Published October 28, 2014

Paul's Epistle...
"Intolerance for Tolerance's Sake"

One of the most highly-vaunted "virtues" promoted by secularist liberals is "tolerance." Christians who believe the Bible and hold to its eternal truths are told – often enforced by leftist governments – that we must be completely tolerant of those who don't share such Godly values. Anyone who doesn't accept what they espouse is "intolerant." In fact, such people are increasingly being charged with "hate" crime offenses. Yes, Christians are literally going to jail for publicly speaking what the Bible says about such things as homosexuality and marriage.

But have you noticed that this "tolerance" thing works in only one direction? While Christians are told to be completely tolerant of the chosen lifestyles and values (or lack thereof) of today's liberals, liberals have no desire whatsoever to be tolerant of true Bible-based Christian views. And they just don't seem capable of seeing the great hypocrisy that, to the rest of us, is so evident in this.

Eminent brain surgeon, author and commentator Dr. Ben Carson recently wrote, "One of the great dangers in America today is extreme intolerance in the name of tolerance."

While evidence of this mounts daily from the White House all the way down to City Hall, an unsettling example of America's future (if unchecked) was unwittingly provided recently by the mayor of Houston, Texas – a celebrated lesbian (whose "wedding day" photo with her "wife" has been widely circulated in news accounts).

As you've undoubtedly heard by now, Mayor Annise Parker was incensed that some pastors in Houston actually had the gall to stand up in their pulpits and denounce her city's new legislation that would allow men in women's restrooms and women in men's restrooms, all in the liberals' overarching grand goal of "prohibiting discrimination." (Go figure. I'm still having trouble comprehending how supposedly reasonable people could have supported, much less even considered, such a "bathroom bill.")

In response to this nonsense, more than 50,000 Houston voters took a stand and signed a petition against the bill – which is more than three times the number needed to repeal the measure or to let the public vote on it. The city's secretary certified the petition as valid, but, presumably acting on the mayor's directive, the city attorney threw out the petition. (Who says they have to follow the rules when their "cause" is so "just?")

Mayor Parker was also incensed by sermons about God's plan for marriage as only being between one man and one woman. Obviously, neither she nor her "wife" were very happy about having anyone speak out against same-sex marriage.

So, to accumulate evidence of this "rabid intolerance" on the part of Christian preachers (no other faiths were targeted), the city issued subpoenas to five area pastors to turn over any speeches, writings or sermons on gender identity or the "bathroom bill" because the mayor said they were "fair game" for prosecution.

The matter is not yet settled, although Mayor Parker has been back-peddling a bit in the face of all this brouhaha. But surely she had no idea what a national firestorm she would stir up. She has unwittingly fired a shot across the bow to awaken Bible-believing Christians that their rights to speak God's word freely in our land are summarily being challenged or taken away. That, of course, was not her intent. But God has a way of using very negative circumstances to produce very positive results. But the results will only be positive if Christians now boldly and publicly take a stand against such abrogations of the Constitutional freedom that, in the past, has allowed us publicly to express the truths found in God's Word.

As author Eric Metaxas recently said, "Never in our history has religious freedom been so brazenly defied. A bold red line has been crossed. The Houston mayor's inexcusable demand to see the sermons of pastors is an outrageous and shocking affront to all Americans and to liberty itself. If the American church does not rise up and stand against this, there is no American church."

And stand up we must. After all, Jesus Himself said, "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38 NIV). How could this be any more clear? German pastor, theologian and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak, not to act is to act."

Although Mayor Parker has certainly provided a high profile example of the problem, similar things are happening every day all across the country. In fact, they happen so often it seems as if we are becoming numb to them. And that's exactly what the enemy of our souls wants.

How did such ungodly people get into places of power in the first place? Americans voted them in. Voters who would never personally espouse such immoral stands either didn't know about the candidates' views in advance, or, even worse, just didn't care. And/or they simply didn't vote.

All of that sort of makes this coming Tuesday's elections far more important, doesn't it?

Pray that Americans will elect candidates at all levels of government who will stand up for Godly values. And then — you — be absolutely sure to vote!

- Paul

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