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Monday, July 24, 2006

What's really important

A couple of months ago, I got an e-mail message from someone who had found my web pages on uploading souls. Presumably, the correspondent had found this page through a search. He asked me what my name was (I had unintentionally not given my name on the page -- I have corrected that now) because he wanted to refer to it. He also said that he had noticed, from the content of the page, that I must be a Christian, and that he had been pleasantly surprised by my spirit of tolerance toward other views, or words to that effect. He was under the impression that Christians are typically close-minded and intolerant. (Actually, I was just trying to be a good academic, and present various views fairly. Also, I was trying to explore the issue, without having any particular axe to grind.)

There are dangers in being too tolerant. There are some things that are just plain wrong, even monstrous, which should not be tolerated. There are some things that are just plain good, and must be affirmed. But there are also dangers in being intolerant. That seems to have been the problem, or at least one of the problems, of the Pharisees, in Jesus' time.

I have my views on many subjects, including, to name a few, origins, treatment of the poor, Middle East events, health insurance, and stem cell research. Of course, I think all of my views are the correct ones. But I must not forget what is important. (besides, I could be wrong!) The most important thing I can display, in this blog, and in my daily life, is the love of Christ toward others. That will attract others to the Christian life. My position on origins won't. Further, I need to love Christian people who disagree with me about these and other issues. Jesus said that the sign, to non-Christians, that Christianity was the solution to the world's problems would be how Christians loved one another. I could go on and detail how certain Christians have given Christianity a bad name by their strident support of various political, ethical, and even theological positions, and their intolerance for other positions, or their ignorance of science, but I won't. I, personally, need to give Christianity a good name by showing Christ's love to those who claim to be Christians, even if I think they are unenlightened, and by showing that same love to those who have never heard of, or met, Christ. That's what's really important. May God forgive me where I have failed in these endeavors.

I posted resolutions for this blog on January 1, 2006. Those haven't changed. They are partly about the issues of this post. One of my best posts was probably "on Evangelical blogging," which covers some of the same issues. I need to remind myself of these ideas occasionally.

Thanks for reading.

6 comments:

The Preacher's Wife said...

Well written Martin! It's a helpful reminder that you never know who is reading your blog.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks! No, indeed. And, even if nobody is reading it, a blog needs to be written with the right attitude.

Bonnie said...

Amen, and thank you for being a beautiful example of what you are talking about.

Martin LaBar said...

I hope so. Thanks.

Amanda said...

You're absolutely right, and it's inspiring to see what's really important written so eloquently!

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Amanda!