I remember stories of a time long ago, when a church put in microphones, to record the pastor’s sermons, so that people who could not come to church due to illness or whatever, could get the tape and still be given the message. There were people who opposed this technology entering the sanctuary and they left the church. I always thought it was so silly for people to leave a church because of microphones or other technology. Why do you go to church? For the place, or for God? Those people eventually returned and tolerated the technology since all the churches were adding microphones…then later it was movie screens…then sound systems ….then people of other colors, races, or sexual orientations……. and people would leave then return.
It all comes down to tolerance or acceptance. There is a big difference and it has to do with our human side and our faith.
To have tolerance means to “put up with” certain people or behaviors. I have a high tolerance for certain behaviors that I expect out of my students and very low tolerance for behaviors that we are trying to help them with. Humans tolerate other humans.
God is all about the acceptance. God sent his only son to accept our sins, to accept us, warts and all. This is why he sent his only son, to live among us, to understand our reasoning, and teach us how we got it all wrong. At that time, I believe, Jesus knew he could only reach a certain number of people. He also knew that, when the time came, only a handful would be there to teach others abut his one message of love.
If you recall, Jesus had a core group known as the disciples. They had flaws like fear, lack of faith, and a little judgement. Jesus accepted this about them and just kept teaching and repeating the same thing, in different ways, t o love everyone.
God’s got this!!!!! Who are we to judge!
Jesus even accepted the fact that there would be people, “stuck”, in their old teachings and thought that was the only way to heaven. We call them the Pharisees. He tolerated their persecutional questioning of his every move at every turn. He was patient with them and had the insight that his followers would go through the same persecution for generations to come and he had to show them how to respond to these Pharisees.
I also think that, even though the Pharisees seems confident, Jesus saw their fear. Maybe the Pharisees were afraid that people would no longer listen to them if Jesus was the Messiah. Their “power” would be gone.
We all know some “pharisees” of the modern day. Those people who say things like, “That’s not right, this is the way we have been doing it for generations.” or “If they start putting all that new fangled technology in the sanctuary, I’m leaving!” or ” If they let THOSE people in, I may have to go to a “real” church.” All of these statements are paraphrases from people in the stories I was told way up in NJ. Evidently, every generation has had some “pharisees” in them.
It’s our human side that has a fear of change. It’s our human side that Jesus accepted and died for. We can tolerate certain human things like fear, anger, violence, etc… but our faiths, be it Christianity, true Muslim, or Judaism, mean that we believe in God and God is all about the LOVE. We need to overshadow our human side with the acceptance that God shows us every minute of every day with love.
God is love, love is God. Heaven is love. If we are to live on earth as we will in heaven then we must trust and obey. Our job on this earth is to love. Leave the judging to God.
Please Lord, tell me if I am doing your will or am I pharisee too? I pray that I show love to all as you show us. Amen