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SERIES: THE BIG CON SESSION THREE, FALL 2017

CHRISTIANITY IS INTOLERANT,
JUDGMENTAL AND NARROW MINDED

Christianity is intolerant, judgmental and narrow minded: therefore, Christians should


keep their views to themselves.
The culture we live in and the elites who fashion its ethos want to __________ you for
your beliefs, shut down your voice, and stop you from influencing the direction of
society.
In the first decade of the 21st century the New Atheism attacked the Christian faith
for being not just irrational and unfounded, but for being ______________ to human
progress and scientific advancement.
Hitchens: faith is a deadly threat to the survival of humankind.
Dawkins: faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus
but harder to eradicate.
Harris: even the most enlightened religion is one of the principal forces driving us
toward the abyss.
For all of its fury and vitriol, the New Atheism at this point is spent.
After all was said and written, atheism was exposed for what it is:
not the rational conclusion of unbiased, intelligent people seeking the truth,
but a _________ system based on the philosophy of naturalism – an unprovable
presupposition that requires faith in something that cannot be proved.
In this decade the attack on Christianity has morphed into the claim that Christianity is
abhorrent and dangerous because it is intolerant, judgmental and narrow minded.
And Christians should either change their beliefs to get with the culture or they should
keep their divisive, offensive views to themselves.
The agenda behind this lie (stopping Christians from sharing their beliefs) is working.
According to the Pew Research Center, when orthodox, Bible-believing Christians
were asked what they do when someone disagrees with them about religion
___% said they try to persuade the other person to change their mind
70% try to understand the other person’s beliefs
18% avoid discussing religion altogether
In other words, only 1 in 10 would try to share their faith with a nonbeliever in hopes
that he or she might believe in Jesus.
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1. IS CHRISTIANITY INTOLERANT?
A. _________ Tolerance: The recognition that people have the legal right to believe
whatever they determine is true and to practice their faith as they see fit – or not
practice any faith at all.
Of course Christians support this form of tolerance.

B. __________ Tolerance: The recognition that people should be treated with dignity
and respect regardless of their religious beliefs or lifestyle.
Not only do Christians support this kind of tolerance, but we aspire to an even higher
standard.
Jesus told his followers to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19.19) and even
commanded that they should “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6.27-28).
It’s a given that we should respect and tolerate those who believe differently than we do
or practice a lifestyle we cannot condone.

C. _____________ Tolerance: The notion that no belief about ultimate reality should
be evaluated as being false or inferior to any other belief. All beliefs should be
granted equal status as a claim to truth.
Why is it intolerant to say and why does it make Christians awful people to believe
that what Christ taught is the truth and that contradictory beliefs are incorrect?
All religions claim to provide us with actual, ________ information about a reality that
exists beyond our senses.
C.S. Lewis: Christianity claims to give an account of facts – to tell you what the real
universe is like.
The chief purpose of a religion is not to tell people how to live or to bring us comfort.
The primary purpose of a religion – what makes it a religion, rather than a philosophy –
is its claim to tell us the _______ about the divine.
When Christians say what Jesus revealed is the truth and that contradictory teachings
are not, we’re not condemning people, we’re ____________ truth claims.
That doesn’t make us arrogant or intolerant of others.
It makes us ____________ and intolerant of error.
One of the most caring ways you can help someone is respectfully to show him where
he may be mistaken about what matters most.
1 Peter 3:15: … Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to
give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect …
Share the faith in a way that is arrogant or condemning and even if we get the answers
right, we end up being wrong.
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2. I S C HRISTIANITY J UDGMENTAL ?
The reason our culture is so adamant that being judgmental is wrong is because it has
been influenced by _______________.
Matthew 7.1: Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
The context in the time of Jesus: Everyone had their place and everyone knew their
place. The worth of an individual was determined by his outward characteristics –
ethnicity, wealth, social standing, being “clean or unclean.”
Jesus taught that this kind of judging one another was wrong.
We are called to _____ others because God is love.
And we cannot love people when we are judging them as being of less worth than
ourselves.
Loving everyone was a completely radical idea when Jesus proclaimed it – and lived it,
caring deeply for the poor, the diseased, the despised, the sinful and the outcasts.
You can easily argue that it is because of the teachings of Jesus that the West has
proclaimed that all persons are equal and that a society is judged by how it treats its
most _____________.
Christian theology says that evil is much worse than anyone else on the planet
because it not only harms others but it _______ against a good and holy God.
But we also say that people who do evil are more loved than anyone else of the planet.
The Context in Our Time: We live in an uber-tolerant culture which shuns the idea
that there are absolute moral truths that apply to everyone.
The meaning of “judge” in our time has a different context than it did in Jesus day.
The culture tells us that if you cannot _________ a person’s decisions, behavior or
lifestyle, you are judgmental.
Rick Warren: Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree
with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love
someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense.
You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.
THE VERB “TO JUDGE” HAS TWO MEANINGS.
1. To view or treat another human being as possessing less worth than
ourselves because of some trait he possess or some action he has committed.
2. To __________ or to differentiate.
Judging in this sense is not only acceptable, it’s a must for Christians.
We are to judge between right and wrong, good and bad, truth and falsehood.
In the same chapter, Matthew 7, where Jesus tells us not to judge, he warns us about
false prophets.
He tells us that we will know them by whether they produce good or bad fruit.
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Clearly we are meant to be discerning when it comes to the message that people preach
and to the lives they live.
We cannot affirm all personal choices as long as no one is being harmed.
Jesus ____________ personal choices and practices like greed, sexual immorality, lust,
hypocrisy, and unbelief even if no one was being directly harmed.
A “righteous” life is defined by what _______ views as right not by what our culture
condones or what people feel is right for them.
In our uber-tolerant culture where people feel entitled to whatever they desire, when we
say there’s a right way to live, they will feel judged and often become angry.

3. IS CHRISTIANITY NARROW MINDED?


This attack usually accuses Christianity of believing that it’s the only way to God.
Practically all religions have some truth in them that we can learn from.
Most of them teach that we should be kind to others and honest in our personal affairs.
But religions differ greatly in their teachings about the most ____________ topics.
In fact, they could hardly be more different when it comes to who God is and how we
become right with him.
Christians describe God as a personal being with a will and an intellect who acts
purposefully in time and space.
Hinduism teaches that God is ____________, possessing none of the those qualities.
Hinduism teaches that all that is is divine, including you and me.
Buddhists – some are __________, others believe there are many gods, and some are
atheists who believe that there is no god at all.
Muslims and Jews believe in a personal God, but neither believes in the Trinity or that
Jesus was _________ or that his death on the cross has anything to do with our
salvation or that he rose from the dead.
All other religions and atheists believe that Christianity is wrong.
Does that make them narrow minded?
No – it makes them either right or wrong, but it’s childish to say you’re narrow minded
because you believe you have found the truth and you _________ propositions that
contradict that truth.
Is Christianity narrow minded?
The truth we have found: God so loved the world that whoever believes in Jesus
should not perish.
Look at the cross: the arms of Jesus are open – wide open to all who will come.
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UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES FOR


GROWTH AND SERVICE

Fall Mission Trip to Honduras: November 2-5, $1300. You can register on the church
website under “Missions.” Always a great trip. And we always need scholarships can’t go.
The Conqueror Series: A 5-week program that offers proven principles and practical tools
for overcoming addiction to pornography and other sexual compulsions. The Conquer
Series lays out helpful strategies for men seeking sexual purity. A separate support group
for female loved ones who have been hurt due to the sexual activities of a spouse, boyfriend
or child will be held concurrently in a different space. Thursdays, 6:30- 9 pm, Room D210,
October 5 – November 5. Contact Rev. Cliff Ritter for more info. critter@twumc.org
Prison Ministry
October 26-29: Eastham Unit, Contact John Van Fleet jvf24810@comcast.net
October 5-8: Polunsky Unit, Contact Dave Mefford dmefford12@gmail.com
October 5-8: Wynne Unit, Contact Bob Bunch bunchdad@gmail.com
November 2-5: Estelle Unit, Contact Guy Barba gbarba51@gmail.com
November 3-5: Lewis Unit, Contact Bob Lukefahr Bob.Lukefahr@gmail.com
November 10-12 Lychner Unit, Contact Bob Lukefahr Bob.Lukefahr@gmail.com
To see if this might be a ministry for you, you can attend a “closing service” on October 15,
October 29 or November 5. Contact Bill Awalt bawaltk34@gmail.com.
Mentoring Inmates – Contact Rick Neville rickneville384@gmail.com Two different
opportunities, both very structured with support. One is via physical mail correspondence.
The other is a 14 session course on accountability, repentance, restitution, etc. You can
attend a “graduation” ceremony on Dec 7 to get a feel for this ministry before you sign up.
Fly Fishing in Broken Bow, OK. Nov 2-5. Mountain Fork River and tent camping in Beavers
Bend State Park. Cost is $175. Campfire talks will be themed around Joshua's Stand "As for
me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Food is provided but men are responsible for all
other gear.
Wesleyan Covenant Association Global Gathering 2017: A dynamic group of pastors,
theologians and laypersons will cast a powerful vision for the future of Methodism,
centered on the theme “Move: On Mission with God.” The WCA is a global association of
Methodist pastors, parishioners and churches committed to the orthodox Christian faith and
a vibrant Wesleyan witness to the world. The conference will stream to over 50 regional
sites. October 14, 9 am to 3 pm. Register at www.wesleyancovenant.org.

The Woodlands United Methodist Church


www.thewoodlandsumc.org