A Tolerant Christianity? (Machen)

J. Gresham Machen: Selected Shorter Writings

The talk of religious equity and tolerance and the mantra “all roads lead to God” are ideas that have been around for some time. These are not new ideas. The Christian church still has to deal with this kind of thinking and language today. Speaking of, I really appreciate how J. G. Machen wrote about this around 90 years ago.

“…When I say that a true Christian church is radically intolerant, I mean simply that the church must maintain the high exclusiveness and universality of its message.  It presents the gospel of Jesus Christ not merely as one way of salvation, but as the only way.  It cannot make common cause with other faiths.  It cannot agree not to proselytize.  Its appeal is universal and admits of no exceptions.  All are lost in sin; none may be saved except by the way set forth in the gospel.  Therein lies the offense of the Christian religion, but therein lies also its glory and its power.  A Christianity tolerant of other religions is just no Christianity at all.

This quote was taken from an article Machen wrote in 1933 called, “The Responsibility of the Church in Our New Age” which is found in Machen’s Shorter Writings.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

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