I had commented on a facebook conversation the other day. It was in regards to someone complaining about political yards signs and asking what the purpose was and saying they just alienate your neighbors and don’t change votes etc etc…. I normally just disregard this kind of thing because I know it’s probably pointless to join in or state my opinion. But, this time I did comment because I’m tired. I’m tired of not standing up for what I believe in. I’m tired of sitting on the fence in a way (because even if I have strong opinions, often saying nothing is standing up for nothing). So, this time, I left a comment on how I was thankful to still live in a country where I can still put a political sign in my yard and not be fearful for my life because someone else may disagree with it. I was respectful and thought about what I was writing. It turns out that this did not sit well with the person who posted the original post (actually an extended family member) and the path our conversation went down amazed me! I tried in each response to be respectful and state the truth about our right to free speech. Finally, after I responded about 3 times, I stopped because I felt I had proven my point without needing to go any further.
Although this whole conversation was more of a political nature, it reminded me of a book I read in high school in 2003. It was called “Be Intolerant”. I’m sure the title of this book would offend many right off the bat. But it is a book about the epidemic of tolerance and how to be intolerant in love. As a Christian, I think the only way we can have that love is through the Spirit of God in us. Because, I know, on my own, I do not have the desire to be loving to those who I disagree with in conversations like the above. However, since I asked Jesus to come into my life, I am able to feel a love for others that just wasn’t there before.
In the book, the author Ryan, talks about moral relativism, which is a viewpoint that says what is right or wrong for you depends on what you think is morally right or wrong. It means everything is relative. Basically, there is no absolute truth (funny how when people say this it’s a declaration of absolute truth in itself!). For example, “I know you think living together before marriage is wrong but I don’t really have a problem with it so, I don’t think it’s wrong.” The spread of moral relativism is strong in America today, I see it all the time. The author also points out how moral relativism and Christianity don’t mix. In John 14:6 Jesus didn’t say I am only one of the ways to get to God. He said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”
One interesting thing I learned from this book is why people belief this way. For one, it’s a much easier way to live. “Everybody’s doing it” to quote the book:
“Before you know it, you’re considering ideas that would have seemed crazy not too long ago. You hate one of your classes? Not one will mind if you skip it once. You want that cd player at the stereo store? It’s a big corporation; they won’t even miss it. You and your girlfriend want to have sex? It won’t hurt anybody. When you start down this road, you can rationalize just about anything. The operative line is “It’s right for me.”
The second reason people believe this way is again because it makes your life easier, but this time because you don’t have to take a stand on anything. Someone’s cheating? “Oh well, that’s their business. It doesn’t affect me” Your friend is talking about religion, honesty or loyalty? “Whatever works for you, it’s not my thing.”
The third reason this is a popular belief is that people can kind of choose their own variety of religion. Choosing the parts they like and discarding the things they don’t.
However, there is a downside to moral relativism.
“It’s an empty existence. It’s fun when things are going well, but what does it offer when you’re down? Who are you going to lean on when life starts falling apart?”…..”moral relativism lacks meaning. Purpose. Passion. I mean, what does the relativist have that’s worth dying for? He’s always looking, but he never finds real joy or peace or rest.”
The Christian walk is, of course, the narrow path. It is harder. The other path will have more popularity but it ends in a dark way. Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. The gate is wide and the road is wide that leads to hell, and many people enter through that gate. But the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to true life. Only a few people find that road.”
By taking the narrow path, we have not only have something that is worth dying for, but living for as well!
In the end of “Be Intolerant” Ryan says
“Telling people that moral relativism is wrong and Christianity is right isn’t about being judgmental or spoiling anyone’s fun or favoring rules over free expression of one’s personal idea of right and wrong. It’s about being a hero. A rescuer. The person who will go to any length to save people from a disaster they don’t see coming.”
He says you have to learn to be intolerant – in love. And he gives ways on doing just that. I could write much more about this book. I hope I’ve portrayed an accurate picture of this book and it’s heart meaning.
I guess another reason I wrote about this book is because I’ve had a couple people say things to me about my blog (in a positive way). That they like it, that I had a strong stance. Someone also mentioned to me how words can’t be taken back once they are in writing. I understand that thought….and it has held me back many times before. But, like I said, I’m tired of sometimes being or appearing on the fence with my beliefs. This doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and be purposely rude or offensive, but that I will stand up for what I belief in. I think it is extremely important to know where you stand, now more than ever. I do, and I stand with freedom and liberty. I stand with truth and honesty. I stand with justice and integrity. Most importantly, I stand with Christ Jesus.