Intolerant of Tolerance – 5/31/20

Intolerant of Tolerance

God has called his children to love one another. We were made in his image (Gen 1:27). The Apostle Paul writes that God makes no distinction amongst his people (Rom 10:12). Yet, there is so much hatred and intolerance today. Two of the biggest forms of this are racism and bigotry. Considering recent events, like George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, God wants his people to unite and stand against these (and so many other) injustices. Unfortunately, racism and bigotry are not a new form of sin that has creeped into today’s society. It has been around for generations. It was not tolerated then and it must not be tolerated now. Look no further than Numbers 12:1-16 to see how God views racism and bigotry.

Very decisively, in that particular passage, we can see that God cannot stand racism, partiality and bigotry. Miriam and Aaron begin to think and speak racist thoughts. Moses’ wife, Zipporah, was a Cushite. She wasn’t an Israelite, but an African. Immediately after Miriam and Aaron spoke their hateful words, God immediately calls them out for it. As a result, they are immediately punished. God did not tolerate their hate. He saw that Miriam and Aaron’s hearts were ugly, covered in a deeply rooted prideful sin. Racism is a grotesque form of pride and jealousy. Something God will not stand for! When God left Miriam leprous, he left her in her true skin; full of sickness and sin. Only when there was repentance was there cleansing of her sin. We need to ask God to cleanse us of any impure thoughts immediately.

Notice how Moses acted through all of this with meekness. Moses’ accomplishments included taking down the largest, most powerful country of the day in Egypt. Moses led them through the Red Sea, prayed to God for food, and defeated various other foes. Despite all the accomplishments that God did through Moses, people judged him and his wife and children with racist and bigoted thoughts. Moses’ display of meekness demonstrated his power under control in the same way that Jesus showed meekness when he stood before Pilate at the court (Matt 27:11-14). What Moses (and Jesus) knew was that they did not need to fight the battle, God was already on the scene. God acted on Moses behalf because He could not stand for this injustice.

Moving forward in the face of intolerance is a weighty task. In order to move forward, you need to forgive. Forgiveness is the only activity that heals. We see that God handles conflict through forgiveness because it releases you of the pain, hurt, and bitterness in your life and gives them to God to deal with. This does not mean that forgiveness is easy or is a short journey. What forgiveness demonstrates is that it is an avenue of hope. Moses gave hope to Miriam and Aaron by immediately forgiving them. This is a hope that Christians need to give to others; forgiveness is a cure.

So Christian, avail yourself to intolerance. God despises it. Do not judge a person by appearance (John 7:24) or by stature (James 2:1-4). Follow Jesus’ teachings: 1) love God 2) love your neighbor as yourself. This means that you love your fellow man regardless of the color of their skin. Do not tolerate intolerance.

To view the service & listen to the full sermon by Pastor Armand on 5/31/20 click here: Intolerant of Tolerance