Friday, January 14, 2005

I've never claimed to be politely correct, or politically correct . . . however you want to term it. 'Tolerance of anything but intolerance' is often derided as some liberal, valueless, immoral notion that is corrupting our society and churches. Actually, I'd be happy to be labeled as such. Am I simply being politically correct? I am about to not be!

I am not saying that I have no convictions or fail to understand that there are definitely actions and desires that are sin. I know sin exists. I've done enough of it . . . and know how dark the recesses of our fleshly hearts are that I could never dismiss humanity's evil as just individual preference. Some tolerance today is rooted in moral ambivalence - but don't slap that label on me just because I welcome anyone in the name of Jesus. My acceptance of sinners is not due to moral laxity (seems Jesus was accused of that too).

My tolerance is an unwillingness to judge others' failures as unworthy of patience, while I overlook the severity of my own evil. Compared to a judgmental and self-righteous stance my willingness to be forbearing and caring about anyone with any struggle - and to proclaim full and free forgiveness to the awfulest of sinners - appears to be spineless to some. Take the conservative Christian bogeyman of homosexuality . . . is it sin worse than mine? Is heterosexual lust somehow more acceptable than homosexual lust?

Those hypocritical enough to censure others for sins no worse than their own are the ones who I find most objectionable because they want to force me to choose which brothers and sisters to love. It is a zero-sum game for them. My tolerance is a welcoming hope for anyone to seek Jesus. When we are deeply aware of our sinfulness we cling to grace, and seek the realization of our sanctification without condemning others who are on that same journey.

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