PilgrimWitness came back into the café, where she noticed News referring to her new friend as intolerant. Critic was still there, dogmatic as he was, causing certain tenseness in the building.

“What do you think intolerant means?” Critic began his incessant argumentation again.

News responded to the inquiry, “It is an unwillingness to be with people who don’t agree with you.”

Critic took a deep breath and was about to defend himself against the accusation before Christian interrupted him, “Stop. This is fruitless…”

Everyone sitting at the table stopped and looked at him as he continued, “You,” referring to Critic, “said that you were very interested in learning about the King.”

Critic answered, “Yeah?”

“You just spent a great amount of time defending His moral conviction, but did so in a very condescending manner,” Christian replied, “Thus, you are no better than any other person who defends any other point of view; even if you are correct.”

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Book I, Book IX

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“And what does this accusation have to do with the King?”

Christian continued, “His entire law rests on two commands, to love Him and to love people. Our first inclination toward others should not be critical observation, but genuine love.”

Critic was stupefied. He had aligned himself with the King because the King’s truth was un-doubtable. Because it was un-doubtable, it had very real power and authority in a world filled with inconsistency and with so many false notions. His critical nature got the best of him again. He turned his rhetoric toward Christian and asked, “Are you insisting that it is not right to defend what is right?”

Christian reclined and took a drink of his coffee, “I have observed that there is a group of people who align themselves with the King, but do not know him. They believe Him and submit to His rules but do not understand his love. These people spend their lives trying to please a King that they do not know and trying to force or convince others to also submit. There is another group of people who actually know the King. They seem to obey Him with joy and sincerity, not out of obligation. They have experienced the King’s love and because they have experienced the King’s love, wish to please Him.”

Critic’s question was not answered, but he saw where Christian was going, “The obedience of the first group is based in the resolve of the people and the obedience of the second group is based in the loving character of the King… How does this address my question?”

“It is simple,” Christian took another sip, “If true obedience begins with knowing the King and experiencing His love, then no person can be forced or convinced to a certain moral standard that is based in his own resolve. It is not enough for a person to simply align himself with the King. He must know the King and be loved by the King.”

Critic was speechless. Once again the King’s way had dumbfounded him. It was not simply a philosophy or a moral dictation or a set of rules to follow. It was not about deciphering the wrongs of others or the inconsistencies in the profuse number of worldviews present. It was about specifically knowing the King and being loved by the King. Everything else came after and as a result. “How can I know the King?” he asked at once.

“Follow me,” Christian said, “I will introduce you to Him.”

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