Christianity, Unconditional Love, and Absolute Tolerance: Repentance (Matt 11)

It seems like almost everywhere I lurk I see claims that the gospel of Jesus Christ demands absolute tolerance and radical inclusiveness.  Lately, when I see this I have been turning to the New Testament to see if these claims match with what Christ actually taught.  It has been amazing to me how much this is not matching up.  Christ taught a narrow path that few find, and this continues in Matt. 11, and even if these posts are not drawing much attention, it has been a fascinating exercise for me.

Matt. 11 begins with John sending disciples to see if Christ is the one they have been waiting for.  Christ summarizes the events of his ministry as a testimony that He is indeed the Messiah.  Jesus then talks about the greatness of John the Baptist.

Jesus then begins to criticize the people for not accepting Him or John and saying that they ‘hath a devil’.  He then upbraids the cities where his mighty works were done for their biggest problem:  they repented not.  This was Christ’s fundamental message, and it was not being heeded.  Christ states that if these works would have been done in other places, that these places would have repented in sackcloth and ashes.

The chapter ends with the familiar invitation to come unto Christ, take his yoke upon us, and we will find rest because the yoke is easy and the burden is light.  This is the inclusiveness, love and tolerance.  The invitation goes to all.  But the invitation is to repent and change, not to self-identify with, or deny our sins.

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