This blog records my transition from the Churches of Christ to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Was Christ Ever Intolerant?

i've been surprised a little lately at some very personal encounters with postmodernism or relativism or whatever you'd like to call it. i'll be the first to point out that i think some right-wingers or CoC traditionalists or religious traditionalists at large have some things wrong. But i guess i'm shocked that it appears some among those who would agree with me act as though there are no answers, or that all answers and ideas are equal, or (more shocking to me) making a claim or taking a position does not oblige one to offer any argument or evidence whatsoever for that claim or position.

This doesn't seem like following Jesus' example at all. He most certainly criticized the positions and traditions of both the "right" and "left" of His day. But His criticisms did not amount to saying that there are no right answers or that all ideas are equal. In fact, He offered some rather challenging and stringent positions and didn't apologize for them.

i think it's entirely healthy that people in my own sub-culture and generation are wanting to ask questions and to question the seemingly tidy and easy-ready answers of the past. There is certainly an air of no-questions-allowed which is unhealthy. At the very least, it doesn't allow people to own answers for themselves and for their faith to be genuine. But i'm baffled that the same people who see this often don't see that it's equally unhealthy to act as though questions are all we have and *any* definite answers ought to be treated as tentative or suspect, and at best we should see all our individual positions as equal in worth and veracity.

That may be very up-to-date and polite. But i daresay it isn't compatible with imitating Christ. Just because previous people have exercised an un-Christ-like amount of intolerance in various ways (whether socially or theologically), that does not warrant exercising an un-Christ-like amount and scope of tolerance.


Dusty Chris said...

Great post. It seems to me Christ criticized both positions and gave a tirhd option...Himself. I know in my search for my own answers, I finally asked God to give them to me. I have been amazed at how the Holy Spirit has offered a fresh approach, different than what I grew up with (that seemed lame) and different than what the world wanted me to be (which was lame). I asked God for wisdom and insight and over the past 20 years, He has radically changed me. I think Christ was intolerant of stupidity, rigidity and established religion but was patient with everyone who was lost and needed to find their way.

Dusty Chris said...

Christ was also intolerant of pain and suffering.

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