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Topic: Tolerance


by Darrel Cline

Our topic today is integrity. This is something that no human being has, but is supposed to be a goal of every believer in Christ. It may surprise you for me to say that integrity is something that no human being has. But if you are surprised it is only because you have not thought long and carefully upon what David, that adulterer (2 Samuel 11) who was a man after God's heart (1 Samuel 13:14), wrote in Psalm 51:4 and what Paul concluded from that adulterer's words in Romans 3:4. The Bible says "all men are liars". Liars do not have integrity, and all men lie on a regular and consistent basis.

For example, not too long ago there was a huge conflict in a very large religious organization which posits the dogma that its leader is an apostle of Jesus Christ and His spokesman in this world. The problem was that he declared some things to be the will of God and many of his followers didn't want those things to be God's will. So, they rejected his dogma and stayed within the boundaries of his church. Thus they proved that they had no integrity when it came to their religious practice. They want to be members of his church but they don't want to live by the dogma of that church. No integrity.

Another example is a rather large movement today that has made its splash in our culture by appealing to men to be men of integrity, but the organization itself refuses to declare itself in terms of the gospel of Jesus Christ because it knows that to do so will curb its appeal to the massive numbers of men that are attracted to it. Thus, the integrity that it is trying to generate is being undercut by its own lack of integrity.

A third example is all the people who say they are evangelical, but remain members in non-evangelical churches. To be a member of a church, one has to subscribe to the doctrinal position of that church. To subscribe to the doctrine of a non-evangelical church and then claim to be evangelical is a failure of integrity. For example, an evangelical Roman Catholic is an oxymoron. In the council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church decreed an anathema (a pronouncement that a person was doomed to eternal hell) against everyone who believes that salvation is by grace through faith alone. Since evangelicalism strongly advocates salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, all evangelicals are doomed to hell by the dogma of Rome. Therefore, for anyone to claim to be Catholic and evangelical is a huge failure in integrity. Either give up Catholicism, or give up evangelicalism. The two are oil and water.

The same thing is true of all of the Protestant religious organizations that have set forth doctrinal statements which are contrary to the Gospel of the free grace of God. No one can be a member of such a religious group and believe in salvation by grace through faith and retain his/her integrity. So, we are all liars. We all profess differently than we act. But we should have the goal of moving toward integrity. Do we?

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This is article #195.
If you wish, you may contact Darrel as darrelcline at this site.