I frequently hear people say Christianity is intolerant. After all, it calls all people – no exceptions – to think and to act as God commands. It requires all people to bow to Jesus alone. Yet in that sense, all religions are intolerant. Every religion requires people to follow what it says is true and right.
“Believe like I do” is easy to spot as an intolerant or “exclusive” claim. But other statements sound more accepting, like “You have to let people believe what they want.” But you can put the plea for openness to this test: Ask yourself, “What does the person mean by ‘You must be open to everything’?” What it almost always means is, “You must be open to everything that I am open to an disagree with anything I disagree with.”
The person who sounds tolerant will never leave you free to believe as you wish. That’s intolerance – and the worst kind of intolerance, because it is intolerance that doesn’t admit it is being intolerant!
Ravi Zacharias and Kevin Johnson, Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Truth of the Christian Message, Youth edition (W Publishing Group, Nashville: Tennessee, 2000), 9.
When I began writing this book, I little dreamed of how difficult a task this was going to be. The difficulty has really not been in knowing what to say, but in knowing what not to say. We are living in a time when sensitivities are at the surface, often vented with cutting words. Philosophically, you can believe anything, so long as you do not claim it to be true. Morally, you can practice anything, so long as you do not claim that it is a “better” way. Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it. If a spiritual idea is eastern, it is granted critical immunity; if western, it is thoroughly criticized. Thus, a journalist can walk into a church and mock its carryings on, but he or she dare not do the same if the ceremony is from the eastern fold. Such is the mood at the end of the twentieth century.
A mood can be a dangerous state of mind, because it can crush reason under the weight of feeling, But that is precisely what I believe postmodernism best represents-a mood.
Taken from: Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias
Ravi Zacharias and Bob Ditmer talk about a recent USA TODAY article that reports more Americans are declaring no religious affiliation according to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey.
That which atheists find grotesque because of their pseudo-intellectualism, Jesus spoke of with great clarity. He spoke kindly yet directly to the woman at the well with five broken marriages and did not rail on her as if she were a renegade. The woman restored to health after having seven demons cast out of her by Jesus would be embarrassed by the shamelessness of Hollywood and what they have made of her commitment to Jesus. Whether by means of The Last Temptation of Christ or The DaVinci Code, somehow this Mary Magdalene is dragged into the private life of the skeptic’s imagination. Those in the entertainment industry who worship sex haven’t the faintest understanding of the tenderness and affection Jesus had for women who were so marginalized in their time. They cannot even recognize Jesus’ touch of purity.
Ravi Zacharias, The End of Reason: A Response to the New Atheists (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), 79. Ebook.
“Mahatma Gandhi made the comment that of all the truths of the Christian faith, the one that stood supreme to him was the cross of Jesus. He granted that it was without parallel. It was the innocent dying for the guilty, the pure exchange for the impure. This evil cannot be understood through the eyes of the ones who crucified him, but only from eyes of the Crucified One. It is the woman who has been raped and not the rapist who understands what rape is. It is the one who has been slandered who understands what slander is, not the slanderer. It is only the One who died for our sin who can explain to us what evil is, not the skeptics. The cross points the way to a full explanation.”.
 Ravi Zacharias, Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 205. Print.