Ebony and Ivory – Perfect Harmony?

Perhaps one of the more difficult things to do in our contemporary society is to take an opposing stand on any popular moral issue.

Conflict
“Such statements are not welcome today and are branded intolerant”

If you try to present an alternative view on a subject, such as same sex marriage or abortion, you find yourself on the end of strong criticism and being branded intolerant.
This makes life difficult for Christians and has great implications for the way we evangelise. When Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) he was making a bold claim. When he told his disciples to, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15–16), he was revealing the truth.
But such statements are not welcome today and are branded intolerant.
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Unity vs Diversity

Yesterday at  Hobart Baptist Church we had our monthly combined worship service. It’s called ‘combined’ because Hobart Baptist is in fact four distinct congregations with people of many different ages and racial backgrounds.

Halve Poverty_HBC_1Sept13
“Hobart Baptist is in fact four distinct congregations with people of many different ages and racial backgrounds”

After our service we continued our worship with lunch together, and if you had hung around for lunch you would have noticed that one of the striking features of this church is our diversity.
Hobart Baptist Church is a not only a multiracial church but a multicultural one as well. By multiracial I refer to a church with people from different ethnicities and languages but with a single common culture. By multicultural, on the other hand, I refer to a church not only of people from different backgrounds, cultures and languages, but they are encouraged to retain their cultural distinctives, resulting in more than one culture.
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The Intolerance of Tolerance

Jesus commands us to love others, even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44), and to grant them the respect and dignity we give ourselves. But that does not mean we have to agree with everything they say and do.

I can't bear it!
Despite acting with tolerance we are often branded intolerant and even bigoted

One of the most strongly held values in our society today is the notion of tolerance. We regularly read and hear how important it is to be tolerant of each other. As Christians we normally have no problems accepting this, and by and large the majority of us do act in tolerant ways. Yet, despite this we are often branded intolerant and even bigoted. But why? How is it that we can be tolerant but branded intolerant at the same time?
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