A series of articles exploring teachings from the Good News as reavealed by God in His Word to us.
Is it ok to be intolerant? - Does the Bible teach religious intolerance? This sounds like a really dumb question, but most people would be shocked by the answer as we will see below.
All religions equal.
Are all religions equal and do they all lead to the same place - heaven? The modern view is that all religions lead to heaven: you just have to choose which path you want to take (that is, for those who believe that there is a God to begin with). Certainly Jesus would support such a view... wouldn't He? Can this be supported by Biblical Christiantity? Let us examine a few verses from the Bible and see what it has to say:
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven [Jesus] given among men, whereby we must be saved. - According to this verse, there is no salvation outside of Jesus - not in any other religions that exclude salvation through Him - which is all religions.
Act 10:43 To him, all the prophets witness, that through his name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins.
Mar 16:16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that does not believe shall be damned. - According to this verse, those who do not believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ shall be damned. Harsh words, but if one believes that the Bible is the Word of God, then one has to accept this as the truth that it is. Why would He tell us this if it is not true? - God cannot lie.
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. - like Mark 16:16, those who do not believe on Him are condemned.
Joh 3:36 He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that does not believe the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.
Joh 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you do not believe that I am [he], you shall die in your sins.
1Ti 2:5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Again, the Word of God states that there is one mediator (Jesus): not several or even one other - only Him.
1Jo 5:10 He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself: he that does not believes God has made him a liar; because he has not believed the record that God gave of his Son.
1Jo 5:11 And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jo 5:12 He that had the Son had life; [and] he that does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. - He does not save those people that are not His people... only His people.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 5:24 Truly, truly, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Joh 12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believes on me, believes not on me, but on him that sent me.
Joh 12:45 And he that sees me sees him that sent me.
Joh 12:46 I came a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness.
Joh 12:47 And if any man hears my words, and does not believe, I do not judge him: for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
Joh 12:48 He that rejects me, and does not receive my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Joh 14:6 Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.
2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that do not know God, and that do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
2Th 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who do not believed the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
1Jo 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
1Jo 2:23 Whosoever denies the Son, the same does not have the Father: [(but) he that acknowledges the Son has the Father also].
1Jo 4:3 And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, that you have heard should come; and even now already is it in the world.
2Jo 1:7 For many deceivers have entered into the world, who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
Jud 1:4 For there are certain men who have crept in unnoticed, who were beforehand ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Mat 4:10 Then Jesus said unto him, Go Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed.
Deu 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:
Exo 20:2 I [am] the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me.
Exo 34:14 For you shall worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God:
All roads do not lead to Heaven.
Contrary to popular opinion, all roads do not lead to Heaven... Only one road does and that is found in the narrow way through Jesus Christ. It is abundantly clear from Scripture that there is no other way. If you believe that Scripture is God's Word, then you cannot believe there are other ways. If you do not believe Scripture is God's Word, then you can accept that all roads lead to heaven, but your belief is not compatible with the Scriptures and is false.
The Bible leaves no room for other religions but that does not mean we cannot co-exist.
What is "intolerant"?
According to Merriam-Webster, it is being unable or unwilling to endure. I am neither. I endure things that I consider false or unjust all of the time. Who among us does not endure the false claims by our politicians or those who scam us (personally or through taxpayer dollars). We all endure things that we do not agree with or think are false. To be intolerant, I would threaten you if I do not agree with you. You are free to disagree with me - no harm done. But, true intolerance in our society today comes from those who try force use to agree with them or embrace/accept their behavior or beliefs as my own. If you are openly practicing something wrong (performing abortions - murder of the most innocent and defenseless souls in our society), then, as a Bible believing Christian, I cannot accept your view as my own. Unfortunately, our country has said this action is not a crime, so I am called to endure the action, but I totally disagree with it.
Is it a sin to be intolerant?
In our society's view, intolerance is the biggest sin that one can commit. All things are tolerated except intolerance. God has plainly revealed that He is not tolerance of other gods in His Word. God cannot sin. Therefore, religious intolerance does not equal sin at all.
Choose which to believe.
Christianity cannot be true and a lie at the same time - it can't have it both ways. Either the Bible is telling the truth and that Jesus is the one and only exclusive way into heaven or it is a lie. If it is a lie, then the Bible is not truth and cannot be trusted and therefore, Christianity is a invalid. If it is not a lie, but the truth, then all other religions are invalid and the only true way to God is through His Son, Jesus. You need to choose whether it is a lie or not.