Seems like there was something written about there being a time and place for everything. Ecclesiastes 3 is the Bible’s take no that classic Eagles song (yes, I know that the Bible was written first, it was a joke) about how there are things that really have their day, but then the next day comes around and, well it is not such a beautiful thing.
This puts me in mind of how different evangelism has already become in the past few decades. I am old enough to have attended a Billy Graham crusade. But when was the last time one of them by any other evangelist even happened? Times have changed and the people that crusades (unfortunately named) are those who already believed in God, the Bible, heaven, and hell. What was so impacting for these people is that they were being challenged to see that they were not living the life that God wanted them to live and were so convicted that they went forward in droves to do something about it.
Enter the 21st century. Somewhere in the past several decades we have inherited a culture that is more plural than any time in the history of this country. No longer can anyone assume anything about religious or spiritual beliefs, and the name of the game has become tolerance. Many Christians cry out in anguish about “that word” and pine for their so-called fantasy of a time where the founding fathers rode around on unicorns and everyone in North America was Christian.
Let’s consider another definition for tolerance: the state of having care and compassion for other people and their beliefs in order to build relationships of care and understanding with all people. What would this world be like if it were the Christians who held up banners of love and acceptance to those who are different and welcomed everyone in spite of their beliefs? Perhaps we could not only be reminded of Ecclesiastes but also another passage about going “…into all the world” (Mark 16:15).