Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Are You a Bigot?

It seems today that many Christians are called bigots for their beliefs.  If you are a Christian you may be wondering if indeed you are a bigot.  You might be one.  I've met many Christians that I would label as bigots and many more that I would not.

Are you a bigot?

Catholic theologian and apologist G. K. Chesterton once said this: "A bigot is not the one who thinks he is right.  Every sane man or woman thinks they're right.  The bigot is the one who cannot understand how the other person came to be wrong."

By that definition a Christian does not have to be a bigot necessarily but could definitely be a bigot.  Christians, we must believe that we are right if we believe the claims of the Bible.  Christianity requires that we believe extraordinary claims that others will deny and dislike.  When Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."  Jesus made a very clear statement that many could consider bigoted if you believe it, but simply believing that such a truth is knowable, attainable and right does not make it bigoted.

Christians, we believe in absolute truths that I call capital "T" Truth.  These are Truths that are not relative like what the best flavor of ice cream is, these are absolute Truths.  We can believe and profess these Truths without being a bigot and we can do so while being bigots in society.

Many Christians are bigoted with Biblical truth because they believe they are smarter for knowing the Truth.  These Christians think that someone is an idiot for not believing Jesus.  They believe that a muslim is a moron or a Hindu is stupid for believing that faith and not Jesus.  This simply isn't true and the Bible never says this.  You aren't a Christian because you are smarter or more moral than anyone else.  You are a Christian because God came to you and gave you the ability to believe the Gospel.  Faith in Jesus is a miracle each and every time.  I have a brilliant friend who is Hindu, he is a very upstanding, moral, successful lawyer.  I am not a Christian because I am smarter or better than him.  The Apostle Paul had the same I.Q. when he was named Saul and was killing Christians as when he was history's greatest recorded evangelist for Christ.

When we act superior because we know a Truth we act bigoted.  When we never consider how someone came to believe as they do we are bigoted.  You don't have to believe as they believe, but you should assume in most cases that they didn't come to believe as they do because they are stupid.  Bigots assume all who think other than they do are stupid.  Remember, Einstein wasn't a Christian.

Christians, simply believing in and knowing a Truth does not make us bigoted.  Often we are told by society to have a more open mind.

G. K. Chesterton famously said: "Merely having an open mind is nothing.  The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid."

It is purposeless to have an open mind in a search for Truth if Truth doesn't exist.  It is foolishness to have an open mind and when we find Truth to not latch onto it.  No one finds the lost remote control and continues to look in other places for it out of fairness to the couch cushions.  Having an open mind is good, but having a perpetually open mind is self-defeating and no one practically does it.  Everyone in the world wants you to have an open mind until you come to agree with them, then they want you to close in on that idea.

So, Christians examine yourself.  Are you a bigot?  It is perfectly possible that you are one.  We must believe the Truths we find, but we must refrain from being bigots because of those Truths.  Simply believing contrary to the World does not make you a bigot, in many cases we will believe counterculturally.  But if you have no understanding or compassion for those who disagree with you a bigot you may be.

Be a firm believer in Truth but don't be a bigot today.

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