The New Tolerance / Book from Josh McDowell
und Bob Hostetler, pp 7
My Dad, the bigot / Book from Josh McDowell und
Bob Hostetler, pp 12
Why Jews Push Gay Marriage. / Article Real Jew News
- Brother Nathanael Kapner 00, 2013-04-01
Medical journal urges understanding for child
abusers / TOPIC Information Service 00, 2012-01-10
The love of God / Book from Josh McDowell und
Bob Hostetler, pp 88
The love of the neighbor / Book from Josh
McDowell und Bob Hostetler, pp 89
God loves sinners / Book from Josh McDowell
und Bob Hostetler, pp 102
Hell’s best kept secret
Does God seek out sinners? / Commentary by
Ingmar Bauer 00, 2012-02-11
The Great Tribulation – God’s
third and last wave of destruction. / Discourse 1133
In their book "The New Tolerance" authors Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler have
tackled a theme which attracts far too little attention in Christian circles – especially here in
Europe. In our part of the world this tends to be known as "antidiscrimination". And although
the German translation of this book dates back to 1999, and generally speaking any phenomenon that
spreads in the USA is going to spill over into Europe in ten years at most, clearly this tendency
has not established itself in Europe as yet, at least not on the scale described.
In what follows we will therefore be referring to a number of particularly typical extracts from this book, and endeavoring to compare the American approach to this problem which they illustrate with the kind of reaction to be expected in Europe, especially in German-speaking countries.
(…) Shannon Berry, a first grader at Bayshore Elementary School in Bradenton,
Florida, began talking to a classmate at recess about their mutual faith in Jesus Christ. A
teacher, overhearing the conversation, drew both of them aside and reprimanded them, telling
them that they were "not allowed to talk about Jesus at school".
A similar incident occurred in Selkirk, New York, where a third-grade teacher stopped a child from reading the Bible in her free time. The crying child was threatened and told never to bring the forbidden book to school again.
Forth grader Raymond Raines made the mistake of bowing his head over his lunch to whisper a silent prayer. That act, however, resulted in a trip to the principal's office and a warning that if he tried to pray again - even silently - he would be disciplined.
Such experiences are not limited to young children nor to those in public school. One fourteen-year-old girl ran into trouble into her parochial-school history class. The class was instructed to write a constitution for a pseudo country. The discussion turned into a debate when the girl politely objected to a suggestion that the constitution include freedom of sexual preferences and maintained that sexual preference didn't deserve special mention in the constitution. Almost immediately a classmate erupted saying "You're a bigot!" The teacher intervened to prevent further name-calling but the damage had been done; that fourteen-year-old's parents had to help her cope with the undeserved label her classmate had given her.
Taken from the book "The New Tolerance" pp 7, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS
Whereas the new tolerance in the USA – and in similar fashion in Israel as well
– is evidently aimed first and foremost at the religious/Christian background, in Europe it tends
rather to show itself in a wave of antidiscrimination with reference to foreign nationals and
(See also Discourse 1014: "The Jewish
Anti-Defamation League rewrites the New Testament."
So for example the British children’s charity the National Children’s Bureau
(NCB) has issued a 366-page catalog of measures designed to combat racism in small children (!). If
a three-year-old in kindergarten reacts to hot, peppery foods by saying "Yuck" or "Pooh",
this could be construed as a racist utterance aimed at the repudiation of exotic foods. Educators
are encouraged to pay particular attention to the use of racist terms of abuse by small children.
Kindergartens should report "as many incidents as possible" to the authorities, says the NCB
(Source: Spiegel Online 08.07.08)
"When it is a matter of defending the right to free speech, Canada is now a joke!" This sobering but at the same time alarming conclusion was recently voiced by Australian law professor James Allen of Queensland University.
The extent to which Professor Allen is right is shown by a number of recent cases. Journalist Mark Steyn is currently facing prosecution before the "human rights tribunal" of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Steyn had written an article pointing out that in view of the more prolific birth rate of its adherents, Islam is likely to overrun and vanquish the prosperous but less polyphiloprogenitive West. This statement proved his undoing. Muslims took the journalist to court for slander before the "human rights tribunal".
A prosecution of this kind is not without consequences, for a case before the "human rights tribunal" overturns all the principles of justice. Whereas the plaintiff has all his legal costs paid by the state, the defendant must pay his own costs, even if he wins the case. Together with Canadian antidiscrimination legislation, this provision is designed to contribute to the speedy silencing of critics of a given sexual orientation (such as homosexuality) or unpopular world view.
So if anyone dares say anything critical in Canada, they risk being hauled before the "human rights tribunal". For example, in November 2007 youth pastor Stephen Boission was found guilty of having expressed critical views of homosexuality in a letter to the newspaper. The tribunal saw it as proven that this letter to the paper was fomenting "hatred and contempt" of gays, and fined the Christian Boission 7000 Canadian dollars as well as ordering him to make a public apology.
Even if from a German point of view these two cases in Canada are a long way away, they still have significant implications for us in our part of the world. "This is because Anglo-Saxon countries like the USA, Canada, England etc. set an example with their strict antidiscrimination legislation, which will be followed by European antidiscrimination policy makers as well."
(Source: Freundesbrief der EAD - Evangelischen Allianz Deutschlands [Letter of the Friends of the EAD – German Evangelical Alliance], 6/8)
Sweden passed an antidiscrimination law in the fall of 2002 whereby any utterance rejecting homosexuality or homosexuals could be punished by up to four years of imprisonment. This would also apply to cases where the Bible is invoked in support of the view that homosexuality is a sin. The law had the result that a Pentecostalist pastor, Ake Green, was taken to court and condemned in the first instance to a month’s imprisonment for having described homosexuality as a "cancerous growth" in society. On his lodging an appeal, the higher court of Götz overturned the sentence, on the grounds that a sermon based on religious texts could hardly be understood as inciting hatred of certain sectors of the population. This judgment however has no force in law; and moreover, influential political groups are planning to make the law more stringent. Then it would no longer be possible for Christians to call sin by its name without exposing themselves to persecution sanctioned by civil and penal legislation.
The authors of "The New Tolerance" give us a really pithy story about an American Christian family in their book, illustrating the abyss between the generations in terms of Christian values in the USA.
(See also Discourse 55: "Why does God permit
(…) That Saturday Nancy and her husband, Chuck, enlisted Matt (their
sixteen-year-old son) for fall yard cleanup. As they raked and bagged leaves, their neigbor Jim
walked over to join them.
»When you're finished there, I've got another lawn for you to rake« Jim said, smiling and nodding toward his own yard.
They all laughed as Matt shook his head. »No, thanks,« he said. »One yard is plenty!«
»Seriously, Chuck,« Jim said, »I was wondering if I could borrow your leaf blower on Monday. I've got the day off and I'm going to make it a yard-work day.«
»Sure, no problem. How come you're off on Monday?«
»It's Gay Pride Day,« Jim explained. »We're all getting the day off.«
»You're kidding! They're shutting down your office for that gay parade?«
»Well, management is pretty sensitive to things like that these days. Of course it's not my thing,« Jim added quickly »but I#m glad for the time off.«
Chuck shook his head. »I just can't believe it. Makes you wonder what this world is coming to.«
»Live and let live, that's what I say,« Jim said.
Chuck raised his hand. »Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not opposed to them personally. I just don't like them pushing their lifestyle on the rest of society, with their red ribbons and gay parades and gay-rights agenda....«
»Yeah,« Jim said, »But did you ever stop to think that if more people accepted them for who they are, maybe they wouldn't have to push so hard?«
»Hey, wait a minute,« Chuck countered, »I didn't say I couldn't accept them as people. I just don't agree with their lifestyle. Homosexuality is wrong. We shouldn't be celebrating it, for crying out loud.«
»But their lifestyle represents who they are,« Jim argued. »They just want to be themselves withou people judging and condemning them.« He stopped and smiled. »so anyway, can I come over this evening to pickup your leaf blower?«
Chuck returned the smile and nodded. «Absolutely«. »Thanks,« Jim said, turning to walk away. »See you later, then.«
Jim was no sooner in the house than Chuck noticed his teenage son staring on him.
»I can't believe you Dad,« Matt said, his dark gaze bewildered and accusing.
»What?« Chuck answered. »What do you mean?«
»You're always telling me how we need to be witnesses to the people around us, that we need to set a good example of what it means to be a Christian, and then you go and talk like that to out neighbor?«
Chuck was shocked. »What are you talking about? All I said was --«
»All you said,« Matt interrupted, »was that people shouldn't have the right to live and believe however they please. But isn't that what Christianity is really about? Loving and accepting people the way they are? Isn't that what the Golden Rule says - to treat others the way you want to be treated? Don't you want to be treated with respect? Because if you do, then you need to treat other people the same way.«
Chuck was flabbergasted. His son had never spoken to him this way before.
»Of course I need to treat other people with respect,« he said. »And I do. But that doesn't mean I need to agree with their beliefs and support their lifestyles. There is a difference, you know.«
»Is there?« Matt asked. »Is there really? Can you really say you accept and respect someone if you label their beliefs wrong and call their lifestyle immoral? Think about it, Dad. It just doesn't make sense. How can you call yourself a Christian and be so intolerant? Isn't that exactly what the Bible tells us not to be?«
»You don't understand, Matt,« Chuck continued. »It's not being intolerant to tell people what the Bible says about their lifestyle. You've heard me say it before, Son: 'Hate the sin but love the sinner.' That's all I'm trying to say.«
Matt shook his head. »What a cop-out, Dad. You're being totally self-righteous and judgmental. You sound just like one of those Pharisees in the Bible that Jesus was always getting mad at. If someone's lifestyle or beliefs don't line up with yours, you're right and they're wrong. If that's not being intolerant, than I don't know what is!« Turning toward his mother, who stood open mouthed besides them, Matt declared, »I can't believe it. My own dad's a bigot!« He threw down his rake and stormed into the house.«
Taken from the book "The New Tolerance" pp 12, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS
In the above account, the son mentions the "Golden Rule" in his accusing question:
»But isn't that what Christianity is really about? Loving and accepting
people the way they are? Isn't that what the Golden Rule says - to treat others the way you want to
Now this may have been a helpful approach in earlier times, but in our own day it is
completely out of place. Let us just imagine that one of these homosexuals should want to indulge in
homosexual "nymphomania", and that the men in his district, as is the way with gays, should
proceed to "make him happy". Based on this Golden Rule of "treating others the way you want to
be treated", he would then also necessarily be entitled to make all the men he encounters "happy"
in the same way. In a halfway normal environment, he would probably reap more kicks in the "seat
of happiness" – his butt – than ever before. And are we really to suppose that this should be
a universal Christian principle?
This shows the great danger that Christians in our time run, especially Christian parents, if they are not prepared to find adequate answers to questions like this – by answering in a logical way, but at the same time with complete openness and rigor when necessary. In the above account the father, Chuck, would have had a good opportunity of explaining the situation rather more clearly to his 16-year-old son Matt, when the latter comments:
»All you said,« Matt interrupted, »was that people shouldn't have the
right to live and believe however they please. But isn't that what Christianity is really about?
Loving and accepting people the way they are?«
This is the old trick of trying to persuade Christians that they must love and accept all human beings – even if they are serial killers, fraudsters, child abusers or some other kind of criminal. At this point the father should have taken issue with his son – he might for example have advanced the following argument:
"So you think that people have the right to do what they like and
believe what they like. Then please just imagine the following situation. Suppose you were abducted
at the age of three, and the man who kidnapped you raped you (just a week ago, in December 2011,
a crime like this was reported in the media). And for no other reason than that this is the kind
of thing he ‘likes’ to do.
It just was his ‘sexual orientation’ to rape small boys. And so that you know what this really involves (because a lot of people think it is just ‘play’ and don’t form any exact picture of it), when a grown man rapes a small boy three years of age, he forces his penis into the child’s anus, tearing the skin and perhaps even the intestine so that the child screams in terrible pain.
So if this had happened to you, would you still take the view that this man has the right to live in any way that he likes? Would you still take the view that ‘sexual orientation’ is a private matter and should be left to the individual? And would you then still be accusing me of bigotry because I see this man as a perverted criminal who deserves to be punished?
And for your information – because perhaps you haven’t thought about it much before – in the case of homosexual men (gays, that is), the ‘procedure’ is completely identical, apart from the fact that it happens quite voluntarily, and the anal opening is larger, so it doesn’t result in injury."
This, then, would have been an appropriate response – to which his son would not
easily have found a reply. But what does the father do here? Instead of demonstrating courage as a
Christian, he defends himself: »Of course I need to treat other people with respect«, »You don't
understand, Matt«, »Hate the sin but love the sinner« - Anyone who claims really to love the
child abusers we have been talking about must either be a hypocritical liar, or have perverse
And here there may, perhaps, be a not inconsiderable number of brethren in the Christian congregations who would be inclined to take exception to the explanations above. "You just don’t say / can’t write that kind of thing, you can’t say it in so many words..." and so on. Let me tell such people that it is precisely this attitude of theirs – which turns a blind eye to reality and tries to sweep the truth under the carpet – which is responsible for their children’s getting into the clutches of worldly impostors who tell them that such perversities are a matter of "sexual orientation" which every individual should be free to live out in practice.
I am well aware that at this point some gay or lesbian "brothers and sisters" (of whom unfortunately some are to be found in a number of evangelical congregations!) will accuse me of discrimination. This would not be the first time that such people have classified this website as "hostile to gays" and warned people to stay away from it. But we have to make it clear to superstitious and superficial people in the congregations that they need to demonstrate a greater degree of civil courage in this context – above all, that they should spend more time reading the Bible for themselves, in order to find out what it really says on the subject.
They burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts.
Rom 1,22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 1,23 and
exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of
birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 1,24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts
of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 1,25 For they
exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the
Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 1,26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading
passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 1,27 and
in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire
toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the
due penalty of their error. Rom 1,22-27;
The new tolerance.
For some time now people have been preaching – all
over the world and at all levels – about the
new tolerance. In itself a laudable objective, in recent years
this attitude of mind has nonetheless turned around into its
opposite. Instead of integrating unfairly marginalized persons and
attitudes in society, various groups have taken advantage of this
favorable opportunity in order to raise their own views – which in
the past were quite rightly rejected – into a standard.
The push is on
With the Supreme Court Hearings last week on homosexual unions – and Obama’s own endorsement – Jews are at the forefront in promoting ‘gay’ marriage.
Jewish leaders like billionaire’s Sheldon Adelson, Michael Bloomberg, and Marc Stern of the American Jewish Committee, have all come out in favor of what has traditionally been looked upon as sexual depravity.
Even Elena Kagan at the Supreme Court, yes, Jewish, an alleged lesbian at that, is reportedly known for "queerifying Harvard" when Dean of the Law School by introducing "transgender law courses"
Two Jewish groups in particular: The Anti-Defamation League, together with the American Federation of Teachers, have been promoting the homosexual agenda in our public schools.
Books like Daddy’s New Roommate, (Ken), Daddy’s Wedding, (Daddy marries Ken), King and King, are part of the ADL’s Early Learning Program, molding the minds of impressionable little children to accept and embrace deviant sexual acts.
But Jews prefer sending their kids to private schools. It gives their children better standing for admittance to Ivy-League colleges and shields them from homosexual propaganda.
Believe me, for I grew up as a Jew, for a Jewish son or daughter to announce to their parents that they are ‘gay’ is one of the worst things that could ever happen.
You see, Jews look upon marriage for their own as sacrosanct, as paramount for the perpetuity of the Jewish race.
[Clip: "I’m going to tell you the most important thing you have to remember, about all that I learned in the world this is it, no matter what happens you marry a Jewish girl." [audience laughs] "That’s right, your mother was right. You marry a Jewish boy. There’s nothing more important in the whole than this. And there’s another reason you better marry a Jewish girl. So you mother doesn’t break both your legs."]
Indeed according to my own Jewish upbringing, there’s nothing ‘gay’ about two men having sex in each other’s rectums and two women using dildos to imitate the act of procreation.
And we heard during the Sabbath Torah Readings the passage from Leviticus, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, it is an abomination, saith the Lord."
Why then are Jews pushing gay marriage? It’s for the Goys, that’s why.
I’ll never forget the day that a ‘gay’ movie came to Brookline Mass. with homosexual images plastered all over the marquis.
As I stood across the street in disgust, a Hasidic rabbi came walking by.
I pointed to the movie and said, "Isn’t it horrid that we’re assaulted with these lewd images and titles?"
The rabbi laughed and scorned and said, "It’s for the Goys! Who cares!"
You see, Jews have no special love for queens, transvestites, and cross-dressers. They look upon them as "dreck"…as repulsive.
But to dismantle a Christian culture in America that opposes Jewry, that’s what the Jews are after.
Homosexuality is for the Goys! But the Regime is for the Jews.
Real Jew News - Brother Nathanael
Child adoption by homosexuals?
When it comes to the adoption of children by gay
and lesbian couples, the crucial question in a culturally advanced
society must always be the welfare of the child. Every child has a
natural human right to a father and a mother. The two sexes have
completely different characteristics, which are both important to
the welfare of children as they grow up and indispensable for the
formation of their character.
The Deutsches Ärzteblatt [German Medical Journal] is an official organ of
the German medical profession. It comes out weekly, each edition selling more than 400,000
copies. In the online edition, aerzteblatt.de (Dtsch. Ärztebl. 2011; 108 (37): A
1898-1902), the journal reported some while ago about the current status of "theory and
research in relation to the sexual abuse of children". The author of the article is the
former director of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft [Sexual Science Institute] at the
University Clinic of the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Professor Volkmar Sigusch.
Professor Sigusch is an academic with a global reputation. And here he practically offers
pedophiles – adults, that is to say, who are sexually attracted to children and young
people – a free whitewash. He writes: "A person who has pedophile tendencies can’t do
anything about it, any more than someone who desires grown women. Moreover his desire has an
emotional function, in that it checks or obverts an unconscious conflict which threatens the
integrity of the person, perhaps by causing states of severe depression... Pedophilia means,
after all, that this person only feels happy and safe when his more or less unconscious
longing for his own childhood, which he experiences as having been lost, is filled up with
children, with the life of a child."
From these observations it emerges that in Professor Sigusch’s view the only real hope for pedophiles is that they should live out their sexual tendencies. Preventive therapy would hardly be likely to yield results. "If pedophiles undergoing therapy choose to refrain from realizing their sexual inclinations, this must be seen as a lucky exception." Such "lucky exceptions", he adds, are almost invariably patients "with high standards of morality and with religious beliefs". According to Sigusch, the "neosexual revolution" of recent decades "has resulted in many practices formerly seen as perverse being viewed in a more tolerant light by the general public – but not pedophilia. This is one of the last sexual tabus..." Although Sigusch makes it plain that there is an unbridgeable and yawning abyss between child sexuality and the sexuality of an adult, his observations are specifically aimed at encouraging a more tolerant evaluation of pedophilia in the medical profession, which after all amounts to an important sector of society.
Based on a similar pattern, homosexuality was declared socially acceptable back in the seventies. In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of psychological disorders. Since then the homosexual lifestyle has become increasingly acceptable in the so-called Christian West.
One of the key figures involved in that decision was Professor of Psychiatry Robert L. Spitzer. In an interview with a German pediatrician, Dr. Christl R. Vonhold, the American made it clear that the classification of a condition as a psychological disorder is very much dependent on the way in which society evaluates "aberrant functions". As society has increasingly come to accept homosexuality, this would no longer be a psychological disorder as it had been before 1973. We could imagine similar developments taking place in relation to pedophilia. Sigusch writes: "In a truly liberal society, the pedophile would be able to admit openly to his desires; but even then, he could not be allowed to live them out in practice. All the same, we would be able to understand the tragedy of these people – who all their lives are compelled to refrain from what they most want to do, even when it is within their reach."
TOPIC Information Service / Subscriptions: RZS, Walbergraben 1, D-35614 Asslar, GERMANY.
The phraseology of the worthy professor at the end of this extract – "the
tragedy of these people, who all their lives are compelled to refrain from what they most want
to do, even when it is within their reach" – rather reminds me of the "tragedy" of a
bank robber being compelled to make a payment by a standard procedure at his local branch and so
having to "refrain from what he most wants to do, even when it is within his reach" –
getting his hands on all the money in the bank.
For him, too, it would no doubt be a "real help" if he could live out his tendencies, and in a "truly liberal society", finally, he would be able "to admit openly to his desires" - ?? Now I have laid myself open to the charge of being a hater of pedophiles and child abusers – and that in despite of the fact that sanctimonious blabbermouths would like to apply the word of the Lord about loving our enemies to all the criminals of the world. Well, never mind.
(See also Discourse 75: "Must Christians love
But let us get back to the book we are commenting on, "The New Tolerance"
– in which the two authors, John McDowell and Bob Hostetler, suggest a strategy whereby this
new tolerance can be put in its place. And here, in fact, they engage with this very topic of
the love of God and love of our fellow human beings.
(…) Similarly we can know the true value of our fellow human beings by
looking at how much God value them. God showed his great love for everyone of us by sending
Christ to redeem us with his life (Rom 5:10). This loving act ought to inspire an outpouring
of love and respect and acceptance in us toward our fellow human beings. We know the true
value of every man, woman and child among us -regardless of their faults or foibles, their
beliefs or behaviors, their sins or shortcomings - because God let us see how much he values
them by sending his only Son to die a cruel death to save them.
To love others as Christ loved us means to recognize their infinite and intrinsic value as human beings altogether apart from their beliefs, behavior, lifestyle or truth claims. Whether a person lives a life of virtue or vice, he or she is nonetheless made in the image of God, a priceless soul for whom Christ died. Whatever they look like, whatever they believe, whatever they do, whatever their lifestyle may be, every human being is of immeasurable worth. And if we love as Christ loved us, we will accept and respect others on that basis.
Taken from the book "The New Tolerance" pp 88, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS
Although the authors make out that their book takes issue with the new
tolerance, the above passage clearly shows that they have themselves fallen into the trap of
this trend. How can we understand it otherwise, when they say in the above extract:
"Whatever they (our fellow human beings) look like, whatever
they believe, whatever they do, whatever their lifestyle may be, every human being is of
immeasurable worth. And if we love as Christ loved us, we will accept and respect others on that
These surely are the very same views which we find in the above story, where the
son Matt defends this new tolerance – the freedom to act just however one likes – and
accuses his father of bigotry accordingly: the view, in short, that all human beings "should
have the right to believe anything and live in whatever way they choose".
And then here again a big thing is made of God’s great love for all human beings, from which the authors conclude that Christians too should love all human beings. But this is to overlook the fact that while God’s love may be great, it is not so great as to forgive the sins of the whole of humanity! This is the result of sloppy reading of the gospel. People completely overlook the fact that Christ would not have had to die if God’s love had been so great, so practically "infinite" as it were, as to forgive all human beings for all their sins. On the contrary, God’s absolute justice calls for a sacrifice, a just punishment, for every sin on the part of human beings. And this justice of God’s takes priority. It is absolute, and so greater than God’s love.
The love of God now consists in the fact that he sent his only begotten son, who gave his life as the vicarious sacrifice for the sins of all human beings. And with this sacrifice God’s justice was satisfied. But when we are told in the above passage that we too should love all human beings as Christ loved them – "however they look, whatever they may believe (!!), whatever they do, whatever their lifestyle may be like" – this testifies yet again to total ignorance of the gospel. Let us just take another look, for instance, at what the Lord said to the Jewish scribes and Pharisees who did not believe in him:
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?
Mt 23,27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For
you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside
they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 23,28 "So you, too, outwardly
appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 23,29
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and
adorn the monuments of the righteous, 23,30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our
fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’
23,31 "So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the
prophets. 23,32 "Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 23,33
"You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? Mt
You are of your father the devil.
Jn 8,43 "Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is
because you cannot hear My word.
8,44 "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Jn 8,43-44;
Here we see that Christ by no means loved those others who did not believe in
him, and this shows us as a result how we too should judge such people. He told them to their
face that they were sons of the devil and that they were going to hell. Anyone who speaks of
love here is just as much of a hypocrite as, based on these words of our Lord, the scribes and
Pharisees were, and so is likewise a son of the devil.
But now we are told in the extract quoted above – again in complete ignorance of the background – that "This loving act (the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross) ought to inspire an outpouring of love and respect and acceptance in us toward our fellow human beings (!)" (my italics, FH). And here again the reference is to all our fellow human beings, "however they look, whatever they may believe (!!), whatever they do, whatever their lifestyle may be like".
Anyone who knows the gospel is aware that this redeeming sacrifice of the Son of God did indeed create the essential basis for the salvation of human beings. But it isn’t quite as simple as the two authors, in the above passage, are inclined to assume. As countless biblical passages tell us, human beings are not "automatically" saved by the death of the Lord, as our authors insinuate. This is something that people also frequently fail to mention in their evangelization efforts – that human beings must first be converted and come to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and must avail themselves personally of this redeeming sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins.
He who believes in the Son has eternal life.
Jn 3,36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life;
but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
1Jn 5,12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have
the Son of God does not have the life. 1Jn 5,12;
Jn 11,25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the
life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 11,26 and everyone who lives and
believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" Jn 11,25-26;
Jn 12,44 And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in
Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. Jn 12,44;
Jn 12,46 "I have come as Light into the world, so that
everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. 12,47 "If anyone hears My
sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but
to save the world. Jn 12,46-47;
As the first passage above tells us at once, it is not "every man, every
woman, all our fellow human beings" who are saved by this "loving act", but only those
human beings who come to faith in Jesus Christ and actually accept this "loving act" as the
vicarious sacrifice for their sins. And as this passage from John likewise states, all those
many others who do not believe will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on them. This
means that they will go to damnation.
So there is nothing here to suggest that Christians should love "the others" or even "all human beings". The statement refers only to believers, to our brethren in Christ. Of course we are expected to love them. But to offer that as a counter-argument for the new tolerance – in connection with anti-Christians, homosexuals and other godless persons – is not just absurd, it also reveals the authors’ lack of understanding of these statements of our Lord’s.
Finally the authors’ assertion that "whether a person lives a life of virtue or vice, he or she is nonetheless made in the image of God, a priceless soul for whom Christ died" is not just nonsense based on any human and moral criteria, it is also in flat contradiction of the gospel. Christ died for those who convert to him, who come to believe in him, who repent and accept his sacrifice for their sins. Even if they are created in the image of God, the others have rejected the spirit of God and will not see eternal life – the wrath of God abides on them. To love them would be to cast the pearls of our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross to the swine.
They are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame.
Phil 3,18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you
even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 3,19 whose end is
destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds
on earthly things. Phil 3,18-19;
And as was only to be expected, this topic then leads on to a discussion of the
love of one’s neighbor.
(…) An expert in religious law once asked Jesus, »Which is the most
important commandment in the law of Moses?« Jesus replied, »'You must love the Lord your
God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest
commandment« (Mat 22:36-38). The first commandment Jesus quoted appears in the sixth
chapter of Deuteronomy. Moses declared to all the people, »Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our
God, the Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all
your soul and with all your might« (Deut 6:4-5). Jesus was declaring that putting God first
as the only one true God in our lives and loving him completely was the greatest
Twentieth-century Christians have done a fair job of preaching that message to the culture of new tolerance. »Hear, O culture of new tolerance! The Lord is our God,« we proudly proclaim. »Then Lord is the one and only absolute truth!« If only our relativistic culture would hear our proclamation and acknowledge the one true God.
But notice that Jesus didn't stop here. His answer to the religious leaders was not yet complete. After he quoted Deut 6,4-5, he said, »A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the other commandments and all the demand of the prophets are based on these two commandments« (Mat 22:39-40). It is just here that we Christians had misunderstood what real love is and thus failed to respond adequately to the challenge of the new tolerance. But it is also here that we can find the power to diffuse the new tolerance and make a Christlike mark on this culture
What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself? We might answer, »Put others first,« or »Treat others the way you want to be treated.« And I'm sure it includes that. However, it means much more. I have found that the following concise definition pg Christlike love has helped me to understand how to love others as I love myself: In very basic terms, Christian love is making the health, happiness and spiritual growth of another person as important to you as your own.
Taken from the book "The New Tolerance" pp 89, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS
In Mt 22,39 it is written: "The second (commandment) is like it, ‘YOU SHALL
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF’. And here once again our two authors fall into the tolerance
trap, by equating the term "our neighbor" with "all human beings" and asserting that "It
is just here that we Christians had misunderstood what real love is". This is presumably once
again designed to imply that we, as Christians, should love all human beings. But there is no
explanation given – either in the biblical passage, or in the authors’ book – of who this
neighbor of ours actually is. Only in the parable of the Good Samaritan does the Lord explain
what is really meant by the term.
Here, then, is the parable in full:
The good Samaritan.
Lk 10,25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test,
saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 10,26 He said to him,
"What is written in the law? How do you read?" 10,27 And he answered, "You shall
love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength,
and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." 10,28 And he said to him,
"You have answered right; do this, and you will live."
10,29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 10,30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
10,31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 10,32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 10,33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, 10,34 and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 10,35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’
10,36 Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" 10,37 He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." Lk 10,25-37;
Just as the obligation of Christians to forgive guilt is frequently generalized,
being understood as an obligation on all Christians to forgive everybody "automatically" and
without being asked to do so, so here too the Lord’s statement about our "neighbor" in his
parable of the Good Samaritan gets stood on its head, consciously or unconsciously, so that it
asserts the exact opposite of what the Lord actually said.
(See also Discourse 18: "Forgiveness: God’s
and the Christian’s business?")
In this parable the lawyer asks the Lord, at the beginning of the passage (Lk
10,29): "And who is my neighbor?" And at the end of the parable (Lk 10,36) the Lord
now asks the lawyer the question: "Which of the three (priest, Levite, Samaritan) proved
neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" And the lawyer answers, "The one who
showed mercy on him." And Jesus says to him, "Go and do likewise."
The neighbor, then, of the man who fell among the robbers is the one who showed mercy on him. So it is the Samaritan who is the neighbor of the man who was assaulted, and according to the second commandment the victim of the assault is expected to love him (the Samaritan) as himself.
So the neighbors of a Christian are not "the others", "the poor" or even all human beings on this planet. Rather they are exclusively those people who have helped us at difficult times in the course of our lives. These are our neighbors in accordance with this commandment of the Lord, whom we must therefore love as we love ourselves!!
And here we can also see the difference between this point of view and the secularized understanding of the passage. Whereas the latter tries – turning the literal sense back to front – to give the impression that in this parable the victim of the assault is the neighbor of the Samaritan, and so postulates that poor people all over the world are the "neighbors" of Christians, the Lord is here referring, first of all, to quite personal help in our immediate environment, and secondly he is enjoining those who have received such help to love their helpers "as themselves".
So based on the words of the Lord in this parable, the commandment to love our neighbor means we should love people who have helped us and show them our love, in just the same way as they have shown their love through the fact that they have helped us. So love of one’s neighbor is not a category of compassion, but one of gratitude. It may be assumed that for Christians it can be taken for granted that we should help people who need our help. But we do not have a commandment to love these people as we love ourselves.
Love of our neighbor.
Like the incorrect interpretation of the "least
of my brothers" in Mat 25,40, the complete reversal of the biblical concept of
"love of our neighbor" by churches, preachers and aid organizations is one of the
biggest deceptions, practiced with a view to stimulating compassion in credulous
contemporaries and accumulating funds from donations with minimum effort.
So that is what this parable of the Lord Jesus tells us. And it also says – if some one comes to you personally or you meet them personally and they ask you personally for your help or you see that they are personally in need of help, then, as a correctly believing Christian, you should personally help them. And they should then love you (based on Mt 22,39) personally out of gratitude, in the same way as they love themselves.
Anyone who doesn’t take this to heart is
supporting the godless, idol worshipers, criminals and terrorists!
Now this is something quite different from those charity campaigns
for refugees whom we never get to know, and who do not have any idea who has helped
them. And in this context most of the money is not spent on the refugees themselves,
but goes to the salaries, logistical operations and other expenses of these "aid
(…)The approach I am suggesting does not negate one-on-one evangelism;
that is just as relevant as ever. Neither is it a substitute for teaching the truth; I have
dedicated my life telling the world the truth. What I am suggesting is a complement to
"initiative evangelism", and the platform from which the truth can be miore
effectively told. As Professor John D. Woodbridge has suggested:
"We must remember that we serve a triune God who loves sinners: »For God so loved the world, thatb he gave his one and only Son.« This familiar verse (John 3,16) reviews a marvelous display of God's salvific love. For »The world« we could substitute »the rapist«, »the homosexual«, »the adulterer«, »the secular humanist«, »the capitalist robber baron«, »the militarist war monger«. God really loves these people. He loved them so much that he gave his only begotten Son for them. And we are to love them as well, even while we know that sin is truly grievous for God (Pss. 5,6-7; 7,11; Malachi 1,3)." (Professor John D. Woodbridge)
Taken from the book "The New Tolerance" pp 102, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS
The misapplication of a biblical quotation generally shows in the fact that a verse is torn out of its relevant context, or else the author deliberately avoids quoting the passage in its entirety. The latter is the case here. The wording of the verse Jn 3,16 in its entirety is as follows:
Jn 3,16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Jn
And when we look at the complete verse, we can see at once why the author has
suppressed the second half of it – it might upset his understanding of "God who loves all
sinners" if we were able to read that only those who believe in the Son have eternal life.
Based on the most recent estimates, out of the 7 billion people on this planet one percent at
most are genuine, saved believers in Christ. This means that around 6.93 billion people do not
believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and their Redeemer, and are going to hell. These are
the people whom God does not love, and whom our author is evidently trying in his embarrassment
to sweep under the carpet.
As a biblical proof of this, we have the Lord’s parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32). In this parable the father stands for God; the son who spent his inheritance and abandoned his father is the sinner who squanders his talents far away from God. Only when the son had used up all his money did he return to his father in contrition, saying "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son." And the father then welcomed him joyfully.
As the Lord shows us here, the father did not make any attempt to seek out his son, still less ask him to come back, as some preachers would have us believe of God. God does not seek anyone out. Quite on the contrary, human beings must seek God, and then God allows himself to be found (Ps 14:2; Ps 69:33; Rom 3:11). As with the father and the son in the parable, God gives human beings complete freedom. There is no compulsion with God. Human beings can freely decide for themselves. And they are perfectly free to turn away from God, as the majority of human beings do. But if they turn back from their path of unbelief and convert to Jesus Christ, then they can be sure of the love of God. For he who does not have the Son of God does not have the Father either.
So the question suggests itself here why some preachers persist in spreading untruths of this kind in the Christian congregations, even when they surely must know that what they are saying is not true. And there is a very simple answer to this question. These people write books, give sermons and organize seminars – all in return for a fee. And as we know, a positive message is easier to sell than the information that 6.93 billion people, just out of those living today, are going to hell.
And the good professor goes on, in his sermon, to say: "For ‘the world’ we could substitute the rapist, the homosexual, the adulterer, the secular humanist, the capitalist robber baron, the militarist warmonger. God really loves these people."
(See also Discourse 99: "The Last Judgment:
who are "these brothers of Mine, even the least of them" in Mt 25,40?")
Does God really love rapists, homosexuals, adulterers and robbers? This is
similar to Satan’s assertion in the Garden of Eden in Gen 3,4: "The serpent said to the
woman: ‘You surely will not die!’" This statement was correct in so far as Satan was
speaking here of the first, physical death. But what the serpent did not reveal to Adam and Eve
is that when God commanded them in Gen 2,17, "But from the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die," he was
referring not to the first but to the second death – that of going to damnation after the
resurrection and the Judgment.
(See also Excursus 08: "The first and the
We are told about this second death in the Revelation of John, 21,8: "But for
the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and
idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone,
which is the second death." And here we can now really include »the rapist«, »the
homosexual«, »the adulterer«, »the secular humanist«, »the capitalist robber baron«,
»the militarist warmonger« etc. etc. All these people will be going to hell together, to the
lake of fire, if they do not convert.
So we can see that God loves such persons only if they have decided to come to believe in his Son. That is to say, if they turn back from their sins, repent and accept the Son’s vicarious sacrifice for their sins. Then they will experience the love of God. Not before. But seeing that statements like this might be detrimental to the "conversion statistics" of such preachers, they keep quiet about the fact that these former criminals only become saved Christians once they have converted. But then, of course, we too are obliged to love them.
All other people who do not believe in Christ will not see eternal life, but the wrath of God abides on them. They are enemies of God, and to love them would be tantamount to denying the sacrifice of our Lord on the cross.
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father.
1Jn 2,23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father;
the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 1Jn 2,23;
Jn 15,23 "He who hates Me hates My Father also. Jn 15,23;
No one comes to the Father but through Me.
Jn 14,6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth,
and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.Jn 14, 6;
The Biblical Trinity
There is just the one and only God in his three
authorities: God the Father as the legislative authority, comparable
with the legislature in human society; the Holy Spirit as the
authority of execution, similar to the political executive arm; and
the Son of God as the judicial authority, like the court of justice.
God has given human beings the law and the commandments (Ex 24:12),
the Holy Spirit registers the extent to which people observe them,
but only intervenes when human actions might otherwise contravene
God’s plan (2Thess 2:7), and the Son of God will judge every
single human being (Jn 5:22) at the Last
Of course we cannot generalize on the basis of the examples given in
the book considered here – above all in view of the fact that the two authors
wrote this book as long as 13 years ago (in 1998). All the same, it is scary to find
to what lengths hatred of Christians in the USA had gone even then. When a cross is
exhibited as an attraction in the urine of an "artist", when a child on a school
bus is no longer allowed to read the Bible and Christian seminars are banned at
universities, these cannot any longer just be isolated initiatives – such
attitudes must have the support of broad sectors of the population.
"And any person who no longer believes in absolute
truth will lose his or her moral compass, his or her ability to distinguish between
right and wrong. And the child - or adult - who cannot distinguish right from wrong
will be powerless to resist temptation and choose right." (pp 23)
It may well be true that the world tries to rob us Christians of faith in the absolute truth, the moral compass. But instead of bemoaning this, we should focus first and foremost on the Bible. Even if we have to read the Bible in our own secret chamber, it is the Bible that is our moral compass, not the world. But here again, right from the start, we are faced with an attitude which can be traced all the way through the book like a red thread. The authors fail to see the situation from a Christian and biblical point of view, seeing it rather with the eyes of the world. So they tell us:
"In a culture where the new tolerance reigns, you and
your children will be increasingly pressured to keep quiet about your faith... and
to feel inferior because of it. You and your children will be expected to keep 'your
morality' private. You and your children will be barred from juries and banned from
public forums, because your opinions colored as they are by religion, will be
considered 'prejudiced'" (p 60)
So our authors are complaining here about the fact that they are barred from worldly juries. But what correctly believing Christian would ever cherish such a desire of serving on a worldly jury?! And again – of course the opinions of Christians will be colored by their religion. That doesn’t come into question at all! Or are the authors revealing a different opinion in a worldly context? This worldly point of view is again to be detected in the following extract, especially through the authors’ use of the pronoun "we". Here they are clearly identifying with the worldly side, rather than standing on the Christian side of the dividing line.
"With few exceptions we now establish our standards
and judge morality according to a far more flexible concept of truth, one that
suggests that there are no absolutes - that all truth is relative and subjective;
right and wrong differ from person to person and from culture to culture. Such a
view is reflected in such oft-heard statements as »No one has the right to tell me
what's right or wrong«" (p 55)
"We" – if they are referring here to us Christian believers
– establish our standards in accordance with the concept of the Bible. Never mind
what the world may have to say about it. But this is just the problem of the
authors, it seems – they cannot cut themselves off from the attractions of the
worldly sphere, and so behave like small children who are indignant because they are
not allowed to play with the others in the sandpit.
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
1Cor 5,11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate
with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater,
or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a one. 5,12 For
what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the
church? 5,13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked
man from among yourselves. 1Cor 5,11-13;
And the Lord too tells us, in the passage below (Mt 18,15-17), that we should exclude those of the brethren who deviate from the right path and do not want to convert – like unregenerate homosexuals, for instance – from the congregation and treat them like "Gentiles and tax collectors" – the same class of persons whom Paul designates as "outsiders" in the passage above.
If he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector
Mt 18,15 "If your brother sins, go and show him
his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 18,16
"But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by
tghe mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 18,17 "If he
refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen
even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Mt
In parallel to the many correct statements made by the two authors
of this book, we can also detect throughout a dangerous trend which has also become
increasingly evident in Europe in recent years. At first glance it is almost
imperceptible, and Christians with little knowledge of the Bible who lack
discrimination may completely fail to notice it. On the contrary, they will find
this "new faith" positive and edifying.
(See also Message: "A
Shocking "Confession" from Willow Creek Community Church.")
When Professor Woodbridge, in his comments quoted earlier, observes:
"For »The world« we could substitute »the rapist«,
»the homosexual«, »the adulterer«, »the secular humanist«, »the capitalist
robber baron«, »the militarist war monger«. God really loves these people." (p
- this gives the impression that God loves the criminals of the
whole world. Never mind what they do or how they act, they are God’s "favorites"
and their place is in heaven. And what about the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus
Christ? On this view, it was not needed at all. In his efforts to offer God’s love
at the cheapest possible price – indeed, absolutely free of charge – this man
suppresses the obvious fact that God does not love all these criminals. On the
contrary, as Paul tells us in the verse Rom 5:10 (quoted earlier by Professor
Woodbridge himself), until their conversion – if they do convert at all – they
are God’s enemies and his wrath abides on them, until such time as they convert,
renounce and repent all their crimes and decide for faith in the Son of God.
As a proof, however, that even in the USA there are correctly believing
preachers capable of highlighting this very issue of false doctrine in the congregations in
exemplary fashion and explaining it in an approachable way, we would like to draw attention here
to a link provided by a visitor to this site, leading to a video on Godtube:
Hell’s Best Kept Secret, why modern evangelism often fails.
Dear Mr. Horak, many thanks for your many excellent texts leading to an
improved and deepened understanding of the gospel.
In relation to your last two discourses (Discourse 110, Discourse 111), I would like to make two remarks. In Discourse 110 you write: "God does not seek anyone out." I understand what you are trying to say, and agree with you. God certainly does not go pleading, begging and desperately seeking human beings even if they are unrepentant murderers, adulterers or idolaters, on the basis of the supposed fact that he loves them infinitely.
Possibly, however, someone is going to bring up Lk 19,1-10 as a counterargument:
Lk 19,1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house." And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Lk 19,1-10
Of course Zaccheus is not an unrepentant murderer, an adulterer or an idolater, and he is seeking Jesus on his own account. All those people who are unwilling to convert are merely admonished by God in the words, "The Kingdom of God has come near" (Lk 10,11). (...)
Ingmar Bauer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you for your visit to Immanuel.at and for your comments!
I was pleased by your comments, not just because they show your knowledge of the scriptures, but also because you actually quote the relevant biblical passages in support of your argument (which is only very rarely the case, I am sorry to say, with visitors’ comments on this site).
But to consider your questions.
You refer to my observation in Discourse 110: "God does not seek anyone out. Quite on the contrary, human beings must seek God, and then God allows himself to be found (Ps 14:2; Ps 69:33; Rom 3:11)." And you then quote our Lord’s statement in Lk 19,10, where he says, "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
Apart from the parallel passages which I referred to in connection with my observation, and which serve to confirm the latter, the history of Zaccheus the tax collector which you quote is in fact the best possible explanation of this point of view. Zaccheus sought out the Lord. He even climbed a tree, so as to have a better chance of seeing him. And he received the Lord joyfully in his house and did penance, in that he promised to pay back all the money he had acquired unjustly. So it was Zaccheus who was doing the seeking.
When the Lord then says that he has come to seek and to save that which was lost, this can also be explained on the basis of this incident. When Zaccheus saw the Lord in the crowd, there must have been a whole lot of inquisitive people on the street. But apart from Zaccheus, there evidently wasn’t anyone among them who was seeking God. And so no one else was visited by the Lord apart from Zaccheus. Which in my view is also the way we should interpret the Lord’s statement here – the Lord comes to seek people who are seeking God. Human beings must first seek God, and then God will let himself be found.
Not to mention the fact that according to Scripture, God has no need of seeking out human beings because in his omniscience he has already recognized, chosen and predestined to adoption as sons (Eph 1:3-6) all those who would in their lives decide for God / for the redeeming sacrifice of his Son, even before the foundation of the world – and has written their names in the "Book of Life". (This passage is unfortunately used by the Calvinists, incorrectly, as an argument for their ‘arbitrary’ selection of human beings by God.)
(See also Discourse 100: "Johannes Calvin:
True and False Predestination."
This selection’s having already taken place is likewise the reason why the
Lord prays to the Father in Jn 17,9-10: "I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the
world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are
Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them."
But the names of these chosen ones which have been entered in the "Book of Life" can certainly be deleted from it again (Ex 32:32-33; Ps 69:29; Rev 13:8). In which case they too would be lost.
(See also Discourse 62: "When will the names
of the righteous be entered in the book of life?"