is out in the pasture, tending sheep. “Send for him.” David, all smelly and sweaty came in, an unlikely candidate as a king. But God knew David’s heart. He knew his faults, and his weaknesses, but he also knew David had a heart after God. Look at God’s opinion of David:
“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.” (Acts 13:22)
Wouldn’t you like to have God say that about you?
Spiritual understanding is needed
It is only by the Spirit of God that we can begin to spiritually discern another, and then our judgment is fair and scriptural, not petty, mean, and self-asserting. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 3:1:
“I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.”
The truly spiritual individual looks for the good in others, and when indeed there is a real problem, searches for ways to help, to lift another to a higher level. The spiritual individual will pray for others rather than judge. What about our ability to justly tolerate God’s people today? Are we petty in our evaluation of others? Jesus warns us to first take care of the problems in our own lives, and then we may be able to see clearly to understand others.
As the above illustration shows, we can improve the situations around us by saving an intolerant attitude for the things that are really wrong – like same-sex marriage, which is based on Biblical principles. Our nation, which has become accepting of sinful lifestyles, is fast becoming intolerant of high standards of morality.
Isaiah 53 prophetically describes Jesus as despised and rejected of men, having no beauty that anyone should desire him. Little did they know that He was the Son of God, the Savior and King for all eternity. They judged Him wrongly, and mankind has suffered for it. Israel is suffering for it. The sad commentary is that today our nation may be numbered with those who were intolerant of the truth that Jesus brought, and we too, will suffer for it.
So what about the same-sex marriage issue? Are we being judgmental and intolerable to refute it? Our nation was founded on Christian principles, based on the Bible, the Word of God, upon which the institution of the covenant of marriage between a man and woman is based. Regardless of an individual’s religious affiliation, the true covenant of marriage is only possible between a couple comprised of male and female.
“But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two but one flesh” (Mark 10:6-8).
According to a past CNN News report, on September 21, 1996, President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage and defining marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” President Obama, however, is now supporting same-sex marriages, which have become legal in many states.
Political issues are one thing, but when our religious institutions embrace such practices as same-sex marriage, we are setting ourselves up for judgment. This, added to the abortion issue, does not guarantee God’s blessing upon America. As has been said, it is time that America blesses God.
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