The Ultimate Cultural Sin — Intolerance

it considered worse to judge evil than to do evil

Tolerance is the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

Are you tolerant? As Christians, we are called to love others.  I Corinthians 13 says that love is patient, kind, and it is not rude.  So we are bound by Biblical principles to be patient and kind to those of different opinions and behaviors that we do not necessarily agree with.

In our culture, the only wrong –is saying that something is wrong.

It’s actually quite confusing because we are told we are wrong for holding to our Biblical beliefs.   For example, Kirk Cameron was a guest on the Piers Morgan show to promote his movie, Monumental.  He had no plans to discuss issues outside of this movie but he was asked for his views on gay marriage.

Now, if Kirk strayed from what the Bible says on gay marriage – that would be newsworthy. But he did not. He stated what scripture says and his personal convictions and that led into a huge media frenzy about how intolerant he is.

This is tricky for Christians, right?  Just verbalizing our beliefs immediately puts us into the category of “intolerant” – the ultimate cultural sin.  Which leads us to silence.

Our culture says there are “no principles, there is no right or wrong.”

We believe “the Bible defines right and wrong”.

Hence, each time we hold to our Biblical principles we are seen as intolerant.

How Tolerant Should a Christian Be?

 1.) Freedom of Religion.  In America, we have the freedom of religion. It is a wonderful blessing.  I believe all religions should have freedom to practice their faith and we should tolerate each other.  This does not mean we do not hold out the good news of the gospel to them, but it does mean that we are loving, patient and kind to those of other faiths.  We do not want to be clanging cymbals as I Corinthians 13 says.

We cannot expect someone that holds to a different set of beliefs to follow our set of beliefs nor do we have to adhere to their belief system.

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” ~ I Corinthians 13:1

2.)  We should love our neighbor.  The greatest command is to love God and the second, is to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Everyone God has placed into our lives – brothers, sisters, Aunts, Uncles, co-workers, church members, cashiers, bank tellers, coffee baristas, bus drivers, you name it – we are commanded to love them.  Be kind.  Be a friend.  Listen, love, comfort, encourage and pray for those God has placed into your life.  Love your neighbor, so when doors open for sensitive topics to be discussed, they know without a shadow of a doubt, you have their best interest at heart.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” ~Mark 12:30,31: 

3.)  Give Grace to your brothers and sisters in Christ.   I need grace.  I need the cross and redemption and I need forgiveness. Each of us are at different places on our journey.

Some have just begun and others, have been in the church all their lives. Some have been in strong, Bible preaching, doctrinally sound churches and others have been in weak churches.  Some have strong holds that they need to break free from.  Some have trials and burdens that are weighing them down and need the body of Christ to be there holding them up.  Some have not studied scripture and are led astray by culture – we need to lovingly lead them back to the truth.  Grace.

Galatians 6:1,2: Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

4.) Stand strong on the core doctrines of the faith.  As believers we have core doctrines. Jesus is God. The Bible is God breathed.  Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the 3rd day.

If someone claims to be a Christian but speaks against these core doctrines – no tolerance.  The church is not to tolerate heresy within the church.

2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

5.)  What the Bible calls sin – within the church – we call sin.  I sin –every.single.day.  I have to agree with the Bible on my sin.  When I lose my temper with my kids – that is sin. When I disrespect my husband – that is sin.  When I gossip with a friend – that is sin.  When I feel lazy or impatient or grumpy or whiney or mopey – that is sin.  The life of the believer is one of repentance and keeping in step with the Holy Spirit.  As believers – we must not tolerate sin in our own lives.

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
I Corinthians 6:9-11 (
niv)

The church will become a very unfriendly place if we spend all our time confronting sin in other people’s lives.  So this is not about confrontation and more about self-reflection. What sin are you tolerating in your own life.

Repent.

C S Lewis A christian

This mantra of tolerance – to the point of accepting sin –  has seeped into the church.  Never have I seen sheep attacking each other in a pasture but that is exactly what is happening in the family of God.  Not only is the world silencing Christians, but the liberal, progressive Christians also demand us to be silent about Biblical principles with the threat that they will label us as intolerant, judgmental, and unloving.

Speaking the truth in love –is not unloving.

I will not be silent nor be silenced – not on-line nor in real life.  I believe that life comes through the written words of God.  That God transforms lives through his truth and his truth sets us free.  I want to see the lost souls saved, broken hearts healed, the spiritually dead risen to new life and those bound up in sin – free!

I love God. I love people.  And I want the people I love, to know the God I love.

But it comes with a cost.  Evangelism. Standing on God’s word. Defending truth.  It’s sweet when we see a love one saved but it’s not so sweet when we anger those we love and the gospel offends. That is when the words begin to be thrown like daggers at us…

intolerant

judgemental

hater

Pharisee

Ouch!

Next Monday, I will discuss how we should respond to these sorts of labels.

But I close with this question.

Are we sincerely loving others?  God defines sincere love in Romans 12:9:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

Walk with the King,

Courtney

The other posts in this series:
Speaking the Truth In Love
The Authority of Scripture and 5 Ways to Defend Truth
The Ultimate Cultural Sin –Intolerance
How to Respond to the Labels – Intolerant, Judgmental, and Hater
What is Sound Doctrine?
Should Christians Simply Unite Around the Gospel?
Can a Woman Be an Elder or Pastor?
Should a Wife Submit To Her Husband?
Can Good Works Save You?
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

 

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    So good and powerful Courtney!! You hit it!! That’s everything I want to say to others…sheep fighting against sheep!! So true and it breaks my heart and the heart of God, I’m sure! Thank you for such spirit filled words!

  2. says

    Courtney,

    I am so thankful for your strong and encouraging word that lines up with Scripture. I appreciate a woman who encourages me to seek after God and not to become lazy or tolerant of my own sin. You are a blessing. Thank you for your writing. None of us are perfect, and we could all use a good friend like you. I pray that I might be that to someone else this coming week, leading them to the Truth.

    Be encouraged! You are such a sweet blessing to so many of us!

  3. Keera says

    Oh Courtney, how I have looked forward to this all week! You are amazing! Thank you so much for standing strong in your faith! You are a great encourager! I’m looking forward to next week already!

  4. says

    Courtney, thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the biggest thing right now and Christians are constantly getting hit hard on this. I am scared to say anything online or in person any more about any issue because I will be labeled a ‘hater.’ When in truth, I am loving them and trying to show them my loving Saviour. Please continue to follow Christ closely and show His love to this world that is dying without Christ. Don’t let Satan discourage you, keep the faith!

  5. says

    Hello Courtney,

    I just signed discovered your blog through Good Morning Girls, and I am happy to have found you! Living in a relatively conservative society like Singapore I can only imagine how intolerance is considered as a cultural sin in America. However with the news on popular opinion and the changes in legislation I think despite the distance I have a good grasp of how American Christians walk on thin ice whenever they speak the truth.

    Thank you for not only putting this issue forward but also for reminding us that even though we ought to love and be tolerant there must be no compromise to standing in our faith and conviction.

  6. Heather Anderson says

    Thank you for standing for the Truth and encouraging us to do the same! This makes me want to pray even harder for God’s children to stand on His promises. I pray He will show me how I can be a light to someone today! God bless you, Sister

  7. Harriet says

    Quite possibly one of the best blog posts I’ve read. Thanks for inspiring us to walk with the King. God bless you.

  8. Hollie says

    Thank you for this post! It brought to mind a quote I heard on a Family Talk broadcast recently with Dr. James Dobson, “Unconditional love is not the same thing as unconditional approval of my behavior.” – Christopher Yuan

  9. Amie says

    Courtney, I think this is such a timely post. I’ve encountered this situation recently and I was called names by people who thought I was intolerant. Honestly, it did make me want to just close my mouth because the words stung. Your post has reaffirmed to me that we are called to stand upon the truth of God’s Word in love and deed. Thank you.

  10. KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says

    I’m looking forward to a post on “Sound Doctrine” which I hope you are planning to expound upon. So many Preachers out there. I know this one says that one is preaching a ‘false Gospel” and vice versa. I’ve found websites that say so-and-so is a false prophet and what he says is wrong, etc. So I hope you will address this in a future blog post of this series.

    Which kind of goes along with how you mentioned Kirk Cameron on the Piers Morgan show in speaking on his opinion regarding gay marriage..if you publicly agreed with him, you were labeled a hater. My mother has a friend who has a grandson that’s gay. My Mom posted something on her Facebook page about Kirk’s interview and this woman BLEW UP on her and wouldn’t talk to her for months. Rather than continue to offend her friend my Mom just deleted her Facebook post and that’s what too many of us do. Me, I just don’t post things that I know my gay friends and relatives will find offensive. As you say, we love the person but hate their sin. Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort did a show, The Way of the Master. based on Comfort’s book of the same name, which I read. I’ve read on other websites that Comfort is teaching a false gospel. They also denounce Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and pretty much all the high profile Pastors of our day. So I do hope you will go further into who is teaching ‘Sound Doctrine”

    Thank you for this! I’ve learned SO MUCH from reading your blog these last 3 years! God Bless!

    • Jamileh says

      Kelly,
      I dont’ think any one pastor preaches 100% sound doctrine. The reason being is that pastors are humans which means their fallible. They have biases because of their upbringing, culture, influences in their lives, college they attended, etc. There’s no way to get away from that no matter how hard a person tries. God’s Word in it’s totality is the only sound doctrine we can rely on. We are to learn from our Master and Savior, not from man. The Scriptures are very clear on this. If what is being preached doesn’t line up with the Scriptures 100% then it’s wrong, God’s Word is not.
      Blessings
      Jamileh

      • KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says

        Right, but the Book also mentions going to Church and “making some Pastors and Teachers”….so what I hope to get clarification on is what is “Sound Doctrine” and how do we know who is teaching it. I look to man to help me understand what God is saying.

        • KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says

          forgot to add Jamileh that a lot of today’s modern Preachers can twist Scripture as they see fit. There’s also websites, as I mentioned above that denounce some of them. Those websites also say only the KJV is the proper Bible to read and if you read any other version then you’re reading ‘perverted’ Scripture and I don’t agree with that either.

  11. Nicole C says

    Amen! Thank you for having the courage to stand on God’s word and share the truth in love. This is awesome! I look forward to next week…

  12. Krista says

    Thank you so much, Courtney, for writing this series. It is more timely for me than you know. I have a friend who has labelled herself a pagan Buddhist. She used to belong to my church and was a close friend in high school. She had asked me to, essentially, write something that would make it look like I was supporting her beliefs. I said no. She called me all those names and I have lost a friend. I tried to make her see that I still cared about her and supported her, just not her beliefs. She would not get it, refused to see it that way. According to her, I was being intolerant and not giving her the unconditional love that Jesus was all about. It hurts so much to be shut out because of my faith and my convictions. I know I did the right thing, but it still hurts. Reading your series has given me the courage and confirmation that I couldn’t have done anything different. Now I’m praying that she will someday see my heart in all this and come to understand that my faith in my God and His Son is what I stand on and I do still love her.

  13. Tami says

    Amen.

    I pray God’s protection on you and your family as we go through this series together.

    When I have been confronted for sharing the gospel and pointing others to Jesus the labels I hear most often are that I’m being a hypocrite, intolerant, and judgmental. My response has been that one who is forgiven much, loves much. Evangelism is difficult work and requires delicacy because as sinners we love our sin! When someone is spoken to in love about sin in their life it has been my experience they become defensive and attack. I have lost many family members over this and I continue to pray for them and for God to restore these broken relationships. Until that happens I continue to pray, lift the situations up to God, and stay in the Word.

    Thank you for all you do and especially for this series.

  14. kl says

    I am loving you. I love learning from you!! Thank you for being who you are and following God like you do. You are a great inspiration!! <3

  15. says

    Thank you so very much for these words. I feel we are under attack now more than ever, and often by the Church! I appreciate your boldness and stance on holding firm to the Truth, and encouraging the rest of us
    Not to follow into the spiral of silence. Thank you so very much for your heart. I look forward to your next post!

  16. Linda says

    Thank you, Courtney for these words of wisdom. You are right on and I pray for you as you continue with this series.

  17. says

    Sometimes we let our guard down when we hear words like “reconciliation.” The attacking sheep (I love that metaphor) know this and use it against us.

    For example, as the Episcopal church’s elites began tearing the institution apart over same-sex marriage, one bishop published a booklet subtitled, “A Congregational Resource for Reconciliation.”

    The first dozen or so pages went on about hearing everyone’s point of view. Then toward the end, the text made it clear there was going to be no room for compromise, as there were no sexual sins anyway.

    Reconciliation, compromise, listening, “working with” — these are euphemisms for President Obama’s famous phrase, “I won.”

    It’s a good idea to tug at those attack sheep’s coats looking for a wolf’s fur underneath.

  18. says

    Praying for you as you encourage other women to tell the truth and defend the faith. I think people pleasing and the fear of losing men’s good opinion stops many from defending the truth. You’re doing a good thing here.

  19. says

    I love this article! I recently posted on Facebook “Grace is not a synonym for do what thou will”. Our ministry reaches many of the very down and out: drug addicts, gang members, prostitutes, addicts of all sorts. We have a recovery home for men and one for women. The hardest part is seeing people come into knowing God and be taught the gospel truth to turn away from sin (DELIVERANCE!) and then they return to sin…OR they go to another church that does not care if they were in the club on a Friday, as long as they pay a tithe on Sunday. It sometimes is hard to love (for me) when I want to say “OMG! YOU KNOW BETTER!” But this article reminded me that we all have our own walk and just because the pull of one sin is not as strong in my life, I have other sins that take me everyday.

  20. Rachel says

    I just want to say thank you Courtney! Not only for this series but for your site as well, it really helps me to stay focused on my walk with God. Your book was also a huge blessing that helped our family through the improvements I made on myself, not focusing on changing them. So thank you from this stay at home, homeschooling mama of two, and wife to my incredible husband!

  21. says

    I keep being so encouraged by your words about truth, Courtney! I am struggling with this issue in my own life – both being loving toward those whose sins are different than mine, and standing firm (out loud!) for God’s truths and laws. Lots of messages today though building me up, including yours. Thank you!

  22. Kimberly says

    So grateful to see solidarity on this troubling matter that has been burdening me for the past several weeks. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being true to God and His Word.

  23. Cecilia Sacksen says

    Courtney! Thank you SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS! Recently, a Navy Wives Club I am part of had our leader proselytize to several women, point out sins they’ve committed in front of her, and tell them they’re going to hell and are horrible people. When she was asked to apoolgize to the women she hurt, she refused and instead chose to leave the group. Ever since then, it’s been a heavy topic on all of our hearts but especially mine because I was one of the women she berated verbally, and within earshot of my husband…as we drove home from Church. When you mentioned grace, that was certainly one thing that everyone needs! For weeks, I went over and over the conversation in my mind wondering what I could have said differently. My only true response to her was that “those of us without sin should be the first to cast a stone, and none of us are so this conversation isn’t going anywhere.”
    Now, today I see on the news a man was forced to leave his company because he doesn’t support same-sex-marriage. The true intolerance is those who are shoving their own beliefs on others. We don’t all have to believe what our neighbor does! That’s the beauty of our beautiful country! These liberal Christians are definitely sacraficing the Bibles’ teachings for a more socially acceptable political agenda. It’s heartbreaking to see Christ’s teachings silences because it isn’t acceptable and doesn’t jive with today’s society. But if we show love and grace, perhaps we can create a better environment around us and it will spread!
    Thank you again for your well written post! I shared this with my girlfriends because we can all use the good Lord’s grace and encouraging words!!!!! Have a wonderful week!

  24. Kris says

    Thank you Courtney, you are a beautiful, kind-hearted woman of God and grace! This blog is written from a pure heart, who clearly sees what is going on in our culture right now. Thank you for these reminders about sin and tolerance.

  25. says

    Praise God! I have seen so many people write on this subject and this is the first time I have seen a blog post filled with the word and delivered in love. Thank you.

    – Crystal

  26. Ashley W says

    Hi Courtney,

    I LOVED this post!!!! I even printed it so I can reference it later :)
    I will be quoting you “Never have I seen sheep attacking each other in a pasture but that is exactly what is happening in the family of God.” to myself and others as this is such an important truth.
    On a final unrelated note, I hope you read my post and consider the following idea for a Blog Series..Discipleship. I can’t speak for other ladies, but I would LOVE to see a series/study on Discipleship. I would love to go to Bible college but don’t know if I’ll ever be able to (I’m over 30 and have financial/other issues). But I crave anything and everything Discipleship!!! :)

    If this is something you don’t ever feel called to do, perhaps if you have time can you recommend some books, textbooks, studies you done that are focused specifically on Discipleship?

    No matter what, I love you and your blog! You are truly reaching ladies by allowing Jesus to work thru you.

    Ashley

  27. Laura Kays says

    Right on Courtney!! Your timing can only be explained by divine intervention. I, as many others I’m sure, am going through this right now. I haven’t been to our old church where both our children were baptized because of this forced upon tolerance. I am ashamed I am quiet, but I think it’s because I don’t know how to respond in the right words. And honestly, our impressionable children (9 and 11) don’t need to hear it-not to mention the fact it won’t do any good for some people to try and discuss it. I am fairly new in finding my way through the bible. So I think it’s important for me to learn from and be around others who stand on the Word. Thank you for doing this:)

  28. Teresa Bowser says

    Thanks for speaking the truth in love. You’ve taken on a difficult task, but a very necessary one. It takes the courage of God and His grace, especially in this day, to stand up for what you believe. It does come with a cost. Praying as you write these articles.

  29. Jennifer says

    What I consider intolerance among Christians is when certain sins are considered worse/”living in sin” (which is nowhere in the Bible) while others are considered “it’s relatively okay since we all do it” sin. The primary ones in the former category are: divorcing, sex before marriage, any kind of LGBTQ identification. The primary ones in the latter category are the ones you list in your article (being mean, arrogant, selfish, etc.).

    Obviously, there are much bigger questions regarding objective Truth (related to the first post of the series), as I don’t think it’s as simple as you put it.That said, I think the heart of the backlash (against conservative Christians) is when calling out sin becomes targeted at very specific populations/issues.
    ***Courtney, let me be clear that I don’t think you do this, or at least I’ve almost never see you veer into that realm.*** I do think you focus on very specific elements of the Bible more than others (which is of course reasonable) and like I said I disagree with the whole idea of “literal” interpretation (I won’t go into this because it would just be argumentative), but I’m not here to try to convince you to change your beliefs. In other words, I don’t agree with your outlook, but I also do not think conservative Christians of your style are the reason for the backlash.

    Honestly, I think the key to your success is that you write about what you DO believe (here’s how I want to live), instead of focusing on what you DON’T believe (look at all those terrible sinners out there!). There are many bloggers out there who probably have almost exactly the same beliefs as you, but come across as very hateful because they focus on what they do not like in others in most of their posts.

    • Amy says

      “What I consider intolerance among Christians is when certain sins are considered worse/”living in sin” (which is nowhere in the Bible) while others are considered “it’s relatively okay since we all do it” sin. The primary ones in the former category are: divorcing, sex before marriage, any kind of LGBTQ identification.”

      I hear this response or a similar one often, Jennifer. I understand your perspective since at one time I would have shared it with you but after much study and prayer I think I understand what most Christians can’t articulate.

      The message Jesus came to share and that we are asked to proclaim is this, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” When we make a decision to serve God and accept His son Jesus as our savior then as a first step, we must repent. This is a process. The key is motive. Do we truly intend to no longer sin or are we simply mouthing words for a “get out of hell card”? For those who are sincere in repentance they will pray, seek God, and make decisions everyday to not sin again. Even with all of this effort they will fail because only Jesus was sinless. The difference is that they acknowledge their sin, feel remorse, and continue to try to avoid sin.

      Thus we are either living in sin or walking in repentance. This is Biblical though those particular terms are not used verbatim. The original Hebrew is much clearer in that we must turn away from sin (repentance) or else we are rejecting Christ.

      I believe the problem with the issue of homosexuality stems from the perspective that homosexuality is not (or should not be) a sin. This perspective is sometimes pushed on Christians who know it is wrong but can’t express why they believe that. The Old and New Testaments both declare that homosexuality is a sin. With that in mind we can go back to the first point. Those who are “in Christ” (Galatians 5:16-26) will produce the fruit consistent with that. One of the fruits of the spirit is self-control. The fruits of the flesh is sexual immorality which is defined for us in Leviticus 17-18 and does include homosexuality. If a person who is attracted to others of the same sex were to believe in the gospel, repent and submit themselves to God and His plan for their lives (His full Word) then though they may fall, they would be in repentance and not purposely trying to justify or continue in their sins. It does not mean that all feelings or desires would cease to exist but it does mean they would be enabled by the Holy Spirit to withstand the temptation.

      This is exactly the same situation for those living in fornication, thieves, liars, addicts, etc. If a person truly does not want to sin but fails on occasion then he may still be right before God. It is those who willfully choose to disobey who are (by God) judged more harshly.

      No sin is okay but to believe a sin (in this case homosexuality) is not a sin is to deny Christ Himself. He is the Word. He is the truth. And love as defined in the Bible “keeps no record of wrongs BUT it rejoices with the TRUTH.” Love is not a desire or feeling. As described by God, love is completely selfless. The opposite of love is self-serving; it pleases the flesh. Love only benefits the person receiving it.

      The Bible says that Jesus Himself will say to many who try to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, “Depart from me. I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23) To “know” Jesus is to know His Word; to truly know it. You cannot just pick out verses or adopt widely received concepts of Christianity. Seek for yourself.

      I would also like to clarify that though those who engage in sin and do not seek to know Jesus will not enter the Kindgom of Heaven it does not mean they will burn in hell forever. Hell was made for Satan and his demons not God’s children. Yes, some will perish there but only those who outright reject God in their hearts. The Kingdom of Heaven is the 1000 year reign of Messiah. It is not the eternal “new Earth” where we will live after the resurrection. The Bible gives us much reason to believe that those who truly believe in Jesus but are either caught up in the things of this world or experienced a life of sorrow here on Earth would have the opportunity to enter into the eternal new Earth after being purified. This is what judgement day is for. Consider the parable of the sower. One soil is the repentant followers, one is those who receive then reject Him, the other two are in between. It is not His will that ANY should perish and He will leave the 99 to go after the one. If we give His Word a chance we’ll find that most of our questions can all be answered and we can receive peace about the things that have long troubled us. We must KNOW Him.

      • Jennifer says

        I see what you are saying that you do not consider someone to be a real Christian if they are continually viewing what you see as sin not to be a sin. And I see that you are saying if someone feels bad about their sin and repents, then that’s different than refusing to see what they do as sinful. I’m not saying I agree, but I am saying I understand what you’re saying. (I buy into the whole subjectivity thing, but like I said, I’m not here to be argumentative because I’m not trying to change anyone’s beliefs.)

        What I am saying is that a lot of conservative Christians focus on particular sins more than others. They don’t talk much about the sin in their own life, and focus more on what they see as sinful in the lives of others. They focus on “issues” (LGBTQ identity, divorce, etc.) and talking about what others are doing wrong, instead of spending any time talking about the sin in their own lives (I would say arrogance is an obvious one). They refuse to admit their own sin (“I’m not being arrogant and thinking I’m better than others! God is on MY side and I repent so I am a much better person than these other people!”), but are really quick to point out the sins in they see in others.

        Clearly, this is not ALL conservative Christians. I don’t think Courtney falls into this category, which is why I read her blog to hear her ideas even if I don’t agree. But I think these very vocal and (let’s just say it) hateful Christians make a bad name for conservative Christians as a whole.

        • says

          I agree completely. I think the issue is with those busy looking at everyone else pointing out their sins rather than their own.
          I would also add that disagreeing on the subject of homosexuality does not make one less of a Christian in my opinion although I’m sure some will disagree.

          • Jennifer says

            Yes, Jessa, I don’t personally think LGBTQ identification makes anyone less Christian, I was just saying that even if one does hold that belief, a focus on the sin of others is the inherent problem. (Just like differences in belief on divorce, etc.) I was trying to speak to those who believe differently because I think there is still the common ground of what Courtney has also said:
            “The church will become a very unfriendly place if we spend all our time confronting sin in other people’s lives. So this is not about confrontation and more about self-reflection. What sin are you tolerating in your own life.”
            I meant to highlight that quote before!

  30. says

    really good piece. It’s so frustrating to have everything be tolerated except the truth. We can only pray that the blinders will be lifted from peoples’ eyes. I fear it will take a long time.

  31. Carissa D. Huffman says

    Courtney–

    Beautiful, grace-filled handling of a very sticky topic for Christian people. It is a tough place to be–loving people who do not believe as we do.

    Thank you for following His Word, even when it is difficult. I am looking in the mirror, and praying to walk away changed.

    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  32. Grace Sims says

    Courtney,

    Thank you for this post and the whole series. I always struggle with how to respond to people about these “hot topics”. This series is helping me so much. I know I can stand certain on God’s word. Thank you for the scripture references and for sharing your heart.

    Thank you again.

  33. Christine C. says

    I’m really hurt by this statement: “Not only is the world silencing Christians, but the liberal, progressive Christians also demand us to be silent about Biblical principles with the threat that they will label us as intolerant, judgmental, and unloving.”

    I’m a Christian. At the core of my Christian faith is a belief in the inherent dignity of all human beings which is why my politics lean left. I have no interest in silencing Christians who are on the right, and I think that it’s a huge mischaracterization to claim that most left-leaning Christians want this. I think what we all want is open dialogue and discussion on today’s cultural issues.

    Here’s a link to another blogger, talking about the recent kerfuffle over World Vision’s hiring policy: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2014/03/world-vision-and-gay-christians.html

    This is a quote that I find particularly interesting: “World Vision requires its employees to be Christians in good standing. However, because it is a parachurch organization, the organization does not take a position on various evangelical doctrinal disputes and instead leaves these differences up to individual churches. This includes things like infant baptism. When the organization changed its policy earlier this week, they made a deliberate choice to treat opposition to homosexuality as a doctrinal dispute. In other words, they determined that opposition to homosexuality was not a defining characteristic of Christianity but was instead, like infant baptism, a mere doctrinal disagreement.”

    I honestly believe that we can come to a common ground over issues like abortion and homosexuality through intensive debate, grounded in Biblical understanding.

    • Jennifer says

      You make a good point, Christine. Let me first say that I’m not a blogger and I don’t know anything about the specific Christian circles Courtney may be referring to (ex. World Vision). That said, I think it’s very easy to fall into overgeneralizing when trying to talk about macro issues like these (I’ve done it before, that’s for sure!). I think Courtney feels defensive and because she doesn’t usually take that position, I feel inclined to think she has had some really bad interactions with liberal Christians. I’ve had very negative interactions with conservative Christians that biased my view (and it still sometimes does, I have to be REALLY careful to keep perspective). I’m not sure that Courtney really intended to make such sweeping generalizations, but I also definitely cannot speak for her. I think these are really difficult conversations to have, especially online, and given Courtney’s really positive track record, I would encourage you to give her the benefit for the doubt.

  34. says

    In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. – Ayn Rand
    If We finally fail in this great and glorious Contest, it will be by bewildering ourselves in groping after this middle Way. – John Adams
    There is no cultural debate about God’s Word. All the Truth you need is in the Bible, no matter how many times someone rewrites it. You can’t run from sin or dismiss sin on account of modern society is different than it was during Jesus’ time. Evil is upon us and we continue to fiddle. I haven’t found the Scripture that is debatable on abortion or homosexuality, nor have I found any verses on cultural leniency.

  35. Aubrey Barker says

    I loved this! Thank you for having enough faith, corage, and love to share these eternal truths Courtney! Your post reminds me of Isaiah’s prophesy in the last days and a scripture found from the Book of Mormon ( another testament of Jesus Christ.) found in 2 Nephi 15:20, ” Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! “

  36. says

    Thank you, Courtney! I agree with the vast majority of what you wrote.

    I do have a question about this sentence, though: “When I feel lazy or impatient or grumpy or whiney or mopey – that is sin.” How or why is it a sin to have feelings? You didn’t say you *acted* lazy, etc., which could be sinful. Can you please help me understand?

    Thanks!

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