Monday, September 18, 2006

"Tolerance"

"Tolerance"... after thinking about this word for some time now, I've come to the conclusion that it's a terribly one-sided issue.

The secular world keeps telling conservative Christians that we're "intolerant", "ignorant", "judgemental", and "offensive". I scratch my head when I hear that.

Aren't they themselves being "intolerant" (that is, of us Christians and our convictions)? What if we think they're being "ignorant", "judgemental", and "offensive"? Why are we the only one's who are expected to be "tolerant"? Seems they can't practice what they're preaching. Double-standard, I suppose.

It's kind of like when someone says, "There's no absolutes!" Hmmm... isn't that statement an absolute in and of itself?

How silly is that?...

4 comments:

PU979901 said...

I couldn't agree more. The thing that really bothers me is that somehow people (in both the secular world and Christians) have a different opinion on what "tolerate" actually means. Tolerate to me means that despite your opinions, your practices and your beliefs, I can still respect and love you as a person created in God's image (despite whether you are a Christian or not). I don't have to agree with you(and in fact I may wholeheartedly disagree with you), but I still respect and show love towards the other person.

Too many times I've seen it where people think tolerance actually means that I "accept" instead of "put up with" or "respectfully disagree". It's my God-given right to have my own opinions, and no one has the right to put me down if those opinions are different than their own.

JoynJesus said...

My model for tolerance is Jesus himself. Jesus did not exactly hang out with the 'creme de la creme' of socitey in his day. He attracted the meek, the hurting, the outcast, the sick, the 'unclean' (lepers, the bleeding woman he healed, the blind, demon possessed, etc), prostitutes, adultorers, etc. Jesus loved these people. He not only healed their bodies, he forgave their sins. Now that is tolerance!

If we all practiced loving and forgiving like Jesus, think how "tolerant" our world could be! :-)

Anonymous said...

Jesus had compassion on the meek, lowly, and sick, and granted healing to the sick and forgiveness to his chosen. That's different than tolerance.

Jesus most certainly did not tolerate, or put up with, the Pharisees whom he called "whited sepulchers," clean on the outside and rotten on the inside. Many times, he rebuked them for their hypocrisy. He also overturned the money tables in the temple because they were turning God's house into a temple market.

God, being perfect righteousness, cannot tolerate sin, hence the shed blood of Jesus to pay for our sins so we might have eternal life with God.

There are cases in our lives where tolerance should not be given. For instance, if somebody came into the church declaring heresy, that person should be dealt with swifty, not tolerated. Otherwise, it damages the church.

Tolerance can be given for petty annoyances, rude guests, things of that sort. Jesus put up with "silly" things his disciples said and did.

Another illustration: a young child learning how to handle silverware is tolerated for his inexperience and childishness; messes are inevitable. Yet his parents continue on in training him how to hold his utensils correctly. If they forever tolerated his childishness, he would grow up to be very rude and inept in society.


- Rebekah

JoynJesus said...

Hi Rebekah,

I completely agree with you that Jesus did not put up with the Pharisees and hypocrites. He naturally could not be tolerant of people who blasphemy against God or those who lead others down the wrong path. As Christians, we can not be tolerant of this either.

I also agree that Jesus had compassion and granted healing for his followers, but I would still argue He showed great tolerance as well. His followers were not necessarily society's 'average joe'. In many ways, these were people that in some way or another others in society wanted nothing to do with (ie were intolerant of). No one in Jesus's day would have dared to touch a leper, for instance. Lepers were sent away from everyone--not allowed to be with the 'clean' people of society. To me this is very intolerant. I can understand why it was done, but it seems very harsh. Another example: by law, adulterous women were stoned to death. Again, that seems pretty intolerant to me. Jesus comes along and shows us that sometimes we lack compassion/tolerance for those around us. He touches the lepers, He forgives adultery. He shows us we can do the same.

Personally, I think compassion and tolerance are often intertwined, or should be anyway. Tolerate the sin (do NOT say it is OK to continue in that sinful behavior, however. Jesus told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more.), have compassion on the sinner.

Just my opinion, of course. :-)