I have “tolerated” this whole tolerance term long enough, and today I’ve decided to speak up about it.
Before I tell you why I am against the concept—it’s probably best that we all get on the same page—definition-wise.
Tolerance. We’ve all heard about. Over and over and over again. It’s the hot topic, it’s the popular term. It’s that little buzz word that gives you a social stamp of approval.
This word gets thrown around way too often, and no one really seems to grasp its meaning. We live in a world where “tolerance” is actually one-sided. Standing up for what you believe in is only “tolerated” when it agrees with popular opinion. We praise those who state how they feel on an issue…only when it’s what we also believe, of course. Well, that’s not tolerance, that’s approval. That’s just agreeing.
True Tolerance, by definition, only exists when one person disagrees with another, and yet chooses to permit/accept the other person’s view or belief.
Tolerance as it is used today does not actually tolerate two opinions. Tolerance is reserved for those who high five each other’s opinions, not accept each other’s differences. If tolerance were really tolerance, those who so proudly claim it wouldn’t be attacking the intolerant.
This is the paradox of tolerance.
You cannot honestly say you are tolerant if you aren’t willing to accept/permit when others don’t agree with you. Very few people actually understand that.
Now enough about the semantics. If you really understand what tolerance means, you should be able to “accept” my opinion when I come right out and say that I am 100% intolerant. And I’m not ashamed to say so.
I happily embrace intolerance, because I don’t believe God calls Christians to be “tolerant.” In fact, nowhere in the Bible does God tell us to be tolerant—especially not when it comes to things he calls “sin.”
Far too often Christians sit idly by as the rest of the world waves the tolerance flag in our faces. We’ve been fed this huge lie that states that speaking against things that God clearly defines as wrong is actually being “morally courageous.” It’s what the world calls “tolerance.” We have been taught to sit down and shut up and keep our opposing opinions to ourselves, because that’s what we’re “supposed” to do, right? And we justify that way of thinking—because we want to “love everyone and show them God’s love.”
Well, guess what? That’s not being a Christian and it’s not being loving. That’s being a coward. That’s misrepresenting Christ’s love.
To be a Christian means to stand FIRMLY against what God disapproves of—to love what God loves and hate what God hates.
You who love the LORD, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked (Psalm 97:10)
If you are a Christian, you have a DUTY to stand up against sin. That is not an option. That’s a command. Not ONCE does God tell us to stand up and support tolerance when it disagrees with His Word. I don’t care what that means for your social standing. Look at Paul. Do you think he gained many friends speaking out against all of the popular and yet sinful practices of the world? In fact, God pretty much assures us that the world will hate you for taking such a stand.
”If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. (John15:18-19)
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17 )
Translation? You’re not going to be popular when you stand against popular opinion. I know, it’s hard to believe.
Let me be very clear about something… Being intolerant does not mean I am going to be rude, disrespectful or hateful to someone who disagrees with me. It’s not my job to “condemn” someone for what I know to be wrong according to God’s word. I know I wouldn’t want everyone else condemning me for my wrongdoings, because I’ve racked up quite a list of my own.
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone.” (John 8:7)
In fact, I have plenty of friends who are not Christians who will starkly disagree with me on most issues. We are friends, and I love them, but I will never let them believe that I am okay with what they stand for. To let them believe that would not only be a lie, but it would be a false representation of God and His love.
And for those of you reading who are not Christians, then my beliefs according to the Bible probably don’t mean much to you, anyway. Therefore I can understand why you don’t agree—because you don’t measure right and wrong by the same God that I do. I get it. And I am not EVER going to be rude or disrespectful to you because of that.
But I am not going to tolerate/accept your beliefs as “one version of right living,” –even though I’m pretty sure you should “tolerate” my intolerance, because if you don’t, you are just as intolerant as I am.
For those of you who call yourselves Christians…you should be careful with your “tolerant” ideas. While God is never going to stop loving you, he clearly speaks out against people who claim Him but stand against Him.
“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” (Matthew 12:30)
“So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16)
If you truly follow Christ, we are called to stand with Him, to stand against sin, and to love others DESPITE their actions against Him—just as God loves all of us despite our sins.
And so I encourage you—I implore you. Don’t be tolerant. Be loving, be prayerful, be an example of Christ to others…But do not join the bandwagon and start accepting things God hates.
We are to love others, regardless of their background, religion or other beliefs, but not at the expense of standing on His Word and standing up for truth. Loving people and tolerating their beliefs are two totally different things.
Hannah Taylor was born in Kerrville, Texas and graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Communications and a minor in Journalism. Hannah currently lives in Los Angeles, California where she works as the Production Coordinator at FOX Sports on FOX NFL Sunday, America’s #1 Pregame show. Hannah has a passion for the news and entertainment industry and loves to write and travel as much as possible. The views expressed in this blog post are her own.