Harmony: Why Humility Is Better Than Tolerance, Part 1 (Strategic Christian Leadership #81)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 81. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is Matthew 20:25-28 which says, “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Our quote for this episode is from Colin Powell, who said, “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson.

Our topic today is part 1 of “Harmony: Why Humility Is Better Than “Tolerance”” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

Before closing with a few “tips” on how to cultivate humility in our personal and professional dealings, I want to describe a crucial benefit of humility at the societal level. In a morally and religiously diverse culture such as ours, humility is a much-needed key to harmony.

The Danger of Conviction

The recent “new atheists”, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Den-net and Christopher Hitchens, have brought into sharp focus the pernicious effect of monopolistic religious and moral viewpoints. Hitchens speaks for many when he writes: “We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion. And we know for a fact that the corollary holds true—that religion has caused innumerable people not just to conduct themselves no better than others, but to award themselves permission to behave in ways that would make a brothel-keeper or an ethnic cleanser raise an eyebrow. As I write these words and as you read them, people of faith are in their different ways planning your and my destruction, and the destruction of all hard-won human attainments that I have touched upon. Religion poisons everything.”

Often the answer to the harmful effects of absolute truth claims is argued to be “tolerance”. If only people would tolerate each other, the logic goes, they would get on. Tolerance in this context usually means something like agreeing that all viewpoints are equally true or valid. In an attempt to establish this concept on the world stage, the 48th UN General Assembly declared that 1995 would be the “International Year for Tolerance”.

The need for such a year was clear. “Intolerance is one of the greatest challenges confronting us on the eve of the twenty-first century,” said the UN mission statement. “Intolerance is both an ethical and political issue. It is a fact that in most societies today, many different religions, cultures and lifestyles coexist. It is essential to recall that the basic human values that unite us are stronger than the forces that pull us apart.” The supporting documentation offered a striking set of definitions of the virtue:

Tolerance is the recognition and acceptance of individual differences.
Tolerance is recognition that no individual culture, nation or religion has the monopoly of knowledge or truth.
Tolerance is a form of freedom, freedom from prejudice, freedom from dogma.
A tolerant person is master of his own opinions and actions.

What I find interesting about this definition is the way it seeks to establish harmony between people of differing views by asking them to soften convictions. Only by rejecting dogma and accepting contrary views as valid can we hope to get on with each other; that is the gist of the document. With due respect to the careful thought that went into the International Year for Tolerance, I think we can do better than to ask people of strong conviction—or even dogma—to relax their claims to knowledge and truth.

— PRAYER —

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

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