#notmymarch #imwithHim #biblicalintolerance
One of the biggest arguments to date is religious freedom, and now to be added with that xenophobia. We hear the “tolerant” left yell that the bible can’t be taught in school because to do so would be intolerant of other religious beliefs, mainly atheism and now more so Islam. However, when you flip the coin and allow other religions, like Islam, to be taught in schools or even in public it’s called religious freedom and toleration. We have allowed God to be taken out of our schools, our court houses, and even our homes, and now we wonder why so many children grow up to bully, join gangs, commit crimes, do drugs, and even commit murder. We have allowed God to be removed from our lives so that the devil may move in and run the show, but don’t be fooled; God is in complete control of everything. He is the sovereign creator who rules all, and yes, God is religiously intolerant and xenophobic. He hates those who work iniquity and He hates strange worship and offerings (Psalm 5:5; Leviticus 10:1-2).
By definition xenophobia is the fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of what is strange or foreign. As Christians we are to be both xenophobic and not at the same time. God makes it very clear throughout scripture that we are to love our neighbors, including foreigners, but we are to hate their strange and sinful ways of worship. We are to hate strange and false worship as He taught us through the Israelites, Jesus, and New Testament letters. Just as He chose Israel as His people, setting them apart from other nations to be holy and sanctify themselves through sacrificial offerings (Leviticus 20:7), we are also chosen and elected by His grace to salvation through His sacrificial offering of His son and sanctified, separating us from the world (Romans 9).
He shows us throughout scripture what can happen if we do not separate ourselves from unholy things such as idol worship and worshipping in worldly ways. An idol is anything you worship over God. This can be yourself, your family, sports, other religions, pets. television, other people, or any plethora of things this world has to offer. Anything you place above God and worship in His place is an idol. We are to rend our hearts of those things and worship the one true God. This happens to nonbelievers and believers alike. No one is immune to the temptation of idol worship. Even God’s chosen people, Israel, weren’t. They would continuously turn their back on God and run after these false gods and false ways of worship.
In Leviticus, God gave the priests and people strict instructions on what was an acceptable offering and how they were to be sacrificed and offered upon His altar. He made it clear He wanted no strange offerings, and when Aaron’s two sons, Nadab and Abihu, decided to offer God something special on their own creating strange fire upon His altar, He sent a fire down to consume them in their wickedness (Leviticus 10:1-11). He did not see their worship as pleasing. Instead, He saw it as unholy. It went against what He commanded.
When Israel intermarried with those around them taking on the idol worship of their spouse’s it resulted in child sacrifices being made to these false gods (Molech in particular) who could do nothing for them, and God did not look upon this favorably either. He cutoff any man or woman from Israel that would do such an unholy thing for the purpose of pleasure or gain (Leviticus 20:1-5). They worshipped these idols in order to justify their sinful desires, but when you get down to the root and essence of idol worship you find that the idol really being worshipped is yourself, just as Satan had designed.
This is why we should always be aware of any false religion or worldly doctrine that has crept up around us, and we should hate this strange and foreign way of worshipping. In the New Testament we are told to be separate from the world, and not to act like them (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).
However, when it comes to our neighbors the bible isn’t only talking about believers. It is talking about nonbelievers as well. We are to love our enemies just as we love our Christian neighbors (Matthew 5:43-44). We are to love everyone around us despite how they view us and treat us, and in so doing we show them the love of God. Loving our neighbors to the point of telling them the truth about their false beliefs and ways of worship is what it truly means to love our neighbors. The world will tell us we are cruel and unloving. It tells us to just let them worship how they want as long as they are doing us no harm, why should we impose our religious views upon them? To answer that in a biblical way, we should tell them they are wrong in their beliefs, because to not tell them would be unloving. As Christians we are called to love and not hate. So in not telling those around us that belief in Christ and His finished works ion the cross as being the only way into Heaven we are showing them hatred instead of love.
God loved us by giving us the truth, His word, and we should love our neighbors the same. We should always be telling them the truth of God’s word. We should tell them their idol worship will lead them to hell, and at the same time tell them about the one who can truly save them, Jesus.
The world will argue that God is all love, and there are multiple ways to Heaven. The absolute truth is the very opposite of what they want you to believe. Jesus is the only way into Heaven. Jesus himself tells us in John 14:6 He is the only way unto the father and there is no other. There will be many false teachers that try and tell you differently, and they and all who follow them will be judged by Christ and condemned to an eternity in Hell (2 Peter 2:4-9; Jude 14-16).
We as humans can never atone in any way for our sinfulness. That alone was done by Christ. There is nothing we can do or offer that would be so pleasing unto God that He would allow us into Heaven. We must go through Christ whose blood atonement fully satisfied God’s wrath. This is the simple truth, and as Christians we are to spread this truth to all who are around us through our words and actions.
We are to be like Christ and be holy as God is holy (1Peter 1:16). In fact, the word Christian means “little Christ.” This means we must both be religiously intolerant and xenophobic. it may sound rude and hateful, but in order to follow Christ we must not allow anything strange and worldly to influence our worship. However, we are to love those around us and tell them the truth. Jesus told us the truth about how we must go through Him alone for salvation, and we should do the same to those around us.
Written by Skye Waddle
#imwithHim is a blog series written as part of the Standing in the Gap ministry from West End Baptist Church located in the mountains of Southwest Virginia.