Friday, January 20, 2012

Is Tolerance Biblical?

“…in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. - 2 Peter 3:3

Today more than ever tolerance has come to mean everyone must accept anything, especially sin. Sin the Bible speaks directly against such as adultery, abortion, divorce, fornication, homosexuality, sorcery, idolatry, lying, and many others are today considered morally good in certain circles. Satan convinces the world by manipulation, lies, and deception so it will tolerate what God does not. John 3:16 used to be the most quoted verse but it seems to be replaced by “judge not lest ye be judged", although most people have no idea where it is in the Bible or in what context it was written. Tolerance has been redefined. It is no longer treating people with respect and kindness even if we believe they are wrong. It now means no one can hold any absolute truths except that there are no absolutes.

Many people consider themselves to be “spiritual”. This usually means they are not into “organized religion” and pick and choose what they believe, creating their own belief system. G.K. Chesterton said, “Tolerance is the virtue of men who don’t believe in anything.” Today’s definition of tolerance puts the power to determine right or wrong in the hands of people rather than God. Once a local college professor told me, “All roads lead to God.” I agreed with him, and it shocked him. I said, “Yes, all roads lead to God, but not all roads lead to Heaven.” Scripture is clear that all will stand before God one day (Hebrews 9:27; Romans 2:16) but not everyone will enter (Matthew 7:13-14, 21; Revelation 21:8) because a relationship Jesus is the only way to get there (John 3:16; John 14:6).

Usually the most intolerant people are those who talk the most about tolerance. It seems that one cannot take a stand on anything today except tolerance. Christians are labeled intolerant but it is not true about those who truly follow Scripture and Jesus’ example. Jesus was tolerant of the Samaritan woman (whom the Jews had nothing to do with in that day) but lovingly exposed her sin and took time with her to explain eternal life (John 4:7-27). He did the same with Zacchaeus, the rich young ruler, and everyone He came in contact with. Christians shouldn’t try to force their beliefs on anyone but should lovingly attempt to persuade those in need of Christ through love and compassion in their talk and actions (Luke 6:27-28).

Tolerating sin is not a spiritual gift. It is relativism and pluralism. Can every man have an opinion? Sure. Is every man right? How can they be? Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end leads to death.” Absolute truth, while only 52% believe in it, is still truth. Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t make it false and just because you believe in something doesn’t make it true. Truth is what it is. God’s Word is 100% true and it will set you free (John 8:32).

Absolute truth has become politically incorrect these days. Today’s culture has declared war on Biblical standards and God’s morality. Compromise to Scripture has become the virtue and those devoted to truth of Scripture are seen as offensive and irrelevant. Scripture is plain in areas some define as gray. Christians must embrace truth and morality in black and white terms as defined by Scripture in a loving yet unapologetic manner. God’s truth may not be what people want to hear but it is truth nonetheless.

1 comment:

  1. Good thoughts. You are right that the definition of tolerance has been radically changed by a relativistic culture. Lovingly sharing and engaging others in thoughtful discussion is definitely key to change.