Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Religious Tolerance and the Christian


Religious Tolerance and the Christian

 

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” – 2 John 1:9-11

Be and let be.  That’s the anthem proclaimed by society regarding other religions that don’t proclaim Christ as the Son of God.  As Christians we are told, in effect, to sit down and shut up!  But is that what God’s word calls us to do? 
The Apostle John tells us in 1 John 4:2-3 how to know if a religion is of God.  I’m not talking about denominations, which are a sub-group of Christians based on personal beliefs and practices.  I’m talking about religion – who is worshipped.  All religions have a spiritual base, a spirit that governs it.  In Christianity we worship God in three persons, the Father, the Son and His Holy Spirit.  John says By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

John gives us a measuring stick by which we know if a religion is of God.  If the religion believes that Jesus Christ was God’s Son and came in the flesh, then the religion is governed by the Spirit of God, and also called the Spirit of Truth.  If the religion does not agree that Jesus came from God, it’s a false religion.  By believe, I mean it centers itself on Him.  You cannot believe that Jesus is the risen son of God, and yet believe something else will bring you peace and power.  That’s not the gospel of Christ.  True religion believes that salvation comes from Christ.
We have witnesses, proof, of our faith in Christ, both in Heaven and on Earth.  1 John 5:6-8 says “This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth:[b] the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. In Heaven, the three that bear witness are one – the trinity of God.  Through the prophets of old, God spoke and told of the coming of Christ.  His Word recorded it, and His Holy Spirit which visited the earth before Christ came gave knowledge of Him, and even revealed Him as “the lamb slain before the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).  On earth that trinity claimed Jesus audibly to those that witnessed Jesus water baptism when He spoke and said “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”(Matthew 3:17) His blood shed for us on Calvary fulfilled the prophesies toward Him and new covenant that had been prophesied.  And Romans 8:16 says “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”.  The Holy Spirit living in us from the time of salvation witnesses to our spirit that He is God’s Son.

We have a reason for our belief in Christ – three witnesses – all divine and Holy.  But are we to be tolerant of other religions that do not proclaim Christ as Lord?  NO, and if we do, we have engaged in their evil work.  2 John 1:10-11 says “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.  Don’t let him in your house – making friends with him and being hospitable.  Don’t greet him as a friend.  Those who worship other religions are worshipping the spirit of the Antichrist, which is Satan the father of lies.  We are to “Abstain from every form of evil.”(1 Thessalonians 5:22)
Christians, we have to take an unpopular stand to follow God.  We have to be willing to stand and proclaim that religions that do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, such as: Muslim, Islam, Judaism, Buddism, Hinduism, Scientology, New Age, Taoist, Tribal religions, Deist, Theist, Unitarian, etc…  It’s not enough that they believe Jesus existed, as do many of the religions that don’t worship Him.  The Spirit of Truth bears witness that He was the Son of God.  Anything less is false religion.

Now I'm just going to pick a bone with a few people, because I’m called to teach, and you can’t always do it quietly. If you are a Christian, you have no reason to be quoting Buddha, Gandhi, or any other so-called prophet that does not proclaim Jesus as the Son of God. Don't dabble in idolatry.  Abstain from these evils. Any truth you need is found in God's word. You don't have to look elsewhere.

Are we to be tolerant of those that follow these religions? Not according to God’s word.  Are we to hate those that have followed these religions and turn our backs on them?  You’ll not find that ANYWHERE in God’s word.  We are told to love our enemies, those who are our adversaries.  We can hate their religion and the spirit they follow, but we must love them.  Their souls depend on it.

We are to be salt and light to the entire world.  The Holy Spirit in you bears witness here – in this world – that Jesus is the Son of God.  Allow His Holy Spirit to be seen in you.  That is what we are called to do.  But we are never called to be tolerant of their evil religions, which makes us an accomplice to the loss of souls.

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