MOORE—Christians are not intolerant for sharing what they believe, Mary Jo Sharp told women attending the Women’s Emphasis at the State Evangelism Conference in Moore.
Meeting in the auditorium of Moore, First, about 400 women heard Sharp, North American Mission Board-certified apologetics instructor, address the subject of apologetics.
She said she got into apologetics because she began to doubt what she believed.
“I was concerned I didn’t have reasons to believe in God,” she confessed. “But, in studying the defense of the Gospel, I found really good answers.”
She said there is a false assumption today that “everybody has the truth.”
But, she added, Christians are labeled intolerant for proclaiming what they believe about God.
“Tolerance is more highly esteemed than truth,” she revealed. “But we are a people who are knowledgeable. We don’t have a blind faith. Our faith is not without reason.”
Sharp emphasized that truth is not tolerant or intolerant.
“Tolerance is putting up with an idea of belief you do not agree with,” she explained. “Could all religions be equally true?”
She noted that Christians say Jesus is God, but Islam says Jesus is not God.
“This is a contradiction,” she said. “This is absurd. It is absurd to ask a person to tolerate something contrary with what truth claims. Tolerance is about equality of people, not views.”
She declared that Christianity is the absolute truth about reality. God actually exists; Jesus actually exists, according to Scripture.
“Some will say all views are equally true because of the diversity of religion,” she said. “Oprah Winfrey claims there couldn’t possibly be only one way, She says, ‘I am a Christian who believes there is more than one way to God.’”
Sharp said the truth is still true whether anyone believes it or agrees with it.
“Truth matches reality,” she said. “You have the only truth. You have to share it. You have to know why you believe Jesus is Lord and Savior. Wrong ideas are enslaving mankind.”
Kelly Minter, artist/speaker from Nashville, Tenn., told the women they cannot be passionate about something they do not believe in.
“We believe God for our salvation, but we don’t believe the Gospel for the whole of our lives,” she declared. “That’s the reason we don’t share the Gospel.”
Focusing on the story of Ruth and Naomi, she said Naomi was disillusioned with God when she decided to return to her native Bethlehem and discouraged Ruth from going with her.
“If we are disillusioned with God, we are not going to talk about the Gospel,” she said. “We will not talk about the Gospel when we think God doesn’t work the way we think He should, when we don’t look to His power and provision.”
She said there are several reasons we don’t share what God has done in our lives—if we are broken; if we don’t experience a difference in our lives from those around us; if our Christianity is based on what God can do for us; if it is going to expose something in our lives we don’t want exposed, or if it costs us something.
“It is so much easier to come to church, do our time and go home,” she said.
But the story of Ruth and Naomi ends with Ruth meeting and marrying a successful man, Boaz, who has seen God manifested in his life.
“This is a testament of the grace and mercy of God,” she said. “If we haven’t experienced the radical mercy and grace and radical love of Jesus, what do we have to share?”