Friends, if taking a stand for Christ hasn’t cost you anything yet. You might be doing it wrong.
It will cost you friends and family, opportunity and occupation, comfort and currency. It is the nature of making choices of any kind.
Anytime we choose “this” and not “that,” a line has been drawn and things on one side were included while things on the other side were excluded.
AND THIS IS NOT HATE. It is reality in the world of adulting. And we accept it in a thousand ways every day. When it costs us nothing or gives our flesh a wide berth.
“What kind of cookie would you like, peanut butter or chocolate chip?” I would like chocolate chip.
Peanut butter gets left on the plate. Chocolate chip goes into my belly. I did not hate peanut butter. I did not insist that peanut butter be vanquished from existence. And if we are being honest, I am not really celebrating chocolate chip cookies either. I actually prefer oatmeal raisin, because I am a monster. But it wasn’t a choice.
Today, I just chose differently and in so doing, inclusions and exclusions were made.
When we were less fragile, we could accept that when one lives in a realm that includes free will, one also lives in a realm of people who may choose differently than ourselves. Those days are gone.
We have redefined what it is to agree and what it is to disagree. To disagree now, is to hate.
A line has been drawn and chocolate chippers are on one side and peanut butterers on the other. And they are no longer just different cookies. They are enemies. And all the world must pick a side.
What a ridiculous way to live, for cookies sake! And also a fairly good indication that you have bumped into man’s idolatry or principality.
Idolatry is the least tolerant evil. It is jealous. It is demanding. It is hostile, coercive, and punishing to any who dare not to worship at its wicked feet.
If you haven’t been called intolerant yet, you will be. Not because you actually are, but because choosing to pass on Babylon’s offered plate is unacceptable. In Babylon.
You will be called intolerant. Even hateful. Following Christ guarantees it. And it will be okay.
Hear me now, your job isn’t to avoid being called intolerant.
Your job is to avoid being deterred by it.
We tell this to our children, but we forget it as adults. Hey friends–being called something doesn’t make it so.
So here’s what to do when that happens.
- Pray. Pray for the person calling you the name, that their heart would be softened to Truth, that their eyes and ears would be open to receive Truth.
- Pray some more. Pray for yourself, that you would have wisdom and grace as you respond. Ask God to give you His Words to say—and then commit to silence unless He does.
- Ask for more information. “Can you help me understand why you feel this way?” A lot of times hearing their reasons will reveal deeper hurts or wounds that have little to do with you and provide opportunities for ministry and mercy.
- Ask for examples. This is not to create “gotcha” moments, but it is to model better ways for communication. Our culture has become very comfortable making claims with little to no support or evidence. We should be prepared to GIVE and RECEIVE evidence of claims. These are marks of trustworthiness and maturity.
- Define the terms. Ask “What do you mean by intolerant?” Just because culture uses words interchangeably doesn’t mean we can’t call them on it. “I am respectfully disagreeing with you. This is not intolerance. I trust you respectfully disagree with me on a number of things, but I would never accuse you of trying to remove from the land of the living.”
Tolerate: To allow or endure the existence, occurrence, or practice (of something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference. Intolerant means “not tolerant…” like you are not allowing or enduring the existence of something you object to. Friend, not one wicked thing in the world is being hindered or truly impeded right now. It is ALL ALLOWED, with or without objection. If we see anything right now, it is that ANYTHING GOES.
Wickedness doesn’t want tolerance. It wants congratulations and celebration. Because anything less would acknowledge that this peculiar and particular sin wasn’t absolutely right or better to begin with. Wickedness cannot allow for alternatives. Its evil empire crumbles in the presence of better ways. So there can be mention or memory of none.
I disagree wholeheartedly with many of our culture’s positions on sexuality right now. But I cannot and am not preventing anyone from doing anything. It is all being tolerated.
Me speaking truth about sin may not change anything for anyone that I am aware of. No matter.
Ours is a professing and confessing faith. Speaking Truth is not done to change man. It is done to honor the Lord. Only HE CHANGES HEARTS AND MINDS.
6. Learn to live with it. You were not created to please man. Sometimes you will and sometimes you won’t. But pleasing the Lord should be the goal every time.
He can be trusted with our names, our reputations, and our righteousness. When our name is synonymous with HIS NAME, when our reputation reflects HIS REPUTATION, when our righteousness is rooted in HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS… HE WILL DEFEND US.
Which is not to say we will win in the court of public opinion. Or even in courts of law.
Friend, I say this in love. HIS COURTS ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT MATTER. Do not fear man. Fear the Lord who holds eternity in His hand.
We are called to love according to HIS STANDARDS, even if man has different ones and hates His. His love is better. His truth is better. And the world is deserving of both. I don’t know who to attribute this to, but I wish I did. “The truth should always be given in love, but love can never be given without truth.”
Say it with me, “I will not be everyone’s flavor and it is okay.” You may be the cookie that gets left on the plate. A lot.
Worse was called Christ for your sake. Worse was done Christ for your sake. Scorn is the least painful stripe we can gladly receive in the grand scheme of His grace.