"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 37

Tolerance and Exclusivism

Read: Mark 9:38-41

Text: (Mark 9:40 KJV) For he that is not against us is on our part. (Mat 12:30 KJV) He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

Theme: In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, diversity. In all things, charity."


Introduction:


I. In the world.

QUESTION - What does the word "tolerance" mean in our world today?

QUESTION - What are some examples of "tolerance" as defined by our world?

QUESTION - Is the world's definition of tolerance what is being taught by Jesus in this passage? Why / why not?

QUESTION - Is the world's definition of tolerance taught in other passages of the Bible? Where?

QUESTION - What does the word "exclusivism" mean in our world today?

QUESTION - What are some examples of "exclusivism" as defined by our world?

QUESTION - Is the world's definition of exclusivism what is being taught by Jesus in this passage? Why / why not?

QUESTION - Is the world's definition of exclusivism taught in other passages of the Bible? Where?

QUESTION - What does the word "neutrality" mean in our world today?

QUESTION - What are some examples of " neutrality " as defined by our world?

QUESTION - Is the world's definition of neutrality what is being taught by Jesus in this passage? Why / why not?

QUESTION - Is the world's definition of neutrality taught in other passages of the Bible? Where?

 

QUESTION - Why is tolerance such an issue today? Why does the world promote the "gospel of tolerance?"

QUESTION - Is this worldview intolerant in and of itself?

QUESTION - Why is exclusivism so hated today? Why does the world condemn exclusiveness?

QUESTION - Is this worldview exclusive, in and of itself?

II. In the church.

QUESTION - In what ways does / should the church demonstrate tolerance toward others?

QUESTION - Should the church ever be intolerant? When? Why?

QUESTION - When the world charges that the church is intolerant, what should be our response?

QUESTION - In what ways does / should the church demonstrate exclusivism? When should we exclude others?
QUESTION - How do we respond to the world's disdain and ridicule of anything exclusive?

 

QUESTION - How many denominations are represented in this room today? (List on white board)

QUESTION - Would you share why / how you came to be affiliated with a particular denomination?

QUESTION - Which denomination is right? Why? What is wrong with any of them?

 

QUESTION - How do we as Christians define the limits to tolerance? When do we say "NO, THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE?"

QUESTION - How do we as Christians define the boundaries of exclusivism? To whom do we say, "YOU ARE NOT ONE OF US?"

II. According to Jesus Christ.

QUESTION - What did Jesus teach about tolerance in our text? What did He teach about exclusivism here?

QUESTION - What does John 14:6 teach about tolerance? Exclusivism?

QUESTION - What does Matthew 7:13-14 teach about tolerance? Exclusivism?

QUESTION - What does John 3:36 teach about tolerance? Exclusivism?

QUESTION - What does 1 John 5:12 teach about tolerance? Exclusivism?

QUESTION - What does Acts 4:12 teach about tolerance? Exclusivism?


Conclusion:

QUESTION - Would it be safe to say that Jesus is teaching that there is a definite limit to tolerance, and a definite requirement for exclusivism? If so, where do we draw the line?

THEME - "In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, diversity. In all things, charity."

As time permits, close class with a discussion of what the essentials are. (Some thoughts on what the list might include: Inspiration of the Bible, Deity of Christ, Depravity of man, salvation by grace through faith, indwelling of the Holy Spirit, eternal security of the believer, eternity of bliss for the saved, eternity of torment for the lostů)


Please direct QUESTIONs, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1998 William E. Johnson.