Are Christians intolerant?

Writing for the Huffington Post, Peter Henne published an article titled For Conservative Christians, is engagement a one-way street? Henne says, “Conservative Christians frequently claim progressives are intolerant of their views…and shut them down when they try to express their beliefs.” Then he goes on to name two incidents where conservative Christians stopped progressive Christians from expressing their beliefs.

The first event is where a lecture from a “prominent Catholic priest was called off” because of “his call for compassion towards LGBT Catholics.” The second was when a well-known Christian leader criticized Tim Kaine, Hillary’s former running mate, for claiming a scriptural basis for improving healthcare when his pro-choice view of health care ignores the slaughter of the unborn.

It is interesting that these two issues of moral concern are the two that always seem to be foremost in the minds of those claiming to be “progressive” Christians.

Henne admits he knows the terms “progressive” and “conservative” are “problematic words” when defining American Christianity. This is because these words can mean different things in many different contexts.

The problem I have with these two terms is that Christianity should be defined biblically without any qualifying adjectives. When one begins to employ adjectives to define Christianity we begin to stray from and thus corrupt what the word Christian means in Scripture.

Since Christian means to be Christ-like we must look to the Scriptures to see what Christ was like to understand what being a Christian means. One unmistakable attribute of Christ was His belief in the authority of Scripture.

After His forty day fast in the wilderness Jesus fought off the three temptations of the devil by quoting Scripture and prefacing all three of His quotes with the words, “It is written.” Throughout his earthly ministry when questioned about His teaching, Jesus would quote the Scriptures as His foundation and used the words, “Have you never read?”

It follows that anyone claiming to be a Christian should view the Word of God as authoritative on any issue it addresses. So when it comes to moral matters we view the Scripture’s teachings on morality as moral absolutes. Anything less would be un-Christian.

And when it comes to biblical morality n the two issues we have mentioned, homosexuality and abortion, the scriptural teaching is crystal clear.

On homosexuality, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination,” Leviticus 18:22. On the sanctity of life of the unborn, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb,” Psalm 139:13. And these are just a sample of what the Scriptures say on these two subjects, there are many more.

Ergo, Christians cannot be tolerant of homosexuality that primarily causes the continual spread of HIV/AIDS, and the sin of fornication and adultery that causes us to seek abortions, but it will always be Christian compassion that will compel us to care for the sick and dying, and the children others do not want.

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