"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
Welcome to Blairgowrie Parish Church,
your community church at the heart of Blairgowrie
Jesus and Tolerance
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil …” (Isaiah 1:16).
“Awake to righteousness, and do not sin” (1 Corinthians 15:34).
Someone has said, “Wise are those who look at others with the same generosity they offer themselves, and at themselves with the same critical eye they have for others.”
Such advice is difficult to disagree with because it amounts to treating others the way we want to be treated. The “golden rule” is hard to deny, but that doesn’t make it easy to do.
One of the pet words of this age is the word tolerance. It is a good word, but we have tried to stretch it over too great an area. We have applied it, too often, where it does not belong. The word tolerant means liberal and broad-minded. In one sense, it implies the compromise of one’s convictions, a yielding of ground upon important issues.
What was once universally deemed immoral is now celebrated. Marital infidelity and divorce have been normalized. The use of alcohol, gambling, lawbreaking, wickedness in high places, immorality, crime and godlessness are forever with us. We have accepted lying and fake news as the norm; profanity is commonplace. Abortion, and sexual perversions of all kinds are championed by large advocacy groups and implicitly encouraged by the popular media. The modern notion of “tolerance” is systematically turning morality on its head. We have been sapped of conviction, drained of our beliefs, and we are bereft of our faith.
Just about the only remaining taboo is the naive and politically incorrect notion that another person’s “alternative lifestyle,” religion, or different perspective is wrong. One major exception to that rule stands out starkly: it is OK to be intolerant of biblical Christianity. We want tolerance but only in our own terms.
And yet, the irony of this is that none of us is tolerant when someone is breaking into our home, stealing our money, or hurting our children. Furthermore, the sciences, are equally narrow-minded when it comes to tolerance. There is no room for careless broad-mindedness in the laboratory.
Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level; it is never 100 degrees nor 189 degrees, nor 211. Fresh water freezes at 32 degrees; it is never 23 degrees nor 31.
Mathematics is also narrow-minded. The sum of two plus two is four, never three-and-a-half.
Geometry is narrow-minded. It says that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points on a plane.
A compass is narrow-minded; it always points to the magnetic north. If it were broad-minded, ships at sea and planes in the air would be in danger.
If you should ask a person the directions to Edinburgh and they said, “Oh, just take any road you wish, they all lead to Edinburgh,” you would question both their sanity and their truthfulness. Nevertheless, we have somehow gotten it into our minds that “all roads lead to Heaven.”
But Jesus Christ, who journeyed from Heaven to Earth and back to Heaven again, who knew the way better than anyone who ever lived, said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
There is a sense in which the world needs broad-mindedness and tolerance.
However, in the realm of Christian experience there is a need for intolerance. In some things Christ was the most tolerant, broad-minded Man who ever lived, but in other things He was one of the most intolerant.
Jesus plainly pointed out that there are two roads in life. One is broad, lacking in faith, convictions and morals. It is the easy, popular, careless way. Jesus said, “There are many who go in by it.” But He pointed out that this road, heavily travelled though it is, leads to destruction. And in loving, compassionate intolerance, He says: “Enter by the narrow gate … because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life.”
His was the intolerance of a pilot who manoeuvres his plane through the storm, realizing that a single error, just one flash of broad-mindedness, might bring disaster to all his passengers. Jesus was very intolerant of many things:
Jesus was very narrow about the way of salvation. (Matthew 7:13-14; Acts 4:12).
Jesus was intolerant toward hypocrisy. (Matthew 23:25; Matthew 6:16).
Jesus was intolerant toward selfishness. (Luke 9:23; Matthew 19:21)
Jesus was intolerant toward sin. (John 8:11; John 3:16)
Throughout his ministry on earth, Christ spoke of two roads, two kingdoms, two masters, two rewards and two eternities. And He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). We have the power to choose whom we will serve, but the alternative to choosing Christ brings certain destruction. The broad, easy, popular way leads to death and destruction. Only the way of Jesus and the cross leads home.
My prayer for you is that you have found it and made the decision to follow Christ and in His name live like a Christian who is tolerant and respectful of others but intolerant of sin.
Blessings and prayers,
Dear Heavenly Father,
You created us. All of us
You sent your beloved Son to redeem us. All of us
You sent the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to us. To comfort all of us.
Please fill our hearts with love, so that there is no room for hate.
Fill our minds with understanding, so that there is no room for fear.
Fill our eyes with wonder so that we may see only uniqueness, and not strangeness.
So that we may love, understand and enjoy our fellow brothers and sisters to your glory.
May our hearts be ever close to the truth of your Word and as we love others in your name, help us to resist to allow sin to have a stronghold in our lives. Help us to seek the narrow way which leads to life and honours your name and endeavour to live for your glory.
All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
OUR CHURCH IS CURRENTLY CLOSED
FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP
Following the First Minister's announcement on Monday 4th January, Blairgowrie Parish Church is now closed for Sunday worship until national restrictions lessen.
Funerals and weddings can take place under tighter restrictions and families should consult with the minister/Funeral Director in the first instance.
Full details of the national guidance can be found at:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): stay at home guidance - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
In the meantime, our weekly recorded service will continue to be available on this website.
If anyone wishes to receive a CD of the service during this period, please contact
the Session Clerk on 01250 798642.
Welcome to Blairgowrie Parish Church's website.
We’re a Christian community in the beautiful Perthshire town of Blairgowrie.
We are a church family of ordinary people who have experienced God’s love in Jesus. We seek to live and teach the Christian faith so that people can understand it and respond to the message it offers.
Whatever your reason for coming here – whether you are in need of help; searching for a church; looking forward to your wedding or baptism; exploring faith or simply planning to visit the area – come and visit us, we'd love to welcome you.
Rev Benjamin J A Abeledo
(8) Joshua: A Divine Encounter
Joshua 5:13 - 6:5
Sunday, 28 February 2021
Rev Benjamin JA Abeledo