The “religion” of tolerance, that anything goes, is destroying society. In the politically correct day in which we live, we are told that love tolerates and embraces “all things” regardless of how deviant, destructive or abnormal the behavior, action, activity or idea. After all we are told, “We must practice tolerance, for Jesus did.” We are told that lack of tolerance is a lack of Christian love and is not following the example of Jesus. Is that true?
Jesus loved us enough to leave heaven’s glory and clothe Himself in human flesh, but He was not tolerant of actions that opposed the holiness of His Father. Jesus loves each individual enough to have died on the cross for all humanity, yet it was His intolerance of sin in our lives that caused Him to submit to the cross on our behalf. The holy-love of God that is found in Jesus Christ opposes that which is contrary to His holy nature. God’s love is not sentimentality which tolerates “all things,” but God’s love is grounded in His holiness which is naturally intolerant of that which doesn’t comply with His holy nature. Jesus did not accept everyone’s beliefs and behavior as being true or acceptable. Holy-love doesn’t tolerate sin, but points out its destructive consequences. The holy-love of Jesus found Him associating with all kinds of people, yet He was never tolerant with unholy behavior and His love found Him speaking out against the sin for which He came to die.
Fulton Sheen stated it well, “There is no other subject on which the average mind is so much confused as the subject of tolerance and intolerance. Tolerance applies to persons but never principles. Intolerance applies to principles, but never to persons.” As Christians, we must not sacrifice on the altar of tolerance truths and principles that deal with wrong actions and attitudes which His Word says are sinful and contrary to the nature of our holy God. Jesus didn’t. A few examples of Jesus’ intolerance are cited.
Jesus was intolerant of sinful actions and attitudes. Jesus was intolerant of “self-indulgence,” “hypocrites,” “lawlessness,” “false teachers,” “uncleanness” and those who rejected Him after witnessing His miracles (Matthew 23). He called the Sadducees and Pharisees “serpents,” “brood of vipers,” “full of dead men’s bones” and “white-washed fences.” That doesn’t sound like the words of One who was tolerant of “all things.” It was His holy-love that motivated Him to speak out against such actions and attitudes, for they were contrary to the nature of God and were the sins that nailed Him to the cross. Christ’s intolerance of sinful actions and attitudes was actually an example of His holy-love. He would be less than loving were He not intolerant of the sinful and deviant behaviors and attitudes that are contrary to our God’s redemptive plan of deliverance from actions that are destructive and hinders one from being what God desires one to be.
Jesus was not tolerant of “other ways” that claimed they would lead to acceptance with the Holy-Father. He stated, “I am the way, and the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). Christ further stated all who try to come to the Father another way other than through the Doorway of Him would meet with failure (John 10). Those are intolerant and exclusionary statements, for Jesus is claiming that His life and His work on the cross is the only way to acceptance before the Father. Jesus claimed, to the exclusion of other religions, He alone has dealt with the sin-debt humanity owes a holy God.
Jesus was intolerant when he said, “Except a man be born again (born from above by the Spirit), he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). That is an exclusionary statement, because it excludes one’s works as having a part in gaining entrance into the kingdom of God.
Jesus was intolerant of those who would not believe that He was the Son of God, the promised Messiah, the God-Man. Jesus said to the rejecting Jews, “I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins; for if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sins” (8:24). That doesn’t sound like the words of One who was tolerant of “other Christ’s” and tolerant of sinful behavior.
Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). That is an intolerant and exclusionary statement, for all roads don’t lead to the same place.
Jesus was intolerant, as well, when it came to lack of commitment in His own followers. He stated, “If any man come unto me and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). Wow! Jesus is intolerant of half-hearted discipleship, and is demanding whole-hearted allegiance and commitment. He is intolerant of competing rivals and is demanding Lordship over the Christian’s life.
Yes, Christians may appear intolerant, but embracing the truth that Christ of the Cross is the way, the truth and the life we cannot compromise. Love requires that we be unyielding in regard to the truth of who Christ is and what He teaches in His Word. Truth must never, never compromise with error and that which is contrary to the clear moral teachings of the inspired Word of God.
The mathematician is intolerant when it comes to what 2 plus 2 equals, the artist is intolerant with a misplaced brush stroke, the cancer researcher is intolerant with cancer cells he is seeking to destroy, the gardener is intolerant with weeds, and the Christian must be intolerant with moral and spiritual error when it clearly opposes the Living and Written Word. Love requires that we do so.