Tonight my church hosted a special speaker, Michael Ramsden, International Director of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, based out of Oxford, England. He addressed the question: Is Christianity Inherently Intolerant? Afterward there was a Q&A session for about an hour. It was very interesting and informative.
Mr. Ramsden defined some terms that are often misunderstood, even by some Christians:
1. Tolerance – Today tolerance has a negative connotation. It is possible to respect someone and disagree with them but not tolerate them. In the original meaning, tolerance meant “to protect”.
2. Freedom – Current usage of the term means that it is the absence of restraint. It is a moral concept meaning “empowered to change”.
3. Justice – True love exists in the presence of judgment, as God loves us. Compassion makes judgment about wrong and does something about it (as when Jesus died on the cross for our sins). God extends mercy through justice.