First let me say that the structure of Christianity is one that is based on exclusivity. Exclusivity comes from the idea of shutting out other considerations, or better defined as excluding all but what is specified. The position of exclusivity is one that is radical and leaves no room to be negotiated.
In Christianity a foundational position is that no other religion or belief structure is true other than what has been centered on the person of Jesus the Christ. Take a look at these statements made by Jesus: “I am the bread which came down from heaven”; “I am the bread of life”; “I am from him, and he hath sent me”; “I am the light of the world”; “I am from above”; “I proceedeth forth and came from God”; “I am the door”; “I give unto them eternal life”; “I and my Father are one”; “I am the resurrection and the life”; “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. Notice the focus on the “I” found throughout these statements. In just these few statements, Jesus was establishing the exclusivity for eternal life to be found only in the Christian faith. He is the only way to eternal life. All other ways are excluded and this is exclusivity.
Now, tolerance comes from the idea of recognizing and respecting others beliefs and practices without sharing them. There are many religions in the world that have established their own systems of beliefs and practices, and in religious tolerance, we are asked to recognized and respect each one. However, the Christian faith presents an exclusive position. What tolerance can be found between darkness and light, life and death, or salvation and condemnation. The principles of Christianity separate our beliefs and practices to direct contradictions found in all other religious systems. However, it is love and not tolerance that the Christian has been told to reflect. We are told to love our neighbors. This is to be accomplished without compromising our beliefs.
Can Christianity co-exist with other religious beliefs? Of course. We do so everyday. We are instructed to do so in love. However, in Christianity there is not an equality shared with other belief systems. We do not compromise truth. The fact is that there is only one way and all others lead down the path of condemnation. We do not compromise for the sake of unity, but show compassion through love for the masses that have erred in choosing a path that is not centered on Jesus, the Son of God. All roads do not lead to God.
2 thoughts on “When Tolerance Becomes A Compromise”
Thank you very much Dr. Galloza for this good statement: “we do not compromise truth!” As beeing a missionary in Mozambique this is one of the great challenges here. Christianity arrived in Africa centuries ago but there are not many strong, bible oriented churches to be found – many traditional thoughts and beliefs ended up in evangelical doctrines.
The question is now: how can this situation be changed?
the answer is: teaching the Bible as it is – the true word of God!
Hello Dr. Galloza I appreciate your thoughts on this topic and hope that you will provide some more thoughts here in 2011. I am a student at NTS and would like to be able to receive more content from the teachers at NTS because I believe that as I learn more through the courses and through the men who are part of this instatution both will help me to grow in my own walk and understanding of Gods truth and calling for me.