The world does not tolerate truth and truth does not tolerate the world. “The world hates me,” Jesus said, “because I testify of it that its deeds are evil” (John 7:7). The world and truth have incompatible differences even though the world speaks about tolerance.
The world’s talk of tolerance is nothing more than a cloak of darkness. If that sounds harsh or negative let me quote John 3:19 from the NIV translation: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”
God has passed a verdict on the world that it is in darkness and does not tolerate the light. We Christians must stop looking for light in the gray shadows of the world. Statements like “all truth is God’s truth” or “every religion has an element of truth” seek to mollify God’s verdict on the world.
As long as we entertain the illusion that the world has some truth to offer, we’ll go through disillusionment when it collapses. Jesus entertained no such illusion and did not become disillusioned with the darkness around him. He said to the best of men, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). .
Jesus came as light into the world “And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5). There is nothing about truth that the darkness comprehends, and the darkness cannot extinguish the light.
Light verses darkness is a paradigm in John’s Gospel and his letters. I’ve always thought of John as the ex-hippie among the apostles. He wrote things like, “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). I read that and want to say, “Far out, man.”
It is far out, and in a world that is near, it sounds intolerant to make such an absolute statement. That’s our problem with the intolerance of truth. Truth will not tolerate darkness. What about us? Are we willing to tolerate what God has passed a verdict on?
The first work of the Spirit was to separate light from darkness.
Dr. Michael Peters is the lead pastor of Christ the King: TheCellChurch.com. He is married to Linda, and they have two children and seven grandchildren. Dr. Peters graduated from Covenant Seminary with an MA and obtained a PhD in historical theology from Saint Louis University. He has written several books. His most recent is titled Cell Vision. It’s about organic discipleship and how to develop supporters into disciple makers. He taught critical thinking and Biblical worldview at Missouri Baptist University. His favorite course textbook was Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom. His favorite philosopher is Nietzsche because postmodern people are just catching up with premodern Nietzsche. And his favorite Christian writer is G.K. Chesterton because he understood the difference between a poet and theologian. “The poet,” he wrote, “only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the theologian who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”