Summary: Christianity is exclusive but inclusive of anyone who will come to God through faith in Christ
Why All Religions Don’t Lead to Heaven
Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
Introduction / Illustration: Bill Klem was the father of baseball umpires: colorful, judicious, and dignified. He was beyond passionate about America's favorite pastime, declaring, "To me, baseball is not a game, but a religion." The first umpire to use arm signals while working behind home plate, Bill umped for 37 years, including 18 World Series. He became known as "the Old Arbitrator," a deferential nod to his keen eye for calling balls and strikes.
On one such occasion, as he crouched and readied behind the plate, the pitcher threw the ball, the batter didn't swing, and, for just an instant, Bill said nothing. The batter turned and snorted, "Okay, so what was it, a ball or a strike?" To which Bill responded, "Sonny, it ain't nothing 'till I call it."
David Sturt, Great Work (McGraw Hill, 2013), page 139
• Who are you and I listening to in our society to tell us what truth is and what it is?
o Is it based on the majority vote of the population
o Is it up to whatever each individual thinks is right and wrong?
o Is it based on an absolute universal truth?
o If that is so than where does the absolute and universal truth come from?
Transition: Let’s look at our notes as we try to understand the answers to these questions.
Purpose: Every Christ follower must understand the differences between culture and biblical tolerance and to love people who do not agree with the presuppositions of Christianity
Understanding the Differences
Traditional Tolerance – to recognize and respect, (others beliefs, practices, etc.) without sharing them and to bear or put up with (someone or something not especially liked). - Webster’s Dictionary
• “Values, respects and accepts the individual without necessarily approving of or participating in that person’s beliefs or behaviors” – Sean and Josh McDowell in “The Beauty of Intolerance”
Cultural Tolerance is that every individual’s beliefs, values, lifestyles and perception of truth claims are equal and all truth is relative – Thomas Helmbock – executive vice president of the Lambda Chi Alpha national fraternity
• “What every individual believes or says is equally right and equally valid and that no individual’s beliefs or behavior should be judged or criticized. There is no morality that is right for everyone”. - Sean and Josh McDowell in “The Beauty of Intolerance”
• It is not just simply understanding the differences between what you believe and what someone else believes in our culture, but demands that we accept, respect and affirm the rightness of others views and behavior
• Otherwise you will be labeled intolerant, bigoted and even hateful
Biblical Tolerance – Recognizing the differences in the beliefs of others and showing value, dignity, respect and love agreeing to disagree.
Transition: We started with understanding the definitions of this cultural divide by look at the definitions of tolerance. Let’s now look at the problem for the Christian if he follows cultural tolerance
Understanding the Problem
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
• One of the major foundation blocks of the faith is that God is truth and that truth is absolute. All truth is God’s truth whether it is in the Bible or in mathematics, or science or you fill in the blank. You don’t have to concede truth to believe in God in anything outside the realm of scriptures.
• But many Christians especially in areas of sexual morality, science, and other areas cave in to cultural tolerance over scripture because they don’t want to be looked upon in a negative way.
• We as Christians need to continually be sensitive to not let philosophies creep into our practical lives
• It is so hard to paddle against the flow of the culture around us here in America as it is trending to become more secular and more antagonistic toward Christ and His followers