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The Redefining of Tolerance
In today's day and age, it is politically correct to be tolerant of all religious beliefs. If tolerance means that you respect people of other religions and respect their right to believe what they believe, as I would hope they would respect me, then we have no problems. However, what I have a problem with is the fact that the word tolerance has been redefined. This word used to mean: "bearing or putting up with someone or something not especially liked." However, now it means that all values, all beliefs, all lifestyles , and all truth claims are equal." So Christians, and others, who believe that there is absolute truth, and there are absolute values, are considered intolerant.
I. The Absurdity of the New Tolerance
The new definition of intolerance is both absurd and self-refuting. First, of all, those who reject Christianity and want them to change their belief system to become more tolerant are showing a bias against the Christian belief in absolute truth. They are not seeing the Christian belief as equal, and are themselves intolerant of the believer in Jesus Christ
Secondly, if all religions equally speak the truth, then all truth is relative. And it is illogical to think this when no one, including the relativist, lives like that. The very statement: "All truth is relative" is an absolute statement of belief, which again is self-refuting. There must be at least one absolute truth if that is the case; that is the absolute truth that all truth is relative.
By calling all truth relative, I'm saying that what I believe to be the truth is true because I believe it. However, what you believe, even though it may be the exact opposite of my belief, is true as well, because you believe it. If you're confused at this point, don't feel bad. Anyone with a little common sense, and who hasn't been brained washed by the new tolerance, sees that this makes absolutely no sense.
To say that my belief that there is one life, at the end of which is a judgment by a holy God, is equal to someone else's belief that people are reincarnated and have many lives, is crazy. Either I am right, they are right, or neither one of us is right. However, we cannot both be right.
II. Truth does Not Equal Intolerance
Christianity believes in absolute truth. Jesus Himself said: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). And the Christian religion is based upon certain truth claims. It is a belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He came to this earth to save us from the sin that separates us from a Holy God. He lived a perfect life that we couldn't live. Then He died on the cross as our substitute. God the Father raised Him from the dead, showing His acceptance of that sacrifice. Further, Jesus promised that He will return again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and all who believe in Him will live eternally with Him. If that is true, then anything contrary to that truth has to be false. It isn't intolerance, it's simply fact.
You might call me deluded, or crazy but believing that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven isn't any more intolerant than it would be to tell you that the United States has 50 states. No matter what anyone else believes to be the truth, the United States continues to have 50 states. Truth does not equal intolerance.
I'm not saying that Christians have never been intolerant. People, in the name of Christ, have done unspeakable things. I think of the Crusades, for instance. But that doesn't come from the teachings of Christ. It was a corruption of that teaching.
In our culture, it is becoming harder and harder to stand for what we believe. To stand for truth means that we'll be called bigoted and intolerant. Sadly, those who teach tolerance for all religions, are almost, without exception, intolerant of the teaching of creation and the absolutes of Christianity. They cannot tolerate that God has told us that there are things that are right and things that are wrong.
What these people really want is to do what is right in their own eyes. They want to throw out the God of the Bible because it will allow them to do what they want to do without consequences.
We, who believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, must continue to uphold that truth, no matter what may happen in our society. We must speak it in love, but by all means, speak it. Because if we don't, no one else will. And if the new tolerance wins, real tolerance disappears from our society, and we all lose.