The New Tolerance Part 2
Last week we explored what the new tolerance looks like. If you express any form of dissonant opinion from another person, you are quickly labeled as intolerant and a bigot. Today I would like to look further into how we can respond in this new environment.
It is not enough to know that this new tolerance exists, we must figure out how we are to navigate these waters and how we should relate to others. This cultural paradigm insists that we must absolutely agree with everyone else. So, if you have an alternative view, you should keep it to yourself. This is especially true concerning the good news of the gospel of Jesus. There is a subtle form of persecution inherent in this arena. If you are vocal about your faith, you are committing a social taboo. You are expected to acquiesce and just keep silent about your faith. It should remain a private personal matter.
The problem here is that if we succumb to this, we are missing out in following the Biblical example laid out before us. This easily can become our default position in relating to others. I don’t want to offend anyone, so I will always just keep silent and hope that somehow by osmosis, others will encounter God. I know that many times, I have fallen into this trap.
So, how do both engage others with the gospel and not automatically offend them? If all we do is point out the faults of other people, we become judgmental towards them. That is certainly not what I want to do.
The key is to quickly point the conversation to Jesus. I’m a broken person, you are a broken person, we all are broken. If we just tell others how broken they are, it solves nothing. If we point the way to Jesus being the answer to the needs of a broken world, that means everything.
I think this is true particularly in the area of politics. We are so divided, and as a result, we can quickly point out the faults of the other side. If we just stop at our own political identity without integrating our faith into the process, we fall far short of being salt and light to the world around us. Not only that, if we place politics above Christ, we tend to have a negative view of everything and walk with a critical spirit.
Above all else, Jesus is the answer for the world… Today!