Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Way Beyond Tolerance 
What does the word tolerance mean to you?  To some, it is a virtue for which to strive, and ultimately to obtain.  For some, it has evolved to mean a compulsory acceptance of all things vile. Let’s turn the Spiritual Switch.  For those of us who are “in Christ”, God has given us a higher calling, even a commandment.   It is summed up in a little word the world would have you believe is benign and powerless. That word is Unity. Two  miscon-ceptions about this word.   Unity does not mean uniformity.  A lot of folks believe that “churchy” people are forced to dress the same, talk the same, act the same, etc.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, “God hath placed the members in the body, each one as it hath pleased Him” - 1st Cor. 12:18.   Nugget: Have you ever witnessed a seizure? It is a violent episode leaving even the spectators shaken. One would think the body was literally trying to tear itself apart.   That’s what it looks like to God when members of His Body (the Church) fight with one another.  Anyway, He likes diversity, and even sought out barbarians and rebel-rousers.   Can you say John the Baptist?
Secondly, many in the world, and even in the Church think that Unity is just tolerating the guy two rows up that we really don’t like. Or that woman that sings off key.  We even pray: “Lord thank you for giving me the grace not to tell so and so what I really think of them”. 
That’s not it.  It is much bigger. Even God sized.  You can not, in and of yourself, obtain or manifest unity. Not the kind God is talking about.
Hmm?   We just celebrated Easter.  Remember Jesus praying in the garden the night He was betrayed?   He was about to be convicted in a mock trial, by false accusations, by the very folks He came to save;  beaten unrecognizably, hung on a Cross, mocked, humiliated, and then die a suffocating death. So what do you suppose was foremost on His mind when He talked to His Father?  “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” - John 17: 21.  Is your marriage based on love? Sure it is.  Does it require a little effort on your part?   Sure it does.    “I AM QUITE SURE THAT THE BEST WAY TO PROMOTE UNION IS TO PROMOTE TRUTH. IT WILL NOT DO FOR US TO BE ALL UNITED TOGETHER BY YIELDING TO ONE ANOTHER’S MISTAKES.” Charles Spurgeon.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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