Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tolerating the Intolerable

A BIT LATE, but I finally decided on a New Year's Resolution. This year I will no longer tolerate that which I find to be intolerable. I'm willing to bet that most Christians believe their religion preaches tolerance. No. This is wrong. A matter of fact, the word "tolerance" is not mentioned in the Bible, not even once. Christianity teaches love and respect.

I admit, I did not understand this at first, but that was because I had an incorrect understanding of the definition of these words. The dictionary definition of the word "tolerance" is "a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ." The same source states that "respect" is defined as "deference to a right, privilege, privileged person, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy." To sum, tolerance is more of a passive allowance while respect is simply an acknowledgment of a person's rights.

G.K. Chesterton stated that "Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions." How can one tolerate something they feel so strongly against? We are Christian, and we should feel repulsed when someone speaks or acts against the teachings of the Truth. Are we not equally offended when confronted with a socially deplorable act such as drunk driving or rape? When a close friend or family member is slighted, do we not become defensive? Why then do we not do the same for acts displeasing in the eyes of God? The truth is, we would if we understood and loved our beliefs as much as we should.

Before I conclude, I remind that as Christians, we are called to treat one another with love and respect, just as Christ loved even those who persecuted Him. This is a very thin line, and must be navigated carefully.

Please pray for me and for another that He may touch all of us with strength and love to fight injustice according to His will.

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