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Tolerance – A Godly Virtue?

By July 19, 2011North Dakota
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What is your tolerance level? Shouldn’t we all strive to be more tolerant? Tolerance is a loving ideal, isn’t it? Many modern day educators and social gospel preachers tout tolerance toward others as the ultimate ideal for all to attain. After all, we are taught that intolerance is the cause of all unloving and bulling behavior.

We must be careful that our philosophy is from God’s Word! G.K. Chesterton understood tolerance when he wrote, “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” Tolerance as a virtue is wrong! When we do not read God’s word, believe it and develop Godly convictions, we stop understanding right from wrong. Hold fast to the truth! Jesus taught us to love one another which means teaching God’s Word and His ways. We must not lead others to lives of destruction. God calls the wisdom of the world foolishness in I Corinthians 3:19, “For the wisdom of the world is foolishness in God’s sight.”

Our daily lives should reflect the relationship we have with Jesus, not our tolerance for evil. Oswald Chambers, “You never can measure what God will do through you if you are rightly related to Jesus Christ. Keep your relationship right with Him, then whatever circumstances you are in, and whoever you meet day by day, He is pouring rivers of living water through you, and it is of His mercy that He does not let you know the reaction of your life on the circumstances around you, you will fulfil God’s purpose, as long as you keep in the light as God is in the light.”[1]

In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he wrote, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. .If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ ” 2 Corinthians 10:3.

We are to demolish arguments that are against the knowledge of God. We are to speak out about our convictions to our family, friends and others. Too many leaders in the world, who are desperate for the truth, are leading our children down the path of destruction. Sadly, on Thursday, July 14, 2011, the Governor of California passed a bill that requires public schools to teach homosexual history in their classes! Even though lawmakers understood this exposes children to instruction that some find offensive, the bill was passed as an example of tolerance. The bill’s author said teaching gay history in public schools will teach students to be more accepting of gays and lesbians.[2]

Solomon had it right when he said, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9. Don’t believe the philosophy of tolerance is new or that old ways need to be rejected for a more progressive philosophy. Tolerance is not a new ideal! G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) as a political thinker and philosopher wrote, “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”[3]

We tend to measure our success based on a usefulness test. Chambers writes, “If you make usefulness the test, then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure that ever lived. It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him.” [1] Let us speak the truth and reach out to those that so desperately need to hear the truth found in God’s Word. Through it all, we rejoice not in the service we give to God but rather for what He has done that we might be related to Him. Luke 10: 19 & 20, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

[1]My Utmost for His Highest, (1935), pg 243


[3]The Innocence of Father Brown, G.K. Chesterton, (1911)