I'll admit that the Lord has been teaching me about his kindness and mercy, his patience and how important faith is even before works, and yet how works are such an important aspect of faith. I've also learned in the past years of my life (or shall I use the word "indoctrinated") to be tolerant and patient toward those of other beliefs. I have bought into this belief mainly for one reason and it's not due to what I've seen in Scripture. I've bought into this belief because I know some people in this world that are sincerely seeking truth that do not believe the same as I do. Of course, that's only an assumption. Some people in this world are probably seeking truth more zealously than I am and I'm probably seeking truth more zealously than some others. Now this brings me to a problem.
Those may sound like good intentions, but Scripture proclaims with authority that Jesus alone is the truth. Faith should inevitably result in increasing one's authority in matters that they are putting their faith in, because biblically speaking, faith is not blind, but it is indeed sight and evidence of things hoped for, the very SUBSTANCE of the unseen. Here's what I'm getting at: I looked up some stuff on Westboro Baptist Church today, and also read the biography of St. Antony, by Athanasius. Now St. Antony did not proclaim truth in the same spirit as Westboro Baptist Church does, but here's the fact about both of these entities that I like, even if I do not agree totally with the spirit of Westboro Baptist Church: these two entities proclaimed truth with authority. I believe that Westboro Baptist doesn't need to proclaim the truth in such a hateful fashion, but at least they are proclaiming truth about God's judgment. I see the same in the biography of St. Antony: he vehemently stood with authority on issues of orthodoxy and did not share fellowship with heretics. This type of determined stance seems impossible in today's world and I like getting along with people. I could certainly have this stance, but I would be hated, even by some Christians. Let me change my wording: I do have this type of unmoving stance; I've just been afraid to proclaim it. But the fact is that Jesus IS the only way, those who are not in Him WILL go to Hell, the message of repentance from sin, and the message of God's judgment are absolute TRUTH for all people whether they "believe" in God and the Bible or not. I refuse to move an inch on that! I don't want to be a jerk unnecessarily, but I won't budge on even the hard truths!