None of five lost explorers in the large, dark cavern knew which of many openings led to light and freedom. They agreed to follow separate tunnels to the end of each and then return to the main cavern until all the possibilities were explored. A short time later, loud shouting drew the other four explorers back to the main cavern. "I've found the light, the way out ... it is this tunnel," shouted the fifth explorer excitedly, pointing towards a small opening in the corner of the cavern.
"Did you bring any light back with you? How can we be certain?" asked one skeptic. Another chimed in, "I did not reach the end of my tunnel yet, like we agreed. I think mine may really be the way out." A third declared, "there are so many tunnels and we have only partially investigated a few. It is too premature to settle on just one already." The excited explorer was exasperated. "But, I've seen the light -- it is down this tunnel!" The leader of the expedition spoke up, "that's a pretty dogmatic and narrow-minded attitude. After all, there are five of us here and a lot of tunnels. The only fair way to settle this is by majority vote." The now frustrated explorer reluctantly agreed, "that certainly sounds fair ..... but this is the way out." "You are so intolerant," replied a voice in the dark.
"Okay, it's settled, let's vote," the leader continued. "How many think we should explore all the possibilities, including the tunnels in which we have already invested time and effort?" Four voices replied in unison, "I do." "That would seem to settle it," he said in a condescending voice, "but we must be absolutely fair and unbiased. How many think we should limit our thinking and efforts to one person's tunnel and viewpoint?" The excited explorer shouted, "me!" "Well, now that we've all had a chance to express our opinions, let's get on with our initial plan," declared the leader. "But, but," sputtered the excited explorer. "The matter has been fairly settled!" the leader thundered. As the explorers returned to their tunnels, the no longer excited explorer muttered under his breath, "There is no point returning to my tunnel. I already told them what was down there and nobody believed me." He then headed off down a larger, unexplored tunnel in another direction.
This illustration sounds preposterous, but it aptly describes the 'open minded' attitude of much of today's world. In the sacred name of 'tolerance,' the world quickly renounces any concept of absolute truth as narrow minded or dogmatic. Even many Christians are persuaded that 'Christ alone' or 'Only Christianity' is too narrow-minded, and avoids these things in the company of the lost. Like Pilate, the world asks, "what is truth?" Not wanting to appear intolerant, some Christians meekly attach an "open-minded disclaimer" to every socially unpopular Bible teaching. From that position, many Christians grow hesitant and uncertain when the world demands that they overwhelmingly squash any whimsical test or question anyone might devise ... "to prove that Christianity is true."
God's Word is true and Christ alone set the standard for living it. The role of the disciple- evangelist is to lift-up God's truth and lead the lost to Christ. If Christ and his disciples instead spent their lives and energy tearing down every lie or opposing every quirk of the human imagination, Christianity would have stalled at the Bethlehem stable door. Christianity is not an intolerant, 'in-your-face' shouting match or a "peace at any cost negotiation." It is a firm commitment to absolute, unchanging truth that refuses to wither or slink away in the face of demands for "open-minded, tolerance." Christians must choose whether to bow at the world's 'tolerance altar' or to clearly mark the path to the light and challenge the lost to follow it out of its own self-imposed darkness. (#916)