The Intolerance Hall of Fame
Christianity is a religion of faith (Heb. 11), but it is also a religion of intolerance. Meet some of the most intolerant characters of Scripture:
God the Father. God drove Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden because they disobeyed Him (Gen. 3). God sent a world-wide flood as a judgment for Man’s sins and, with the exception of Noah, He destroyed “every living substance...which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven.” (Gen. 7). Also, God “rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire” for their depravity and homosexuality (Gen. 19).
The Law-Giver Moses. Moses refused to tolerate the Egyptian Pharaoh’s enslavement of the Israelites, and, at God’s behest, told his brother Aaron to stretch out his hand and call ten plagues upon the land of Egypt (Exod. 7-12). Also, Moses burned the golden calf which the idolatrous Israelites had created, and sent the Levites to slay all those who refused to side with the Lord (Exod. 32). Also, Moses declared the judgment of God upon the Israelites for their complaining (Num. 14:26-38)
Gideon the Judge. Gideon took ten of his servants, cast down the altar of Baal, cut down the wooden image that was beside it and offered a sacrifice to God on an altar which he built (Jud. 6:27-28). Gideon also drove the Midianites out of Israel, pursued them, and slew “two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb.” (Jud. 7)
The Prophet Samuel. Samuel condemned Saul for not waiting for him before offering sacrifices to God (I Sam. 13:8-15). He also refused to tolerate Saul’s rebellion to God when Saul disobeyed God’s order to utterly destroy the Amalekites, and told Saul that “to obey is better than sacrifice.” (I Sam. 15). Also, Samuel condemned King Saul for seeking the advice of the Witch of Endor, and declared God’s judgment on Israel for Saul’s disobedience to God (I Sam. 28).
The Prophet Elijah. Elijah declared a drought in Israel as God’s judgment for King Ahab’s idolatry (I Kings 18:17-40). He also refused to tolerate Israel’s rejection of God, and slew the false prophets of Baal (I Kings 18:17-40).
The Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah condemned Israel and Judah for their rebellion and idolatry against God (Isa. 57), and he declared God’s curse upon Israel (Isa. 6).
The Prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah declared God’s judgment on Israel for her theft, murder, adultery, and idolatry (Jer. 7:9). Also, he declared God’s curse, that God would “fight against you [Israel] with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.” (Jer. 21:5)
The Prophet Daniel. Daniel declared God’s judgment on Belshazzar and his kingdom for the idolatry and blasphemy of the Babylonians (Daniel 5:13-31).
John the Baptist. John preached to the Jews, saying, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” He refused to tolerate Jews who did not bring forth fruits, but rather rested on their descent from Abraham (Luke 3:7-9). Also, John refused to tolerate King Herod’s marriage to his brother’s wife (Mark 6:18)
God the Son. Jesus cleansed the temple and “cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.” (Matt. 21:12-13 Also, Jesus refused to tolerate those who might attempt to find redemption through any religion but Christianity, saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was lied to by Ananias and Sapphira, who cheated the church. The Holy Spirit then judged Ananias and his wife and caused them to fall and die (I Kings 18:17-40)
The Apostle Paul. Paul refused to tolerate immorality in the church and went so far as to say that, “if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” (I Cor. 5) Also, Paul refused to tolerate women teachers, and said, “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” (I Tim. 2:12)
Israel was judged repeatedly. The pagan tribes and nations were judged repeatedly. Countries, cities, and individuals were judged.
God, however, is only intolerant of disobedience. And Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected on the third day so that His blood might cover our inability to keep the Law.
There is hope. God will tolerate those who come before Him through Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will grant unto the same the ability to keep the Law.
I Pet. 5:6-11 reads: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
July 6, 2004
Pieter Friedrich lives in a small town in the California Sierra Foothills. He is an amateur political analyst, a writer, a classical liberal, a juris naturalist, a paleo-conservative, a strict constitutionalist, and, foremost, a Christian. He may be reached for comment here.