THE TRAVESTY OF TOLERANCE
November 25, 2002
There is a sobering question that now begs an answer from the 21st century church. Was the cross of Christ simply a lesson in tolerance? Was that a big wooden T that Jesus hung from two thousand years ago, illustrating a "higher power's" message to: "Go ye into all the world and be tolerant"? Did Jesus say: "For God so tolerated the world, that he gave his only begotten Son"? And did He tell His followers: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have tolerance one for another"?
This is a crude example of equating God's love with today's tolerance... mixing and mingling traditional words and phrases with new age meanings and dialectic slogans like "Our strength is our diversity" in order to synthesize values and advance alternative agendas. Because of the ever-increasing perversion of our language by globalists it is necessary to qualify words like "love" and" tolerance" to avoid confusing them with biblical directives. Just as the love of a father toward his son is different from the love of a husband toward his wife or a boy's love for his dog or a dog's love for bones, tolerance too can have many different meanings and applications.
When modern definitions are mischievously applied to ancient principles for living, the outcome can be more than just confusing. It can be downright disastrous. Just such a travesty is unfolding before us in the church today through the ongoing amalgamation of lifestyles, beliefs, interpretations, principles, practices, definitions, rituals, religions, cultures and worldviews all for the purpose of forwarding the global gospel of "tolerance diversity and unity".
It may surprise many of you to learn that the word "tolerance" never even appeared in scripture until the 60's and 70's when the NEW American Standard and NEW International versions of the bible came into being. In the King James and original American Standard versions the word used was "forbearance" which itself could imply something altogether different. It should also be noted that at the time the NEW versions of the bible were printed, Marxist liberals were tenaciously teaching tolerance as the NEW measure of morality in America from kindergarten through seminary.
One would think, as much as that word is used today with respect to Christians, it would be found repeatedly throughout scripture. However, the reality is, it appears only once in the NIV and twice in the NASV as a brief encouragement for believers to put aside *personal differences and sufferings* for the sake of the Gospel. IT DOES NOT MEAN we are all to piously sit silent while the world's humanists, heretics and homosexuals twist and trash the Word of God to satisfy their own appetites and ambitions.
"Tolerance", as it is most commonly used today, is nothing more than a warm and fuzzy buzzword that was shrewdly employed by globalists to confuse and disarm believers, undermine the Church and contradict everything the Bible teaches about sin from Genesis to Revelation. "Tolerance" was never meant to replace love, righteousness, forgiveness or redemption. It is STILL the will of God that sin be exposed, confessed, repented-of, forgiven or judged...not tolerated for the sake of peace and unity. (Ephesians 5:11) "Tolerance" is not the Gospel of Christ but rather the tactical tool of ambitious men who dream of separating us from our Anchor Stone so we will drift away from "the peace of God which passeth all understanding" into a camouflaged chaos called Globalism.
Below are a few definitions for the word "tolerance" followed by a couple of scriptures that can help you determine for yourself which are new age and which are biblical. The biblical definition is really not that hard to see as long as your choice is consistent with the entirety of scripture.
1. The capacity to endure hardship or pain. (1st Peter 2:19) (Galatians2:20)
2. The endurance of the presence or actions of objectionable persons, or of the expression of offensive opinions. (Proverbs 14:17) (Matthew 18:15-17)
3. The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others. (2nd Corinthians 6:14-18) (James 4:4)
Now simply apply the biblical definition you chose to the only two verses in scripture where the word tolerance appears.
(Ephesians 4:1-2) "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love" (The Apostle Paul is addressing Christians here, not the various cultures and religions of the world.)
(Romans 2:4) "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance" (Once again, Paul is referring to the tolerance of God toward His redeemed, not the enemies of the cross.)
Another relatively simple way of determining where tolerance is appropriate is by knowing at whose expense the offense comes...yours or God's? Tolerance would probably be in order if say someone called you a liar. Lashing back at your accuser with an equally harsh attack wouldn't glorify God in the least or accomplish anything of eternal value. However, tolerance would most definitely NOT be appropriate if that same person, Christian or not, willfully misrepresented, misquoted or in some way impugned the character or integrity of the Almighty with lies and distortions. In this situation a firm rebuke of some sort using scripture would be proper to defend the faith. As Christians, that is what we are called to do. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)
This takes courage and a self-sacrificing kind of love. Silence in the name of tolerance, in such situations, would only demonstrate cowardice and indifference to the One we call Lord; the very opposite of the love He teaches and not unlike what we see in the church today. Even then, rebukes should be carried out with God's interest in mind, not our own. We tend to defend most fervently that which we love and are the most proud of. If it is God and His Word that we defend then we are being Christ-like. If it is ourselves we so passionately defend then we are probably, self-centered, pride-driven and carnal.
Even though many of our Christian institutions have been swept clean of these tolerance teachers, the counterfeit communion they served for so many years is still being passed down the aisles in many churches today. Is it any wonder that practicing homosexuals are now "married" and "ordained" by a clergy who publicly question the very deity of Christ and casually bring His claim of being "The Way, The Truth and The Life" up for a congregational vote? This, my friends, is the filthy fruit of tolerance and an undeniable sign of the desperate times we are now entering. If this isn't the Apostasy then I don't know what is.
The cross is a lot of things to a lot of people but it IS NOT a lesson in tolerance. If God were tolerant of sin He never would have sacrificed His "Only Begotten" to suffer and die so horrendously for the likes of you and me. He would have simply winked at Him and said, "Ah...That's OK...Just stay here. They'll clean up their act sooner or later". But that never happened because the Bible says:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Yes, the cross of Christ was an act of divine love but it was also a vivid demonstration of God's absolute intolerance for sin."
"Beware lest anyone spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Colossians 2:8)
© 2002 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for News With Views, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at [email protected].