Readers' Forum

I anxiously await the arrival of Pulpit Helps every month. I enjoy and agree with most of the articles, although in the February issue, I found the article "Tolerance within the Church" ("Points to Ponder", p.24) unsettling.

David and Stephen Olford use the text from Romans 15:1-3, "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." They try to relate this verse to general tolerance within the church.

Tolerance of what exactly? Should I tolerate the sin of the homosexual or are they talking about the guy who wears ripped blue jeans to church. They are quite two different things. The God I know does not tolerate any sin.

If you read Romans chapters 13, 14, and 15 Paul is not talking about tolerance at all. He is talking about differing convictions. For example, the stronger Christian should not please himself if it causes the weaker Christian to stumble. Therefore, the strong should not condemn or judge the weak for their convictions and vice versa. The weak should not condemn the strong for their freedom in their strengths. I believe that is love, compassion, and unselfishness not tolerance.

In Romans 15 Paul talks about pleasing our neighbor and not ourselves, meaning we should edify them and lift them according to the love of God not according to the demands of the neighbor. I do understand that we should carry our brother when they are weak and not criticize them, but I'm not seeing anything about how we should have tolerance. Yes we should have harmony and walk in step with each other, but when the authors use the word tolerance I think they are misrepresenting what Paul is trying to say.

God Bless,
Michele Ryan
Secretary, Church of New Hope
Stow, Ohio

I think your editorial of February's edition of Pulpit Helps is significant to many real believers, not only in the United States, but around the world. The content is so important to the Church that I translated it into Spanish and published it on my blog (http://davinsky.wordpress.com/).

My hope is that God guides the Christians of this present generation to accomplish His purpose to the world, even with our imperfections.

Thank you,
Davinsky de Len
Guatemala

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