You may already have heard of Zero Intolerance. It’s the denomination’s latest advertising campaign (to start in 2012) which aims to show that our churches do not exclude any person who comes to Christ. All are welcome. Can TWURC promote itself as a “ZI” congregation? Are there some people we wouldn’t tolerate? After all respect for other people is at the heart of living the Christian life. There are many who are searching for God and searching for a spiritual home and, as a church, we do have a good reputation for welcoming everyone who walks through our doors.
However what worries me, is that through this campaign the URC is seeking to impose a policy of “ZI” on all congregations regardless of their beliefs and convictions which could result in same sex marriages being performed in churches. I appreciate the reality that modern society holds different views to traditional Christianity, but the Church must not be reduced to accepting secular social agendas in order to make the Gospel fit into this crazy world of political correctness gone mad – where it seems to mean “anything goes” – and degenerating the Bible to a mere humanistic handbook in order to conform to this present evil age. Scripture is the Word of God which gives life! And in these difficult times those of us who hold to the Bible’s teaching must expect to suffer for doing so. Remember Jesus said: “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours” (John 15:20).
Tolerance may be a Christian virtue but I can’t find a commandment which says: “You are to be tolerant.” God has set boundaries for us which we need to respect, and not break down with false tolerance masked behind this so-called welcome campaign. Clearly others will feel offended and resentful by this. However I believe the Church needs to relish in “being accused of turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) – or in the more familiar saying – “to comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable.” All roads do not lead to Heaven; all lifestyles are not acceptable to a loving, but also severe God who loves us enough to tell us this life-giving truth. That’s why His Son, Jesus Christ, died in shame and agony on the cross – allowing His wrath against errant humanity to be satisfied. Therefore, we need to remember God’s agenda and distance ourselves from this campaign, as I see “ZI” as further marginalisation of orthodox Faith.
Naturally, we have always been, and will continue to be, a kind, forbearing and gracious church to all people who worship here. We will love them enough to tell them that the “Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe” (Romans 1:16) – but we will not toe-the-line to keep the status quo, nor bless the values or promote society’s structures in order to be seen as tolerant. Embracing the Gospel is breaking with social agendas in a way that settles one’s eternal destiny and brings us into the light of life. “Your Kingdom come” – is our prayer and our sure and certain hope. “Come back to the Lord and live! Otherwise, He will roar through Israel like a fire, devouring you completely…” (Amos 5:6).
Lastly, I may be accused of being narrow minded, but if the Church is not against the world – has it got anything worth saying to the world?”