the Intolerance of Religious Intolerance

6 08 2008

When we get the opportunity, Adri and I like to spend Sunday morning drinking coffee, eating croissants and reading the paper. It’s a lovely way to start the day before we head off to church.

Last Sunday however, I was frustrated by two articles in the Sun-Herald. (I’ve really gone off this paper – but that’s another story).

The first was a piece on George Negus. The main story seemd to be something about his ideas to save the planet. I didn’t read that. What caught my eye was a small piece on his views on the “Intolerance of Religion”. He said that in his youth he was a lay preacher (didn’t say which church). However as he aged, and matured, he began asking more and more questions of the world. He then decided that it is arrogant and wrong to adhere to a religion that believes they are right and everyone else is wrong. He said he “grew up” and grew out of his faith.

On the next page was the column by Peter FitzSimons. Now I don’t mind Peter, although I think some find him fairly abrasive. He is clearly a passionate man. Last week he had a go at Aaron Baddeley for talking about God at every opportunity. This week, after seven days solid of complaints, he told the Christians in his audience that there are many god’s out there,  who are you to say yours is necessaarily any better than anyone else’s?

These two seem to be selling the same message:

  • there are many theories on God and the afterlife,
  • it would be arrogant and intolerant to hold to any one of them,
  • therefore, I will ignore all of them.

The problem with this position is this: by aiming to be tolerant, and by not telling anyone they are wrong, you end up being intolerant and telling EVERYONE they are wrong. It’s like saying “I am the only one intelligent enough to see the bigger picture and realise you can’t all be right – therefore I’m right and you are all wrong”.

Can you see my frustration? I think it is very easy for someone to take potshots at Christianity from a simplistic, high-level point of view, but isn’t it ultimately arrogance to not engage with Christianity and just assume that you know better?

Something I am probably guilty of with world-views other than my own…



5 responses

6 08 2008

Surely God is in control, we live in a world that seems to be out of control, but we have the Word of God, and we know what happens in the end, the Lord will make all things new, the old things will pass away.

He will make a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness will dwell. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away,” {Revelation 21 v 1}.

Now we also look at Jerusalem and think also that it is out of control, and we remember Jesus, how he wept over Jerusalem. We see the nations rising up against her, and our hearts go out to God’s precious, chosen people.

Now we are reminded by the Lord, to pray for God’s people in Psalms 122 v 6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee.”

Now, we have good news for the people of Israel, He has not forgotten them, for He is also going to make a new Jerusalem and it will be a shinning jewel. “And I John saw the Holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband,” { Revelation 21 v 2}.

So let us pray and support God’s chosen people, may they all come to know Jesus Christ their Lord and Saviour. God bless Israel.

“As the mountains are about Jerusalem, so the Lord is around about His people from henceforth even for ever, {Psalm 125 v 2}.

7 08 2008

Did I just get evange-spammed?

7 08 2008

No just blessed

8 08 2008

oh – thanks!

9 08 2008

Heh. good post guthers.

Funny/wacky comments!

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