Congratulations Alex Lynch! – Winner of The Master’s College Essay Contest 2014
Posted by admin | Friday, February 28, 2014 | 8:00 am CT
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALEX LYNCH OF KANSAS,
WINNER OF THE MASTER’S COLLEGE ESSAY CONTEST 2014
Congratulations to Alex! He is headed to The Master’s College this fall with a $4000 scholarship for his winning essay on “Tolerance, Perspective, and Worldview“. You can read Alex’s essay below.
The top three finishers are:
1. Alex Lynch
2. Noel Grimes
3. Sarah Schuler
Congratulations to all the students who participated in the essay contest. We wish you all of God’s best and grace as you head off to college. Think biblically and live accordingly!
“Tolerance, Perspective, and Worldview”
by Alex Lynch
Am I intolerant if I don’t affirm gay marriage or don’t support two unmarried people having sex because they love each other? Within our society there is a cultural conflict over what should, or should not, be tolerated. Foundational to this debate over tolerance is the distinction between two opposing perspectives that will never be at peace. On one side is a worldview that recognizes God’s authority to establish what is right and wrong; and on the other is a worldview that rejects God and His authority over moral issues. Each perspective defines tolerance differently based on their worldview, which is predicated on one’s relationship to God and one’s perspective of the truth-claims of Scripture.
Our secular culture has embraced the postmodernism idea that there are no universal absolutes. Society believes that standards for making judgments vary according to people, the times in which they live, and the specific situations they are in. Truth has therefore become relative to each individual. This climate of moral relativism demands an unconditional affirmation of their values and any who refuse to affirm these values are deemed intolerant. This kind of unconditional tolerance is the outcome of a society of people that marginalize God and worship themselves. What was once viewed as good or evil is viewed as amoral today, and what was once black or white has become blurred into a dull ambivalent grey. Each person’s perspective is reality.
A biblical view of tolerance begins with a belief in God and the authority and sufficiency of His revelation, the Bible. According to Scripture there is right and wrong, sin and righteousness. With a clearly defined standard, the definition of tolerance, as understood by society, changes. There are absolutes and God is holy, making it impossible for Him to tolerate sin. God, while sometimes tolerating what he hates, will never affirm what is sinful. (He is angry with the wicked but doesn’t consume them in His mercy.) To be tolerant from a biblical worldview is to say in essence, “While I don’t affirm or agree with what you are doing, I can accept you in love.” A biblical perspective understands that the fundamental issue is not moral but spiritual and that the solution for someone outside of Christ is the Gospel. A biblical approach to people who reject God is not to try to change the sinful behavior they want us to tolerate, but rather to communicate the hope that is available through the Gospel of Christ. It is God’s work through the power of the Gospel to change sinful hearts.
A secular worldview does not recognize the all-powerful God of the Bible. This aspect shapes their understanding of tolerance. In a secular worldview, tolerance appears as a noble virtue because it doesn’t threaten or damage any person’s individual “rights”. The difference comes in the distinction between what are rights and what is right. A secular worldview excludes God and sees man and his personal desires as supreme. This view encourages the kind of tolerance that allows people to fulfill their own personal desires without guilt or condemnation.
A biblical worldview recognizes God as the sovereign ruler, creator, and judge. This view of man’s relationship to God means His standards are the standards for all creation including man. What God commands must be followed, and what he deems sinful cannot be excused. God’s standards are reflected in Christ, the personification of love and grace. A believer in Christ will be gracious and full of love to those who oppose Christ, not compromising the truth but tolerating those whose lives are blatantly out of step with God’s standards.
If my views were challenged as intolerant, I would explain that I will not affirm unbiblical lifestyles and actions that are inconsistent with God’s standards, but I will not isolate myself from those whose views are different than mine. I am under the authority of my God who commands me to love with the love He demonstrated to me while I was yet a sinner. (Romans 5:8) My tolerance is not an acceptance of secular views, but a sacrifice to God by reflecting His love and trusting Him to change hearts.
Ultimately, worldview determines how each person defines tolerance. Tolerance as defined by the world cannot line up with the tolerance God has with a clear picture of sin. The difference between these views on tolerance is Christ, and He is the only one who has a perfect worldview and can perfectly exemplify tolerance in this world.