Friday, October 19, 2012

"Signs and Wonders"

Tolerance is the one key virtue held up today in our culture. It is the one thing you must be to be considered a good person. Everything from politics to religion is affected by this view. Politicians are not allowed to say anything negative about the opponent’s position. How can they differentiate themselves to voters? Religions are not allowed to say that their view of the truth is the only right one. How can there be any truth if it is not exclusive? In fact there is only one thing in our culture that is open to criticism: intolerance. Intolerance is not tolerated, it is considered evil.

This episode of the X-Files takes this issue and puts together a classic “good vs. evil” battle in which the viewer is confused by the cultural presuppositions as to who the bad guys are. Evil in this episode fully uses the “tolerance” movement to advance its causes. The “good guys” in this story are the ones who do not tolerate evil in any way. In exhibiting this intolerance, they are automatically presumed to be murderous and bad. In effect, the forces of evil have set out to destroy good using this virtue against them.

As Christians, we know that sin is wrong in all its forms. While as a society we have been more forgiving of some sins, they are all equally against God. No sin should be tolerated. However, people are loved by God and can receive forgiveness from Him. We need to reach out to the lost in love and show them God’s love. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

Yes, this is an overused phrase. C. S. Lewis commented on it this way:

“For a long time I used to think this [phrase] a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life—namely myself. However much I dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. ...In fact, the every reason why I hated the things [I had done] was that I loved the man. …[Christianity] does want us the hate [other’s sins] in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping if it is any way possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere, he can be cured and made human again.”

As Christians we need to strive to have Christ-like lives ourselves. God hates sin and we should too, not allowing it to enter our lives. Stopping short of the legalism which requires perfection to gain God’s love, we need to strive to high standards.

Satan has always been crafty in dealing with God’s children. He never out and out lies, but tells us partial truths and allows us to come up with the lies on our own. In the words of Fox Mulder,

“He’s really some kindly man that tells you what you want to hear.”

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