What About Tolerance?
In our post-modern world, “tolerance” is the one virtue that is esteemed above all others. It may soon become the only virtue our society will accept. Traditional virtues such as humility, chastity and temperance have long fallen out of public favor, and in some circles, are openly ridiculed. Acts once universally labeled “immoral” and “ungodly” are now celebrated under the guise of “tolerance”. Abortion, homosexuality and pornography are today championed by dozens of advocate groups and lauded by the mainstream media. Marital infidelity and divorce are so common in our present day society that few families have escaped its bitter consequences.
The Preachers Of Tolerance
As the socially “enlightened ones” preach to the masses about being tolerant of those “different” than us, they are in fact the most “intolerant” of all people. These individuals are intolerant of those who hold to and embrace New Testament Christianity. In their “demands” of tolerance from people, they themselves cannot tolerate anyone who holds to the doctrine of Christ. They refuse to accept those who believe in “one body” and “one spirit”; those who preach “one hope”; those who declare the truth that there is but “One Lord, one faith, one baptism …” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
These “tolerant ones” cannot tolerate anyone who dares to believe in the inspired word of God as the sole source of truth and authority (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). They are “intolerant” of those who live by a morality based upon God’s divine will. These folks believe that being a child of God automatically makes one “intolerant”, dangerous and in need of “sensitivity training” so that we might become as “tolerant” as they.
The Church and Tolerance
Unfortunately, as the world goes, soon the church follows. There are many in the church who have now taken up the banner of “tolerance”, not only embracing the denominations, but accepting their false teachings as well. Such false doctrines as: (1) direct operation of the Holy Spirit; (2) use of musical instruments in worship; (3) acceptance of Calvinistic teachings (such as you are saved “before” baptism, denying the necessity of the blood of Christ in cleansing us from all sins (Revelation 1:5); (4) impossibility of apostasy; (5) original sin (sinful nature).
Like those in the post-modern world, these “tolerant ones” in the church are very “intolerant” toward those who challenge them. Labeling those they judge to be intolerant as “traditional” and “legalistic”, they look upon all who demand book, chapter and verse as “dangerous” to the spirit of the Bible and the cause of Christ.
Brethren, we must not only reject the “post-modern” value of “tolerance”, we must also reject these “enlightened ones” in the church of our Lord. Instead of succumbing to the temptation of being “tolerant” to those in error, we must hold fast to, “the form of sound words …” (2 Timothy 1:13-14).
Let us faithfully guard the treasure of truth entrusted to us (1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:14; Titus 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:4) against all – both outside and inside the church. If faithful Christians do not – then who will?