The question in this video is especially important in today’s culture:
How do we respond to non-believers who accuse Christians of being hateful to people who support lifestyles that are not according to the precepts of our faith?
Notes from the video:
Ravi Zacharias says he would like to answer this question in three panels:
- The Logical Problem
- The Theological Problem
- The Relational Problem
The sociological issue has to deal with tolerance. Someone once asked Ravi about the concept of tolerance. He responded by asking in what type of culture we are living.
There are three types of cultures when it comes to the absolute:
- A theonomous culture - law of God is supposedly so embedded into our hearts that we only reason and think in the same categories. Here we have the idea of Natural Law and “self-evident truths.”
- A heteronomous culture – in this culture, the mainstream of the culture is dictated by the leadership at the top. Here we have Marxism or Islam
- An autonomous culture – in this culture, each person dictates for themselves their own prerogatives.
The questioner denied that we were living in the first two, and, therefore, was left to accept that we are living in an autonomous culture. Ravi Zacharias then asked if the questioner was going to give him the autonomy to determine his answer. Or, if once the answer was given, was the questioner going to switch to a heteronomous culture and dictate for him what he must believe as well?
There is a mutual autocracy being sought, but this inevitably leads to conflict when everyone has their own autonomy.
A reporter once asked him how he would explain the fact that Christians are against racism and then discriminate against homosexuals.
He responded that the reason we believe ethnic discrimination is wrong is because race and ethnicity are sacred. You do not violate it. Likewise, we believe sexuality is sacred and should not be violated.
He then said to her that his question for her would be why she sacralizes race and then desacralizes sexuality. She revealed she had never thought of it in those terms.
Marriage, as God has given it to us, is the most sacred relationship into which you will enter. There are four words for love in Greek, agape – God’s love, phileo – friendship love, storge – protective love, eros – romantic love. Marriage is the only relationship which pulls these four together.
If you remove agape, eros is gone. Romantic love becomes redefined. The Bible gives us the sacredness of marriage in analogizing marriage to the relationship between Christ and the church.
Any departure from the beauty and sacredness of the confluence of the four types of love is a departure from the Biblical notion of what it really means to be married. To take one of these behaviors and then make it look as though the whole thing is abhorrent is not right. All departures from this confluence are not acceptable in the sight of God.
Sociologically we have been put into a conundrum of autonomy, so we come to look at it relationally through our theology.
The hard part is that we must treat people with love and genuineness regardless of what their view is on anything.
God gives us the sacred gift of choice. However, we are not given the gift of determining a different outcome from what our choices will entail. The consequences are bound to the choice.
Any departure from the Biblical view is a departure from the Biblical mandate. At the same time, we commanded to love even those with whom we disagree. Our responsibility as the church is never to hate the individual; our privilege is to love. Only God can change the heart of a person.
We must be light and salt and learn to love one another and let God be the judge over all of us.
- Is sexuality sacred?
- How might you convey the sacredness of marriage and sexuality to a questioner?
- Must we choose between tolerance and our beliefs?