The dead grip of bigotry - Hope 103.2

The dead grip of bigotry

By David ReayFriday 13 Mar 2015LifeWords DevotionalsCultureReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Romans 15:1-7

1 We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. 2 We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. 3 For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say,”The insults of those who insult you,O God,have fallen on me.” 4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

5 May God,who gives this patience and encouragement,help you live in complete harmony with each other,as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice,giving praise and glory to God,the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 Therefore,accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. (NLT)

One person’s firm upholding of orthodoxy is another person’s bigotry. One person’s uncompromising proclamation of the gospel is another person’s hate speech. It is so hard at times to draw the line between holding fast to truth and arrogantly presuming we have all the truth.

Paul was tackling these sorts of issues in writing to the Romans. He was urging them not to fight over secondary matters or flaunt their so-called maturity. He urges them to accept one another,presumably to accept the fact they have different views on some matters. It is a valuable lesson for us: we dare not bully others into agreeing with us in the cause of so-called ‘unity’. There is room for diversity in the Christian community.

Ultimately,narrow-minded bigotry is fear based and ego driven. I am so fearful of being wrong or of my views being challenged that I go on the attack against all who disagree with me. I must always be right,and must always be right in every detail. This gives me a sort of security and a sort of righteous superiority.

It is not the way of the Christian. There is much on which we stand firm,there is much on which we might differ,there is much that is yet mysterious. Bigotry doesn’t defend truth,it damages it. As one writer put it,bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand with a grip that kills it.

David Reay