TOLERANCE

The following article is so well done that I have deferred to the author.  We need to talk to our children about what it means to give sinners a choice while we discriminate against sin.

 

WHAT IS TOLERANCE?

Jim Hardin

One of the great doctrines of modern education is the doctrine of tolerance. One might even say it has become the number one doctrine, not just in education, but in our modern culture.

This isn't something new. I'm on the far side of sixty and it was part of the unofficial curriculum when I was in school. Back then I thought it was a good thing. Back then it probably was a good thing, only like so many good things—too much can become a bad thing.

The kind of tolerance we are seeing advocated today is not the kind of tolerance I was introduced to in my school years. Tolerance then meant you would permit someone to pursue a wrong course, you would tolerate an incorrect view so long as the individual holding that view did not tread on your ground.

Today's tolerance is something far different. I heard a pastor talking on the subject recently and he had names for the two kinds of tolerance. The old kind, the kind most of us grew up with and supported, he referred to as negative tolerance. The new kind, the kind that could very well destroy our right to worship as our conscience dictates, he called "positive tolerance."

Positive tolerance does not say it's okay to hold an incorrect view, it says there is no incorrect view! Instead of tolerating the individual who holds to a doctrine in opposition to mine, I am supposed to acknowledge that his doctrine is equal to mine. If I do not, I'm being intolerant.

If you are a Christian, you can immediately see where this is leading. If I say that belief in Christ and His substitutionary death on the cross is the only way to heaven, I am being intolerant of everyone who does not believe as I do, for I am saying that my way is better than (not equal to) their ways.

There is, however, one view that one may be intolerant of. That is the view that there are absolutes. For, you see, the individual who believes there are absolutes cannot be tolerant, but must be intolerant by nature. It is therefore okay to be intolerant of the intolerant.

Most of us do not want to be thought intolerant because most of us are thinking of negative tolerance. We are thinking that way because no one has bothered to tell us that the definitions have changed. That's how we get suckered into a lot of things. Somehow words get turned about and start to mean things different from the meanings you and I are familiar with.

A simple example: there was a time when to be discriminatory meant one was an individual who could discriminate between right and wrong, good and bad, original and counterfeit. It was a compliment to be called discriminatory.

As far as we have come down this primrose path, we are not yet at the point our neighbors to our north find themselves. Pastors in Canada have already been arrested for preaching that homosexuality is sin. To say such things there is to be guilty of "hate" speech.

Are you aware that we have hate crimes on the law books in our country as well? Can you not see the path our legal system is taking?

It sounds good to say that we should not attack someone else just because he or she might hold to a different life style or might be of a different color or a different religion. It not only sounds good, it is good policy. It is, essentially, Christian policy.

But is to attack you because you have something I want to take from you less bad? You have been attacked in either case. To make a difference because of the ferocity of the attack or the extent of the damage done might make sense. To make a difference because of the motive does not.

The ultimate aim of these laws is to create a class of crime that will give authorities the weapon they need to negate the First Amendment to our Constitution, and our right to worship God as He has directed.

Think of a time when you might be arrested for witnessing to a friend.


Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.   24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; ....

Jude 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:   23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?  4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?   5 Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?

Separation must be established in MY life BEFORE I fellowship with you.  It is highly a sequential matter.  If we then do not agree, we cannot fellowship (walk) together.


Comment by Steve Van Nattan--  

I spent a good part of my life living and working with British folks and others from Australia and Canada.  There is a temperament in the British which is often commendable, but it has also lead to their downfall as a church.  That is the spirit of fair play.  Because of the fair play attitude, the BBC is still one of the best sources of information, even though they are rather liberal in preference.  Because of the fair play spirit, an Englishman makes the most compassionate colonial over lord, and the British always developed their colonies infrastructure and school system BEFORE taking a profit.  Because of the fair play spirit in the game of cricket, a group of chivalrous gentlemen can knock a ball about, stop for tea, speak courteously to one another, for as long as three days, and not soil their pretty white uniforms.  We Yankees would be on valium by the end of a cricket match.

PROBLEM:  In matters of Christian zeal, fair play has destroyed England and the English Reformation.  Fair play let the Pope back in, fair play trashed the King James Bible in favor of mother goose bibles, fair play brought the vicars of the Church of England to approve of sodomy, and they may now have no further zeal than to defend "chicken's rights."  I kid you not--  My father has a photo of a "chicken's rights" plaque in the foyer of an Anglican church in the UK.

Gross duplicity has flooded the Church of England and all denominations with very few exceptions.  You who live in the UK need desperately to sit still for a moment, at regular intervals, and consider who you are tolerating.  

This fair play business was NOT the temperament of the Covenanters or the Reformers.  Latimer stool before King Henry VIII and preached against the king's sins.  And, the king kept calling him back.  You will make enemies for sure--  Are you willing to make enemies for the Cross of Christ?  But, an intolerant spirit toward compromise will also make you the best of friends.  There are so many folks in small places in the UK who feel alone in their zeal for Christ.  Take a stand, and you may well be startled at the company you will enjoy.  

But then, perhaps you enjoy those pontifical hugs, right?  Pitty.  I would be delighted to hear from the one intolerant vicar in the Church of England who is still upholding ALL 39 articles.



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