- On March 9, CNN talk-show host Piers Morgan interviewed Pastor Mark Driscoll, a well-known Christian pastor. “Interview” is a charitable word, as Morgan drilled Driscoll on the issue of tolerance, rarely allowing the pastor time to get a full answer out. “Do you think you're a tolerant type of guy?” Morgan asked, “Do you teach tolerance?” When Driscoll said that he preaches that we should love our neighbor, Morgan cut him off “But tolerance – tolerance in particular.” “Because, you know,” Morgan went on to say, “my — my view about this is — is not that I don’t respect Christians or Catholics or whoever who — who absolutely swear by every word in [the Bible]. It’s just that it’s — I just don’t believe anyone who is genuinely Christian should be spouting bigoted opinions about sections of the community for their sexuality … But I also think what is harming America right now, like many countries around the world, is just a fundamental lack of tolerance and respect for people who may not share your personal values.”
- Morgan went on to suggest that the Bible must be dragged “kicking and screaming” into this age of tolerance. Google: religious, tolerance. The first hit is the website for the Canadian grown religioustolerance.org, the Ontario Consultants of Religious Tolerance. About the Bible and by extension Biblical Christianity they write that: ”an overall theme of the Bible is religious exclusivity and intolerance.”
- Maybe you’ve felt the pressure of trying to discern how to hold your Christian beliefs in environments increasingly hostile to the “intolerance” of our faith. What did you do on the “Day of Pink”? What will you do this year? Has your campus group faced pressure to alter its charter? Has your work adopted policies and causes that leave you outside of the mainstream. These things are happening more and more in Canada.
- As Canada becomes more multicultural, tolerance becomes the only virtue left and therefore is championed more and more zealously. Tolerance has come to define what it means to be Canadian. For example, University of Ottawa Professor Leslie Armour writes, “Our idea is that to be a virtuous citizen is to be one who tolerates everything accept intolerance.”
Viewing entries in
Seek Welfare of the City:
- TED TALK: The Demise of Guys: http://www.ted.com/talks/zimchallenge.html
- “Boys Adrift”
- If you don’t believe the experts, ask the single women. Last November the Atlantic Magazine ran an Article “All the Single Ladies”, in which author Kate Bolick argued that “recent years have seen an explosion of male joblessness and a steep decline in men’s life prospects that have disrupted the “romantic market” in ways that narrow a marriage-minded woman’s options: increasingly, her choice is between deadbeats (whose numbers are rising) and playboys (whose power is growing).”
- I went to the park yesterday, met a 23-year old single mom who recently moved to Ottawa. The dad’s nowhere to be found, she’s putting herself through school with a one-year old, taking out loans to house herself and her kids. Tough story. Then she tells me that her 25 year-old brother’s been crashing on her couch for 4 months, eating her food that she’s going to have to pay back with her school loans, playing video games all day, continually telling her that he’ll go get a job, but making no tangible moves toward it. And he’s staying with her because her older brother moved back into her mom’s basement, so he had to go.
If you were to visit the study of American President Thomas Jefferson in the newly constructed White House during the early years of his presidency at the beginning of the 19th century, you might be pleased to see a well-worn, and obviously poured over Bible prominently displayed on his desk. However, if you were to be so bold as to open Jefferson’s Bible, you might be shocked at what you found between the covers. During those years, Jefferson had engaged himself in a project to re-craft the Bible in his own image. He took a razor to its pages, rearranging the Gospel narratives, removing entire sections, and even re-writing some passages to give the “correct” reading. Jefferson did this because he believed that the ethical and philosophical teachings of Jesus had been obscured by the supernatural and, he thought, superstitious stories about Jesus. He sought to remove any reference to miracles, to the deity of Christ, to resurrection power, to the Holy Spirit – and be left with the pure ethical teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Obviously, followers of Jesus have always taken issue with Jefferson’s approach, for once we set ourselves up as the final authority as to what or what isn’t proper to God, we come out with a God that looks very much like ourselves and a Bible that no longer challenges us beyond ourselves.
My point in telling this story is not to deride those who edit out the power and deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. My point in telling this story is to ask whether we in the modern church unwittingly do the same thing. Jefferson edited out the supernatural to leave the ethics – do we do the opposite? Have we taken our razors out and left behind a virtue-less faith? We glory in our correct doctrines, but do our hearts and our hands lag behind?