Barna Study – Tolerance

Part 5 of 6

The Barna Group has done a new study and published what it says are the six biggest trends in American churches today:

  1. The Christian Church is becoming less theologically literate.
  2. Christians are becoming more ingrown and less outreach-oriented.
  3. Growing numbers of people are less interested in spiritual principles and more desirous of learning pragmatic solutions for life.
  4. Among Christians, interest in participating in community action is escalating.
  5. The postmodern insistence on tolerance is winning over the Christian Church.
  6. The influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is largely invisible.

Today we address Item 5:

Item 5: The postmodern insistence on tolerance is winning over the Christian church. The popular notion of tolerance says we should all live and let live. It does not require one truth to be more true than any other. It reduces truth to personal or group reality. Truth ceases to be objective and applicable to all. The influence of the world is strong on the church. The notion of tolerance is supposed to deter fighting and encourage inclusion. What then do you do with a faith which is exclusive? Jesus never said follow him or whoever else will make you feel good. He never said anything goes. He never said all truth is equal and relative. Tolerance for the Christian usually means we compromise the objective truth that Jesus Christ is Lord, that God is Creator, and that good and evil are clear and objective. To the world, tolerance means any view other than the exclusive objective absolutes of Christ are to be tolerated, but the name of Jesus Christ is not to be tolerated. When we see this and stand firm on the solid rock of Christ we may begin to reclaim objective truth. Jesus said that when we deny him, he will deny us. Do we dare compromise?


About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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2 Responses to Barna Study – Tolerance

  1. Bernie says:

    Good morning Lance – as I read this post … and its a good one … the following words of Jesus, ignored where tolerance is concerned, immediately came to mind. Bernie

    ‘Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.’ Matthew 10:34 (NASB)

    And let’s not forget Revelation 19:11-15.

    Came across this Zig Ziglar quote on twitter which is a great way to close this comment, “One of the greatest disasters of our time is the universal acceptance of the word ‘tolerance’ as a great virtue.” Well said Zig, well said!


  2. Pingback: Barna Study – Invisible Influence | divinelogos

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