4/12/2005

Tolerating the Intolerable

tolerating-the-intolerable
Privatization: “To make private; especially : to change (as a business or industry) from public to private control or ownership”

Our country has the mindset of “I’ll believe what I want to believe, and you can believe what you want to believe.” You know: Tolerance (“sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own”). We have come to the point that we all have our own private religions practiced in our own private lives. You have absolutely no right to criticize someone’s religion (or lack thereof). If you do, you will be labeled as a bigot and intolerant.

Bigot: “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”

Intolerant: “unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters” or “unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights”

There are no longer absolute, black and white, rules.

Before I go on, let me give you two very different definitions of tolerance that I have come up with. First:

“Negative Tolerance” — Acknowledging another human’s religion and understanding their right to freedom of religion. You respect their beliefs but do not accept them as truth.

Then we have:

“Positive Tolerance” — Accepting all religions as equally true, and allowing others to worship as they please because you have no right to criticize another’s truth.

“It’s true because I believe it is true,” is the accepted statement of today. The problem with this statement?

Say I believe it is all right to steal from a local gift shop because I’ve donated to it before but I never got anything in return for my services. So I decide I’m going to get my reward. But I get caught in the act. According to the view above, I didn’t do anything wrong. I believed it was fine to steal. It’s my truth, and you can’t say that it’s wrong. So with no moral absolutes, and nothing black and white, we have a society that truly has no law. But the law must be absolute—it cannot change from person to person.

Increased lawlessness results from the view of no absolute truth. Because how can you condemn anyone if you believe in tolerating others beliefs? Yes, a tolerant person must even be tolerant of the intolerant. How can you call me a bigot if, according to your view of tolerance, it’s true if I believe it’s true?

But for me as a Christian, the Word of God isn’t true because I believe it to be true. Rather, I believe it because it is true. The Bible is true whether you believe it or not. There must be absolutes or our society is headed to ruin.

When you accept the view that many ways lead to heaven, you cannot include Christianity. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Everyone has the right to believe what he chooses to believe. However, I cannot and will not treat other beliefs as equal with The Truth. To do so would dishonor the holiness of God. Yes, you will call me intolerant and a bigot. But then again, I’m afraid the tables turn when you say that. Because how can you be tolerant of the intolerant?

This is the reason we can and need to teach morality in our society today. The "tolerance" logic just doesn't work, and it turns on itself.

As I said, increased lawlessness results from a tolerant and a pluralistic society. Everyone is free to do what seems right to them! We don't want to live in a society like that. No one wants to live in a nation where there is no law to protect them. So to promote morality is to promote the Law, which keeps us safe. To believe in tolerance and pluralism is to promote lawlessness, and a land that does not keep us safe. The choice is up to you--do you want to be under the mercy of the Law, or a nation with no law?

All definitions from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

(© Tim Sweetman, Revised Edtion)

Series Continued Here