So many clubs exist that have very specific criteria for membership … the Italian Club … civic clubs like Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis … Masons … country clubs … labor unions … political parties. Different companies are selective, as are the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Colleges, med schools, the military … even families have criteria and selection processes for membership.
In today’s world, harmony and tolerance have become goals within themselves. Peace at any cost … All ways lead to God … Live and let live. Such “tolerant” attitudes actually lead to intolerance of anyone who claims to have the answer or truth. Religions or moral “clubs,” or groups with a certain belief, seem to be treated differently. Having criteria, or a selection process seems to be intolerable.
Jesus made it clear that He is the only way to God, the only way to real peace. In Isaiah 9:6 He is called the Prince of Peace. God calls us to love all people, but agreeing that other faiths can lead to God just so we can seek unity and “peace” is to deny our own faith … the teachings of God, the existence and work of Jesus, and the Holy Bible. And in doing so, we deny Jesus as our Savior.
As Christians, we are not expressing Christ-like love when we are willing to accept as OK the beliefs of those who deny Christ or who live sinful lifestyles … all for the sake of unity and peace. The Bible is clear about God, Jesus, and moral issues.
The double standard for “clubs” really shows me the existence, power, and agenda of Satan, who wants people to believe being nice is all you need to do to be Holy, thus engaging with God by avoiding Christ. Satan wants to push the idea that we can connect with God on our own power, through our efforts. This is why we get stuck on the law, legalism, and have difficulty absorbing God’s gracious gift of forgiveness.
Today, begin expressing Jesus’ love by loving people where they are, by building relationships with them and, as the Holy Spirit leads, by sharing the truths of the Gospel with them. Jesus is the only answer. Don’t let anybody guilt you into thinking Christianity is the only club with intolerant selection criteria. Show them how compassion and rigidity can coexist.
My Father, Help me never to deny my faith by accepting the unscriptural beliefs of others for the sake of unity and peace. Help me love others, no matter what their faith. Help me love them enough to build relationships with them and, as the Holy Spirit leads, to share the truth of the Gospel with them … and to do so with love. Help me communicate in a manner that lets all understand that Jesus is the only way. I pray this and all prayers through the One you sent to show us the way, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”