As Tolerant As Jesus
I'd like to share with you some thoughts about Jesus and what He taught about judging others. Many people have a really inaccurate idea about what Jesus taught on the subject. They think He taught us not to judge others, period. That is not so. They suppose that Jesus sweetly tolerated anything and everything with regards to the differing religious and moral beliefs and practices of His day. He did not.
First, Jesus loved everybody. He came to save anyone in the world who desired to be saved. But His love for others, as great as it was, never interfered with Him telling them the truth. He taught on very controversial matters, and brought forth the truth even when it is very unpopular, even dangerous, to do so (Matthew 23:6-12). Some preachers today think that being "tolerant" so as not to offend is being like Jesus was. It isn't. Tough love tells the truth, which sometimes hurts for the moment, but also enlightens and, with the right reception, leads to life.
Jesus did not believe, tolerate nor condone everything taught by the various religious leaders of the day. Jesus taught that doctrine does matter. While others may be teaching, "We are all going to the same place, just by different roads" Jesus taught "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:14).
Jesus does not want you or me to think that we ought to accept and believe everything we hear as being "alternative truth". He has said that truth is absolute and knowable (John 8:31,32). If a teaching or philosophy is contrary to the Scriptures, then it must not be tolerated but rejected. It is untrue, a false way. Truth is absolute, and does not change. Of course, we treat all with respect and dignity as souls who bear the image of our Creator. We recognize the God given right of each person to make his or her own decisions with regard to what their relationship with God is going to entail. Truth cannot be forced on anyone, and we ought not to even try. It must be received within the human heart. But at the end of the day, there is still only one true faith, and we do our God, our fellow human beings, and ourselves a great disservice if we carelessly say otherwise (Ephesians 4:4-6).
By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 9.7, July 2002