POLL: Regarding religious tolerance, which of these best describes your position? (You may choose multiple answers)

GRANT SWART

“Religious tolerance”: a term favoured by the world media, by Satanic religions and by those who seek to unify the world’s people under an imaginary peaceful, all powerful and inclusive global government. With the climate change summits and global currency restructuring, with digital communication, severe population control and forced democracy being implemented at any cost, the unbelieving world is being blinded and numbed to the will of God. The very existence of God has become a hot subject for debate and science claims to have disproven Creation in favour of evolutionary chance.

But, what is the will of God according to biblical Christians and even professing Christians, regarding the myriad of religions of the world? Should Christians show a tolerance toward other religions for the sake of temporary peace among nations, or should Christians bring the words of Jesus to the unbelieving world in no uncertain terms, regardless of the fact that they will be ridiculed and persecuted for their radically so-called “fundamental” beliefs?

What are Christians to make of John 14:6? Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 

What do you think of the issue regarding religious tolerance? Please give voice to your opinion in the following poll.

 

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7 thoughts on “POLL: Regarding religious tolerance, which of these best describes your position? (You may choose multiple answers)

  1. Definitely a Christian Fundamentalist and believe in salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. Thankfully so do the majority of those who voted but still sad to see that 35% voted something else. I would also imagine that if you polled those in churches what they really believe that it would be less than 50% who really are Christian fundamentalists.

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  2. Gary

    Thank you for your comment.

    I certainly agree with you that the (current) result on this poll is not fully representative of that which is taking place in the churches today. I believe that the (current) result is due to the majority of the readers here whom, like yourself, tend to be more biblically studious and Berean in their beliefs. That is probably why those people are reading blogs like these in the first place.

    I estimate that the true percentage would be in the region of 15 – 20%, but that is simply my observation. Of course, my estimate would be the reason for many accusing me of being intolerant, divisive, unloving, judgmental and, strangely, biblically fundamental 🙂

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  3. I voted ‘none of the above’ 🙂

    I’m not sure linking ‘Fundamentalist’ and ‘Reformed’ is necessarily right. Many people with Reformed views don’t subscribe to the ‘Fundamentalist’ camp, which is a bit of a broad term and often describes people who are more interested in dividing over non / secondary issues.

    I also found the Science option vague. I believe Science can help us understand God, because Romans 1 talks of nature showing us something of who God is. But what is ‘evolutionary Christianity’? That sounds like you’re pointing to the idea that the revelation of God evolves. To a point this is true, since God revealed Christ only later on (revelation did ‘evolve’, in a loose way) but since then revelation has not changed and won’t, since Christ is the centre.

    I believe in Christian mysticism to a point as well. The word ‘mysticism’ is often misused to indicate only those who practice spiritual techniques / ascetism etc. to ‘unify’ with God, but in truth when the Holy Spirit abides in us what is going on there is a kind of ‘mysticism’ – a mysterious intimacy, communion and fellowship with God that does involve a personal experience of peace etc. The word can mean more than just the way you are using it here, and indeed there’s no better word to explain some Christian concepts to non-believers.

    As a fundamentalist blog I can see why you’ve put the choices there as you have, but the reason why I might say I’m Reformed but not Fundamentalist is precisely because of the way many Fundamentalists define terms. They tend to pick one meaning of a word and then when anyone uses the word they claim that person is in error, rather than finding out the definition of how that person is using that word. No amount of discussing the context of how the word is used is taken into account, because the Fundamentalist seems to believe that all ‘explaining’ is an effort to sneak in false doctrine. This attitude of ‘guilty-if-you-speak-differently’ is exceedingly difficult to converse with.

    For example, if I had to say the church is emerging right now in closed nations, many fundamentalist bloggers I’ve had engagement with call me an Emerging christian. But I’m using the word ’emerging’ completely differently here.

    Another example, I’ve been told that I must be new age because I talk about a ‘mystical worldview’ over a ‘skeptical worldview’. In context, what I mean is a worldview that embraces the possibility of a world that goes beyond what we just see, over a worldview that only believes what is seen. The word ‘mystical’ is apt and the context defines how the word is being used, something Fundamentalists don’t appreciate. It seems one must stick to their pre-concieved notions of what certain words and phrases mean otherwise you are seen as unsaved.

    The irony is that perhaps I need to also see how the word ‘fundamentalist’ is being used by the person using it, but nevertheless when ‘fundamentalism’ is spelt with a capital F as I see in this poll I have a suspicion I know what the poster means, and I won’t put myself under that tag.

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  4. Ryan

    Thank you for voting ‘none of the above’,it is an option of equal value. Even more importantly though, thank you for commenting in support of you choice. Choosing that option without providing an accompanying explanation would be the same as a wasted vote or a spoiled ballot, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

    When putting together a poll such as this one, one which needs to lump together an almost infinite number of variations of beliefs held within the largest religious group in the world, it is nigh impossible to cater for the myriad of streams which have formed through the last 2000 years, and new streams are continually being added. Some estimates put the number of denominations at 36 000 and even within those are splintered pockets of affected opinion.

    The most obvious and strategically effective place for Satan to attack the Christian is from within the church. It is there that the congregant least expects to be spiritually mislead; there where the congregant feels safe and obliged to conform and there where the professing Christian is most vulnerable, easily swayed by the moment, the influential speaker and the convincing message. (Acts 20:30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.) Nowhere else in history has the tactic of “divide and conquer” been more effectively employed than in the church itself, and never before has the deception been more subtly powerful than within the emergent post-modern church.

    The Christian faith, as delivered to us by the inspired Scripture (2Tim 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,), has been under attack since the momentous day of Pentecost (Acts 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock). Today, when we attempt to determine the shape and form of the church, it appears as a mirror which has shattered into thousands of shards. To start with, I had listed 175 points which I thought could have been points for inclusion on this poll, which would have made it ridiculously long. In general, people lose interest in long questionnaires, so I tried to limit the number of options as best I could to be inclusive of the majority. My decision seems to have been warranted, as this poll has received the most number of votes to date.

    I would like to respond, but as briefly as possible, to some of the points you made.

    I’m not sure linking ‘Fundamentalist’ and ‘Reformed’ is necessarily right. Many people with Reformed views don’t subscribe to the ‘Fundamentalist’ camp, which is a bit of a broad term and often describes people who are more interested in dividing over non / secondary issues.

    If one considers true that, what the liberal press has been allowed to describe fundamentalists as being, then I suppose one could make an argument that those Fundamentalists are not, by that nature, necessarily also Reformed. Included in that erroneous description of fundamentalism is the misconception that fundamentalists are divisive rather than unifying of the true church.

    On the other hand, if one considers that holding to biblical fundamentals in guarding the truth in Scripture is what constitutes a Fundamentalist, then it becomes extremely difficult to separate fundamentalism from the Reformed view. In essence then, what is indicated by ‘Fundamentalist’ here is one who is not ashamed to proclaim the gospel of Christ as it was intended and in accordance with fundamental biblical principles, in the face of the threat posed by the post-modern, secular and false church.

    They tend to pick one meaning of a word and then when anyone uses the word they claim that person is in error, rather than finding out the definition of how that person is using that word. No amount of discussing the context of how the word is used is taken into account, because the Fundamentalist seems to believe that all ‘explaining’ is an effort to sneak in false doctrine. This attitude of ‘guilty-if-you-speak-differently’ is exceedingly difficult to converse with.

    If you accept that the best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture itself, it automatically disqualifies the fact that one word can have many different meanings to different people based on their own interpretations. What matters then is not how the person is using the word, but what God intended us to understand through the word. All other interpretations then become irrelevant.

    The intended meaning of a word in Scripture can only be determined by means of its historical, grammatical and literal application and essentially by its context in relation to the rest of Scripture. If you are being accused of being ‘guilty-because-you-speak-differently’, the accusation is more than likely not being made by a fundamentalist. Not all who claim to be fundamentalists hold to the fundamentals!

    When fundamental truth is applied in opposition to error, it is not only exceedingly difficult to converse with, it is impossible.

    It seems one must stick to their preconceived notions of what certain words and phrases mean otherwise you are seen as unsaved

    What matters is not what others think of your interpretation, particularly not other bloggers, but what the true meaning is. The true meaning can only come from Scripture, and by prayerfully seeking the truth there, you will find it. Avoid fruitless and senseless arguments over words, such time and energy wastage will get you nowhere (Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless).

    As far as your salvific position is concerned, that is a closed matter between God and you. No believer, unbeliever or system has the unsolicited right to make any pronunciation on that matter. (Romans 8:27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.)

    Again, any other opinion is totally irrelevant and without substance or truth, as it simply cannot be based on anything other than some mans speculative, intentionally deceptive and certainly not Christ-like thinking. (2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you fail to meet the test!)

    I also found the Science option vague. I believe Science can help us understand God, because Romans 1 talks of nature showing us something of who God is. But what is ‘evolutionary Christianity’?

    Although science is a wonderful gift which God has placed at our disposal, I’m quite sure that science cannot help us understand God; I think God is quite capable of bringing us to that understanding through His creation outside of something as insignificant as the human sciences. If science could assist us with that understanding, it would place believers of 1000 – 2000 years ago at a serious disadvantage, just as it would also place us at a similar disadvantage considering that scientific knowledge of yesteryear, today and future differ greatly in scope.

    Evolutionary Christianity is a very real and independent branch of the post-modern emerging atheist church. It lies at the very heart of the false gospel and enjoys the support of a large, resourcefully powerful and globally influential leadership among which are names such as Michael Dowd, Brian McLaren, John Shelby Spong and Richard Rohr, which are but a few of the atheists in charge.

    It is a large and well organized movement which has held annual international conferences and recently held a well supported on-line conference attended by many foremost scientific and evolutionary protagonists. You might have come across their literature and seen symbols such as the Darwin vs Christ “fossil” used as their trademark etc. There is way too much information available to pass on to you here. Please visit http://www.evolutionarychristianity.com and follow links. I’d love to hear what you think.

    Blessings!

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    • Hey Grant,

      Thanks so much for your kind reply. I really appreciated it. Been on holiday so haven’t been able to respond to everything, but wanted to post a quick note to say thank-you as I’ve just visited here now after getting some access to the Internet.

      Ah, I have seen that Evolutionary Christianity thing. Seeing Matthew Fox pop up as the first name there tells me a lot 🙂 Yes, I think that’s what I was thinking of but forgot it was some kind of movement.

      It’s interesting how you’ve mentioned that not all who claim to be fundamentalists hold to the fundamentals! Great point. This has been something of a battle for me in conversations with many who claim to be fundamentalists, ‘true’ Christians, etc. But anyway…

      Tremendously stoked about your blog. Chat in the new year probably 🙂

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  5. I believe Jesus is THE way, THE truth and THE life and no man comes to the Father except by Him. So, we do not earn our salvation with works. Christ’s death on the cross was THE perfect sacrifice that satisfied the wrath of God. When Christ said, “it is finished” then all man’s sin was atoned for. But, that was a gift of God and men must choose to receive or reject that gift. God will not force it upon man. So, there is no work that will earn God’s grace and salvation. We can never be good enough. We just have to receive the gift. So, faith in Christ will change a heart which will cause that heart to desire to do good works because of our love, thankfulness and realization of what has been done for us because God first loved us while we were yet sinners. So, works are important as a demonstration of a changed heart, but not to earn our redemption. So, that is why choice number one was not quite right for me because it seemed to say that works were necessary for salvation, which I do not believe. I do believe that works will automatically follow because of our changed hearts. So, Christ is the only way. As far as other religions, I believe we must live our faith so that it will draw others to what we have. The Word says that it is the Spirit draws people to God, so, I believe the Spirit of Christ who lives in we who have accepted Him draws people to us and opens the door to witness without scaring people away by being too aggressive and self-righteous. But, I believe we must not be afraid to be a Christian in this world hostile to the Truth of Christ. We must speak the Truth in love and be ready to give a reason for the hope that is with-in us. And, we must pray for those who are deceived to have the scales fall from their eyes.

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