I was reading the news this morning, and saw three interesting stories, each of which had its own twist. The first involved a visitor to Florida who was injured when he stopped and got out of his car to look at an alligator. No, the gator didn’t get him—but the water moccasin he stepped on did. The second story involved a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune” who got all the letters but couldn’t cash in because he couldn’t read the phrase. His inept attempt showed the world the “Achilles” heel in his education.

But the story that got me thinking was from a local university that has adopted a policy making it more receptive to students living in an alternate lifestyle (or perhaps even in an alternate reality). In announcing the change, a university spokesperson said, “All of our policies reflect our values. This reflects our value of being inclusive.”

The first half of that statement is absolutely true. What one does is a reflection of what he believes is good, acceptable, perfect, and preeminent. Even when I violate my conscience, the guilt or uneasiness that I feel confirms the truth of my foundational values.

The problem of the second half of the statement arises from the fact that values are dialectical—they always have two sides. For everything that one believes is true, there is something that must be false. For everything that one believes is good, there is something that must be bad. Usually that’s not a problem: there’s room in the world for people who think that cookie dough ice cream is delectable, as well as those who find it despicable. They can agree to disagree (or to compromise on mint chocolate chip). But that is the underlying falsehood of “inclusivity” and “tolerance”.

For every “tolerance” that claims that all opinions are equally valid, there is an “intolerance” that believes that no opinion is valid but its own. “Tolerance” must reject “intolerance,” thus becoming less tolerant itself. To embrace a relativistic morality is to reject the very concept of morality.

Jesus Christ was both the most tolerant and the most intolerant man who ever lived. He loved every person, and He hated every sinful act. As His followers, we must do the same; our problem arises when people claim that their very identity is defined by sinful behavior. If we point out the wrongness of their actions, we may appear unloving—attacking them personally. We may alienate these people for whom Christ died.

But that’s the key that we must keep in mind: Jesus died to save them from their sins. If we never share the message that all people can be delivered from their sins, we are not preaching the Gospel. In order to fulfill the Great Commission, we must be willing to be inclusive in our love, and intolerant toward sin in ourselves and others. These must be our values.

People who define themselves by sinful behavior will hate us. That hurts. But we must remember the Lord’s words, “Blessed are you, when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you for My sake…Great is your reward in Heaven.”

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