About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
The Meaning Of Biblical Tolerance
In various ways and means our culture is
preaching its doctrine of tolerance. Forsaking
bigotry, bias, and intolerance sounds like the loving thing to do.
We could all get along just fine, because right now, we're not all
getting along just fine. In
all segments of society we're at each other's throats.
The fact of the matter is that our culture is hypocritical.
It preaches tolerance but practices selective tolerance.
everywhere. With pride-filled
arrogance politicians disgustingly duke it out in our so-called hallowed halls
of parliament and congress. As if
court was a sport, lawyers fiercely fight their cases, not just to determine
innocent or guilt, but to win, and win at all costs.
With passionate persistence educators teach the virtuous acceptance of
all while rejecting the values of many. No
matter the segment of society, tolerance is selective.
How, then, should Christians view tolerance?
Look at what Jesus said
as recorded in Luke 22:25.
"The kings of the
Gentiles lord it over
them; and those who exercise authority over them
call themselves Benefactors."
Jesus was critiquing the
intolerant Roman form of government where the fittest of men who survived the
back-stabbing battle to the top abused their authority to benefit themselves.
Jesus said such abusive intolerance must never exist among His people.
Intolerably pushing everyone aside to benefit one's self is sin.
As 1 Corinthians 13:5 and 6 state, "love does not dishonour
others, is not self-seeking ... but rejoices in truth."
Rejoicing in truth is important because truth forms the basis of
Biblical love that includes tolerance, but, as 1 John 3:18 states, love has
"Dear children, let
us not love with words or speech but with
actions and in truth."
Biblical love requires
sacrifice that is expressed in actions based on truth.
That means, we must not cross the line of Biblical truth in our attempt
to love, and if we do cross that line, we fail to love.
I knew of a cult whose young women prostituted themselves as a form of
evangelism to win men to Jesus. Such
self-sacrifice crosses the boundary-line of Biblical truth and is not love.
That can't be tolerated.
On many cultural fronts
Jesus was culturally incorrect when He demonstrated heart-felt love to the
woman at the well (John 4), but being truthfully correct, and for her eternal
well-being, He exposed her sin. Love
has limits. Tolerance has
boundaries. Both are premised on
Biblical truth, and thus, cannot ignore sin.
In Revelation 2:2 we
note that Jesus commended the Christians in