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Friday, February 26, 2010

Devotional Friday - "True Tolerance"


Devotional Friday 

"True Tolerance" by Pastor Rick Klueg from The Baptist Church of Northville

60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep. 1 And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.
It seems that the one remaining virtue promoted by our culture is “tolerance.” You can be sexually immoral, materialistic, and a liar and excuses will be made for you, but you certainly cannot be “intolerant”! I believe that this much-touted “tolerance” is actually shallow and self-serving. It is born of apathy (“I don’t care if other men cheat on their wives”) and energized by self-justification (“You excuse my sins, and I’ll excuse yours”). Stephen’s sermon, with its blistering conclusion, would be labeled “intolerant” by popular culture. I would reply that Stephen stands as an example of the true virtue of tolerance, as today’s verse proves.
Genuine tolerance does not involve the sacrifice of truth. Stephen stood firmly on the Word of God and refused to budge from his position. Even when faced with a brutal, painful death, he did not entertain the idea of compromise. The English martyr Thomas Cranmer was at one point intimidated into signing a recantation of his gospel convictions. Later he reaffirmed his faith publicly, and was eventually led to be burned at the stake. To show his remorse at his previous compromise, he declared that the hand that signed the recantation would be the first to burn, and he somehow managed to hold it in the flames before he perished. Examples like those of Stephen and Cranmer ought to shame us for the ways we so easily ease up on biblical convictions in the fact of worldly pressure. That is not tolerance, it is cowardice.
True tolerance is a virtue because it is grounded on a genuine concern for those in error. Stephen is a wonderful example of “hate the sin but love the sinner.” He spoke with passion against the sin of resisting God (Acts 7:51-53). With equal passion, he prays for the Lord to forgive the guilty sinners who were murdering him: Lord, do not hold this sin against them. This reflects the love of Christ when on the cross He prayed Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).
Practicing biblical tolerance may be costly. It cost Stephen his life. But it will be blessed of God to bear great fruit. We read that Saul was there, giving approval to his death. Stephen’s prayer was answered in the conversion of at least this one man, who became the apostle Paul.

Biblical Doctrine: Bibliology – Biblical truth is non-negotiable, and may not be compromised for the sake of “tolerance.”

My Responsibility: Hate sin while loving sinners.

Question: Do you ever find yourself justifying weakness and compromise by calling it “tolerance”?

Prayer: Help me to be more like Christ (and like Stephen) in praying for the salvation of those who hate me.


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So Far This Week:

I have run across many people who are having a hard time commenting or finding where they are to comment on the posts. They want to share their prayer requests or music videos and can't. I am hoping this will be easier. From now on, I will add the new day and the new day's topic to the home page post. Just click on the word "HERE" and it will take you to the post with the comment box already up and you will be able to see comments other people have shared. I am praying this will be easier for everyone. If not, we can go back to the old way.

Soulful Sunday - "Lies Women Believe" - About Themselves-Part 2- I Need To Learn To Love Myself. To see this post, Click HERE

Music for the Heart and Soul - Come and share your favorite Christan music and listen to others as we worship God! To see this post, click HERE

Prayer Requests - "Shying Away From Greatness". Let's be prayer warriors for each other today. To see this post, click HERE

Let' Talk Truth- Adversity is the topic this week. To see this post, click HERE


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