Wednesday, April 20, 2016

“Contrary to popular definitions, true tolerance means 'putting up with error' - not 'accepting all views'. We don't tolerate what we enjoy or endorse - say, chocolate, or roses, or Mozart's music. By definition, we tolerate what we don't approve of or what we believe to be false.”

“The frustrating thing is that those who are attacking religion claim they are doing it in the name of tolerance, freedom and openmindedness. Question: Isn’t the real truth that they are intolerant of religion? They refuse to tolerate its importance in our lives.” ― Ronald Reagan: (1911 – 2004: was an American politician and actor, who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989)

Gospel Text: (JN 12:44-50)
Jesus cried out and said,
“Whoever believes in me believes not only in me
but also in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.
I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on my own,
but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life.
So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”

Jesus is bold in proclaiming the truth as were His early followers.  “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” Act 4:13  Boldness is used for the Greek word parrēsia which means with all (pan) speech (reo).  We might translate it “say all”.

Is it possible that we Christians are too timid to speak openly about Christ?  Is there too much of a false tolerance which comes from a lack of faith and convictions?   Are we in reality more influenced by fear of rejection than by a genuine search for truth.  True tolerance comes from a deep respect of others and of the truth, not from an anxiety of being disparaged by others for telling the truth.  Having an open mind hopefully does not mean that our brains fall out!

I guess truth is risky.  It separates us from the crowd.  We are tempted to seek safety in an anonymous  state!  

“Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.” (John 12:42) – Does this sound familiar?

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