Is Christian Intolerance a Good Reason to Reject the Faith?
by Sean McDowell
Guilty as charged. Christianity has its fair share of judgmental and intolerant people. I have no interest in covering up the misbehavior of Christians. But before you are tempted to dismiss the evidence for the Christian faith because of Christian intolerance, keep something in mind:
When Christians act in an arrogant, judgmental manner towards others, they are not following Scriptural teachings. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins (Prov. 6:16, 17), an evil that comes from the heart (Mark 7:21–23). I apologize for judgmental Christians; remember, though, when Christians act “holier than thou,” they act inconsistently with what Christianity itself requires. True Christians aim to be at peace with others (Heb. 12:14), build relationships with people regardless of creed, race, nationality, or sex (John 4:1–42; Luke 9:1–10), and are called to be humble and gentle (Eph. 4:2).
Behavior vs. the Message
We must distinguish between Christians’ behavior and genuine Christianity. To condemn Christianity because of the misbehavior of some Christians is another way to commit the “genetic fallacy,” which is dismissing a claim because of some perceived fault in its origin.
Yes, Christians often express judgment and intolerance, failing to follow the example and teachings of Jesus. But even if Christians were kind and gracious in their attitudes, the critic might claim, wouldn’t they still be intolerant for condemning the beliefs of others? My friend Mark Mittelberg, an author and speaker, offers an incisive response…
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